Music Reviews



Edition Terranova: Hitchhiking Non-Stop with No Particular Destination

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 10 2002
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Artist: Edition Terranova
Title: Hitchhiking Non-Stop with No Particular Destination
Format: CD
Label: !K7 (@)
"Hitchhiking Non-Stop with No Particular Destination" hit the street yesterday, October 8th, and sounds soooo damn american even though Edition Terranova (ex Turntable Terranova) are three skilled Berliners from the club Pogo circle of Djs. Their new work of love (after their 1999 debut "Close the Door") contains twelve tracks, among which a Bob Marley cover of the song "Running Away" and two bonus tracks. Mastermind Fetish, Meister and Shapemod (aka Jon Shapeton) pulled together a blasting sound system made up of keyboards, guitars and loooots of programming and vinyling... They are influenced by Detroit techno and by hip-hop in equal amounts, I'd say, but the final mixture definitely leans a bit towards electronica. The key is that they don't overdo it and know how to spice it up with nice beatz and groovy sounds and with a good dose of eclecticism and fancy artistry that brings rock and even Jamaica into contexts you wouldn't necessarily expect them to pop up. Among their instrumental tracks and their Londonish reverberated unknown looped sound-bits hovering over deep bass lines, you'll find lots of original material and good intuitions. Keeping it simple, keeping it real and adding estranged elements to the mixture they will get people dancing, no matter what. The most peculiar side to this album is probably the vocals, in all their diversity, political integrity and internationalism. In other words think Jamaican style singing, NY style rapping, Berlin style vocoding and London style whispering. They all make for a truly no-barrier-sound with catchy tunes, hilarious parts, intelligent lyrics.Guest appearances include Stereo MC singer Cath Coffey, NY poet Mike Ladd and Ariane from The Slits (a name that probably only die hard punk-rockers will recognize).If you are into it there is also an EP with the above mentioned Marley remake, one previously unreleased track, a cappella versions and remixes by Stereo MCs and DJ Naughty. You might also wanna notice that !K7 rec sells all CDs for just $10, so get down to business already!

Cycloon: Scent

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 10 2002
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Artist: Cycloon (@)
Title: Scent
Format: CD
Label: Dark Dimensions (@)


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This is one strange release. There are similarities between all the tracks but the differences are more extreme. This mini-album by Cycloon contains six previously unreleased tracks besides the Nine Inch Nails "Happiness In Slavery" interpretation which was originally intended for a tribute release by Orkus Magazine. There is also a bonus Video clip. "Scent" is the first single to appear from the follow-up release Zeitseize. Cycloon is the solo project of singer Axel Kleintjes from Page 12. This is definitely a project full of surprises. The first track combines heavy Noise influences with throbbing EBM beats and as a starting track if you have not heard Cycloon before you begin to wonder what's up and where this is going especially since the vocals on this track slightly remind me of early TKK from I See Good Spirits, I See Bad Spirits. The second track begins with a nearly dub and ambient sounce effect style, some vocal sampling and added Industrail beats and very dark and harsh vocals. Further into the track you begin to hear some rather strong Skinny Puppy influences, especially in the vocal overlays, polyrhythms, and breaks. The attached video for this piece is a collection of industrial, mechanical, war, sexually charged and haunting images combined with very litte live outtakes. The following track picks up the pace and becomes more of a club oriented sound, as if we weren't doing well already, and they pound it to the floor. There is some rather slight Synthpop influences here as well but this track is just as dark as any of the others so far. An interesting turn is taken with the industrial dub-n-Noise sound of "Acivated". The "Happiness In Slavery" interpretation is just that and NOT a cover. This makes for a bizarre instrumental and the sound and style of the original is nearly unrecognizable. Default Set begins with some heavy atmospheres and samples that sound reminiscient of Pinhead from Hellraiser but then drop into some Noise and Klang styled rhythms. If you like Power Noise whith danceable rhythms here ya go! Lastly, Megabite is some heavy digitalia industrial with Gregorian Chant. Never underestimate the power of machines is the unspoken message here I believe!

CriBabi: Volume

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 08 2002
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Artist: CriBabi
Title: Volume
Format: CD
Label: Fidela (@)
In a time where the British wave is not catching up in the US anymore (thank god for that!) somebody did make it all the way over here (strangely enough, apparently without the help of some major record company pushing it some way), and as far as I can tell, this time it's because they deserved it, as opposed to just because they dress like losers, don't shave for a couple of days in a row and plagiarize Oasis and Blur. All the way from UK and Japan, here comes Cribabi (pronounced Cry Baby): well known producer/musician Andy Cox (formerly with Fine Young Cannibals and The Beat) and Yukari Fujiu (formerly with The Groopies, besides releasing two solo records on Pony Canyon records), who, let me tell you, is nothing like your average Japanese front-girl!
Although "Volume" is not your average Chain D.L.K. material either, it is an innovative piece of art, where genre-bending eclectic funky mixtures of pop, rock, electronica, ambient, blues, trip-hop convey with the eccentricity of a great female vocalist that sings totally catchy tunes ranging from hypnotic and moody to melodic and sophisticated and that can sound like Garbage, Imbruglia, Bjork, Etheridge, Portishead and so much more... you wouldn't tell she is a Tokyo's underground gem for that matter... She went to London to work with Eurythmics' Dave Stewart and ended up eating and drinking fish and chips in a pub, studying Cockney rhyming slang and getting sonically involved with Cox in his lo-fi Studio Zero (somewhere around Covent Garden's market, where the all street artists are...). Things like that only happen in London and in New York City...
This is an extremely multifaceted and changing album where dynamism and crossovers are an every-song occurrence. You really have it all here, lots of electronics, distorted guitars, acoustic guitars, Hawaiian guitar, bass, trumpet, sitar, harmonica, gamelan, metallic and wood percussions. Of course many of these acoustic instruments may happen to be sampled, but you get the picture! Of course Cox's presence makes sure that the rhythmical body of the opera is solid, consistent and un-compromised, even when it just comes down to a shaker, an egg and a splash... Of course the most thrilling and coolest beats to me remain the dirty r'n'b-vibe samples or the fast pace drum'n'bass-driven break-beatz...
The seventish-psychedelic folding cover comes in a never before seen plastic case that looks like a wallet plus the CD comes with an appetizing Macromedia/QuickTime PC/Mac presentation of the band, also including 2 video-clips (of which one in both English and French version), a bio, pictures and a taste of other Fidela releases.
The song "I'm the One", backed with "Beautiful Mistake" (which has also been garage-remixed by Dj Bad Cop), have been choosen as Cribabi's single, also available on Fidela records.
Next time you are in London and you are walking by a lake, be on the look out for a short Jap girl with a blue-white walking toy dog that responds to the name Oishi (I know a piano player from Tokyo with the same name!)...
This is global pop for the future (hopefully! ...'cause personally I am sick of the Manchester crap of the past years!)...
PS: Look out for a Cribabi givaway on Chain D.L.K. for your chance to get a free CriBabi CD!!!

Negative Format: Static

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 07 2002
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Artist: Negative Format
Title: Static
Format: CD
Label: Sector 9 Studios (@)
To those of you who remember their "Distant Pulses" (that we reviewed on an earlier issue), NF's new album will come as a pleasant surprise. Although it is not my preferred sound, I have to admit (and it is pretty damn obvious) that there is talent involved here. You can hear it from the composition of the pieces to the manipulation of the sounds. Definitely a club-goers' favourite, "Static" goes for obsessively hammering dance beats, groovy and sharp rave sounds ("Downfall"), electronic textures backing the structure, sporadic space-ambient scenarios with Kraftwerk-like vocoding ("Genocide mix"), cinematic soundscapes with a techno-driving force ("Gateway"), more Kraftwerkian electro-dance-pop in the catchy title track, volcanic lava cascades of bubbling analogue electro-industrial-techno - sort of FLA meet Jeff Mills (like in the amazing Aiboforcen remix - I got to hear this band cause this song is my kicker!), experimental-textured techno with ebm vocals ("Impant mix") and ambience d'n'b breakbeats (the sloppy but nice "End of Transmission" outro)...The three remixes of the title track by Informatik, Headscan and Implant plus one mind-blowing remix of "N.E.A.R." (from "Distant Pulses") by Aiboforcen spice up the sizzling sup and make it into a plate that has a lot to offer to the bouncing dance-hungy handbangers out there. All tracks between 126bmp and 140bpm, so be prepared! The madness goes on for 50 minutes, intro and outro included... if only CDs came with stroboscopic and laser lights! If you don't mind too much dance in your soup, this CD is a total blast!

God Module: Perception

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 07 2002
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Artist: God Module
Title: Perception
Format: CD EP
Label: Sector 9 Studios (@)
Released just a little over a month ago on Session 9 Studios (the same label that did the new Negative Format album, of which you can read in these very pages), God Module's "Perception" EP follows their debut "Artificial" and presents only three new songs backed with eight remixes, totalling eleven tracks.God Module is dance-ebm that in my opinion lacks a little in originality when it hangs in the same old cliches of punching filtered synth lines and sequences, distorted whispering vocals and steady beats.Following is a list of the bands who provided remixes along with what flavor they gave the remix and with their web url for more info: Infekktion (stomping industrial - infektion.de), Culture Kulture (rave-industrial - culturkultur.com), Dismantled (dark/ambient - dismantled.org), Parallel (techno/electro - another Sector 9 band), Cut.Rate.Box (ebm - cutratebox.com), L'Ame Immortelle (ebm-dance - lameimmortelle.com), Stomkern (ebm - stomkern.com), Grendel (industrial - industrialnation.nl/grendel).Indeed the remix war formula is an interesting way to get an EP together, especially when remixers get way personal about the outcome, but in this case it just didn't click for me... But then again, let's not forget it's always a matter of taste.


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