Music Reviews



Monofader: Frost

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 02 2004
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Artist: Monofader (@)
Title: Frost
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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An interesting new project from the Metropolis team combining various elements of original and modern Synthpop with that of the EBM sound is Monofader. Monofader is Sebastian Komor (Icon of Coil) and Richard Bjorklund (Spektralized). Promotions calls them a combination of Depeche Mode and Erasure gone EBM but in actuality it's much more than that however the main elements of those rather basic stereotypes do exist but are compiled in a manner which give Monofader it's on personalized 'sound'. Modern dance beats and melancholic melodies combine smoothly over a synthetic landscape from this great new project from Norway. Some of my favorites however are tracks that vear from the beaten path a bit more like "Stand Alone" (titled aptly) which reminds me just a touch of Chris & Cosey and "Solid Ground", the first track the duo recorded, which is closer to the EBM dancefloor sound but with the smoothed over vocals this project is known for. The overall sound is one that anyone who is a fan of the label A Different Drum would be proud of and I bet Todd wishes he had his hands on this one!

RUNES ORDER: The Hopeless Days

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 19 2004
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Artist: RUNES ORDER (@)
Title: The Hopeless Days
Format: CD
Label: Beyond Prod (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
It's a long time I hadn't the opportunity to listen to Runes Order so when I received this promo, I was curious to listening how they sounded like nowadays. You know, I was used to their improvised suites (we played also a concert together in Bologna in 1994. I did that gig as Gerstein as usual) and I knew they changed line up several times (at the time I saw them they were a duo) and that their suites turned into something more structured on albums like "Winter" or "The Land Of Nothing". Since the last line up change (Daniele Magarelli and his wife Paola, respectively on keyboards and vocals, left on 1999), Claudio Dondo (the original member who started it all) deciced to focus the project on dark emotional analog suites which seems to be structured like soundtracks. For this one seventy minutes length album, Claudio has been helped out by Trevor (Camerata Mediolanense and Northgate member) and they collaborated during the last two years to record the fifteen tracks of THE HOPELESS DAYS. Musically the CD sounds like a mix of various genres. Listening to it you can hear echoes of Ennio Morricone's soundtracks, Goblin, Tangerine Dream and tons of other musical sources. Fortunately the result isn't a musical pastiche as it sounds like a mature and honest work. Innovation isn't the main thing about this work but I think that Runes Order wanted it to sound like something personal and full of emotions. This is the effect that the listener has got while the CD lasts so I think that Claudio hit the target.

MorF (Male or Female): Primitive Reflections Twisted from Sound

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 15 2004
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Artist: MorF (Male or Female)
Title: Primitive Reflections Twisted from Sound
Format: DVD
Label: Dance.com (@)
Rated: *****

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After the critically acclaimed and award-winning SpeedTribe DVD+CD, Dance.com's new installment of immersive electronic audio visuals is represented by yet another DVD+CD by the F242 producer couple Bressanutti & Codenys, along with Elko Blijweert, under the moniker MorF (Male of Female). "Primitive Reflections Twisted from Sound" (co-released by The Pavement), presents 3 hours of material in the form of a DVD with video clips that can be viewed in sequence or played interactively using Pixelman (an enigmatic being with an amorphous mask of video pixels concealing his identity) to roam around concrete and post-industrial 3D cityscapes with signs and arrows that will indicate the path to the videos. Throughout multiple viewings of the DVD you will be revealed alternate mixes, strange hidden places and other interesting content. It is remarkable to notice that all video clips are integrated into the graphical interface as if they were originated by it (of course it's probably the other way around). The CD's 40 minutes offer the main mixes in stereo version, while the audio of the DVD is available in 5.1 surround or stereo. Musically MorF presents well produced electronic music that escapes the notions of classical EBM and plays with new balances between a full and surrounding sound that is extremely cinematic and futuristic. Occasional guitars and vocals are to be found as well. A kaleidoscopic palette of sounds and beats that paints a dark, industrial, urban and sci-fi scenario of unquestionable impact and drive. It's hard to compare such original music to other artists. If I must attempt such task I might vaguely hint that you'll find it an unlikely mixture of electro, rock, funk, hip hop influences. Try to imagine SpeedTribe meeting Sonar, Tool, Consolidated, Bjork, but still sticking to an uncompromising electronic formula.

in-Fused: Misplaced

 Posted by Steve   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 14 2004
Artist: in-Fused (@)
Title: Misplaced
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Tommy T Rapisardi is probably best known for his exploits (and rants) on the Cyberage Radio Show, as well as running the successful indy label DSBP and contributing to the multi-talented rotating cast known as Diverje. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s now released 18 tracks on Misplaced’, the debut album of his solo project, in-Fused. The album is a collection of several electro styles, which is a welcomed change from most releases these days. The album begins with the intriguing piece Enter Now’, an instrumental with an almost middle-eastern vibe. Then the electro-industrial assault kicks in on Evacuate’, with its freaky Darlek (Doctor Who) vocal. The emotional title track Misplaced’ is up next. The piano evokes a feeling of tragedy here, which somehow creates a feeling of empathy. A couple of drum n noise tracks are in attendance, namely Hammered’, Punch Hole’ and Wrapped in Plastique’, each of which has its own distinctive way of pummeling the listener into submission. The glitchy tracks Beardies’ and Mud Slipperz’ continue to show just how diverse this album is. Breaking the Code’ has a dark house vibe going at times while at others sounds very synthpop influenced, dancey with a very dark vocal that fits amazingly well. A Place To Bleed’ and Monotony’ showcases more of an aggressive industrial sound, which Tommy is already well known for with some of the Diverje tracks. The trancey instrumental Find to Keep’ is the longest track on the album clocking in at 7:16. Not your typical trance track that’s for sure, it’s a nice change of pace right in the middle of the album. One remix of Evacuate’ by Diverje gives an even more aggressive edge to the original track, play this one loud. Zonex’(cool title) is completely uncategorizeable(if that’s even a word) but a cool track all the same with its acidic SH101 type keys. Blinded Fools’ plays like a dark breaks track, if only for the beats chosen to back it up. A cool crossover piece nonetheless. The final tracks falling loosely under the ambient tag are, Weightless’, Malfunkt’ and the last track Beneath’, nicely ending procedings with a much mellower chill out’ vibe than some other tracks on the disk. Overall the album is an excellent showing of what in-Fused is capable of. Definitely a diverse listen that always keeps the listener on their toes. Available now on DSBP.

VV.AA.: MIAD

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 13 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: MIAD
Format: CD
Label: Somia Music (@)
Rated: *****
Somia Music is a new born Miami/London based label which already has an ambitious schedule, 10 records due out in 2004, from artists like Subjex, Cliquetpar, Captain Marmalade, Osiris etc. Judging from this debut sampler, its chosen field is modern rhythmic electronica in its various facets, and "MIAD" offers a good show of that, from obsessive super-fast beats (Xanopticon) to glitchy melodies (Utrecht, Captain Marmalade's "Finding out that you're in love in the seventh grade": best title here!), from flirts with bubblegum pop singing (Cliquetpar) to Autechrian incursions (Subjex). If you dig IDM and electronica you'll surely find lots to sink your teeth into here.


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