Music Reviews

Tri-State: Light the kHAOS within

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 26 2014
Artist: Tri-State (@)
Title: Light the kHAOS within
Format: CD
Label: self-released in collaboration with Electro Aggression Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
A comeback of a German trio as well as the kick-off for Electro Aggression Records to start a spring offensive - here comes out a new, powerful and mystic device to conquer more and more the hearts and minds of the international-based EBM-/Dark Electro-audience! To make that clear: 'Light the kHAOS within' is kind of a self-released album by the band; E.A.R. collaborates and helps out with contacts, distribution, promotional efforts and such. So if Tri-State can be counted to be a real E.A.R.-signing artist lies in the eye of the beholder.
But no matter how the things have turned out internally, because what finally counts lays now in front of me in a well-designed black-colored digi-pack. I have to admit that the debut 'Synopsis' of this Eastern German project released more than 10 years before has been an episode I've never discovered. So I was quite unfamiliar with the works of this band-project as well as with their relevant data out of their biography.
They can look back on their highly praised debut released in 2000 by Pandaimonium and later licensed to the Russian Irond label. A breathtaking live performance at the 11th WGT in Leipzig brought them highly attention and their future seemed to be bright. German press has compared them in a row of prominent German idols like Placebo Effect, yelworC, Putrefy Factor 7, Kalte Farben, and/or Abscess. All promising names and of course comparisons, on which one can be proud of. But it all went down the drain because in 2002 they stopped all activities related to their musically career. Too bad, so they had to start with a slightly changing of the band formation from scratch again. As it often happens with the latest E.A.R. discoveries, also Tri-State had their slot on the old school Electro/Industrial-bible, the legendary 'Old School Electrology Vol.1' (4-CD box-set). Adding to this a promising contribution to the Sonic Seducer 'Battle of the Bands' contest in 2012 has increased the hopes for a possible comeback to take form.
But no matter how their career has taken course, because their presently provided music is a perfect soundtrack to delve into deepest, Dark-Electro-based scenarios, which will leave you highly impressed! What they call 'Symphonic Dark Electro' isn't their form to install orchestral Neo-Classic elements, but it is their vision of layered Dark Electro which often results in a comparable, bombastic manner! Of course the always influential Puppy-an factor celebrated in every second note takes a huge sponsorship to their sound outfit, also the vocals and its kind of processing could win any 'Let's-sing-like-Ogre'-contest. But it still matters a lot, if one decides simply to copy, or if one decides to rebuild structures and to install own ideas and modify the whole melange to form something with authenticity.
As this comeback has taken a long time in between, plus also the fact that the making of this album has lasted 5 years, you can be assured, that you won't get to hear the first bloody steps of a greenhorn switching on a synthesizer for the first time. 'Light the kHAOS within' is an epic, complex produced Dark Electro-masterpiece hardly to discover these days. The opener "rE-spawned" is kind of a revamped track originally released on their above mentioned debut and this one already set a quality standard. Nevertheless I have found the most promising pearls with the rather Downtempo-like, but extremely cold-melodic pieces like "ranDOM FAILures PreferRED" and/or "belle EpoQUE". These tracks are standing eye to eye with classics like "Worlock", "Testure", "Blood In Face" or "Slashed Open". A track like "geneLAW" also proves their ability to write sentimental, heart-touching lyrics (here: the horrific experience of a stillborn child).
As I am sure that almost all press colleagues have written highly praising reviews before, I too come to the conclusion, that this thrilling arranged Dark-Electro-album is a true masterpiece from the first to the last note. It is for sure another proof for E.A.R. to sign with the best horses of up-to-date artists based in this special music style. Get this awesome piece of Electro music as this is a must-have item!

VV.AA.: Theme Of Electro Empire

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 23 2014
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Theme Of Electro Empire
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Electro Empire
Rated: *****
From Matthias Weise a.k.a. one of the Dominance Electricity crew and Sbassship I received the news of the creation of a new label called Electro Empire. If you love electro music in all its exceptions, probably you already know the forum and you already know all the story. For all the other people, well, it was the year 2003 and the forum made a contest where producers were asked to send their own theme concerning Electro Empire. Out of 37 entries from all over the planet, four winning productions were picked by a team of judges to be released on vinyl on the German label Electrecord. The original winners were Gab.Gato from Italy (The Villains Inc., Dominance Electricity), Finland's Laite (X0X Records) and Split DJ from Spain (Microciudad Recordings, Beathazard) and from Denmark DJ Wildthing . Now, eleven years after, it was time to reissue those tracks to launch the new label and for the occasion the guys decided to put four bonus tracks: Finnish duo Polytron (Kostamus Records), England's Paul Blackford (Militant Science, Twilight 76), The Metric Brothers aka Dr. Skunkenstein and Neil Stevens from the UK plus DJ D.S.K. out of China (Second To None, Electrolab Records) and once again DJ Wildthing with the second part of "Lesson Electro Empire". The first three entries presents three tracks of finest modern electro music with 80s influences, hard beats and spacey atmospheres, DJ Wildthing goes to the roots and with the two parts of "Lesson Electro Empire" presents a great mix of early 80s electro hip hop with scratches, vocal samples, synth stabs and vocoder filtered vocals. Polytron, instead, is here with a dark electro punching tune with catchy melodies and vocoder filtered vocals. Paul Blackford presents a quite minimal track with upbeat tempo, obsessive bass lines and little synth inserts. Last but not least, we have The Metric Brothers with "Flight To Electro Empire", a cool instrumental track that at the beginning recalls me Egyptian Lover just to continue with syncopated rhythms, spacey inserts, epic synth pads and a final with scratches and early rap atmospheres. Really nice release that you can check and purchase here

Nahtaivel: Pon Farr

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 15 2014
Artist: Nahtaivel (@)
Title: Pon Farr
Format: CD
Label: Wave Records (@)
Rated: *****
Scary dude from Brazil Fernando Vicente basically IS Nahtaivel, and 'Pon Farr' appears to be Nahtaivel's fourth album, the earliest going back to 2002. It's a dark electro-industrial kind of thing, not far removed from the likes of Suicide Commando, Combichrist, Diverje, etc., but possibly with a little more diversity. Speaking of Diverje, Tommy T Rapisardi guests on vocals for the opening track, 'Hate', and also bonus track 'Murder in My Eyes' which is more of less a remix of 'Hate'. Rapisardi is also responsible for the lyrics on these. If you're a Diverje fan you have a good idea what you're in for. 'Pon Farr' is has its fair share of dark dancefloor stompers, well done with squinky and muscular sequenced synths, four-on-the-floor beats, and processed to the hilt vocals, often employing vocoder. Some of the things I really like about this album include the spooky theremin synth sound used on 'The Invention of Lying' and 'Be Productive'; the extra added percussive sounds in 'The Wildflower/The Fly'; the atypical and somewhat progressive 'The Short Story of Asami ' The Gravure Idol'; and the even more atypical instrumental 'Christie's Dream' with anthemic synth horns. You'll also find the obligatory movie dialogue samples interspersed throughout, but mercifully they are not overused and fit the music. The physical CD also contains 3 bonus tracks ' two remixes of 'The Invention of Lying', one Old School, and the other Club Mix with guest spoken vocals by Apostle Niwt of Pecadores. I don't think this song needed two remixes, but'¦whatever. Over all, it's a pretty good effort with interesting interplay in the synth sounds/programming. Nahtaivel has a new album coming out in May ('Epicus Doomicus Electronicus') which promises to be very different from this release, available on digital only, due to budgetary constraints. I'd pick up the physical 'Pon Farr' CD if I were you; the last of a dying breed, and also you get the extra tracks.

Blastromen: Reality Opens

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 22 2014
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Artist: Blastromen
Title: Reality Opens
Format: CD
Label: Dominance Electricity
Rated: *****
Available on 2x12" vinyl edition (transparent red with a super size poster or black), digipack CD and digitally at the major stores, "Reality Opens" is the second album by the Finnish electro duo Balstromen. They released their previous album in 2010 always on Dominance Electricity and with this new one, they continue where "Human Beyond" left off. The theme of this album deals with the interaction between human beings and computers, thing which allows us to spread our physical world blending it with computer controlled content. The eight tracks album opens with the short main title introduction. It sounds epic and you can already feel what is about to come as arpeggios, pads and lead solos are there to warm the atmospheres. If you already know the Blastromen, you already know their massive use of vocoder filtered vocals and on the following track, "Vision Control", they are ready to give to the listener their vision of the next to be reality. Augmented reality, software integration, digital manipulated visual perception, everything is part of their lyrics and the track sounds powerful and cinematic. "Infiltrator Unit", sounds menacing and mysterious. Powerful drum beats, many arpeggio layers and syth stubs help into keeping the sound catchy and dancey. The following "Sidtroen" has a spacey feeling thanks to reverbered pads and leads. There's also a chirpy solo, which is really nice. "Sense Of Ears" is really influenced by later Kraftwerk, is less focused on blasting drums and it's really well balanced. With "Glacier Planet" we have a sort of hybrid between 80s and 00s electro with stops and go where the atmosphere is dilated and then, all of a sudden, the beat rules again. "Transportation Nonstop" brings you to a sidereal ride made of hard beats and pads backgrounds. The closing, "Lost Dissent", is fast, breathtaking and precise like a laser cut. All the album contains tons of melodic arpeggios, paced rhythms and cool sounds and if you loved the Blastromen's previous releases, you won't be disappointed. Check here the album's teaser

VV.AA.: 2013 - 2003 = 10 Years of 4mg Records

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 16 2014
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 2013 - 2003 = 10 Years of 4mg Records
Format: Tape
Label: 4mg Records
Rated: *****
Coming from Slovakia and run by Imrich Vegh, member of Imiafan, 4mg Records is ten years that releases electronic music that sounds disturbing, catchy and a bit rooted in the 80s. To celebrate this event, few months ago, the label released a compilation tape titled "2013 - 2003 = 10 Years of 4mg Records". The tape opens with Kirdec and its "If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be In Your Revolution (Dedicated To Emma Goldman)". The track already sets the quality level of the compilation which is high... If you love cold electronic sounds and bands like The Exaltics, this is for you (more info here Manasyt is here with "Mortal Transfer", an instrumental tune that mix atmospheric elements (the tiny bells sounds), distorted drums and melodic synth pads creating a cinematic effect. Imiafan with "Nocna Alchymia" bring a mid tempo based on a suspended atmosphere, cool analog synth sounds, tiny melodic inserts and detached vocals. Alien Skull Paint with "Buried" mix gothic atmospheres with a mid tempo electronic background. Medora Featuring Natalie Alva with "Unleash Your Dogs" close side A with a nice dancey tune based on a bass arpeggio, male/female vocals duets and a playful atmosphere. Monty Catsin is a pseudonym that anyone can use, so I don't know who really bring us "Modern Hero". Anyway, the track is a nice one that sounds like Devo without guitars. Boys Du Severe with "The Beat Of Neoism" are here with a retro electronic robotic joyful tune (think about an instrumental early O.M.D. track) and I don't really know when it has been recorded, because from the few informations I have about the band (taken from the Anna Logue compilation "Echoes From Our Past"), the band was active in early 80s and the recordings have been made my Monty Catsin. Since both neoism and Monty Catsin are both born under the same rules (collective shared pseudonyms and identities, pranks, paradoxes, plagiarism and fakes), I don't really know what is the right information about them. Anyway... Uj Latasmod Fuzio, the Gaspar Kornel's project is here with "Hasonmas" a track which mix early e.b.m. atmospheres and cold electronic a la Die Form. Lesbian Mouseclicks' "Life Is Precious" sounds dark, menacing and obsessive. It mixes a bit of techno elements (the rhythmic part in the middle of the song) and dark electronic sounds a la Clock DVA. The Trial are a Czech band formed in the late 80s that disbanded in 1993. Their song "Pull It Back" has been re-edited by Max One (sorry but I don't know him) and now it sounds like a mix of synthpop and 80s e.b.m. Makina Girgir close the compilation with "Derniers Mots", a cold track in balance from cinematic atmospheres and cold wave with its obsessive bass lines and fluctuating synth pads. Nice compilation that you can check here

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