Music Reviews

Estrogenocide: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 30 2002
Artist: Estrogenocide (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
A band that describes their style as synthpop-grind-core with influences of Depoche Mode and Napalm Death is quite an interesting concept, hard to imagine until you hear it. Musically speaking the Plainview, NY, duo Estrogenocide plays fast electro-core music that is quite minimal in structure. Think fast hard core or grind double kick drumming but with drum machine instead, guitars replaced by reso-like synth-lines and a semi-distorted vocal that would feel at home with any german ebm band from the nineties (or even earlier). What is disappointing to me is that the sound palette is extremely limited. The entire record is pretty much played with the same presents on the drum machine, the synth and the vocal processor and at the end it becomes quite repetitive (not boring, 'cause the songs are short and to the point). If you are not bothered by the uniformity of sounds, then you might find a bone to pick with them when it comes down to lyrics... I doubt that NYC has made me too politically correct or conservative, but these lyrics really sound sexist. The words you hear (also printed in the booklet, to their credit) are centered around sex and quite obsessed with the male-dominant thing: "kick that cunt in the cunt", "two black eyes and a broken jaw, now make me some dinner, pick yourself up the floor", "chew and swallow down your midnight snack", "rape is fun, rape is good, rape is so misunderstood", "I will cut your nipples off" are just some of the less explicit parts.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 20 2002
Artist: ANGELS & AGONY (@)
Title: Forever
Format: CD EP
Label: Out of Line
Distributor: Audioglobe
7 tracks for this 35-minute CDep by the Dutch trio Angels & Agony. The layout is not really captivating, and I still wonder about the sense of cramming 4 not-so-different versions of a song on one ep, but anyway, enough bitching: the music is good, melodic electro-EBM with lots of wave influences (i.e. melancholic, slightly retro atmospheres), with competent song composition and an equilibrium between catchiness and good taste, which prevents them from slipping into radio-friendly kitsch crap. The title track is especially well done, but the other songs ("Stormhead", "Lost" and "Ohm") manage to stand on their own without passing for mere fillers.

Mimetic: Data Sensitive

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 12 2002
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Artist: Mimetic (@)
Title: Data Sensitive
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Parametric (@)
Apparently Parametric is getting a real kick out of releasing double CDs with Mlada Fronta (whose mastermind Remy Pelleschi mastered this very 2CD) and Von Magnet drummer's band Mimetic. The formula is the same: great art-work, great electro-industrial-experimental music, great line up of musicians. Particularly in the all new "Data Sensitive" prolific Mimetic's main body is Alma Munteanu, Lais Foulc, Nikkho, Def, Dirk Ivens & Sonar, Somantic Responses, Roger Rotor, Fast Forward... Besides my surprise in learning that Dive mastermind was involved too, the line-up is getting better with every record! I am not even gonna mention all the people who participated in this record 'cause that would take up this entire page (just to mention a few: Von Magnet, Remy & Stella, the Methods, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Frederic Chaplain & Prikosnovenie, Ralf.E.Friel & Moloko+, Ras al Ghul, Phil Von, Frederic Lacomte, Benny Braaten & Origami Galaktika, Norscq, Jolanda Kempers and many many many more). I really feel for Mimetic because they are doing what we have been trying to do with Chain D.L.K.: joining efforts to achieve greater results!Anyway, back to the music: Mimetic's new baby is a little more ambient-experimental in nature than the previous work and overall tends into a more noisy and and more eclectic direction. There is a lot more sample work going on (movies and stuff, I could recognize several sources) and more non square beats in favor of a rougher but more challenging approach. The whole picture is that of a mature collective of sound magicians who know what they are doing and offer us a valuable intersection of their experiences and their influences. The heterogeneous material contained in the new album simply mirrors the true nature of the group, one that is quickly becoming a major player in the field and one whose sound is pretty much unique and so original it is almost unequivocally recognizable. "Data Sensitive"'s first CD contains 14 tracks of which the last four are remixes by Swiss Roger Rotor, UK Somatic Responses, Belgian Sonar and French Fast Forward while the second CD (called "be-at_sound_a") contains songs of a more experimental nature and a hidden track recorded live in San Francisco. Mimetic is part of The Methods of Survive Network System and supports MACOS (Musicians Against Copyright Of Sounds) which is great (I haven't seen many bands supporting MACOS in a long time).

Symbiont: ology

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 06 2002
Artist: Symbiont
Title: ology
Format: CD
Label: DSBP

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This Salt Lake City project, Symbiont, offers one powerful debut release with "ology". This is hard elektro, heavy aggression, dark venting without real violence. As many have said who have heard this CD so far they are a welcome refreshment of a dying breed in todays underground Goth/Industrial scene dominated by Future/Synth-pop and EBM. This is a harsh return to the dark agression of early goth/industrial and brooding violent moods. However, Symbiont is not one of those copycat sound-alike bands. EVERYTHING on this disc is highly original, well thought out, and masterfully produced. Every layer of every track and every sample is masterfully contrived. From the very first track, "ology" the title cut, this release lets you know what you're in for with some hard EBM styled beats, unique sampling, and very harsh/dark vocals. Symbiont is in my mind the culmination of what the DSBP Records sound has always been about in the first place. Symbiont just does it better than all the rest with a much more modern texture to it. Heavy club beats, harsh distorted vocals, and dark brooding moods. This is a must hear! I haven't been this excited about a hard/dark industrial project in quite awhile. The second track "Evilation" adds a tiny bit of techno influence that is subtly utilized amidst hard metallic beats and clean cyber sound structures. Symbiont mixes quite a few styles and lots of their own experimentation in this one release. The third track "Consummate Saturnine" for instance begins on a more somber and melodramatic tone of dark ambient. This moves gradually into a more classical sounding piece composed in an industrial style with vocal samples and screams for overall effect. "Step Child" goes back into a nearly Hocico styled harsh industrial-EBM with some hard driving quicker paced Noise rhythms that drop into a very harsh industrial body rock. What follows is one of my favorite tracks that will be of high interest to vampire fans and Anne Rice afficianados as well. "Aggro Culture" begins with a female vocal sample, a whimpering individual fearing death. This is followed by a male speaking about Death being no respector of age, etc.... Vampire fans will recognize this as the Theatre of the Vampyre scene from "Interview With A Vampire" in which the woman is killed on stage by hungry vampires. The samples used mix perfectly with the heavy EBM-Industrial styles and heavily distorted lead vocals. The overall track gives these samples the forefront of the attention. My favorite part of this is the attention to detail that the band uses in the second sample segment where the woman's voice is looped saying "I don't want to die" with various sighs, screams, and gasps in between. This is done is such a way that it avoids repetition of a single sample looped but instead creates a structure of it's own which matches the rhythm of the music in perfect sync as well. I was wondering when somebody was going to finally sample that part of that movie. After this is a hard Noisey ballad called "Rancor" with some more interesting samples in which we discuss the contemplation of death. Following this is "I Blame You" which begins with lots of noise and builds into another hard club hit. "Skinned" comes next and drops the pace considerably. This is where the album takes a unique dark turn. With an almost trance-like feel to it while maintaining the heavy rhythms the vocals are highly synthesized here. This later builds into another danceable track. "Fear IN Justice" follows this overall mood with a few quieter interludes while "Tri-polar" begins with a few ambient industrial textures and a sound which constantly pans left and right in a trancelike manner. Also, soft ambient synth is also used, like something you'd expect of Robert Rich or Steve Roach except that there is a certain brokeness to it that gives you an 'altered-state' perspective. This is followed by piano and vocal samples (I won't give away all the details here) but then the track builds into a driving EBM rhythm. Now this gets real interesting! The percussion beats used are all stomps like a drill team doing a routine to some kick-ass EBM-Industrial. This is a technique that many thought of doing in the 90's when Ministy, FLA, and Skinny Puppy were still the rage and militant dark industrial was the key to many new local industrial bands. Symbiont have actually achieved it! They have reached the state of harsh darkness akin to Electric Hellfire Club, Velvet Acid Christ, and Skinny Puppy with the harshness of bands like Hocico, Marilyn Manson, but all the wonderful EBM club beats we love that fits the modern age. The samples used are very selectly picked and oftentimes drive the track's theme and are an integral part of the track like the way TKK use to do it. At the same time other samples like screams, grunts, moans, etc.. are used like the 'impact' samples used by Front Line Assembly. Still yet others are used for sheer ambience, texture, or sound techniques like the marching rhythms and others. Symbiont not only have mastered creating an extremely dark album but also one that is both moody and very club oriented at the same time while utilizing practically all industrial sampling techniques in unique and masterful form. If this is a debut I can't wait to hear more! The entire album is lovable and each track for it's own reasons.

Anorkia: Children of Pride

 Posted by Chris W.   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 18 2002
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Artist: Anorkia
Title: Children of Pride
Format: CD
"What makes a great release?" is the kind of question I had on my mind today when listening to my new Demo Ep from "Anorkia", titled "Children of Pride". I soon knew the answer after I pressed play.

A band, started in early 2002, has collaborated many members. But the core members, as of now, are:

Fang - First concepts, synths
Dr3w - Vocal programming and supervision, mixing
Je$$ - Vocals - Mixing, remixing, mastering

These four people have created a sound far beyond words. Anorkia isn't just some new underground band. It's a whole new look at electronic synth pop. From the grungy keys, to the sexy vocals, this band can appeal to any fan of any genre. Now to tell you a little about "Children of Pride".

The first track, "War, Sex, Crime", starts off with a burst of hard beats whcih soon picks up to loud synths and the sound of Dr3w rhyming into his mic. The lyrics on this track are amazing. Some of the best I've ever heard in a while. The song has a nice overall beat to it, and is very dance-able. Although you can't hear the beginning vocals to well because of the distortion, it's still a very good song.

The second track, "An", has wonderful melodies and great synths. The vocals are more clear than "War, Sex, Crime". Towards the end, this track gets a little repetitive, but overall, a job well done.

The third track, "Falling Down", has the same feel as "An" gives off. A great tune overall. But it too, gets a little reptitive at the end.

The fourth track, "Power to Believe", gives off a great, mellow vibe, but still maintains that crystal clear Anorkia sound from the previous three tracks. There aren't any vocals, but the track still has a great feeling to it, which makes it astonishing.

The fifth track, "War Sex Crime (Dark Trance Remix)", is the same as the original track, but is very darker, and has a stronger feel to it. The synths added to make this remix are wonderful, but there needed to be a change.

The sixth and final track, "An (Concrete Slab Remix)", is, too, very similar as the original track. It has a new funky vibe to it though, which I didn't like as much as the original, but still, very catchy and fun.

War, Sex, Crime - 9/10
An - 7/10
Falling Down - 8/10
Power to Believe - 9/10
War Sex Crime (Dark Trance Remix) - 7/10
An (Concrete Slab Remix) - 7/10

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