Music Reviews

HOCICO: Disidencia Inquebrantable

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 25 2003
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Artist: HOCICO
Title: Disidencia Inquebrantable
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Out Of Line
Distributor: Audioglobe

After ten years of activity and five album (without counting the live CD, the "El Dia Del La Ira" reissue and the previous MCD "Untold Blasphemies), Hocico are slowly refining their sound. Keeping their distinctive sound and themes, the duo is opting for a reduction of distortion and for a diversification of the "in your face" formula. The five tracks of this new MCD take inspiration from the old and experimented Hocico formula but including more ambient layers along the usual bleeps and distorted rhythms. In this way the tracks sound fresher than before but they keep the distinctive sound of the band thanks to the angry vocals and to their imagery of death and desolation. As on their latest releases the two cousins use both their mother language along with English and if on some tracks, like on "Grito De Las Entranas", they use few sounds (sometimes you can hear only the bass line along with the vocals and the distorted drums) on "Ruptura" or on "Silent Wrath" they use multi layered structures which help diversificating their sound. Even if Hocico have reached a certain position in the e.b.m. industrial scene, they are still looking for new solutions and sounds and this is good.

Deadburger: s.t.0.r.1.e

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 08 2003
Artist: Deadburger (@)
Title: s.t.0.r.1.e
Format: CD
Label: Wot 4 (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe (Italy), Shellshock (Europe & Australia)
Ready to put aside that politically-lousy, nutritionally fat, all together disgusting McDonalds burger that you are getting your greasy fingers on for a buck badly spent to taste a much better one? How about a dead one? The Deadburger have been around for a long while (1995) but unlike any other burger I know of, they get better every year that passes (more like wine, really, so they tell me). So instead of being putrid and rotten, the mutated murder-burger from Tuscany is ready to unleash a new sonic assault on you that is completely different from their previous material. The Deadburger are an open collective of artists and musicians orbiting around founding members Vittorio Nistri (electronics) and Alessandro Casini (guitars and graphics), who also work under Microonde (symphonies for microwave oven) and Vibroplettri (guitars played with rotating machines) monikers, respectively. These dudes have always have been ahead of the curve in the Italian scene, and were doing things that few others were doing when they were, and even hit the sweet spot well before the Italian-sung electronica-rock formula even appeared on mainstream radio and tv. The new breed of bread that these "good guys" have baked for us, defies expectations for those who were familiar with their previous musical course; as a matter of fact the new album "s.t.0.r.1.e" (which, once you replace the 0 with an "o" and the 1 with an "i", in Italian means "stories") definitely goes down a new road and initiates an all new artistic evolution that embraces rock and electronics (better interacting and merging than ever before) but integrates and interfaces them with bits, samples, loops, parts and influence from territories as wide apart as theater music, hip-hop, classical music, dark wave, punk, hard core, psychedelia, free jazz/no wave you mention it... Deadburger also have a new singer, whose vocal characteristics (ranging from dramatically melancholic to screamingly angry) many Italians will appreciate, I can tell. Of course the fact that they choose to sing in their own language takes this to a different level and if you are familiar with the lame Italian music scene you'll think of some of the better bands from that scene (such as C.C.C.P., C.S.I., CP/01, Subsonica, La Crus and many other bands from the post-punk post-core post-rock post-fuck scene now going digital)... Unfortunately the Deadburger didn't think of providing translations of their lyrics for non-Italian speaking folks, but those who understand Italian will be delighted to find out that there are still bands out there that really care about and work on their lyrics, passing from intimate and personal to thought-provoking and political to some extent. As db themselves point out in their bio-burger «the goal was to make a record where words and music were of equal importance; and where the two components aren't just "layered" on top of each other, but actually interact with each other, in a mutual exchange of input». I gotta say these words hit the nail on the head and they sure don't fuck around, they are truly committed and they put their money where their mouth is (hopefully not chewing on a dead meat hamburger). All in all this burger is dripping with many sauces and is most definitely very tasty. If you need to be enlightened in terms of references, and you have a grasp on the Italian scene, names such as QuintoRigo, Otto P' Notri, Diaframma, Marlene Kuntz, Jacopo Andreini, Bz Bz Ueu, Jitterbugs, Erpice (and many others I can't think of right now but that I am alarmingly aware) of should give you the best idea, but unless you lived in Berlusca-land I don't expect you to know these names, which makes for a perfectly good additional reason why you should immediately buy this very record and get an idea of what else is out there... If you are sick of hearing Cold Play tune into the burger's airwaves and get a bite of what for all of you out there who don't know who the hell I am talking about, could roughly be considered a sandwich of Pink Floyd (for the psychedelia), Jeff Buckley/Bob Dylan (for the songwriting intimacy), NIN/Stabbing Westward (for the industrial component and the pop feel), Sonic Youth (for the scratchy guitars), Muslimgazue (for the worldly vibe of some songs), Beasty Boys (for the rock-biased hip hop stuff), Adrian Sherwood (for the dubby tweaking), Tom Waits (for the lo-fidelity originality), John Zorn (for the free/jazz/wave approach), My Dying Bride (for the dark violin/viola strings arrangements), Underworld (for the watery dance sounds) - beware, if you take any of the above international names as a standalone reference it won't likely be true to the Deadburger sound (most of this stuff doesn't make any sense to me, unless I consider is as a whole, and I am really just mentioning these far out names to try to give you an idea, because this is 100% original Italian stuff)! As multifaceted and variegated as it is, this album also offers you a dynamic line up that includes many national guests (including trumpet virtuoso Roy Paci) making the burger even spicier and multi-dimensional (bet you didn't hear any burger referred to as being multi-dimensional in McShitDonalds' dollar menu...).The CD is released by a very cool little label called Wot 4 based in the Netherlands and in the UK, run by some cool eco-anarchic mate called Charlie Holmes who lives and pro-actively works and organizes things in Tuscany, where he lives part of the year.And because today is your lucky day, let me tell you about the cool full-color 28 page booklet that comes with the CD, where you'll find lyrics, credits but most importantly graphics that are supposed to go along with the saucy sounds. I think if you buy the CD from them or from the label directly, you also get a full-size A4 32 page xeroxed b/w enhanced booklet.It's your turn now. You can get this from Audioglobe in Italy and from UK's Shellshock 4 in the rest of Europe and Australia. Run out to your local burger factory and buy "s.t.0.r.1.e", because if I write a review this long you can bet your ass it sure as hell outta be real good!

VVAA: Futuristic Trips 1

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 03 2003
Artist: VVAA
Title: Futuristic Trips 1
Format: CD
Label: Meta Wave (@)
FUTURISTIC TRIPS 1 is the first chapter of this Meta Waves serie which is dedicated to new electronic bands with a surprise coming from the early days of electronic music: El Aviador Dro. El Aviador Dro are active since 1979 and in their first incarnation they included members of Esplendor Geometrico in their line up. Meta Wave is currently distributing their discograhpy in Germany, so in this first compilation they are including two tracks, "Antimateria" and the instrumental "Gran Plaza Asimov" which are taken from "Opera Cientifica" (best of, released in 1999) and from "Mechanisburgo" (released in 2001). The other ten tracks are coming from selected discographies or are unreleased tracks of: Seji Minus Ac (I've already reviewed their latest CD of fractal electronic industrial music), Krometekk (two tracks for this American band who presents a mixture of electronic jungle, cosmic electronic suites and early e.b.m.), Krometekk (female project who presents a tracka of technological cyber e.b.m.), Psychonic Parandroid (German project of techno e.b.m. deeply influenced by futuristic ambient soundscapes), Analogwerk (electronic techno with samples taken from the Voix Bulgares choirs), Perchteuropa (his tracks is a minimal electronic suite based on analogic like bleeps and watery sounds) and there's a little joke by The Meta Intergalactic Orchestra (a nice robotic and pulsing fifty four seconds track). Nice compilation that will introduce you to interesting bands. Check this out...

Bruce Atchison: Shut Up & Talk 2 Me

 Posted by Julia Soultanova (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 23 2003
Artist: Bruce Atchison (@)
Title: Shut Up & Talk 2 Me
Format: CD
The Canadian composer Bruce Atchison appears not as the creator, but rather as the delicate conductor of the three worlds - the world common to all mankind, the private inner world, and the no man's cosmic one. With an unexplainable, both alienating and magnetic spiral he screws the mind of a listener into the solid rock of infinity! He showers us with waves, not impulses that are ready to rise from just one half-sigh. The turning of head, the swallowing of saliva, the random playing of wind behind the windowpane, is about to tear the tight thread, meticulously tuned by Bruce's genius, about to break the unstable link between the planes of space, time, sensuous and visual memory. By moving the planes and facets, he builds the multilevel pyramid, matching the clearances with some linking diagonal that sets the trajectory for our purposeful journey.

Let's stretch the mental canvas to its full length, wipe off the dust, deleting all unnecessary details, smoothing out all wrinkles and washing out the spots. Remaining motionless, we find ourselves in the final point which is not identical to the beginning. Our medium does not deceive us with some serene hypnosis, but there's no other natural ways of listening to his music, which is not even so much of music, as it is the interdimensional speech, amplified in the light of microscopic magnification.

The dark, ominous and spiky sonic fragments make up the alluring and harmonic whole and the technicism of womb-like, edgy voice becomes the hook that firmly holds the uneasy, flowing beauty of electronic melodies within the limits of the river-bed. The painting of sound by Bruce Atchison is akin to the geometrical plastic of the art of Ancient Egypt, and its origin seems equally dubious at times - either human hands or extraterrestrial forces. The mystery of the sphinx, the pyramids, and the music of Atchison - even if the scale is different, the origins seem to be the same. The author's use of radio-wave aesthetics doesn't mean his longing for unnecessary complexity and excessive décor; it's the essential part of his universal thinking that covers all elements, distances and moods.

Some compositions are essentially just words submerged in ambient textures. The music has narrative character as well. It's neither the monolog of a bard nor lively hip-hop recital, nor fluffy opera lyricism. It's more like the distant observation, the statement of the endless wayfaring of a man in the most global and existential sense.

The compositions, full of diversity and expression, are hanging on the rope of single tempo. The insinuating sonic fog is ascending in serpentine movements like a snake. The proceedings are laid-back and calming and we find melancholy without sentimentality, modesty of colors without monotony. The landscapes are light and airy. They are almost imperceptible, so that only the well-cut structure reminds us of their presence, without which the sound would turn into formless and inert mass.

The seemingly faceless and cold music hides real strong charge that makes sure the generous message of the composer safely reaches the listener. This message is to embrace the whole world and to newly find your own self as part of it, and to do it in a way yet unthinkable.

VV.AA.: Mr. Velcro Fastener presents Deep Inside Vol.2

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 15 2003
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Mr. Velcro Fastener presents Deep Inside Vol.2
Format: CD
Label: e:motion (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Damn! We've got some really hot stuff here! Somebody just opened a can of some major ass kicking, and that someone is Tatu Peltonen and Tatu Metsatahti, better known as Mr. Velcro Fastener. The two Finnish DJs based out of Turku's ever-active electronic scene are back behind the decks for the second volume of their "Deep Inside" project commissioned by Berlin-based e:motion label and featuring a lot of hard to locate and rare unmixed full-length material. An extraordinary collection of gems that reflects the last ten years of making music together. By assembling some of their personal favourites and providing us with liner notes on why they chose each specific song, the two Tatu's re-trace their evolution and their artistic path all the way back to 1993. Throughout the compilation you can hear how much the duo's been influenced by Kraftwerk's robotic music and by their various electronic successors... The CD features the unique Brown+Booth duo Autechre, The Black Dog, Mouse on Mars, Fujiya & Miyagi, Mr. Velcro Fastener themselves with their Miami Vice-inspired "Testarossa" track (wasn't Tom Selleck the one with the Ferrari Testarossa in Magnum P.I. anyway?), Detroit-sould Kenny Larkin, Monolake (the porject by Robert Henke, who created the affordable music software Ableton Live who along with Acid, Reason and a few others is becoming one of electronic musician's favourite tools), Herbert alias 08 Doctor Rockit, H.E.A.D., John Tejada (also collaborating with DJ Sage on their indie-rcok band Meathe), Carl A. Finlow aka Voice Stealer (also known as El.ek.tro, Random Factor, Silicon Scally), Morgan Geist (from Metro Area, Titonton Duvante, Sage, Faumgeist, Ghee, Like This Production and founder of Environ records). Among other things nice brown carboard-looking deluxe digipack. Sit tight, this is a great ride!

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