Music Reviews

Meat Beat Manifesto: Storm the Studio R.M.X.S.

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 03 2003
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Artist: Meat Beat Manifesto
Title: Storm the Studio R.M.X.S.
Format: CD
Label: Tino Corp. (@)
Jack Dangers' Meat Beat Manifesto has been and is, for that matter, one of the most influential and seminal names in the electronic scene. While Lakeshore\:run recordings has announced the re-release of newly packaged and mastered versions of Dangers' 1989 debut "Storm the Studio" and "Armed Audio Warfare", San Francisco-based Tin Corp. (run by Ben Stokes) has come up with a remix-war CD that features some of the most respected names around. Antipop Consortium's High Priest, DJ Spooky, Merzbow, Scanner, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, Komet, The Opus, Jonah Sharp, DJ Swamp, Eight Frozen Modules, Norscq, The Mellowtrons and D.H.S. (alias Mr Stokes himself, who partnered up with Dangers on the opening track) did all lend a helping hand for the creation of this historic electronic reincarnation. The original mixture of hip hop, electronica, dub has pretty much been left unaltered except almost fifteen years have probably added a touch of drum and bass here and there. Even though I am quasi a fan, to be absolutely and fully honest, with a huge line up like this one I would have expected unforgettably cool moments of sensory climax, instead my socks got knocked off few times throughout this record. This doesn't mean it ain't good, because it is, but it just could have been better in my humble opinion. Besides that, Meat Beat Manifesto are one of the best acts around so my hat always goes off.

ENFUSION: Outermission

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 12 2003
Title: Outermission
Format: CD
Label: Funk Welten (@)
Enfusion (Torben Schmidt and Alfred Gregl) play nice electronica with a spacy touch. Ear-friendly rhythms coupling with ethereal melodies, relaxing and unobtrusive. Kind of Boards of Canada minus all the "difficult" parts and a more retro-ambient slant. This could be a good point if you really like this style, otherwise it could become a defect. The matter is, it's very well done but it's just NICE - it works while you're at it (generally doing something else), but leaves you no scratches at the end. So you forget what it sounds like. There's a kind of extra-polished modern-design-electronica feel (something common to all Funkwelten releases) which leaves me a bit cold. Anaemic chill out.

INTO THE HOLE: Do You Want To Play With Me?

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 10 2003
Artist: INTO THE HOLE (@)
Title: Do You Want To Play With Me?
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Self Produced
Into The Hole has started as personal project of Alessandro Volpi in 1999. After some experiences with other bands, he decided to concentrate himself on his own music producing a couple of demos before this one. DO YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH ME? is his personal effort into bringing something different into the electronic scene. Even if this CD is an advance copy of a CD he's still preparing, the four tracks succeed into catching my attention (you know, sometimes when you listen to certain CDs, the instinct of preservation makes you want to skip on the following track). The melodies and the atmospheres are personal and they balance well tension and powerful sounds. Tracks like "Done" would catch the attention of N.I.N. lovers as well as electro goth ones. Mind that this is a pre-release and Alessandro is still working on the tracks. The last track "To Learn (From Who?)" is the weakest of the lot (only guitar and voice which doesn't succeed that much to create the right atmosphere) but I'm confident that Alessandro is working on this one... For the moment the thumb is up! :)

Frank Gingeleit: Nightmare & Escapades + Megalopolis + Toy Island

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 08 2003
Artist: Frank Gingeleit (@)
Title: Nightmare & Escapades + Megalopolis + Toy Island
Format: CD
Label: self-released
German composer, musician and journalist Frank Gingeleit has been dealing with music for quite some time already (he's got a long beard too ;-)) and recently he's transferred his knowledge and his emotions in a trilogy of two CD-R's and one CD that quite well represent the spectrum of sonorities he messes around with as well as the wide array of sounds and timbres that his palette reveals throughout this three-folded experience."Nightmares & Escapades" is the most percussive in nature of the three and contains experiments with beats, percussion sounds of differing origin and of course electronic sound layers hovering over the rhythmical structures. It also sparks a lot of guitar sounds, which is obvious especially if you consider that Frank exclusively uses both regular guitar and synth guitar on this album."Megalopolis" sounds more like a Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Can record with lots of spacey synth sounds (it's all a virual analog synth) and seven tracks of pure cosmic electronika. Any reference to a beat has been reduced to a mere hint here and there and mostly the album evolves and revolves around slow motion layers of relaxing pads and entrancing oscillations.The third CD of this trilogy is "Toy Island" uses both the instruments used to create the previous two albums and continues the tradition of not using a computer or a sequencer to arrange sounds, instead Frank prefers to use the toys of his own fantasy island, including filters, modulators and arpeggiators. This CD might be interpreted as the most "modern" of the three, even though I think all of Frank's material has that somehow retrospective look to the great german electronic music of the past decades. In spite of this old-fashioned approach the analog synth sounds in "Toy Island" entwine with the very light beats and give birth to intricated textures where bass lines and mid to hi end disco rhythms (do not mistake that word for techno) are the web on which creative knob tweaking, LFO oscilator sweeping, improvisation, and slow-attack chords bounce around with harmonious lightness.If you are in the world of avant-garde and experimental music pioneers such as Justin Bennet, Peter Frohmader, Skuli Sverisson or if you are more into the old-style Germaniac electro-sound (Kraftwerk and the names mentioned above) and other fine folks like them, you should go ahead and give Frank's stuff a listen.

Aghast View: Drifter

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Sep 05 2003
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Artist: Aghast View
Title: Drifter
Format: CD
Newest CD single from Brazil’s finest, who’s made also for one of the hardest hitting industrial acts in the last decade. With this one, the hard industrial elements of old are pretty much gone, giving this group some more room to grow and progress with newfound elements of trance, electro and hard electronica. And gone also are the vocal distortions, given way to some light vocal treatments here and there. But the key difference between this dance floor filler and the thousands of backwater acts trying to do nothing more than fill dance floors is the complex amount of layering in the sequences and the complexity of the song in general, with the general layout of the sequences and synth lines changing in a rather fluctuating manner from note to note in a very trance manner. It’s kinda classical sounding when you sit and analyze the key usage and the fingering on the synth lines, actually. It’s not too unlike the kind of manner Deine Lakaien uses their synth patterns as well. The Funker Vogt dance remix is well, dancey, as is to be expected with Funker Vogt, but not straying too far from the original at all, just adding that signature Funker Vogt bass-kick pattern to the mix. A lot fo the CD is based pretty much around the dance floor, but does have a good deal of depth to it versus a lot of what you hear on the dancefloor these days. I’m more into the industrial stuff like "Carcinopest" (one of the CDs I hold up to any industrial band as a major standard) myself, but this is a pretty welcome intro into their electro-dance phase, and a great stage in their growth. Rating: 10.

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