Music Reviews



Antenne: #1

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 11 2002
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Artist: Antenne (@)
Title: #1
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Danish Kim Hansen (formerly with Institue of the Criminally Insane and Grind) has put out a new full length CD entitled "#1" under the moniker of his current one-man-band Antenna. Released by Korm Plastics (Staalplaat network), this beautiful CD presents you with eight groovy trip-hop electronica compositions with female vocals. The label keeps using the word techno, but I believe that would likely and highly mislead almost anybody... Minimal melancholic electronic music with occasional experimental sounds that turns into state-of-the-art trip-hop or maybe even trip-pop when the rhythmical grooves step in and the lead is taken by the female vocalist: that's what it is! Her voice is gorgeously lush, mysteriously sexy, harmonically whispered. She can very easily remind of Jane Siberry (probably closest comparison - remember her astonishing breathtaking closing performance on "the Crow" soundtrack), Bjork, Portishead, Massive Attack, Kirlian Camera (just on the "Something Not to Do" track) and the like (when she gets all hot and seductive I would even dare to mention Marylin Monroe!). After the opening jazzy "Here to Go" (of which an extended CD EP exists too - cmp review on these pages) the rest of the "#1" tracks take a dip into more experimental territories, but every now and then going back to the warm and laid back trippy ballads that are just absolutely brilliant and amazing... Very convincing stuff!!! I would DEFINITELY go out and get myself a copy if I were you!
PS: If you would like to see the fastest-loading and most minimal and simple website out there check out Antenna's website!

Antenne: Here to Go

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 11 2002
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Artist: Antenne (@)
Title: Here to Go
Format: CD EP
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
As much as I enjoy experimental music, after a full immersion afternoon of listening and reviewing weird sounds a CD like this is almost like breathing in fresh air ;-). Extremely smooth and beautiful jazzy sounds create a lush laid back washed ambience where brushes on drums, hi-pitched whispered female singing (by Marie-Louise Munch), lazy distant easy hammond chords and lonely, dreamy, floating and ethereal atmospheres catch your attention and convince you all the way through. What a pleasant and pleasing listening experience! The "Here to Go" extended AB/2 CD EP (which means a 31 minutes long CD with a transparent outer part) is basically sort of a maxi single of the award winning song "Here to Go" (from their other full lenght CD "#1" - read review elsewhere on these pages). After the opening radio edit of the single, the other 5 versions of the song are remixes by techno producers Full Swing (former Stol drummer) with Stephan Matheiu, Zammutto, prolific Chris Jeely aka Acclera Deck, Matematics (also known as Lee NOrris, Norken, Tone Language, Small Medium and Nacht Plank) and Geiom (collaborator of Skam, City Center Offices, Hem and Small Medium). These remixes are not techno though, most of them are sort of trip-hop... They keep the slow laid back motion and make it more exciting by stepping into the fields of electronica, pop, ambient and, like I said, trip-hop (I can't seem to stop thinking about Portishead...). The design is green and immediately reminds of their blue main release "#1". Ladies and gentleman this is a GREAT CD that I strongly recommend to anybody feeling the whole uk-style jazzy/trip-hop/electronic vibe... Get in the groove... extend your Antenna!

Banabila: VoizNoiz II: Urban Sound Scapes

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 09 2002
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Artist: Banabila (@)
Title: VoizNoiz II: Urban Sound Scapes
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
I really dig the description of "mesmerizing trip hop listening experience", used by the label in an attempt to define what is just that what those words say, but yet so much more: Michael Banabila's second CD "VoizNoiz - part II", part of the Urban Sound Scapes series is a mind-altering thing... Rotterdam-based sound-manipulator Banabila has collected a bunch of voices and other sounds and turned it into this swirling electronic voyage that peeks into experimental musique concrete (never getting annoying though), lets you vanish within clouds of soundscapes and patterns of beats and doesn't ever forget the time-frame it is coming out in. Pulsing beats, freezing german-like Kraftwerk robot voices, beautiful patterns of changing rhythmical structures, skillfully arranged into a nice album where sounds and voices have never been used so magically together before, treated as one single thing, one entity. What I also really loved in this album is the use of almost jazz-line-up instruments (i.e. the soooo english and soooo cool song "Dinoh Dinoh", with an uprigth bass sample, funky brass instruments and hammond sounds) and other traditional instruments such as guitars, drums, bass clarinet... You got to check this one out!

Gabor Csupo: Liquid Fire

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 09 2002
cover
Artist: Gabor Csupo
Title: Liquid Fire
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
Hungarian-born Gabor Csupo is the founder of the Californian quality-experimental/electronica label Tone Casualities and known for his music work on various TV shows. When he left Communist-ruled Hungary to move to the US he decided not to forget his roots and the Eastern European musical projects. In 1994 he started the label to give exposure to the people whose music he's been listening and have been influencing him. He didn't take too much advantage of the fact he owned a record label, in fact he only put one other record of his own out on Tone Casualities. So after many years he's now back with this ambitious double CD, packaged in a beautiful folding digipack with nice graphics. The two CDs are called respectively "Liquid" and "Fire" and present you with 35 left-field electronica pieces of great impact and quality. Although his extremely wide array of credited sources of inspiration spans from jazz/free jazz/fusion/progressive bands (Brand X, King Crimson, Miles Davis etc) to the pioneers of new music (Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, David Torn, Bill Laswell, Laurie Anderson) to the more modern geniuses of the electronic pop sound (Bjork, Massive Attack, Lamb) without forgetting true electronics-only bands (Skinny Puppy, Leftfield, Autechre, Chemical Bros) you don't really find very much of this. Let's just say those influences are there but they ain't in your face. The list goes on and on and basically most of the folks he mentions are some of my favorite artists, therefore I thought this album was gonna totally kick ass!!! I didn't get what I was expecting musically (I don't really know what I was expecting with a list that big anyway) but I wasn't disappointed at all. It is an original album of sample-heavy inventive music. It's hard to explain. It has that particular "genius-at-work" shadow, kind of thing... It's almost like a concept album but I couldn't find a common denominator to be elected as the theme, expect for maybe his life... His life, his musical experiences, his emotions are probably all inside this, packed and ready to be put on display, so this is Him, this is Csupo, so please allow me to introduce you to Gabor Csupo!

Katscan: Feral Bios

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: Katscan (@)
Title: Feral Bios
Format: CD
Label: Nightbreed (@)
Distributor: EFA / SPV / PHD / Electric Blu
These two individuals and their attitude are most likely considered sick and shocking by the so called "normal" sheePeople, or whatever else you enjoy calling your fellow earthlings, but in our world, where true meaning is to be found beyond mere appearance, I still don't know whether these dudes are to be placed in the Marylin Manson category of bands just trying to draw attention through disturbing graphics and images of politico-social provocation or part of those few fine folks who actually find it amusing to shock bourgeoise masses but who try to go beyond superficiality and deliver a message about something real... According to the booklet they get inspired by american trash-tv such as Jerry Springer, Montel, Riki and all that other crap-talk-show garbage, so that would probably credit the latter possibility, I just don't know for sure, and because I hate the all-appearance-no-content acts such as Manson, I am just a little skeptical... Considering that they call their music electro-punk I would think they are the real thing... The images of vivisection laboratory's horrible results, representatives of stupid racial groups and other stuff like that makes me think they really care. Musically their music is infested by samples (a lot of speech samples) taken from a number of different places... If cyber punk is what they like to call it that the word "punk" is there to identify their attitude and heart. Not much punk in the music (except of some fast beats here and there), more like power-ebm with distorted vocals, electronic beats and industrial. Sounds a lot European actually and reminds me of older stuff at times (Cat Rapes Dogs etc) but fortunately they don't play like clones of the good old eighties, they achieved to actually sound like a current band and they sound pretty good too, at least not boring, that's for sure... I am sorry if I have been a little too picky and over-critical about them, I just have these reactions when I am not sure whether I am dealing with genuine feelings or theatrical acts. But they sure are a valid band worth to be checked out.


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