Music Reviews

CENOBITA: Metamorfosis

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 10 2002
Artist: CENOBITA (@)
Title: Metamorfosis
Format: CD
Label: Triso (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
After three years from the release of "Neo Milenio" finally the band did it, releasing a perfect blend of melody and power titled METAMORFOSIS. The album is really different from the first one and even if the band didn't detach from the ebm genre this new one opens the sound to new influences and ideas. Being less raw than "Neo Milenio", METAMOFOSIS with tracks like "Estrellas" or "Indiferencia" explores better the electronic/melodic solutions obtaining in this way more exposure toward the alternative dance scene. They aren't sellouts but the tracks in this way sound more fresh and interesting than the usual beat assault. For sure the tracks are based on the ebm cliche but you know, there are different ways of using the gears... The only weak point in my opinion is represented by the excessive lenght of the tracks which during six of seven minutes tend to make loosing the attention to the listener.

Massiv In Mensch: Die Rein

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 08 2002
Artist: Massiv In Mensch (@)
Title: Die Rein
Format: CD
Label: ArtOfFact Records (@)

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While Massiv In Mensch virtually exploded on the scene with their ArtOfFact debut Belestandes Material whose trademark sound was hard industrial with high energy rhythms and harsh vocals, this release is much less harsh. With Die Rein they have taken a bit more of a turn which encompasses synthpop while maintaining their hard and heavy attitude toward club oriented dance tracks with a lessened focus on the harsh and industrial sound. There is still quite a bit of heavy rhythmic thumps, pounds and clanks but not as much as before. This album also seems to have a bit more of a focus on the instrumental track and an almost hardbeat trance influence from time to time. They have maintained high energy without a doubt and are showing some versatility which is always good but I do miss the nearly gutteral German vocals. This album is more likely to be more compatible for a wider range of late night dance club play. While this is more focused on dance music it still remains atypical of the usual genres of dance music, techno, and trance.
One of my favorite tracks on the disc is "Mein Erstes Bonbon" which translates as My First Drop. It is, like much of the album, an unusual marriage of techno, trance, synthpop and industrial rhythms. The only thing I don't like about it is that it begins using some traditions rave sounds. There is even a track titled after the band which sounds like Prodigy's original style in many ways - the orchestral slams and hyper-rhythms. The only track with a bit more vocal and the only with female vocals (I think) is "Endorph-Fusion vs. Reiner's Festung" and is the only track which sounds a bit more like the first album. "Schneiders Sphaere" is a very smooth track too and is one of the best on the disc along with "Entferner" - all very different tracks.
While this is a great album by itself I miss the vocal combination from the previous album and prefer less techno influence. I do however like the exploitation of variance from the original album to display that the band is not just one sound and one style but can play different forms of music.

© Copyright 8/2002 TG Mondalf. All Rights Reserved

KLUSTER COLD: The Third Secret

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 05 2002
Artist: KLUSTER COLD (@)
Title: The Third Secret
Format: CD
Label: AFE (@)
I had never listened to Kluster Cold before, and it's been a nice surprise. Released by Andrea Marutti (Amon, Never Known, Lips Vago) on his personal label AFE, and mastered by one Maurizio Pustianaz (wonder who he is, eheh), "The Third Secret" is a little jewel (7 tracks + intro for 28') of retro electronica/EBM, with Kraftwerk being the most obvious reference. Carlo Ponte seems to have interiorized the best and most peculiar characteristics of the German ensemble: catchy synth melodies coupled with aseptic and danceable drum machine beats, but most of all a romantic and nostalgic atmosphere which now seems to be frozen in paradoxically distant times. Retro-futurism? The real folk music of 20 years ago? Most songs are instrumental, and work perfectly without a voice. "The romance of tar" is present with a nice vocoder version and an instro "flare-up version", and the fact that both stand perfectly well on their own can only mean the track is really good! "The soldier" has an upbeat rhythm and quasi-spoken female vocals, while "The soldier's theme" features the melodies in an ethereal, beatless version. But the instrumentals are cinematic enough to suggest a story of their own, from the more serene, bittersweet atmospheres of "Remember" to the darker and slightly obsessive "As fear comes back". The layout is remarkable as well, with elegant vintage-looking graphics, evocative black and white pictures and a fold-out poster too. This is one of the few cds I wished they lasted longer...

Informatik: Nymphomatik

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 02 2002
Artist: Informatik (@)
Title: Nymphomatik
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)

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Informatik are David Din of Din_Fiv and Tyler Newman, the driving force behind Battery Cage plus Matthew Crofoot. This release sees Tyler joining the project while Matthew is on hiatus. This is some strong EBM with a highly sexually charged theme, thus the title is not a misnomer or just something they thought would sound cool - it really does relate to the song content.
The first track is an invitation to play and includes lines like "Three is really company" which makes thier concept very clear. You will also note some very strong female moaning samples. Sorta reminds me of TKK in that aspect alone.
The song "Hopeless" is a song about all love ending in misery and is very Synthpop oriented with dark vocals. "Perfect Stranger" is about promiscuity and going home with someone you've just met and the dangers that lie in that and takes the pace musically more into the EBM field - as if it wasn't already there. "Phycical Education" is about the elements of an almost simulated ritual of sensuality and this track has some heavy Front Line Assembly sounds to it. "Over" is a song about longing after loss and begins almost ballad-like but quickly builds into more danceable rhythms.
One of my favorite tracks has got to be "Built For Pleasure" which is about a pleasure droid named Synthia - sort of a Cherry 2000. One part flesh and one part technology. This is just sheer fun and a very upbeat dance track too and includes some vocoded vocals in the chorus.
"A Matter of Time" begins with a drum beat that reminds me much of Martin Atkins when he plays a slow groove but is very heavy on the synth. Another dark EBM track - another song about longing after loss but this is more on the terms of waiting eternally for someone who leaves you feeling like an empty shell when they've gone. It is about want more than anything.
"Ovlivion v2" is about being 'blown away' by someone - or rather by exploring the boundaries of consciousness through sexual exploration. It nearly makes sex sound religious or at least focuses on the ecstasy of passion.
You'll also find a Negative Format mix of "Perfect Stranger" which moves the track into more af the Trance region and a Stromkern mix of "Physical Education" which takes it into a heavier, darker and more industial arena.
Where is the "Built For Pleasure" or "Flesh Menagerie" mixes? These two tracks would have been more likely candidates and maybe that is why they were not chosen. Maybe there will be CD singles later.
© Copyright 6/2002 TG Mondalf. All Rights Reserved

[GRENDEL]: End of Ages

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 31 2002
Artist: [GRENDEL] (@)
Title: End of Ages
Format: CD EP
Label: Noi Tekk (@)
Distributor: Triton
This is a CDep (but featuring 8 tracks for 40') with 5 original songs from Netherlandish artist Vlerk and three remixes: "End of Ages" re-styled by Arzt+Pfusch Japscat and God Module, and "Corroding Conscience" by Feindflug. Grendel play electro with faster, more melodic and epic moments (which work better) and more mid-tempo tunes. There's no particular point of interest both in rhythms and in synth melodies, but the real problem is the voice: it's high pitched and distorted (a bit black metal sounding, with all due differences), but in some tracks (listen to "Catastrophe" for example) it barely stands above the instrumental part. Besides being momotonous per se, it also risks of sounding indistinct...

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