Music Reviews

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...

Conjure One: Conjure One

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 29 2002
Artist: Conjure One (@)
Title: Conjure One
Format: CD
Label: Nettwerk America (@)
Distributor: Nettwerk
Due for release on Nettwerk America in more than two months from now (Sept 17th), Chain D.L.K. in collaboration with MSO promotions is proud and pleased to offer you a sneak-(p)review of "Conjure One", the first solo creature of well-known and rightfully respected Front Line Assembly / Delerium co-mastermind Rhys Fulber. We all knew that Bill Leeb is capable of miracles and now, if you even needed a proof of that, you also have Fulber's producer take on what a solo album should sound like. Perfect symbiosis of electronic music and pop music, a 'synesthetic electronica' if you would, but also a bridge from west to east vibing with world-music influences (Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean mainly) and flirting with radio-friendly vocal interpretations. Oh by the way, speaking of Synaesthesia (one of Bill & Rhys' many cool side-projects), a number of songs have percussive elements in common with that great record of theirs called "Embody" (listen to Conjure One's song "Redemption" if you need a perfect example of what I am talking about)...
A gorgeous, thrilling and majestic cinematic intro opens this beautiful album, but its rapturing and harmonious balance is carried on by an outstanding line-up of female vocalists including Sinead O'Connor, Poe, Chemda (Israel), Marie-Clair D'Ubaldo (Argentina) and by a team of skilled composers including Billy Steinberg (Madonna, Bangles), Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL), Rick Nowels (Madonna, Dido). They all bring something special and truly unique to the table. The singers' very personal voices and styles breaths new character into the songs and their geographical background unmistakably emerges and helps lift the compositions to a whole new level where ethnicity becomes a signature and purity becomes a strength. Their contribution, teamed up with epic atmospheres, distant soundscapes, ethereal melodies, electronic textures and orchestral greatness are the forces at work here. Forces that breath like wind, burn like fire and flow like water. All elements, starting with the synthesized grooves, textures and bass lines, the relaxing and lush pads, the vocal performances and down to the terrific job with the string arrangements (by Chris Elliot; performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) acting like a coesive glue in a great masterplan, interact pursuing the key to success and playing a specific role in the final orchestration of Rhys Fulber's craft. If you absolutely need comparisons think of Delerium's "Karma" with spotlights on haunting dreamy textures and old-continent traces. It took him three years and lots of travelling (the album was recorded in Vancouver, Amsterdam, LA and London) but it's all there and you can and will hear it. It delivers, it really does.
PS: Read the interview with Rhys Fulber in the interview section.

ASP: Der Schwarze Schmetterling, Teil II, :DUETT

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 22 2002
Artist: ASP
Title: Der Schwarze Schmetterling, Teil II, :DUETT
Format: CD
Label: Richterskala/Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
I'm not really sure I got the name of the band and the title right, but oh well. ASP play a blend of electro, wave and rockish, radio-friendly music with great care for arrangement and details. No wonder they play live with an extended line-up with non-electronic instrumentation, since all tracks have distinct melodies and are arranged like "real" songs - thus, though rhythms are exclusively electronic, they skillfully avoid the classic feeling of monotonous repetition which plagues most electro acts. But the song structure itself seems to be based more on melody than on rhythm, and tracks like "Maybe" have those catchy pop lines that could guarantee proper airplay. Really not my cup of tea, but definitely better than most EBM stuff I've listened to over the past few months. Uh, comes in digipack with booklet (good layout).

Propulsion: Flesh & Blood

 Posted by PJVD   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 29 2002
Artist: Propulsion
Title: Flesh & Blood
Format: DVD
Flesh & Blood is the third self released album by this Belgian duo. One older song on this album is Human Catalyst which is completely reworked. With the first two songs (Flesh & Blood and Neglect) they underline their EBM qualities. If you like VNV nation you will certainly enjoy the beginning of this CD. This album is different than previous recordings for many reasons. One reason is that they introduce more variety. Besides the danceable Rage, the industrial minded Attack and the softer ballad Everything Is Gone (with female vocals), they bring instrumental tracks like Omar Cantar and Dark Disco. If you like samples and danceable beats, catchy melodies and electronic sounds, you could check out Propulsion.

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