Music Reviews

Nash The Slash: Hammersmith Holocaust

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 26 2016
Artist: Nash The Slash
Title: Hammersmith Holocaust
Format: 12"
Label: Artoffact Records
Rated: *****
Introduced by the GOD of wave GARY NUMAN this artist is something not possible to be missed. A lonely genius facing the audience like an elegant mummy or better to say like the invisible man in a public space. He was from Toronto and his guitar is hard to forget deepened in weird reverberation, it's possible to listen echos of the Jew Music coming from another eon. It's a real once in a lifetime listening. The cover of Smoke of the Water is a pure sublime trauma where sound processing and a sick voice scream in the name of the rock and roll but both are caged into a psychedelic hell. Nash the Slash is a milestone in the musical raping, nothing is sacred for him and everything is ironically sublime. Nash seems born from David Lynch's mind in a state of grace.

VV.AA.: Noblesse Oblige

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 26 2016
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Noblesse Oblige
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible productions (@)
Enfant Terrible with its sub-label Gooiland Elektro is about to release a new compilation titled "Noblesse Oblige" containing bands that are a perfect tool to explore EBM and techno made in NL. For those who are looking for a throbbing and strobing sound with harsh voices coming from the void of universe, this is for sure a safe harbor. Enfant Terrible presents, in this wild wild wild wake, bring to you LCN, Monocorpse, Profligate, Osty, Neugeborene Nachtmusik, and Future Blondes. Some are ruvid like Profligate, other are dance floor ready. This is definitely a cornucopia which vomits on us the indubitable fact the EBM and electro never dies and it is ready to infect and to bend brains and knees.

Jackal & Hyde: Bad Robot

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 22 2016
Artist: Jackal & Hyde
Title: Bad Robot
Format: 12"
Label: Dominance Electricity
Rated: *****
"I'm the bad robot, the one that will destroy, I'm the bad robot, the future humanoid, my design is perfection, that becomes divinity, I'm the bad robot, I'll change the galaxy". This is the message of the newest Jackal & Hyde 12" and sounds like a promise! Active since early early '00s, the duo is formed by the electro veterans
Scott Weiser and Todd Walker of Dynamix II and Bass Junkies fame, respectively. Dynamix II is a legend of Miami electro and is existing since mid 80s, while Bass Junkies were active in the 90s. Both bands had releases out on Dynamix II Records. With a couple of albums and many 12"s on their back, Jackal & Hyde are bringing to the electro lovers a new upbeat tune which is a blast. "Bad Robot" gathers all the catchy things of electro: powerful rich rhythms, catchy melodies, synth stabs and glitches. All this packed into a sharp sounding mix. Also the B side is great one, even if it isn't a new tune: "Dark Star" is a new version of a track included into 12" released in 2004 which was shared with Dynamix II and Volsoc. While writing this review I listened to this single at least three times and I'm not tired yet. The 12" will be available on red vinyl with poster as well as on black vinyl, for Dominance Electricity. Give to it a virtual spin here

Psy'Aviah: Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 20 2016
Artist: Psy'Aviah (@)
Title: Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Alfa-Matrix (@)
Rated: *****
The more I review here on Chain D.L.K. the less I find myself aware of many worthy music projects I've never heard (or heard of) before even though some have been around for years and years. Not a bad thing though; I find myself in a constant state of "new discovery". Such is the case with Psy'Aviah. I had my doubts when I received the package- a
hand-colored and lettered envelope containing a USB drive attached to a joker playing card. My fear was that this was going to be "art school amateur". That was defintely not the case though. On the drive was everything I needed- all of the contact, photo and audio files, and more. Unfortunately some of the audio files were corrupted, but after emailing Yves he was kind enough to provide an alternate method so I could do this review.

Yves Schlepe, from Belgium is the mastermind behind Psy'Aviah, and 'Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars' is the 7th album by Psy'Aviah, and sort of a "magic number" in its ouevre. Faithful readers of Chain D.L.K. may even know a good deal more than I do about Psy'Aviah (previous releases have been reviewed here), but a condensed background is that the project started in 1999, released the first album ('Creationism') in 2007, also EPs, mini-albums, compilation contributions and remixes along the way, as well as being very active live on the Euro club and festival scene. Over a number of albums Psy'Aviah has a proclivity of
employing guest vocalists, and very good ones at that. On this outing you will find Kyoko Baertsoen (ex-Hooverphonic, Lunascape); Roeland van der Velde (Model Depose); David Chamberlin (Entrzelle); Mari Kattman; Bernard Feron (Med, Combat Voice); Ellia Bisker (Sweet Soubrette); Pieter Van Vaerenbergh (Metafuzz, Zelon); Andrew Galucki; Alvin River;
Fallon Nieves; Addie Nicole (Halocine); Miss FD, and Diana S. The songs are as varied and eclectic an assortment as the vocalists within the genre, which is a veritable smogasbord of electronica.

Beginning with the intro, title track "Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars", a female voice-over gives the impression of Enigma in space. "Alcubierre Drive" which follows (with Kyoko on vocals) is a slinky, sultry bit of electronica steeped in trip hop rhythms and EBM basslines wrapped in spacey synth gauze. "Face to Face" could be an instant club hit with
Roeland's superb vocals and a killer hook. Dialing it back a notch, David's soulful voice on "Looking Back" expresses a bit of regret on this introspective number, yet still with a beat. What we learn from "Lessons of the Past" is that Mari Kattman is a vocalist to be reckoned with. No surprise that Yves chose to work with her again. The song is a good moody one too. 'From Another World' (Bernard on vocals) is a neat, medium-paced future pop classic. The anthesis of "Looking Back" is "Never Look Back" and Ellia's vocals are just right for this cool bit of pop electronica, and the music video for it is pretty cool too, in a still-life kind of way. "Opia" is a ballad (sans beat) that tugs at the heartstrings with Pieter on vocals. Well done, but not my kind of thing really. Nothing frozen about "Frozen" with hot vocals by Andrew on this nifty, catchy electropop number. Promising singer/songwriter Alvin River (from Italy) takes the lead on "Liberosis", stepping out of his acoustic element for this heavy dance track guaranteed to get 'em moving in the clubs. The singers take a break in the instrumental "Peace Paradox" but Yves can't resist filling in the gap with some appropriate dialogue samples. Another good club-friendly track. The next number is "Not What I Expected," literally. It's a sardonic electro stomper spoke-sung by Fallon sure to become a fave in dark music dance clubs. (Sort of goes back to Psy'Aviah's roots.) Addie's stellar vocals push "Stronger" over the top to be another potential dance club megahit. Are you ready to take a little "Wild Ride" with Miss FD? It's like Nine Inch Nail remixing Curve. Way cool! It all winds down ethereally with spoken word courtesy of Diana (who likley was the voice on the title track). A beautiful ending to a stellar album. But wait, we're not done yet.

The deluxe package also contains a second CD, the remix album! Remixers include Etasonic, Alex Dalliance, Skyshifter, People Theatre, Liquid Divine, Cutoff:Divine, VV303, rool, KONER, Cyborgdrive, Girlflesh, Implant and Amarta Project. If you're a regular reader of my
reviews, then you know I'm not big on remixes, but there are some interesting ones here over fourteen tracks of eight of the original album's songs. Don't know why "Wild Ride" got three remixes and "Liberosis" didn't get any, but...whatever. "Opia" gets a nice boost from Liquid Divine, and with the rhythmic backing, Pieter voice reminds me a bit of the Cruxshadow's Rogue. I especially enjoyed Implant's quirky industrial synth-heavy remix of "Not What I Expected", but not Girlflesh's clunky minimalist remix of "Wild Ride". The one outstanding remix of that track goes to Amarta Project. A bit old school in a pop-happy way, but welcome.

'Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars' is a real contender for album of the year. Yves' synthwork and production is stellar, and the album flows very well through its peaks and valleys. With such an array of talented vocalists and great writing, there is never a dull moment. The total package isn't cheap - 18 Euros or $20.00 U.S., but worth it for those that want the full experience. If want to skip the remixes, it will only set you back $13.50. Right now it's in pre-order as the release date isn't until April 15, plenty of time to set aside the cash, unless that's your doom-date for the I.R.S.
Artist: Starving Insect (@)
Title: The Great Nothing
Format: CD
Label: Dark. Descent. (@)
Rated: *****
You can guess a certain skill in approaching somehow old-fashioned sonorities of Stockholm-based producer Alexander Kassberg, the guy behind Starving Insect's torn curtains, since the opening "Overhead Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out", whose fuss lies on a typically thumping bass tone that was extensively used by gabber-techno makers in the glorious age of pink elephants, which rises together after getting down the shaft of claustrophobic industrial sonic entities in the first part of the track, where a menacing voice states that "all life is a waste of time" sets the slightly disquieting emotional ground. The knocking dry beats got intersected by the rubberlike "gabberesque" ones, squeaking chains, weak claps and morbid blowbacks on the following "Breeding The Threnodies", the first collaborative track with Robin "Omnicide" Alander as well as one of the most recently recorded by the insect, which keeps on digging mazes into previously fertile grounds on the more dark/EBM oriented "Sleep Is Death", over the agonizing roars of distorted bass of "There Are No Doors", the slaughtered bass-pumped procession of "IDDQD" - "something different" or "nothing at all" according to the sampled voices that Alexender inserted in the track -, the quasi-epic sinisterly fetid breezes of "Dormant Storm" - the atmosphere of a forthcoming tragedy got nicely emphasized by an alerting shout, warning of a coming storm - and the snarling hits of "Visions of the Blind Dead", which features an ill gothic dulcimer melody over the same old mincing of sharp hammers. The second collaborative track with Omnicide, which ends this release, titled "Allt Dor", is maybe the one where the above-described pre-apocalyptical poisonous fumes got their better shape, whose combination of dark nuances and wisely decelerated hardcore techno steps could let you imagine a rave-party for zombies (or maybe for a growing part of our plagued societies, which seems to be haunted by starving insects...?). The author suggests to play it loud...consider his suggestion!

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