Music Reviews

Koolmorf Widesen: JX​-​EP

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 03 2014
Artist: Koolmorf Widesen
Title: JX​-​EP
Format: Tape
Label: Wil-Ru Records
Rated: *****
Koolmorf Widesen is the musical project of Leonardo Barbadoro, a guy who lives in Florence who has released in the latest seven years two albums "Koolmorf Widesen" and "Melodies Fork Now" for ECG and EVES respectively. "JX'-'EP" is his latest release and it has been issued by Wil-Ru Records on tape. Influenced by IDM, glitch, ambient, electro, breakcore, jungle, acid techno and experimental music, Leonardo on "JX'-'EP" offers five new tracks that mix all these elements into a energetic mix that would excite every fan of electro music. Just to name few names that popped up into my head while listening to these tracks, I can name Aphex Twin (the analord EPs), CN or DMX Krew. "Zeleny Acid", "Natt", "7", "Night147" and "PS-5" are based on melodic sequences that are enriched by chopped rhythmical complex patterns, analog chirping sounds, soft pads and dark atmospheres. I like the way Leonardo build the tracks with those melodic lines leading the listener while other rhythmical inserts "attack" the core creating a controlled chaotic effect. Check yourselves what you shouldn't miss, here
Artist: Factory Acts (@)
Title: Thirst
Format: CD EP
Label: AnalogueTrash Records (@)
Distributor: Trashdigital / Bandcamp
Rated: *****
This new 4-track EP-release by the Manchester-based Electronica-label AnalogueTrash continues with the label policy to sign on unusual, but artistically remarkable music-projects with an edgy mind. The female/male duo Factory Acts out of Salford surely counts to this rule and provides us their label debut. Both band members, Susan O'Shea (vocals, synths) and Matt Davies (bass, beat-work) provide us their colourful mutation out of sinister Dark Electro arrangements with the euphoric inventions of the Post-Punk influenced New Wave culture. 'They exist at the edge of the analogue-digital divide, sometimes dreaming, always dancing', so a well-fitting phrase taken out of their info-sheet. So this isn't at all the usual growling Puppy-an Dark Electro you're maybe familiar with, it is more an exploration of darker, analogue synthesizer sounds, which transport the nostalgic mood of the early 80s. Susan O'Shea's vocal performance stands for an extra remarkable point in the music of Factory Arts. She doesn't provide that faceless, Pop-dolly-like Mainstream-format suitable for the MTV- / Viva-youth, but rather surprises with an emotional, at times haunting performance. The mood of the depending track matters a lot and since the music of Factory Arts is more alternatively oriented, it shouldn't surprise that Susan's timbre turns out differently. The signing on Factory Acts and as far as this only 4 tracks allow a valid judgement is a courageous one for AnalogueTrash Records, because this project can not be sorted into one single category. So maybe diversity is their game-winning attitude? It's a promising and a good 4-track-starter EP, but let's wait and see what they can do for our entertainment with a hopefully soon to be released full-length album.
Artist: Skinny Puppy
Title: The Greater Wrong Of The Right - Reissue Remastered
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Ten years after its release, Metropolis decided to reissue and remaster "The Greater Wrong of the Right", the album which sealed the reunion of Canadian band Skinny Puppy on Synthetic Symphony, for the pleasure of all those ones who missed it, but I could guess that such a decision could be justified by the fact that the slight mutation that a plenty of collaborators such as Otto Von Schirach, Omar Torres or Statik injected into the veins of the puppy could be better understood after the release of the acclaimed album "Weapon". The "profanation" by means of the reversal of the typical relationship between a fan and a cult band which resurfaces from the opening song "I'mmortal" ("you take my picture a portrait prize behind my image your father's eyes just looking for something"), the contemporary assumptions of political elite where even dissent or needs belong to a carefully controlled process as if they got deliberately tested in a social laboratory on songs like "Pro-test" or "Neuwerld", the awareness of the overwhelming hypereality as a consequence of similar processes that shows through lyrics ofsongs like "Past Present" or "dOwnsizer" and other topics which punctures the musical wraps of breakbeat, electro-industrial, cyber-punk and freaky IDM, whose spikes cannot curb Skinny Puppy's woofs or growls, sounds tragically actual and in spite of some smudges, the more contaminated moments of the album such as "Use Less", "Empte", "Daddyuwarbash" or "Goneja" reach the highest stylistical peaks of an album are the ones where the transition to current style is more appreciable.

Red Industrie: Censored

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 22 2014
Artist: Red Industrie
Title: Censored
Format: CD
Label: EK Product (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Mexico's Helder Camberos counts already to the veterans out of his country and presents now his second full-length album signed to the Italian EK Product label. After the well recognized last album 'Destroyer' and the short-time episode signed to Germany's Electro Arc label, this all new album can count on a lot of similarities compared to the predecessors. It's not only EBM presented on this with 18 tracks opulent offered silver-circle, Red Industrie intermixes with genre-bending styles like Futurepop, Electro-Clash, and/or Powernoise to hunt for attention of the international audience. Helder is also world-wide known for his talent to cooperate with international renowned artists for their influence on his compositions. This kind of work could be already noticed under his more Synth-/Electropop-oriented project Isis Signum (check for reviews here on our site'¦) in mutual compositions, remix contributions, or guest vocal appearances. So you can be assured to get a varied Electronica album from Helder with mostly danceable tunes while you should keep in mind that not all of his compositions end in a satisfying result. First of all the foundation is based on minimal EBM / Electropop structures on nearly every track. Guitars provided in a pathetic Rock-Music manner are seemingly an allowed music-instrument to use ('(D)ark Angel', 'Still Breathing'), but this element is seemingly a matter of taste. It also needs to be said that there are out there more talented vocalists and lyricists than Helder is actually capable to deliver. His 'messages' out of his lyrically content dealing with fetishes, control, censorship and rebellion are mostly slogan-likes shouts with a plain meaning. There can be at times extracted the tacky suspicion, that this album 'lives' from the guest appearances and their talents, because the best and most satisfying results belong to the collaborative tracks like the nice pads / bass-line sequences of 'Kathy's Song (Apoptygma Berzerk cover)', or the noise patterns of 'Fetiche Futuro (feat. H.I.V.+)'. As far as remixes go, the worlds' most hired remixer alive, Mr. Peter Rainman (People Theatre)' adds a post-modern outfit and adds his voice for a few parts on the already mentioned cover 'Kathy's Song', while Dark Control Operation know perfectly how to program a badass bass-line on 'Fetiche Futuro'. Also the further remixes of Tourdeforce, LA-X, Tecnoman SF, Neikka RPM, and Matsfer provide satisfaction and compensate for the almost average own compositions. 'Censored' as a whole album is a two-sided sword and it needs an open mind to accept the complete content. In the first instance it looks a bit like overkill to provide 18 tracks, but since this album touches a lot of diverse styles and offers a lot of Helder's talent to collaborate with musicians out of very different countries, it finally makes sense. If it comes to rate Helder's very own compositions it needs to be said that they aren't cooked with the freshest water available. There's a lot of space for development.

Neuro-Sentence: The Shores of Anhedonia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 12 2014
Artist: Neuro-Sentence (@)
Title: The Shores of Anhedonia
Format: CD
Label: Xperiment XIII (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
From a music distributor to a label: Australian-based agency Xperiment XIII has decided to concentrate from now on completely as a Electronica-based label and presents us with the US-duo Neuro-Sentence one of their first releases. Neuro-Sentence has been established in 2009 in Colorado Springs and both members, Count W and Elipsis, can look back on a first EP entitled 'Victims & Virtues'. Their track 'Dominion' has already gained some local-based recognition, since some DJ's started to spin this track. 'Dominion' also opens this new full-length-album and it is arranged in kind of your usual Harsh EBM track with raw beats, Techno-fanfare-like synthesizer-leads and highest dancefloor-compatibility. The music generally presented on this album rather stands for the state-of-art of the notorious Hellectro-camp, but luckily both band-members have some more elements in their holster which they manage to throw in. First worth to mention is their kind of vocal processing, which rather sounds like taken out of a Goth-/Dark Wave-related production. It reminds a bit on Andrew Szava-Kovats (Data Bank A) on LSD, if it needs comparisons. There's also available a kind of a Black-Metal-vibe pretty nice installed through some pounding guitar-riffs. The guitars do not sound as if they've been taken out of overused sample-quells ('Inferno (For A Heart)', 'Kali'). Their best ability is without doubt their morbid and haunting sound-environment and their dark and sinister mood. They often install depressive piano sounds to lead the tracks. Also their cold and mechanic synth-pads skillfully integrated in such brilliant tunes like 'Anhedonia' nails the listener. Just when they tend to leave their raw and repetitive Harsh-EBM course for a while, they offer their musically strongest moments. There's multi-facetted talent behind Neuro-Sentence. If they can decide to work out better the overused Harsh-EBM sound ingredients to reach a more original sound-design, they might be able to be one of the upcoming global-players in the scene. So let's keep the fingers crossed for them.

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