Music Reviews



Neonsol: Citadel

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 03 2014
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Artist: Neonsol (@)
Title: Citadel
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: AnalogueTrash Records (@)
Distributor: Trashdigital / Bandcamp
Rated: *****
With the help of members of the DK-Gang of Terror, UK's AnalogueTrash Records will be able to conquer the world! Neonsol is a newcomer-project consisting of both Denmark-based members Nina and Jesper Io and the third, Canada-based and quite prominent contributor, Frederic Scarfone (Memmaker, Iszoloscope, Norad). Originally established by Nina and Jesper in 2009 as a duo, Frederic joined in 2012 to complete their line-up. As a trio they played live at the Cyberworld XX album release-party in Copenhagen (October 2012) and also at the Braincorp's 8 Year Anniversary event (April 2013) together with Nachtmahr, ESA and Skyla Vertex. Musically Neonsol presents us Electro-/Futurepop music which can be counted to represent the state-of-art regarding sound-design, programming and production. All of you who are familiar with Frederic's efforts surely know about the high and very polished production standard of his work, although his other projects present quite different music styles. 'Citadel' is a 2-track single-release to a Bandcamp 'name-your-price' downloading procedure. It works well as a mouth-watering appetizer for the upcoming album 'Ecliptic', to be released soon via AnalogueTrash. It's a quite danceable Futurepop-tune with Jean-Luc de Meyer-like male vocals to lead the verses; while Nina's compelling voice rules the catchy chorus. This track here also receives a remix treatment by Claus Larsen / Leaether Strip. Original track and the remix give you a perfect example of the production differences of nowadays standard compared to Larsen's rather 90s-inspired sound design. Both versions have remarkable advantages and both deserve applause. It shouldn't wonder if we see and hear much more of this interesting project in the future and I personally think they are able to reach global meaning to the scene. It's a hard and work-intense way to reach world conquest, but talent always scores.

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
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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 http://koolmorfwidesen.bandcamp.com/album/jx-ep
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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.
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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
 Edit (8377)
Aug 22 2014
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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.


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