Music Reviews



KMFDM: Kunst

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (7544)
Apr 10 2013
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Artist: KMFDM (@)
Title: Kunst
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The dreadnought KMFDM is maybe the most long-lived industrial dance act even if they often spin self-referring subjects as it happens on the heavily beating initial title-track of their new assault to dancefloors, "Kunst" (their 25th album!), where they quotes some of their previous songs and references, a combustive browsing which connects dots like their imaginary guardian angel (Juke Joint Jezabel) they invoked in their album "Nihil" (1995), the drug against war they patented in "Angst" (1993), the son of a gun they conceived on "Xtort" (1996), supposedly from spit sperm of "Symbols" (1997) by some itchy bitchy mother, portrayed on "What Do You Know, Detschland?" (2007) after casual insemination by some pomaded tacker, who got worried after he knew KMFDM could similarly stand for a death warrant against cultural uniformity ("Kein Mehrheit fur die Mitleid", grammatically incorrect solution of KMFDM acronym meaning "No Majority For Pity", or "Kein Mitleid fur die Mehrheit", id est "No Pity For The Majority" ...) and their shepherds ("Kill MotherFucking Depeche Mode"). After this tracking shot/overview, they throw nine grenades: some of them could sound quite predictable for people who follow them from time immemorial, particularly when they highlight the metal constituent of their blend such as on "Ave Maria", a song which sounds like a parody of market-oriented blasphemy by Marilyn Manson (I don't think the resemblance of distorted guitar riff with the one on "Beutiful People" is fortuitous), "Pseudocide" or the mutating "Hello", even if the insertion of blunt electronic handholds tempers these hooks to more metal-oriented stuff. The most relevant aspect is the fact they managed to shield their iconoclastic attitude, which oozes from any semantic and stylistical orifices of this album: their blow torches point cultural market customs on "The Next Big Thing" ("Mutinous bastards on a treacherous sea/Popes and pastors full of lurid deeds/Whores and harlots spilling seed/pigs and fascists/The next big thing"), fraternize with Pussy Riot on the same titled song by means of contagious electro-metal grooves which sound like chainsaws ("Pussy riot/Hear us roar/An army of tits/Down for the cause/Mother daughter sister unite/rise out of silence/Stand up and fight" where the "dirty" second voice by Sascha Konietzko, whose persuading versatility demonstrates to be in excellent shape just like the talnted singer Lucia Cifarelli, could resemble past vocal roars by Trent Reznor) and moral turpitude of some stupid ethic codes. Their collaboration with Swedish industrial rock band Morlocks, "The Mess You Made", is a proper sonic jewel and the cherry on top in "Kunst", which will presumably enhance many electro-propelled clubs. Long life to KMFDM!
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Artist: Front Line Assembly
Title: AirMech
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Announced in September 2012 and released in the end of 2012, this astonishing studio album by notorious Canadian industrial band Front Line Assembly, born as a sountrack for fre-to-play war strategy game AirMech developed by Seattle-based indipendent company Carbon Games, shows the impressive versatility and adaptability of Bill Leeb's band as well as an interesting update of their sound by means of the integration of sonic hooks from dubstep and electronic sounds for videogames (laser guns, shots, explosions, silicon hisses, robotic belches, cyber farts and so on). Even if there are no lyrics, FLA fans will easily recognize the surgical operation they made on their very first abrasive and essential sound, the one they proudly flaunted before following insertions of stereotyped apocalyptic choirs or conventional guitar riffs, which sounded like a wink at market's tendencies according to many listeners. Someone could argue the incorporation of dubstep elements could be considered the same, but FLA carefully dosed them as Hecq considerably did and authentic sonic pearls like the flaring stepping of "Arise", the amazing metallic crisps of "Pulse Charge" (the closest to Hecq's abrasive dubby concoctions), the translucent industrial rock "Mech Killer", the computational beams of "Everything That Was Before", the bleeding industrial afflatus of the brilliant "Lose", the grim atmospheres of "Stealth Mech" and many other stylistical preciosities will extinguish any doubts about the remarkable quality of this release.

Xiu: Possession

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 03 2013
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Artist: Xiu
Title: Possession
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten
Rated: *****
Oksana Rodionova started dealing with music when she was living in Estonia and at young age she started playing piano and singing in choruses. Now she lives in Milan, Italy and in the last years she collaborated on vocals with Nicolas Estany, Newclear Waves and lately with Frederick Barbe's Cold Colors (their four tracks tape "Loneliness" will be released soon by Vocoder Tapes). "Possession" is her second release, if we don't count the demo CDr "Dancing Voodoo", released four months after her self titled tape for Aufnahme + Wiedergabe. The new twenty six minutes tape released by Belaten contains six new tracks where Oksana shows her love for analog synth sounds: inside the cover we read that she used the Juno-60, the SH-101, the SP-404SX, the TR-808, the Poly-800, the Microkorg (which isn't really analog), the Electribe M, the Soundmaster SR-88 and the Boss DR-110. Musically she creates minimal synth songs where bass line arpeggios are mixed to dreamy pads and leads. Ideally try to imagine the darkwave sound of 80s French/Belgian bands transposed to an electronic sound palette. She tends to mix vocals and sounds creating a dreamy atmosphere that sometimes turns obsessive (like on "Au Noir"). Lyrics aren't that intelligible, they sound like brushes on her sound canvas and if you like old 4AD sound and modern minimal wave, I think you might dig Xiu. Anyway, you can check the release here http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/possession-ep

Elastik: Instrumental E.P.

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 01 2013
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Artist: Elastik (@)
Title: Instrumental E.P.
Format: CD
Label: Koma
Rated: *****
Two years after their latest album "Critik", Elastik, are back with a new EP that gathers six instrumental tracks of which three are coming from their previous albums. The tracks are titled only with numbers and maybe the reason is because they are able to "talk" by their own. Beautifully crafted and performed, they could fit perfectly a movie. Mixing industrial sounds, catchy melodies, tense atmospheres Thomas Prigent succeeded into giving to the EP a sort of theme which is more at an unconscious level than else. Orchestrations, sounds alternation (noises, samples, guitars), effects and samples are used at the best to create a sort of suspended world. Also silence is used well just like the sounds are: on different tracks rhythms and sounds stop just to underline a score change and this is of great effect when you are floating into a mysterious atmosphere. Great release!
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Artist: The Exaltics / Elec Pt.1
Title: The Exaltics Meets Elec Pt.1
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
After four months here we are again talking about a new volume of "The Exaltics Meets" series. This time on side B we have Elec Pt.1. Behind this moniker there's Andreas Gehm, a producer from Koln, Germany who produced since 2006 different releases for Bunker Records (five EPs), Panzerkreuz Records (two albums), Abstract Acid (an album and an EP), Snuff Trax and Abstract Acid. This isn't his first time on Solar One, as he already took part to the latest label's compilation "SOM5" with the track "It Feels So...". Since, as reported on The Exaltics interview I did some months ago, "The Exaltics Meets" is a serie where Robert Witschakowski produces tracks according to the genre of the guest musician, this time on side A we have two tracks ("The Midnight Connexion" and "Nichts Aber Auch Nichts") which are inspired by acid techno. As you may know, The Exaltics produces dark vibrating tracks which takes mix elements of techno, electro, ambient and acid and each time we have more or less of each one. The fist tune mix melodic ambient pads, 4/4 upbeat tempos and raving acid leads. The dark madness finds its top on "Nichts Aber Auch Nichts" thanks to grinding TBR303 lines and fast drum machine lines. Stops and go plus some pad enhance the dramatic moments. Side B opens with "Drei Chinesen Mit Dem Acidbass", a track where leads and bass lines follow the typical crazy acid arpeggios while drum machine patterns are built creating a sort of obsessive 4/4 beat where hi-hats, claps and ride sound like fighting. "The Player" sounds a bit darker but the style is quite similar to the previous track. Vocal inserts plus synth noises and tiny melodic lines help characterizing the tune making of it a nice hypnotic tune.


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