Music Reviews



PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE: "MASCHINEMUSIK"

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2004
Artist: PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE
Title: "MASCHINEMUSIK"
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Gothelectro welding experiments, PNE's music is starchy and forceful without raw agression. Even the all-German lyrics don't detract from the experience for a wordsmith who likes to know what his CDs are saying to him. That's how marvelous PNE's delectable sound inventions (i.e. songs) are. Truly, "Maschinemusik" isn't a title to a CD. Rather, it's a label, an alert, an important piece of hey-I'm-telling-you-what-you're-about-to-be-hearing. One wonders ... is it possible the creator of these pieces is sentient artificial life? Has Vger (pronounced Vee-jer) changed careers? (Ask Spock. He might know.) Dark. Yet funky. In a way shamelessly poppy pieces of wannabe new wave back in the 80s. Or in a way real new wave was, with at least the wrapper of that decades bubble gum. Yet so assimilated (you thought my theory about the artist was paranoid too) like a motherfuckin' Borg that it's there, yet it's not.

Naevus/Knifeladder: Document Three

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Sep 26 2004
Artist: Naevus/Knifeladder
Title: Document Three
Format: CD
Label: Terra Fria (@)
Rated: *****
"Document Three" features London based bands Naevus and Knifeladder. Both provided three tracks each on this 500 limited edition copies on cd in a PVC black box. Naevus is a dark neo-folk trio who opens the cd with their cover version of "Less Queer", a comedic murder ballad by American singer/songwriter David E. Williams. The song is very well arranged for acoustic guitar, accordion and a swifty deep dark bassline. The second track "The Devil", which is my best favorite, is a narrative tale telling about half remembered drunken events. The lyrics had me tripping so hard, I couldn't get the song out of my head.

Knifeladder is an industial three piece band who have an electronic old school sound that's more experimental and noise like with tribal rhythmic that's more sinister with vocals. Track "Retina (Last Gasp Edit)" starts off with a noise feel then breaks down to a post-punk industrial that have a feedback bass. "Oblivion (Anti-Valium remix)" sets the standard ground of having a experimental electronic noise that have a sense of annihilation in despair to chaos with harsh vocals. Knifeladder brings the degree of intensity and many experimentations to their music that will interest industrial fans.

BYTET: "Compilations & Excuses"

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 24 2004
Artist: BYTET
Title: "Compilations & Excuses"
Format: CD
It's tough to decide if BYTET is under-produced amateur electro or if BYTET's work is the product of some sort of geek genius. It's true the music smacks of the electronic musical wranglings of a bedroom DJ but it's also true there's a certain indie, quirk appeal to BYTET's unique craftings. Then there's that part ... yeah, this stuff is fairly unique in musical personality. Eclecticism marks this collection of BYTET's work, with flavors ranging from minimalist electro/electro-industrial to restrained post-modern electro-tribalsong. The vocals are thin and feel like they were sort of mixed in sideways. (This is part of BYTET's style that befuddles me, incidentally.) There's no getting around the fact that these are amateur recordings that lack a certain polish and crispness. However, there's also a certain appeal to BYTET's music. I suspect that his target audience - and I do believe he has one - will be rabid electro freaks into the weird/indie/underground/pseudo-experimental area.
cover
Artist: Compressed Infinity (@)
Title: Phase Formation
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Compressed Infinity is a Sydney Australian one man project which began in 1998. 'Phase Formation' is the sophomore release featuring 14 tracks of electronica, electro-industrial, darkwave and EBM. Utilizing mostly harsh electro and trance elements, this project is dark with an introverted sense of melancholic inquisition. Musically the compositions are smooth and easy to listen to. Softer than some electro but harsher than any Sythnpop. An interesting and unique project that could use at least a bit more variance and some vocal modifications, as some tracks the vocal textures stand out a bit too much. However, this shows all the hallmarks of a likely future contender in the electro music industry. Musically it's much cleaner and produced than many of the self-starters one usually finds and has a wide array of variance in styles and techniques. The album varies from instrospective to a confusing array of off-kilter rhythmic techniques that are sometimes danceable and oftentime dreary and bleak. However, some of the tracks, or just parts of them, might come off rather amatuerish. This release does not have the professional polish it needs to get true recognition and stands out in my mind as yet another example of the overpopulation of would-be musicians in the current associated music scene.

MORTIIS: The Grudge

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 22 2004
cover
Artist: MORTIIS (@)
Title: The Grudge
Format: CD
Label: Earache (@)
Rated: *****
Is time from another change and if you are a Mortiis fan you should get used to this as he already moved from his personal medieval/cosmic rock long suites to the electro e.b.m. version of "Smell of rain". This new, THE GRUDGE, is another step ahead toward a sort of post industrial metal already experimented by bands like Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, etc. So, what's going on about Mortiis this time? Well, first of all, he have a proper band with himself (Vocals, Synths, Programming, Sound Design), Levi Gawron, (Guitar), Asmund Sveinunggard (Guitar) and Leo Troy (Drums). Second: even if musically he embraced a genre already explored and exploited by tons of bands also present on Mtv and on various charts, THE GRUDGE hasn't lost completely the Mortiis touch as on various tracks (see the opening "Broken skin" or "The worst in me", "Twist the knife", "The loneliest thing" and the closing instrumental "Asthma") there still are traces of his synth work with reflective moments. Certanly, you've got to dig a little but to discover those traces, because most of the tracks are intense, distorted and upbeat: something that Mortiis have never been. Saturation is the new way to go, musically each track is a potential single and even if this could make the old fans sigh, new fans are on the way, because you can't ignore this album which will be released the second week of September.


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