Music Reviews

Bunker Soldier: Triple Threat

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Mar 15 2004
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Artist: Bunker Soldier (@)
Title: Triple Threat
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Neo Cultural Front records
Rated: *****

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Texas-based aviation electronics graduate, scuba instructor, airline pilot and, of course, musician Timothy Tyran and his project Bunker Soldier (really a trio) displays a great and rare to find a maturity in songwriting and production. Believe it or not he has been around making music and performing live for 10 years but has released only 2 records so far. To celebrate the decade, his third release, this 3 tracks CD single entitled "Triple Threat", came out. Sporting great music, dynamism and energy, Bunker Soldier goes from an aggressive and holy sounding heavily middle eastern influenced track, to what could be the next electronica anthem in every club across the world, only to wrap it up with a dancefloor-friendly electro tune."Warlocked" couldn't come at a better time and sounds like an Arab/American/German mixture of industrial/metal/rai influenced by Die Krupps, Front Line Assembly, Muslimgauze and Null Device."Flying" features 21 year old Norwwegian jazz singer Hildegunn Surdall and layers pads, heavenly voices and strong electronic textures in a way that reminds of Conjure One/Delerium."Fiirewall" is another instrumental track with some guitar activity, but mostly sticks around Gary Numan influenced electronic-dance territories.I am not familiar with his previous records unfortunately, and unless you consider heterogeneousness a minus, this is truly a great release and a fantastic celebration. I am looking forward to hear more (hopefully this CD-S will lead us to a full lenght album before another three years go by).

Laibach: WAT

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Mar 14 2004
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Artist: Laibach
Title: WAT
Format: CD
Label: Mute (@)
Distributor: Mute Bank
Rated: *****

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That's right, you heard the news! Laibach is finally back! 7 years after their release of "Jesus Christ Superstars", one of the most original, unique, ground-breaking, controversial and thought-provoking collectives that walked planet earth, set another milestone in the history of fine politico-cultural industrial warfare. Like most geniuses in human history they have first been crucified, prosecuted, banned, censored and boycotted by their government, only to later be honored and acclaimed by the same suit-dressed pigs. For the younger of you who might not remember or know them, Laibach (which is german for Ljubljana, their home-town) formed in Slovenia in 1980 and, besides released amazing and extraordinary records and touring the world many times over, they co-founded NSK (Neue Slovenische Kunst) a guerrilla art collective which now exists as its own virtual (or electronic) state, with embassies and consulates all around the world and a number of passport-holding NSK citizens exceeding that of Monaco or the Vatican. Art for politics and politics for art has always been the approach of Laibach, who have always provoked their audiences with visual, verbal and sonic statements against capitalism and religion. They dress up in combat boots and military uniforms, stripped of their original pins and stars, decorated with symbols of nazism, fascism and stalinism (which is what got them banned in their country). Their musical style has always been characterized by grand, massive, majestic, pompous and martial sound that is powerful and dramatic, as well as deeply emotional and violent. Big fat choruses contrast with marching military peace and humongeous industrial rhythmical patterns grind, crush, hammer and pound their way through textures of electronics, symphonic orchestras of brasses and strings, male and female choirs and so much more that you have to buy this record to really get the entire picture! Their singer Milan Fras' brutally gore ogre voice and its characteristic Eastern European accent, recites anthems against war, capitalism and the instable balance of powers in the world. From "Tanz mit Laibach" (Dance with Laibach), a smart and ironic celebration of the friendship between Americans and Germans (also featured as a video clip on the ROM of this hybrid CD), to the tales of Barbarian (or Bush-arian?) invasions of "Now You Will Pay", to the powerful german and english words of "Ende" and other great songs with astonishing lyrics ("Anti-Semitism", "Satanic Versus", "Du Bist Unser"). Libach pretty much cover all grounds and offer you a perfect description of what is happening and where we are going in our world, whose recent events have certainly influenced the entire production of this album, if not the actual decision to come out with a new work. "WAT" comes in a regular jewel case CD packed inside a cardboard sleeve. It has no lyrics (which is too bad, considering that the lyrics are absolutely terrific and amazing!). Given the times and the time that elapsed, I think it is normal to expect a heavier use of electronics, and Laibach certainly know how to incorporate electronics with industrial music, we know that for sure. Their signature sound is still alive and kicking and this is not your average band's weak come back to the scene, but rather a long-awaited powerful return of the anti-gods and pioneers of revolutionary industrial art, the way industrial was originally conceived, as a political statement and a merciless musical genre. That's what I am talking about. Express the inexpressible.

PURE / DEKAM: Reqoil / Displaced /Peaceoff

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Mar 08 2004
Artist: PURE / DEKAM (@)
Title: Reqoil / Displaced /Peaceoff
Format: DVD
Label: Doc (@)
Rated: *****
The REQOIL/DISPLACED/PEACEOFF project born from the collaboration of the long time active industrial project called Pure and Johnny Dekam (video performer and creator of the video software VDMX). They created this DVD with the help of the Rennes' College of Art, the Visual Arts department of Rennes and the Collectif Jardin Modeme, which hosted a residency for the artists in summer 2003. The first time I watched "Reqoil" I found it very disturbing. I was sitting on my couch in the dark and suddenly white flashes were hitting my eye while a sense of pain grew out of my chest and I had to turn off the DVD player. At a second time the pain was gone but I wans't comfortable: the images run fast and the hiss of the first track made me almost loose my senses. It was like a neural blackout. The three tracks could be seen as audio/video installations as they are a sonic and visual experience. Talking about the musical aspect, "Reqoil" is a fifteen minutes long suite made out of treated noises of oil drillers (they are also the subject of the video which is shot taking inspiration from the early Russian cinema) and starts slowly, almost in silence, just to end into a sonic tornado after about thirteen minutes. "Displaced" is
more rhythmical and makes your heart throb with its loud bassline that runs free making its way through digital thunders. "Peaceoff" is the last one and it seems to be a digital cut up made out from distorted percussions which sometimes lose the synchronization just to turn into a digital and powerful version of the early Test Department. The visual part consist of b/w flashes for the first two tracks and a color collage of images shot inside a water purification plant for the latter. If I had to judge the three works as proper videos, I'd go for the third but, since they haven't be made like musical videos, you should live the experience of watching them without judging.
P.s. The DVD will be released on May the seventeen

VV.AA.: Collective Consiousness

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Mar 07 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Collective Consiousness
Format: CD
Label: Thirdwave Collective (@)
Rated: *****

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The Thirdwave Collective is a group of US artists (there are some exceptions to that) who have obviously understood the importance of joining forces to support each other and create a more suitable environment for artistic growth. The collective of Thirdwave Collective artists that released this, offer their various assorted blends of powerful rhythm noise, industrial, ebm, dark and noise and include Endif (one of the founders), PTI, Y-Luk-o, Detroit Electronic Coalition's founder CEOXiME, Infinity Interrupt, Cruciform Injection, Sealed in Silence, Negative Gain's label owner's project Cyrostate, ex-Necrophilia members' new project T Stitches, Y-Luk-o's noise side-project Lukotyk and Compliant. Support the scene, support the Thirdwave Collective!

Manufactura: Sobredosis

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Mar 03 2004
Artist: Manufactura
Title: Sobredosis
Format: CD EP
Label: Auricle Media (@)
Rated: *****
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, this limited edition CD EP is already sold out, because it was being sold with the first copies of Manufactura's full lenght CD "Precognitive Dissonance" (out on Hive records - cmp reviews on these pages). But if you are able to get your hands on one, you shall know that it includes exclusive remixes by Converter, Databomb, and Pneumatic Detach. The four tracks feature tense rhythm noise, distorted beats and an industrial wall of sounds that only rarely allows openings to ebm. The CD comes as a 3" disc printed on a 5"-shaped disc, quite stylish.

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