Music Reviews



Manufactura: Recognitive Dissonance

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Feb 23 2004
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Artist: Manufactura
Title: Recognitive Dissonance
Format: CD
Label: Hive (@)
Rated: *****
Manufactura's new album "Precognitive Dissonance" seems to be sort of an all star project, considering the talents Karloz. M recruited for it: collaborations with Scott Sturgis (as Notime, also member of Converter, Pain Station, DBS) and with Broken Fabiola (new signing by Auricle Media, who co-released this record), remix by Aghast View, production by Haujobb's very own Daniel Myer (cmp interview on these pages) and Databomb (Download), and mastering by J. Cameron of Symbiont/Lexincrypt (cmp interview on these pages). Altought it is a very impressive list of folks and a very good sounding record we all know credits are not all an album is made of, so let's talk a little bit about what the music is really like, shall we? I've listened to this record four times already and I appreciate it's heterogeneous form and its edgy shapes (at times even a slight touch too heterogeneous, to the extent that it lacks sort of a defined consistency, but that's really a minor imperfection here). Power-electronics blends or alternates with IDM and is enriched by illbient-core textures and EBM, resulting in a quite intense and pounding cocktail of violent electronic music. I'd be tempted to say that it could be a perfect Daft records release, or compare it to the style of the Ivens/Van Wonterghem family (Dive/Sonar/Monolith type of sound), but the less screaming/more intimate slightly (by comparison) filtered vocals and the extensive passages of darker atmospheres without one single drum head (mpc button, pad, trigger, whatever) being hit, or the spanish and english spoken movie samples and that sort of stuff, kind of exclude that comparison, don't they? If I were to exclusively consider some pieces (such as the collaboration with Notime and Broken Fabiola, for example) I could limit myself to mention the ever so inspirational Richard James for his signature sound made of distorted analog bubble kick drums, his broken drum'n'bass textures and his over-imposed dreamy lullaby belly soundscapes... Does it all come together and make sense yet? Of course other names could be mentioned, especially considering the variety of the material, but why would I keep doing that? It would be so much easier if you just picked up this record and got your own opinion, because it's definitely worth your money if you like what you've read so far and it's a prime example of bridging the world of distortion and aggro-beats with the realm of peaceful but disquieting soundscapes. Need I say more?

Einsturzende Neubauten: Perpetuum Mobile

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Feb 23 2004
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Artist: Einsturzende Neubauten (@)
Title: Perpetuum Mobile
Format: CD
Label: Mute (@)
Distributor: Mute Bank
Rated: *****
It's impressive that after almost a quarter of a century Einsturzende Neubauten is still putting out music, music with a definite and mature character and a soul of its own. Capable of reinventing themselves at every turn without ever getting boring, derivative or nostalgic, consciously or unconsciously, subjectively or objectively, EN teach another seminal lesson in industrial "music" the way it should be, or if else fails, in my opinion, at its best: the art of adapting and employing scrap materials into "musical" compositions. After their 2000 "Silence is Sexy" and their 2001 "Strategies Against Architecture III" anthology, the 1996 "Ende Neu" line up consisting of Bargeld, Hacke, Unruh, Arbeit and Moser, has been busy in their Berlin studio rehearsing songs and ideas that were broadcasted over the internet (at neubauten.org) to their premium fans and supporters, who then were able to give feedback and suggestions to the laptop-equipped musicians and engineers. This entirely new creative process has lead the band to re-consider songs that wouldn't have made the record otherwise. "Perpetuum Mobile" is less intensive and noisy than, say, the violent industrial anthems of their trilogy/anthology, but this leaves more room for the Blixa's poetry (in german and english) and gorgeous intimate atmospheres of metallic percussive sounds, electronic sounds and beautifully assembled patterns of creative rhythmical structures. Sure, burst of primordial energy find their way into the tracks, and a feeling of calm anxiety lurks beneath the songs, underneath the surface and beyond the appearances, but where metal has parted there is more space for air, in the form of the sound of air compressors as well as lyrics about wind, storm and other adverse weather conditions. The CD comes out on Mute in a four-folding digipack with nice photography and an extensive booklet with bilingual lyrics. The "perpetual movement" and the continuous metamorphosis that EN has undergone throughout the years is now at a stage where inner and outer beauty as well as airiness and space map out the road ahead, at least until the next stage of their metamorphosis. The butterfly spreads its wings and flys, it is now en route, I am curious to see where to...

KMFDM: WWIII

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 05 2003