Music Reviews

HIV+: Rotten Beat Manifesto

 Posted by Matt   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1676)
Jan 14 2005
Artist: HIV+ (@)
Title: Rotten Beat Manifesto
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames (@)
Distributor: Black Flames
Rated: *****
The next wave of Noise is here and reporting for duty, and thy name is DJ Pedro aka HIV+. Besides combining elements of Powernoise, Industrial, Techno, and EBM into one menacing album ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO, HIV+ (or HIV-Positive) are also infamous for major club/event/festival DJ appearances throughout Europe and have been doing it successfully with high praise for over 16 years. HIV+ have already released a handful of albums on various European electro labels, and today they are a member of the noteworthy BLACK FLAMES label.ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO begins with the intro track appropriately entitled "Introduce The Virus" sounds more like an electronic virus taking over the speakers at an exponential rate... really cool effects as well as an original idea for an intro. The album progresses with excellent distorted rhythms without over doing it’, such as on track 2 "Testament" and track 3"Illegal Tanz ("Extended Club –X by Bak XIII)". Track 4 "Broken Child (Original)" is an ethereal beat-less aura of excellent synthetic harmonies and borderline eerie ambiance, resulting a very skilled arrangement of sounds and melody. Similar to albums by praiseworthy acts such as Terrorfakt, ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO is produced extremely well, which is always a challenge for albums that feature as much distortion as such. Basically ever sound on track 5’s "Feedback 1968" illustrate different levels of distortion, resulting in what is probably the most "Powernoise-esque" track on the album. "Taliban’s Law (Rmx by Babylone Chaos)" is an awesome display of beats, computer-blip noises, followed by a yet another eerie aura in the middle of the track and then ending with a full-on beat assault! Also of note, is the final track "Body Electric (Tribute to Nitzer Ebb)", an awesome Power-DJ mix of the 1986 smash "Body Electric", including some additional HIV+ rhythms and sounds. ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO is definitely recommended for the listener who prefers edgier electro, but it’s also a great starter for someone who is looking to crossover. Either way, check it out, and you won’t be disappointed!

RE_AGENT: Abandon

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1660)
Jan 06 2005
Artist: RE_AGENT (@)
Title: Abandon
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The name RE_AGENT I discovered the first time on the fourth chapter of the legendary "Futronik Structures" compilation series released by the US label DSBP at the fall of 2003. This one-man project consisting of Justin Tripp hailing from Toronto was one of the outstanding surprises with his dark Electro piece "Heaven Falling" on this comp. Finally Justin has collected all his current works and has released this first official CD. It is a self-released product – unbelievable if you take a deeper look and listen into art and music. Having heard often enough acts like WUMPSCUT or rising US acts like the older stuff of INFORMÄTIK or IMPERATIVE REACTION, Justin tries to work out his own personality in composing, sounds and song structures. Although that also Justin does not create something really new here (but who by the way does create something new???) I am pretty much surprised by his efforts with how much professionalism and good ideas he is able to compose his stuff. "Weak and Wounded" comes here with good distorted vocals and is a track along the known WUMPSCUT line I have already heard in an intrumental version. Majestic and outstanding is "Never Satisfied" and proves that Justin is also able to create more slower tracks which do not push the audience obviously to the dancefloors. Adding to this the Dark Electro pearls "Brain Death", "Die Alone" or the already mentioned "Heaven Falling" plus two good remix works done by PROSPERO and DISPLACER and you can get an imagination what you get here. You can’t go wrong with this release if you are into dark EBM/Electro/Industrial music and again – it is a self-produced release. I think that the big labels of this genre should give up their hibernation and check this band out too. RE_AGENT needs to be signed and is just another fine proof next to WEAVE or FRACTURED of a maybe new generation of Electro/Industrial artists hailing from Canada. Make your contacts and ask Justin to purchase this great release!


1. Abandon
2. Weak and Wounded
3. Heaven Falling
4. Never Satisfied
6. Brain Death
7. Under Blue
8. Creeping Up On You
9. Heaven Falling (Displacer remix)
10. Weak and Wounded (Prospero remix)
11. Die Alone (demo)

CHEFKIRK: Selection of Domestic Products

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (1647)
Dec 26 2004
Title: Selection of Domestic Products
Format: CD
Label: Organic Pipeline
Rated: *****
A new limited (to 50 copies) cdr by Roger H. Smith aka Chefkirk. I was not impressed by his split with Iversen, but this work is definitely better and shows a clear progression in his approach to noise. Chefkirk basically makes digital harsh noise, apparently mincing sound samples through some plug in or real time processing. Here and there the tracks sound redundant or unrefined, and I'd have cropped this short cdr even more - but as a whole, Chefkirk's vandalism is quite well done, fierce and varied enough to keep it interesting. The sound quality is crisp, so even basic frequencies are well audible. At his best, Smith reaches a disquieting organic variation of harsh noise - when he uses natural sounds (insects, horses, wolves... or so I think) he definitely gets captivating results ("Wolves, varieties of", "Blind insects"). Chefkirk still has to further develop his sound, but as it is this is a nice work.
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This is a first compilation CD released by the internet community hailing from the Salt Lake City area. It presents mainly the music by registered members of this community and they all are more or less well known in the world-wide Electro/Industrial scene. The music included here varies a lot in styles and gives the listener a huge amount of diversity. Tracks ranging from Synth Pop tunes (PLATFORM ONE) to softer Electro (BOUNDLESS), from Dark Electro (SYMBIONT, LITTLE SAP DUNGEON, LEXINCRYPT) to typically US Coldwave Industrial (PROJECT 9, QUEEN BEE), from chaotic Industrial (23 EXTACY, CIRCUIT SURGEON) to somewhat like Death Metal (LORD BEHERIT), which isn’t surely my cup of tea. 12 Tracks in all plus a hidden piece at position 23, this can only be 23 EXTACY with their Punk-like cover version of DEVINE’s disco classic "I’m so Beautiful", which is both outstanding and funny. Other marvelous works are presented here by BOUNDLESS (a new track with damned efficient sequences), LITTLE SAP DUNGEON (with a scary Ambient-like start for their "Dinner Guest") and PROJECT 9 (reminds a little bit to RAZED N’ BLACK). This comp lacks a bit that known bands do not provide more new or unreleased stuff (LEXINCRYPT or SYMBIONT) but nevertheless there is a lot of interesting stuff provided here, so fell free and check out the Hotgoth website to purchase this remarkable compilation.

BEYOND: Houkai

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (1631)
Dec 06 2004
Artist: BEYOND (@)
Title: Houkai
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
A sort of experimental ep for Beyond, who usually plays straight dark ambient drones (see the review of "Shadeworld" in the archive). "Blightsrider" is actually a very obscure industrial-ambient track, with bass-heavy synths, ghostly voices buried within the mix, and metallic clankings. Pretty well done, and truly oppressive - if you like Nordvargr and the likes, you'll probably dig this one. The other two tracks (one being a remix of Stijn van Cauter's "In pain", the other of Beyond's own "Torn") are less appealing to my taste, being overloaded noise versions of droning tracks - they're probably ok for what they are, but they're not atmospheric nor rabid enough to make them stand out. I definitely prefer Beyond in his dark ambient vein.

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