Music Reviews



Communication Zero: Transitions

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 21 2003
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Artist: Communication Zero
Title: Transitions
Format: CD
Label: Mark XIII + UWe (@)
Distributor: Tripsichord
In a time where the blind pro-war public is attempting a foolish boycott of French products I am more than happy to review a great and powerful French album by an interesting and deserving French outlet, and I encourage you to buy this, not just because it's French and the French have shown some balls and brain, but mostly because it's a good album of power-noise industrial music. I find their description of the sound quite obscure and amusing («station-wagon beat industrial magnet») but if like me you don't really understand what a station wagon has got to do with industrial beats, then you might find it useful to know that Communication Zero sound like they have been listening to a lot of Dive, Whitehouse, SPK. The young Marseillais also boasts about some outsider-like influences in classical music (he does mention Maria Callas among his models) but don't expect string or wind instruments to play a major role in "Transitions". It's really more about hard pounding distorted power beats, industrial noises, obsessive loops, treated vocal samples and stuff like that. If anything you'll find a great deal of orchestration between parts to achieve a high impact effect and occasionally some cool vocal choir parts that sound antique and I'd say almost Russian or Eastern European for that matter, which provide for a quite interesting Laibach-like effect. The CD comes in a minimal but nice digipack.
Grenoble-based Mark VIII promotion/booking agency, label and music venue teamed up with Paris-based UWe (Uncivilized World - don't know what the "e" stands for...) to release this album, while they are looking for a new bigger place to re-open their well established local stage joint. I can't do much else but wish all of these fine people best of luck with all of these valuable projects!

Love 666: this is the new american national anthem

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 21 2003
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Artist: Love 666
Title: this is the new american national anthem
Format: CD EP
Label: Free Rock And Roll (@)
Love 666 is a CD I got with no cover and no additional info whatsoever. The CD only says that this is supposed to be «the new American national anthem»... If you are old enough to remember Hendrix high and chewing on stage while performing the anthem with his super distorted Fender, just imagine him doing the same in a waaaaay less composite and orderly way and with a ton more drugs in his body. Free R'n'R is a keyboard/guitar duo from NYC's East Village. Apparently they recorded this one 47 minute long track of guitar noise mayhem on a boombox. It's loud, it's long, it's love, it's 666, but most of all it's noisy, so try them out only if you dare.

VEHEMENCE 6.2: Skleros (fourth edition)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 17 2003
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Artist: VEHEMENCE 6.2 (@)
Title: Skleros (fourth edition)
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Vehemence 6.2 is a particular project. If you visit their website you won't find news about the guy behind that name, maybe the music is the most important thing. Words are useless and listening to SKLEROS 4th edition you can feel different sensations. Most of the tracks are short and by the way they are composed you don't have time to understand them and at the same time you're fashinated by them all. It's like is a living sequence that grows constantly and changes every minute. Here industrial music meets experimentation alternating noises, hisses, piano, slowed samples and various rhythms. All the tracks play with rough sounds being capable of finding their warmth. Another peculiar thing is that tracks from eighteen to sixty six are composed by ten seconds of silence, tracks sixty six is a minute and half obscure track and angain, silence, until the last track numbered eighty three. While listening to this "empty" tracks, you'll release that silence ins't meaningless. Vehemence 6.2 is the personal project of Kevin Schlueter a guy coming from O' Fallon, Mo, USA I haven't got any other news about him, I only know that he formed his own label called Leukos Industries and if you are curious enough to listen his music, he's sending out his CD for free. Write him to know how. P.s. Kevin also sent me a demo with five new tracks and I assure you that if you love any type of dark sound, he's the man for you. The tracks are different from his previous ones, there's a different approach to sound or maybe he used only different sounds and rhythms but the result is always good... :)

Militia: Eco-Anarchic Manifesto

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 17 2003
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Artist: Militia (@)
Title: Eco-Anarchic Manifesto
Format: CD
Label: Tactical Recordings + Malignant Records (@)
After the completion of "the Statement Trilogy" the statement wasn't actually been clearly made yet, so this release serves that purpose, also providing you with a live recording of the band's performance at Deadly Actions IV festival on November 3rd 2000 in Lille (France). The "Eco-Anarchic Manifesto" comes as a nice A5-sized book made of heavy paper with a black cardboard front and read cover. Like the band Militia and their relation to music, this release is more of a political one than a musical one. The CD is meant to accompany the reading of the eight chapters of the manifesto. In 50 pages Militia explains what eco-anarchism is, why the respect of nature and being in balance with the environment is so important, how its society can be structured, co-managed and defended and how it is designed to educate its peoples and provide for the community. The book itself is a very interesting reading. Not too long, not too short and straight to the point. While on stage Militia is banging and hammering their way through the set of tribal and post-war-like percussive mayhem, Militia's critical views of other anarchist movements reflect in the book and prove their point with a well thought-out plan and with intelligent arguments. It sports a more practical approach, which certainly makes it more appreciable, and does not oversee important aspects of the issue or let go to the usual tempting but unrealistic anarchic utopia. Of course, even though communes built in similar manners already exist around the world, we will never live to see the society envisioned by this manifesto to be a large scale one because too many variables are left up to the faith in people in the fact that they actually will care and will respect each other. On the other hand we cannot expect the manifesto to have all the answers. So, while disturbing and visuals-evoking background sounds, experimental electronic noise and words of change come out of my capitalist stereo system, in spite of the manifesto's more realistic and practicable ideas, plainly put, it is ambitious and a little out of touch with the reality at hands, but even more so, this is a very good example of people thinking globally and acting locally, and if only there were more people like Militia the world would be a better place (excuse the rhetorics) and we would be a lot closer to the common goal.

Militia: The Black Flag Hoisted

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 17 2003
Artist: Militia (@)
Title: The Black Flag Hoisted
Format: CD
Label: Tactical Recordings (@)
If you are sick of all these bands that call themselves "industrial" without having a clue about where the term comes from, what the term stands for, what the true original industrial sound was and what message it carried along, then you wanna check out Militia (what a simply great name that is, by the way). The Belgian collective (5 players + audio engineer + visual crew) will let you go back to the roots of industrial with their politically-loaded thought-provoking blend of self-built percussive instruments, murky rumbling and droning electronics, screaming anarchist propaganda lyrics, revived historical audio documents, samples of rallies and court interviews and revolutions, didgeridoo improvisations, occasional standard drum set parts, electrical tension and other random noises. If you are still reading then I could probably avoid comparing Militia to any of the historical industrial bands, but since lots of people are confused about what industrial really is (or originally was) I should maybe mention that SPK, Throbbing Gristle, Test Dept, Einsturzende and maybe a little bit Laibach have probably all influenced Militia to some extent."The Black Flag Hoisted" is the third release in the Militia Statement Trilogy. Following their 3xLP set "New European Order" and a 2CD box called "Nature Revealed" (which was also a performance in some Belgium theaters/museums), this new release comes in a spectacular packaging, compliments of Militia's graphical crew and of German Tactical recordings, who's been taking care of business (a word I should probably not use in conjunction with Militia ;-)) since the early days. This amazing release comes to you in a big A4-shaped strictly black un-folding hard-paper package with pictures of anarchists and notes referring to the Animal Liberation Front (the A.L.F. group is an international network of animal activists that break into vivisection laboratories to free puppies, cats and other animals from cruel, un-human and un-scientific experiments made for the sake of money), the Extreme Left Party Rostock and the pictured anarchists and philosophers Bakunin, Durutti, Kropotkin and Proudhon. But that's not all! Besides the two CDs (in simple cardboard sleeves) there is also a poster with more texts and credits on the back and a real anarchic fabric flag! Just plain delicious!Another important thing to mention is that this double-CD also features guests and collaborations including Militia's close friend Mike R.Dando (aka Con-Dom) from the UK, Azure Mortal, Rudi Pinsaert, Nas Dom / Slomsek Choir (all from Belgium), Mark Kerkhofs and Cor Gout / Trespassers W (from the Netherlands), Bastard Noise and Wastematrix (from the US), IDPA (from Germany) and Robert Fic from the Tsjech Republic.


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