Music Reviews

Neon Rain: We Are Meat/The Vultures

 Posted by Barton Graham   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (6375)
Apr 14 2011
Artist: Neon Rain
Title: We Are Meat/The Vultures
Format: CD
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Distributor: Steelwork Maschine
Rated: *****
I had fairly High expectations for this release being a huge fan of the Steelwork Maschine label and they were both met, and very much exceeded. Neon Rain has put forth a masterpiece with the double-disc release 'We Are Meat/The Vultures.'

'We are Meat' is essentially a single piece, divided into 7 'songs.' The entire disc slowly makes its way through only a single set of lyrics; a declaration of disgust aimed at the world of corporate slavery. It especially hits the nail on the head in its chanting of 'we are meat' at the final movement.

It starts out very simply with a single recurring distorted bass tone. It doesn't hit you immediately over the head, but slowly chips away at your sanity, eventually trickling in variation, including random sounds, manipulated field recordings, and Jeffrey Dahmer testimonials. It's here that the simple request is made of the listener which by the following track begs us to 'abandon all hope. ' As the disc progresses we're taken through a great range of genre bending aural assaults. It remains noisy throughout, channeling through harsh tones to more abstract textures, but certain sections take you completely by surprise with martial elements including brooding, chugging, heavy guitar rhythms accompanied by the unexpected but very enjoyable industrial vocal stylings of yesteryear.

'The Vultures' sees a bit of a break in the noise, though not completely, so fear not. It offers more melodies, more diverse genre crossovers, and a bit more 'traditional' (and I use the term very loosely) arrangement, while at the same time maintaining that abrasive 'take no prisoners' edge to it. The listener is offered tastes of feedback, strings, synths, Laibach inspired growls, and percussion that is perfect for marching. And even the most accessible and pop-y points of the cd are bathed in just the right amount of noisescapes and mayhem. The lyrics continue to project that martial mindset very effectively stressing at times that 'we are rats' and at others that 'we are the words: we are the lies.' The lyrical content throughout both discs is intense and perfect and incredible. Neon Rain has got the formula DOWN, and are making sure everyone knows it. Don't let this one pass you by.

HIV+: Anthology Of Noise

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Apr 07 2011
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Artist: HIV+
Title: Anthology Of Noise
Format: CD
Label: Meka Prods (@)
Born in Spain in 1968, Pedro Penas y Robles, moved in France and on early 90s he was djing at Trolleybus in Marseille. He started his activity under the HIV+ moniker in 2000 and the year after he signed for Divine Comedy Records. With different albums on this label as well as on Caustic Records and Black Flames Records to name few, Pedro, after collaborating with and remixing many bands such as Hocico, The Hacker, Sonar, Nitzer Ebb, etc. in 2008 decided to stop to play. Three years after Meka Prods decided to collect on a limited to 100 CDr run HIV+'s rare tracks, remixes (made by and for HIV+) and collaborations.ANTHOLOGY OF NOISE contains fourteen harsh industrial tracks where you can check Pedro's style made of rich percussive hard beats, distortions, minimal melodic loops and aggressive atmospheres. The tracks I preferred are the ones that mix genres that could be unrelated but which give unexpected results: check Pedro Peñas y Robles & Laurent Maltinti's industrial flamenco of "Vaya Con Dios (Normotone Edit Version)", the electro techno sounds of The Hacker & HIV+ "Novo Disko" (a song which remind me of D.A.F. as well as the following Millimetric's "Coco Pino") or the Die-6 Vs Splatterpunk remix of "Warm Leatherette" (a remix of a cover could be an hard judging thing). Fans of harsh industrial would be pleased by the remix of Hocico's "Born To Be Hated". A nice way to say goodbye... On this CD you'll find:
R3MUTE_less than zero feat HIV+ (Normotone rmx II)
SENSORY MINDFIELDS aka HIV_doors to kiev (instrumental)
AQL_milano d'agosto (sensory mindfield rmx by HIV+)
HIV+ atomic kashmir (remixed by SONAR)
HIV+ I heard a strange noise
HIV+_warm leatherette (Normotone version)
HOCICO_born to be hated (remixed by HIV+)
EMPUSAE_dark alchemy (harsh floor mix by HIV+)
PEDRO PEÃAS ROBLES & LAURENT MALTINTI_vaya con dios (Normotone edit version)
BUZZ berlin (HIV+ version)
NÃVÃ_insane robots (cold machine mix by HIV+)
THE HACKER & HIV+_novo disko
MILLIMETRIC feat. HIV+_coco pino
HIV+_warm leatherette (Die-6 vs SPLATTERPUNK rmx)

Geistform: Transistor Music

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (6355)
Apr 01 2011
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Artist: Geistform
Title: Transistor Music
Format: CD
Label: Hands Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Already the fourth full-length album of the Spanish fellow Rafael M Espinosa, after his Hands-debut 'Pro Analogic' in 2008 and his earlier two releases on Dirk Ivens' Daft Records. 'Transistor Music' is generally a nice example taken out of the often ignored textbook 'How-to-produce-effective-music-with-the-most-minimal-effort'. The hypnotic impression squeezed out of Rafael's equipment mostly provided by repetitive and seldom changing drum patterns, relative 'warm' sounding distortion- and lo-fi FX-inserts, and 'Transistor'-like interferences searches hard for comparisons, but it doesn't wonder too much, if the usual notorious names like DIVE and ORPHX are coming up. Rafael definitely doesn't need to hide himself behind those global scene-players, as he grows and grows to one of the outstanding artists signed to Hands Productions. 'Emisor' is a nice example of a stand-out track, as this dark filtered snare drum charms the ear-channel. 'Antimatter' is the straightest and most-forward moving tune on here and would be able to fill uncountable dancefloors of world-wide based dark clubs. 'Bad Particle' is another remarkable track with its drum pattern-variation. Rafael's kind of composing, as well as his hypnotic kind to lead his arrangements, offers him a wide ranging array of recognition. Relatively minimal, but so damned effective produced Industrial-/Noise-Electronica, which you should call your own. Get it!

BLACKHOUSE: 25th Years Anniversary + Hope...

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Mar 18 2011
Title: 25th Years Anniversary + Hope...
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: M-Tronic
Rated: *****
Born in 1984 as an answer to the sexist extremism of Whitehouse, Blackhouse is celebrating their 25 years of activity. Using Christian themes as lyrics instead of penis on fire and stuff like that, the music was early accredited to a duo formed by Ivo Cutler and Sterling Cross who came from the heart of Mormon country, Salt Lake City. Blackhouse changed the game of industrial pornographic themes, using power electronics sound in conjunction with Bible messages. A lot of time and releases have passed since their 1984 "Pro life" tape released by Ladd-Frith so M-tronic decided it was time to celebrate the project with a double CD. 25 YEARS ANNIVERSARY + HOPE... is a particular collection, because it consists of two CDs where the first is a mix of spoken word (where Brian Ladd talks about Blackhouse and about the facts of his life that led him to form Blackhouse), unreleased tracks, collaborations and remixes by Le Syndicat, Brume, Hypnoskull, PBK, Orphx, Pacific 231, GX Juppiter Larsen, etc. for a total of twelve musical tracks and thirteen speeches. The second CD is a reissue of their second release "Hope like a candle", also released on Ladd-Frith. The thirteen tracks of that tape were recorded directly to a stereo cassette as live improvisation without the use of overdubs and post mixing. Musically those tracks sound a little more varied compared to what Whitehouse produced then as many tracks are built on rhythmic layers where treated vocals duet with feedback and white noise. With this release you can check a "different" piece of 80's industrial music.
Mar 16 2011
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Artist: T_error 404 (@)
Title: Modify
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line (@)
Rated: *****
Already some months before released, the latest full-length and still freely downloadable album of the Russian one-man project T_ERROR 404 gives us an update about the musically coarse of the second owner of the Alter-X promotion group, Mr. Denoizer. With 'Modify' he could create a detailed follow-up to the last release 'Million Thoughts', as this one turns out to offer a playing time of more than 90 minutes. Generally Denoizer continues his path, to offer straight and speedy Electro/Industrial tunes, which tend to integrate a colorful fusion between different music styles like Dark Electro, TBM, Synthpop or Powernoise-like inserts. There's is enough stuff to share some wild-Pogo-like dancefloor movements ('TransCommunication', 'Modify'), while those energizing tracks like 'Angel (Cloned)' offer a good Powernoise-entertainment. But personal favorites to me are the more clearer, more classical arranged Dark Electro tunes like 'Exhalation' (good Russian voice samples, good synth-pads and interesting, temporary break-beats), or 'Out Of Body' (eardrum-cutting Hi-Q sounds, nice effect-processing on the vocals...). Not to forget the 3 remix contributions by the Belarusian up and coming Harsh-EBM-talent DIVERSANT: 13, ZWEIFELHAFT and a collaboration with project of DJ Jana Dark, DARK RAD, on the track 'Shade'. All of them offer a still danceable, but of course different sounding interpretation of the T_ERROR 404 recordings. That there's also hidden a bit humor behind this project, proves the cover version on a Mark Oh track 'Tears Don't Lie', which concludes this long clocking and very diverse produced release. I'm not that sure if I should prefer this one compared to the predecessor or vice versa - no musically direction or a planned float of an album seems to be foreseeable on 'Modify', which makes it a bit difficult and demanding to follow all tracks after another. It does good to hear, that Mr. Denoizer doesn't like to fall too deep into any death valley, which Electronica can always offer ' on the other hand, some tracks would come out a bit better, if they would be polished and sorted in the track list a bit better.

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