Music Reviews



Somatic Responses: Digital Darkness

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 27 2008
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Artist: Somatic Responses (@)
Title: Digital Darkness
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Another act with a quite good name finally returns on the train of the Hymen label, SOMATIC RESPONSES, the dual project of the brothers John and Paul Healy. They’ve been always thrown into that Experimental/IDM-related music genre, so there wasn’t any real reason to change this. They still produce heavy and unusual beat constructions, experimental filter, effect manipulations and a globally ruling nervousness recognizable in nearly every track. Fans of layered synth pads or at least a little melodic input will be heavily disappointed with this new 77 minutes long album. Though they are picking up some traditionally ideas like the use of a TB-303 as being a main bass line synth, the problem with this release belongs on the overwhelming use of difficult to check and dance to rhythm section. Breakbeat, Clicks’n’Dub and a doze of rough distortion destroy almost everything what could place something in like a mood. Two rather Down-Tempo like tunes with "Stranded" and "Neu" have to be picked out as a proof, that the brothers Healy have a sense for the right mixture. But generally only 2 convincing tracks out of 15 of a hammering ice-desert isn’t a fair amount.

Punch Inc.: Fightclub

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 26 2008
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Artist: Punch Inc.
Title: Fightclub
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The German area around Bielefeld seems to be quite fruitful for acts providing the rhythmically Powernoise formula, also the duo of PUNCH INC. can be counted besides SYNAPSCAPE and their uncountable side-projects into this. After some years recording for Hands Productions, PUNCH INC. have exchanged the flags and hired to Ant-Zen – at least the decision pro the market leader. And as the second hidden title of this album announces it, "206 Bones To Break", PUNCH INC. do their best to provide a top-notch harsh album filled with straight and crunchy beats and rotten effects. They don’t take any prisoners and execute the dancefloors with the speedy pieces like "Roughneck", "Arm Against" or "Fight Your Enemy". Rather mid-tempo pieces like "The Daily Round" or "Rumble" can impress through the use strange voice samples, rotating percussive penetrations and its menacing mood. Some might say, PUNCH INC. provide the state-of-art for this genre and this release is quite typical for Ant-Zen. Indeed, since the whole world awaits a new studio album of CONVERTER, the title track is that sort of a masterpiece which could come out of the rotten world of Mr. Sturgis. The invitation into this "Fightclub" is quite unfriendly and broken bones and bleeding noses are guaranteed. There’s PUNCH incorporated on this album which is a safe purchase, if you can offer only a glimpse of sense for this genre. Also check out another excellent graphic idea by S.ALT. Good stuff!

TwoDeadSluts: OneGoodFuck

 Posted by John Gore   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 21 2008
Artist: TwoDeadSluts (@)
Title: OneGoodFuck
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
Nasty, nasty, nasty. From the graphics to the sound. Just nasty. Feedback squealing, thick droning tones, distro vox and bad attitudes. File under psychopathic noise. If that’s your cup of arsenic, go for it. 3" disk imbedded in a 5" disk. A six track soundtrack of mental and moral breakdown. And I bet they take that description as a compliment.

Fixture For Toxins: Threnodies of Labor

 Posted by John Gore   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 21 2008
Artist: Fixture For Toxins (@)
Title: Threnodies of Labor
Format: CD EP
Label: pure volume
Rated: *****
The sound of sonic decay. No beats, no drum machines, just the sound of machines grinding away at the fabric of existence accompanied by the sound of far away voices almost drowned out by the din. The relentless, abrasive etching of sandpaper on glass obscuring and refracting the dim light of hope.

Kevin Shields : The Death Of Patience

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 07 2008
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Artist: Kevin Shields (@)
Title: The Death Of Patience
Format: CD
Label: Entropic Tarot (@)
Distributor: Deathbomb Arc
Rated: *****
Ok - you're not hallucinating and this is NOT the new solo record by the genius, but an ear-shredding blast of uncompromising noise as I haven't heard in a while. Eva Aguilla is the one and only person beyond all this - and she surely knows how to deal with pedals and painful frequencies - but sometimes she stops the carnage adding some psychotic moments with treated instruments (can't say which instruments though). All the tracks are well composed (don't laugh ...) and your attention is kept focused by some slightly changes in the loops between the walls of white noise. "Catholic Guilt" and "Nothing's Never Ending" are loopy and somehow hypnotic. I'm not into such violent stuff anymore but this one stands above many of the records I've heard of the same genere. Judging from pictures on her myspace (http://www.myspace.com/kkevinsshields) her live performances must be really something. This cd is a joint effort between three cult labels: Entropic Tarot (http://www.entropictarot.com/), Deathbomb Arc (http://deathbombarc.com/) and Emr Records (http://www.emr-records.com/).


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