Music Reviews

Barodarho: Triumvirāts

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jan 07 2008
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Artist: Barodarho
Title: Triumvirāts
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
Well, my talent in Latvian language is unfortunately unavailable. But since this new album of this Electro/Powernoise-act seems to deal thematically with some works and slogans of the most inspirational poets of Latvia, Eduards Veidenbaums (1867 – 1892), I would likewise to know more about the content and meaning behind it. Musically however, BARODARHO are walking on a harder and aggressive way. It sounds a bit like an Electro/Industrial jam-session between BORGHESIA and THE PAIN MACHINERY with several analogue-tuned synths and rough metallic percussive elements. It’s not at all a forward-moving EBM-like attitude, the raw sound of BARODARHO tries always to integrate clanging frequencies asides the 4/4-on-the-floor path. This unusual sound gets complimented by a drastically male vocal performance, which surprisingly is that strong and powerful, that it don’t need to get manipulated by some distortion effects. The harshest works nearly drifting completely into the Power-Electronics genre like "Bez bailem, bez naida" and the bass-kick-on-speed-track "Zobratu paaudze" get my vote for being the most outstanding tracks in a quite interesting and not-heard-before Electro/Industrial-album. Not to forget the fact, that BARODARHO can also offer some slower and ominous sounding tunes, the track "Uz galu" has to be named. A video clip to the opening track "Pec goda, pec varas..." accomplishes this multimedia CD, which comes out decent and unique. Quite interesting new album of this act – you’ll have only to invest some patience until it grows completely on you.

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 3
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Nur Medien GmbH
Rated: *****
Third chapter of this Germany-based compilation series again compiled by Intrendent and ready to save a decent X-mas celebration. There’s one problem I’ve got with this comp, because it features my own music project with an appearance. I of course can’t review my own music efforts and it should be understandable if I leave a mantle of silence on it. However, it is also my "job" to write a review on this release and I hope that all of the featured artists have a sense of support for this. As usual for the "Electro-Arc" series, this third volume comes out musically quite diverse by discovering several styles and tendencies. It once again concentrates to collect only a few better known artists and several underground acts. The UK-based ATTRITION are sort of veterans and active since more than 20 years. Their track is a straight Tech-Dance piece accomplished with several voice samples. Also the Belgian-based project IC 434 aka Geert De Wilde is one of the better known and rather old-school EBM-like acts here. He offers with a Re-Take of the track "Ferghana" a first new audio sign of life, which will hopefully soon continue with a new full-length album. Oh, and Belgium has to be named here, because this compilation got compiled with the intention to collect the most appearances hailing out of this small European country – maybe to check and see, what the heirs of legends like FRONT 242, SIGNAL AOUT 42, NEON JUDGEMENT and others are capable to offer. I don’t know from where TRANSTECH are hailing, however, their track is another straight and danceable tune with some decent vocoder effects. DHARMATA 101 then stands for the international guests, because they are hailing out of the United States. Stylistically they’re sitting in between the chairs be offering a mixture out of Industrial, Electronica and Goth-elements. Their track "Outline (Of My Shadow)" is a quite good composition featuring a fair amount of acoustic guitars, Metal-guitar riffs and decent Electronic textures, while the natural sounding vocals need some more spins to earn acceptance. DEVOTED SYMBOLS then switch back to harder EBM a bit comparable with some up-to-date productions of SUICIDE COMMANDO. Also RECON are pretty much dedicated to EBM, but rather in a minimal style, while the vocals – as simple as the lyrics are – reminding hard on Claus Kruse of the German act PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE. It follows with HYBRIDS (Daft Records, ant-zen) another better known act by offering a live recording, which turns this comp into a more experimental field. The best appearance got provided by the German duo NORDSCHLACHT, which we had recently presented with the release of their highly recommended debut "Silence, Beauty And Cruelty" (Klangdynamik Records). "Facts" is multi-layered Dark Electro in perfect conditions, danceable, but still with the sense to offer opulent synth pads. Another good thing on this track – it isn’t available on their debut! SOLANACEAE TAU then offers a Goth-inspired work with mighty guitars and a female vocal performance, while BODY POLITICS offer a metallic live old-school EBM performance. Both last appearances on this comp got provided by the Belgian musician Peter Bonne with his both projects LINEAR MOVEMENTS and TWILIGHT RITUAL, which is again an excursion into some 80-like Italo-Pop/Wave-music culture. I may was expecting a more detailed presentation on some up and coming talents of the Belgian EBM-scene – in case there is one – where the fuck are IONIC VISION or DARKMEN for example? However, this compilation collects a lot of new talents and some older heroes as well, while the predecessor rather Dark Electro-inspired volume 2 of this series is still the favorite.

1. Attrition – The head of Gabriel (Pablo sonic terrorist mix)
2. Synaptic Defect – Devouring Hate (Electro d'Arc Mix)
3. IC 434 – Ferghana (Re-Take)
4. Transtech – Satellite
5. dharmata 101 – Outline (Of My Shadows)
6. Devoted Symbols – Hush
7. Recon – Rise of the dead
8. Hybryds – Babel (Live Paris)
9. Nostromo 7 – Longing
10. Nordschlacht – Facts
11. Solanaceae Tau – Riots lullaby
12. Body Politics – Lust (Live)
13. Linear Movement – To Another Soul
14. Twilight Ritual – Delay

Twinkle: Le Jouet

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (4063)
Dec 02 2007
Artist: Twinkle (@)
Title: Le Jouet
Format: CD
Label: ant-zen / Audiotraum (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Wanna play with toys? Well, the French of TWINKLE want, better said, they’ve done in past to get the right mood for their first full-length CD, and second release at all. Being normally signed to Audiotrauma-label, where they already released an EP entitled "Processing Industry" in 2K5, this full-length album comes out as a collaborative effort with the German giant Ant-Zen. Consisting of Yves Cornu and J.-B. Leduc, they offer us a unique blend between rhythmically Powernoise, Tribal-elements and a fine nose for Experimental structures. It isn’t at all a harsh and aggressive noisy output, it rather plays between the genre boundaries in a varied kind. The more than 8 minutes long "Ton Style" is a perfect example to discover some content of the TWINKLE universe. A manipulated music-box melody got repeated and infiltrated with dozens of strange percussion elements and varies the speed. "Joue Avec Moi" is a collaboration effort with the Audiotrauma-comrades CHRYSALIDE and maybe the most Powernoise-like track here which features a rough vocal performance. "L’envers De La Vague" sounds like a dedication to the works of Dirk Ivens a.k.a. DIVE. Check also the strange sample collage "Le Joueur" to find your most favorite toy. While most of the provided stuff comes out rhythmically arranged and likes to animate you to dance, I recommend to check out this album under a pair of headphones. There’s a lot of intelligent and never heard before stuff available here which needs your full attention.

VV.AA.: Revelation

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4061)
Dec 02 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Revelation
Format: CD
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
Not the freshest release for sure, but better late than never. The Canadian label Bugs Crawling Out Of People can be seen as the legit follow-up out of TIK Recordings, the label and gig organizer which made itself a fine name with the huge "Saturation Bombing"-festivals. Unfortunately there hasn’t been too many comparable Noise-festivals in Canada, since TIK has called its quit during 2K4. This "Revelation" is the first official release for Bugs Crawling..., a compilation featuring more than 75 minutes Powernoise/Dark Ambient/Martial-inspired audio warfare complimented by some more but also lesser known acts. PROSPERO, during the last year active via the French Brume Records, opens this compilation with a noisy introduction by forming repetitive and distorted samples to an at least straight-forward moving track. The Belgium project NÖRV, which has lately collaborated with H.I.V.+ offers at least that sort of stuff, in which Belgium can offer some masters, "Icon IV" sounds a bit like DIVE with some pounding metallic snares. PNEUMATIC DETACH a.k.a. Justin Brink offers a lecture in "create-multiple-noisy-drum-patterns" which sound complex – technically one of the best, if not the best appearance here. SEDARKA can win an extra price for their enjoyable effect manipulation on some Noise patterns – what an insane track. Mostly the stuff available on this comp deals with static Noise/Martial stuff (LEGION ULTRA, COLD FLESH COLONY...) – so SCRAP.EDX offer the most straight and speedy arranged track on here with "All Those Fucking Eyes". Canada’s ISZOLOSCOPE tends to drift in a comparable style, while offering a rather more subtle and sample-driven intro-phase. Both last tracks got provided by the Dark Ambient-artist NITROUS FLESH, which is a project of James Geist, the musician behind the EBM-related project NECROTEK (official debut "Menschenfeind" out very soon on the Denver-based E.A.R./Vendetta-Music label). Of course, this stuff is quite different to NECROTEK, but still addictive with some slight distortion elements. "Revelation" is a quite entertaining and diverse collected compilation, which should appeal all fans of Powernoise music. There’s more to come out on this label...

track listing:

prospero - through the walls
dead man's hill - heretics look downstairs
casual coincidence - merboso
pneumatic detach - .ryhim.ninept.
legion ultra - mute (demo version)
sedarka - mucus on ice
bETON bARRAGE - devoured by flies
cold flesh colony - hymn of praise
scrap.edx - all those fucking eyes
iszoloscope - a deep cthulhu terror
asphalt leash - something has gone terribly wrong
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 1
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 2
Artist: MANMACHINE (@)
Title: The Military Death
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Although album and band name are sounding pretty much dedicated to the EBM/Electro-scene, the solo project of the German musician A. Schwarz hasn’t too much to do with this style. MANMACHINE stands for a rather harsh and noisy outfit, variable styles between Powernoise, Experimental and Cold Meat-like Electronica can be discovered. As I could see on some photos, A. Schwarz doesn’t seem the be the youngest horse in the SkullLine-stable and has followed the creation of Synth-driven music since the early beginnings. So he has very late decided to record and to release his very own Experimental Electronic-recordings. It shouldn’t therefore wonder, that most of the provided instruments seem to have a veteran and analogue-based background. MANMACHINE’s tracks are pending at times drastically between the styles, even if you think a song would follow a foreseeable line, the complete track fades over to just another quite different mood. Mostly the music is instrumental arranged, even some sparse and pitched down vocals here and there got integrated. "I Have A Dream", aptly named after the legendary words of M. L. King which got sampled here, comes out like a screaming monster with several live improvised noise elements. Even more static and dark comes "Im Fleische Des Krieges", while "Menschfabrik" creates fat sound layers completed with some subtle distorted rhythm patterns. MANMACHINE’s debut surly isn’t the hi-end solution of Electronica arrangements, but a quite fair and experimental-minded kind of work. Strictly limited to 100 exemplars and again provided in a special package, as usual for the most releases of the SkullLine-label.

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