Music Reviews



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Artist: Hansel
Title: Lorentzian Lineshaper
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash records (@)
Rated: *****
As I embark on the difficult task of attempting to review the latest CD by the Boston-based duo Hansel, I embrace my fate: I'll get flamed no matter what! The duo obviously have some serious gripe with the media who attempt to pigeonhole them into one boxed description or the promoters who try to file them under one category. So if I get the description somewhat right or accurate according to the fellow writers and reviewers, which of course could be argued is fairly relative anyway, I'll probably get shit from the band; and if I tell you that Hansel is a rock band (which is how they describe themselves to avoid any confusion) then I'll definitely get shit from the readers (since anybody that heard this record knows that Hansel doesn't share anything more than attitude and occasional distorted guitars with what you usually refer to as rock). Hansel is a little stressed out by the situation that came into being, and you can tell from their press release and some lyrics or samples in their record. So I could comply with their desire to not be labeled, hence doing a disservice to my readers and possibly getting a few very curious readers to go and actually listen to the music online to make up their own mind (but then they'll probably illegally download the album and then the band AND the label will hate me anyway) or I can just fuck all of that political correctness bullshit and mess with my destiny by giving a shot at trying to describe a band that's actually hard to describe or file under just one category or genre in the first place. Ultimately, I don't give a shit about getting shit, so what I'll do is I won't make any comparisons and I'll just try go give you a rough idea of what they sound like.First of all, if you are familiar with D-Trash records, think of Hansel as your non-typical D-Trash band. They implement elements of electronic music, industrial music, rhythm-noise, breakcore, glitch, rock, hop hop and what not (shall we say experimental electro-glitch-core crossover? or just e-ndustrial noise-core rock hop? just messing with you...). No matter what, it is going to be hard to give you an accurate picture of Hansel because they jump back and forth from any of the above to any other one of the above genres. This said, certain things that are actually facts could help you pin point (sort of) where Hansel stands: although they are not committed to them, they do use computers and electronics; most rhythmical/percussive material as well as most vocals are distorted; their sounds are sparse and simple at the source, but highly tweaked and saturated in complex ways; their sonic attack is minimal but aggressive and raw; they are genuine and spontaneous; they are very eclectic and across the board. If that doesn't get you any further you'll really have to go to the label's website and find out for yourself.In the meantime we want to tell the band that Chain D.L.K. loves them no matter what and we don't give a flying fuck about what the other media says about them (I haven't read a single other review of their music to try and find aid or inspiration or to try and align my views with those of others - why would I anyway?), nor do we have any expectations from them or anybody else, for that matter. I agree with Hansel that artists should just make music and let nothing other than their own creativity mold the music they write. That said, sometimes shit sucks, sometimes shit rocks, it's all subjective in the end anyway, and so are reviews (so bands shouldn't really give a damn about what people say anyway).This said I wanna hear that triple Dolly Parton cover album now!PS I don't think I ever filed any review I wrote in as many categories at the same time!
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Artist: BJERGA/IVERSEN
Title: In broken dreams the world still keeps turning
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Dead Sea Liner
Rated: *****
I was not thrilled by Iversen's first efforts, and I haven't kept track of his ever growing discography, but I guess I've missed some pretty good stuff, judging from this new duo recording with Goldsoundz' Sindre Bjerga (their nth one together). Coming in a spartan photocopied cover on silver paper, "In broken dreams..." features a 27'30" track from a concert played last March at the Underkurrent in Amsterdam. It's not easy to tell what the two were using, most probably laptops, synths, pedals and possibly a guitar, but anyway, the set is very intense and coherent in its controlled mess of droning feedback, digital chirps and overdriven frequencies. Quite loud, especially in the final climax, as you would expect from these two noisemakers, but eventually falling more in the atmospheric than in the harsh category. If the performance was improvised, as I guess, the two must have developed a well-oiled alchemy.

GLAUKOM SYNOD: Uczulony

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3203)
Nov 20 2006
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Artist: GLAUKOM SYNOD (@)
Title: Uczulony
Format: CD
Rated: *****
UCZULONY is the third Glaukom Synod demo CD. Behind this moniker you'll find a French guy coming from France/Lambres Lez Douai called Gabriel S. As far as I can listen Gabriel's musical passions are grind metal and industrial music because his tracks are built upon samples of these kind of music. Grown up using Fast Tracker, Gabriel started to develop his personal style made of fast variations of sound/samples and tons of violent distorted "assaults". Luckily for me his tracks are varied and aren't based on the effect violent sound could produce, so along with tracks based on grind samples you'll find also e.b.m. loops and industrial noise to help making the blend more efficient. Even if sometimes tracks don't sound homogeneous because of the sudden sample change, this same thing make Glaukom Synod sound interesting and somewhat unique and when you'll get used to his music you'll start to appreciate his cut ups. Gabriel music isn't sounding professional but with a good production in my opinion we could have good surprises.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Decennium Sturm
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
Another label compilation for the Latvian Sturm label, created and released to celebrate their already 10th anniversary. Unbelievable, that this Sturm collective has already worked hard that long time almost without any knowledge and attention from some western audiences. And this compilation has something special to offer – NO track titles are included here. The bands of this label all give here new and unreleased stuff to the listeners, but there’s no track name. ANOCODAINE made the start here and already this track turns after an unspectacular melodic intro into a pounding Electro instrumental piece. KNAUZERS UN ZEME offer a military marching piece with several noisy samples featuring bombing and firing airplanes and war noises and vocals pending between dark and distorted. ROSEWATER offer the best work here, a hard straight-forward moving Dark Electro pearl with harsh Powernoise-inspired rhythm patterns and rough distorted vocals – their enjoying and successful formula, but this piece I would qualify as their most straightest track so far. Almost in a same vein hits the project LIVING NIGHTMARE, which I haven’t discovered before, no matter also for the Metal-like guitar riff included here. With LS TUR, STROPS, BARODARHO and KAUNA TRAIPS the music here turns more and more into the martial and experimental noisy kind this label has so much to offer. Also MARCHWITZA give a rather chaotic piece, but I’m sure that I have heard it before on their full-length "Have A Hard Day". Also an untitled act offers a track tending more into a slower Ambient-like tune, and more in silent style this CD turns off. Check also out that video file done by CYBERPUNK to conclude this valuable compilation. Interesting concept, but very unusual, too. Worth to start some investment.

Track list

1/ ANOCODAINE
2/ KNAUZERS un ZEME
3/ ROSEWATER
4/ LIVING NIGHTMARE
5/ LS TUR
6/ STROPS
7/ MARCHWITZA
8/ BARODARHO
9/ RADIO KAPUT / 3OT
10/ KAUNA TRAIPS
11/ UNTITLED BAND, 1921 vs RUDENS LAPAS
12/ GAS OF LATVIA
13/ CYBER PUNK (video)

ROSEWATER: Bloodcount

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3198)
Nov 17 2006
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Artist: ROSEWATER (@)
Title: Bloodcount
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Rated: *****
Here we have the newest output of the Latvian Sturm label, the trio ROSEWATER presents us here a strong new rough Dark Electro/EBM/Powernoise album. It seems to me that this act likes to start a strong assault to storm the dark dancefloors of the international scene, simply and alone thanks to the fact that they’ve decided to let this album mastered at the German X-FUSION Music Production studios (www.x-m-p.de). ACYLUM meets GRIDLOCK meets TERRORFAKT, so I would to qualify this explosive mix this nice act has to offer. Things are starting hard and straight-forward with a pounding opener "N.M.E.", while "Unbroken" turns the scenario into a more Powernoise-minded kind – this track also marks one of the highlights on the last "Sturmer III" compilation of this label. "On The Move" then turns back up to rhythmical Powernoise efforts and features a nice analogue synth play. If this band decides to include vocals on their music, then they got a lot of penetration through countless distortion and overdrive effects. Also the kind how they got provided here is harsh and martial – it fits with the rough style this release generally has to offer. Favorites? Well, all of this pieces have that something special here – so this voting belongs on personal preferences: "Cold Refuge" (got already some airplay at Tommy T.’s Cyberage radio show, www.cyberage.cx), the hammering "Nakts un Näve" and "Irreversible Alterations" (shows musically maturity and offers a decent and melodic piano play after the storming Noise massacre, awesome vocoder effect on the vocals, too...). Make sure also to check out the enhanced video and the special hidden track, which is another nice effort based on melodic pianos and noise in the background. I’ve seldom heard a band which can handle that strong the combine both elements, hard and uncompromising Dark Electro/EBM with rhythmically Powernoise efforts. It needs to get heard by a wide and internationally audience – the best release of the last half year! This CD is a real KILLER – PLAY IT LOUD!!!


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