Music Reviews



Arsine Tibe': Good evening, the mountain said

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 15 2011
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Artist: Arsine Tibe' (@)
Title: Good evening, the mountain said
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
One leg of the synth-pop duo !Distain, Manfred Thomaser looks like having come back with the tables of the law (or better a 10-track new album!) after some chat with an unknown god smoking and chilling at lounge noir, his imaginary temple arguably hollowed on the side of some high well-mannered mountain (as the title suggests, it should be the same mountain who used to pursue Mohammed, which nowadays due to the fact there're too many pavid mad people who easily call for police to protect themselves even from people who incidentally walk on the same route to get out from a station, it confined itself to merely greet!), through his solo-project Arsine Tibe'. If you didn't know such a sonic semblance and demanour, when Manfred wears Arsine Tibe''s dress, he normally entartains listeners in a less enquiring way without refraining from simple compositional schemes combined with a narrative approach, delicious hooks on some 80ies sonorities. The initial track "Light" dips the sound in the ink of some sacred text by a delicate percussive textures, leavened synth sounds and the spongy vocal performance by Tania Murray (I have to say that the light hypnotical breeze of the song as well as the gentle vocal tune of the singer repeating "give me the light, give me the anime" could induce some of you to post some comics and a lighter to Tania!), whereas the second track plays on the contract between the dim evoked by the title "Darkness" and the general mood of the lyrics and the ethereal shine of the sound close to some stuff by Ataraxia or Cocteau Twins. The simple bassline and some delayed synth-piano of "In My Room At Night" bring gracefully the listener into the oniric dimension where Manfred could have imagined (or just dreamt) the narration, which looks like described as "a stranger's dream" or arguably a possession by "a stranger's mind" by Tania's voice in "Dawn At Night", where the possessed girl ("feeling not like a girl") finds herself in a noisy lounge bar (it's quite bizarre the jump of setting in "Maximum boy", the track describing such a change of scene), which looks like belonging to an undefined past time. I dont' anticipate anything about the way this character reaches its redemption and enlightenment, but it's quite clear this album sounds like a soundtrack of a spiritual journey whose goal is the understanding of the roots of existence. From the stylistical viewpoint, I think that Arsine Tibe' could be considerably enhanced by recurring to less conventional and braver choices, but it's appreciable anyway.

DATO: Bangkok

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 14 2011
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Artist: DATO
Title: Bangkok
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
After their May debut EP, Denmark duo Dato are back with BANGKOK. The main track is here present in three different version, "Radio", "Extended" and "Extended Dub". The difference between the two extended ones is that the latter hasn't the vocals, so if you're going to purchase only one or two tracks from this release, I'd go for the "Extended" but if I were you, I'd purchase also the only remix you can find here: it's a real nice one made by Casio Social Club. For his track, Justin, pushed the electro pedal to the metal and switched the female choruses with vocoder filtered vocals and added warm synth sweeps. Anyway... "Bangkok" is a great electro funk track with 4/4 rhythms, hand claps, cool female choruses and catchy melodies. It has that cheesy atmosphere that it's perfect for a sexy dance.

HYBOID: Where Androids Come To Die

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 14 2011
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Artist: HYBOID
Title: Where Androids Come To Die
Format: 12"
Label: Astro Chicken (@)
Rated: *****
With his fist album "Aliens ate my Synthesizer!" we knew the most sidereal side of Sebastian Hübert. Tracks like the opening "Madhouse In Space Pt. I" were introducing us to the spacey side of Hyboid, thanks to dreamy melodies and 808 beats. With this new MLP titled WHERE ANDROIDS COME TO DIE, you're invited to attend to the funeral of a robot. As reported on the info sheet, this is the story behing the release: "On a quest for his ancestral roots our hero suffers a CPU arrest. Unable to recover, certain death is only a matter of time". Printed on a special deluxe cardboard, the cover reminds a funeral card and the seven tracks are perfect as its soundtrack. Despite all this funeral thing, I sincerely hope that this isn't meaning that Hyboid won't be no more, because I love both the albums. Musically, if until now Sebastian was using fast arpeggios and upbeat tempos, on all the tracks the rhythmic part is kinda bouncing and energetic but the atmosphere has turned dark and the arpeggios are slowed down, creating in this way, an hypnotic sound that it's captivating but if you want to check something great, put your needle on the final track "Requiem For Hyboid": it is touching and even if it is an instrumental one, it's like hearing thousands of unspoken words. With this MLP, Sebastian, took Hyboid toward new lands and he brought his music to level of people like Klaus Schulze. Rich textures, great analog sounds and catchy melodies will convince you to support this release... Get well soon cyborg!!!

The Arctic Disco Machine: Supernova

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 07 2011
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Artist: The Arctic Disco Machine (@)
Title: Supernova
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
With so many crap releases around, this 3rd on his own Datarocket Records Junolainen offering stands out like an oasis in the desert. What we have here is an album full of electronic disco and funky tunes, perfectly crafted in its details and enjoyable from the first track to the (hidden ;)) 13th.
Although Kirill lives and works in the cold cities of St. Petersburg and Murmansk, his heart is definitely warm. And so it's his sound: disco grooves driven by funky basslines and clever space themes is an obvious description; but there's more: the beat is old-fashioned (in the good sense of the word), miles apart from the cold mechanical loops that "modern" (see: boring) disco is full of. Bass keys are also dated 80s, with that funkiness of groups like the Dazz Band or Dayton (for example listen to the awesome boogie tune "Apricot From The Lapland" or the phat funk of "Polar Night" and "Flash In The Dark"). Pads and sequences along with the themes refer directly to the 70s and artists like Space and Meco. However all the tracks (recorded between 2009 and 2011) sound fffresh! It would be really tough to pick one as a "desert island tune", but if i had to that would be "Moon And The Stars", electronic disco at its finest and a gem i'm pretty sure Marc Cerrone would have been proud of ;))
This is a 5-stars album, but i give it 4.5 just because i know damn well that Kirill Junolainen hasn't released his 5-star album yet ;) Grab your copy NOW!

Zeit Modelle: Network Virus Killer

 Posted by Evangelos   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 06 2011
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Artist: Zeit Modelle (@)
Title: Network Virus Killer
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Until recently (and after 30 years of listening and supporting electronic music) i was pretty sure that Richard Kirk holds the world record for both the most prolific electronic producer and the artist with the countless aliases (ok there's also Pete Namlook and a couple more to challenge him, but i'd definitely vote for Kirk if i had to ;)). I changed my mind when i met in cyberspace Kirill Junolainen, a half Russian/half Finnish (as his first and last name witness) electronic artist, based in St. Petersburg. He sent me a demo of only 4 tracks and he said that if i like them there's more stuff by his good self to share with me. Tunes were sooo great that i replied with enthusiasm and told him to send me all the tracks he had so i can listen to some more fine electronics. Kirill laughed and said that it was impossible to do so because he has written and produced more than... one thousand tracks! Christ! Of course i thought "the man's crazy or something" but he started sending material and the very next moment i had in my hard drive... 2 albums and 4 EPs by Junolainen, all under different aliases! Curious enough to see what this man was talking about i started to listen... I swear to God that until that day i had never listened to so many tracks in a row by one single artist without the need to skip at least one! Kirill told me he has been producing music since 1991 and once more i caught myself wondering how the hell such a great artist with 20 years of activity behind him wasn't already renowned outside the local scene of St. Petersburg and that of Murmansk (his native city, on the north-west of Russia, beyond the Arctic Circle).
I mean take a look at the man's discogs page (http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lazer+Kontinent): 34 albums, 21 Singles & EPs, and we're talking only about his main project, Lazer Kontinent (once a duo-Igor Stepovy left in 2004)! And it's not only the quantity that's impressive (respect to Kirk, but he also did many... crap tracks, in my opinion); til now that i'm writing this review i haven't heard a Junolainen production, either electro, techno, italo-disco or chill-out, of low quality, believe me!
This release, 2nd on Kir's newly founded label Datarocket Records, is no exception. It gathers material written and produced between 2004 and 2007 and it focuses on the man's electro/techno-pop side. Heavily influenced both by Kraftwerk and early Warp, Kirill delivers a compilation of ultimate beauty, filled with danceable brain electronics. Every track is ace, however if i had to choose only one as my fav, that would be the hypnotic opener "Megatron Mensch" ("Megatron Man" in english, like the Patrick Cowley classic). I should also mention the excellent retrofuturistic "Komputerische Modelle" and "Logick" and the trippy Warp-ish "Kvadrat" (but the rest of the tracks are top quality too ;))
If you haven't already experienced the Junolainen sound, do yourself a favour and visit Datarocket's Bandcamp (where this and another 2 releases are available for purchase) or/and check the man's 3 releases on Binalog Productions and the Raw EP on Russian Techno. More to come as his bunker is full of sounds and noises, so stay tuned. This artist deserves your attention!


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