Music Reviews

AIDAN CASSERLY: The Naming Of Blue

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jul 04 2011
Title: The Naming Of Blue
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Ninthwave Records
Rated: *****
Dedicated to his beloved brother Neville, who passed away the last October, THE NAMING OF BLUE is the second solo album by Aidan Casserly, know also for being the singer of Empire State Human and the now disbanded The Garland Cult. The new album, which is released after one year and half from the fist "White soul", contains eleven new songs that mix synthpop, ballad, rock and ambient elements. The album starts with the touching choruses / orchestra of "Cloak & Daggers" just to follow with the first pop torch song "We're no sinners". On this song, piano, strings and guitar solos and the passionate voice of Aidan will make you wave your head and lighten your soul. "Sepia years" is a mid tempo ballad with Celtic melodies where strings, guitar and piano are the main instruments. "Steal for love" is the first tune to have dance atmospheres, this one has electronic sounds and sensual sax solos duetting with Aidan. "Boy song (for Billy Mackenzie)" is a mid tempo ballad dedicated to the memory of the Associates' singer and it mixes piano and synth pads. "Silent songs" is another piano / synths ballad which on its middle has a solo that turns it into a torch song. "River of souls" recalls me the desperate atmospheres of the third Marc Almond album "Mother fist". With "Sebastian and the dream" Aidan mixes dub atmospheres, synth bass sounds and harp solos just to make of it a dance tune after one minute. A catchy one for sure. "Marble" starts with ambient choruses and follows with house rhythms and leads. "Castles" is co-written with pianist Martin Watkins, who is famous for his piano and keyboard work with Marc Almond. The song is a ballad focused on piano and vocals with the add of soft wavy pads. The last song is a reprise of "Cloak & Daggers", this time based on strings and piano. I think that THE NAMING OF BLUE is the most personal album that Aidan did and after almost ten years of musical career he showed to the audience another side of his multifaceted soul.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Provocateur
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Dungeon Recordings / Backscatter Media (@)
Rated: *****
Both SLC-based labels Backscatter and Dungeon Recording renewing their partnership with both new website designs and they celebrate successfully their mutual course. They released two freely downloadable full-length compilations, one of them musically rather more based in Goth-Rock, Indie and Alternative music, and this one, entitled 'Provocateur' the more Electronic/Industrial-minded alter ego. I refuse to concentrate on this one only ' just check both of their websites, if you're more the 'other' styles of music. 'Proven favorites play along side brand new exclusives from many talented artists', so one of the entrancing statements of this comp. Indeed, favorites can be named with SYMBIONT ('Behind The Lie'), LITTLE SAP DUNGEON ('Empty Rooms Breathe Heavily'), LEXINCRYPT ('Dead By Morning'), or BOUNDLESS ('Seduction' ' feat. LOST SIGNAL and Frank M. Spinath of SEABOUND). So far so good, but none of these most recognized artists of both labels offer anything new ' that's a pity for their die-hard fans, as they surely all know these classic recordings. New compositions would have done better, since there are recently announcements for new recordings by LSD, LEXINCRYPT has new stuff available via Crunch Pod, and also the persistent rumor, that SYMBIONT will reunite are keeping the flame of hope burning. There's also the mysterious project named ALGORYTHMDEKONSTRUCT and it's once again too bad, that this project has never received a comparable cult status like the above mentioned better recognized ones ' I still remember the heydays of, where I was able to download a few more tracks from this underrated artist after having heard the straight and pummeling EBM tune 'Love Hate Obsession' on the DSBP compilation 'Cybonetix 2002'. Other remarkable stuff surely hides behind the comeback of CONTROL.ORG with their rather smooth Electronica sound between Futurepop and EBM, as well as the energetic outfit of the follow-up project to BOUNDLESS, XIESCIVE with 'Time To Die'. 'Provocateur' is a groundbreaking collection, if you're new into the Electronica scene around Salt Lake City ' if you're familiar with these artists, you may won't find too much stuff transforming this compilation to a must-have item. However, since this one is freely available, you can't do nothing wrong by downloading it from the web resources of both labels.

01. PCP-The Nothing [V.2]
02. Xiescive-Time To Die
03. Symbiont-Behind The Lie
04. AlgorithmDekonstruct-Love Hate Obsession
05. The Stygian-Killing Time [Insurgent Version]
06. Mourning People-Black Night Battery
07. Empyreus-The Bleeding Hearts
08. Christopher Alvarado-Blades Of The Sun
09. Lexincrypt-Dead By Morning
10. Little Sap Dungeon-Empty Rooms Breathe Heavily
11. Boundless-Seduction [Feat. Lost Signal & Frank M. Spinath of Seabound]
12. Killer
13. Audio Variancision-Hemi Sync [6.1]
14. Twilight Transmissions-Ascending Black Rays

Xiescive: Vs

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 28 2011
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Artist: Xiescive (@)
Title: Vs
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
BOUNDLESS is done now ' here comes with XIESCIVE a new chapter in the long-year music career of Trevor 'Xon' Weeks. A new project-name, yes, but musically rather more a step back to the debut album of BOUNDLESS, 'Perpetual', released in 2002 on the Albuquerque-based label DSBP. XIESCIVE features rather more the European Dance-Industrial attitude quite related to those past days, but with a more of updated sounds and developed programming skills ' as far as these featured 5 tracks allow a valid judgement. Trevor writes under XIESCIVE songs for the will to entertain, and for the masses to dance. It can be noticed, that the content of his lyrics are seemingly more light-hearted and easier-minded, as it has been often different with BOUNDLESS. No longer too much intellectual and religion-inspired lyrics, tracks and their title names like 'Time To Die' or 'Sex, Drugs And Electro' may service perfect any cliche. But it generally seems, that Trevor now acts more optimistic ' he writes well-going tracks for the matter of writing tracks, nothing more, and the lyrics are just the required feature to add humanity into his compositions. This all doesn't mean, that XIESCIVE is a fun-project ' I still think he takes his 'job' quite serious. In all a good beginning with diverse sounding vocals, his still blessed synth programming skills, and, and, and. But... how is it about a full-length release?
In latest news it seems that Trevor could arrange a deal with the US-label Nilaihah Records - all the best with your new label, comrade!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (6440)
May 19 2011
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Title: Brand New Day
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
BRAND NEW DAY is the newest single by Satin Jackets. Released by Mullet Records, this digital release is one of the most house/soul sounding singles of the label and if I had to hazard an influence I'd try with a mix of Jamiroquai and Sade (thanks to the Linda Mathews vocals). Satin Jackets mix sensual 80s soul atmospheres with 4/4 pumping rhythm lines, a funky guitar and cool synth fat bass lines (here you can find along with the original version also the instrumental one). For my tastes this song is a bit too soul sounding and also Dato and Sare Havlicek remixes are based on similar sounds with rarefied atmospheres in the first case and funky guitar and slapped bass lines in the second one.

DANIELE SCARDANELLI : il buon senso spiegato al mio cane

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (6436)
May 19 2011
Title: il buon senso spiegato al mio cane
Format: CD
Label: Snowdonia (@)
Rated: *****
Another pop recordings on Snowdonia, this label started as a weird mix of pop attitude vs experimental itch and they gradually evolved from the concept even if basically the trajectory they're following is almost the same. An overall good release, honest in its simplicity, sometimes funny and quite ironical that here and there reminded me of Vinicio Capossela and some other funny italian singers. Daniele Scardanelli knows both how to write a song and how to sing, the result is easy to be listened and enjoyable, very well arranged and the recording is ok, sometimes the music is a bit too similar to those who inspired the author, but I repeat the result is quite honest be for that weird "out of tune" sensation there's all around. Some influences from the past have been incorporated in what sometimes sounds as a drunk/stoned vinyl going at the wrong speed and you will agree that's a result itself. I think this guy writing skill is good and he's some interesting qualities, everything has to be focused a little bit but the essence of the work is good. This probably one of those record I will suggest to somebody without humor, but as I've already said, humor has a big part in the history of this sicilian label.

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