Music Reviews

Degada Saf: No Inzro

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 28 2010
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Artist: Degada Saf
Title: No Inzro
Format: CD
Label: Mannequin (@)
Rated: *****
First production of the Rockgarage label and produced back in 1984, NO INZRO has been the first and only album released by Degada Saf on the last century (as you may know because of my review and my interview, they released a great new comeback album the last year), album that now is reissued by one of the most active Italian labels, Mannequin. Inspired by the dada movement, the band wrote lyrics using "phonemes and puns on words from different languages", as Fausto told us in our interview. The eight songs you can find on the album are amazing because of their mix of new wave/no wave melodies along with synth sounds inventive solutions. Using Simmons pads as well as different drum machines, guitars and keyboards, they created a wide palette of atmospheres. Tracks like "Loda loda", "Om" or the main tune, are almost industrial wave because of their saturated sounds and for the will of experimenting with sounds ("No inzro", for example is a nightmarish atmospheric electronic piece which step by step becomes more obsessive and dark). The opening "La rhumba de Shang Hai", "Tri banal" or "Zom Africa", instead, incarnate the pop soul of the band where Fausto's deep vocals are well backed by never predictable melodies. I think that for these reasons Giusto Pio (Franco Battiato long time collaborator) accepted to produce the single they released a couple of years later. Do yourself a favor and if you have the money to purchase only a CD this month, check this one first!

Spruke: Infektipede EP

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 25 2010
Artist: Spruke (@)
Title: Infektipede EP
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Spruke is Bill Boulden from Buffalo, NY. Hey, that's not all that far away. Nice to get something from New York State artists now and then. Bill's DIY project is obviously geared for the dancefloor with big-beat synthpop leanings. The title track might be a bit spazzy for club play, but it's certainly catchy. Nicely processed vocals too. 'Wir Konnen Nicht Deutsch' remedies the dance beat situation and adds a bit of satire lyrically concerning Teutonic Industrial music. 'Eight Above or Twenty Below' is a very cool synthpop gem with vocoder enhanced vocal. A bit more production work and it could have monster hit potential. 'Motorcade' (featuring Digital Geist with the F-16 Remix) has a compelling club techno beat and choppy processed vocals. Sounds kind of future-poppy with an old skool vibe. Very infectious dancefloor fodder. Digital Geist's remix of 'Infektipede' is more straight ahead and upbeat than the original, definitely geared for the dancefloor. At 9:28 it's also the longest track on the EP. Since the bass has changed along with the rhythmic momentum, it bears little similarity to the original except for touches here and there. My problem with remixes (and if you read my reviews with any regularity, you know how I usually loathe them) is that you can take nearly any piece of music and turn it into something else, and it usually isn't better. Such is the case with this one. Except for the odd sample here and there, this isn't even the same song. It's just another club groove. Why even bother?

Still, there is enough on this EP that shows promise. It is interesting to hear an artist (this is only Boulden's Spruke project's sophomore release even though he's been at it ten years) honing his craft and working through ideas to establish an identity. Few artists have risen overnight to create sonic masterpieces. It merits checking out and keeping an eye on. That goes double for DJs. I think Spruke needs to focus on a theme or concept and run with it. The talent is there. What follows next could be really interesting. I believe the EP is available on iTunes.

Poésie Noire: Sence of Purpose

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 24 2010
Artist: Poésie Noire
Title: Sence of Purpose
Format: CD
Label: Body Electric
Distributor: CNR Records NV
Poésie Noire was founded so long ago, not even its press release can tell the year for sure. The best it can do is dating the foundation to the early 80s. To the influences of black poetry belong Front 242 and Neon Judgement, but also pop artists such as Paul Haig and Fad Gadget. Soon enough the trio has obtained a small but loyal fan base. This is supposedly one of the most discussed Belgian acts according to Oor magazine.
Their sound can be best labeled as Electropop. Marianne voice will mesmerize you ' clean and feminine. The lyrics are so to say real life lyrics. They criticize the current state of the art in terms of norms and opinions in today's European society; they are dark, not very jolly and share honestly personal experiences.
The album has quite a number of songs that could be enjoyed while driving or in the club. To my personal faves belong 'Eurika', 'Dream One', melodic 'Uncertain Smile', somewhat Roxette-like 'The Radio Plays' and sung in German 'Die Sonne' (no, it is not a Rammstein cover).
'Sence of Purpose' is a totally pleasant album to listen to.

Tesla Boy: Liberating Soul

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 22 2010
Artist: Tesla Boy
Title: Liberating Soul
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Rated: *****
After few months after the release of their album "Modern Thrills", here's again Tesla Boy rocking your stereo system with a new EP of remixes. This time the Mullet's roster members have been called to remix LIBERATING SOUL and Tad Willy, Estate and FM Attack gladly replied. The EP contains five tunes: the first one is a "Radio edit" of the tune which let us remember how cool it was the original version. Estate are the first to work on it and they gave to the track a new melodic line keeping only the vocals and it sounds so fresh. They used their characteristic staccato keyboard style with cool moog like solos. Tad Willy remixed the track twice, giving to the audience a dance spacey remix with warm atmospheres and a dub remix which dilate the sound, opening it up with funky bass line, warm synth pads, tiny long leads, echoes and reverbs. The release is closed by FM Attack. They focused their remix on the warm pads and new wave clean guitars. Really nice release which is confirming once again Tesla Boy as one of the best pop wave act of the period. Exclusively available here

Alpha Point: High Like The Angels

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 21 2010
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Artist: Alpha Point (@)
Title: High Like The Angels
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Synthematik (@)
Rated: *****
This new EP of Moldavia's 'Rocking Futurepop project' ALPHA POINT acts a bit like a twin release to their first, also on Synthematik released EP 'Alive'. Two new and original tracks and the usual addition of 3 remix contributions on the title track by Mr. ALPHA 'Rush' POINT himself (Relaxed Mix), the label colleagues of [systemshock] (Devildance Mix) and from PERSONAL SPACE (Cuttin' Wings Mix). Mr Rush offers again his successful formula of Futurepop-inspired Electronic sounds, combined with gritty guitar riffs. He does this well sounding, but also relatively expected and without thrilling musically experiments. Compared to the powerful and with mighty guitars supported b-side tune 'God's Anger', I tend to rate the title track as being the better one, since it leaves a bit more room to take a deep breathe and it offers a bit more relaxing and catchy arrangements. While I'm not too impressed with the relatively uninspired Techno-/Trance-Electronica sound in use at the remix of [systemshock], and at Mr. Rush's own re-interpretation, I tend to declare the work of PERSONAL SPACE as being the discovery of this EP. May someone calls that remix a strong dedication to Alternative/Pop-related genres much based in a well-known British MODE-style - I call that a surprising good performance of the 'how-to-produce-an-authentic-sounding-remix' schoolbook, which explores a relatively different sound-environment compared to the original composing artist. Quality stuff of course, but the most remarkable surprise has been produced by a remixing artist ' strange, unexpected, but true!

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