Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Synthematika One

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 29 2010
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Synthematika One
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Synthematik (@)
Rated: *****
Netlabels come and go, and even, if I tend to repeat this phrase over and over again, this new Russian based label has some remarkable stuff available in the roster. To start with a compilation of 31 participants is surely a nice initiative, but besides this, this compilation offers a fine overview of the current Russian, and a lot out of the ex-Russian federation states, accommodated underground scene. In between you'll get also some international guests, projects like PROJECT ROTTEN, SUPERVILLAIN (both out of Sweden), California's CYSTEM CEX, or the relatively known Argentinean project LASTRAX, as they all could enter a free slot on this uprising compilation. If you would decide to burn this compilation as audio, you would receive a remarkable 2CD collection, which strictly separates between the rather calm and melodic Synthpop-driven part on CD1, and the harsh and EBM/Industrial- formulating CD2. As to write on all participants would hurt my fingers, as well as the review would turn out too huge, I prefer to name the few outstanding tunes. Part/CD 1 starts with ALPHA POINT and their track 'Things I Do' ' to me the very first act I could discover originally hailing out of Moldavia. It seems that this act has listened and understood the kind how MESH would produce a quality song ' as this project reaches nearly a comparable quality! Russian quintet MEZZAMO we had on here with their latest release and 'Without You' proves their catchy abilities once again. The surprise of this imaginary CD 1 has to be named with RU.ARE, a to me undiscovered Russian talent with a track called 'Halo' ' catchy refrain with smooth male vocals providing convincing English lyrics, all placed in a well-done composition under tasteful arranged synth patterns ' well, this seems to be a must-to-check-them-out soon. Generally nothing bad got featured on this first part, but also the second part of this remarkable compilation buries out some fine talents. We've reached the harder and more EBM-driven part of this compilation, and most likely those bands turning a bit away from the mass-consumed, repetitive Hellectro-rush can reach the best results. That of course doesn't mean, you'd find only dumb and horrific bad contributors out of the Hellectro boot-camp ' not at all, just check CYSTEM CEX and the Belarusian talent DIVERSAND 13 for example ' but if bands try to figure out a somewhat own and authentic sounding stuff, I'll normally go for them. Moscow's SPIN PROVIDER have been quite often invited guests, when it comes to review another Eastern European-based efforts. Their rhythmically well arranged tune sets a first standard. Finest Dark Electro rather following a classic, DECODED FEEDBACK-related sound outfit, you'll get presented by DREAMER IX, a Russian project, which could recently release a debut album via the Hungarian Advoxya label. Although I know, that our online system may does not print the Cyrillic letters in a comfortable manner; I'll give it once again a try (and sorry, if I wouldn't be able to figure out a possible English translation'¦). A lot of new names and talents to discover, so download this one (it is free), and you'll surely find some pearls to keep an eye on. Congratulations also to the responsible people behind the Synthematik netlabel for bringing out a promising overview on the Eastern European and mostly Russian-related Electro/Industrial scene.

01Alpha Point - Things I Do
02СпекÑÑÑм - ÐÑÑÑÑ ÐÑÐ´ÐµÑ Ð¢Ð°Ðº (Revisited)
03Supervillain - Heroes
04Systema Synthetica - Tower
05Ecstatic Mood - Face The Facts
06LastraX - Big City Lights (Synthematika Edit)
07Fashion Suicide - A Guiding Light
08RU.ARE - Halo
09Kosmodromm - ÐÑÑÑой ÐоÑод (1.0 Version)
10Mezzamo - Without You
11ЭлекÑÑонное Ðблако - ÐеÑÑаÑÐµÐ»Ñ (Reworked)
12SynthetiXXX - Un Jour Que J'attends
13Technomancer - Emulator (Synthematika Edit)
14Ladder, The - 3rd Sin
15Carved Souls - Waveform (Extended Mix)

16Alien2064 - 20-07-69
17Infektline - Dance All Night Away
18Project Rotten - Confessions Of A Killer (Reworked & Remastered)
19Cystem Cex - Homicide
20De:Source - Wake And Scream
21Hypno[Revil] - Letzte Wache
22Zweifelhaft - Reborn (Synthematika Edit)
23Spin Provider - УÑÑо (Synthematika Edit)
24Whitar - New World
25Nexothex - Cellar D00r
26Dreamer IX - Only You
27Diversant:13 - No Fear
28Delithium - Going To War
29Sturmreaktor - Fallout
30T_error 404 - Passed World
31Ginger Snap5 - Synthema Song

TESLA BOY: Thinking Of You

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 19 2010
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Artist: TESLA BOY
Title: Thinking Of You
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Russia, Tesla Boy are a band that is able to compose the finest dance pop wave around. Being heavily influenced by 80's dance music (which was still carrying the echoes of the late seventies funk music) Tesla Boy mix past and present into an energetic formula that you have to check to believe my words (their debut album has been just released by Mullet Records on CD and that is the label's first release to gain that format). Coming from "Modern thrills", THINKING OF YOU is here presented into four different versions: we have the "Radio edit" (it lasts four minutes instead of the seven of the album version) where the Russian trio mix a bouncing bass line along with catchy synth spatial leads and heavy drum beats. All this to support the great vocal melodies of Anton Sevidov (try to imagine a male Donna Summer meeting Simon Le Bon). Along with the original edit we have three mixes: Casio Social Club (the project of Mullet Records' boss Justin Winks) kept the original flavor but doubling bass line and drum rhythms and switching real drums with a blasting bass drum/snare drum 4/4 and bass guitar with a fat synth bass. Perfect to start the dances... Baxter kept the spatial sounds and the bass line upfront, making a great dance tune with the song's structure intact. Mam, made of it a funky electro song that is able to compete with Daft Punk but he played a little more with stops and go and repetitions. We have only one song but each version is a valuable one... Check it at Juno, iTunes, etc.

INFORMER: Black Propaganda

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 17 2010
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Artist: INFORMER
Title: Black Propaganda
Format: CD
Label: Pale Music
Rated: *****
Originally formed in Los Angeles in 2007, Informer are a trio consisting of longtime friends Johanna Sadonis (vocals and also a member of Berlin's Potok), Rayshele Teige ( vocals and bass) and Ashburn Miller (programming and guitars). When Johanna moved back to Berlin in 2008 they didn't split and decided to work at distance to this album due to the popular demand by DJs and Clubs in Los Angeles and Berlin. BLACK PROPAGANDA has eleven tracks that sound like a blend of post punk ("Crimes" recall me melodically early Siouxsie & The Banshees and "Not a game" a bit Blondie), electro and 80s dark wave. The band mix energetic guitar riffs, synth sweeps, electro minimalism (like on "Murder", which sounds good for the reformed Soft Cell) and spy atmospheres. Songs like "Mods boys", "Electric" and "Wires" are instant alternative dance floor killers but the whole album reserve more than a surprise thanks to a well balanced tracklisting. Offer your neck to Informer's black gloves...

SOLVENT: Subject To Shift

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 15 2010
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Artist: SOLVENT
Title: Subject To Shift
Format: CD
Label: Ghostly International
Rated: *****
Six years after his latest studio album "Apples and synthesizers", Jason Amm is back with a new one titled SUBJECT TO SHIFT. Released always on Ghostly, it is available on digital format, CD and double LP (on this you won't find the short opening "Elevator up" and "Unknown caller" plus "Don't forget to phone" have been replaced by "Echo on your voice", and "Red and metal"). This new album finds Solvent in a perfect shape and ready to please lovers of analog synth sounds. The tracklist of CD edition (the one I'm reviewing) is well balanced and it has eleven songs: we pass from the upbeat dance rhythms of "Formulate" (check its acid TR-303 sounds) and "No one should be living here" (it has distorted drum beats, dark atmospheres and cool fragmented vocal samples) to suspended in time instrumentals "Elevator up", "A product of the process", "Unknown caller", "Life size image" and "Panoramic" passing through menacing mid tempos ("Take me home" has slowed down vocals which create a great atmosphere with the windy grinding synth sound and the minimal drum machine beats) and great upbeat synthpop songs (some of them with clean vocals) like "Caught a glimpse", the great dreamy pop of the single "Loss for words" and "Don't forget to phone". I think that SUBJECT TO SHIFT is the best Solvent album to date as it has many different atmospheres and is able to switch from synthpop upbeat songs to mid tempo instrumentals carrying the listeners through a pleasant trip, making them wanting to take another ride.

TRIKE: Trike And The Vikings

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 13 2010
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Artist: TRIKE
Title: Trike And The Vikings
Format: CD
Label: Cheap Satanism (@)
Rated: *****
After three self made album, the Canadian synth extravaganza duo Trike are landing for their new album, on the Belgian label Cheap Satanism. They won $20,000 on Canadian television/radio competition 'The Gong Show', landing a Yamaha Equipment Sponsorship, performing over 200 shows in Europe and had their 'The New Album' reach number 6 on Canadian Kootenay radio and that's quite something. The fourteen songs of their first studio album are in balance between joyous synthpop and acoustic guitarism with tons of 80s influences which goes to The Specials (check the blow section of the opening "Player in love"), the B-52s or English indie pop labels like Postcard Records or Sarah Records. Their music reflects their approach to life as to me they seem to be free from any boundaries, so if "The trikey" sounds dancey, "Smack me around" could be perfect for Franz Ferdinand (so at least they would do something good after their debut album) and "Politics of love" sounds good as a melancholic Blur tune. At first TRIKE AND THE VIKINGS sounded like a joke to me but after a couple of spins I realized that Trike are playing but in a deadly serious way. Check their video for "my little pony", it made my day...


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