Music Reviews

Baxter: In Between Remixed

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 07 2010
Artist: Baxter
Title: In Between Remixed
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Rated: *****
Released in November 2009, "In between" is the debut album by Baxter. It was released by Mullet Records and you know that Justin loves remixes, so it was the right moment to release an E.P. with reworked versions of tracks coming from that release. On IN BETWEEN REMIXED we have seven songs remixed by artists coming from the label's roster which give their personal touch to the original tunes. Tad Willy is the first and he took "Somewhere Else" and enhanced its electro funky spirit with 4/4 beats, syncopated bass lines and cool synth bouncing leads. Justin/Casio Social Club, picked up "Going Soon" and focused the remix on 4/4 dancey rhythms and electrofunk bass lines and synth chords. Sare Havlicek is next with "Approval" and it sounds dance, smooth and perfect for an 80s party. Estate remixed the main track and made of it a new wave pop tune, as it was an A Flock Of Seagulls hit. Chaz Bronz focused his remix of "Insider" on lounge atmospheres in balance from house and electro. ODahl remixed "Overlap" and now it sounds dance, pop and bouncy. Nuvo Rich closes the release with "Sleeping In The Green World", a song in balace from 70s electronica and 80s disco. If funkadelic electro dance is your thing, this release will warm your dancefloor.

VV.AA.: Elaste Vol 3 - Super Motion Disco

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 06 2010
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Elaste Vol 3 - Super Motion Disco
Format: CD
Label: Compost
Rated: *****
Dompteur Mooner did it again! Three years after the latest chapter of the ELASTE series he found some other gems of cosmic disco influenced by pop and funk. He found some Italian mix-tapes from the early 1980s (especially those recorded by Beppe Loda and Daniele Baldelli) and packed the album with fourteen tracks that finally would make us proud to be Italian because at that time italo disco ruled the dance floors (at least we found something to be proud of even if unfortunately we always have to refer to our past). The album opens with the funky disco of Queen Samantha's "Take A Chance" (Dompteur Mooner Edit) just to give us the first surprise with Eddy Trauba & M M Greco "Maccaroni Radio', an upbeat tune that recalled me the early new wave electronic of Alexander Robotnick stuff mixed with dance. Moebius with "Urth' mix spacey sounds with funky bass lines while the following Riccardo Cioni & D.J.F.T. Band bring "Fog', a track perfect for a John Carpenter movie (and you know for sure that he did a movie titled "The fog"). Tracks like this influenced Steve Moore, Antoni Maiovvi and Gatekeeper (people that I suggest you to check). Pop wave is back with Nacht Und Nebel's "Beats Of Love" and it gets a bit more experimental with Tabu's "Allein", a song perfect for Lene Lovich. Great electronic sounds are in with Conrad Und Gregor Schnitzler "The Shark Eats Ice" (Conrad and his son Gregor recorded also an album together titled "Conrad & Sohn" and Gregor collaborated to different records of his dad). Mythos' "Powerslide", take us to the center of space disco with moog sweeps and 70s guitar solos, while Pollyester with "Beuys Boys" with slapped bass guitar and choruses bring us back to memories of 70s disco but adding to it some boost. The Deep Fix with "Time Centre" are here with a robotic song based on organ layers overlaps and filtered drum sounds. Die Gesunden's "Galaxy" mix synth sweeps and upfront delirious vocal performances (a sort of disco wave version of Johnny Rotten). Phantom Band "Neon Man' (Dompteur Mooner Edit) bring back space disco sounds mixed with new wave guitars where a recitative voice guide you through the mysterious atmosphere of the "Neon man with the moonlight tan". The Pool with "Jamaica Running" mix tribal rhythms and basic monophonic synth lines while Key Of Dreams remix Toto's "Africa" giving to it vocoder robotic vocals keeping its characteristic keyboard chords. It sounds like a stripped to the bone version of it with proper singing vocals on its later part. This is it... and if you didn't already checked this serie, I suggest you to do so immediately!

Binalog Freq: Funk Mechanic

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 01 2010
Artist: Binalog Freq
Title: Funk Mechanic
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Distributor: Juno
Rated: *****
Coming from Athens, Greece, Evangelos Zacharopoulos is the man behind Binalog Freq and the Binalog Productions label. In two years of activity he already produced two albums and fifteen singles/EP with his own moniker and his label already hit fifty five releases! Covering a wide array of electronic music which spans from techno, electro, idm to electro funk, Binalog Productions is releasing the latest single by Binalog Freq titled FUNK MECHANIC. The single contains two different versions of the main track ("Original" and "Hard & soft synth dub") and a remix reworked by R21 (the "Man machine remix"). The original tune is an instrumental upbeat tempo with 80s industrial/ebm influences (check the hard rhythms) and electro funk bass/lead lines which finds an even more industrial robotic rhythmic section (mitigated by soft ambient pads) into the "Hard & soft synth dub". R21, instead, revisited the tune giving to it an analog electro flavor with 4/4 syncopated rhythms, bouncing bass lines and spacey pads. Nice... P.s. Exclusively available at Juno, here

Kim Ki O: Dans

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 22 2010
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Artist: Kim Ki O
Title: Dans
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
We already had the chance to check the female duo Kim Ki O (which means "who is that anyway?" in Turkish) on the "Radio Resistencia" CD compilation but DANS is a good way to get deeper into their sound. Ekin Sanaç (synths, keys, vocals, beats) and Berna Göl (bass, vocals, beats) for their official debut packed six tracks sung in Turkish which sound in balance from melancholic and cold atmospheres. Synth sounds along with a pulsating bass guitar usually are the core structure of the song where basic drum beats and dreamy vocals paint the emotions of two girls which are living into and Middle Eastern metropolis. Tracks like the instrumental opening "27.01 Berlin" and the following "Herkes evine" are pop but also hypnotic and it's like listening to New Order playing melancholic minimal wave into a bedroom.

Transparent Illusion: Still Human

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 14 2010
Artist: Transparent Illusion
Title: Still Human
Format: CD
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
This release reissues a collector gem which took to Jochen Lange, more than two years of hard researches to be able to track down the mysterious Roy Young. This guy, one day in 1980 entered the Octopus Studios with a Korg MS10 monophonic synth and a drum machine to give form to his visions about those times: Margaret Thatcher and police repression were the main influences and the big brother didn't wait 1984 to be alive and kicking. Guy, helped by studio's engineer Dave Hoser, recorded twelve tracks that he released on an album (and two of them also on a following 7") for his own label Vex Records. Few copies circulated and after that Transparent Illusion and STILL HUMAN became almost a legend. Anna Logue Records proudly reissue those recordings adding two demo versions of "Concepts" and "Vortex" and people can choose from CD format and clear, black or orange vinyl (this edition along with the sticker and the postcard has also a DIN A2 poster). Now, that we can listen to the music we can tell if this was really a gem and I can say that... yes it is. On Roy's songs you can hear the passion and the disillusion of a young guy who, inspired by punk and by the first electronic bands (sometimes I hear echoes of Tubeway Army/Gary Numan), decided to record those songs even if he could use only a synth and a drum machine. I don't know if that was a stylistic choice but I doubt that. Using Dave Hoser studio skills into multi track recording and into synth programming (MS10 as far as I know has no midi), Transparent Illusion delivered to history minimal electronic pop songs which sound nervous and futuristic, where a young guy sung lyrics like: "Someone stood behind me / I could feel their mind inside me / They are always searching / They love to see me burning".

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