Music Reviews



Dec 05 2009
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Artist: EX.DELICTO (@)
Title: Hostile
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line / Alter-X Promotion Project (@)
Rated: *****
Someone out there with an interest to listen , what the DENERGIZED-musician Case likes to produce, if he finds free time? Well, under EX.DELICTO the musically things tend to differ. Here and there you’ll recognize an idea, an already discovered sound, or maybe a compositional effort quite comparable to his better known project signed to Advoxya-Records. But generally this pure instrumental album differs with a lighter outfit. "Hostile" is mostly straight and danceable produced and celebrates matured programming skills by balancing well between Electropop and EBM. At some tracks I would wish to hear vocals, but nevertheless this release entertains on all 11 tunes. Tracks like "Crime Industry" and "New Rose Hotel" may reaches the nearest the fairway of DENERGIZED, while the calm title track with it’s light and catchy arrangements is the most recognized tune on here. What INTERMIX is for Bill Leeb, that seems to be EX.DELICTO for Case. Entertaining Electronica to consume without hesitation – another high quality release for the Russian Alter-X promotion group. Thumbs up also for the nice UFO-related cover artwork!

DIVINE MUZAK: Maison Skinny

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5477)
Dec 04 2009
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Artist: DIVINE MUZAK
Title: Maison Skinny
Format: CD
Label: Punch Records (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by Dan (who was active during the late 90s with the Archaos project) and Julie, Divine Muzak are releasing on Punch Records their second album titled MAISON SKINNY. The eleven tracks have a common theme: the body. On their promo sheet the duo wrote: "a body that dismisses love in the morning and tastes starvation at night, that releases liquids in party rooms and covers itself with silk, bruises and anguish". The titles don't reflect decaying concepts per se. We have: "Dreams Size Zero", "Looney Bunny", "Rockabilly Doom", "Love Bang Bang", "Little Baby Horse", "Give In To Me", "La Femme Inégale", "Vienna", "Red Twins", "July" and "Afterparty". On the musical side things change a lot as Dan and Julie show a wide range of influences. Their music basically can be filed under electro pop but if tracks like the opening "Dreams Size Zero" or the following "Looney bunny" and "Rockabilly doom" sound like an electronic version of Serge Gainsbourg (with also a similar sensual approach), "Love bang bang" and "Vienna" sound more electro (a la Soft Cell) and "Litte baby horse", as the great closing "After party", has an experimental semi industrial approach to sound. MAISON SKINNY is a multifaceted album that you'll appreciate a little more at each listening.

Rotersand: Random is Resistance

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5475)
Dec 03 2009
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Artist: Rotersand
Title: Random is Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Trisol Music Group GmbH
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Since the release of Rotersand’s debut album Truth is Fanatic’ their tracks are played constantly on every gothic/electro party in Europe. The German trio combines elements of trance, charismatic vocals, transparent melodies, some guitars are no taboo either, future pop and samples that bring some atmospheric touches to their tracks. The album deals with the issue of us willingly exposing personal data about our tastes, habits and preferences and so becoming controllable consumers. Only few resist this tendency. Why so few actually?
The opener of the album sounds just like the best tunes of Pink Floyd’s "Dark Side of the Moon" or "The Wall" and it totally fits the lyrics that raise the issue of surveillance and an all-knowing state which is rather Pink Floyd, too. The track’s title "Yes We Care" is a bitter parody in this context.
As expected the album offers quite a number of dance floor killers, i.e. "Bastards Screaming, "A Number and a Name", "War on Error" (already big in clubs) that deals with the issue of social Darvinism putting it in the modern digital and over-populated world, where all of us are men of glass which would allow the system to choose the "fittest" to guarantee the survival of the human race, the state or a nation. Creepy but not very unrealistic.
Also melodic tracks are vastly presented on the CD; "Waiting to be Born" with its VNV Nation atmosphere, "First Time" which is truly thoughtful, and "Gothic Paradise".
The 1st edition of "Ramdom is Resistance" comes in a form of an 8-panelled digipack with a thick booklet with quiet a number of dark graphic artwork that bears high artistic value.
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Artist: PERFECT VACUUM
Title: A guide to the music of 21th Century
Format: CD
Label: Acidsoxx Musicks (@)
Big Boys had a song titled "fun fun fun", this band instead is mostly based on fun without using a song title, it's quite explicit from the band pics and both for the music. Somehow this music has reminiscences of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, but that comparison would end being just too reductive. The ironic element is really present in the concept as you can judge both by the layout and from the music but I think I've to underline despite the ironic approach of the songs and the production are not superficial at all. Ok, honestly that's not exactly my cup of tea but I've to recognize most of the tracks present and interesting amount of bizarre elements and while there's some unconventional ironic taste that links most of the tracks they change considerably style here and there. Odd, funny but at the same time we're still dealing with an unconventional recording. Sometimes you may think they probably put together most of the tracks whole they where drunk but the result is overall good so thumbs up to whatever they took to put together such a goofy-spacey release. How can you comment music like this, it's out of time, of space and shows the musician skill of these guys is great but at the same time it makes you think these people has escaped from some sort of madhouse.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Dark Past 02 – The Politics of Detroit
Format: CD
Label: Dark Past (@)
Rated: *****
A quite surprising comeback for this Chicago-based small label now releasing their second compilation. Dark Past stands mostly for the lighter side of Electro/Industrial music and offers in the first instance space for Future- and Electropop-genres. The line-up of this new CD compilation includes already discovered names like PULSE STATE, the label head himself, active under his very own name, TED CIKOWSKI, or the raw SOFTCORE, this time side by side with the COP-recording female artist CHIASM ("Soulprint"). PULSE STATE opens this compilation with the track "Escaping The Unknown" in a known kind with clear arrangements, easy-to-follow synth and drum patterns and a satisfying vocal performance. This act still counts to be an insider tip, but maybe with more satisfying tracks like this one, and especially with the winning remix for INFORMATIK, this project will start now into a brighter future? Label chief TED CIKOWSKI has received two free slots on this new compilation, his music is more raw compared with PULSE STATE, but to me it still lacks of a clearer production, especially on the vocals. Better constituted seems to be the second track "Pegasys" with a better synth play. I also would like to spend applause to D:KONSTRUCT for their track "Calling Out Your Name" for being a quite satisfying Futurepop-track in vein of PRIDE AND FALL, but the second track "This Regret" alters the first good impression, since the support of guitar riff sounds rather disturbing here. SOFTCORE don’t offer anything for the laughs, they rather try to reach a slot in the Guinness Book of records, because of their multiple usage of the evil "F..."-word in their track "Kick In The Face". The music is an angry bawling and filled with guitars, just like the lyrics performance would require it. Good to see/hear, that they’ve decided to include an instrumental tune for their second slot. Finally I would praise the marvelous done track "Pray" by FIREWERK, which reanimates the old Coldwave tradition of acts like the early 16 VOLT or SISTER MACHINE GUN. All bands are hailing out of the Chicago area, so to collect them and to offer them a CD compilation especially to reach the local scene makes sense. I have doubts that the content of this compilation has seriously anything to do with the local politics, but however, this second issue generally rivals with the quality and content of the first compilation.

Tracklist -

1 Pulse State - Escaping the Unknown
2 Ted Cikowski - Equestriani
3 d:Konstruct - Calling Out Your Name
4 Chiasm - Soulprint
5 Softcore - Kick in the Face
6 Der Nistler - Star Trippin
7 d:Konstrukt - This Regret
8 Ted Cikowski - Pegasys
9 Softcore - Dying Trying
10 Firewerk - Pray


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