Music Reviews



Final Selection: Clockworks

 Posted by Marc Tater   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 22 2009
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Artist: Final Selection (@)
Title: Clockworks
Format: CD
Label: Flashpop Media (@)
Rated: *****
Our readers watch carefully the review and interview activities on our site, so most of you out there surely know, that this German Electropop-duo has always been featured intensively here. In the last 3 years it has becoming a bit silent around Riccardo Schult and Mario Tews, just after the release of their second full-length album "Meridian" on the now closed Polish label Black Flames. "Meridian" was a top-notch album with an extremely valuable cover art design and also the taste- and skillful arranged Synthpop music of this duo stands every comparison and sets standards. It may has to do a lot, that "Meridian" came out to a time, where the end and bankrupt of the Black Flames label seemed to be unstoppable. However, "thanks" to an extremely limited promotion caused out of the labels’ end, "Meridian" went completely down under the radar of the fans, what a pity, if you watch and listen to this masterpiece. Now back and signed to the relatively new label FlashPop Media label, the band finds back to the old strength. "Clockworks" can easily be taken as a reference, how modern Synthpop music has to sound, which doesn’t fall into stupid plastic Popmusic redundancy. Already the opener "Clockworks" attracts the listener to keep on fully attention with its thick layer programming and the spacey ambience impact, which seems to be the trademark in all of the works of the band. Riccardo and Mario know pretty well that they have their best moments with rather mid-tempo tunes, even danceable constructed, "Nemo" and "My Life" are sort of their strongest compositions ever. Having entered successfully the GEWC-charts with a digital-only Single release "Red Line", also this masterpiece can’t be missed here. As for dancefloor-compatibility, "Two Islands" should work extremely well. Last, but not least, also some dreamy and sentimental moments are given with "Skindeep", which really lets the listener drift away. FINAL SELECTION provide the best moments Synthpop music is able to offer and impresses with intelligent sound design. A highly recommended album not to be missed!
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Artist: Trümmerfrau (@)
Title: Música Mottekki
Format: CD
Label: Flashpop Media (@)
Rated: *****
Actually this TRÜMMERFRAU is a man consisting of the young German Electro-/Industrial musician Jan Pawelczyk. I should admit that my expectations on the quality and the seriousness of his work got limited after checking his cover art. They seriously went down to below than zero, because I never heard of a musician giving out a self-reflection and a review of the things happened in the composition process describing the how, when and were of the creation of each song. Funny for the most part to read, but also witness of how simple the creation with laptop and sequencer program can be. Well, without any expectations on this release I must admit, that some or another FX programming seriously caught attention. Musically somehow comparable with a comedian version of STRAFTANZ, Jan shares a lot of the up-to-date available club sound with a similar composing formula. The try to imitate some old-school veterans with some "Wir sind die Deutschen" revolution-like lyrics in "Fidel Castro Its Nicht" are those better moments with a sense of humor in mind. Great idea also to integrate some chirping harp-like sounds in the well-constructed Synthpop-tune "Alone Against The Tide", another highlight to point out. On the hand, Jan seems too often "influenced" by his both better-looking cheerleaders responsible for some live support, or how can a tune like "Gimme All Ya Juice, Baby" any else rated? Also the creation of Frauke, the hammering woman on the front cover, documented with a dedication track "My Love Is Noisy" counts rather to his more weird ideas. To each one its own style, I can recommend this album for anyone interested in some good club fodder – but too many acts are overfilling this style already. The music generally lacks of more surprises, so let’s hope that Jan can score even more with his sense of humor.

EMPIRE STATE HUMAN: Audio Gothic

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 22 2009
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Audio Gothic
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Rated: *****
Four years after their latest studio album "Cycles" released by Kiss My Asterix Records, Empire State Human are back on Ninthwave Records (they already released two albums for Ninthwave in the meantime but they were two compilations available only as download) with their strongest album to date: AUDIO GOTHIC. Behind such a particular title (I'll ask to Aidan why they picked up this one on my forthcoming interview to the band), the album shows a sparkling sound performed by a band in a great shape that found a balance with electronic instruments/funky guitars and upbeat rhythms/ballads. With a great sound production worthy of a major release the album has ten songs that will stick into your head. I had previously checked "Audio Gothic" and "Melancholic afro" (songs that features Wolfgang Flur of Kraftwerk/Yamo fame) and I already knew that this album had a great potential. Now, listening to the whole track list, I'm damn sure that AUDIO GOTHIC is worth a world wide success because, first of all, after ten years of hard working Empire State Human deserve it, then because you should be deaf if you won't recognize a great pop sensibility coupled to a good songwriting. Do you want a dancey attitude? Great melodies? Good sounds and top notch production? Well, you can't go wrong... this record has them all!

CROSSOVER: Space Death

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 16 2009
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Artist: CROSSOVER
Title: Space Death
Format: CD
Label: Punch Records (@)
Rated: *****
The fact that Punch Records was changing was already evident with their latest compilation I reviewed here few months ago. Crossover's new album SPACE DEATH is the first full length release after that compilation and now we can see that Tairy definitely focused his attention on electronic music (but nothing is definitive and even if the next label's release will be a new 12" by ex Ersatz Audio's Magas, you can never tell what's next with Punch Records). Anyway... Let's talk about Crossover now. The duo is active since early 00's and released two albums on Gigolo Records (their second one "Cryptic and Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off into Oblivion" has been released in 2005). Their music could be superficially filed under electro and even if in the past they have been invited to fashion events their music has more than one disturbing/disturbed elements. Calling their style "gloom" music, Crossover on SPACE DEATH delivered ten songs in balance from electro with minimal arrangements and dancey attitude and something with a sort of theatrical approach (see for example the closing "Caveman To Spaceman" which musically seems a jazzy weird version of the opening "Black Mess" or the semi Devo like craziness of "Computer Simulated Mountains"). The lyrics have been written on a summer in the Arizona desert and someway also the music have that sort of acid approach. Check five tracks at the Punch Records' release page.

HUMINOIDA: Other Side

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 30 2009
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Artist: HUMINOIDA (@)
Title: Other Side
Format: 7"
Label: Plastic Passion (@)
Rated: *****
Duo formed by Neuroactive's ex vocalist and This Empty Flow's bass player (and also owner of the Plastic Passion label), Huminoida released their first 7" in 2007 (it was a one side single with a manually etched artwork on b-side containing "Self titled", an interesting instrumental dark track balanced from industrial ambient and synth electronica) and now they're releasing their second one titled OTHER SIDE. The new single is printed in a clear vinyl 300 copies run and it shows a different side of the Huminoida sound: the title tracks is a cool tune influenced by synth electronic bands of the 80's such as Soft Cell (see the vocal melodies) and Fad Gadget (the music has a minimal approach with catchy melodies). "The other" is on the b-side and as the band's first single it is a minimal retro electronic instrumental tune. This 7" costs only 5 euros P+P included if you live in Europe and 8 for the rest of the world and if you like the genre it's a must! Check the three tracks of both singles on their myspace page...


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