Music Reviews

Informatik: Come Together

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 28 2009
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Artist: Informatik (@)
Title: Come Together
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Industrial Music
Rated: *****
With a 5-track Download-only release, the prominent US duo INFORMATIK adds another chapter to their ongoing successful story of the furious past year. All good things started with their last years’ album "Beyond". Never before Tyler Newman and Da5id Din could earn so much recognition for their new celebrated musically direction, to combine the always high-skilled synth-driven Electropop-sound of Da5id with the rather Rock-/ Alternative-oriented acoustic efforts of Tyler (BATTERY CAGE). A self-organized remix contest has received international attention, the two winning contributors will make it on their upcoming new album "Arena", while the further rest out of this contest can be still downloaded directly from the INFORMATIK-website. "Come Together" is the appetizer for the new album, a rather straight and quite college radio-compatible track, which follows the newly discovered style of "Beyond". Asides the "Radio Mix", this track is available in 2 further different remixed versions, the "Clubmix T" (Tyler) and the "Clubmix D" (Da5id) – both attractive enough produced to share some floor action. You should also lay your focus of interest on the both additional tracks, because you’ll get rewarded with an intense remix on the ballad "Don’t Be Afraid", one of the outstanding tracks of "Beyond" – the rather Goth/Dark Electro-oriented audience will fall in love with this moody reinterpretation. But also "Bottom Feeder" is much better than someone might expect from a b-side and impresses with ist cold synth pads, the attacking guitar-riffs and the deep blurring bass-lines. "Come Together" is an attractive teaser release, which promises a lot for the new album.

In Strict Confidence: My Despair

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 22 2009
Artist: In Strict Confidence
Title: My Despair
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Minuswelt
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
It’s been a while since we heard from ISC for the last time. The most recent release "Exile Paradise" is dated as early as 2006, but with "My Despair" the creative pause has come to its end. The new EP is the forerunner of the forthcoming album to come out in 2010.
There are several versions of the title track (club mix, extended version, slow dive and a Sono remix). Furthermore, there are two additional original tracks: "Feeling" and "Constant Flow". I do not know whether they will be featured on the next full-length album. And there is something for the eyes too; a video of "My Despair", also available in an iPhone format). Now, what’s the story with the leather tank crew or old fashioned pilot hat?.. Seven tracks + a video for a price of one MCD.
There is a new front lady Nina de Lianin convincingly performing on "Feeling". No doubt her style perfectly suits ISC’s style.
Long story short, the musical style of ISC has not really changes. This is an updated version of ISC and this is no reason for despair, but to expect a true quality product next year from Dennis and the co.
Artist: Jennifer Choi (@)
Title: Violectrica (Music for Violin and Electronics)
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****

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Jennifer Choi is one of the most active and talented violinists in both New York's classical and downtown music scene. Her style is adventurous and grounded at the same time and her knowledge and understanding of the music and of the instrument position her as one of the leading virtuoso violinists on the scene, but also as one of the most open minded and daring players out there. She has played in countless places and on numerous records by improvised and classical music composers and luminaries such as Susie Ibarra, John Zorn (check her out in Zorn's latest master[card-]piece "Femina") and many others... Her latest work is a solo CD featuring interpretations of pieces by Alexandra Gardener, Randall Woolf, Padma Newsome, Susie Ibarra, Annie Gosfield and Ikue Mori, who also appears on the record as a guest and with whom Jennifer recorded three improvisations. As you might except from the sub-title, there is plenty of electronics (from ambient textures, to industrial-ish sounds, from soundscapes and layers to glitches and buzzes, from field-type background noises to sampled material). Her eclectic playing complements such eccentricity with passion and innovation, moving well beyond the standard bowing and the pizzicatos and experimenting with a whole new slew of sounds and noises that the instrument is capable of generating when in her hands. Highly recommended to those who want to hear some masterfully executed solo violin pieces but who aren't afraid to find out that there might be more than just violin after all.

Mesh: A Perfect Solution

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 16 2009
Artist: Mesh
Title: A Perfect Solution
Format: CD
Label: Dependent
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
Everybody who thinks that synthpop is all about perky prancing on the dance floor is given a chance by Mesh to reconsider their opinions. The album is telling a story of two people that formerly loved each other while now they just live together. It is redundant to explain that the album is oozing with pain. Every song copes with the topic from a different angle. And, honestly, every adult person knows what Mark is singing about here.
The opener "If We Stay Here, we’re dying" tells of an urgent necessity to make a change in the present situation and change the life, otherwise there is no real life. There is no real life without love. Just existence. The most overt way, if not the only one would be to break up the relationship. People who have nothing to tell to another, but the dreams are not impossible to come true if one makes the painful move while a brand new start is needed.
The cables on the CD-cover represent the support a relationship can grant the sides involved, but also the fetters every relationship brings with it.
"Only Better" was already released as a single and it tells about the bitterness of a separation and its necessity in the same time.
"Everything I made" reminds us that nobody starts a relationship with an intention to hurt a partner, but this is how things often unintentionally turn out.
"It’s so hard" tells of pointing blaming fingers at each other, while "everything we’re living for is gone." The situation will ruin both sides.
"Who says" is about the constant conflicts between the sides in the relation-shit.
"It’s Gone" is a monolog in front of the shatters of love while an acoustic guitar is played to add some emotionality to the electronic sound.
"Hope. Dream"and The Bitter End" are two prime class Mesh tracks to dance your behinds off. My legs move under the table already! "Want You" is about the gradual agonizing comprehension that the partner is not interested in you anymore and how one has to live and cope with this knowledge.
Mark is a talented vocalist. This is no news, but if you listen to the album closer, numerous further strengths on this British duo will become audible for you.
Some Greek sage... Or was he an Indian, or perhaps Chinese?... said centuries ago that it is easier to tell when the love starts than to tell when it ends. Would you disagree?
The title of the album is A Perfect Solution". I’m afraid Mesh mean a separation by that.
This is a very emotional album. The music is predominantly danceable, but the lyrics offer way more thought food than a traditional chorus by Scooter.

AVOID-A-VOID: Abyss Desires

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 16 2009
Title: Abyss Desires
Format: CD
Distributor: MASTERPIECE
Rated: *****
Danger! It's a declaration of LOVE: I LOVE this DUO. They have all we EBM lovers are searching for: Robotic but not ridiculous voices, strong beat but not too dirty or too much TECHNO, electronic pads easy to listen but not like mobile phone rings. The researches they made put them in the OLYMPOS of my favorite band: CLOCK DVA, Depeche Mode and Front 242. AVOIDAVOID are elegant and cool like an EBM electro band has to be. This work makes you dance and think at the same time, suggesting paranoiac rides along SHYBUYA square in Tokyo with stereoscopic glasses. My personal anguish is to focus over one single track....I can't, this work is a must to have, and my written words cannot explain the pleasure to hear retro sounds put together intelligently and with a coolness that few band in this area have. The third track it is something my ears wait for long time in this era of idiot deja vu. The 5th track unchained in my mind the fact that they are an incredible mix beetween NEW ORDER and Depeche Mode early years!!!! AAV plays like the best parasites inside the creature called EBM/WAVE/POP and the time in their hands changes like in a sort of progressive electro EBM, every track is a small masterpiece. Thank you guys you given a reason to the "AIR" and I hope that all the Djs interested into to move ppl will grasp this masterpiece asap.

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