Music Reviews

In Strict Confidence: My Despair

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5443)
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
 Edit (5433)
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.

VV.AA.: CHyberNation (A Tribute to KRISMA)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 12 2009
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: CHyberNation (A Tribute to KRISMA)
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Dischi Strambelly (@)
Rated: *****
The story of Krisma started when Maurizio Arcieri (singer of the Italian sixties band New Dada and later successful pop singer) and Christina Moser met in 1976. On that year their personal and artistic life changed forever because they became partners in both the cases. They first produced two 7" ("Amore" and "U") stylistically following the "sexy sound" formula. Soon after they moved to London and influenced by the punk movement recorded their first album "Chinese Restaurant" beginning a collaboration with Nico Papathanassiou (Vangelis’ brother). Even if inspired by punk, the duo recorded a personal album with various influences (check the Spanish sound of "Lola" or the particular sound of "Mandoia"). Two years after, the same team recorded "Hybernation", an innovative album where electronic experimental tunes met melody. After that album they changed their name into Krisma and had a huge success during the 80's with songs like "Many kisses", "Nothing to do with the dog" or "Signorina", without forgetting their innovative and experimental attitude. During those years they recorded four albums ("Cathode mamma", "Clandestine anticipation", "Nothing to do with the dog", titled "Fido" in the U.S., and the 1986 album "Iceberg"). After those albums (I'm not counting the 1989 record "Non Ho Denaro" because it seems it haven't been properly distributed), they run an experimental sat channel where there were no programs but just videos (mostly cut ups) with background techno music created by Maurizio (he created also a parallel project where he used mostly the Rebirth software). Sporadically they collaborated with different Italian bands and they recorded a single in 2001 ("Kara") for Alice Records and actually they are still touring. CHYBERNATION is a free digital download compilation that celebrates Chrisma/Krisma with Italian (to this project participated also alternative bands active during the 80's as XX Century Zorro, Avvoltoi and Johnny Grieco, former leader of Dirty Action) and international artists (Loud Neighbor from Spain, La Kuizine from France and Antiquark and Red Flag from the U.S.). The bands covered all the duo's history by covering their most famous tunes as well as their mostly experimental ones and also Maurizio's solo period (Avvoltoi covered "Guardami, Aiutami, Toccami, Guariscimi" a cover of "Who’s See Me Feel Me", recorded in Italian by Maurizio after he left New Dada and Johnny Grieco "Cinque minuti e poi"). We have different genres covered and many tracks stand out: check for example Antiquark's "Nothing to do with the dog" (it sounds like an up to date electro pop version of it with an 80's touch), future pop version of "Skyline" by Red Flag, Machina Amniotica's "Samora club" (a live track they recorded having as guest Maurizio and Christina), Adriano Canzian's "Black silk stocking" (really particular and minimal with filtered vocals and techno influences like on his album released by Gigolo years ago), Roulette Cinese's electro romantic version of "Cathode mamma", Avvoltoi's "Guardami, Aiutami, Toccami, Guariscimi" (they chose a 60's track being true to what they did during the last twenty years) or Cosmic Boilers (with Andy of Blue Vertigo on sax) electro wave edit of "Water". The good tracks are too many to be mentioned and since the compilation (it fits two CDs) is for free (if you can help they have also a paypal account where you can donate something) check it. Just follow the label's link and enjoy a piece of Italian's musical history!

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