Music Reviews



Excubitors: Operation Observation

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5073)
May 02 2009
Artist: Excubitors
Title: Operation Observation
Format: CD
Label: Lukotyk Records / LR013
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Four years ago three brothers from the idyllic province of the German countryside founded Excubitors to watch and spread the truth about the system we live in. The first album Aufstehung aus Ruinen brought the trio a certain degree of exposure and positive response from critics and synth music fans at least in the less commercially- oriented circles. Sascha, Stephan and Thomas combine English and German rather tastefully in their songs. Every language has its melody and thus fits better for this song or another. The usage of German samples is usually a good idea in songs sung in English. That leaves some place for wondering about their meaning, or just be a kind of spice for those who speak no German.
Among other topics the album takes loneliness as a theme; the isolation of an individual in the contemporary society in particular (Alleine, Isolated, Different; the last slightly reminding of Namnambulu’s sound).
Operation Observation deals with political issues as well. Steh Auf and Fehler im System criticizes the norms of our democratic system, not the least the fact that the deputies in the German parliament decide themselves whether to raise their own salaries or not. Such practice is common for many other countries too although it can be only compared with putting a cat in charge of watching the milk. The album discusses the practice of governments to accumulate data about its citizens. We are told that it is for security purposes and safe from falling into the wrong hands however the reality proves that things are not 100% so. Every now and then governments and large corporations star in various scandals of foul storage or sheer misuse of such data.
The title song is dedicated to the probably most important event of the post war Germany; the unification and the outburst of emotions that it caused especially among the eastern Germans who suffered under the inhuman regime in the DDR. Those who wish to live in freedom must be vigilant to make sure the human rights and the civil rights are not violated. Indifference to those rights was one of the factors that made Nazi dictatorship possible.
Im Visier was written about a youngster who ran amok in his former school in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Short time ago Germany was shocked by another massacre at school thus I believe the reactions to the release of this song may be ambivalent. The timing for a release of a song about such a charged topic may not be fortunate now and be a fertile soil for numerous misinterpretations. As you remember M.Manson was made responsible for the Columbine shooting. Alice Cooper was the first to put violence against children and women in the spot light and demonized by the critics who totally misunderstood him.
As a guest artist Anne Goldacker known for her work in Wintry and Obsc(y)re contributed with her talents to Observation as a counterpart to Sascha’s clean male vocals. A remix by a rather renowned combo Lost Area for Isolated closes the album.
I’m sure this album will bring Excubitors broader, well-deserved acknowledgement.

Die Perlen: Stadt.ep

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5066)
Apr 26 2009
cover
Artist: Die Perlen
Title: Stadt.ep
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: FireZone Records / Black Rain media group GmbH
Distributor: Nova MD GmbH
Rated: *****
The new EP of this duo from Nurnberg, Germany deals with the phenomenon of a big modern, smoggy, loud city; the events and the emotion related to it are rather ambivalent. Some contemporaries cannot imagine their lives anywhere else while others cannot stand the city living conditions. Ever asked yourself what goes to make a city great and unique? These are primarily the people you share your city with. Not the architecture or beautiful ponds in the park.
The band has already released three full-length albums and after its nine-year long existence is no newbie on the underground horizon. Ferdinand Ess and Katja Hah call their musical style TelektroPonk which involves elements of Electro, Pop, Funk and Techno. Apart from keys they use guitars, computer and kaosspad combining faster beats with clear vocals both male and female. The languages they chose to use are French and their native German. The EP depicts the moldy and grotesque sides as well as the glorious ones of the 21st century metropolis. For those of you whose idea of how the German language sounds is dominated by the post-war films and Rammstein (who play on those clichés) try to listen to Die Perlen (the pearls). Katja’s singing will leave a very mild and melodic impression of this language.

Final Selection: Clockworks

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5056)
Apr 22 2009
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available
anymore
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!

Final Selection: Clockworks

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (5055)
Apr 22 2009
image not
available
anymore
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!
image not
available
anymore
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.


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