Music Reviews

DIE PERLEN: Szenenwechsel

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 09 2008
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Artist: DIE PERLEN (@)
Title: Szenenwechsel
Format: CD
Label: Firezone Rec (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
After releasing their first album "Telektroponk!" back in 2006, the German duo Die Perlen are back with SZENENWECHSEL. Published by Fire!Zone, a new Black Rain sub-label, SZENENWECHSEL contains sixteen new songs in balance from punk, electro and minimal wave with the add of tons or irony. Just look at the cover where Katja Hah and Ferdinand Ess are dressed like they have been catch by a time warp bringing them to a '20s party. Musically most of the tracks, that are sung in German, English and French (really nice "Jeudi noir", an electro song driven by an upfront bass guitar and a distorted drum machine and enriched by simple analog synth lines), are upbeat electro punk tunes with some exception like the minimal "Empty v" (which sounds like a electro punk version of Suicide looped style) or the following "Beweg dich" (which sound more electro than else), the mid-tempo "Mein stern" (it starts with a minimal approach of female vocals/picked guitar arpeggios just to end with a sort of melancholic atmosphere and guitar riffs/drums) or the semi techno approach of "Wir horen mit". The whole album sounds fresh and joyous and it is impossible to ignore the energy the duo is able to produce with songs based on few instruments but that immediately catch your ear.

Girls On Film: Get Close To Me EP

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 08 2008
Artist: Girls On Film (@)
Title: Get Close To Me EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Native Sun Records
Rated: *****
So lovely and tenderly, the fab four beauties, Rio, Kazhmir, Metro and Machine, released an ep with five nicely club pop cuts, a follow-up from their critical acclaimed selling album "Danceteria". Rio's intrguing delightful delicious vocals is enlightened with deep emotions blending rich elegance with the music. Thick synth layers and bass combined by giving it a perfect combination. The poppy arrangements warm its emotional weather. Simply amazing, catchy, and good all around. Infectious synth-pop grooves includes the tracks "Distressed", the dark "The Devil's Lies" is deliciously dangerous about a man betrayed his woman by lying. And "The Shakes" have that finger snapping and hip shaking groove. "Close To Me EP" is driven by pulsating danceable new wave pop. Lyrics empowering and music punctuated with energy to make you get up and dance while the colorful strobelights rolling around on the ceiling and walls . Girls On Film have style, class, sassy, and the right female sex appeal to move the people by making them dance. These four gorgeous divas had already paid their dues by getting known and respect by performing with promotions and advertising and the help by clubs and fans and word of mouth. Need I say more?
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Artist: ZIBIR
Title: Life Begins
Format: CD
Label: Haunted House Records (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
"Life Begins" for this UK-based solo-project of the Electronica-musician Mat Howlett, but since he has already released a debut EP entitled "Electrodes" on Haunted House Records before, would it not making sense to name this album "Life Continues"? However, it’s good to see and hear that there’s still musically activity asides the – let’s call it so – main label act CREATURE. Mat has collected 14 different tracks to offer his first full-length album and it can be seen as a kind of showcase of his programming abilities as well as his dedication to analogue produced synthesizer sounds. The music can’t be completely sorted into a strict genre-drawer, too often the tracks do leave the known paths. Between smooth and melodic harmonies ("Expectations") and typically mid-80ies synth-programmings ("Life Begins") heavily infiltrated with that romantic Pop/Wave attitude, this album fulfills all of your expectations, if you can find yourself familiar with this styles. Not EBM, also not at all Pop music, I like to place it very generally in the wide field of Electronica music – at least this vague description can mean anything. This seems to be quite intentional for Mat, as he produces his stuff far away from any hypes, maybe mostly for his own entertainment. Quite interesting sound design and mostly tastefully arranged, just give it a try.

FLUOR: The Pleasure Is Mine

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 10 2008
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Artist: FLUOR (@)
Title: The Pleasure Is Mine
Format: CD
Label: Imaginary Non Existent Records (@)
Distributor: Decoder Muzique
Rated: *****
Limited to 400 copies only, THE PLEASURE IS MINE is the Fluor debut album. Producer and musician (he produced Jaume Sisa, Gerard Quintana, Orquestra Fireluche and released many works as L´escolania De La Quadratura Del Cercle, Vladimir & Lumière as well as writing music for films, theater, performances, etc.) Xavi Lloses is also a casiotone collector. With Fluor, Xavi, plays 8bit dancey new wave songs using Casio, vintage games and low bit sampled sounds. You may think that other bands of the French old (Daft Punk) and new electro wave (Yelle, Digitalism or Boys Noize), musically already did this, well this could be the same thing when you say that The Beatles and Fugazi did the same music because they were both guitar bands. In this case if Daft Punk, Digitalism and Boyz Noize are more interested into the "dance effect" and Yelle are mostly a low bit pop sensation, Fluor sound a little more melancholic/decadent and here we have song structured tracks. Try the opening "Playgirl" or "Game boy" and you'll be questioning why this guy isn't on the MTV alternative chart because this album deserves it. Since there are only 400 copies available, hurry up. Check if this is your cup of tea at the myspace link you find above and, if the answer is yes, order your copy.

Solar Fake: Broken Grid

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 01 2008
Artist: Solar Fake (@)
Title: Broken Grid
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The highly acclaimed debut of this German solo-project which has already received a lot of praising in advance through all relevant press resources. SOLAR FAKE is Sven Friedrich, who has made himself already a good name as being the vocalist and multiple instrumentalist of Goth-Rock acts like DREADFUL SHADOWS and ZERAPHINE. For SOLAR FAKE he has decided to move on to new musically territories, because all music is pure electronic-driven, here and there some light settled down guitar riffs are complimenting one or another track. So the question in advance flying like a sword over this release was, can a Goth-Rock musician provide enough talent and courage to come out with a pure electronic-driven album, which at least is worth to listen to? To answer this needs only one word: YES! It may belongs that I have never had any interest to discover Sven Friedrich’s usual playing field, it also may belongs on the fact, that Sven is surely a multiple talented and open-minded musician – but to me "Broken Grid" extracts a lot of personality and real emotion thanks to the fact, that Friedrich has seen and done different things in this shark-infiltrated pool entitled music business. It was for sure out of any discussion simply to put some trust in the usual but also repetitive kind to produce an Electro/EBM-album, no, this plan to come out purely electronic-based (...and to shock the die-hard fans...), needed a special effort. In case of Sven Friedrich there’s at first to name the fact, that he has completely created all used sounds on himself – an example of work which I would like to recommend to any other bands else too – where’s the sense to follow given preset sounds or to sample the Access Virus a millionth time again? Another favor is Sven’s well sounding voice – he can sing and proves it often here, plus he knows musically harmonies – this isn’t the debut of a bloody newcomer, or did you expect this? Finally I like to name the rather calm and melodic tracks on this album as being his best works, "Hiding Memories From The Sun" and "Here I Stand" – even if especially this two pieces aren’t too representative, because Sven doesn’t come out one-dimensional in the Futurepop-genre. Some pieces like "Stigmata Rain" or "Creep" still offer a poisonous and dirty Goth-Rock influence. And to all who expect a straight turn-over to some rather commercial-oriented Alternative/Pop music outfit – well, NOOOO, this stuff is beasty enough, not to fall into this redundancy. Thumbs up for a quite entertaining album, which at least can offer one or another jewel, if you’re walking with open ears through this (music) world. If this album will at least have any influence on Sven regarding his further musically career with his Goth-Rock projects? Well, it shouldn’t wonder me...

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