Music Reviews



ROTERSAND: 1023 (tentwentythree)

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 13 2007
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Artist: ROTERSAND
Title: 1023 (tentwentythree)
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis (@)
Distributor: Alive / Metropolis
Rated: *****
Third full-length album with a rather conspicuous title for this well-known German trio, which marks one of the summer highlights of the Dependent roster, licensed for sure to Metropolis-Records. Regarding the title, the band has explained that it was taken from a room number of a hotel in Chicago, where the band has stayed a night during their last years’ US tour. It happened after a spooky and eerie trip with the lift into the basement of this once luxurious, but nowadays rather forsaken hotel. Still consisting of the three professional musicians Rasc, Gun and Krischan, ROTERSAND could once again develop their wide-ranging musically output and prove their outstanding status. There’s much more behind this act than a simple reduction their musically abilities on the term Futurepop – elements out of EBM, Alternative, Pop-art and a constant Classic influence can be heard as well. Impressive songwriting and compositions, excellent arrangements, a charismatic male vocal performance – this all are the ingredients of this three very different musicians, which can unite into an emotional combination to form and perform ROTERSAND. Examples? The track "Lost" surprises with some slightly distorted bass lines and synth textures, while the song structure offers a marvelous change between straight and forward-moving to calm and harmonic – a piece full of contraries, but catchy as hell to satisfy feet and mind. "I Am With You" is a masterpiece of a ballad which offers opulent and addictive layer sounds. "I Cry" features a CURE-like acoustic guitar play as being the outstanding melodic content, while the mood of this track turns into depression. "Rushing", "Don’t Know" or "I Don’t Remember" are killer food to storm the dancefloors, often infiltrated with non-expected and detailed integrated effect textures. I can easily now continue with praising hymns on every other track as well – let’s say and be sure that this album doesn’t offer space for so-called filling stuff. ROTERSAND have again set the measuring bar one slot higher and nobody will ever talk again on their last album "Welcome To Goodbye", since this new one is so much more excessive and brilliant.

TRANSISTOR6: Demo

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 07 2007
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Artist: TRANSISTOR6 (@)
Title: Demo
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Formed by Claus Collstrup and Kira Li, Transistor6 sent me their new demo which contains five new tracks. Their style combine both smooth atmosphere and harsh sounds thanks to the warm vocals provided by Kira and to the ambient industrial e.b.m. atmosphere created by Claus. On Transistor6 you can find ambient electronic elements as well as some e.b.m. sound, everything blend to form a cinematic and dramatic soundtrack. If you check the closing instrumental version of "Resonator" it will be easier for you to understand what I mean. Kira is a good performer (she also teach vocal technique) and she enrich the interesting textures of the tracks. They are looking for a label, meanwhile check them at www.myspace.com/transistor6

CHINESE THEATRE: Mirror Mirror

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 06 2007
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Artist: CHINESE THEATRE (@)
Title: Mirror Mirror
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Nothing to do with China, this is a new and self-released limited EP of this Synth-/Electropop duo consisting of Martina Ramstedt (vocals) and Krister Petterson (machines) hailing out of Sweden. We have already discovered them at the beginning of this year with their full-length album "Voices & Machines ", which is available thanks to a license contract via Section44, www.section44.com. This EP therefore can be seen as a kind of remix follow-up because it mainly features both main tracks, "Mirror Mirror" and "I’m Leaving You Behind". As for a music description, CHINESE THEATRE’s efforts aren’t that kind of greasing the ears with some honey – they’re rather inspired by a cold Wave/Romantic style and their tracks remind often to some works of KRAFTWERK, early S.P.O.C.K or the Progress Productions recording artist SYSTEM – only with the difference that the vocals are female-leaded. This EP consist of 12 tracks plus a hidden bonus track, which is a surprisingly well-done cover on the PET SHOP BOYS classic "Opportunities". The title track "Mirror Mirror" comes in two original works by CHINES THEATRE, plus it got remixed by DJ Slobbe and the old-school EBM act PROTOTYP. The second main track "I’m Leaving You Behind" is the straighter and rather dancefloor oriented track – 2 different original versions and 5 remix works are available. Add to this one more short track "Oh My God (Woman) Robot Voice Edit" and you’ve got the whole content of this EP. It is conspicuous, that CHINES THEATRE have refused to ask some better known acts for providing some remix works, names like PROTOTYP, ROYAL VISIONARIES or IRANON are rather unknown so far, only FILE NOT FOUND have already entered some international response. As for the remix works I tend to rate the works of PROTOYP on both main tracks as being a more aggressive alternative, also the works of FILE NOT FOUND (have slowed down the mood by adding some layer sounds...), IRANON (have integrated a Harsh EBM feeling to "I’m Leaving...") and ROYAL VISIONARIES (have added different KRAFTWERKian drum patterns and vocoder effects for the vocals...) are quality and flawless appearances. This is a constant good and entertaining EP featuring some promising appearances of some new acts which seem to wait for some more exposure. Finally I prefer still the original works of CHINESE THEATRE, but at least this proves how well done this EP is. Check back their website for some purchasing info.
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Artist: ZIBIR
Title: Electrodes
Format: CD EP
Label: Haunted House Records (@)
Rated: *****
A new CD-EP release for the UK-based Haunted House Recordings label, with ZIBIR a debut of a new solo effort of Mat Howlett. We lately have discovered Mat’s other project HAPPY WELLY, a kind of fun and light-hearted Electronica project. But ZIBIR differs musically by offering a kind of instrumental arranged lo-fi dark electronic music and likes to call the works of KRAFTWERK, DAFT PUNK and DEEE-LITE as possible influences. Not very conventionally produced, the provided music here offers rhythmically tunes with a lighter attitude, but also stuff to sink in and chill-out ("Electrodes (Matulator Mix)"). Quite interesting arranged, this 6-track EP offers at all three different tracks, plus three remix works on the title track, one of them created by the label colleague of CREATURE. The "Maximix" of the title track gets my vote for the best piece here, maybe asides the darker sounding remix work by CREATURE. "Electrodes" works well as a convincing background sound design, but offers also several interesting structures and ideas to get checked out under a pair of headphones.

May 28 2007
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Artist: KLONAVENUS (@)
Title: Metropolights
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
This duo (Saffio – keyboards and programming, Chem:nitz – vocals) comes from Rome, Italy, and formed in 2005. They’ve already released two demos (S/T 2005, "The Shining Process" 2006), have appeared on the German Darklife Magazine Compilation and on "Italian Body Music Vol.3". The band is really in love with Electro-Goth/EBM and Dark-Wave, and in this new Ep alternates moments of sad reflection, dominated by deep and visionary pads, with aggressive loops, distorted voices and noises. They are quite good in this alternation between good and evil, CLAN OF XYMOX influences and painful atmospheres, horrorific melodies (see "Your Wintertime") and danceable songs for smoky clubs. Personally I’ve quite appreciates "I Run For... ", "Your Wintertime", "A Prison For Me" and above all "The Blind Creation" (great track) with that obsessive rhythm that forces me to shake my head even when writing this review. "Sermons" has a rough and fat music (shows more links with the EBM scene), and the vocal melody reminds me something of AND ONE. "Blessed Into Nothing", from "The Shining Process" demo, is here in a new version remixed by NYDHOG (a one-man project from Rome playing Electro/EBM with really good results), where the aggressive side of the song is emphasized, as more emphasis has been given to the female coir. The CD includes also two videos, "I Run For... " directed by Saffio and "Tonight" directed by Saffio and Jon Alcaide, a nice add on to a very pleasant Ep. The only thing I could add is that the band is really improving from demo to demo, and in their first album (hope they’ll release soon with a good label) I would expect an even better production (already good now), more pumping and powerful in the aggressive parts and deeper in the more introspective ones, and above all that the singer takes care of the English pronunciation that has some problems, as shown in the live acts more than on recordings. Labels, offer them a good contract because "Metropolights" it’s a very good work, absolutely recommended for all old-school/new-school electro-goth fans.


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