Music Reviews

Kluster Cold: The First Halagenous Lights

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3821)
Aug 02 2007
Artist: Kluster Cold
Title: The First Halagenous Lights
Format: CD
Rated: *****

This album is taken whole and over flows with 80's music idea; the tone, structure and melodic progression. An instrumental synth-pop with a movie soundtrack twist. So outstanding with some impulse tunes. Italian Kluster Cold draws out a full substantial sound that injects emotions and pinned with the early likes of OMD and Gary Numan and a few other synthesizers pioneers, but KC stands alone in the 21st century from the other new synth-pop artists. The music ful-fills the role of a competent electronic artist that makes unpredictable and dynamic range compositions, tidy modulation, oscillators and synths cliches so forth. The track "Requiem" gives off a ghostly haunting funeral feel. "Existence" and "Minimal Season" resembles the very early of OMD. The suspense thriller tracks "In His Whimper Rain" and "Telephone Murder" shows off a dramatic crafting power delivering punctual art. "The First Halogenous Lights" album nurtures competent, honesty, and pretentious with uniqueness.

HARALD BOSH: Die Sonne Scheint Für Alle Umsonst

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3816)
Jul 31 2007
image not
Title: Die Sonne Scheint Für Alle Umsonst
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Dercho Music (@)
There are more and more people in the international Electro/Goth/Industrial scene sharing the opinion, that nowadays every act can be successful if even the right and effective promotion stands behind it. Labels have lost in times of an unbreakable technically development a bit of their meaning thanks to the rise of communities like Myspace etc. I don’t know if Harald has already a Myspace account to present his music efforts, but nevertheless the promotional efforts of his label, the German mail order service Dercho Music seem to work fine so far. After the three-track SiCD with the same title, they like to release this first full-length album packed in a beautiful digi-pack, together with a special bonus-DVD featuring all album tracks in live versions (where’s the audience, by the way???) plus several other goodies and "situations" – to name it friendly, if you’re interested in Harald’s trips to Munich airport or Stuttgart’s inner city, Harald in the studio doing nonsense, Harald drives home in an ICE train, Harald pulls faces, etc. – what a waste of money! What I’ve already expected after the SiCD has finally happened – several online resources, web and printed magazines haven’t left any good comment on Harald and his efforts – obviously he and his kind to sing and perform has left a lot controversy. Some so-called journalists even missed the target and have fallen into rants up to insults – well, this is nothing more than a sad proof, that the so-called "open-for-everyone" Electro/Goth/Industrial scene isn’t at all that open-minded as we all may have hoped for. Black or white ideology in limited dimensions only following the hypes has at least invaded this part of the music scene too, although – and I admit it honesty – Harald’s efforts are a special sort, which are in the first instance difficult to describe, in the second instance hard to accept in all terms of his production. Even if it comes to accept his German/Russian accent (he’s born in Omsk, Siberia) providing an opera-like vocal performance, some first doubts on the seriousness behind this production are coming in. The German lyrics often turn into nonsense as well (I was about to name "Sucht" as being an outstanding track musically and lyrically – until the final verse leads the scenario: "Küss mich bitte ich bin Dein Frosch"...). If intentional or not, he acts a bit like a comedian – I would tend to call him the parrot under the Electro/Goth musicians. The music itself, done by DWR 2009 and A. Krull (ATROCITY), is fair enough produced in that case that you don’t expect anything innovative. For this review I like to avoid it, if this music and the product "Harald Bosh" is any "good" or "bad" – check the website, listen to some files and judge for yourself.

THE GARLAND CULT: Protect Yourself From Hollywood

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3792)
Jul 19 2007
image not
Title: Protect Yourself From Hollywood
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: NinthWave Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Quite interesting to recognize is the fact, that regarding this music project our very own magazine is one of the best informed resources. Maurizio Pustianaz, our honorable Italian Chain D.L.K.-God, has conducted through the years interviews and reviews regarding this and the main project EMPIRE STATE HUMAN. Even better to read is the fact that an interview with Aidan Casserly of THE GARLAND CULT done early 2006 offers already a lot of info regarding this album here, which I hold now by chance in my hands. Plus, to make all the praising hymns complete, Aidan himself has contributed to our magazine with some proofreading procedures.
Therefore I should admit in advance that I haven’t discovered stuff about this project as well as of EMPIRE STATE HUMAN before. As I mentioned before, THE GARLAND CULT is an EMPIRE STATE HUMAN side-project founded by the both ESH members Aidan Casserly and Lar Kiernan. This release also marks the return of the US-based Ninthwave label back on top of the international Synth-/Futurepop scene, and several more upcoming releases of this label shall prove this as well.
Coming to the facts, the first shock causes the conspicuous pink cover art and the use of some "veteran"-like letters, which remind me rather on some early-70ies "Saturday Night Fever" disco influences than on modern sounding Synthpop music. Okay, the music itself provides a well-balanced mixture out of Pop art, Synthpop and Electronica, while some retro-like influences can’t be discussed away. "Wonderland"-like ERASURE meets BRONSKI BEAT meats AUTO AUTO, well, something like this may works for a comparison. This product rises and falls – as so many Synthpop-productions - with the quality of the well tuned timbre of Aidan Casserly, who offers his vocals a register higher than a linear-A23-octave. At times dangerously near to Mr. Andy Bell ("Style"), but hey – with that sweet timbre it is required to sing at its best! That’s real talent – no doubt! The track "All Good Things" – available in two different versions – opens this CD and this piece marks to me already the highlight. Catchy as hell with a "singing-along-the-refrain"-attitude and some synth bass lines which work successfully against the melodic content – a real smasher!
"Impossible" then turns more into a dancefloor-compatible Futurepop track, while I’m not to much fond of the cover version on the 80ies classic track "Self Control", the slower provided original still offers a more thrilling mood to me. Another favorite to me is the carefree sounding "Pity Party", which slows down the tempo and sounds generally a bit darker. THE GARLAND CULT have chosen five different producers to help them out with the recordings on this album – surely not a proof for cohesion.
Their main producer is QUBIC and this reminds me to mention, that this is a DCD – on the second CD, entitled "QUBIC Goes To Hollywood" you’ll get 5 revamped tracks ("Impossible", "Style", "Monomania", "All Good Things" and "Self Control", which offer more food for the lazy DJ’s. All of this 5 tracks got remixed and drilled to satisfy your inner need for some dancefloor action – in that case if the "normal" recordings of the band aren’t straight enough to your taste. What’s to add? Well, this Dublin-based duo offers the right disc to fulfil all Synthpop-related expectations and this so-called side-project can easily reach the same success and request like the main project.

Next Life: Electric Violence

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3790)
Jul 11 2007
Artist: Next Life
Title: Electric Violence
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (
Not unlike predecessors Ec8or or Atari Teenage Riot, Next Life's 14-track opus of short, aggressive keyboard-crunch attacks represents a combinaton of the ultimate of artiness in Electronica plus all the mayhem of the video gaming realm. The songs from this young Oslo-based duo (Hai Nguyen Dinh and Tormod Christensen), spare and stripped down as Scandinavian furniture, are all starkly minimal keyboard instrumentals hitting out in every sonic direction, accompanied by Metal guitar. In fact, their record company's website description of them as "Gameboy Deathmetal" is probably the most apt. Sounds that imitate cheap chirping telephones (track 10, "Circle and Star") or a screechy old dial-up modem (track 13, "The Way Out") make it clear that these boys enjoy making monsters out of junk tech. Meter and rhythm change-ups in these mainly 2-1/2-minutes-or-less compositions move fast enough to make you nauseous, but nevertheless most have a (dare I say it) jazzy or symphonic melodic quality, with progressions you can follow. Pure, frenetic speed is set off by a couple of twin slow tracks of twinkly synth bells, "Under Water" and "Storm" (tracks 5 and 12), recalling "Star 6 & 7,8,9" from the first Orb album -- a possible nod to Ambient influence. The CD comes with a short series of live concert video clips, a nice little bonus. Their puerile brashness borders on dischord, but Next Life are earnestly not trying to be unlistenable; they have immense future potential and there is complexity and method to the madness. In this case, you can take their enthusiasm at face value and come out ahead.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Futronik Structures Vol. 5 (10 years of DSBP)
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Like some other labels out of the international Electro/Industrial scene, also the NM-based DSBP label can look back on eventful 10 years and likes to celebrate this anniversary with a new compilation out of the legendary "Futronik Structures" series. To sum this event up exactly, we’re already on the walk to the 11th year of existence of this label – this compilation therefore comes a bit late, but there are several plausible reasons for this. This 10 years have left several scars in the face of label chief Tommy T. Rapisardi – rhetorically spoken. 10 years of swimming with sharks, of getting screwed by so-called promoters, selfish bands, foreign labels and questionable distributors, of being the most tortured victim of a hazy governments’ explanation regarding copyrights on art and music, of getting ignored by a wider audience, and at least of getting a victim of a consumer-"friendlier" technically evolution which favors the digital download procedure over the good old purchase of the physical product, the CD.
Let’s point out for a moment the still rushing illegal downloads provided by piracy sites – does the support of hard working musicians and labels by the so-called music consumer (i.e. "FAN") seriously end when this means they’ve to move their fat asses away from a PC? How can anybody prefer to buy online some digital mp3 files instead of taking a walk to the next record shop, listen to some stuff, and then buy some CD’s – the physical product, which still offers info, lyrics and cover art? People always look for the easiest way which offers the best comfort – some do call this degeneration...
The music business is currently in a strange situation generally and it is still unclear in which kind/style/format it will continue in the future. And before I fall more and more into a rant of the growing army of PC + soundcard musicians, the before ignored point of the illegal downloads and the massive signing of newcomer acts by labels which like to satisfy some distribution handicaps, I like to point out that all of this are valid reasons that CD sales have disappeared to nearly ZERO – an effect which hurts an underground label like DSBP the most of all. DSBP is – if you like it so – the underground of the underground. To survive day by day needs a huge amount of hard work – at least that Tommy and the DSBP have reached now more than 10 years, proves him right with some decisions. It sounds strange, but I like to compare Tommy’s efforts a bit with the Spanish hero Don Quixote – both are fighting against windmills, as above mentioned. But for you as a valuable music consumer I can assure you that there’s no need to avoid the rich filled DSBP label roster out of foggy reasons like a missing bar code or such nonsense. What counts is the music – and here you’ll find the same top-notch quality like you would find it at your favorite label like Metropolis, Out Of Line, Dependent or Alfa Matrix. Several proofs for this can be heard here, on this compilation for instance.
This compilation opens with BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION, the side-project of label chief Tommy T. (DIVERJE) and Vince Pujol of the French act E.S.R.. They like to offer a previously unreleased remix of "Hybridization", originally taken from their debut release "Exoskeleton", which can convince here with the E.S.R.-typically sci-fi-inspired synth textures and a nice manipulation on the vocals by using different vocoder effects. The duo of ENCODER follows and offers with "My Enigma 2.0" a decent new and unreleased track walking on a calmer path. Follows then the long missed Brazilian act Aghast View with an unreleased track entitled "Blue Stream" – a surprisingly catchy and coherent piece with high-end programming abilities very much in that style like they had offered on their now more than 3 years old last release "Drifter". TAU FACTOR is next with the PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 remix work on "Motionless", taken from the last release "Second Stage Ignition" – a good and modern sounding remix rather following the current hypes, but maybe the wrong pick if it comes to get an idea of TAU FACTOR’s sound, which is more dedicated to the works of some 90ies classic acts like FLA or LEAETHER STRIP. Business as usual for the French madman Vince Pujol and his E.S.R. project – again a new and unreleased remix work, here on "Humanity Collapsing", which is originally available on his last and 4th studio album "Scars And Wounds". I still have to wash my ears regarding the fact that he likes to imply here and there the efforts of a real guitarist – and this track was one out of three on the last album which offered this – but that unique kind how Vince is able to deal and to mix this efforts, has satisfied the eternal nagger in me, this counts for the original as well as for this remix.
The duo of DERMA-TEK follows then and turns the music into the Harsh EBM genre - as expected – but this unreleased remix on "Payback" provided by the upcoming talent THE PANIC LIFT is a fucking great stomper which kicks ass! That DERMA-TEK, leaded by Joe Cains and Miranda St. Croix, is currently hard at work on the international break-through thanks to a license deal with the German NoiTekk label rather seems to awake one part of the above mentioned windmill-syndrome for the DSBP. Of course, this is a business thing and nobody can seriously blame the band for receiving this exposure and request – but we’ll see who will suffer from this at least. Tommy T.’s project DIVERJE has surely become through the years a kind of flagship of the DSBP label - and not because it is Tommy’s project in which he likes to invest some more efforts. He has spent efforts into various live gigs by opening for some global players and thanks to the outraging and intense stage action, DIVERJE could hit the better known acts. There seems to be currently a good call for DIVERJE and the now ready done new album "Stitched" shall prove this – let’s hope for higher sales and countless live actions. The title track of the coming album "Stitched" is featured here in an unreleased remix version provided by the to me unknown act OBSCURE DESCENSION. Follows then an unreleased remix provided by R010R of the NOISE PROCESS track "Interruption", in its original version for sure one of the best tracks available on the NP album "Groundzer0" released in March 2K7. R010R is the solo effort of NP front man Michael Renfield and I had recently the honor to check out intense his upcoming work "Gradual Destabilization" – important to know, since this documents that Michael has worked without his NP partner Tim Garelick on this remix. As for this remix I still enjoy that "not-so-linear" drum programming (...seems to be a R010R trademark...) and the whistling noises well integrated in the mix, while I tend to nag against the manipulation of the almost robot-like vocals – some more "aggression" would sound better. We then reach the kingdom of BIOPSY. This side-project of the Brazilian AGHAST VIEW guys has received already in the early DSBP years a kind of cult status and this fucked-up cover version on DEPECHE MODE’s "Barrel Of A Gun" is a showcase for their outstanding talent. DM-meets-SWAMP TERRORISTS-meets-Electro-Trash – it rawks!!! Fab And Denis, please return with both projects, AV and BIOPSY!!!
Dee Madden and his PENAL COLONY project is a relict out of the Coldwave scene and for some reasons a bit underrated as well. His track got remixed by the well-known Metropolis-recording artists SYSTEM SYN, who like to turn this piece into a catchy and danceable Futurepop track – decent done, a good well-known name providing this remix, but at least not very representative for the usual style of PENAL COLONY. ANDRACULOID returns here as well after a longer pause and that was about time. "Lifeless Eyes (Bloodshot Version)" is a completely new track and turns very near to a Dark Electro/Harsh EBM-related style, maybe one of the melodic works of this act so far. One of the highlights of this comp for sure, let’s look curiously forward to the coming new album hopefully out in autumn. New Zealand’s best known artist THE MERCY CAGE offer once again a remix on their successful track "Prozac, God And The Atomic Bomb" – good stuff as usual, but we’re awaiting new compositions. TESTUBE represents the intelligent side of the DSBP roster and can be called a veteran act for this label – Jeff Danos has already contributed tracks under different monikers and collaborated with Tommy in the early years. The mixture of modern Electronica, Trance and IDM styles is always exciting to check out – let’s hope for a new release soon. Sweden’s Synthpop duo AUTO AUTO is present here as well by offering the TECHEN remix of their track "Dog" – I would like to hear them here with a different and unreleased composition, since this track is taken from the US- (DSBP-) edition of their past full-length album "Sounds Of A New Generator". The Spanish solo project ASSEPTIC ROOM offers a previously unreleased remix of "Gates Of Death" constructed by the Argentinean project ALIEN PROJECT – rhythm programming and used sounds are that typically integrated, I would recognize the AP signature while sleeping, ha! Finally you’ll got the appearance of REIN[FORCED] providing with "Hiatus" one of the best works of their past full-length album – here in an unreleased remix done by the Metropolis-recording artist TERRORFAKT. Of course, they turn this track into the harsh rhythmically Powernoise genre and not too much still reminds on REIN[FORCED]. This CD ends with a short voice sample, from which I don’t know if Mr. T. is included...:-P

Of course, this compilation is a must-have release for the DSBP addicts and a well-done introduction to the promising roster if you’re a newbie. Through all the years the roster has grown to 28 + bands, so if it should have been a completely library, an expansion to 2 CD’s would be required. At least too many bands out of the roster have meanwhile quitted all productions – names like SYMBIONT, LEXINCRYPT, BOUNDLESS, FREQUENCY CONSTRUCT or SYSTEM DER DINGE are sorely missed. That RUN LEVEL ZERO are not included to this compilation is to me a normal evolution, since they’ve nearly become a global player with a well balanced contract to the German Minuswelt label. Surprised I’m regarding the fact that TYPE001 is missed here, but the biggest surprise is the removal of the Swedish act SEVERE ILLUSION – is this a hint or a tendency after they’ve recently released a new EP via the Hungarian Advoxya Records? Well, let’s see what the future in this stable discussion holds. Same counts somehow for the existence of the record label DSBP – to survive another 10 years, well, that would be the next goal to reach...

1- BIO-MECHANICAL DEGENERATION -"hybridization"(remix)
2- ENCODER -"my enigma 2.0"
3- AGHAST VIEW -"blue stream"
4- TAU FACTOR -"motionless"(PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 remix)
5- ELECTRO SYNTHETIC REBELLION -"humanity collapsing"(remix)
6- DERMA-TEK -"payback"(THE PANIC LIFT remix)
7- DIVERJE -"stitched" (OBSCURE DESCENSION remix)
8- NOISE PROCESS VS. RO1OR -"interruption" (remix)
9- BIOPSY -"barrel of a gun" (DEPECHE MODE Cover)
10-PENAL COLONY -"the kids are behaviourly medicated"(SYSTEM SYN remix)
11-ANDRACULOID -"lifeless eyes"(bloodshot version) "
12-THE MERCY CAGE -"prozac, God, and the Atomic Bomb"(remix)
13-TESTUBE -"floor fodder"
14-AUTO-AUTO-"dog" (TECHEN remix)
15-ASSEPTIC ROOM -"gates of death" (ALIEN PRODUKT remix)
16-REIN[FORCED] -"hiatus" (TERRORFAKT Rein[terpretation])

Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha