Music Reviews



Feb 06 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Born/Evolve/Progress 2
Format: CD
Label: Progress-Productions (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Winter time – compilation time # 3: Well, that’s a fine label compilation. The Swedish label Progress Productions likes to celebrate the new year with their second edition "Born/Evolve/Progress" on which all signed label artists provide new and unreleased tracks. No compiling of known smash hits, no releasing of unnecessary remix works by more or lesser known "stars" of the scene – luckily only new and never-heard-before stuff. Also a nice introduction to the new signings this label has recently picked up. TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE, thankfully featured with a Swedish solo project by John Karlgren has already worked hard to create a satisfied and complex sound for years reaching the level of some classic FLA works. It was about time and a consequential must, that this fucking-great artist finally has found a label home in Progress Productions. Already appearing with an enthusiastic track on the beloved Interbreeding VII (BLC Productions, www.blcmusic.com), this is an act to follow immediately. Opening act is CRYO aka Martin Rudefeldt, maybe the most underrated act on Progress, also present with two new pieces – it’s hard to find any better opener than this new track "Freedom", combining vocoderized vocals, cold melodic synth textures and rather old-school like bass lines. Follows the second new signing MOMMY HURT MY HEAD with a pounding Harsh Electro piece. This act hails from Denmark and can be seen as a follow-up act to the legendary ARZT + PFUSCH, a well-known act still in hiatus. Also the young NECRO FACILITY return with two Dark Electro tunes following more or less obviously some similarities to classic SKINNY PUPPY and/or INTERLACE works – good stuff. RED CELL then marks one of the surprises of this compilation. Wasn’t it this act which could grab some attention by some Swedish Metal music magazines? Where are the guitars? It looks like a huge stylistically change, because this track is a real Futurepop piece somehow comparable to CULTURE KULTÜR and PRIDE & FALL. Mr. JONES MACHINE and HYPE offer late 80ties-inspired Synthpop tracks and especially HYPE’s vocal performance by Robert Enforsen (ex-ELEGANT MACHINERY) can convince totally. SYSTEM continue with a rather minimal early 80-ties, KRAFTWERKian piece, while 8KHZ MONO joining this comp with a surprising hard Electro/EBM piece. Also IAMBIA, hailing out of Greece, are pushing the hard and stomping beats forward to some dark dancefloors featuring once again their fine worked-out signature. STURM CAFE could to my impression really improve their knowledge in German language, while the music formula with NEP-like bass lines and a solid kick and snare work remains the same. Finally the last new signing comes up with the last track, KOPFER KAT with "Spike" providing a rhythmically Powernoise effort which really shatters some walls to dust. Not that Tekkno-based 140 bpm and faster kick/open hi-hat work, but real distortions, easy, but effective produced. Regarding the "limited to 1000 pieces world-wide" special this compilation features as well, there can’t be any real reason not to purchase this fine collection. Progress Productions concentrates on quality releases and has grown in the past two years to much more than only a secret tip. The next label giant after the coming demise of Dependent? Well, let’s see how far it goes...

01: Cryo "Freedom"
02: Terror Punk Syndicate "Dysmorphia" (Epicentre Version)
03: Mommy Hurt My Head "Nothing Zero Option (After the pills)"
04: Necro Facility "Tuxedo"
05: Red Cell "Lust"
06: Mr Jones Machine "Vilda Drömmar"
07: Hype "Love-o-lution"
08: System "No Man"
09: 8kHz Mono "Crash Course"
10: Iambia "Program K"
11: Cryo "Rage"
12: Terror Punk Syndicate "Wish I Was Retarded"
13: Sturm Cafe "Weltliches Leben"
14: Necro Facility "Dope"
15: Kopfer Kat "Spike"
Feb 06 2007
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Artist: YENDRI
Title: Malfunction
Format: CD
Label: Mental Ulcer Forces / Metropolis-Records
Distributor: Soulfood / Nova Media
Rated: *****
Once a time there was a tiny Goth-inspired girl hailing out of Hamburg to teach fear to the international Electro/Industrial scene... Well, that was the impression I had from the info sheet of the label Mental Ulcer Forces, leaded by our almost beloved Rudy Ratzinger aka :WUMPSCUT:. Listed under ULC14 here comes out a new :W: recommendation, maybe a bit in the shadow to the coming same-time release new :W: full-length CD "Body Census". That YENDRI will already release her sixth full-length album speaks for her experience and her musically abilities in this scene. And her experience can be heard on almost all of the featured 16 tracks presented here. While it is hard and near to suicide to release music which needs a wider horizon, which is produced non-linear to some overrated trends, YENDRI seems to have a favor for the unusual. This album needs some more spins for sure and isn’t at all designed for the intolerant short-haired UNTER NULL supporters. A rather silent tone brings in some magic to this release on which you’ll may don’t find an entrance to. It’s a bit to categorize the music – Electro? Yes, for sure and rich available. Goth? Well, some pieces really are really floated with a very sad message and she also knows how to integrate some rather acoustic guitar sounds. The vocals are maybe the point on which the tastes differ. Some may can really find it enjoying, when YENDRI offers her cherry-flower-like fragile voice, while some others could find it disturbing to use too much reverb and delay effects to support some weaker parts. Although this release gets the fully DJ support through Germany’s Hardbeat Promotion and a license deal to Metropolis-Records, I have my doubts that it will take the hearts of the audience by storm. This stuff is rather capable to enjoy under a pair of headphones with some candle lights instead designed for some dancefloor action. YENDRI works in her very own world with a solid result, while not outstanding at all...

Dekoy: Haunted

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3375)
Feb 05 2007
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Artist: Dekoy (@)
Title: Haunted
Format: CD
Label: Ceremetry 47
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Second official CD release for this US-based duo, hailing out of Ohio. After their well recognized debut "Redux" also this new one was almost completely produced by the both protagonists, BaZa and d_b, solely the end mastering was done by Steve Laskarides at www.nrmastering.com. Was "Redux" rather a collection of danceable songs through the years, "Haunted" follows rather the idea of a conceptual outcome. Musically still based into smooth Synth-/Futurepop music, "Haunted" can be easily enjoyed in one flow. Well done production, catchy hook lines and the crystal-clear and charismatic male vocals are trademarks of this duo, which thematically deals with terms of abandonment, loss, and/or true regret - themes which have their influence on someone's mind in many different facets. So also some spooky-like interludes like "Phone Call" can be heard besides catchy and danceable smashers like the title track or "Looking Down". Diversity is therefore richly present on this professional produced album well packaged in a digi-pack, which will appeal all fans of the genre. Available from their website and/or CDBaby.

ABSURD MINDS: The Cycle

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 31 2007
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Artist: ABSURD MINDS (@)
Title: The Cycle
Format: CD EP
Label: Scanner (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This well-known German trio hailing from Dresden returns with a new EP, but with 11 tracks it looks nearly like an album. 5 new tracks you’ll got to hear, 1 unexpected cover version ("Hurt" of NIN, musically both acts differ light years...), plus at all 6 remix works based on the both main and outstanding tracks, "The Cycle" and "I Feel Alive". ABSURD MINDS provide again their already known formula of melodic and detailed worked-out Electropop, dark textures and layers and a vocal performance near to old PROJECT PITCHFORK. They’ve grown through the years for sure and could develop to a musically pleasant and catchy result, "The Cycle" is a fine example. For this piece you’ll need only 2 – 3 spins until it has bitten hard in your mind, a real smasher in their known mid-tempo style. Four different remix works of "The Cycle" are also available here, among others acts like LEGACY OF MUSIC and DAYS OF FATE (very Goth-like...) have worked on it. Not a bad work at all, but nothing on here which reaches the quality of the original. "I Feel Alive" instead pushes higher the speed and grows to a real cool dancefloor filler, also the featured "Jones-Mix" turns this fine track into a real aggressive percussion feast – thumbs up! What is still a riddle for me, is the fact that Metropolis until now hasn’t picked up this item – as far that they were responsible for almost all previous releases for the North-American market. This one is definitively worth to get featured and heard in every corner of this world.

JAPANESE GUM : talking silently ep

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 31 2007
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Artist: JAPANESE GUM (@)
Title: talking silently ep
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Marsiglia (@)
Rated: *****
I imagine many of you never heard the name Marsiglia records but while producing mainly debut cdr for new bands, the label should have developed a sort of magic touch since it looks like most of the bands they put out sooner or later make it on bigger labels. Just to prove these guys can smell it when it's good: here we have a promising electronic combo coming out of nowhere. Hailing from Genova, Japanese Gum are totally into the IDM/electronic-pop scene and you can hear it strongly underlined in the five tracks of this ep. This debut release is still a bit rough like it was the pre-mastered version of a cd and also still to be focussed (above all for the sound of some loops or for some vocal solutions) but they definitely know how to write that king of songs/tracks. It's true, they write songs much more than tracks, that's why they end to be really poppy sometimes, above all if compared to the glorious IDM hey-days or even to the average electronic release, but it doesn't depend exclusively form the vocals. "Melodic, melancholic and british"...no, that's not the next definition for Radiohead (another good name to enclose in the list of influences together with Sigur Ros and Mum), it's just a short definition that fits really well with this mcd. Port Royal made it on Resonant after a cdr like this... will they have the same luck? Keep your eyes and ears open.


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