Music Reviews



PATENBRIGADE: WOLFF: Hochstapler

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 16 2007
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Artist: PATENBRIGADE: WOLFF (@)
Title: Hochstapler
Format: CD
Label: Zweieck Recordings (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Hidden in an exclusive metal-case featuring laser scripts and a 16-sided picture-photo-book here comes out a new full-length release of this German duo. Being the phoenix out of the ashes of the relatively known act THE DUST OF BASEMENT this duo, consisting of Sven Wolff and Lance Murdock, is already musically active since 1998 and could release previously two full-length CD’s and two MCD’s under their label Zweieck Records. Some of you may have discovered them also with an excellent compilation appearance on "Annihilation & Seduction", the debut release of the US label BLC Productions. This duo takes its musically influence out of the daily work of construction workers, it shall be the musically paraphrase of all happenings on building sites. It isn’t definitively not yet-another-NEP-clone styled EBM formation with a shouter providing "sweat-muscle-machine" poetics – while it is old-school minded. The musically arrangements take mostly their influences out of some late-80ies remembrances and remain instrumental, here and there only interrupted with some voice samples out of a radio and at times with a politically background ("Ostberliner Bauarbeiter"). Two tracks here, "Gefahrstoffe" and "Doppelmeisterschalter" are featuring SARA NOXX providing some cool guest vocal performances – especially "Gefahrstoffe" should lead the masses to the dancefloor with its ripping EBM bass lines. Also favorites I would like to name with "Zusatzfunktion" and "Korrosionsnarben", which both feature the complete musically dimension of this duo. A fine release with a decent musically concept – not like anything else heard before. How do they call it? Electro-Ambient for Tower Crane Conductors? Well, let’s say: good work, men!

DECADES: Secrecy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 15 2007
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Artist: DECADES (@)
Title: Secrecy
Format: CD
Label: Civic Dust Company (@)
Rated: *****
I didn't know Decades and their second album titled SECRECY leaved me astonished. It is an album that starting from the second song "Rat star" (find another synthpop band that have lyrics like: "The rodent cannibals chew the day away / Where we gotta be cruel to be kind") grows and shows little gems like "Kite" or "Summer monkeys" where the warm voice of Stefan lead the listener through a smooth but energetic electro synthpop full of beautiful melodies. These are what I call songs. It could be an old cliche but the structure with a the catchy refrain isn't only synonimous of sell-outs. The Decades' style in particular is a blend of electro pop and new wave with a little bit of e.b.m. on tracks like "Chemicals". It is also peculiar for a band of this genre to record a seven minutes and half song (the closing "Black humor") and to keep it interesting for its whole duration. In this case they sound like a mix of Depeche Mode and And One but I assure you that they convinced me already from the second track.

RICARDO AUTOBAHN: Interrobang

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 12 2007
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Artist: RICARDO AUTOBAHN (@)
Title: Interrobang
Format: CD
Distributor: ITunes
Rated: *****
Member of synthpop band Spray, Ricardo Autobahn is a writer/composer for soundtracks, adverts, corporate events and TV shows.
He co-wrote the UK's 2006 Eurovision entry, the top 10 hit 'Teenage Life' with Daz Sampson. His first solo album INTERROBANG is released through ITunes (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=213695548&s=143444) but it's also available as CD-r writing directly to him. The album presents particular instrumental tracks (only few have vocals). Some of them remember me 70's / early 80's tracks (the first one that pop up into my mind is "Popcorn" by Il Guardiano Del Faro, that was a big hit here in Italy in 1972) a la Vangelis. Ricardo added some dance flavor to some of them (check "Bouncing through life" or "Maniac in a saab") while others are relaxing semi ambient tracks (like the opening "Grand pacific skies", "Radiophonic man" or "Dreamy in the afternoon"). The surprise arrives with "Find me a lover", a dance tune based on distorted guitar: a cool track but a bit too commercial for my taste. I prefer the electro influences of "Beep beep" or the vocal inserts on "Sci-fi religions". INTERROBANG is a real retro album where you can find influences of 70's electro tunes as well as 80s' melodies (check "Amaurote", one of the few sung songs, which is a good romantic electronic tune) with a bit of 90's house influences on the closing "Interrobang". I may say that I prefer Spay sound but Ricardo did an album that someway is unique.

FAKE THE ENVY: Blind

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 10 2007
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Artist: FAKE THE ENVY
Title: Blind
Format: CD
Label: Idle Works / Section 44 (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
After the release of their 8-track debut "...As They Fall" this Danish Synthpop duo returns with a new full-length CD entitled "Blind". Again originally released on their very own Idle Works label, they could now also starting a license agreement with the US-based Section 44 (www.section44.com), which will take care on all North-American business actions. What they could remain from their debut is without doubt their strong song-writing and compositional abilities. It is still the well-done and catchy Synthpop sound featuring some traditionally 80ies-like elements accomplished by smooth and authentic male vocals. Against to "...As They Fall" the new tracks offer a grown maturity and here and there ("Broken", "Sweep Us All Away" or the marvelous "Tell Me, Tell Me") a stronger concentration to create some dancefloor action. And have I heard also the use of an acoustic guitar riff on "Warrior"? Well, musically diversity keeps it always interesting. Mastered at the famous Corrosive Audio Studios by Da5id Din, both members, Kristian Kroll and Kent Peterson, have produced another fine album, which avoids all cliche-loaded Futurepop-inspired relations – maybe the strongest point, which creates FAKE THE ENVY’s signature. Good stuff.

Screaming For Emily: Scriptures

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 03 2007
Artist: Screaming For Emily (@)
Title: Scriptures
Format: CD EP
Label: North End Records
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
This six song ep is a re-release production recording, which was originally released back in 1987. New Jersey based quartet Screaming For Emily is one of the 80's underground synth-pop bands who started out listening to music like Depeche Mode to The Cure. Then the four good friends formed a band together. Their first debut "Scriptures" ful-fills the ghastly nightmares of what underground pop represents could be achievement. The band used some of Depeche Mode music structure technique from "Construction Time Again" to "Some Great Reward" and gave it a more darker twist by adding their own original ideas to it, which is a good combination. Lance Redaelli deadpan vocals is a reminder of Gene Loves Jezebel vocalist, Michael Ashton. Like all 80's new wave bands, they sport a weird hairstyle, but indeed a good looking keyboard all boy band. "Scriptures" is described deep, thought-provoking, cold, and dark. Yes, it's that good. This ep is flawless. Outstanding tracks
are "The Love", "Another Girl", and "Just A Lie". Polished with sophistication and inspired.


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