Music Reviews

CACOY : human is music

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 17 2006
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Artist: CACOY (@)
Title: human is music
Format: CD
Label: Rumarket (@)
Rated: *****
It should be an all star pop combo from Japan and sure I had no doubt this was coming from up there infact the collateral effect this' the jingle of a cartoon. Poppy and sappy?...I'd say no, undeniably less classy than Pizzicato Five and more electronic and squared than Cibo Matto this could also remind a sort of japanese pop meets something of Traband from Island if you remember them. Childish and dreamy as you expect it to be but well done and weird as only japanese music can sound to our western ears. For half of the track I've had an hard time telling thinking it was not cartoon music and not even the "bouble bouble" theme (for those who belong to the pre-playstation school). I know some people think it sound "dumb" music but somebody else like Taylor Deupree would not agree (that's why he also opened an all-japanese-pop oriented label) and that's a point for our beloved samurais. The influence are quite varied but the strongest impression you have after it's over is that's music based on childish melodies or nannies. Well done, easy listening but particular enough to be different from the most of the average band playing this kind of style.

Sep 13 2006
Artist: VV.AA
Title: Some Tunes
Format: CD
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
Basserk is a new label heading from Neatherland and SOME TUNES is their second release which shows the aims and sounds of the label’s roster. The CD opens with a convincing electro distorted tune by Mignon ("Death race") remixed by Patric Catani and if there was a good way to start, this was a really good one. Aux Raus is next with "This is how this works" a breathtaking electro punk anthem that gathers electro sounds, a distorted guitar and a cool melody for a 130 bmp track (or something like that). Genjini is next with "Das funkistador", a nice electro funky lo-fi track that will make you move your asses. 3-1 already released a 12" for Basswerk titled "Dont’t destroy" and here they present a new track, "Gold" a nice track with a certain English flavour (I hear a little bit of latest Chumbawamba atmospheres). Kook Feat. Roxxy Bione already had a release on Pale Music and on this compilation present "Nobody knows" a convincing electro dancey tune. Elle Bandita along with the Scandals (the band of the Pale Music chief that here remix Junesex) and Melomanics play a cool kind of punk with dance attitude while the Dutch Drillem with "Bug" blend western (yes, I mean the movies) atmospheres with crazy electro dance extravaganza. Now it’s the turn of Transformer Di Roboter. I loved so much their cover E.P. that I was curious to check an original tune and I must admit that they didn’t disappoint my expectation as with "Hi-end" I found the elements that made me love their sound (that lo-fi casio syth sounds here enriched with a distorted bass line and several other cool keyboard sounds) into a song that has a perfect melody and which is impossible not to dance to. Sneakthief present here "Les yeux fermes", a nice track of their electro funky style but this time the track is based on guitars/bass guitars sound with a sampled French voice. Nobody Beats The Drum is one of the different Dutch bands on this CD (in total we can count eight out of fourteen) and their "Turn up the box" is an electro dancey tune that sometimes remembered me the latest Daft Punk. Dumbvox and Lucky Goat are the last ones. The first one with "Guardian" present a mixture of electro and e.b.m. and the latter with "No worries" is here with a nice electro reggae tune. At this point I imagine you’ll have understood that this compilation is worth the purchase and you have just to visit to order your copy!

Celeste Noir: Dark Dancer

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 09 2006
Artist: Celeste Noir (@)
Title: Dark Dancer
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
German synth-pop/horrorpop trio Celeste Noir is back with another club killer cd. This time it's a 7 song ep. "Dark Dancer" is not only on the lines of Depeche Mode, but also on the lines of New Order. Carsten, the band's singer is still at his very best with baritone vocals and the lyrics are seriously on the drama side with a sense of humour. Don't take them for granted, don't underestimate them because of their synthy bouncy sound. Celeste Noir always challenge themselves by making a perfect record that's different from their previous releases. Each song provides a catchy intro within 15-20 seconds that will get the listener undivided attention and worthy to pay close attention to. Like Depeche Mode and New Order, their music is punctuated by style and technique with perfection. The band is complete in control of their own music and production. They have that aggression to be cold and bitchy, but also with a lot of love to give and spread. They can take one simple idea, twists it, turns it, and inflates it to epic proportions combining repetition with a sense of the unexpected.. The German trio doesn't have to impress or show off. They deliver the best club/dance record. And this one is brilliant up to date.Tracklistings:1. Dark Dancer (Original)2. I Won't Cry3. Black Dog (2006)4. The Music of the Heart5. No Place For You6. The One I Left Behind (New Version)7. Still Alive8. Dark Dancer (12 Inch Mix)9. Dark Dancer (C-D-R Mix)


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 07 2006
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Artist: HEADMAN (@)
Title: On
Format: CD
Label: Gomma (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****
Robi Insinna a.k.a. Headman and Manhead is a successful dj which since the early 2000 is rocking the dancefloors. During the last period he’s touring with Soulwax as their official tour dj as well he did many remix for Franz Ferdinand, Royksopp, Yello, Anne, Mylo, Scissor Sisters, etc. The respect he gained during his career allowed him to have on his second full length many guest singers, so ON features: Anthony Roman (from Radio 4), Stephen Dewaele (from Soulwax), Tara, Anton Spivac, Matt Safer (from The Rapture), Ed Laliq, Ben Rymer and Erol Alkan (from Trash). The album contains twelve tracks that mix indie rock urge with dancefloor taste. To tell the truth I was expecting something more electronic and less rock oriented but it seems that Robi wanted the album to be enjoyed also at home and he concentrated the will to party for the remixes you can find on the three singles taken from the album: "Roh", "Moisture" and the upcoming "On & on". Listening to tracks like "Balearica" it seems to hear the Kills affected by a soul fever with electronic arrangements. It sounds nice but it sounds also a bit too MTV oriented.

LOST SIGNAL: Eviscerate

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 07 2006
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Artist: LOST SIGNAL (@)
Title: Eviscerate
Format: CD
Label: 23 DB (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
We had to wait a while for this comeback – the comeback of the year maybe - and at some online forums already some rumors came up that this known act has ended all activities. But Charles Rehill returns here with a new full length CD almost five years after his successful debut "Catharsis", which got released originally on the long out of business Inception Records. "Catharsis" to that time became a classic and tracks like "Strain" or "Regret" are still up-to-date sounding Futurepop pearls. Maybe also thanks to the fact that "Catharsis" got produced by Tom Shear of ASSEMBLAGE 23, Charles could enter a not expected attention and this debut album brought him on the same stages like the mentioned ASSEMBLAGE 23 and VNV NATION. For some reasons Charles had unfortunately to take a break from being a musician – that’s hard for him today, because nothing will be like it was, his absence was surely a bit long and Charles has almost to start from scratch again. Luckily Tom Shear of ASSEMBLAGE 23 still stands faithful to Charles, this time being leader of the label 23DB Records, which now brought us this new "Eviscerate" album. Although there isn’t a special website up for this label, please keep in mind what happened with Tom’s last featured act, BACKANDTOTHELEFT, they got signed to Metropolis Records. An initiative which could also happen to LOST SIGNAL. By listening this new album I got the impression that the globally sound of Charles hasn’t changed that much. The kind of composition, the sound and the kind he sets in his vocals and several Synth arrangements show some similarities, but before people start to argue against this and spread nonsense words like "stagnancy", they’d better take a look to this music genre called Electro/Industrial/Futurepop with all the highs and depths of the past years generally. Although five years later released than the debut, "Eviscerate" sounds modern and like a logical follow-up – and so it is. Some musical maturity also Charles has experienced through the years like the use of some IDM and Breakbeat elements ("Distance"). So "Eviscerate" holds all expected properties on board, danceable Synth-/Futurepop tunes like the catchy "Locked Away", "Drowning" or "Perfect Sky" go in an undisturbed connection with slower, ballad-like tracks like "Mourn" or "Blind". Also Charles’ introspective kind of lyrics avoiding almost all cliches often heard in this genre are surely another outstanding point not only of this production – no, it’s a trademark of Charles generally. So we got a nice comeback release which doesn’t leave any wishes unfulfilled. Charles Rehill sends out a stronger signal than ever, hopefully it won’t get lost for another five years.

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