Music Reviews



ROTERSAND: Dare To Live

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2582)
Mar 13 2006
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Artist: ROTERSAND (@)
Title: Dare To Live
Format: CD EP
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Under the moniker "perspectives on welcome to goodbye" the trio ROTERSAND presents us here a remix EP picking up the lines and the success of their last year’s full length release "Welcome To Goodbye". Entitled to be the best "Electro-Album 2005" (Zillo – Musikmagazin) this album could enter the 2nd position on the DAC year-end album charts – only DEPECHE MODE with their "Playing The Angel" could hold the top position. So that’s of course a not expected success for this German act and so no real wonder, that a follow-up needed to be produced and released. First off, the concept of this EP differs from any usual compareable release because it focuses not only on some more or less worthy remix contributions, this EP is holds also asides this two new tracks "Give It All Away" and "Drop Your Education", and ROTERSAND themselves reworked their own tracks. The result is satisfying, the new versions of "Dare To Live" and "Almost Wasted" can more convince here. But the highlights are both new tracks, especially "Give It All Away" has an extremely remarkable melodic content, also the vocal duet between Rasc and Julia Beyer of the new Alfa Matrix signing TECHNOIR can totally convince. SOMAN ("By The Waters") and haujobb. ("Strom") offer the mentioned remix contributions and make this EP complete. 9 tracks in all, only "Almost Wasted" is featured in two different versions – if you liked somehow "Welcome To Goodbye" you have to buy this new one as well. Also for me personally this EP convinced me easier then the full-length. Hats down, guys, good and modern Electro/Futurepop stuff!
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Artist: MODERN INSTITUTE
Title: excellent swimmer
Format: CD
Label: Expanding Records (@)
Rated: *****
That's definitely a blast from the past, but from the most recent past since Teho Teardo after Meathead, Matera and Here kept playing and putting out records like his new solo cd (out on Nail records), like Operator and he’s worked with many other projects. As you will discover by reading a forthcoming interview for Chaindlk this musician has also earned a living by composing soundtracks for movie directors such as Gabriele Salvadores or Guido Chiesa and if you ask me I'd say this cd is deeply influenced by his job. The personal touch and the melodic taste of Teardo are kinda similar to Here's masterpiece "Brooklin bank" and that's truly recommended to those who loved that project with Phyler Coleman because this could be the natural evolution of those ideas. The spine of this record is rapresented by some texture elaborated mainly with electronics and/or on the classical-chamber cello playing of Martina Bertoni, the marriage is enchanting and really soft as you can guess. A soft and dreamy listening: "stairs", "not a word manni", "munibabe" are just some of the potential hits included in "excellent swimmer" (and it also comes with a nice clip for "munibabe"). Take it with the usual grain of salt, but I think this cd stands in between the Bermuda triangle the angles of which are Album Leaf, Rachel's and latest and most manipulated Hood without vocals. There's a whole list of adjectives suitable for "excellent swimmer" like elegant, easy listening and refined; if that's what you looking for get it.

Xlover: Pleasure & Romance

 Posted by Adhab Al-Farhan   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2565)
Mar 06 2006
Artist: Xlover
Title: Pleasure & Romance
Format: CD
Label: Gigolo Records
Rated: *****
Xlover is a surprisingly hot new act. This is electro at its finest. There's plenty of guests stars in this album such as Princess Superstar, Felix Da Housecat, and Jon Klein (known from The Cure and Souxie and The Banshees). A cover of Nirvana's classic "Aneurysm" is another surprise and so is a cover of Prince's "Darling Nikki", which was a song recently re-popularized by the band FOO FIGHTERS. Xlover has that grungy feel in their music but without much guitars instead grungy synths and beats dominate this entire album. The lead singer, Nina Rai, is fast becoming a popular fashion icon as well so this group is certainly full of surprises. Xlover members has worked with plenty of well know artists with legendary status such as Depeche Mode, Prince, Pig, KMFDM as well as many others. Not to mention, producing songs for soundtracks most notably composing the theme song for the film "Godzilla: Final Wars". Xlover is highly recommended to all fans of good music.
Feb 28 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Plutonium Showcase V. 2
Format: CD
Label: Plutonium Distribution (@)
Rated: *****
This new showcase of the Swedish Plutonium label is more than a simple label compilation, it represents the rich and active content of several acts of the Three-Crowns country. And so several guest appearances can be discovered here and all featured acts here do their best to give a convincing listening as well as a rich amount of diversity in styles. Things start well with the opener PROJECT-X and a special remix done by COBALT 60 on their track "Stay Awake" - not that expected straight EBM piece but still decent done. MORTICIANS, Plutonium’s very own recording act, comes next here and give us already a new piece from their upcoming next release. AUTO-AUTO are one of these uncountable Synthpop acts somewhere comparable with the known ELEGANT MACHINERY and several reminiscences taken of the Pop/Wave influences of the Eighties. One of the highlights of this whole comp follows then with the one-man act CRYO, recently signed to Progress Productions. Their track "The Pain" combines old school EBM structures with well sounding male vocals and mysterious sounding synth layers - marvelous played, definitively a track which makes me eagerly awaiting their debut CD. CJ Parker comes next and built a smile on my face regarding their Diva-like vocals and its content. WHITECHAPEL is one of the upcoming acts on Plutonium, a female leaded act combining almost Dark Electro with some harder rhythms - maybe the Swedish answer on acts like PSYCHOBITCH. DIN STALKER comes next with an instrumental piece and presents a convincing synth play, while the effort of PSILODUMP can’t grab attention. We are in the middle of the running time of this comp and some more or less average stuff takes part here. NORTHERN ELECTRIC is also one of the upcoming acts recording for Plutonium and they present here an old school influenced EBM piece with German lyrics. Next act is SADAKO’S FURY and they mix Electro elements with Rock’n Roll - uuhm, here we get good male vocals mixed with distorted percussion efforts - stuff which needs some habit. INSTANS is the lesser distorted Electro/Industrial side-project by SEVERE ILLUSION. Lesser distorted means here that this effort by both Ulf Lundblad and Fredrik Djurfeldt is more straight and linear. Distortion and destroying elements are still present of course, but for INSTANS it sounds more programmed and lesser influenced by chance. Also the vocals and its effect penetration differs from SEVERE ILLUSION, although I must say, that they could be better placed in the floating mix of this track. The north Swedish duo MICROBODY comes next with a hard old school EBM piece called "Consumer’s Decay". It is a hard and fast paced track which awakes some Punk reminiscences. ETERNITY RANGE is a side-project by a MORTICIANS member and they play a dark and slow form of Synthpop - a very beautiful piece. AKEUM SON is a French/Swedish connection and they also definitively explore the harder and darker side of Electro/Industrial. Comes then SEVERE ILLUSION with a new track which moves into a new and different direction than their latest releases. Minimal synth play, chaos and destroying elements are reduced to almost zero, surprise, surprise! Unexpected stuff and it definitively bound me at the headphones for some more rotations to get conformity in it. The duo of TWZ is also back here with an amazing new piece "Terror Cell" and their development in vocals and music is nice to see/hear. Follows then THE PAIN MACHINERY with a hard, fast and chaotic noisy track which differs a lot from the latest release "Hostile" - maybe this piece is a bit older here? Finally this comp ends with another instrumental piece of a project TRASHCANDOGCHOIR.
Also this compilation lives a lot from its exclusive content and the unexplored talents which seem to be so damned rich present in Sweden. Definitively a good initiative and I hope for some continuations.

Tracklist:

01 Project-X - Stay Awake (Insomnia remix by Cobalt 60)
02 Morticians - Overlords
03 Auto-auto - Dog
04 Cryo - The Pain
05 CJ Parker - Beutiful Boys
06 Whitechapel - Dead Channelz
07 Din Stalker - Ohne Zuschlag
08 Psilodump - Vuoksa
09 Northern Electric - Normal (neu)
10 Sadako's Fury - Once upon a time
11 Instans - Break the Glass
12 Microbody - Consumers Decay
13 Eternity Range - Goodnight
14 Akeum Son - The Infinite Power
15 Severe Illusion - In your hostile little face
16 TWZ - Terror Cell
17 The Pain Machinery - Empathy
18 Trashcandogchoir - Our Engines

DRINK TO ME : kralle brau session

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2534)
Feb 22 2006
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Artist: DRINK TO ME (@)
Title: kralle brau session
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Stuprobrucio (@)
Rated: *****
From the same cdr label of Hawaii8 here come nother good demo-ep. Drink To Me differently from their label mates are a rock combo with that 4/4 beats that makes the day of a lot of young teenagers chained in front of Mtv. Rough but good recording from which you won't miss the english post-punk influence of the band and if Mtv made you think "easy listening" that's not the case. I can't say that's music without a melodic edge but unfortunately for all of us its new waveish crepuscular taste may be disorienting for the average pop kid. Do you remember Pitchblende? If it helps their later line up at one point became Turing Machine, anyhow, this post-punk U.s. quartet put some really interesting and inspired records during the early nineties and the labels were Matador, Cargo, Jade Tree if that means a thing (and it does). Just the fact Drink To Me recall such an underrated but undeniably great band like Pitchblende, to me it's a result itself. Add to this all they have some avant-rock-noise reminescences a la Brainiac in a new wave salsa and that's how it sounds. Probably there's much more to be done but it's an ok release and better of half of the post-punk-punk-fuck-post-garage-post-whatever wonnabies trying to make it on Mtv.


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