Music Reviews



DUBOK: Shiver

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2351)
Dec 12 2005
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Artist: DUBOK (@)
Title: Shiver
Format: CD
Label: Mizukis Box (@)
Rated: *****
The new US label Mizukis Box sets a first strong exclamation mark with the release of the new and long-awaited DUBOK CD "Shiver". DUBOK, previously recording for the now defunct Tinman label, have found a new label home – a bit surprising, because I really thought they could enter a better known and longer active label after their highly recognized past releases on Tinman. But with more releases like this new "Shiver" CD, the label Mizukis Box will get worldwide attention and success. DUBOK go on in their special style, combining modern Synthpop anthems with danceable rhythms, while not forgetting some 80ies influences here and there. Almost all of the presented 10 tracks here can be called ear-catching and offer some nice melodic ideas while not sounding like often heard before. For the lyrics – well, some tracks here offer some heart-broken content about lost relations or never replied enthusiasms ("For the Throat", "Natalie’s Song"). These mentioned pieces I would call as the strongest moments here, as well as the ballad-like "Left Behind". Full of variations and emotions are also the very well placed vocals – another good point in the music of this 4-men act. This full-length CD is an outstanding release for the young label Mizukis box and a perfect continuing release in the discography of DUBOK. Well placed and produced Synthpop music with an intelligent note – this should easily enter some "best of the best 2005" Synthpop compilations. Get it and order this release directly from the labels’ website.

ReActivate: ReActivate Your Mind

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2348)
Dec 10 2005
Artist: ReActivate (@)
Title: ReActivate Your Mind
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Product Records (@)
Distributor: Epopland
Rated: *****
Another excellent release from Synthetic Product Records. ReActivate debut "ReActivate Your Mind" is a well produced killer album with infectious beats and constructed synthesizers with catchy melody hooks, emotional lyrics with strong feelings that dominate the album. The songs on this album will surely take the audience on a complete emotive spellbound journey. A majestic futurepop/synthpop club vibration that will lull you to the dance floor. Non-stop electronic dance tracks that's highly provoking, addictive, danceable and splendid hypnotic. Favorites include "No Way Out", "Star Driver", "Last Wishes", "ReActivate Your Mind", "Dream In Silence", and "Lebenssinn", which is sung in the band's original German language. ReActivate wants the music lovers to know that don't let the government, anyone, radio, and the record companies who put out bogus & lame music to change their mind/way of thinking. Everyone is value to their own opinion and listen to whatever they want and makes them happy. So ReActivate your mind! Pick up this cd. Synthpop fans will surely enjoy it!
Dec 09 2005
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Artist: GOMMA WORKSHOP (@)
Title: Cantina tapes
Format: CD
Label: Snowdonia
Rated: *****
Listening to this cd the first aspect I couldn't but notice was that Vittorio De Marin and his Gomma Workshop had a lot to offer. From the very first track you get a pop approach that ends in a fake traditional chinese song (Yoshimi?...), but the second track clears immediately up your mind from every doubt this' just a "particular pop release"...a crazy release maybe. A good way to describe the result could be to devide it in melodic strange pop tunes (Pijama'o' Rama, soLOFOne, caLOMOre), orchestral works (KGphono, Clawnsclan, Woodhood) and "I've had an hard time trying to file it under something" tracks (almost the majority of the songs). Probably this weirdo accomplished the unusual result of combining an inveterate love for soundtracks an damn good writing skill, the listening of many different kind of music and it's hard to say what else. Morricone, electronics, Nyman, Califone, Calexico, ethnic music (mainly asiatic style, the same passion the brought together many contemporary composers) are squeezed together in this incredible grey area of visionary compositions. I can't say I'm into everything but tip of hat to Gomma Workshop for the damn good job.

FORETASTE: Beautiful Creatures

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (2340)
Dec 06 2005
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Artist: FORETASTE (@)
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Format: CD
Label: Boredom Product (@)
Rated: *****
Announced about a year ago, finally BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the debut Fretaste's album is out. A year ago I postponed my judgement about the band, waiting for the release of this CD. Well, I must say that the duo formed by Sylvie and Pierre refined their style and they produced twelve tracks of electro wave that really convinced me. I didn't remember their music to be that seductive, so just to give a good judgement I checked the MCD that already was containing four tracks that have been re-released on BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and I was right, because now they sound amazingly better: I think that the production of the album helped so much giving a new life to "Discordance", "Victim's heart", "For your own good" and to "Re-love". The vocals are better mixed with the instruments and the music sounds well balanced. In this way the band's skills are better shown and you'll will appreciate the catchy melodies and the electro wave style they deal so well with. The album doesn't sound retro even if you can hear the '80s influences. Melancholy is well balanced with the energetic arrangement and, in this way, the calm and mysterious Sylvie's voice find completion into the beating drum and the synthesizers programmed by Pierre. Tracks like "That smiling man" or the main title "Beatiful creatures" sum really well the new band's style and the whole album is a convincing one that prove that in one year the band did a wonderful job.

STOP THE WHEEL: Nothing

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 05 2005
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Artist: STOP THE WHEEL (@)
Title: Nothing
Format: CD
Label: Madcap collective (@)
Rated: *****
"Lo-fi indie folk" that's the galaxy you'd better look for if you wonna find Stop the wheel. If a title like "Nothing" makes the old farts like me think of punk nihilism, the music comes from another planet, it's folk, mainly acoustic guitar and vocals "back at the origin". At times this cd recalled Evan Dando's Lemonheads in the midst of the "Mrs. Robinson"-phase (above all tracks like "Bastard he was"), but the softest songs are closer to Guided by Voices or Jim O'Rurke (sure, minus his Bacharah-arrangements, so "american folk!" to the bone). Yes, Stop the wheel's music has reminiscences of american folk, Mark Kozlek? Pedro the Lion? I think these guys can appreciate both of 'em. I know I've started by saying "lo-fi", the recording is intentionally rough but good, the way it has to be. I think the main quality of the songwriter here is that the guy in not trying to be anybody else but himself: naive, but not pretentious at all. It's breakfast time and many of these tracks can ease the bore while going to work...sometimes it feels like John Fahey and Nick Drake are the fathers of us all...may God bless both of 'em!!.


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