Music Reviews

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Artist: DJ Baby Anne & Jen Lasher
Title: Assault & Battery
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: System Recordings / Zone Records
Distributor: System Recordings
Rated: *****

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I found this to be an unexpected drop in my box. As a DJ remix CD it also seems to be a bit of an unexpected pairing as well in some ways. Two high energy female DJs on a 2CD set by System Records, this creates several minutes of nightclub styled dance music with two distinct flavors. The first is DJ Baby Anne who's overall style is that of the Bass Culture. This femme fatale hails from Orlando, FL and mixes the likes of Malicious Mike, Trixie, Scratch-D (Dynamix II), Mylo, and KMFX as well as dropping a few of her own unique tracks. The second is Jen Lasher, this was the big surprise for me! This cute redhead reveals more of the underground styles between EBM and Synthpop. I found this a pleasant switch from 'traditional' DJ remix projects I've heard previously. Many of the artists she spins have a retro-modern Synthpop flair, some with EBM overtones. I would never have expected to hear Wolfsheim and Covenant on a DJ remix disc! Very nice! She also spins quite a few great tracks I'm previously unfamiliar with by bands such as The Glass, Naommon, Roxanne, The Knife, Mason, Infected Mushroom and one of her own making. The first disc starts out rather 'traditional' to older bass style DJ mixes then slowly transitions into something less familiar and more unique. Overall, I found this to be entertaining and fun to listen to. Not the type of disc I normally purchase but if you are looking for something fun to play at parties and you have a mixed crowd of trendies and alternatives alike, you can get away with this nicely!

CANDIDATE: Vote Don't Vote

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2005
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Title: Vote Don't Vote
Format: CD
Label: Novatune (@)
Rated: *****
It is strange how eighties had so many good bands around the globe that had been unknown outside their country. France in the eighties had Kas Product (their two albums have been reissued the last summer) that were a sort of French version of Pink Industry and they had also Candidate. Candidate were a electronic duo, just like the two bands I mentioned. I know that Pink Industry were three people in their latest days but their core was formed by Jayne Casey (also formerly of Big in Japan) and bassist/keyboardist Ambrose Reynolds. Anyway... Candidate were active in the mid eighties / early nineties with their mixture of electronic seductive music before passing to experimental forms of music and theatrical productions. VOTE DON'T VOTE isn't exactly a reissue of their releases, because the CD contains sixteen unreleased tunes coming from their 1987 ÷ 1990 late studio recordings. Their style made me remember a lot bands and no one precisely. The opening track "Up and down" remember me a little early Eurithmics while the other tracks are more new wave oriented less pop a little bit more experimental giving also a little space to guitar rock riffs. Cécil voice is able to catch immediately the listener's attention with its great personality (no heavenly vocalizations) while Bidou build a solid melodic structure based on TR 707 rhythms, guitar riffs and simple bass lines. A great version of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" with a sharped razor guitar will prove you that with few sounds is possible to create a good ambience. There are no weak moments and on some tracks also Bidou duet with Cécile, creating a good balance. VOTE DON'T VOTE is their fifth release and now I wish I could be able to listen their old stuff. What about you?


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 28 2005
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Title: Mute
Format: CD EP
Label: Rave Police (@)
Rated: *****

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Techno Squirrels is a new band coming from California but Lisa and Ryan met in Liverpool back in 1999. Lisa grew up in Sweden and after England she moved to L.A. They had both a musical past (Ryan played in different rock bands) but they find themselves stuck into techno rhythms. This forced them to find a way to collaborate just to make their own music. Rebirth and Reason software helped them sharing files and thanks to this they released through Rave Police their first single MUTE. MUTE contains two original tracks ("Mute" and "405") plus two remixes of the main track. The first time I listened to their music I immediately thought about Madonna's "Ray of light" because Techno Squillers' music is poppy and dancey at the same time. I must admit that the two tracks are nice but I'm not screaming because of them. They sound too polished for my tastes but they for sure could work well for the wider audience. The remixers took the original track and tried to experiment a little bit with it giving to it a nineties techno sound ("Jonah Afterglow coming to LA Mix") or a eighties analog version ("The Puff remix Feat. Crisp").

Superchumbo: Wowie Zowie

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 21 2005
Artist: Superchumbo
Title: Wowie Zowie
Format: CD
Label: Twisted Records
Distributor: Beatport
Rated: *****
The most frustrating thing about dance music is that most of it becomes dated or overplayed within a couple of years, or sooner. Not only that, but the music in question may be in some sort of niche subgenre that perhaps even your close friends don't listen or dance to. When you actually care enough to wonder where all those hours and hours of dance tracks and influences wind up over the years, you certainly don't count on the Club crowd to care along with you. But I have a hard time imagining a release such as Wowie Zowie dating badly, if at all, and I can't imagine anyone *not* caring, once this is listened to.

As far as vocal House goes, this hard electro offering of Superchumbo's hits the spot. High-octane all the way through, WZ is extremely versatile in both the dancefloor and pop departments. Superchumbo, t/n Tom Stephan, is of American persuasion based in London (at the moment the world's most cosmopolitan city), and his international sensibility shows through really well. He treats his work with the best of all possible House influences, and all of his guest vocalists' performances shine through accordingly.

Keep in mind that these tracks are all original Superchumbo. Three had already been prior Billboard chart-toppers in the U.S.: "Irresistible", "This Beat Is," and the title track. Some of them are run together as "mixes", not blended but simply butted against one another, with tempos changing cleanly. This makes the CD both listenable as a continuous party mix, yet still useful for a working DJ situation. Listen for Samantha Fox orgasmically cooing on "Sugar", some salty language from Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys on "Tranquilizer", and Bashiyra on "U Know I Love It". My personal favorite, "Everything U", features Stephan's own vocals. A few tracks may appeal more to the gay side of the spectrum than the straight ("Bring It", "Filthy Dirty"); believe me when I say there is more than enough love to go around for everybody. Like I said earlier, Wowie Zowie should keep its lustre for quite a while.

LES ANGES DE LA NUIT: Ruins of Victory

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Sep 16 2005
Title: Ruins of Victory
Format: CD
Label: Static Sky Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
With the license deal between German label Infacted Recordings and Static Sky Records, this debut release of this trio hailing from Fort Lauderdale, FL, is now free and good available on the US market. Two of the three men behind this band, Milton Sanchez and Anthony Stuart, are also responsible for the harsh and noisy output of RETRACTOR, a Terror-EBM act recording for the Polish Black Flames Label. Musically this both projects cannot compared at all, here and there I can hear out some similar structures, some same sounds, but that’s it. LES ANGES DE LA NUIT are servicing the wide field of the Synth-, Electro- or Futurepop genre, however you would like to name it. The vocals are of course without overdriven use of effect, they are clear and well placed in the mix – unbelievable if you still have the style of RETRACTOR in mind. Their strongest moments the band offers here with tracks like "Apocalypse", "Forever and a Day" or "Promise", which are floating well on current tide of the Futurepop genre. The melodic lines of these tracks will move through your ears in your brain and will remain there, very remarkable work. Also a favorite is the track "I Find Myself", the only one on which this band includes some distorted vocals. This album does globally well, but it is hard for me to figure out the differences to the wide mass of comparable productions. It swims with all current tendencies, but here is nothing really bad or that sensational good that this album could grab bigger attention. A satisfying and decent album, but away from being groundbreaking.

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