Music Reviews



LUNAR: Turbo

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 25 2005
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Artist: LUNAR
Title: Turbo
Format: CD
Label: Moonleerecords (@)
Rated: *****
Some years ago a couple of friends of mine after a short tour with their own band told me they' had played with some interesting bands, one of these bands was Lunar. After several tour in Europe and a release on belgian Delboy label I'm glad I can finally hear one of their releases, I can't say if that's the best band of the Moonlee lot, but without any doubt is the one I prefer. Indie rock, I've had the hitch to write post-rock but at last that's indie rock, it's instrumental music mainly but there are some (poppy) vocals, melody makes the rules on this cd and the band is completely focussed on it. When somebody speaks about relaxing music, here it is, what I call relaxing music: indie-emo-rock with reminiscences of Constellation, the sound of the best emo rock from the 90s and there's a Mogweyan feeling even if thanks to god this' not another arpeggio-based combo (ok, they have those slow heart-breaking arpeggios but they're alive and kicking and not booooooring as many others). Sometimes the architecture of the song is completely sacrificed for the sake of melody and for good! The big mistake of many bands is they don't have the strength and the patience to work on arrangements. A good record and a good identity card for Lunar.

ANALENA: Carbon based

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 25 2005
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Artist: ANALENA (@)
Title: Carbon based
Format: CD
Label: Moonleerecords (@)
Rated: *****
Analena plays really melodical, once it would have been labeled emo-core, now it's "emo-rock", not unlike many bands that made it on Mtv. The sound is good, the female vocals reminded me of Dahlia Seed (for those who are old enough), the music is a good cocktail of rock, pop-punk, emo based on solid guitars female and male vocals in balance between screamo and melody, here we could say that the result is not that far from the english emo wave of the 90s (Tribute, Spy vs Spy, Schema, Baby Harp Seal) but somewhere else it sounded like the best Reitziger and Fine Before You Came. There's a thick production and I dare everybody to say this bands comes from Europe; there's also a big american feeling in the ten songs of this cd. Sometimes their songwriting is chained to the cliches of the genre, but after all they do it really well therefore: why no?!. Some songs are potential hit for the indie-punk market and if you are into this style, you sure won't be disappointed. I imagine live they can enkindle since some of their riffery is catchy. Indie rockers and the rest of the world have discovered some bands from the punk scene, this could be another good surprise...but just for the aficionados of this genre.

DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS: S/T

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 25 2005
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Artist: DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS (@)
Title: S/T
Format: CD
Label: Moonlee (@)
Rated: *****
Hey man "East is East" but with such a name and with music like that the distance that once divided western and eastern music is completely blown away. Don't Mess With Texas hails from Zagreb and plays instrumental post-rock music that all of you into indie-harmonies or those who are into emotional music will love at the first glanc..hem, listening. While the tracks goes by, this full length the two most frequent comparison that came to my mind were Mogway and Rachel's during their rock trip, therefore you can easily argue the air smells inevitably of Godspeed You Black Emperor but not so much since the emphasis is different beside the fact Don't Mess With Texas are more into guitar driven melodies. Good production and some of the songs have a good architecture, while the possible remark is that the cd sometimes sounds sticks too much to the post-rock dogmas. The piano works are really classical (even if I can't say if that's the background of the piano player) but that' probably one of the point of interest of this band since if they'll be able to evolve their style I wouldn't be that surprised by a big step forward with the next record (I'm thinking to the possible evolution of songs like "God might want to change his mind" where the Constellation-like atmosphere is great). If heart-breaking melodies are your everyday bread this "debut" morsel is worth of a bite.

Sasha: FundacionNYC

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 19 2005
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Artist: Sasha
Title: FundacionNYC
Format: CD
Label: Global Underground
Rated: *****
This is the mix CD behind superstar DJ Sasha's bi-coastal U.S. jaunt this summer, featuring his new all-digital custom mixer, the Maven. Sasha's own design, the Maven stores his tracks all ready for playback, at which point he cuts, loops, splices and drops partial elements from each one into the live mix in real time howsoever he chooses--so as to create a uniquely and spontaneously remixed track, each and every time. Assuming the device was used in this recording (the presskit's language was awfully slippery about it), Sasha indeed turns in some eerie and interesting treatments to his chosen tracks.

And what an eclectic clutch of tracks it is: what starts out at a rather sleepy pace (mellow electro- and deep-house cuts by Adam Johnson, Swayzak, Beanfield) gives way to so-called "forgotten classics" such as an electro-reworking of Depeche Mode's "Behind the Wheel." Then a strange and wonderful thing happens. The CD's lively electro-housey midsection segues into a 6/8 time signature--at the most crucial point in a DJ's set when he most needs to keep his listeners on the dancefloor. Because, right around the corner from the bumpin' house, we're suddenly loping along to Freaky Chakra's "Blacklight Fantasy," sitting (as it were) zen-like on a giant day-glo mushroom. Unbelievable! Did Sasha's tough New York City crowd actually go for that? Let's hope so, because in my book, this plus the last two tracks, Goldfrapp's pounding, pretty-hateful "Strict Machine" and M83's oddly menacing "Don't Save Us From the Flames" make an unbeatable closing triad. Anyone who saw him spin this year, please tell me how his gig was. (Yeah, yeah, granted, I have no excuse for missing it when I had the chance.)

GASR: Survival of the Fittest

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 06 2005
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Artist: GASR (@)
Title: Survival of the Fittest
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah (@)
Rated: *****
GASR is Gary Suarez (vocals/programming), Luis Brito (programming/production), and Jim Ankrom (live keyboards). Survival of the Fittest, GASR’s debut effort is a beautifully structured album that is not only emotionally and mentally captivating but also a fresh addition to stagnating dance floor playlists everywhere.

GASR’s Survival of the Fittest is a complex and thoughtful release, visiting familiar EBM and synthpop staples ranging from Neuroticfish to Bigod 20 (leaving nothing untouched between) and taking the combinations to newer and higher grounds. Suarez’s vocals and lyrics switch between intimate and fragile to a darker, accusing tone. The keys/programming, however; are GASR’s real strength. While Suarez’s vocals require a few listens to really enjoy, the programming stands out within seconds.

While I’ll admit I was not instantly carried away by Survival of the Fittest, after a few listens I was completely engrossed. It amazes me the quality and effort this trio has managed to put into just their first release, and I can only hope they continue in this trend.


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