Music Reviews



THE DIGNITY OF LABOUR: XRV

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 18 2004
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Artist: THE DIGNITY OF LABOUR (@)
Title: XRV
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: A Different Drum (@)
Rated: *****
After self releasing two full lenght albums, The Dignity Of Labour successfully found a proper contract by signing to A Different Drum and releasing this eight track E.P. The new MCD gathers two new tracks "Xrv" and "Oxygen" (no, it isn't a Jean Michel Jarre cover), coming from the next homonymous release. The four remixes of the first track are made by Nevarakka, Eric Lymon, the band itself and Scott MacLean. The other track is "Vinyl Bliss" and you can find two covers of it: one remixed by the band and the other by Color Theory (Brian Hazard took care also of the additional mixing and to the mastering). This has been the first time I was listening to Kirk Taylor's Dignity Of Labour and since the first time I liked the tracks and the style and I was quite surprised that any comparison band's name wasn't popping out in my mind: there aren't evident signs of Depeche Mode or Yazoo even if '80s electro pop and new wave are clearly an influence. Maybe the fact that Kirk started to play this genre in the '80s, first with a proper band called Prophet and then as The Dignity Of Labour, is the answer and since then Kirk developed his own style. From what I listened on this MCD, I think that the next album will be a surprise, so write yourself a note and don't miss it...

MARK LANE: Creepy Weepy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 05 2004
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Artist: MARK LANE
Title: Creepy Weepy
Format: CD
Label: Metawave Classix (@)
Rated: *****
It's the first time I listen to Mark Lane's music and I've got to say that I'm pleasant surprised. Even if he was active in early eighties I never had the occasion of trying his music and this is strange, because his tunes sometimes remember me of early John Foxx stuff (see the vocal use and the melodies on "Creepy a la weepy"). I know that I should give you more references but listening to CREEPY WEEPY I realize that even if you can hear here and there echoes of Residents (because of the oblique approach Mark has with melodies and sounds) and early Thomas Leer, Mark has got his own style. Also listening to his version of Gary Numan's "Praying to the aliens" his personal music made of few synthetic sounds and his voice which sounds as he's an alien in a foreign land make it sound like the song isn't a cover. The album as the old vinyl records lasts only thirty seven minutes but the listener has got all the time he needs to appreciate this particular musician who's able of experimenting with melodies keeping the song structure personal and fresh.

FINAL SELECTION: Heading For Graceland

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 05 2004
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Artist: FINAL SELECTION (@)
Title: Heading For Graceland
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames (@)
Rated: *****

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Heading from Germany, Final Selection is a duo which is active since 1992. In these years they produced different tapes and an album "Antihero". This new E.P. "Heading for graceland" gathers five new tunes ("Fade into you" is a cover of a Mazzy Star's song) and six remixes of two of the new tracks and of three tracks coming from "Antihero". All this thanks to D.s.o.t.m., Asian Faction (really powerful and cool their e.b.m. version of "I never wanted more", E.s.r., Z Procheck (their kinda jazzy industrial version of "Tears" is really functional and fresh), Rector Scanner and Nam Nam Bulu. Having new songs and remixes, the band ideally divided the work in two parts: "Daydreams" and "Nightshades". The new tunes show the band at the top of their personal mix of melancholic future pop, e.b.m. and ambient which sometimes show also light Cure influences. Get ready for their next album...
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Artist: LEX DECIMATE (@)
Title: Seas of Endless
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Silencer Records (@)
Rated: *****
The common analogy of man fused with machine, metal and flesh, is best realized metaphorically through the artistic creations we bring. Lex Decimate (The destruction of all law) is a project that aptly pays tribute to this philosophy as it is the history of it's creation and the story through which it lives on. Lee Duis is a man with music in his veins and whose life was once shattered through loss and pain. Resurrected, he became his own salvation under the incarnation of Lex Decimate. Musically this project vears wherever the creative imagination of Lee brings it and does not set limits on genre, style, tempo, structure, or anything else. Lex Decimate sways dreamlike between varying degrees of intensity; ambient, dark, rhythmic. It's difficult to cram into a box of 'name' when someone is this heartfelt with thier art. Will have strong appeal to those into dark synthpop, darkwave, gothic, EBM, and industrial with experimental electronic elements. You will even find this project breaking it's bounds on tracks like "Light the Way" which seems more related to Ant-Zen and Hymen label sounds than anything typical of the Darkwave/EBM. Lex Decimate is definitely a unique fusion of a wide variety of elements. Like thier label Silencer Records they are definitely intending to push boundaries and test limits while bringing something unique to the underground music 'scene'. In their words; "We are ready to caputre your fears and emotions. Let go and find yourself in a place where there is no 'law'. Find your inner peace through resistance."

SKEAK-THIEF / POLYGAMY BOYS: Skeak-Thief Vs Polygamy Boys

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jul 15 2004
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Artist: SKEAK-THIEF / POLYGAMY BOYS (@)
Title: Skeak-Thief Vs Polygamy Boys
Format: CD
Label: Gingerbread House Records (@)
Rated: *****
Sneak-Thief and Polygamy Boys are two projects which involve Michel Morin (on the first one there's Lindsay - J helping him on vocals and flute while on the second one there's involved Stephan Busche who also released stuff as Dj Gitano and Fancyman) and for this reason this live album SNEAK-THIEF vs POLYGAMY BOYS is something different from the usual dj set or live show. First of all Michael doesn't use vinyl or laptops as his show is totally based on synths and samples. Second: the album presents to the audience sixteen tracks of both the projects as they would be a long mix. This is a strong point because the tracks sound all pumping and interesting but at the same time it's also a weak point as Michel had to use the same bpm on each passage between the tracks and having twelve instrumental tracks out of sixteen make the album sound too homogenous. Most of the tracks are dancey instrumental tunes inspired by '70 funk and '80s Italian disco music (few names I remember are: Hi-Fi Bros, Cube, Den Arrow, Gazebo and Gary Low) and this thing keep the project fresh and energic anyway. This is a good record / performance but I preferred the Polygamy Boys' 12" I received along with this live CD, for instance (soon I'll review it). Check the band's website to get more infos and to download each track of the previous releases.


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