Music Reviews

LaVant Garde: Inside Out

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1922)
May 16 2005
Artist: LaVant Garde
Title: Inside Out
Format: CD
Label: Sythetic Product Records (@)
Rated: *****
I'm going have to say that Germany have the tightest synth-pop bands in the world. There's something about them that really keeps me listening to synth/electro-pop. LaVant Garde is one of the newest hottest act around out of the industrial country. This two piece band is outstanding and have what it takes to make good club synth-pop dance music. The tracks are very simple, vocals are good and the production stands out very well indeed. The cd contains three music videos of "Dedicated", "Airs And Graces", and "The World We Live In", which you can download to watch on your PC. Very nice videos that will entertain you and contains footages from their concert. Worth checking out. My favorite tracks includes "Recall Of Night", "Take Me S.I.M.", "Not Enough", "Live Your Life (Rebirth)" and the instrumental "Somewhere Out There". I'm certainly looking forward to hear their next release!

ADN Ckrystall: Collection

 Posted by Mark Lane   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1921)
May 13 2005
Artist: ADN Ckrystall
Title: Collection
Format: CD
Label: Meta-Wave Music (@)
Rated: *****
Meta Wave Music has released a historically significant collection of rare recordings by the band ADN Ckrystall. Their music is minimal electronic in nature but is really a sort signature for French obscuro new wave. All of the band’s rare recordings have been included in this limited edition (100 pieces) 32-song 2x CDR in a DVD box set. For minimal electronic fanatics the inclusion of the ultra rare "Jazz Mad" LP as well as the "In-Edit" 7" single will send heart palpitations through their collectors anxiety ridden chests. These are some of the most sought after and hard to find audiophile lust items there are. My favorites here are "Le Combat (Robin Hood)"and "Happy? Really?" which could be designated as the bands influential style signatures. If you need a comparisons, try the Strangler’s JJ Burnel’s project Polyphonic Size which was a more polished and produced version of this bands work or even some early things Kraftwerk. ADN Ckrystall’s music ranges from minimal experimental to robotic synthpop and then back again. Highly Recommended.
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Interbreeding IV: Gefährlich
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
A new "dangerous" release by the US label BLC Productions of the highly acclaimed Interbreeding compilation series and this is without any doubt again the must-have buy for all you addicted rivetheads. BLC shows no tiredness and announces already two follow-up companion single CD releases, "Interbreeding V: Terrorland" and "Interbreeding VI: Subhuman: The Alien Agenda" out NOW while you read this!!! But with this current DCD you have enough new and interesting stuff of dark and harsh EBM/Electro/Industrial music produced by veteran and well-known, as well as new and never heard before acts from the whole world. Please forgive me that it would take days of my rare time and too much space on our website to go into a completely detailed review of all 34 tracks here. I will name here only the most outstanding pieces to my poor and subjective opinion. But believe me – this whole DCD set features strong and excellent stuff on almost all 34 tracks and it is worth your money. CD X-1 starts with the Opener THE RETROSIC with an enhanced version of their track "The Storm". If you think that :WUMPSCUT: has lost a lot of his aggression you must check out this, "The Storm" is pretty much along the line where Rudy’s "Embryodead" finally ended. Another remarkable pieces are offered here by STARK from Australia. Often compared with big ones like :W: or HOCICO this solo project by Lee Bulig has finally arrived its own unique style caused through several distorted sound in higher frequencies. Their new CD should come out soon. Also outstanding and maybe one of the best tracks I have ever heard from this swedish duo is "Massive Democratic Maintenance (Remix by Soren Jensen)" by SEVERE ILLUSION. This track combines monotonous bass lines with distorted rhythms, a cool amount of voice samples and a strong disturbed vocal performance. It doesn’t follow any similar line and has surprising ideas and noises, great done here. Also a newcomer, but maybe one of the most talented ones is FRACTURED from Canada. Their track "She" taken from their almost sold out CD-R "Contami-Nation" shows well that there is no need to have a rich studio gear, the bass line sequences are the most outstanding part of this track here. ALASKA HIGHWAY surprises pretty much with a very melodic track, strong lyrics and (luckily) without any guitar sounds – well done! SCHATTENSCHLAG offer an energetic piece, rough distorted vocals and nice sounds. Maybe a bit in some HOCICO lines, but still unique enough to grab attention. ENDIF surprises with some dark German lyrics ("Totenplatz") and musically with some strange frequented noises. The best surprise is finally the comeback of a French Electro/EBM legend, K-BEREIT (remember the old days of the German Machinery label with their debut MCD "A Forest" back 1992???) presenting us an energetic and harsh EBM track full of tempo variations which left me breathless. Then let’s take a listen to CD X-2 which has also some fine pieces on board. The already veteran duo BRAINCLAW, musically active since almost 15 years, give as usual an excellent track between decent Electronics and classic US-like Industrial music, recommended as ever! Canadian shooting-star Justin Tripp alias RE_AGENT comes next and gives the audience a new track named "In Your Eyes" which dwells pretty much in his very own music style between Dark Electro combined with Powernoise elements – this time maybe a bit more melodic than on previous works. PROSPERO made a co-operative track with Metropolis recording artist BATTERY CAGE and features an excellent vocal performance by Tyler Newman woven in Powernoise-like music. RETRACTOR offer a floor-filling Dark Electro piece hellish distorted vocals in style of AMGOD, unfortunately with retarded lyrics, while SIN make with a new track with Spanish lyrics the better input. Tremendous and surprising is also the new THIRTEENTH EXILE track "Generation Hate". I have never heard them that strong before! Also TYPE001 are well known guests on this comp series here and give the audience an unreleased track dwelling in Dark Electro with a surprising danceable attitude in a kind which is almost missed on their still refreshing debut "Multi-Track Alignment". I have to mention again that this comp series is one of the best, if not THE BEST series in our life time. Also graphically here is a lot of eye-catching stuff, the inlay features "The story so far" of this Alien inspired story right in a comic drawn by the talented Stephane Dumais,, as well as again a perfect sleeve design by the BLC artwork guy Wilhelm "Deaddreamer", Hurry up and get it – get all volumes of the legendary Interbreeding series!!! New stuff is on the trail!!!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1885)
Apr 18 2005
Title: Panamena
Format: CD EP
Label: Sonic 360
Rated: *****
Never thought that it was a pity that Cure didn't record other songs like "Let's go to bed" or that New Order didn't record other songs in the like of "Blue monday". Well, this isn't the exact case but into the four GladKazuka's songs you can find all these atmospheres and more. Hailing from Colombia the solo project is part of the download only label, Sonic 360. The four tracks that will be available to download from Napster and Itunes starting from the 25th of April will convince you that this project is innovative even if its roots are deeply grounded in the '80s. "Panamena" has got a driving bass line which sound just like New Order (you know that flangered sound, don't you?) mixed into a bleeping and popping melodic tune that it's capable to catch immediately your attention. This song could work so well on the radio... The second one "Solo me gusta contigo" seems a joke with that treated vocals. It seems a dance tune sung by a cute mouse and it's fun. "Take me" sound like a dance tune coming from the '70s/'80s period but with a launge arrangement. The fourth tune "Doblan" mix '90s ambient dance experimentalism with '80s sounds. This E.P. has been a surprise for me and I assure you that it is really cool and it makes you wonder for more!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1884)
Apr 18 2005
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Title: Redeemer
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
A couple of months ago I reviewed the debut single of Janosch Moldau and I knew he was about to release his first album. Now the time has come and REDEEMER is on my CD player. First of all I wasn't aware that I was about to review an album focused on spirituality (and mostly on Christianity I think). About this it's a pity that Janosch didn't include the lyrics, which seem to be important as much as music. Anyway, musically the album present twelve songs of polished digital melancholic synthpop which are linked by the album theme. I liked the single "On my own" and "We are laughing" (the ninth song of the lot) is a real good one with good atmosphere and a melody that is really moving your feelings. The only thing that at a first listen could invalidate the value of Janosch's music is the choice of presenting all calm songs with a similar structure. This isn't a negative sentence because I think about REDEEMER as a sort of concept album, but it's difficult for an occasional listener to tune in immediately. I'll try to undestand Janosch's intentions in a future interview. Stay tuned... Meanwhile on Finetunes you can find his releases on sale.

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