Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash01 - Crash Frequency Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
Crash Frequency is the name of a new community of bands out of Down Under, Australia. Force through unity, so could maybe the motto sound. It is target to help each out, sharing opportunities, organizing gigs, doing promotion – simply to speak with a mighty voice of a whole Electro/Industrial scene – no matter if and where the bands are signed or not. So this 10 tracks represented by the members of this community is a first mutual sign of life, I must say, a musically very diverse one. ANGELSPIT, opener on this comp and a driving force of this community start with a danceable, classic Industrial inspired track, distorted female vocals and some guitar riffs, comparable somehow with an act like MMTM. ANGEL THEORY is surely one of the most acclaimed and known act here, signed to Australia’s Ground Under Productions, and here present with a good remix done by New Zealand’s THE MERCY CAGE (signed now to DSBP) of their track "Ease the Pain". Next remarkable piece comes from THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT which combine beautiful female vocals with Electro and some Trip-Hop elements. Globally nice done and finally no wonder, that the Polish label Black Flames picked them up. Australia’s Gothic-Rock legend IKON is also available here and can satisfy with good vocals and a rich amount of electronics. LUX VOLTAIRE prove that there is enough humor in Down Under with a track name in German "Ich liebe mein Oberheim" – well, music seems to produced with synths of this manufacturer. Best track to me – obviously following trendy hypes like Futurepop – is the piece of RESURRECTION EVE, also signed to Ground Under Productions. Well worked out sequences, no minimal structures, good vocals made an easy to following track of this mentioned genre which deserves a wider recognition. Also TANKT offer a good and diverse piece with "Bush on Fire" – be sure that they do not referring on forest fire. Unfortunately this comp stops after 10 tracks and almost 49 minutes. I can see on the members list that there are a lot of more bands involved, and especially my personal favorite STARK is missed hard here. Anyhow, there are a lot of different music styles here and a nice proof of activity and life still to come from Down Under. Next releases in co-operation of this community are already in plans, look out for this comp as well as for new releases by ANGEL SPIT, TANKT, IKON or THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT.

Track listing:

1.ANGELSPIT – Head Kult (Head Fuck Mix)
2.ANGEL THEORY – Ease the Pain (Placebo Mix by THE MERCY CAGE)
3.THE BOM – Machine Men
4.THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT – Why Do I Hate Myself?
5.DANDELION WINE – Begin Journey (Rejiggered)
6.DOMINO THEORY – Kill You
7.IKON – Psychic Vampire
8.LUX VOLTAIRE – Ich liebe mein Oberheim (Electrolux Mix)
9.RESURRECTION EVE – Wine
10.TANKT – Bush on Fire (John Von Ahlen’s Leather Mask Mix)

P24: Weit entfernt

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2077)
Jul 25 2005
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Artist: P24 (@)
Title: Weit entfernt
Format: CD
Label: Calyx Records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Behind this modest name we have a duo which hails from Berlin and Schwedt, Germany, and consists of Daniel Lemke (music) and Rico Ferenc Piller (vocals), who was active in a well known band like D.-PRESSIV (3 albums released on Maschinenwelt...r.i.p.). P24 are producing music somewhere between Synth- and Future-Pop with some harder efforts up to EBM. Extraordinary is the fact that all of their lyrics are written and sung in German – you won’t find any English lyrics here. This debut CD offers 5 original tracks plus tons of remix works by more (HAUJOBB or Marc Werner of SABOTAGE) or lesser (their label comrades of FP or ORPHEÉ for example) known acts – so in all 14 tracks and a long playing time with more than 73 minutes. With the exception of the German vocals you wont find too much surprises here, because musically the band follows similar ideas and styles like big names out of the Futurepop-genre have already presented. I wouldn’t count this a flaw, moreover I would say that the vocals could need some refreshing production. I like really the sound of the vocals but a bit lesser use of reverb effects on it could help. So it is no wonder, that he best and strongest moments this duo offers with melodic refrain of "Offenheit". Best track overall is to my taste the melancholic remix of the track "Niemand", done by Nico of CONDITION ONE. This is indeed a decent debut, which seems to get some interest in Poland (a little wonder, as I said, they sing in German...) in the official charts. Well, good luck to the next superstars...

GRANUFUNK: self-titled

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2075)
Jul 24 2005
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Artist: GRANUFUNK
Title: self-titled
Format: CD
Label: Sonic 360 (@)
Rated: *****
This downloadable release is surprisingly good, think of that cool electronica you listened while attending festivals like "La Route du rock" or "Benicassim" and you'll get what I mean. Granufunk resemble an easy-listening version of the oldest Mouse on Mars (honestly just for the rhythms and the beat they use) married with Saint Etienne, or think of the sweetest artists on Kitty-Yo with their most gentle melancholic melodies. North european electronica with a soft touch, a good juxtaposition between the minimalist melodies and the complicated (but never exaggerated) rhythms is barely audible while getting lulled by the songs. A cocktail-lounge aftertaste comes from some of the keyboards or by those "bossa nova" reinterpretations, and this drink...yes...somehow it's a mittle-european one for sure. Lyrics and titles are both in english and in german while most of the songs remain without vocals. Poppy electronica? uh...yes and with a great atmosphere, fro exemple it's hard to resist to hits such as like "Big city light" and "Jimmy Brown", I don't think I'd be surprised if we should see Granufunk listed by some Idm chart. "Tres bien...tres bien!".

FINAL SELECTION: Meridian

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2068)
Jul 18 2005
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Artist: FINAL SELECTION (@)
Title: Meridian
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames Records, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
The already third release of this German synth pop duo on the Polish label Black Flames proves persistence and loyalty. With a look on this and the overall reactions on every release this talented duo earns, FINAL SELECTION could easily named to be the outstanding act on this label. At first I want to praise the excellent artwork consisting of a four page folded digipack with an extra included inlay full of melancholic impressions besides the music done by Michael Schubert. There’s existing a special website, www.worldofmeridian.de, on which you have a look behind the great ideas and realm of this release. Musically FINAL SELECTION prove again that they are one of the best – if not THE BEST – Synthpop acts of our lifetime. Tracks are ranging from slow and contemplative songs like "Coming Home" (features a pretty female vocal duet with Diana Röppnack), "Jupiter’s Child" (could be also found on their last EP "Heading for Graceland"), "Thieves of my Soul" (very gloomy bass line sequence combined with marvelous atmospheric synth layers) or the very sad final track "Styx" (featuring vinyl-like scratches in an endless repetition...) up to more danceable Electro-Pop songs like "Lava" or "Daybreak" which could impress not only Synth Pop fans. In all 16 tracks with almost 70 minutes of finest Synth Pop/Electronica combined with real song compositions and excellent vocal performances should be reason enough to check this out. Although I do not too often listen to this style of Electronic music, I must admit that this release totally satisfied me. A marvelous album to suspend away... and also my wife likes it!

MASTERMIND: Power

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (2055)
Jul 12 2005
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Artist: MASTERMIND (@)
Title: Power
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Entitled to play modern Electro/Futurepop this side-project of Czech Republic’s finest artist DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offers here its official debut CD. But I am really not sure if too much Futurepop supporters will dig this piece, because mostly the used sounds are a bit away from that style. Not that this is a flaw but I fear that a lot of the tracks are too rough structured or they are sounding too experimental. On the other side some of the tracks like "No Place" are musically really pearls, but could do better with some progression on the vocals. On some tracks MASTERMIND do not hit the target in this point, more over when tracks like "Playboys and Girls" leave some doubts about the lyrical content. I personally prefer the more darker and Electro-minded tracks, to name here with "Technical Process" or "Phobia", second features some excellent played break beats to the straight rhythm. Also the vocals on both tracks show more diversity and are not the main lead "instrument". So nothing is really bad here and MASTERMIND offer a good quality debut. Finally I am not sure if their style will earn too much attention. Give it a few rotations, this stuff needs to grow on you.


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