Music Reviews

Provision: Visualize

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1637)
Dec 13 2004
Artist: Provision (@)
Title: Visualize
Format: CD
Label: A Different Drum (@)
Rated: *****
"Visualize" is Provision new debut album a follow-up from their previous critical acclaimed "Evaporate". Breye & Co. really knows how to make wonderful synth-pop music. The music is energetic, fun, full of tension, up tempo, bouncy, well sequenced, and very well written. Breye's voice is filled with strong emotions and feeling. An enjoyable album to listen to. Not one track on disc can be ignore. Now I can see why it was the best seller on A Different Drum label. Provision is brilliant when comes recording, producing, and mixing. I heard so much about their live performance at clubs and music festivals. Hopefully I get a chance to see them live and give them a godly bow for making good synth-pop music. The disc also comes with a bonus cd that feature remixes from different artists; Cloudless, Rename, Glow, Fr/Action, Hajas and Halovox; and two B-side tracks; "Insecurity" and "Replicate". Provision songs varies on many subjects that is emotionally touching. "Visualize" is defined well-crafted and danceable.

Disc 1

1. Could've Had It All
2. Obsession
3. Untrue
4. Obvious
5. Each Second Suffering
6. Chemistry
7. Visualize
8. Illusion
9. Neverending
10. Destiny
11. Intruder
12. Flood Of Emotion

Disc 2

1. Insecurity
2. Could've Had It All (Cloudless Mix)
3. Replicate
4. Flood Of Emotion (Rename Mix)
5. Untrue (Glow Mix)
6. Obvious (Fr/Action Mix)
7. Visualize (Hajas Mix)
8. Each Second Suffering (Halovox Mix)

ECHO US: Echo Us

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (1634)
Dec 10 2004
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Artist: ECHO US (@)
Title: Echo Us
Format: CD
Label: Absolute Probability (@)
Rated: *****
Echo US self titled album is the second full lenght of Ethan Matthews. Even though Ethan is only 25 the tracks mix typical melodies of '80s music (his pop taste recalled me a lot bands like Japan, A Flock Of Seagulls and Frankie Goes To Hollywood) with trance, ambient and modern electronic arrangements. For example "Her heart's army/White wednesday" has got elements of dance electronic along with vocals a la Holly Johnson on the first part while the second part is an ambient track just to form an 11 minutes long song full of good moments. Production and sounds are kinda amatorial but they don't ruin the goodness of the tracks (I appreciated most of them and liked at least half of them). There are also powerful guitar arrangements on "I radiate I" but sometimes the mix creates a little of confusion and this is a pity. Just a little more of sound production and Echo Us would be ready to spread its mix of pop dark melodies to a wider audience.

Little Tin Box: Action Music

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1628)
Dec 04 2004
Artist: Little Tin Box (@)
Title: Action Music
Format: CD
Label: Latex Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Action Music" is the second sequel in a trilogy of Little Tin Box releases gathered together under the title "The Event", in which the electronic-pop husband and wife duo sound can be used for a Life Time cable television for women movie soundtrack. A beautiful cd this is. Songs about love & verbal confrontation. The character in the songs is about a woman who's explaining how she's feeling. This is a drama for your melodrama album. Ethereal vocals from Kelly brings out her deep emotions on the tracks, while Charles constructs the beautiful catchy dramatic melodies that is often with piano accompaniment. The disc kicks off with the anthem "Opening Theme". Some of the tracks are mid-tempo to the fast tempo. "A Couple Of Changes", "Drive", "Dwell", "Romantic", "Warning Shot" and "Seek" is a powerful thought provoking interesting complex piece that is brilliant and the relaxed of time signatures and synth counterpoints. The drum 'n' bass "This Dance" is definitely a hard-hitting romantic love club track that even blends with a classical piano Charles playing. Little Tin Box veers from standard to complex electro-pop style. Kelly & Charles Sadler make a good team by producing exciting, though rough around the edges, promising and a flawless album that is a challenge for them. They're certainly not an average electronic-pop band either. They are way beyond that. LTB can convert a drama/melodrama soundtrack with dance music. So try to supplement them for your daily intake of electronic-pop with a regular dose of the beauty of piano classical/easy listening music now and again and enjoy it.

NG-PRO: Neo Omega

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1614)
Nov 24 2004
Artist: NG-PRO (@)
Title: Neo Omega
Format: CD
Label: Attic Works
Rated: *****
Taking inspiration from electro e.b.m. bands like Apoptigma Berzerk or Front 242, Ng-Pro (formed by the duo Niels and Gewin), produced a demo back in 2001. The year after they moved on by releasing a mini cd titled "Burn" which entered the Dutch Underground Charts, staying for sixteen weeks. Convinced by several good results, the band moved into the studio at the end of 2003 just to record their first full lenght NEO OMEGA. The ten tracks span through melodic electro, industrial instrumentals, e.b.m. powerful tracks with distorted guitars, synthpop, etc. For example "Amy" or the closing "Shelter" (with the vocoder filtered vocals) are a mixture of Kraftwerk and Front Line Assembly while the instrumental "Welt", sometimes remember early Wumpscut. The good thing is that Niels and Gewin do it with extreme confidence of their skills and because of this the album sounds convincing from every angle. Re-processing every influence was the right move and I can't imagine how the next one will sound. I hope, good as this one!

Halovox: Halovox

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (1610)
Nov 21 2004
Artist: Halovox (@)
Title: Halovox
Format: CD
Distributor: A Different Drum
Rated: *****
This self-titled cd is a nice piece of work by Halovox, a synth-pop project by Frank Freda. Some of the tracks talks about love and a relationship that's in trouble. Simple electronic melodies that's corporate in retro 80's and the modern style. Every song on the disc carries a value message, which can interact with the listener's feelings inside, no matter what the situation is. My favorites that stands the cd out are "Make Me Yours", a lustful sex song, "Deception", "Save Yourself", which telling a person where to get off at and worry one's self, not the other. And "Insecurity". I even give Frank credit for doing a good job covering Depeche Mode "Fly On The Windscreen" in his own unique special way. Halovox sound is kinda similar to Depeche Mode, but not too much. The singing is strong and brings out the emotional tense and the production is very good. Halovox is to lookout for and will soon breakout with new fans all over the world.

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