Music Reviews

Deadbabes: The Drug EP

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 19 2004
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Artist: Deadbabes (@)
Title: The Drug EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Futurecords (@)
Rated: *****
Deadbabes are a new dark-pop band from Finland formed by a group of five seasoned and experienced young musicians who did pour their knowledge into the creation of "The Drug EP", a CD that showcases a remarkable artistic maturity and an unmistakable The Cure inspiration. The noir approach to beautiful and mellow pop melodies is complemented by a beefy rhythmical structure and an exquisite taste for selection of sounds and balance. It sounds (and seems) like these guys have all the right numbers. Their debut album, due early September, will be produced and mixed by French Kris Kylven (of Killing Joke fame, but also remixer for Manson, Siouxsie etc). If anything else fails, at least they will be remembered for being the first band that gets their very own postal stamp (which of course they used to postmark their promo package).

Minerve: Breathing Avenue

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 18 2004
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Artist: Minerve (@)
Title: Breathing Avenue
Format: CD
Label: Pandailectric (@)
Rated: *****
Minerve's debut album "Breathing Avenue" was just released a few days ago. The band is formed by Paradise of Fear's vocalist and a keyboard player and focuses on bringing together chart-topping synth-pop music and more researched and experimental music. Altough I wouldn't say that this was born to be easy listening crap, I do fail to see the latter of the two declared elements that supposingly would be making up this blend. What I sea, or rather hear, I should say, is a good synthpop album that draws from the best history of the genre and succeeds in combining the older style with a newer sound palette. Beautiful artword and nice record.

Phenotract: Within A Second

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 09 2004
Artist: Phenotract (@)
Title: Within A Second
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Tinman Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Within A Second is Phenotract's debut release on the Tinman Records label which also sports such talents as Dubok, Crocodile Shop, Cydonia, and I Parasite. That said, Phenotract's sound is accessible to lovers of EBM, Synthpop and Trance. Utilizing a combination of these styles as well as house, other dance beats, and ethereal elements Eric Shans combines whispery vocals to create a sound that vears from the paths forged by Dependent, A Different Drum, and DSBP Records for example, yet utilizes elements influenced from all of these musical aspects. The only quality which shows any weakness at all are the vocals, slight though it is, but the overall tightness of his music shows real talent that will likely make some serious advancements in future releases worthy of attention. Interestingly Phenotract has an otherworldly and dreamy quality to it's sound while maintaining the energy required for good dance music. The first noticeable standout on the disc is "Motionstate", a great EBM trancefloor romp with "Lunartrip" to follow in it's wake later on the disc. Then there’s the funky sounds of "Drifts" and "Distant Voices" plus the retro industrial (nearly Die Warzaw-ish) "Red Glow". However the most likely to pump the EBM floors might be "Neosymmetry" though a bit more variance would do it some justice. There are many great tracks on this release which take a slight detour from what has started become 'standard' styles in the EBM and Synthpop genres while still including elements of Trance yet consciously not following the patterns laid down by others and instead forging his own way. This is very obvious in Eric's work as Phenotract and that combined with the strength of this debut leaves plenty of room for building excellence. He's well worth checking out, you decide, and hopefully future projects will bring Phenotract higher on the rungs of industry success! It's easy enough to get lost in these rhythms and that's a good thing. The instrumental tracts combining EBM and Trance are the strongest points on this disc and well worth the time. Others have said better than I can: "Drawing inspiration from classic EBM, House, and Hard Trance, Phenotract strives to meld these potentially disparate styles into a seamless whole. Phenotract has a distinct feel, a thick, adventurous Electro sensibility with otherworldly, vaguely House-like beats and breathy, understated vocals. The album also features extensive production work from Isaac Glendening of Cesium 137 (for whom Phenotract mastermind Eric Shans plays live keys). On Tinman."

Cruciform Injection: Epilogue

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 31 2004
Artist: Cruciform Injection (@)
Title: Epilogue
Format: CD
Label: Negative Gain Productions
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Cruciform Injection-Epilogue The newest from this Chicago-based band. First of all, I just booked this band at my event and they pulled in a big crowd. 200 plus people showed up at my event, cause of this band. This band was designed to get you to move and move and move and tear that dansefloor up till it no longer exists and looks like it went through armaggedon. Lead singer, Micah Skaritka-programming, vocals and samples, Brendan7-live guitar and programming and Kassi-live keyboards and programming. This trio makes up this remarkable band that rules the dansefloors, worldwide! Word is out that Cruciform Injection is here to stay and is going to turn the world upside down and it will forever not be the same! Track one- Reducer, very moving Peter Murphyish backing sounds with a hard, moving break beat with a lazer gun shooting back at it, nuff sed. Track three- dark house, a very haunting track with symphonic sounds in the background and awesome vocals! Micah sings, this darkened house, just that line alone is dark and mysterious and so many channels are set on his voice to really make it stand out! Quite a catchy tune, I must say! Track four- Vacant Bodies, another super catchy danse track. I can see this track be used for a movie score for a good zombie flick. It's dark and creepy and really gets under your skin. Micah sings, bodies with almost an alien voice and never lets us forget! This track would be good for a new sequel to Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something! The rest of this album rules, you can danse to every one of the tracks, not one is disappointing! So check out the new Cruciform Injection, take them in and enjoy the ride! 4stars!

Kaskade: In the Moment

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Mar 23 2004
Artist: Kaskade
Title: In the Moment
Format: CD
Label: OM Records
Rated: *****
Although Kaskade's latest album is almost too pop for die hard "alternatives" like Chain D.L.K. crew members and readers, I'll gladly give this a shot because it is equally well done and exciting as it is easy listening. Due for release on May the 18th, "In the Moment" follows his critically acclaimed debut album and hit single "It's You, Its' Me" as well as a few nominations and respectable chart placements. The album is beautiful and goes from dancefloor-ready anthems to lounge chill out atmospheres and from lush pop tunes to gorgeous electronica compositions. On of the strongest point of this album are the string arrangments ("Maybe" or the masterpiece "Soundtrack to the Soul"), but a vast array of guests including Brett, Becky Williams, Colette, Amy Michelle, Joslyn, Rob Wannamaker, Anthony Green, Andy Caldwell and Amanda contribute to the greatness and the variaty of "In the Moment".

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