Music Reviews



SIMULATOR: Enter The Unknown

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 11 2002
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Artist: SIMULATOR (@)
Title: Enter The Unknown
Format: CD
Label: Cohaagen (@)
Is three years that Ross W. Beall creates is own music so it was time for him to reach the "maturity" of the first album release. ENTER THE UNKNOWN is a particular release, mainly because for the peculiarity of the project (Ross creates instrumental dark synthpop tracks)and also because the emotions his music made me feel. As a composer he has got many influences: 80's synthpop (if you listen to the only two sung tracks "Divided" and "The Ghost Of You" they'll make you remember Depeche Mode of the "Speak And Spell" era), ebm and late 70's early 80's electronic music. Sometimes his tracks made me recall Jean Michel Jarre's music but with a darker vein. You know releasing an instrumental album based on melody and electronic sounds isn't that simple and the risk is to annoy the audience. Fortunately this isn't the case! As bonus tracks you can find the sung versions of "Revelation" and "Regression" (the first one with Frank J. Freda of Brand New Idol as guest vocals as for the previous ones and the second one has got Rachel Cicci on vocals and has been produced by George and Rachel Cicci of Evaluna) Last note: just to underline the value of Simulator's music please note that both the instrumental and vocal version of the tracks are catchy and are complete on their own, you won't feel something missing even if "it's just" instrumental music... Got it? ;)

MASOCHIST HALO: Soul Rift

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 24 2002
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Artist: MASOCHIST HALO (@)
Title: Soul Rift
Format: CD
Label: Apirihc
After three years the release of his second album "Stitches" Hijinio Reinoso Jr. is back with his personal project: Masochist Halo. Anticipated by the single "Diamond" (which contains four versions of that song) the album SOUL RIFT refine what was left with the previous album. Being a personal project Masochist Halo always incarnated his personal views and humors and tracks like "Lies Despies Lies" (an excerpt of the lyrics say: "I hate you because you're a fucking bitch. You make all the angels crawl, You make all the angels fall...") or "Don't Mix Too Fine" mix rage with melody and electronic arrangements. The distorted guitars, Hijinio's vivid vocals and the dark synthpop atmospheres make of this SOUL RIFT his best record. Also ballads like "Synthesize My Love" with Hillary Bernstein's vocals and "Backlash" are sweet and bitter at the same time and show Masochist Halo's multi faceted personality. If you're searching for something intense and real give a try to this CD.

EMPIRE STATE HUMAN: Pop Robot

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 14 2002
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Pop Robot
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Geez, I don't know, it's almost embarassing but I don't really know what to do about it but the fact is that I love every CD Ninthwave release! This time I'm talking about an Irish band called Empire State Human and about their CD titled POP ROBOT. This isn't properly their new album because Ninthwave released an extended version of it which has been previously released in 2000 by People Sound. This extended version has got seven extra tracks coming from the first band's album titled "Martian Anthems". Even if the name comes from an Human League song the band's influences goes from the Kraftwerk to the english 80's electro pop passing through an unique process: originality. The band is capable to combine robotic sounds with catchy vocals using also tiny moments of ambient arrangements. Even if almost all the tracks are mid tempos and some are ballads the CD is very energetic and believe me, if you dig synthpop this is your CD, so...act now!

NO COMMENT: It's Not Too Late

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 17 2002
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Artist: NO COMMENT (@)
Title: It's Not Too Late
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Nano Pop (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Coming from the double CD titled "Best Of No Comment 1992-2004", "It's Not Too Late" is a enjoyable electronic pop track as well the other four are ("Polygon", "Random Love - tabloid remix", "Fight - remix 2002" and "2nd Class Man"), along with the other two remixed versions of the main title. I don't dig Franziska's voice that much but it's functional for the tracks. The single is released for the benefit of the charity organisation "Children from Chernobyl Help e.V." and is produced with José Alvarez-Brill. The compilation will be released the 22th of April and will allows free downloads of additional tracks for the buyer. If you love the German chart's electro pop try them.

VV.AA: Evolution

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Apr 10 2002
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Evolution
Format: CD
Label: Cohaagen (@)
Distributor: Ninth Wave
This compilation is the first release of this brand new label called Cohaagen. This is the first time you're listening this name, that's for sure, but you are already familiar with the people involved into this project, because we're are talking about Ganymede's members Patrick Runkle and David Friede supported for distribution by David Richards' Ninthwave Records. You know how I appreciate their music and probably we've got also the same musical tastes. The fact that I've already interviewed or positively reviewed almost half of the bands presented here (bands like Ganymede, The Mourning After, Nukleon, Gary Flanagan, Blind Before Dawn and soon Empire State Human) prove it! The label's aims are quite clear, but let's hear it directly from the guys: "This compilation represents the "new breed" of electronic pop, featuring many of today's hottest rising synthpop stars from around the globe as well as some new bands that will be making their presence felt in the near future. The tracks here illustrate the great variety the synthpop genre has to offer, ranging from melancholy to uplifting in mood, laid-back to energetic in tempo, and retro to modern in sound. The common elements are that all of the songs selected for this release are exclusive, original, and of the highest quality". Well, one thing is for sure, you bet you can find into this CD some of the best and original synthpop bands of the globe and if you love 80's sounds it's impossible you won't fall in love with Soviet's "Bank Holiday", Nukleon's "Sometimes", Gary Flanagan's "Summertime", Raindancer's "I Believe In You" just to name few. I don't care if this review is sounding too supportive but believe me, I lived the 80's and I enjoyed every electronic and new wave band of that period and I think to know what's worth to listen to! ;-)


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