Music Reviews

Fictional: Fiction

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 26 2003
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Artist: Fictional
Title: Fiction
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
From the crew that gave us Funker Vogt and Ravenous (no not the black metal band!), comes their third side-project and it’s second release. The first one from Fictional to me wasn’t all that great, nor really showed off any of Ravenous’ or Funker Vogt’s mastery of the digital keyboard (though I think F.V. for the most part is rather redundant, they do have some definite high points).But this CD combines their recently found love of synthpop with their trademark techno/EBM sound, all topped with a very strange sort of futuristic pop. One of the ones that really got me to scratching my head was "The Weatherman", which is a great song, but rather... ... ... ... ... .bizarre. It’s basically about a intergalactic figure who controls weather, crossing that element with that of a debonair character in love. "Dorian Grey" is another one that kinda confuses me on the storyline idea, but the music is as interesting and melodic as it is bizarre. The opening part starts with a (yet again) futuristic Transylvanian style organ line, and a steady bass line carrying it on the way through. "IntenCity" sounds like a sort of, well... ... ... Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the 30th Century floating around on a space station (well, minus the gay connotation), with some of the best digital keyboard work seen in some time. The crew behind all this makes fine art of out of one of the biggest musical taboos of our time: Digital keyboards and digital sequencing. I doubt this would sound nearly the same if it were done on analog equipment at all. "Voyager" is another high point on the CD (overall, it has no apparent weak spots), with it’s stomping bass-drum line and thick vocoder use, set on the choir boy voice of Jason Bainbridge (who I believe also does the vocals for Ravenous). If I were to make any comparison of this group to another, I’d have to say "Silvertears" era Evil’s Toy, a little bit of Ravenous, Cleen, and SPOCK. If you’re into the whole futuristic pop/electro-pop thing like me, this one should be right up your alley. But do expect a little something more than ballads and ditty little pop songs, as there is a strong story and theme to this whole CD, as well as some great musical oddities. Anyone who sings about causing literally a thunderstorm in someone’s brain and love at the same time has definitely got something strange and captivating going on. Rating: 10. Also recommended are Cleen’s "Second Path", Ravenous’ "Phoenix" and Evil’s Toy’s "Silvertears".

Little Tin Box: Object~Subject

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 26 2003
Artist: Little Tin Box (@)
Title: Object~Subject
Format: CD
Label: Self Release (@)
Distributor: Pay Pal
Out of St. Paul, Minneapolis, comes a innovative band that combines electro-pop with piano classical elements. Little Tin Box is the name that features Charles and Kelly Sadler, who was once just bandmates, now a husband and wife and both have that common vibe connection by being on the same musical page. Charles handles all the music while Kelly does all the vocals. This male and female duo have impressed me with their hard work on the debut release "Object~Subject." I am totally astonished because of ORIGINALITY. They sound like no other. My wife and nine year old daughter likes it. And have asked me who are they. LTB music has an unique melancholic formal sound that could go extremely well to a movie or television drama soundtrack. Every song on the disc is not disappointing. Consider the cd, hmmm, laidback electro-pop classical feel. Numerous of times I fell asleep while it was playing in my boombox in my bedroom at night, I certainly found peace and slept like a baby. Kelly's voice really had me hynotized to a trance stage. She was told she sound like Madonna. And that I do agree on. I'm not kidding you readers either. Songs she sings are about the past, love, being hurt by the one you love, suffering and pain, and to manage by coping with the lost feelings and move forward to find a man who will cherish and comfort her with real love. Definitely an album a woman needs who's in pain and have a broken heart. This can be played over and over and over again and again and again. There are three tracks on the disc that's appropriate for the dance clubs "Mend", "Sacred", and "DLN". There's an untitle hidden dance track after the last one song "Pinwheel." If you've been in a bad relationship or just getting out of one, "Object~Subject" will lift your spirit and MEND your broken bleeding heart.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 24 2003
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Artist: ASTREA REDUX (@)
Title: Fractals
Format: CD
Label: Meta Wave (@)
Astrea Redux lived two phases as a band. The fist one goes from 1984 to 1991 where the band members were: Axel Treusch (music, keys, vocals, lyrics), Stefan Riel (vocals, lyrics, mixing), Antje Mead (vocals, mixing) and Rieke Weiger (vocals, dance, graphics). On 1987 they also worked to a couple of their tracks with John Foxx at his Garden studio but those tracks never saw the light as a record. In early nineties they released a single titled "Sternenlicht" as Endzeit but by their ammission, putting on that record three of their weaker and commercial songs hasn't been a good thing to do. After that experience the band split up. In 1995 the phase two begun: Axel met Oliver Münch (who was playing as A New Ground) and they started to work together but only in 1999 they decided to team up definitively under the name of Astrea Redux. The compilation I've received to review is a sum of their songs composed between 1984 and 1992. The eighteen songs of the CD show very well the band influences and make of them a sort of ideal link with 80's electro new wave. Astrea Redux started where bands like Ultravox, Visage or Gary Numan ended. The band wanted to incarnate the spirit of the electronic fathers going on with the work they started:, experimenting with sounds and melodies and keeping on the initial idea without surrending themselves to the glittering and seducing dance/mainstream calling. Listening to these tracks you're led into a place where the chart results where the consequence of a good song and not of a good marketing work. A place where the early works of people like John Foxx, Simple Minds or Ultravox are still echoing. Many songs are instrumental voyages where every electronic lover could find himself at home while the remaining ones are electro wave songs with fashinating melodies. This is definitively a good CD that finally gives justice to the early work of the band bringing to light their buried treasure. I'd like to listen to their new stuff, at this point... :)

Cruciform Injection: Biomechanical Disintergration

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 21 2003
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Artist: Cruciform Injection (@)
Title: Biomechanical Disintergration
Format: CD
Label: Negative Gain (@)
Distributor: Negative Gain
Cruciform Injection Biomechanical Distegration a cd for our electro future a compliment to this realm electro fuel for your soul.

Micah Skaritka is the brains behind this band. He does the vocals programming sampling lyrics and keyboards.

Spencer Montgomery does guitar on tracks 2,3,6 and 8 and Ryan This band is prodominately having great promise for all tracks to take over dancefloor worldwide. Every track you can move to.

Track one Exorcise the living dance floor beats with robotics everywhere and synthetics surfacing. A complete testament for our new age of futuristic genetics singing I ask why? questioning why hatred? choose life

Track 4 Embryonic Testaments a favourite for those who know it has been played on many radio stations and dancefloors singing take what you want from me im alive my demise my surprise. The rhyming couldn't flow any better than this! Pure electronic with serum and life all bottled in a testube ready to explod and come out and taste life. More about this track so much more dozens of samples voiceovers from nurses giving injections and revelations all mixed with robotic overlays very marchy background making even a dead soldier come back from the dead to dance!
Electro meets the netherworld! It's our nature to reproduce! A mad scientist created Cruciform Injection. Once you injected with them you'll never be the same!

Track eleven Black Tides is very haunting with very x-file background whistling with words of doom inflitrating singing my attention is deserved. I definately agree hard work pays off.

Cruciform Injection takes us, stabs us and injects our soul.
One of the best bands to hit the dance floor circuit-4 stars

Cruciform Injection playing this Sunday.

Sealed in Silence: Stille lst Selbstmord

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jun 20 2003
Artist: Sealed in Silence (@)
Title: Stille lst Selbstmord
Format: CD
Label: Cold Noir/Facilty Records
Distributor: Darkland Music
Sealed in Silence Raphael is the brains behind this band. the cd
Stille lst Selbstmord film noir-esque. Picture Cold Meat Industry meets surreal landscapes and encounters frankenstein, hitler and phantom of the opera all at once.

A cd that is not like others.

Track one Todeswunsch is very haunting very Leatherstrip-esque filled with samples and machine gun sounds demented church choirs high octave sounds and voiceovers of screaming and electronic technology overpowering everything.

Track twoTodeslast female vocals singing a requiem for the dead. with a hint of electro making it an electro funeral for the dead. Ethereal symphonies meets a new revolution.

Track six Todesangst hammer meets metal sounds very heavy drum machine heavy machinery taking over the primitive. For we have evolved technology is everywhere and will reign.

Over all this cd conquers the conformist way. It is by all means as original as it gets.
The band has distrubution in northamerica United States Darkland Music Cold Noir Facilty records.

It also has distrubtion in Germany Europe also.

This band originated in Germany we are glad to have them here where they belong.

Incorporating sound scapes film noir german expressionism and making it flow with futurisic elements now that's talent. 4 stars

Look for my interview with Raphael coming soon.

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