Music Reviews

KuBo: Strange

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 16 2015
Artist: KuBo
Title: Strange
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Almost one year after their "This Desolation" 7", KuBo are back with a new digital single titled "Strange". Dedicated to the iconic Steve Strange, the sales of this tribute single will go to aid the Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru (Wales), a trust Steve himself was very close to. With a cover taken from 'Saint Steve' by New York based artist Matthew Lineham, part of his 'New Wave Saints' Series, the single contains two versions of the main tune: the first one "Synthwave mix", sees the duo formed by Brian O' Malley (PolyDROID) and Aidan Casserly (Glass Dancer) performing an upbeat danceable mid tempo which with its catchy melodies and upfront synth arpeggios is carrying the listener back to the days of the Blitz club, in Covent Garden, where people like Rusty Egan, Steve Strange, Boy George and Martin Degville, to name a few, where creating the new romantic movement. The "Darkwave mix", instead, gives to the track a dramatic touch by slowing it down a little and by exalting the synth pads orchestration. A cool single that you can check at all the digital distributors, in streaming and download.

Venin Carmin: Glam Is Gone

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 11 2015
Artist: Venin Carmin
Title: Glam Is Gone
Format: 12"
Label: Seja Records (@)
Rated: *****
Venin Carmin is a newcomer in the scene of female electronic solo bands. Coming from France, she's releasing her first vinyl album through the Dutch label Seja Records. Influenced by 80s post punk and new wave, she's writing her songs from a female perspective and they talk about relationships, boredom, sex and violence. Listening to the ten tracks of her album it's coming to my mind an image as Venin Carmin could be an electronic version of the early Blondie but sometimes she lacks that energy that a track is needing to be remembered by a wider audience. So, instead, we could say that "Glam Is Gone" is more intimate and there's nothing wrong with that, also because the guitars on "July Ain't Summer" are recalling me a little bit The Cure. Anyway... Mixing electro pop and new wave, Venin Carmin has packed a nice album with catchy synth melodies, flangered guitar/bass guitar and melancholic vocals. You can check and purchase it here
Artist: Bunny &...
Title: The Invalid Singers
Format: CD
Label: Bearsuit Records (@)
Rated: *****
More volatile than prices of current marketplaces, the unpredictability of this nice project by Glasgow-based musician Bunny -one of the legs of the experimental duo Anata Wa Sukkarai Tsukarete Shimai -, that kind of unpredictability that could put more zealous reviewers in a rage in the vain attempt of striving for a definition, is the hallmark of this release, where the binding elements of the spell is probably the hammy lucid madness of his inventor. The squirrelly edgy nuance that suddenly got inflamed by an amazing explosion of whacky distorted guitars on "One Time For Good Time", the hot needles by which Bunny turns a simple melody into a warm blanket on "Hallucinating Felt Beasts", which could resemble some "easytronica" stuff by French band Air, the energic intro - imagine to listen Kula Shaker or Galaxie 500 in your cozy bathroom while dryng your hair by a very powerful hairdryer - and the following tender decay - imagine you burned your hair for an excess of enthusiasm and diversion! - on the amazing opening track "Ask The Man Inside Your Head", the innocent and almost fairy delicacy of "Gift To Gift", which sounds like the sonic rendering of your very first birthdays, the strange naivety of "The Invalid Singers" as well as references and hooks to listenings such as Robert Wyatt, Piero Umiliani, Ennio Morricone and even The Carpenters or other soft rock bands like David Gates' Bread which pop out of the release like mushrooms are just some of the evidence of his weird approach to composition. Check it out!

Mesak: howto readme

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 10 2015
Artist: Mesak
Title: howto readme
Format: 12"
Label: Harmönia/Ausland Schläge
Rated: *****
The most embarassing situation for music writers occurs when a good release got forgotten under huge piles of other mediocre releases, so that I often hope that music makers could understand it's not really easy to listen to all the releases that reach our location - I think I wouldn't have time to carry bodily functions out and please consider the fact that I assume the expletives that got inspired by these situations could be elevated to the position of a typical bodily function! -. I hope that Turku-based Harmonia label manager and producer Tatuja Metsatahtija will forgive my late praise for his amazing declension of so-called skwee, a genre which combines simple synth-lines and chiptune bass with funk, sould and r'n'b sonorities, whose origin could be geographically located between Sweden and Finland. Besides the above-sketched features, Tatuja inoculates funny sound and more sophisticated computational textures that remind the first releases by Mouse On Mars to me, so that he manges to highlight the most playful aspect of this syncretic synthesis. Even if he decided to add a couple of vocal track in languages that wouldn't be understood by some listeners - "Friend'ey Edit" by Claws Costeau in Finnish and "Hilkat Garibeleri" which features Turkish toasting by Ethnique Punch -, his cheeky melting of sonic recipes is really enjoyable and often enthusing. Have a check and grab your copy if you manage to find it.
Jul 04 2015
Artist: Hanno Leichtmann (@)
Title: Unfinished Portrait Of Youth Today
Format: 12"
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
One Lexicon LXP-5, one Sony WM-D6C Modular System and Telefunken EQs as well as a huge source of old tapes are the equipment that German music producer and drummer Hanno Leichtmann (many listeners could maybe know his wonderful releases in the guise of Static for Berlin-based well-known label City Centre Offices, one of most suffered discographic loss of recent years) used for this interesting release, whose title "Unfinished Portrait of Youth Today" give some clues about what you're going to listen. It collects a number of snippets (lasting around 1 minute and 30 seconds each) that he took from more than 30 cassettes that he recorded by above-mentioned modular system, which were influenced and tributed, according to his own words, to "John Oswald's "Plunderphonics, Stock, Hausen & Walkman's "Me" 7inch and above all Yasuaki Shimizu's "Music For Commercials"" (...and I would have included some stuff from Mouse On Mars as well as the most psychotic microtunes by Boards Of Canada to this exhaustive list of sources for inspiration...). Delightfully hypnotic microgrooves that often conk out like stalled cars, smudged tape hissing, playfully hiccuping clocking sounds that act like flashing neon bulbs, adorably repetitious simple melodies feature the 29 tracks of this biopsies from his young epithelial tissue. Previously release on strictly limited tape edition, this album version got masterfully impressed on vinyl by Kassian Troyer.

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