Music Reviews



THYX: Super Vision

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (8338)
Aug 06 2014
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Artist: THYX (@)
Title: Super Vision
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Mailorder
Rated: *****
Since the Austrian Electro-/Industrial magicians of Mind.In.A.Box are quite bonded thematically to the ongoing story-board of the main protagonist Black and his adventures in the Dreamweb (story written by A. Gruber, www.agruber.com), it may has become a bit boring for the mastermind behind, Stefan Poiss So this MIAB side-project has come to life and has been named after a song written by Poiss about 15 years ago. This song and its name have a deeper meaning for Poiss, because this name stands for a synonym of a specific kind of soundscape he has once discovered. So now he hunts after this soundscape under THYX and tries hard to re-create what he once discovered. 'Super Vision' is already the third album on this hunt in a very short time-line. Of course, Poiss cannot at all wear off all of the sound ingredients which have made MIAB that famous and highly recognized. Also under THYX he produces his well-known formula with a futuristic sound-design, with bombastic synthesizer layers and also the often with MIAB discovered vocoderized vocals. So THYX is more than a valuable copy to MIAB and you can be assured to get another high-quality release out of the Austrian sound-stable. Musically Poiss services a wide playing-field and entertains with genre-bending changes. 'Robots Don't Lie' is a decent sci-fi storyboard with wobbling synthesizer-leads and a straight beat-work. Another great tune to satisfy the dancefloor-junkies in the dark clubs can be discovered with 'Forgotten', while the charming pop harmonies of 'Our Only Home' have to be mentioned too in the highlight-listing of this overall marvellous album. 'Für Immer' combines different vocal performances into a darker than usual sound design. This list of highlights can be continued endlessly while it only proofs that Strfan Poiss still enjoys his being in creating unique soundscapes for the after-world. If you've been impressed with MIAB before you will also love THYX. 'Super Vision' is a top-notch Electronica album and another lecture for all the poor wannabes out there providing keyboard-music with factory preset-sounds.

Kline Coma Xero: s/t

 Posted by Emanuele Ratti (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jul 31 2014
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Artist: Kline Coma Xero (@)
Title: s/t
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Kline Coma Xero is the solo project of Tony Williams, who is member of the IDM project DRIL. This is a debut (self-titled) album produced by Medical Records, and it comes in a LP format. The project is influenced by very early industrial music, a certain kind of EBM and minimal synth/wave. One can clearly distinguish markers that date back to artists such as Front 242, Cabaret Voltaire, early Depeche Mode and Club Moral. Lyrical contents are inspired by Ballard. As music composition and instrumentation are concerned, Kline Come Xero has a peculiar philosophy. Tony Williams employs only analog synths, hardware drum-machines and hardware sequencers. Tony Williams explicitly doesn't follow the trend of contemporary electronics music that is based (especially in amateur projects) on computers, virtual synth and digital instruments in general. The quality of sounds is amazing. Tony Williams wisely manages all the knobs of his synths and he is particularly skillful in arranging layers of sounds. He is most of the time able to build a hierarchy of sounds in which all the important parts can be clearly distinguished: bass lines, leads, pads. Voices are mostly monotones but they are equalized according to the specific 'sound environment'. For instance in the first track Left Behind the voice plays a pivotal role and it is put into the foreground, whereas in Silent Call the voice is wisely lost into a layer of reverb, following the whole trend of the song. While some songs are minimal, others are more elaborated without being 'baroque'. An example is Mannequins, which hosts an interesting and complex melody. The best song of the album is by no means Darkroom in which all the layers are organized professionally. The only flaws of the album are the instrumental songs (quite useless and meaningless to tell the truth) and the rhythmic sections that sometimes (see Rewind and Photo Falling) are a little bit boring and not properly tailored to the songs. Despite these negative aspects, the debut album of Kline Come Xero is overall pretty good. I'm sure that the project has a shining future.

Xenturion Prime: Mecha Rising

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jul 23 2014
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Artist: Xenturion Prime (@)
Title: Mecha Rising
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
Last years' news of the demise of Code 64 has been rather a kick into the stomach, since their last studio album 'Trialogue' was and still is one of the best releases of the Swedish Progress Productions in the last 2 ' 3 years. But here comes the cure like phoenix out of the ashes: Xenturion Prime isn't the working title of the new 'Transformers' movie, but the new project of 2/3 band members of the last Code 64 crew. Vocalist Bjorn Marius Borg and Hans-Olof Mattsson have agreed to keep the flame burning and continue under this new project name. Their first sign of life for this new project was the track 'Rise' released in December 2013, which could successfully enter Germany's GEWC-charts. So here comes their official debut album with 12 tracks and surprise, surprise, the stylistic components often heard and beloved in Code 64 are globally featured on this album too. 'Mecha Rising' impresses with its skilfully arranged Electronica sound-outfit and satisfies the highest demands. Mostly woven into a straight and danceable Electro-/Futurepop sound-environment, the excellent produced music also leaves enough space for the compelling vocals of Bjorn Marius who has impressed already on 'Trialogue'. Generally compared with the last Code 64 album I tend to say, that under Xenturion Prime they also allow a bit tougher styles to enter in the whole sound environment. They like to experiment with the vocals to produce different moods and already 'Rise' was a good example for this. This album features many examples to allow dancefloor action: 'Second Nature' and/or 'Vermilion' have to be named as they also leave scorches of catchiness in the ear-channels. Still attractive I find their obvious dedication to futuristic, sci-fi-related themes. So they often use Spacesynth-like, epic synthesizer-arrangements and their whole outfit sounds very opulent and bombastic, 'Radiant' has to be named as a perfect example here. 'Realms' then adds a bit rest and slows down the tempo in comparison to the rather action-driven other tracks and presents us Mind.in.a.Box-like vocoder effects on the vocals, nicely done! And at least, just if you think this album turns out a bit lesser intense than it started, the final tune 'Beyond Infinity' is another valuable diamond worth to mention. Albums like this won't be written that often and 'Mecha Rising' stands brightly out of the uncountable mass of mediocrity releases. Xenturion Prime is not only the valid follow-up project to the highly respected Code 64, this powerful project rather replaces it!

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Artist: Islaja
Title: SUU
Format: CD
Label: Monika Enterprise (@)
Rated: *****
All those ones who know Finnish musician Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja for her foggy ethereal folk songs won't easily recognise her new musical skin or I'd rather call it her spacesuit for leisure time as you could have the impression that she collected many space-disco debris in order to make sonic collages between bewiching concision and limp roaming, whose osseous structures together with the alternance of lukewarm simple syth-driven melodies and frigid fixity fit with Gurun Gut's label Monika Enterprise aesthaetics as well as the iridescent temperament that Islaja shows on her songs where she sometimes disguise as a protective tiger, a predatory nocturnal wild beast or a poetess who doesn't need to be understood. Both under the musical and lyrical viewpoints, her songs have a tendency to wander off in daydreams or mantain a suitable distance with human emotions or listening gatecrashers in her personal world, that she lets just half-view. Some moments could surmise some stuff by The Knife, Nico, the above-mentioned Gudrun Gut or even some glossy artifacts from the 80ies, but there are many original clues that could let you think that Islaja just hangs off her own SUU's (Finnish word for mouth) words.
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Artist: God Module (@)
Title: False Face
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The immersion of electonic pop hooks and more distinguishable melodies into the dark-industrial pool of blood that Jasyn Bangert aka God Module scrambled for his sixth album is the main aspect that makes this release a cupcake if compared to other release with its mark such as "Viscera" or "Let's Go Dark". The cinematic sonic entities which let listener climb down into a crime scene or the horrific set of serial-killer driven cinematographic plot are clear since the samples of a scaried girl and the disquieting caption of a childish voice on the opening "A Good Night To Die", whose blend of sinister sonorities and sharpened beats that start on the very first ominuous lines of the song ("Wash your hands in th tears of the sycophants/Broken Behavious beyond perverse/No trial when you're opposite of innocent/your verdicts even read in reverse") could render a sensually spirited dancing with his/her assassin into listener's mind. If the stridency between muscular sounds and metallic scheeches sounds wisely softened on the following "Black And Blue", the almost jaunty sonic traces of "Nothing But Mine", one of the highlight of the album together with the title-track, the crunched song "Through The Noise", the moments when pop elements clearly resurface from the brutally groovy stings by God Module, the almost martial meaningful "Destroy The Day", could let symphatize with the torturer in a context where the classic dicotomy between good and evil, hell or heaven, got replaced by the one between truth and lie, which brings the crime or the persecution about as well as other elements where Jasyn, whose voice seems more robotic than the one I remember on previous releases, portrayed the murderer as a sort of dreamer whose aberration could descend from the craving of a paradoxically better society.


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