Music Reviews

Aloa: Aloa

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 22 2014
Artist: Aloa
Title: Aloa
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Originally issued in 1982 the self titled album by Aloa has been a particular one which, at that time, the press and radio stations didn't appreciate fully. Formed by Al Kanz and Matthias Brendel, two guys born in Kassel, Germany, Aloa released only that album and the fourteen songs contained on that vinyl issued by Offers Musik Produktion 'are the only stuff left to testimony their innovative style. Using Roland 606 and 808 drum machines plus a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 synthesizer, they composed tracks that were in balance from krautrock and robotic electronic music. Some tracks like the opening "Weisser Wal", "Deutsche Begegnung" and "Tramfrau" recall the evolution DAF did from their early experimental phase of "Produkt Der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft '" to the first core of their sound already present in "Die Kleinen Und Die Bosen". Both the bands were part of the Neue Deutsche Welle movement but Aloa were more focused on their personal version of synthpop where melodies, dark atmospheres and extravagant vocals were mixed just to form a fresh and dadaist paint. "Babane Zitrone" is a great dark pop song with catchy melodies, while the following "Madchen Von Gegenuber" sounds just crazy, like a party held at a clowns conference. Also the following song "Du Machst Es Mir Schwer" is a weird one, as it sounds like a folk song sung by a drunk who fell in love with a certain girl called Martina. This album is a multifaceted one which contains many ideas and it will take time to be fully appreciated but compared to thirty years ago, you'll be able to catch at a early listening its real value. This reissue was a must due and it has been restored and mastered from the original master tapes by Klearlight Studios. Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight green vinyl. Features bonus LP insert with liner notes by Dave Segal. Check it here

Distel: Ultra 2012

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 21 2014
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Artist: Distel
Title: Ultra 2012
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten (@)
Rated: *****
I already had the chance to talk about Distel when the last year they released their debut album on Enfant Terrible. They for sure are inspired by early electronic industrial music but they have their peculiar way to deal with synth noises and stuff which make of them kinda unique. This tape released by Belaten, see the Dutch duo coming back with five interpretations of Mekanik Kommando's songs (Mekanik Kommando was a New Wave band from Nijmegen, Netherlands. It was founded in 1980 by two members of Zelek. After their third album which was released by EMI, they started their own record label: Rosebud Records. In 1988 the band split up due to musical differences. Some of the members started Guler and later on Ulanbator. The others went on as The Use Of Ashes) and one new track. This is the story: they got contacted for the first of four Ultra2012 events held across four Dutch cities in 2012. Performers were asked to in some way pay homage to the original Ultra movement of the late 70's and early 80's and Distel choose to do so by covering five songs from Mekanik Kommando's debut LP "It Would Be Quiet In The Woods If Only A Few Birds Sing" from 1981. The Mekanik Kommando's tracks in the hands of Distel have been turned from experimental minimal synth tunes into evil invocations with noisy drones layers on the background with pulsating electronic analog drumming and filtered cold vocals. The result is fascinating and disturbing and once again they have confirmed themselves a great discover. The closing original track "Onde" has been used as a sort of theme song for their performance at the event in Nijmegen and is a short melodic industrial track that catch the attention for its horror atmospheres.

Allegra Lusini: Two Faces

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 12 2014
Artist: Allegra Lusini
Title: Two Faces
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Amarcord Record (@)
Rated: *****
Active in the Italian music word since she was a kid, Allegra Luisini released her first album "Al Di La' Del Bene E Del Male" in 1999 for Universal followed by other six releases on her label Amarcord (a couple of them have been released in co-production with Rai, the Italian television company, as they were containing stuff used as background on some programs). In 2014 she will release a new album and this digital single is an anticipation of what will follow. Containing three versions of the track, the single opens with the single version which is a dreamy mid tempo electronic pop song where piano and lush synth sounds work as background to Allegra's vocals while the bass line and the tribal drum take care of the rhythm. The song has different stops and go, alternating powerful moments to dreamy ones and grows at the end with the add of symphonic string sounds. The second version is the "Dream Version" and it's focused on the bass/arpeggio/vocals arrangement. The vocal version, instead, is focused on the piano/vocals lines. The song is a good one and you can check all of its versions on this page
Artist: Gelbart (@)
Title: Vermin
Format: 12"
Label: Gagarin (@)
Rated: *****
Once upon a time crowds of macrocephalic martians, predators (notably opposing sausage-cephalic translucent wired aliens), body snatchers, space vampires, ETs, Ewoks, Macs or just Things followed by higher ranks of slimy, furry, scaled, chapped or glaring beings from outer space used to invade our planet in order to save it from its malevolent occupants. Now you should get ready for Vermins, a new species in the guise of little sweet potatoes with parsley-like appendages, who according to their mouthpiece, the 8-bit-chewing whimsical composer Adi Gelbart, are collecting seeds of a number of plants for some mysterious purposes (maybe just a salad...) and such a first step of a desirable colonization, a mission of utmost importance, deserves a befitting soundtrack, a drudgery that Gelbart discharged by an amusing musical patty which whisked lo-fi electronica, noisy remainders of laser guns or quacking puppets passed for as innocuous toys, prog-rock everlasting howling ghosts, old-fashioned synth-driven arpeggios, raw rock-like crackpot motifs and other delightful cryptic ciphers which ranges from the weird space samba of "The Device", the steady-thumping arcade blowdown of "It Speaks" or the menacing flaring space-age pop-rock spotted abscesses of "Those Machines Are Translators" to the wistful halo of "Song for a Dying Earth" or the mechanical (and very human) clucking of the pitched strings and the amusing clarinet inserts by Benautik on "Meloda" by a pinwheel of electronic sounds and samples which got adorned by a set of terrestrial acoustic instruments such as saxophones, bass guitars, violins, organ, trumpets and drums, where you could track many different influences down whose range is even wider and could include Oleg Kostrow, childplays, Atari 8-bit videogames, Pierre Henry or even King Crimson... On B-side you'll find the proper soundtrack that this brilliant multi-instrumentalist and electro-scientist composed for his homonymous film "Vermin", whose sequence of bleeping patterns, sound effects, sci-fi eerie melodies and sonic samples from old sound libraries will rocket you in the nooks and crannies of a radiophonic outer space. Clear the way for Vermins triumphal invasion, dozy humans!
Artist: Ital Tek (@)
Title: Control EP
Format: 12"
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
All those listeners who appreciated last year album "Nebula Dance" by phenomenal beat juggler Alan Myson aka Ital Tek will easily notice that in spite of the sonic filiation of this amazing tidbit with the above-mentioned album, it's really hasty to nonchalantly consider "Control" just as a kind of doppelganger or a recapitulartory revision of the above-mentioned album as Ital Tek more distinctly channeled active ingredients of his distinctive upgrade of Chicago-rooted juke sonorities on this new miscellanous stylish soup: for example, the whirling synth-driven arpeggio on "Challenger Deep", which opens B-side, could remind the one of "Pixel Haze", but Alan seems to highlight this element by reducing the percussive ones to a desiccated, toneless and almost lo-fi hit and chained snips and the melodic emblazonment to occasional inserts of bi-tonal chords, the short ambient-lke track "Doom/Dream" or the reverie of the interlude "Zero" could remind "Discontinuum" from "Nebula Dance", but without any trace of the micro-taps, which sound echoed on "Violet", another peak of this release where someone could have the impression of listening a possible remix of Art Of Noise's "Moments In Love " by Burial, or on the title-track itself, which unexpectedly evolves into something hanging between juke bumps and airy dubstep. "Control" cannot be considered a sterile proof of concept, but a set of eight further bodies of evidence which testifies Ital Tek's sonic fluency by coming to a point where he manages to infer new hands by shuffling the same cards and switching stylistical stitches.

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