Music Reviews



Roladex: Anthems For The Micro​-​Age

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 30 2014
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Artist: Roladex
Title: Anthems For The Micro​-​Age
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
I talked about Roladex the last summer when I reviewed their first single "Love Surgery" out on Beko Records. In about two weeks, the duo formed by Tyler Jacobsen and Elyssa Dianne will see their debut album "Anthems For The Micro'-'Age" out on a luxurious high-quality 180gram heavyweight electric blue transparent vinyl on Medical Records. Containing ten songs in balance from synthpop and minimal electronic, the duo produced a good album fit with catchy melodies, a bit of melancholic atmospheres, lyrics influenced by the films of David Cronenberg and John Carpenter, the works of authors such as J.G Ballard as well as video artists such as Vito Acconci and Nam June Paik. Passionate about analog synthesizers, Tyler, who holds an MFA in Electronic Art, has been on a hiatus from his work as college art professor since the formation of the group. Their tracks succeed into bringing the audience into their world which is made of robotic rhythms and pop dreams. Tracks like "Empty Streets" or the opening "Anthem For The Micro-Age" will make you appreciate the songwriting of the duo as you'll realize how well balanced are the sounds and how many bleeps and little noises they have used to craft their sound and also the male/female vocal alternance create another catchy factor. While listening to the whole record you'll catch glimpses of Kraftwerk, Soft Cell as well as 90s shoegaze new wave. Singing about nuclear war, cosmology, false memories and technology as the 'opiate of the masses', the songs catch the listener on many levels and this isn't just because it's pop music... Listen to the whole record here http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/anthems-for-the-micro-age-mr-031

Dmitry Distant: Le Derive De L'Amour

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 29 2014
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Artist: Dmitry Distant
Title: Le Derive De L'Amour
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten (@)
Rated: *****
Born in Moscow and with a musical past with T.3.R, Wavefall and founder of band Virgin Fix, Dmitry has recently relocated in Marseille and he's about to release his first tape on Belaten as Dmitry Distant. "Le Derive De L'Amour" contains four original tunes and two remixes of the opening "System Control" by Ekman and The Exaltics. In fact, the opening track, along with the following "One Night In Train" are the strongest tracks of the release: they are a mix of electro and minimal synth with a bit of detroit techno. Dmitry uses a lot of melodic layers which pair really well with the synth bleeps and noises. All the tracks are instrumental and combine a certain cinematic feeling with a dark ambience. "Gates Of Aeon" and the closing "3015 (Outro)" are nice tunes but kinda short and sound a bit like intermezzos. Emkan's remix enhance the dark factor of the original track by adding pads and focusing the equalisation of bass/mid frequencies. Robert Witschakowski a.k.a. The Exaltics kept the general feeling of the song but focusing his version on hypnotic melodies/rhythms. Nice release that is working fine also because it's kinda short as I think that on the long distance the tracks listing would need a balance with a change of atmosphere, etc. Out soon...
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Artist: TER
Title: Fingerprints
Format: CD
Label: cat|sun (@)
Rated: *****
The shadowy consonances with the sonorities of partner-in art Tomek Mirt ring out while listening the earliest seconds of the first of six untitled fingerprints by TER, but this sonic trinket by the female soul of defunct psychedelic Polish band Brasil And The Gallowbrothers Band, where Andrzej Zaleski aka Zale forgets his paw on the (recorded in real time) percussions of three tracks as well, reveals its impressive stylisticals heterogeneousness in the blink of an eye. Modular synths, which tilt listeners up between phantasmagorical voiding and likeable psychedelic tickle, bump into afro percussions, space-age grandeur, kicking sizzles, synth-driven dub trots, electronic excrescences, minimal fillips, exotica nooks, dreamy synth-lines, sudden rhythicaml ganglions, abstract noodling and lovely alien melodies. The comparison of her six outputs with fingerprints comes from TER's admission of a certain kinship between her previous collaborative experiences and the enthralling syntax she's testing on her solo debut album, which cannot but be relished since the very first listening. Have a test/taste!

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
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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 http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/aloa-mr-029

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.


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