Music Reviews



Olivier Briand / Bertrand Loreau: Interferences

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (7914)
Nov 30 2013
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Olivier Briand / Bertrand Loreau
Title: Interferences
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
Rated: *****
The last year Spheric Music released a selection of Loreau's 80s tracks titled 'Journey Through The Past' (check my old review to know more about him), this year 'Nostalgic Steps' and now we have a new album that Bernard Loreau composed with Olivier Briand. Their friendship started in Nantes, back in 1985, because of their passion for synthesizers, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. During the eighties and the nineties they often played in the same electronic music festivals and also organized concerts and musical events. In 1995 they started an association of electronic music fans called 'Patch Work Music' and produced a compilation album titled simply 'PWM' that compiled tracks by few of the best French musicians passionate about the Berlin sound. They started to release their solo albums in 1993 and collaborated ever since. Now some informations about their album 'Interférences'. Lasting about an hour, it's divided into seven movements characterized by spacey pads, synth arpeggios and lead solos (which sometimes sound like melodic improvisations). We pass from romantic/dreamy atmospheres (like the first or the third movement), to cold scenarios of the second movement (the one I prefer), where dilated sequences are alternated to hisses and noises creating a sort of melodic and experimental mix. The fourth movement, just like the third, has a mid tempo drum machine rhythm and has lead solos, arpeggios and space pads and its atmosphere recalls the Berlin sound of the early 80s. The sixth movement it's more 70s sounding and it's also influenced by the synth French school of that decade. The last tracks is a fifteen minutes monster which starts as a ambient track with fields recordings (here produced with synths, I suppose): After a while a couple of relaxing melodies are added. After few minutes, a delayed arpeggio revive the atmosphere and little by little, pads and leads join, making the track's sound grow. After twelve minutes, there a change of atmosphere and the track turns into a dark slow one which little by little 'dies' creating a very good effect. Nice.

VV.AA.: Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol 1

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7908)
Nov 24 2013
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol 1
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
'Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol 1' is the first compilation released by Medical Records and it's the second album they does in association with the Crispy Nugget blog. The record gathers five early 80s singles, complete of both the sides plus two tracks coming from rare compilations: 'Panic In Your Mind' by N.A. Pop 2000 (UK) and 'Maske' by Berliner Strasse (Yugoslavia). The bands we have here are: The Electronic Circus (Featuring Chris Payne, who also performed synth work on Gary Numan's 'Pleasure Principle'), Psychic Youth, Aaah'¦!, Claude Arto from Mathematiques Modernes and Shazam. The Electronic Circus plays a particular kind of synth pop with the use of piano and dramatic atmospheres (check the B-side 'La Chorale' which is an instrumental piano/synth track) and sometimes recall me Poeme Electronique. Psychic Youth, from Boston, released only this single in 1982 and their mixture of pop female voice and upbeat synth analog sounds are really convincing. B-side 'Step In Time' has a male vocal and it recalls early Depeche Mode. UK's Aaah'¦! with 'Slip Away' are here with two synth wave songs which sound really strong and melodic. A real gem from the past. 'Duty Calls' is a bit more synth pop but nonetheless is a good one, also. Shazam's single released in UK in the 1983 brings 'Let's Get Together' and 'Memories'. The first track has a synth melody that recalls me The Cure's 'The Walk' but it has quite a different sound which is in balance from synth pop and new wave. Arto's 7' has been released in 1981 on Celluloid (France) and side A's 'Kwai Systeme' it's an experimental version of 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' theme. A bit weird but really interesting. Also side B 'Betty Boop' is particular track, really experimental and recalls the early Mute releases (see The Normal). The two songs coming from compilations are N.A. Pop 2000's 'Panic In Your Mind' (coming from 1981 'A Warped Sense Of Human' LP compilation) which is a wave song with nice melodies and strong synth and bass sounds. Berliner Strasse's 'Maske' was coming from a 1983 LP compilation titled 'Ventilator 202 Demo Top 10' and it's a nice song, not really strong about melodies and sound but it's a good document. Anyway'¦ This is another great Medical Records release and you can check it here: http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/electroconvulsive-therapy-vol-1-a-collection-of-rare-singles-etc-mr-028
Nov 17 2013
cover
Artist: XP8 (@)
Title: Adrenochrome
Format: CD
Label: 2393 Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
It has been nearly 8 years when I lastly had this Italian project on my table for a review, which doesn't mean that I hadn't the chance in between. Somehow I never had the drive in me to give them some more spins. I also laughed a while with their introducing sentence of their current info-sheet: 'What Benny Benassi and The Bloody Beetrots are for pink-shirt-wearing mainstream girls, XP8 is for the alternative electro scene: and Italy's most successful export in that field, these days.' And while I lost them a while out of sight, they now come up with this new, crowd-funding supported album. There has been several, most unlucky episodes happened in their now 12-years-long band history, especially when it comes to sign with labels. Black Flames of Poland went bankrupt, Infacted Recordings seemed not to much interested in them after two album, and their last episode under Death Watch Asia, which has brought us their 10-years anniversary release 'X: A Decade Of Decadence', was quite too short for a more optimistic resume. What they always had and on what they still can count is a loyal fan-base. 'Adrenochrome' as being a crowd-funding project has become reality in a record-suspiciously time frame (18 hours after initiation). This album represents a concept and tells us track-by-track a still futuristic story of two individuals being placed in London based on a Cyberpunk story-book written by Marco Visconti in the late 90ies, but nowadays revised. The tracks on 'Adrenochrome' are named after the chapters in this book and give the listener some insight into the story-board. Musically Marco Visconti and his partner Marko Resurreccion are sort of a fresh breath to all musty one-dimensional EBM-structures of the old-school formula: Mostly providing very straight produced and dancefloor-oriented tracks with higher bpm-rates, this talented Italian duo integrates Trance, Techno, or Hardfloor styles in their music. Their tracks are definitely able to drive sweat out of the pores of their audience - it's mostly an action-driven form of EBM/Electronica with a fair vocal performance. Since they've seen and experienced a lot of positive as well as negative things this scene has to offer, they are matured enough with their programming skills not to let this new album come out as a pure, blatant stomp-fest. I actually find myself being entertained by their chosen sounds and I am able to consume their tracks without kicking against the loudspeakers. 'Awakenings', 'Night Run' and the very catchy, Futurepop-inspired 'Inside Their Heads' are impressive produced dancefloor-tunes and can be counted to the favorites on here. As for a musically contrast, the angst-driven, dark and raw sounding synth-pads with the sinister drum pattern-programming of a track like 'Going Underground' impresses totally. Finally I too ask myself, why they aren't a bit more successful to become global scene-players, because musically, as well as sound-wisely here's nothing to complain. And even if I still enjoyed them too with their first singer Paul Toohill, I see no longer a reason to slap this dead-beaten horse over and over again, because Marco Visconti's vocals are fair enough produced to support the XP8 sound-outfit properly. Sure, their vision of EBM doesn't fit with the deeds of veteran projects and they rather represent an attractive form of post-modern arrangements and style-diversity. But what they do, they do crafty and decent.
cover
Artist: Atom™
Title: Lassigue Bendthaus ‎– Matter
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: AtomTM_Audio_Archive
Rated: *****
The moment when someone will try to discover if there's some biological secret behind the exceptional musical brain of Uwe Schmidt is hopefully distant, so that even if the remarkable amount of eureka moments which propagated like a widespread reticulum over an otherwise impressive number of stylistical fields could let you conjecture it's an impossible mission, a retrospection, which could look like a nonsense for something which smells of retrofuturism, could help and let save a lot of formaldehyde in the meanwhile. This German genius decided to give his fans their cue by usering in his own roots by way of a brand new label, whose first ring of an hopefully long chain is release no.1 (the release no.0 is "the Engineer's Love" which got released on the cassette-label NG Medien I jealously keep in my colection till the moment I could decide to exchange it with some crazy collector in the event that I'll need a cornea or a kidney...) by Atom TM, "Automotif", which became part of "Matter", signed by Lassigue Bendthaus, one of better known Uwe's innumerable aliases, which dates back to 1991. All those contemporary fans which missed it have the opportunity to appreciate the way by which Uwe drifted and overtook industrial and EBM by means of sonorities which already included the spawns of acid and techno music before these electronic blood vessels begun to get massively pumped up. This first file of Atom TM's massive archive is going to be mouth-watering for the collectors as well, as it includes some versions of legendary tracks of that album such as the above-mentioned "Automotive", "Velocity Life" and "Statique", which got later printed on a number of vinyls, the follow-up "Hertz" on Parade Amoureuse, the second very rare edit and the (previously unreleased) first edit of "Automotive". You can begin to go into ecstasies as the protean feeder of this newborn archive is going to store his whole collection of files. Spruce your hard-disks up!

Josef Klang: Phobos

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (7882)
Nov 12 2013
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Josef Klang
Title: Phobos
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Rockhattle Music
Rated: *****
Released some months ago, 'Phobos' is the fifth and latest release by Giuseppe Maremma a.k.a. Josef Klang. The project born in 2006 after years spent playing all over the Italian country and it's influenced by the electronic music of the 70s of the likes of Kraftwerk, Klaus Schultze, Jarre, Rockets, Tangerine Dream, etc as well as the one of early 80s of the likes of Depeche Mode, Alphaville, etc. After years of study and experiments with the machines he owns (Giuseppe is a real lover of Nord synthesizers but he has tons of great stuff such as Emulator 4 xt ultra , Esi 4000, Doepfer Dark Time sequencer, Doepfer A-100 modular synthesizer, Blofeld, Prophet 08, Monoevolver key, Dark Energy, Dx 7 II fd , Nordlead 3, Moog Minitaur, Telemark, Mininova, Arturia V collection 3.0, Waldorf Legacy edition, Waldorf Largo and Ppg 3.v, Korg Digital and analog collection, Arturia Spark, etc.), he based the six movements of 'Phobos' on the use of the Dark Time analog sequencer's CV gate, to run some synth modules like the Doepfer Dark Energy e Mfb Kraftzwerg. The melodies and sounds are built upon the sequences created with the sequencer but let's leave the technical aspect aside to talk about the music. Listening to 'Phobos', Josef's influences sound evident but he his music doesn't sound derivative at all and for me it's a pleasure to have here in Italy someone whose music stands out just like Steve Moore's does in the U.S. Influences apart, Giuseppe is able to revive classic track's structures by blending cosmic atmospheres with robotic bleeping sounds and upbeat rhythms. Long pads duet with sidereal sweeps just to be joined by a lead melody carrying you away...


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha