Music Reviews



Tommy De Chirico: Close Your Eyes

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 15 2013
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Artist: Tommy De Chirico
Title: Close Your Eyes
Format: 12"
Label: Mannequin
Rated: *****
Coming from Torino, Italy, singer of Politburo and nowadays of Lacriminal, Tommy De Chirico recorded only one single 7" in 1984 for a local label called Shirak. Recorded at TKS Studio (studio run by Monuments' Mauro Tavella), "Close Your Eyes" was a nice single of electronic wave which was gathering a dance attitude, upfront catchy funk bass lines, a certain mysterious atmosphere and character. It could be seen a bit like our personal "Let's Go To Bed"... On side B there was a slow synth ballad with guitar arpeggios and always upfront bass lines. Its title was "Flower Into The Factory". For years this single was kinda knew by us people living in Torino, until Alessandro Adriani discovered it and put it on the first volume of "Danza Meccanica" (the CD version had both the tracks) back in 2010. Now, three years later, always him, finally decided to give a proper release to that single by releasing an extended EP containing those tracks plus three bonuses. The first one is a demo version of side A (which is pretty much close to the final version). The second one is "Vuh-Ya", a mid tempo song that mix dreamy atmospheres with a certain dark romantic touch. The third one is "Tuxedo Dance", a funky synth instrumental which is a nice one but sounds more like a demo. Anyway, it's nice that that single got a proper release and you can check and purchase it here http://mannequinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mnq-041-tommy-de-chirico-close-your-eyes-12-ep
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Artist: Morgan Zarate
Title: Taker EP
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
Mostly known as the drummer of Spacek, Morgan Zarate delivers the third stylistical master stroke on Kode 9's label Hyperdub by fading the boundaries between genres like r'n'b, hip hop, trap, grime and dub by means of accentuated futuristic brushstrokes. The two less martial track have been sweetened by two superb female voices: the most "stardusted" track cannot be sung by impressive singer from West London and former Gorillaz collaborator Roses Gabor, who seems to dive and snorkel into the ocean of radiant padded synth and over-reverberated claps of "Pusher Taker", while the bittersweet words by another skilled singer, Tawiah, who seems to froths honey and poison at the mouth, perfectly adhere to cleaving claps, heated funky drops and rushing synths on "Far Too Late". Even if I cannot imagine the so-called katsu, the shout a Zen-master should utter to let Zen apprentices taste enlightenment experience could sound like the vocal sample that Kendrick Lamar recorded to ignite "Backseat Freestyle", "Katsu" is an impressive trap experiment built on very deep resounding bass tone, military snares and menacing delayed chords, while the final "Tayco" entrap eardrums by seemingly acoustic drums, dry hits on trunks, vitreous industrial sounds and other bumps, which soncially renders what you could imagine "future primitive grime" could sound like. The digital available bonus tracks "This" sounds like a quite hard-fought ping-pong match inside a tron-like dimension.

Jessy Lanza: Pull My Hair Back

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 10 2013
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Artist: Jessy Lanza (@)
Title: Pull My Hair Back
Format: CD
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most seductive entry in the rich roster of UK electronic label Hyperdub comes from the talented Canadian singer Jessy Lanza, whose sensual voice jelled with the likewise erotic keys by herself and Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, who fords somewhat hackneyed stylistical rivers such as contemporary pop or r'n'b by brushing velvet gloves against their surfaces. The tempting shell of this symbiotic fusion is going to coax a wide range of listeners by limpid moments of melancholy, which have been wisely nestled both in the texts and in the sonorities. All those who have been infected by the reprise of some disco lay-out which followed the outbreaking Daft Punk's record supposedly will be diven crazy by the central track "Keep Moving", a juicy amalgamation of classic disco and house, but besides this pop climax, there's so much classy eclat inside the crawling pelting of sonic and vocal pearls between the initial alluring rub of acidic basslines, soothing synths and piano, smooth claps and Jessy's voice which seems to come from a burnt out neon of "Giddy" and the final emotional paregoric of "Strange Emotion", where the listener will experience some difficulties in winnowing if voice or sonic touches is more seducing while moaning with pleasure for the auricular penetrations all over this release.

Laugh Clown Laugh: Laugh Clown Laugh

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 08 2013
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Artist: Laugh Clown Laugh
Title: Laugh Clown Laugh
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Born in early 80s in northeast Somerset town of Frome (100 miles west of London) and formed by Sam Findlay and Dominic O' Brien, Laugh Clown Laugh released only a song titled 'Feel So Young' for the 101International 2LP compilation "Abstract" in 1984. With an equipment made of SCI Pro One mono synth, Korg MS20 mono synth, Roland TR606 drum machine, (LinnDrum on "Feel So Young"), Teac-32 2b 2 track Reel to Reel tape recorder and a Teac-2a mixer, they recorded different tracks on their living room during the 1982-84 period and they prepared a tape that I don't really know if they ever released. Anyway, decades after their recordings the Crispy Nuggets blog (crispynuggets.blogspot.com) used their "Feel So Young" on their compilation and things started to move. Troy of Medical Records got interested and contacted the band and they restored the home recordings you can find on this eleven tracks compilation (the twelfth is a dub version of "Feel So Young"). Inspired by early 80s synthpop the duo created their own style that mixed pop melodies with new wave darkness and also a certain will to experiment which you can find on certain early Depeche Mode or Yazoo tracks (for example "Big Muff" or "I Before E Except After C") as you can check on "Track 14" and "Aquarium". They had the rough coldness of synth noise as well as the warmth of those sounds and they had the freshness of kids that play with something new and the will to express themselves. As the info sheet reports: this LP will certainly appeal to fans of earliest Human League, Oppenheimer Analysis, and earliest Vince Clarke era Depeche Mode (but even more sparse). Presented on 180gram transparent orange high-quality vinyl in a limited edition. Bonus insert included as well with liner notes by Kurt B. Reighley and other tidbits. Check the whole released and purchase it here http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/laugh-clown-laugh-mr-025

Antoni Maiovvi: Mater Proditus

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 07 2013
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Artist: Antoni Maiovvi
Title: Mater Proditus
Format: 12"
Label: J.A.M. Traxx (@)
Rated: *****
In the last couple of years the Italo horror influenced producer Antoni Maiovvi focused his efforts on 12"s and EPs and also created his own label Giallo Disco Records along with Gianni Vercetti Balopitas (a.k.a. Vercetti Technicolor). At the moment they released a split EP and two solo EPs. Anyway, Maiovvi switches from italo disco influenced catchy tunes to Carpenter influenced synth horror atmospheres. This new EP released by the Italian label J.A.M. Traxx contains three versions of "The War of Self Defence" (the original version plus two remixes), "Music Makes A Good Pet" and "Theme From Maiovvowitz ('88 Redux)". The original version of "The War of Self Defence" is a good upbeat dance electro tune with melodic hooks while the "Against Dave Remix" is more influenced by house and it has also a TB-303 acid bass line here and there. The "Drvg Cvltvre Remix", instead, is a dilated electro version which filter the vocal line with echo and delay and is focused on the arpeggios and the drums. "Music Makes A Good Pet" sounds more 70s and creates a nice tension thanks to the distorted vocals which play with the synth arpeggios. "Theme From Maiovvowitz ('88 Redux)" recalls me the late 70s/early 80s horror movies soundtracks you found at the end titles. Nice but it's the one that convinced me less. You can check and purchase the release here http://jamtraxx.bandcamp.com/album/antoni-maiovvi-mater-proditus


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