Music Reviews



Newclear Waves: Newclear Waves

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 28 2012
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Artist: Newclear Waves
Title: Newclear Waves
Format: 12"
Label: Desire Records
Rated: *****
Three years in the making and after producing a split tape and a split single with Opus Finis, two CDrs and different remixes, Newclear Waves, a.k.a. Alessandro Adriani, are ready to deliver their first vinyl album through Desire Records. Alessandro, is also knows as the man behind Mannequin Records, label that brought you two volumes of 80s delicatessen under the "Danza Meccanica" brand and different Italian 80s reissues (Degada Saf, Chromagain, Janitor Of Lunacy, Intelligence Dept. to name few) plus several electronic/wave releases of nowadays bands of the such of Led Er Est, Soviet Soviet, The Present Moment, Frank (just Frank), etc. Printed in 300 copies, black vinyl, printed inner-sleeve, four panels die-cut sleeve, the self titled LP contains ten tracks. Nine out of ten have already been issued on the previous releases (on the tape, the CDrs or the double vinyl compilation "Doppelhertz Vol. 2") but if you think that the tape and the second CDr have been printed in fifty copies and the first CDr in ten copies available at a live concert, we could think of them as brand new and in any case, they have been re-recorded. Anyway... Newclear waves base their sound on the warmth and richness of vintage synthesizer sounds creating a strong core of pusating bass lines and rhythms where stripped to the bones synth melodic lines are added. Also the vocals tend to be straight like a razor cut. No thrills or frills, just a bit melodic but sorta cold with a bit of filtering. It takes a while to find these atmospheres comfortable but step by step, beat by beat, you find the path to follow and then the light dissonances and the 4/4 rhythms start to lead you through nightmarish scenarios made of buzzing noises and crying filters. It's like being in front of a wall which is melting realizing that under the wallpaper there's the portrait of the old householder. If you love post punk, cold wave and minimal wave, you'll find all this like home... As last note; on two tracks we find two guests: Lou Chano of Der Noir, Ivs Primae Noctis and Tiresia Raptus on bass guitar on "The End Of The Cold War" and Oksana Xiu on vocals and synth on "Tishina". Cool one...
P.s.: You can preview all the tracks here http://newclearwaves.bandcamp.com/album/newclear-waves-s-t-lp-cdr-desire-records

Cyberpunkers: EPIC - The Remixes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 24 2012
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Artist: Cyberpunkers
Title: EPIC - The Remixes
Format: 12"
Label: Freakz Me Out! (@)
Distributor: Groove Attack
Rated: *****
The issue of the second act of Cyberpunkers'EP trilogie Epic suits the astonishing success of their worldtour - feedbacks from their first European stages have been enthusiastic as Cyberpunkers themselves reported while describing crowd's reaction by using meaningful adjectives like wonderful, exalting and rich of funny episodes such as the loss of mask from one of them, which was instantly returned by fans - to the ground by an attendant selection of four remixes. All the hothead followers of this duo of Italian masked gladiators of the beat box, made up of djs and producers Massi Arena and Fabio Liuzzi, will be delighted likewise by proposed treatments as they mainly keep the energy of what these guys consider as the next evolutionary step of the so-called Moombahton (an hybrid of house music and reggaeton, whose paternity should belong to Washington DC-based Dave Nada) they called it Moombahpunk. I particularly enjoyed remix of "Dungeon" by Oli Cash aka Far Too Loud - an authentic uplifter with nice slapping beats, funky spots, housey chords, sudden accelerations and brakings as well as some rhythmical and sonic tricks taken from the glorious tradition of some Dutch tech-house acts - and the one of "Are You Ready" by Belzebass, focused on a bizarre intertwining of different steps - from dubstep to traditional breakbeat and phat electro -, but trance-oriented version of the same track by The Boomzers and the fire-starting remix of "Epic" by The S - a remarkable and straightforward electro anthem with the addiction of military snares and some melodic italo-house allures - are smashing anyway. While on the waiting line for the final chapter of the trilogie, enjoy this one, also available on live format (maybe it's the best format!) by intercepting them during their globetrottering on various stages. Cyberpunkers have already announced they will take part to a number of forthcoming summer festivals such as Beatpatrol, Arenal, Nature One, Creamfields and many others, sharing their stage with important names of the scene such as Steve Aoki, Crookers, Digitalism and so on. Check it out!

Noise Under Dreaming: In mIne

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 08 2012
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Artist: Noise Under Dreaming (@)
Title: In mIne
Format: CD
Label: Red Birds Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Some people say that many regressive processes could have been explained by a troublesome approach to difficult times (so troublesome that it could flow into its refusal), so that it's no coincidence that nowadays many fields of music and art in general are getting sprinkled with references to childish feelings, as the result of the communication between the artist and a sort of uncorrupted inner voice, subliminally forcing imagination and sensitivity to interposing in between any cognitive moments through intuition. This new album by Noise Under Dreaming, a project from Milan-based musicians Michele Ricciardi and Matteo Chiamenti looks like springing from this feeling or I'd rather call it a kind of prophylaxis, strictly filtered by memory's meshes, a kind of return to intimate innocence and a claim of a certain candour. It's therefore that some sonic choices such as some toy electronics which look like coming from cheap synths, the recording of some sessions with external microphones (so that it seems instruments are part of a field recording), plain melodies and basic rhythmic patterns make sense. In spite of the interesting conceptual premises, the first part of the record could induce some yawns: with the exception of the nice acapella dadaism of "Lullaby For Lovers" and the good vocal performace in "Noise Under My Wish", where the singer perfectly renders the idea of an ignored word to the wise, most of songs look like bad copies of music, which could be vaguely associated with theabove-mentioned kind of poetics such as Sigur Ros ("For Nothing") or even some teeny pop wails like Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You", whose melodic line seems to have been quoted in "Placebo". On the other hand, the second part of "In Mine" shows more appreciable stuff even if the band doesn't move away from the same skinny compositional approach since the three graceful and airy movements of "Sinfonia Per Menti Distratte" (meaning "symphony for careless minds"): there are some catchy tracks such as "In Deep", whose sonic clues with sounds from MSN's chat reminds it could refer to some intense "contemporary" love affair, "Better Story" - emphazised by the lovely insert of violin by Sara Primiterra - and the sluice gate of "Monochroma".

Lust For Youth: Growing Seeds

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 05 2012
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Artist: Lust For Youth
Title: Growing Seeds
Format: 12"
Label: Avant!
Rated: *****
When I reviewed the split LFY/War 7" I knew I was right and I had to wait a full length release to judge. Lust For Youth, aren't a band made to make hit singles. You have to dive into their distortions and stay there for a while, to be able to feel the taste. "Growing Seeds" is their second album and Hannes Norrvide, now, is the only band member left, after Amanda decided to quit. On this new album, Hannes, opted for a more clearer sound and thanks to this vocals are more enjoyable and everything sounds more balanced. The ten tracks of the album are always characterized by an heavy use of analog synth, powerful drum beats and distortion but now the tracks span from the minimal synthpop of "Behind Curtains" and "It's You", to the 80s electronic industrial of "We Planted A Seed" and "La Rouge", passing through the post punk attitude of "Cover Their Faces". Nice melodies are overwhelmed by distorted monophonic synth sounds creating cold atmospheres with warm sounds. Hard beats, upbeat tempos and a fresh attitude, make of this a nice album you'll enjoy if into minimal wave and electronic music. At the moment the album is available on vinyl only, but the Russian label Other Voices will issue the CD really soon. You can check all the tracks here: http://avantrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lust-for-youth-growing-seeds-lp.

The New Division: Shadows

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 05 2012
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Artist: The New Division (@)
Title: Shadows
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
It shudders me, if I have to read in a bio, that a music-project has started as a college room project, because in 99,127 % of all cases this means to receive an Alternative- / Rock- / or Metal-related project. Things luckily differ with The New Division, as this Californian-based 4-men-outfit around the mastermind John Kunkel counts cult projects like Joy Division, Now Order and Depeche Mode to their main influences. The music proves to be inspired by this demanding row of idols and the band integrates successfully a strong 80s Romantic-Pop reference into their compositions. 'Shadows' as a whole drifts a bit away from the usual, sugar-sweet Synthpop-formula, so often discovered with mostly Scandinavian-based music-projects. It sounds here and there may a bit old-fashioned produced, which belongs in the unusual integration of reverb effects on vocals and drum patterns ' while this kind on the other hand spends a more bombastic outfit to the sound. However, it isn't the freshest water in use here, but it has charisma and authenticity. A guitar isn't a forbidden instrument, just check the tracks 'Sense' or 'Munich', which nearly sound like Britpop-inspired tunes. But definitely the better ones are those richly produced, Synthpop-driven tracks like 'Opium', 'Soft' or 'Hearts for Sale', which offer a melodic song-progression with an easy singing-along-the-line behavior. A good pick for the Swedish Progress Productions label and a constant force in the field of the Synth-/Futurepop-genre. The New Division and the talent behind this project aren't to underestimate.


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