Music Reviews



Blockboy: Heartbox EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 18 2012
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Artist: Blockboy (@)
Title: Heartbox EP
Format: 12"
Label: Hot Corner (@)
Rated: *****
"Heartbox" is the first fat Ep (it includes nine tracks) of an announced trilogy by this skilled German beatmaster, who squeezes some juicy fruits from hearty musical baskets, ranging from big beat, funk, East Coast hip hop and contemporary music. The assortment of samples and references is so motley that most trained listeners are going to recognize a lot of influences and quotes in one track: after the intro titled "The Worst", whose noir atmosphers could be close to the ones by Marsmobil or Parov Stelar, "Survive" immediately reminds a notorious sample from Kruder&Dorfmeister's remix of Lamb's "Transfatty Acid" and then Blockboy heads the track towards heavenly electronic hip-soul (think about a mixture between Zero 7 and Bonobo or Thievery Corporation), whereas his joyful collagist and sampledelic approach could be associated to Kid Koala or Blockhead ones. If I have to pick some highlights from this EP, I'll be spoilt for choice, but I'd say the most hybrid ones are "The Renaissance"- a sort of gipsy melody combined with a remarkable hip-hop groove, which reminded to me some stuff by Sporto Kantes -, "the Hornet" - a very nice track starting with that kind of childish Kid Koala-like music box-diven hip hop and turning into a catchy dubstep movement after the announcment by a notorious vocal sample saying "Time To Lay Down Some Serious Sound" -, "Satellite" - a Thievery Corporation-like exotic dub, enhanced by Carolin Roth's smooth and cutie voice -, "World Against Us" - with a very good performance by rapper Mista Man -. Such a choice was really hard as all tracks are really easygoing, I'm prettysure forthcoming acts from Blockboy are going to sound equally yummy!

Wavefall: Future Rock 'N' Roll

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 14 2012
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Artist: Wavefall (@)
Title: Future Rock 'N' Roll
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya (@)
Rated: *****
Even though front-freaks of this Russian project, Slava Busygin and Tat'yana Borisova, portrait themselves with the help of Sergey Kovalev during a successful armed robbery as reptile-like punksters, born after a drunken lay or maybe a gangbang between Kiss and some sexy crossbreed of a woman and a lizard - I hope any fan of David Icke isn't reading this review or I'll hold myself responsible for feeding paranoias about Reptilians which want to kill all these annoying lowermost descendants of stupid monkeys! - and the title they've chosen for their new album, there's nothing really so apodictic which could define a radical stylistical revolution. They just enhanced their electro-metal crossover by adding elements from rock'n'roll collective imagination such as guitar riffs, use of voice or just references within lyrics, which are able to evoke that set of values or cliches, whereas in their boiling soup you'll easily recognize techno-punk, vintage techno or EBM recipes from Prodigy or KMFDM cookbooks, just to mention the most immediate analogies. It doesn't mean their sound is not nice and somewhat seducing, as there're many tracks such as "Collider", "F.S.C.K.", "My Wild Imagination" and even the final epic ballad "The Whole World Is Mine" whose contagious creative energy could persuade many listener (I could include myself) to attend some of their explosive liveshows with tickets at reasonable prices.

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!

Saltillo: Monocyte

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 21 2012
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Artist: Saltillo
Title: Monocyte
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
The follow-up of the recently reissued debut album, Ganglion, is another strange mash-up of trip-hop, distorted violin, spoken word and is a concept album, a soundtrack to the comic book of the same name. The good news is this is vastly superior to the debut album in composition and production.
"ABEO" in the intro constructed upon some noises and the heavily distorted voice of the narrator. "Proxy" is the first proper track and is an uptempo based on the folky lines of the violin above the beat. "If Wishes were Catholics" is one of the few singed song with an, at least for the writer, unknown female vocalist and probably one of the singles due to the catchy lines. "The Right of Action" is another instrumental constructed with a violin melodic development upon an hip-hop beat. "They all do it the same" is reminiscent of, cited even in the linear notes, the work done by DJ Shadow in the definition of this genre. "Gate Keepers" features the return of the spoken words to describe the development of the plot and so "I Hate You" and "Forced Vision" continues upon this development track. "Hollow" is an instrumental track revealing the soundtrack project of this release. "Locus Priory" starts with a guitar lines suddenly replaced by a dialogue between cello and piano. "Veil" is the other singed track of the album and is reminiscent of all the metal bands doing some sort of crossover. "To Kill a King" close this release with an almost classic instrumental hip hop tunes that suggest an happy ending of the comic book.
This is an album without any truly original idea but so carefully constructed and well produced that it will find a place in any end of the year playlist of fans of the genre. Non only for the fans of the genre but also for any wanting to hear a pleasant release.

youANDme: mouche

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 16 2012
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Artist: youANDme
Title: mouche
Format: 12"
Label: Dub2Dust (@)
Distributor: DBH
Rated: *****
A graceful dub-flavoured tech-house proposal is ready to come on decks from Frankfurt-based vynil label, founded by Gabriel Le Mar and Carsten Schorr, whose publishing efforts are focusing on possible declensions of a dub-derived sounds within techno and house rhythmical patterns. Behind the moniker youANDme, there are two Berlin-based djs and producer, Martin Mueller and Daniel Stroeter, veterans of that scene as they roll interesting musical hybrids since 1995, which magnetized many partygoers and renowned labels such as Cocoon, Compost, 2020Vision, Ornaments, Platzhirsch and many others. On "mouche" (French word meaning "flight"), they let listeners hovering in the air with unobtrusive and well-balanced rhytmical oscillations, frothy echoes and icy ascending samples, so that it seems that there's a sensorial conflict between dynamics which gradually get warmer and warmer by taking possession of the body and inducing almost automatically some movements and sonic breeze which become subject to frostbite, but everyone knows what the mixing of warm and cold currents can cause... "Electric Dub Remix" by skilled dj Luke Hess on B-side immediately kicks with crunchy and regular beats, which sound remarkably influenced by typical Detroit techno progressions (it's quite normal if you consider that Luke is a dj born in metropolitan area of Detroit and musically grown in the legendary mid-90ies warehouse parties there, an influence tempered by a scientific approach on sound coming from his background in engineering and mathematics), the most notable additive to the track, which keep original aerodynamics properties intact.


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