Music Reviews

N.E.O.: Sindustrial

 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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Mar 30 2012
Artist: N.E.O. (@)
Title: Sindustrial
Format: CD
Label: Koerperschall Records/Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
"Welcome to the industrial paradise...welcome to the underground...welcome to... industrial". This is the way N.E.O. (acronym for New Electronic Order), a duo made up of Arne Gutowski aka Tandrin (some acolytes of electro-industrial scene might remember him for being the voice of Mechanical Moth as well as for his very long blonde dreadlocks, which let someone argue he could have a steel-plated scalp!) and Disdain greats the listener with a cold female voice, whose articulating looks like she would announce some train delay in Hell-o. This Sindustrial (nice word trick!) offers quite good stomper with many interesting vocal samples, distorted guiras, mechanical noises and drum machine's rumbling, which are going to make the wearing of gas masks compulsary for the big amount of sweat they can produce in proper settings (amongst others, tracks I reccomend are "Irre Explodieren Nicht", "War Of Fidelity", "Enjoy My Sickness" and the interesting final march of "Hoffnung" - maybe the best one - for some interesting sonic make-up), but the clutter of references could appear a little bit cliched even though it pretend to be "unconventional" or referred to underground culture. The risk a good product could sink in listener's opinion just for looking so stereotyped to be associated with an exergame by Konami or with the nihilist kinks of some omnidirectional teeny-geeky anger (as the declaration of intents in the booklet in tune with those resounding proclamation made by groups of angry nerds speaking about a revolution against "all these downpressed beats, limited to their death" whereas other kinds of revolutions could be more meaningful...) is high, but this is just their debut and I'm pretty sure it will have good response (and just some cramps in legs) in more frenzied cyber or industrial-goth appealed parties.

Jaxson & David Keno: Fuzzycat

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 29 2012
Artist: Jaxson & David Keno (@)
Title: Fuzzycat
Format: CD EP
Label: Suchtreflex (@)
Distributor: Decks
Rated: *****
The prolific collaboration between Berlin-based dj and producer Arne Grossmuller Jaxson and Swiss-born peppy producer and label owner Daniel Wittwer aka David Keno fattens with this new EP, whose title "Fuzzycat" refers to its source of inspiration, a cat which usually idly delights its ear while spending time in their studio! Muffled bumps and clicks, effected claps, delayed woodsticks, a diluted organ-like sound which could remind a sort of meow and French vocal samples are the main recipes of this seducing deep-house track. The release includes three remixes as well: my favorite one is the treatment by Hamburg-based duo Piemont, who prop it up with heavier bumps, intriguing digital toybells and twitters, voodoo-shaking tech house rhythms, so showing their skills in building good supplements to Jaxson & David Keno's stuff (have a listen to their remix of Silver Palm in order to understand how complementary are the sounds of these projects). I also enjoyed the minimalistic one proposed by Romanian Mihai Popoviciu, who assembles a crunchy groove which in association with the repetition of the pleased whimpering by the above-mentioned French male voice let imagine that fuzzycat while licking its chops after a square meal of crisp food, while Beliners Demir & Seymen's remix gathers a more colourfoul funky vein from teh original track. You're going to appreciate an interesting and somewhat emotional make up by Kai and Karsten aka Intu:itiv on the digital release.

Regis: Collected Works 1997 - 1998

 Posted by J Simpson (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 19 2012
Artist: Regis
Title: Collected Works 1997 - 1998
Format: CD
Label: Downwards Records
Rated: *****
Regis has been churning out stripped down deadly post-industrial Techno since 1994. As one of the co-founders of the Downwards Label, along with Surgeon aka Anthony Child, operating out of the Birmingham borough of Halesowen in the UK, he imported Detroit's rust-belt futurism, splicing it together with the recessive Throbbing Gristle mutant gene, to create a distinctive brand of lean, mean EDM that borders on Harcore, with Cabaret Voltaire electronics strobing in the margins; the soundtrack to some possessed warehouse party.

Karl O' Connor, the birth name of Regis, has just cherry-picked his output from the Golden Age Of Techno, between the years of 1994 - 2001, and compiled them into three volumes. The second, 'Collected Work 1997 - 1998', draws its source material from the 'Delivered Into The Hands Of Indifference' album and a series of 12"s, with a number of these tracks being made available on CD and digitally for the first time. One of them, album opener, 'A Necklace of Bites', sets the tone for the 13 tracks to come: VICIOUS trash-bin kick drums and disembodied flickers of amorphous electronics; churning insectile synths, planting their larvae at the bass of yr neck, rising up to masticate all thinking. Forsaking any pop trappings, such as melody or traditional structure, Regis' music is like a bio-mechanoid killing machine; a Terminator shark, rushing at you.

Most of 'Collected Works 1997 - 1998' continues along this trajectory, forcing the listener to listen closely to notice the nuances. With a nice pair of headphones on, you can really notice Karl O' Connor's progression as a producer, like time-lapsed photography, starting with track 6, 'Guiltless'. Its still the same format: monolith kick drums and swarms of synth, but there's a bit of a shimmer to it, it seems friendlier, more dance-floor accessible. There is even some slight syncopation and hand claps to compliment the 4/4 pulse that runs through 'Collected Works 1997 - 1998', but then disintegrates into puffs of static and blackboard scribbling; Karl O' Connor will not be pigeonholed or compartmentalized.

'Collected Works 1997 - 1998' finishes off with 'The Right Side of Reason, parts 1 and 2', Regis' collaboration with Robert Görl, from influential Neue Deutsche Welle misanthropes D.A.F. Amazingly enough, considering the experimental and antagonistic nature of both artist's back-catalog, 'The Right Side of Reason' brings out the best for both, to create something polished, perfected, revealing O' Connor and Görl at work, and the whole Downwards Record posse, to truly be a force to be reckoned with; masters of their machines.

These 'Collected Works' volumes are a real god send to help navigate the labyrinth of pseudonyms, collaborations, singles, EPs, and albums that Karl O' Connor has produced over the years. He has done a lovely job sequencing the 'Collected Works' series; these records are a nice introduction to his work, showing himself to be ahead of the game, but the world is starting to be ready for his dystopian daydream. For those that like stripped down, aggressive Hard Techno, this is essential listening, a wormhole into Regis' mouldering universe.

GERMANOTTA YOUTH: the final solution

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 18 2012
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Title: the final solution
Format: 7"
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
While Zu are floating in a undefined Hiatus and the ex members of this wonderful band sometimes appear here and there, Massimo Pupillo gets involved in this Germanotta Youth affair. I've really enjoyed Germanotta's debut cd but I think on this vinyl the band has given its best, infact here we go with four shots of pure electronic, grinding, neurotic mayhem. I think this time the maelstrom has been produced even better than before and the resulting magma has become even more refined so here you're gonna have that speed freaks drumming, crappy electronics synths-samples-whatever and the dirty-fast and furious-mindblowing bass of Pupillo. This power trio has gone back to the metal-punk roots to come back with this heavy pounding, ass kicking 7" where you're gonna meet this sort of hybrid that barely reminds of The Locust meets James Plotkin's Phantomsmasher but at the same time you can get one of them was involved in the rind and roll heroes Inferno. Four killer tracks for this new episode and I think the 7" format is really suitable for the Germanotta guys.

Cyberpunkers: EPIC

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 16 2012
Artist: Cyberpunkers
Title: EPIC
Format: 12"
Label: Freakz Me Out! (@)
Distributor: Groove Attack
Rated: *****
After many gigs where this Italian couple of masked electro-house animators where they should have noticed their music smashed away all paralyzing factors of the coldest audiences, Cyberpunkers decided to apply this attitude to every forthcoming ventures they announced so that they shattered their new EP Trilogie into three mini-eps and Epic is just their first one, which has been issued in conjunction with the beginning of their EPIC Worldtour in Europe, according to a prompt schedule intended to launch it with the track which is opening their gigs. On this appetizer, beside the above-mentioned track, there are also two incendiary electronic dance tunes, "Are You Ready?" and "Dungeon", where they unmask their light change of route towards more "rockish" sounds, even if they basically keep on champ those 8bit-like pulses and slides and that feeling I had about their past releases and their sound, which appears to my ears as the clubbish consecration of those hypnotical jingles some crackers normally add on little apps to cheat videogames or find hidden codes for activation of many programs, which sound like having been remixed by Noze, Glimmers or Chemical Brothers on Cyberpunkers'consoles. You can love or hate them, but what we're sure about are the enthusiastic feedbacks by all those who took part to their hellish exhibitions, where they normally manage to turn dancehalls into concrete funny bedlams.

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