Music Reviews



Zebra Baby: W.A.R.

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 20 2010
cover
Artist: Zebra Baby
Title: W.A.R.
Format: CD EP
Label: ITD (@)
Rated: *****
Warning, nasty music’s aficionados! An over-excited Zebra Baby has escaped from its forced New York shutting up in order to crop all the grass of your musical kitchen garden; this mischievous pet has been conceived by a fiery musical liaison between Ali Ramos (what a wonderful name for a dj and producer coming from the criminal-junkied up Oakland, one of the most nice city in California and even of the city in the world having no south quarter laying on the lovely Lake Merritt) and the cheeky singer Char Johnson, whose sexy vocal skills have been spread in the electro-discoid glittering planet by the famous dance-hitter Hustler by the renowned electronic dance act Simian Mobile’s Disco, whose romantic set was Char’s apartments on Washington Heights. Much to my annoyance, you’re going to make a mistake if you’ll consider this project just another collection of eggy rumble-like buzzing noises and bleepy sounds or just a musical yawn pong, as Zebra Baby’s neighs are blended with breaks inherited from the tradition of the contemporary electronic hip-hop and some nice sound samples all over the play-plot; this Ep issued by the German independent label ITD includes three nice tracks showing ZB sound: the nasty +1 features licentious whinnies (warning: explicit recommendations for cuties denying the existence of sun&moon shines), a phat jumped brass &bass pattern, bizarre inserts of oriental choruses and a bewildering gamelan-ish xylophone, while the next (healthily provocative) track, Jumbo, has a more classical rhythmical riding nicely textured with laser-like sounds and a slight of vintage on heavy bass dubby lines. Propelled by a slice of offensive wantonness as usual, W.A.R. is surely the track I prefer for that abstract sense of balance between a certain vintage taste combined with some trigger-happy dj’s artillery on beat pattern, whose wicked make-up by Chris De Luca (one leg of Funkstorung) could stand as a body of evidence of the appeal of ZB sound with mixer’s possible divertssment! The Ep also includes a booty-breakin remix of +1 by the Bavarian Schlachthof Bronx (Man Recordings), pulverizing the original version and ideally checking pulsations of the pet with a funny trickery game on nice chirpy pulses, but don’t miss the more obscure dubstep-like Booty D’s remix of Jumbo (just on digital download version of the EP) as well as the bizarre way of performance Zebra baby’s going to set inspired by their nippo-Swiss friends Tim & Puma Mimi, based on the funny usage of Skype’s technology (a dj performs on "real" stage, while the singer performs through the wire by using Skype’s videochat!), you could enjoy on Zebra Baby’s myspace! What a wonderful world!

Tonikom: The Sniper's Veil

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 15 2010
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Artist: Tonikom (@)
Title: The Sniper's Veil
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
The mysterious mistress TONIKOM is one of the very few females available in the modern IDM/Electronica music genre. After her marvelous debut "Epoch" 2 year before on Hymen, here’s with "The Sniper’s Veil" the enjoyable follow-up album, which again points out the musically preferences to several stylistically related colleagues. There is at first to name her varied rhythm and percussion work. By integrating influences out of Downtempo, Trip Hop, Trance and Breakbeat you can be assured to hear diverse patterns in her tracks far away from repetitions. Her rhythm work as being the energizer for hr global sound out, she also convinces with well-though Electronica themes, which quite often express a sentimental mood – which is contrary to her rhythmic work. And to unite these different influences track by track in perfection, that’s the target to reach. This of course works on some tracks better than on others, both highly addictive tunes "The Source (Album edit)" and the more than 11 minutes striking opener "Temporarius Delirium" are approving this plan, while the most catchiest tune can be discovered with the quite linear arranged "Watching From Here". "The Sniper’s Veil" balances well between "float-and-go"-music, an ideal and demanding album to listen and to move to.

IN[TOXIN]: UFO Rave

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 15 2010
cover
Artist: IN[TOXIN] (@)
Title: UFO Rave
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line / Alter-X Promotion Group (@)
Rated: *****
The Alter-X Promotion group has buried out once again a promising newcomer act out the Russian Electronica underground. IN[TOXIN] is the name of this producing DJ working under his pseudonym ToxicRain, who hails out of the city Rostov on Don. Applause also and once again for the traditionally awesome cover artwork, which continues with the mysticism of some astronomical and/or Alien-related themes. "UFO Rave" is globally a hard-hitting and speedy forward-moving Electro/Industrial-album heavily inspired by works of acts like S.A.M. or the latest ANIMASSACRE-recordings. It is nearly impossible, to sit still to this kind of music, as this project forces its audience to some wild pogo-related movements with their crafty and pummeling rhythm work. Their multiple sequencing works I tend to rate as being a standout attitude, although I would recommend to shorten one or another tune. It simply becomes a bit strenuous, if too much tracks range over 6 minutes of a pure hammering beat inferno without a noticeable break. Also to rely too often on the hypnotic effect of their multiple sequencing work does seldom replace a constant and well-thought compositional effort. But however, the hyper-active Hellectro/TBM-infected masses will praise this act quite well and their work is additive. Quite good in its kind, quite surprising for X-Line, if you have discovered other acts earlier.

BJØRN SVIN: Browen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 03 2010
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Artist: BJØRN SVIN
Title: Browen
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 1995 as a live performer and producer of experimental electronic dance music, Bjørn Svin has released several albums and 12"s as well as music for films and theatre. In the late nineties he became a "techno pop-star" with the hit "Mer Strøm 2" and reached cult-status in most of Scandinavia. His new album BROWEN will be released on March by Danish Rump Recordings and it shows a different side of Bjørn as composer. The twelve tracks of the album take inspiration from the rhythmic richness of techno/i.d.m. music but add to the mix an experimental attitude. If tracks like "ROwmOR" or "mPmWree" show still traces of techno structures, others like the opening "Browen" or the following "bowbroW" are more experimental oriented thanks to an evolving flow of metallic sounds that form little melodic/rhythmic loops. Minimal tiny melodies change their sound from dissonant to melodic and clashes with other hundreds forming a constant flow of sound. Techno, dub (check the opening part of "mOmWree"), i.d.m., experimental influences blend very well giving to the listener an interesting and wide sound spectrum to explore.

Voide: Red Turns To Blue

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 18 2010
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Artist: Voide (@)
Title: Red Turns To Blue
Format: CD
Rated: *****
"Same procedure as last year, Mr. Almgren?" He may would answer: "Same procedure as EVERY year, Mr. Tater". Well, how to start a new year even more attractive, as to hold a new album of Sweden’s Electronica-expert VOIDE a.k.a. David Almgren proudly in my hands? His fourth and follow-up album to his last years’ effort "Humachine" is his most matured and stylistically most diverse work so far. It draws perfectly the right balance between the modern sounding hi-tech tunes of "Humachine" with the slightly harder tracks presented on his masterpiece "Evolution". Even better than this, he at least offers slightly different arranged versions of his successful and free downloadable summer tunes like "Lazy" (David doing some relaxing speech-vocals – does the content really fit with the snowy weather we currently have to bear???) , "Traffic" and the breath-taking "Into The Sun", a collaborative effort with the Australian female vocalist Pixieguts (Marie Craven). Since "Into The Sun" has been that unexpected well recognized by the audience, David has invited Pixieguts to offer her well-sounding timbre for some additional tracks available on here. There’s at first to name the opener "The Beat Of You" and it really astonishes, how well the rather cold and Trance-driven Electronica music flirts with the warm vocals of Mrs. Pixieguts. Both artists may have never met personally because of the huge distance between Sweden and Australia, but this track comes out that perfectly arranged, as would both produce music together day by day. Another favorite – again with Pixieguts providing the lead vocals – has to be named with the rather slow and rhythmically different sounding title track. The talent to produce ambience through his complex synth-layer sounds is one of the strongest talents, which David has to offer – I would encourage him to produce more tracks focusing on this kind to balance between Lounge and Dark Electro music. Typical and expected stuff out of David’s skillful hands you’ll get with tracks like "When The Skies Are Grey" and "Beauty For The Wicked" – rhythmically straight arranged Electronica, which supports a top-notch synth-play – this is a feast for ears and legs. Also available is a new version of his first collaborative effort "Love", providing the German actress Suzi Electric doing the lead vocals. Comes then the word on a real music experiment, "Necropolis", with its gloomy mood and a sick vocal performance including a nasty fx manipulation by Pixieguts. This composition may is intended to satisfy the rather Goth-minded part of the audience, but I guess, that especially these clients will find the synth-arrangements chosen for this track too lovely and not thrilling enough. A decision to give out this tune via a remix-kit to some dark and sick projects out of the harder Electro-/EBM-related styles may could come up with quite interesting and intense sounding results. Lots of new stuff to discover from David, at least 14 tracks and of 1 hour of refreshing Electronica music. And even if some of you have already discovered one or another of his free available tunes, it is nevertheless worth enough, to pick up this album too, since all of the free tunes got revamped. Completely convincing once again, there’s no end of the rope for VOIDE.


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