Music Reviews



FRACTIONAL : Still Life

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 14 2009
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Artist: FRACTIONAL (@)
Title: Still Life
Format: 10"
Label: The Centrifuge (@)
Rated: *****
Released one year after their latest album titled "Come mierda", Fractional are back with a new 10" E.P. (which is also downloadable as free mp3s from the label's website) titled STILL LIFE? The release contains four new tracks titled "Acomba", "Tasw", "Lula" and "Aeu". These tracks present a slight different side of Fractional sound as they are less industrial and "neurotic" compared to the album ones but nonetheless dub and breakbeat are always two important influences (only "Aeu" is the one that remember the album's tracks because of the fast breakbeat rhythms). On the new tracks it's like if Pierre Remy succeeded into balancing the different elements without being too aggressive and the result is a great blend of cinematic sounds/atmospheres with more melodies (see the opening "Acomba" where vocal samples duet with keyboards while bouncing rhythms create a multi layered web) and ideas. Sounding also more tribal than before Fractional new tunes will convince you immediately at the first listening!

ART BLEEK: Night tales EP

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 06 2009
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Artist: ART BLEEK
Title: Night tales EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Eevo Nexteevolute.com (@)
Rated: *****
Arthur Pochon started his musical studies when he was a kid at age 9 when he went to the conservatory to study saxophone and music theory. His biography continues telling that in 1996, he left to Boston '92s Berklee College Of Music on a full scholarship to attend their summer music program. This trip proved to be a life-changing experience and gave direction to Arthur\'92s artistic choices. Starting in 1997, he found employment in major Paris recording studios where he developed his knowledge of the recording and mixing processes. In 2001 he started to play as Art Bleek and released his first album in 2004 with British label Loungin '92 Recordings. Now he works with many labels such as Rush Hour Records (The Netherlands), Connaisseur Recordings (Germany), Resopal Red (Germany), Kubism Records (Germany), etc. For Eevo Next he just released a new six tracks EP (one of them is a Terrace remix of "Sonorcade ") titled NIGHT TALES. The tracks shows really well his taste for multi layered rhythmical patterns and creative use of vocal samples. The result is an hypnotic kind of minimal techno with bouncing rhythms, bleeps and looped melodies.

Noorglo: Hard Body Music

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 28 2009
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Artist: Noorglo
Title: Hard Body Music
Format: CD
Label: Rustblade (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Hard Body Music is a title which wears the new unmusical effort by the esteemed Italian promoter and dj (but not so many people knows he's also a talented techno forger... ) Noorglo like plastic gummy (and potentially carcinogen!) overalls giving the illusion of a perfect body. His name is mainly related to Decadence parties, among the most famous rendez-vous involving a lot of people devoted to Gothicism, fetishism (and related fashion branches... ) and obviously electro-techno music, but he's considered one of the most active of the underground Italian scene, as he also shared the stage with legendary names of the international music-biz such as Covenant, Massive Attack, Funker Vogt, Einsturzende Neubaten, Hocico, Lacrimosa and many others. A lot of respectful ackonwledgements which are justified not only by his enthusiastic way of promoting his devil-like eyebeam and his guessed figure for introducing to darkish dancing masses as well as by his bumpy sets and his philosophical excerpts giving a conceptual framework to his musical "mission" (... and we could not anything but wink when he states that "performance is the physical expression of music. Often, a musical work is performed once its structure and instrumentation are satisfactory to its creators; however, as it gets performed more and more over time, it can evolve and change in any number of ways"... have a look to Noorglo's myspace to get bodies of evidence of its nite and clear statements, folks!), but also for his good music taste confirmed by this work, which could be ideally detached in two parts: the first one contains a plenty of impressive catching rhythms, progressively gathering (high) speed '“ but please don't fine him or his sample machines for excess of speed!!! '“ oscillating between the experimental grasps on well-sequenced beat storms of Waratah '“ a reference to the Australian beautiful flower whose extract is supposedly able to give courage and heal from depression and anxiety '“ and the suffocating Arena '“ a clashy way to start the fire on dancehalls -, the "aspirated" suctions of Lashes, the harsh idiosyncratic beats of Hyerarchy '“ a nervous and powerful techno mayhem which I didn't hear since a lot of time!!! -, the ironic gabber movement (do you wanna Debord?!?!?) of Bedroom Corrosion and some good slices of sad-istic divertssment in the remix of Oph '“ reminding to us some cranium-clastic issues by Venetian Snares and the first Aphex Twin -. The second part of the record seems to be less refined than the first one, but we're almost sure a lot of people loving technomantras will love it: the trumpet announcing a charge in Beast (a quote of Lumukanda?!?!?), the ultradistorted ready-to-chew brass in Concrete Flesh and the violently sucked tribal-techno stepping in Hbmopera32 reminded to us some acts of Belgian techno music and Rotterdam(ne-R-d) old school. And after the doors of hell have benn disclosed, Mr.Noorglo proposes a Biosphere-like nice cameo in 12 with lovely trembling and tension-filled atmospheres. A really concrete -!- way to modulate noise in-shape-of something musical to train your sinews and go mouldy on a dancehall.
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Artist: VOIDE (@)
Title: Humachine
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
Asides the recently released Single-CD "Love" (feat. Suzi Electric), David Almgren alias VOIDE has also produced a complete new studio album. "Humachine" picks up for the most part the line of his last album "Evolution", with which VOIDE could score intensely the ears of both, audience and reviewers.
As the title announces it, "Humachine" continues mostly to write an additional storyboard of the connection man - machine in a new and straight upbeating kind. A sheer evergreen of a theme, available in multiple variations, which especially fits well with Electronica artists. Musically David seems to lay his focus on a better balance between the styles, he especially allows more and more stylistically different drum patterns to invade the spacey EBM/Electronica music outfit. Compared with "Evolution", the EBM influence comes out a bit more reduced (exception: "Rock The Geek"), but several new and up-to-date-arranged tracks ("Humachine", "Electrolyte" or "Toxic") are increasing with the speed.
It can be generally noticed, that David has perfected several parts of his composition process, although the integration of his vocals is and remains still the part in which he could develop a bit. As for the float of the album, I must admit, that I would have changed the track listing a bit, just because the best pieces like "The Mechanical Fiddler" (brilliant "fiddling" synth drops...), the pummeling "Toxic", which features some typical-303-sounding bass synths and the beautiful layered "Retrothought" do definitely deserve a better and more striking rank in the track list.
Let’s keep out the well-done opening title track "Humachine" and the melodic synth-fanfares of "Between Sheets", I for the most part skip the tracks up to track 6, because these tunes come out to me as average and somehow I have heard them in a more diverse and refreshing kind available on "Evolution".
Track 6 then is the brilliant and nearly 7 minutes long dancefloor-massacre named "Electrolyte", which completely impresses with its staccato-like clap-and-snare-programmings. Thumbs up also for the diverse layers of "In Agony With Hope", while the sequencing work of "Sometimes I Daydream" would be able to bring VOIDE next to international renowned artists like Vangelis on every "Synthesizer Essentials" compilation.
Even if I tend to criticize one or another track of this album, it has to be said, that "Humachine" is an excellent piece of work, which may wouldn’t stand in the shadow of the almighty monument named "Evolution", if I wouldn’t have heard it before. It’s a hard cake with the try to better an own produced monument – some of the new tracks on "Humachine" offer a possible direction, while some others act like repetitions. But I’m sure that David continues to figure out the needed diversity to return even stronger with another new studio album.

KIKI: Kaiku

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 27 2009
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Artist: KIKI
Title: Kaiku
Format: CD
Label: BPitch Control
Rated: *****
Active since the mid 90's as dj, Joakim Ijäs produced his first album for BPitch Control back in 2001. During the years he did many mixes (check for, example, his volume of Boogybytes) and 12"s and it was time he took some time off to produce his second full length titled KAIKU (which in Finnish is meaning "echo"). Having in mind something enjoyable also for an home listener, Kiki built an eclectic tracklist that take inspiration by techno, house, electro and classical music. The album opens with "Autumn leaves", a techno mid tempo with viola inserts and ambiental noises here and there. The following track "After the storm" is a ambient house/jazz mix while "Good voodoo" is a good Miami house vocal track with dark melodies. "No words necessary" mix a sampled guitar sound with house and 70's spatial syths (a very cinematic sound). "Starslider" has obsessive house loops mixed with ambient pads."Immortal" is one of the best tunes with viola, ambient sounds, techno arrangements and Pirica vocals that recalls a bit some Bjork tunes. With "Death railway" and "Twins" techno/electro is the way to go but the first one has smooth sounds that give to it an intimate atmosphere. "Moghadishu" house techno with tribal approach convince also thanks to its dissonant melodies but tension raises with "Living with FFWD" thanks to the Wendy Carlos' "Shining" samples and to whispered vocals. The album closes with "Helios", a cinematic tracks based on rhythmic noises and strings.


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