Music Reviews



Eggbox: Closed EP

 Posted by Royce Icon   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 08 2009
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Artist: Eggbox
Title: Closed EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Al Dente Records
Rated: *****
This is a new EP from Italian minimal tech outfit Eggbox, released on the Al Dente netlabel. There are only 4 tracks on "Closed", but each track is around 5 minutes, which rounds it out to about 20 minutes, which I think is ideal time for the ADD world of internet music listening.

The sounds represented throughout these 4 tracks are all in the minimal techno side of things, with some glitch and ambient elements thrown in as well. Most of the tracks start with a small thudding almost 8 bit sounding bass drum in a 4/4 pattern, and slowly build up to add more depth with other drums and instrumentation, such as chilled out pads or reverberated found sound type things. However, the emphasis is placed clearly on the beat, which is fine by me.

This is nice stuff if you like minimal, somewhat ambient and chilled out techno. You can listen to it for free on the label's site, so you aren't losing anything but a few minutes of your life if you don't dig it.

Weetalife: Wave Ta Bixe

 Posted by Royce Icon   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 08 2009
Artist: Weetalife
Title: Wave Ta Bixe
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: 20 kbps recordings
Rated: *****


"Wave Ta Bixe" is a new album from Paris based project Weetalife, released on the 20kpbs netlabel. The release starts off as a high energy acid tech/house effort for the first two tracks, until the happy dance train is derailed by a minute long noisy, distorted, almost power electronics-esque track of vocals and beats that have been sped up to oblivion. It's actually not that bad at all, but it is rather jarring and unexpected on the first listen, which I guess is likely the point. I can dig it, but I can see how many folks who dig acid tech might not be as open to the burst of noise.

And while things do get less noisy, the album never returns to the more dance-able side of things, instead opting for an interesting, somewhat glitchy experimental route, which I also find enjoyable. If you think you can stomach the various different musical terrain explored here, I recommend you do so, because it's certainly worth the listen.

Abstract Avenue: Sky & Telescope

 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 05 2009
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Artist: Abstract Avenue
Title: Sky & Telescope
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Peace Technologies / Lagunamuch Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
ABSTRACT AVENUE is the name of a solo project by the Russian IDM/Electronica-specialist Arthur Berent, who is part of the project FLEXKIKS, which is also signed to Lagunamuch Records. This free downloadable album offers 6 tracks full of romantic and spacey layers and pads, accomplished with some complex IDM-like rhythm and percussion works. It’s a rather sedating sound outfit, which avoids to sound too ominous – let’s say, that the fine worked out synth layers are rather smooth and melodic and let the listener sink into a deep space environment. The IDM-related rhythm work is well balanced to this mix and offers a rather supporting feeling to the music. Highlights of this album can be named with "Dort" and its hypnotizing sequencing work and the dreamy "Champs Elesees", which impresses with its nebulous synth drops and textures. Also "Reclads" can be mentioned as being a bit straighter and linear oriented. "Sky & Telescope" comes out quite cinematic and leaves any hectic out. It’s sort of an ideal soundtrack to switch of the light, to use a telescope and to watch the stars wandering through the night. A high recommendation for all those enjoying an exciting music trip to sink in completely, the best consumed under a good pair of headphones.
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Artist: The Dielectric (@)
Title: Flicker of an Eye EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Urbcom (@)
Distributor: iTunes
Rated: *****
After making a break of the coarse and musically direction of the Urbcom label to the end of the last year, this British label now focuses to present a more experimental and rather IDM-minded sound outfit. This straight decision towards this new and more experimental oriented sound has ended in a cleansing of the last known label roster, and acts like the recently discovered PROJECT BLUE or D. Escott’s project INTERCITY3 are no longer related to Urbcom. THE DIELECTRIC stands representative for this new direction and offers with this EP a sort of a first appetizer to some more upcoming releases, a trilogy series entitled "Rapid Eye Assemblage Vol. 2". It is the project of the JERICO ONE brainchild J. Hookens, who’s also the main responsible man for all further business relations of the Urbcom label. Musically THE DIELECTRIC doesn’t break with Hookens' previously discovered path, his signature remains alive. This EP offers 5 rather abstract-minded Electro/Industrial tunes, which all offer a quite hypnotic feeling thanks to a relative static compositional effort. Varied in its rhythm programmings somewhere between 2-Step, Trip-Hop and IDM, the tracks are filled with dozens of FX manipulations and do not at all intend to satisfy a usual listening experience. "Dimensions" can be named as the main track featuring a clear vocal performance and a rather calm sound outfit. The other tracks are turning more or less near to an IDM-related outfit, "Re:location" for instance features the Japanese Cyberpunk-artist KENJI SIRATORI with a spoken-word guest performance. A quite interesting release by J. Hookens, but at least a bit too short with only 18+ minutes playing time. It's clear to recognize that the sound dimension of THE DIELECTRIC should be able to offer more stuff. Where’s an album?

LE][X: Quarantine

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 28 2009
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Artist: LE][X
Title: Quarantine
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Dead Channel (@)
Rated: *****
This isn’t surely the freshest release around released and marketed by the influential Russian Dead Channel label and promotion group. I was holding this thing for a while, have had some email correspondence, but totally forget about to take care on it. I recently came back on it while cleansing some emails, I gave it a spin – and I’m totally impressed! One thing’s for sure, I do never again underestimate a release and the musically abilities of an act from where it hails – LE][X is a mysterious Electro/Industrial project hailing out of Ufa, a bigger Russian city with a population of more than 1.000.000 people, very near the Ural mountains. Musically I would to throw this act in similar shelf of the musically direction, which has made acts like the Swiss SWAMP TERRORISTS that famous. "Quarantine" offers not less than 20 tracks of a massive Electro/Industrial assault with dark synth bass-lines, pounding and hammering rhythms, which often integrate D’n’B and Breakbeat influences, accomplished with a diverse sounding sample work. Vocals got provided on only a few tracks and then in Russian language, while most of the tracks have English titles. I must say, that this one is real firework full of diversity and entertaining from the first to the last track. A big talent hides behind LE][X and I even can’t name the artist behind it, because the attached artwork of this free downloadable release doesn’t offer too much info. Too bad, I even can’t tell you if this act meanwhile has started to present itself through a MySpace-account. However, this album is a great discovery and worth any download (licensed under Creative Commons rights), and I hope to hear more from this act. Check the above named link to the Dead Channel group for more info.



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