Music Reviews

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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Music Videos
Format: DVD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
In celebration of their 100th release, Canadian power-electronics label, DTrash Records, has released this DVD collection. This DVD collection includes 18 music videos of 15 artists and bootleg videos of another 6 artists from the label, including the perversely insane French band, Punish Yourself. And, not to outdo themselves, DTrash Records also celebrates their 100th release by including a track from each of their releases in a jukebox.

DTrash’s 100th release DVD collection is over 5 hours of content. Never mind that every band on this release is from a different corner of the extreme electronics genreGabber one minute, Digital hardcore another, and breakcore the next. Watching this DVD is like having my head kicked around and stomped on from Play to Stop, and I like it: I feel like a kid in a candystoreand it’s all mine.

So, if you are craving a nearly unlimited collection of new, aggressive electronic sounds, and four hours of eye-candy to boot, pick this up. There is sure to be something you won’t enjoy, but who fucking cares? DTrash has outdone themselves with their 100th release, which speaks quite a bit for their commitment as a label.

.Pridon: apnea eina

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 27 2008
Artist: .Pridon
Title: apnea eina
Format: CD
Label: Low Impedence Recordings (@)
Distributor: Low Impedence Recordings
Rated: *****
. Pridon hails from Athens, Greece (Petros Voudouris is the man behind the name) and is not what you’d expect at all from Greece. "apnea eina" is a mix of techno/IDM/dub/glitch elements, and often an eclectic one at that. Supposedly 3 years in the making, there’s a lot more going on in this album than a first listening reveals. Light melodies play against dark atmospheres while seemingly simple rhythms are augmented by complex sub-elements. Alternately spacey and psychedelic, there is a flow from track to track that unifies the work as a whole, and prevents it from becoming just a collection of disparate sound sculptures.

Some of the rhythmic work, like on "Sunk" is blatantly familiar in a Tipsy-ish sort of way. This has an anchoring effect for .Pridon’s more adventurous elements, which if you listen closely, are fascinating bits of sonic effluvia. Some tracks like "False Schematics" are pretty far out there venturing well into the experimental zone, but if you always play it safe you’re not going to come up with anything new.

Excepting some sampled dialogue, this is a completely instrumental and mostly electronic programmed album. You can tell .Pridon put a lot of time and effort into it, maybe almost as much as Autechre puts into their work. Although there are a lot of retro synth and D&B elements in "apnea eina," not much sounds clichéd or overdone. Even the repetitive sections are constantly morphing and changing which is a really big plus in my book for .Pridon.

I’m not wild about everything Pridon does on "apnea eina" though. Some of the tinkling fractured toy piano melodies just didn’t grab me. Still, there is plenty here for the IDM/techno enthusiast to revel in. The complexity alone is enough to thrill those who’ve been looking for something a little bit different than everything that’s been done before. If it’s minimalism you want, you won’t find it here. But if you enjoy a programmer that likes to tread off the well-beaten path, you have to check this out.
Title: PiR8
Format: DVD
Label: d-trash Records (@)
NWODTLEM is a Toronto based project run by the co-founder of Here’s my Card Records. Pir8 is a DVD collection of eight music videos filled with chopped, spliced, and sampled break-core insanity. The audio-insanity is formatted in such a way that it nearly sounds randomized. The music is brimming with movie samples, which range from absurd voice clips to absurd sound effects. The video samples and audio tracks are perfectly timed and synched.

My first impression while watching PiR8 is that it is very distracting (in a good way). Even if I wanted to ignore this video, I could not. From the moment I pressed play to the moment the disc corrupted (at the beginning of the third video) my attention was stuck to the screen. This guy obviously has a highly technical mind, and a slightly warped personality. I don’t know how long it would take to create something this involved, and I honestly don’t want to know.

NWODTLEM’s PiR8 is a DVD I could have seen myself playing very often. This is a fun and enjoyable audio/visual experience, and I hate that my copy will only play two tracks. Honestly, I feel like I am writing a eulogy, not a review. Here lies a great DVD with a lot of potential. One that I will play on occasion for the two greatly edited videosand then will turn off in dismay when the disk becomes unplayable. I would sincerely be interested to see more output by NWODTLEM, and I think the risk here is worth the reward. I highly suggest picking up a copy of this DVD.

Marbert Rocel : Speed Emotions

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 20 2008
Artist: Marbert Rocel (@)
Title: Speed Emotions
Format: CD
Label: Compost Records (@)
Distributor: Compost Records
Rated: *****
Compost Records is a label usually known for quality artists and interesting Euro "Nu-jazz" releases. Koop, Jazzanova, Truby Trio, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Fauna Flash, Beanfield, etc. all have been part of Compost’s staple of artists. Marbert Rocel’s SPEED EMOTIONS could be categorized in the post trip-hop lounge vein with a hint of jazz, easily fitting in the Compost genre. Unfortunately, there are aspects about the album that make it sound like a demo than a polished product. There are other aspects that make it avant enough to overlook some of the flaws. The band (from Germany, not France as you might surmise by the name) consists of Marcel Aue (producing, DJing and mixing), Robert Krause (producing, DJing and artwork) and Antje Seifarth (Vocals). On this album, it is female vocalist Seifarth that really shines- a cross between Dani Siciliano and Former Morcheeba singer Skye Edwards with a dash of low key Beth Gibbons. The recording is being touted as Compost’s "next big thing". I m not completely sold on that.

So exactly what are my issues with SPEED EMOTION? Well, the major problem is the mix is WAY too bottom-heavy. I had to totally re-EQ my system for this disc, and that is something I rarely every have to do. The overkill on the lower frequencies turned the mix to mush in some parts. Not good. Antje’s voice still manages to cut through, as languorous as it is, which for this type of laid-back project works well.

First track, "Seven Stars" builds up a rhythm groove with echoey sonic elements over a few organ chords for over a minute and a half before the vocal melody comes in. Okay, I can go with that, but after one verse, it winds down again with some superfluous glitchy electronics and then spends another minute building up the beat again! There’s a bit more vocal oomph on the second verse with Antje’s voice doubled in harmony, and then it spends the last half a minute dying down again. Hmmmm... there’s a construction error here – nothing to grab on to. It plays like a remix, and not a great way to open an album, in my opinion.

After the opener it’s a mixed bag of experimental hits and misses. Arrangements are peppered with a lot of aural tidbits here and there, some of which work very nicely, and others that seem superfluous.

"Cornflake Boy" (no relation to the Tori Amos "Cornflake Girl") is a bit of a simple uptempo stomper with a decent enough vocal hook and jazz guitar rhythm accents, but it still sounds like a demo, especially with such an abrupt end. The jazzier "Eleanor Birdbath" has a funkier guitar, padded with electric piano over a solid rhythm. I don’t know if these guys are strictly loopists, but the guitar work here (and elsewhere as well) is rather nice. Strictly instrumental. Not a standout, but passably pleasing. Another instrumental, "Purple Bass", is probably the heaviest thing on the album, kind of dark and different mood for the band. On further tracks, I appreciated some of the synth treatments, retro as they were, as they varied the tone and temperament of the music. Often the arrangements seem minimal, but there is usually something going on in the background. A minus is that some on the tracks seem to carry on a little too long without going anywhere.

As a whole, SPEED EMOTIONS is a puzzler, flirting with commercial melodies, and then veering off into left field arrangements. The overall mood just doesn’t gel consistently. ("Red Shoes" is just too sappily happy for my tastes.) I can easily see some tracks from this album played in cafes across Europe, or on chill and nu-jazz radio. If anything, I’d buy the CD just for Antje’s vocals, and you might find yourself warming to some of the shifting, and in some cases, shifty tonalities and abrupt endings more than I did. (The band has a MySpace site if you want a preview). I probably would have rated it higher if had been better produced. Not as dark a musical offering as most readers of Chain D.L.K. are used to, but it does have its moody moments. If they stay together long enough for a second, there is potential for magic.

DEIXIS: Nomads Soul & Mannequins Romance

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 19 2008
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Artist: DEIXIS
Title: Nomads Soul & Mannequins Romance
Format: 12"
Label: AW Recordings (@)
Distributor: Clone Records
Rated: *****
Already presented by AW Recordings on their "Viewpoints" CD compilation, Deixis is bringing to the lovers of old Detroit techno, three new tunes for their debut on the label. Already active with their own label Abstract Forms, Deixis gladly produced this 12" (available also on a 200 copies limited colored print) for Arne Weinberg, who, in trade remixed the opening track "The hour of the soul" (track that you can find after the original version on the A side of the record). Arne version sounds more robotic compared to the original one, it has also a bit of Japanese atmospheres and it sounds more hypnotic. On the B-side we find "Droids of desire" (a mysterious and nice tune based on percussive sounds and synth pads with some droids sound effects here and there). Also "Mannequins romance" sounds more intriguing compared to the A-side track, maybe more night sounding thanks to its mid tempo and to the light rhythmic section used.

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