Music Reviews



OTTTO VON SCHIRACH: Oozing Bass Spasm

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 02 2008
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Artist: OTTTO VON SCHIRACH
Title: Oozing Bass Spasm
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco
Rated: *****

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The last time I had the chance to check Otto Von Schirach music was with his "Global Speaker Fisting". That album was an inspiring blend of different styles and a powerful sounding extravaganza. OOZING BASS SPASM, released by his new label Cock Rock Disco, is sounding a little more homogeneous but surely it doesn't miss the target of originality. Distorted bass sounds keep the promise of the title of inducing spasms while the oozing/horrific parts are assigned to the porn/horror movie samples. The 18 tracks of this album pass from the old breakbeat assaults of "Sparm serpents of sperm island" or "Stallion milkshake", to the semi techno funk hip hop of "Subatomic disco divas" or "We can get 2gether". Like an Egyptian Lover on acid, Otto Von Schirach plays with sounds and lyrics (see for example the "Drop your pants if you don't want romance" line on "Romance in the club") and he isn't afraid of experimenting with styles and atmospheres. A warning for you: Watch out! Demented on the loose.

iTAL tEK : Cyclical

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 26 2008
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Artist: iTAL tEK (@)
Title: Cyclical
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu
Rated: *****
First Milanese and then iTAL tEK, hard to say if up there at Planet Mu they've an explicit obsession for Pasta-Land or cause, in someway these moniker may sound exotic, I find it funny since while Anglosaxons look for exotic names the rest of the world choose anglophone monikers for their projects. As I've already said several times, Planet Mu at the moment is one of the best beat-driven electronic label, and Alan Myson won't disappoint the diehard fans of the genre. Elegant dubstep music with some soft-techno reminiscences and yes, an all british accent that generally makes the difference beside making it also more interesting. Some will probably find some interesting connections with Burial, melodic-wise it also reminded me of some early Black Dog but don't ask me why, since I don't think Myson has nothing to share with them. This cd has been in heavy rotation for a while right when I wanted to listen to some nice rhythmic electronic music, its structure are quite simple in a smart sense (equals not "poor"), the production is damn good and the global atmosphere is shady but not depressive. iTAL tEK's "Cyclical" is designed a real killer for classy clubs playing this style, but believe it or not I've been playing it during several night drives and the feeling was great. "Still shores" deserves the nomination as of of the best themes for night trips ever: bravissimo!.

VV.AA.: Elaste Volume 2 - Space Disco

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 21 2008
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Elaste Volume 2 - Space Disco
Format: CD
Label: Compost Records (@)
Rated: *****
Do you remember the first volume of the Elaste series? The last time we had DJ Mooner digging into the dust just to make 80's disco tracks surface again directly from the floors of the clubs located in Rimini, Italy. This time we have Tom Wieland of 7 Samurai, Panoptikum fame, bringing us twelve tracks back from the vault of late European 70's/early 80's. He wanted also to give his personal tribute to these sounds, so him with Marc Frank, his partner in Panoptikum, covered "Glukskugel", an instrumental track originally composed by a German guy called Curt Cress. The Swiss television commissioned to him the composition of the national lottery TV theme but in the end this tune got rejected. Panoptikum are also performing an original tune inspired by space disco, titled "Elaste": a pumping electronic mid tempo with funk/house influence. On the compilation we have obscure hits coming from Greece (Hippolytes), Latvia (Zodiac Disco Alliance), Italy (Selection), etc. Some of them have been released only locally or have been distributed only in selected countries. The style span from cool disco funk with few synth lines to proper disco songs with cool female vocals, passing through particular instrumentals with reggae influences (Vulcans' "Star Trek" or the following Tony Allen's "Nepa Dance Dub") or atmospheric tunes with sensual rhythms (see the only name I knew of the lot Rufus & Chaka Khan who on "Ain't Nobody (Hallocinogenik Version)" mix funk bass lines, orchestrations and female choruses). At this point you will ask: what "space disco" is all about if you're talking about funk and stuff? Well, the "space" term used here is to describe the atmosphere created by the tracks which had some synth pad lines that helped creating a certain mood. Also on funk songs like Selection's "Rebel On The Run", we have a part where the sound is dilated and makes change the atmosphere. Check this compilation if disco is your thing and you're willing to try "new" particular stuff. Here's the tracklist:

1. Zodiac "The Other Side Of Heaven"
2. Selection "Rebel On The Run"
3. Jagg "Take Time"
4. Hippolytes "Blow You Out Tonight"
5. Two Man Sound "Que Tal America"
6. Curt Cress "Sundance"
7. Panoptikum "Glückskugel"
8. Leb Harmony "Feeling Love"
9. Stroer "Don't Stay Till Breakfast"
10. Alan Hawkshaw "The Speed Of Sound"
11. Panoptikum "Elaste"
12. Vulcans "Star Trek"
13. Tony Allen "Nepa Dance Dub"
14. Rufus & Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody (Hallocinogenik Version)"

GAB.GATO VS XBEAT: No Light Or Shadow EP

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 16 2008
cover
Artist: GAB.GATO VS XBEAT (@)
Title: No Light Or Shadow EP
Format: 12"
Label: The Villains Inc Recordings
Rated: *****
Influenced by the sound of classics like Professor X, Egyptian Lover and the Den Haag sound (see many Bunker Records and Clone records releases) a bunch of guys coming from Milan, Italy, decided to form a collective called The Villains Inc. Their second release is a 12" EP which sees Gab.Gato and XBeat collaborating at the creation of four original tracks plus a mixed version of the main title. The EP opens with Gab.Gato vs XBeat "No Light or Shadow" Electro mix, a mysterious analog tune based on an acid bass line coupled by an analog drum machine and synth pads. On this one Gab.Gato deep vocals help giving the right thing that helps to impress the listener. The following version is more 90's sounding, more Detroit. On this one the vocals are filtered, the atmosphere changes a little but it's always cool. The B-side opens with Gab.Gato vs XBeat "Subterrania", an electro funk cool tune with pumping rhythms (lovers of the fore mentioned artists have been warned). The side follows with two tracks where XBeat alone performs "Autobody", another electro analog song with pumping bass and drums and sinuous synth pads and Gab.Gato presents "The Villains Inc", a nice mid tempo tune with vocals coming from an old educational toy which spells the words. The solo tracks are nice but the collaborations are cool and I'm proud of these guys because I'm Italian myself and it's good to see that someone is making this musical genre also on this country. Let's not forget that this is the place where Italo Disco born...
Jun 16 2008
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Artist: TOTAKEKE
Title: Elekatota – The Other Side Of The Tracks
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Another new release by the rising Tympanik Audio label, this time a new album by the New York-based musician and producer Frank Mokros. Frank has made himself already a quite good name internationally, be it with several remix contributions for acts like TERRORFAKT, KLANGSTABIL or IMMINENT or with his own both projects. Under his second and rather harsh Noise-project SYNTH-ETIC, he’s signed to the German Hands Productions, as well as he has been active with both of his projects under the flag of Frozen Empire Media, which has sadly gone too fast. Tympanik seems to deal a bit with the surviving fragments of FEM, a few goodies are still purchasable through the Tympanik shop section, so let’s hope and see, if they will be able to re-animate one or another act out of those days again. But back to TOTAKEKE, because Frank’s album requires but also deserves your fully attention. It is a journey into a multiple-layered and diverse sounding kind of FX-Electronica, which ranges between slow and rather experimental oriented tracks ("Gift Of Nervous Methods") to complex Dark Electro tunes in vein of acts like REMAIN SILENT, MC1R or in parts MENTALLO & THE FIXER ("Pull The Plug", "Elekatota Two" and the outstanding pearl "Strangle"). With TOTAKEKE Frank offers a musically much more valuable alternative to the harsh and disturbing outfit under SYNTH-ETIC, since he can prove any better his sense for a thrilling mood and his abilities of a complex programming. "Elekatota – The Other Side Of The Tracks" drives the listeners into 73 minutes + clocking odyssey of an undiscovered space trip, so please fasten your seat-belts and take part with all senses. You won’t find too much better releases of demanding Electronica music.


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