Music Reviews



VV.AA: Elaste Vol.1 - Slow Motion Disco

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3239)
Dec 04 2006
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Elaste Vol.1 - Slow Motion Disco
Format: CD
Label: Compost Records (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****

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On late 70s / early 80s Italy was living an economical recession and also the social climax was tense. Red brigades, workers’ strikes and political changes were the common headlines of the newspapers (things seem didn’t change that much, huh?). Music was also changing radically with the born of punk and the death of big rock bands. Also dance music was affected by a wave of fresh air and styles were fading one into the other. If you check bands like The Giants, Rockets (with their major hits "Electric delight" or "Galactica") or "Dinasty" by Kiss you’ll realize that also rock music was fascinated by dance music of the likes of Diana Ross (is it a case if she had been Gene Simmons’ girlfriend for a while?), Barry White or Earth Wind & Fire. Dance halls where places where people were consuming their Saturday rite and Baia Degli Angeli in Rimini was Italy’s famous place. After its closing (due for drug reasons) DJ Daniele Baldelli decided to propose the same innovative sounds founding a new club: Cosmic. Here new genres born. Italodisco, Cosmic or Afrofunky were few of them and mixing Krautrock, Industrial or Funk wasn’t a problem at all. Nowadays DJ Mooner (member of Zombie Nation, Hart Of Noise, Zombocombo and owner of the Erkrankung label) decided to revive the genre by compiling an album of those records that defined the Cosmic way of spinning records. Tracks that had 80-105 BPM rhythms (for this reason the compilation is titled "Slow motion disco") and that blended synth spacey tunes, funky rhythms and rock melodies. The eleven tracks included have been released through the 1978/1984 period and along with well known 80’s bands such as Chris & Cosey (here included with "This is me" from their "Heartbeat" album) and Heaven 17 (you can find their "I’m you money" coming from their 12" released just before "Penthouse & Pavement") you can find The Rah Band (with their particular afro funky instrumental "Electric fling"), Clive Stevens & Brainchild ("Mistery mix – remix" is their track. This is really 80’s space rock also because searching with Google about Clive Stevens I read that he was fond on ufology), Love International ("Dance on the groove – and do the funk" is their funky hymn), Doctor’s Cat (here included a DJ Mooner edit of their "Crash", a tune sounding like a Chinese electro pop tune. Taken from their album "Gee Wiz", released by Discotto on 1984), Logic System (Hideki Matsutake, collaborator with Yellow Magic Orchestra, produced different albums with this moniker and "Clash – Chinjyu if sun" is his tribute to robotic space electronica), Memory Control One (M. Noe mix of their track "Basic", Beppe Loda created the track with Francesco Boscolo and he describe their style as Italo Synth), Peru (an electro instrumental electro easy listening tune titled "Oriental"), Eloy ("Horizons" is the track picked up for this German band of dancey progressive rock with female choruses like vocals) close the compilation a track by Chocolate Star titled "The pop", a sort of experimental funky tune with a bass and bottles as percussions. Even if I am an Italian guy, this compilation is a great discover and I suggest you to check out these great and sometimes particular tunes!

HOLDEN: The Idiots Are Winning

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Dec 01 2006
cover
Artist: HOLDEN
Title: The Idiots Are Winning
Format: CD
Label: Border Community Recordings
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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James Holden started his musical activity back in 1999 when he was at college when during the summer holidays, thanks to a £500 computer with Buzz installed (Buzz is an advanced version of Fast Tracker, one of the first sequencer program that can also use samples), he produced his first track that later made him recognized as one of the best producer in England. Since then James worked hard remixing and playing his own stuff. He also founded his own label called Border Community for which he now released his full length album THE IDIOTS ARE WINNING. The ten tracks of the CD are full of good ideas as well as humour, because along with tracks titled "Idiot" or "Idiot clapsolo" there’s also one with two minutes of silence titled "Intentionally left blank". Musically we could divide the album in two main currents: minimal techno with light catchy melodies and minimal techno with sound experiments based on rhythms. On both James Holden is good at creating interesting sound sculptures that when are enriched by soft melodies are really surprising (like on the opening "Lump" or "10101").

SHIFT 69: Language Error

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (3219)
Nov 25 2006
cover
Artist: SHIFT 69 (@)
Title: Language Error
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Another new release of the German based special mail order service SkullLine, and of course also this piece is limited to only 69 (+ 31 pieces hidden in a special box...) exemplars. It features the musically efforts of Arne J. Schmid, who runs also the Industrial/Powernoise act DEFINE and the Electro/Industrial project NEURONALES NETZWERK. SHIFT 69 differs and provides us electronic music which takes its influences out of styles Techno/Trance, Minimal and Electronica, but with a more experimental touch. Some works of TANGERINE DREAM, KRAFTWERK or the recently on the Swedish label Progress Productions released act SYSTEM come to mind, some remembrances on the 80ies as well, and it fits, that on several tracks the included vocals have received some vocoder effects. The try to fill in something special instead of following already known paths can be heard on almost all tracks, but pieces like "Super Sonic Dance Song" can be called strange with the use of a detuned Country Music guitar riff being the lead instrument here. The title track is available in two different versions and features some KRAFTWERKian rhythm patterns – this element can also be discovered at a track like "The Document". Some other favorites have to named with "The Finder" (a nice almost poppy arranged piece with changing male vocals between natural and vocoderized...) and "Light Commander" (forward-leading danceable track, well done vocals and instrumentals). SkullLine presents a fine output which tries at no time to be the harshest and roughest distorted kind of music at all – it is more an entertaining Electronica album with various facets. Hurry up (note: it’s limited!!!) and purchase it.

Angina P: 8 Rooms

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3218)
Nov 24 2006
Artist: Angina P (@)
Title: 8 Rooms
Format: CD
Label: Notochord (@)
Distributor: Psychostatic
Rated: *****
Angina P is a very talented Austria electronic music artist who has seen her work featured in films/tv, compilations, video games and the in the top-selling download pages of sites like mp3.com. The young Dutch label Notochord recordings releases Angina P's first full length CD, featuring five original tracks of fast-paced breakbeat/drum'n'bass/ambient/IDM as well as three remixes by Semiomime, Edgey and Larvae. Beautifully packaged and produced, "8 Rooms" is really a vivid testament of Angina P's abilities and strengths. Obviously her music is so versatile that you could dance to it in a club, chill to it in a lounge or let it aid your vision of a movie. But don't wait for any of those to happen to you, go out and order this record. You can get it from Europe through the artist or the label or in the US through the distributor. If you are into Squarepusher, Plastikman, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Underworld, Apollo 440, Goldie etc or labels like Warp, Hive etc definitely give this a try.

DIGITAL GEIST: The Zero Engine

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3211)
Nov 22 2006
cover
Artist: DIGITAL GEIST (@)
Title: The Zero Engine
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
With a first look only on the cover art you may expect a kind of Techno/Trance-based music effort, and indeed – these elements can be discovered here besides some others. This is the debut full-length CD of Alex K and Newt, who are hiding behind this moniker and they offer as an interesting mixture of the above mentioned styles combined with some IDM/Electronica influences, Futurepop and a slight excursion into Electro-Clash music. So you’ll get a fine and detailed arranged album which will easily push your body to the dancefloors. With the track "Someone Like Me" they also have a piece on board which features real male vocals (though well manipulated with some vocoder effects...) and a real compositional background. Several "spoken word" inputs done by Krista Dragomer can be heard on 4 different tracks. This release also attracts attention because it has several collaborations and remix works available. With FRONT 242 working on "Someone Like Me" they could indeed win one of the biggest players internationally, also the Danish act NEOTEK has a good name in the Electro/EBM/Industrial scene. But it should be mentioned that both their remix works don’t push the sound of DIGITAL GEIST any nearer to EBM or Electro/Industrial music – they swim with the stream. Favorites next to "Someone Like Me" can be named with "Earworm (No Light Guides Us)" (what a fine synth layer work!) and the dry Techno-styled "Keep The Faith (featuring Christian K. of DHARMA LAB)". There’s a lot of talent and real effort behind this album and if you dig some of the above mentioned styles, you would be surprised by the diversity this release has to offer.


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