Music Reviews



VV.AA.: International Deejay Gigolos CD Ten

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 22 2007
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: International Deejay Gigolos CD Ten
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Gigolo Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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A compilation of the International Deejay Gigolos series is always something particular and also this time, the tenth, Dj Hell decided to surprise us with 11 tracks of label’s newcomers, four tracks for the first time on CD and several new tracks of Gigolo bands already on the roster (see the beautiful new Mount Sims’ track "Nailed to the wall", for example). 26 tracks for an amount of 156 minutes (18 of them are unreleased!) of electronic throbbing club tracks which span from minimal house, passing through electro and techno. The first CD opens with a new Gigolo act coming from Berlin, Woody. His long "August (appetizer version)" is a pumping instrumental track, a little minimal its melodic lines, but it’s an appetizer. Kikumoto Allstars, Sebastien Sen and Outlander remixed by Kevin Gorman keep the heat high proposing tracks based on rhythm and distortion just to prepare the field to the new smashing Mount Sims song. "Nailed to the wall" is an amazing electro track which will please the fans of his previous album. Herman Schwartz proposes a variation of the Blade runner theme on his "Replicant’s suffering". Lady B changes the ambience with a particular atmospheric techo electro track based on vocal samples. Evol, presents a track with an opening driven by a distorted guitar just to turn into an instrumental electronic tune. Paul Chambers is on with a techno tune while Foremost Poets present a smooth electro funky track. Voltique are a DJ duo and are in with "Supersmile". The CD closes with the cool electro ambient extravaganza of Felizol (music project of Greek film director Yiannis Veslemes) and with Moonbeam Presents Pak&Vak that with their "Vision (Main mix)" bring to the attention of Gigolo lovers a track which starts like a minimal tune just to turn into an electro hypnotic one. The second CD opens with Kevin Gorman and his sampled experimentations (it sounds like Pacman on acid) and follows with an electro version of "Jack your body" thanks to Jamie Anderson & Jesse Rose. Minimal distortion is the way chosen by Inge Neuss and following, for those who missed the 12", you can find Dibaba with "Happy birthday Mr. President". After that one a couple of released tracks thanks to Huntemann ("37°" is coming from his latest album on Gigolo) and to Sebastien San. Igors Vorobjovs comes from Lithuania and his "Intelegencija" is a good mysterious electronic instrumental track. Dj Hell is following with his remix of Human Resource’s "Dominator" and ninth come The Presets with their smash hit "Are you the one?". Rebecca Von Kalinowsky is another newcomer and her "Dance" is an hypnotic track based uniquely on a looped bass line, drums and her treated voice. Arbotique heads from Belgium and his "Chin eater" is a techno hammer. Close the compilation The Model with "You are always on my mind" and The Activator with "Hate lazer city". There’s enough for everybody and if you are curious to discover the next sound of the label this is the starting point!

CONCISE: Revive

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 16 2007
cover
Artist: CONCISE (@)
Title: Revive
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Label: Wycombe Music (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The Rostock/Germany-based label Wycombe Music returns with a new release, which comes as a special 3-CD digi-pack (or how they call it: CD-digifile-triplepack). It features three (you got it!!!) full-length releases by the acts CONCISE, FLAQUE and X_DYNAMICS, while the globally concentration lays on the male/female duo CONCISE. With Soulfood they could also get a new and better distributor, so that my hopes are high for some more attention. Three different CD’s featuring very different music, I prefer therefor to separate them here.

CONCISE – Revive
Consisting of Katrin Segert (vocals) and Christian Graß (music, also active with the act HIGH WYCOMBE), this duo returns after their last year’s release "The Power Of Love", an EP featuring a cover version of the classic ballad originally composed by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. It should be mentioned that this EP in comparison to this new full-length release could only give a limited insight to the sound and ideas behind this project, the EP was therefor a bit too much influenced by the different guest artists which have created remix works. It’s definitively Synthpop music, yes, but with several influences taken out of IDM, Trip-Hop or Dn’B music. CONCISE manages hard to avoid any repetitive 80ies influences, it is rather concentrating to sound modern and to show different interpretations of Synthpop music. Not all song structures remain into the 4/4-on-the-floor formula, several times the tracks are unforeseeable arranged and break out of known convention. This stuff is intelligent arranged and needs some attention to pick up the whole content. It should be also mentioned that the music construction at times causes a kind of nervousness. It is hardly thinkable that the music would come to a smooth result, if there wouldn’t be the sedative vocal performance by Katrin Segert, which sorts the whole musically output a bit. This duo also received additional help by Lars Sembach, who provides here and there some acoustic Side Stick performances. Favorites I would like to name with "Innocent E-walk" for its rather "floating-along-known-paths" attitude, "Done", which features the completely range of Katrin’s vocal performance, and "Ojibway". Globally a different kind – I tend to say experimental kind of Synthpop music rather seldom heard before.

FLAQUE – Mindscapes
The name FLAQUE I’ve heard before only from CONCISE’s previously released "The Power Of Love" EP, on which this one-man act has provided a remix for this well-known track. This project consists of Florian Ziller and it is musically rather based into Ambient and Electronica music. He combines surreal and cold synth layers with environmental noises (for instance a thunderstorm on "Flares, or a driving train on the piano-driven "Stonehill"), experimental drum patterns and different digital sound manipulation. FLAQUE have found a niche with their unique sound and remind me strong to the latest works of the sorely missed US act GRIDLOCK, experimental tunes of haujobb. and/or OIL 10 come to mind, too. Take the opener "Alive" for instance; cold but somehow melodic synth layers, some background noises and minimal-experimental beats give a clever and unique opening track. "Acoma" features to me the best all mentioned attitudes in the sound landscapes of FLAQUE, while the definitively highlight has to be named with "Deceive" featuring the smooth vocals of Katrin Segert. Outstanding, I hope for several more cooperation efforts between CONCISE and FLAQUE. This act leaves an impressive kind of work and I could name several tracks more, but it all gives the best result if you’ll take some time, use a good pair of headphones and consume this album in one flow. Amazing, a release on its own instead of being hidden behind the omnipotent CONCISE CD would be well deserved!

X_DYNAMICS – Regular Loader Routine
My euphoria after checking out the FLAQUE album got a bit slowed down with the audio results of the one-man act X_DYNAMICS. This project plays a kind of instrumental Electronica, mostly straight and rhythmically arranged, taking several inspiration out of related music styles like Techno, Trance, or Trip-Hop. Definitively not EBM-inspired, some pieces remind me on works of Bill Leeb’s side-projects INTERMIX and/or later NOISE UNIT, also the BLC Productions recording act S.E.M.I; can be named as a reference. It’s a bit hard to categorize the complete influences of this artist, so no surprise that you’ll get some foreign instruments like a saxophone woven into this electronic music ("Jammin Denim"). Note also the cooperative track "Insensate Rmx", originally composed by CONCISE, on which Katrin Segert’s vocals got restranged with some vocoder effects. The used sounds and the kind of arrangements are on top and up-to-date, while I tend to rate it as a sonorous background music. A fine and detailed worked-out Electronica music which mixes several genres.

If you’re looking for a special release, which manages to break out through your usual Synthpop/Ambient/Electronica listening, you’ll need to pick up this item. Thumbs up also for the idea with the digi-package, the discreet art featuring showroom dummies, and for the addition of two extra and promising acts. Three CD’s on sale for a price of one should help you a lot to give some new and quality stuff a try.

THE GASMAN: Love Collection

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 16 2007
cover
Artist: THE GASMAN
Title: Love Collection
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Personal project of Christopher Reeves, The Gasman delivers a new album titled LOVE COLLECTION. It is strange to think about a break-beat love collection but The Gasman on tracks like "Vigor", the following "Cubicle", "Parts" or the closing "Flounce 2" is capable of creating a smooth blend of styles that sound relaxing but having a good amount of energy at the same time. The tracks spans from semi ambient rhythmical compositions to tracks that are more schizophrenic thanks to the different rhythmical cut-ups and thanks also to Christopher’s way of creating electronic instrumental tense tiny suites. In this way we have a sort of good mixture of ambient and i.d.m. with some break-beat influence. Does this have something to do with love? If we think about love as a mixture of feelings and emotions, then... maybe.

VV.AA.: American Gigolo III

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 13 2007
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: American Gigolo III
Format: CD
Label: Gigolo Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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Third volume of the American Gigolo series, the one compiled and mixed by Princess Superstar is the best so far. I’m telling this because she took the best electro tunes of the label and she mixed everything creating an hour of non stop party. She also did a sort of mash-up on some tracks by blending: Vitalic "You Prefer Cocaine" with M.I.A.’s "Bucky Done Gun", Miss Kittin & The Hacker "1982" with Sebastien San’s "Interplanetary [Lightspeed Mix]", The Presets "Steamworks [Princess Superstar Remix]" with Crooklyn Clan’s "Yes We Can", The Diskokaines "Rock A Boogie [Arr Rmx Live In Nyc]" with The Model’s "You Are Always On My Mind", Fischerspooner "We Need A War [Dj Hell Berlin Mix]" with Traxx Presents The Dirty Criminals’ "Mtt Inversion", Diddy & Felix The Housecat "Jack U Vs I’ll House You [Dj Hell Mix]" with Hell & Richard Bartz’s "1234" and Bodzin & Huntemann "Black Ice" with Hell & Anthony Rother’s "German Body Machine". Along with these tracks your can find fade ins and fade outs that are mixed with Hell "Let No Man Jack [Abe Duque Remix]", Mu "Let’s Get Sick", Digitaria "Teen Years", Djs Are Not Rockstars "European Accent" (one of her projects) and so on. On this album you won’t find any rip off or any moment where you’ll stop to dance. Twenty tracks to discover (some of them are exclusive) and to re-discover into a renewed version thanks to Princess Superstar!

COMTRON: Follow The Money

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3451)
Mar 12 2007
cover
Artist: COMTRON
Title: Follow The Money
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Rush Hour Recordings (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Comtron are a duo coming from the Netherlands and as many people who live there, they have eletro funk music in their D.N.A. It's a matter of fact and labels such as Clone or Creme Organization are the evidence. Formed four years ago, the duo, present themselves as a musical branch of the Comtron Group. From their presentation we can read: "The Amsterdam based Comtron Group was setup four years ago to warn people about the sinister undertones of the corporate world. The group attach their message to their unique strain of punch driven, electric funk. Rumor has it that these industrious men made their fortune trading new media stock that while making them rich, left them disillusioned and feeling exploited by the evil system they found themselves caught in". Following this scenario, the duo title each track with something dealing with marketing and bad business side effects. So, we can find titles of the likes of "Greed & finance", "Material world", "Profit", "Evil machine", "Bad business", "Heart of China", etc. Musically the duo produce the finest electro around and you'll surprise yourself bouncing your head by listening to their music. Their robotized vocals will intrigue you as well as their subtle melodies will stick themselves into your head. The first CD contains sixteen tracks of pure energy and the second one has a forty five minutes mix of music that will please each dj. Beware the bad business... Comtron are here to stay! P.s. Check their tracks on their myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/comtronmusic.


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