Music Reviews



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.

ACTION NANO: Select And Start

 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 13 2008
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Artist: ACTION NANO (@)
Title: Select And Start
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Rated: *****
Action Nano is one of the monickers used by Stefano Piredda for his musical projects. He's also active with the following other projects: Elefant'O, Octowire, O.T.X. and King Esteban. SELECT AND START is the Action Nano debut album and it opens with two tracks that mix vocals a la Afrika Bambaataa with lushy electro tunes. The whole album deals with soft electronic atmospheres (it remembers me a little some Bochum Welt tracks) making often references to video games ("Vintage games" or "Catch the pills!" which remembered me of Pacman) balancing the sound from electro joyful atmospheres to futuristic tunes good for soundtracks (see "Another beauty") passing through semi techno songs like "We are back". Using a lot of old educational toys samples along with analog synth sounds, Stefano made a nice record which lacks of "hit singles" but, at the same time, has a lot of cool sounds and a nice cinematic atmosphere (thing that affect also O.T.X.). Along with the 15 tracks of the album you can find also the Oil 10 remix of "Another beauty" (a little more relaxed edit) and a totally new version of "Bad arguments" edited by Cosmic Pocket.

Coburn: s/t

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 13 2008
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Artist: Coburn (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Great Stuff Recordings (@)
Distributor: Rooftop Promotion
Rated: *****

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Breezy and fun Electro/Rock from the E.U. strikes into territory somewhere between Fatboy Slim and Arling & Cameron, with the ghost of T. Rex leading the charge. The freshness and naïveté of these mostly 3-minutes-give-or-take sample-rich cut-and-paste pieces, is kind of Coburn playing the innocent, drunken college freshman coed to A&C's detached, grad-school irony. Hilarious segues like "Matured Sinner" and the smarmy interlude "10,000 Leagues" do well to frame main tracks like the rocking "I Get My Kicks" (track 11). Track seven, the lovely 2-chord vamp "Beyond Dawn", is nearly ruined by too much clever hacking and slashing; but right after comes "Give Me Love," a somehow acceptable makeover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," if not quite as sophisticated. The warmed-over-Prodigy hip-hop moves in "Sick" and "We Interrupt This Programme" by rappers Solid State and Princess Superstar are not nearly as convincing; but the most bizarre re-working of all is to be found at the center of the disc: "Tallulah," from the child-acted '70s movie Bugsy Malone (in which the original was sung by none other than Jodie Foster, pre-Taxi Driver, people!). The amazing 40-second interlude toward the end, "Metro," deserves to trade places with the last track, "Erase," and be developed into a full song. This CD is in desperate danger of being dragged down by slower tracks in its second half, like the Portishead-ripped "Edge of a Knife", and needs all the party nitro it can get its nervous hands on.

This duo, Pete Martin and Tim Healey by name, are -- bless their little hearts -- consciously doing their damndest to keep their techno out of generic hell, and deserve good marks. Their saving grace is their rock moves -- the initial Coburn line-up had originally been as a garage band, before collapsing again into a 2-man unit. Singing on "Tallulah" and five other tracks on here is Heidrun Björnsdottir, providing the obligatory, sleazy Eurotrash lilt you'd expect to accompany a couple of hard-partying lads such as these. Previously working under the name Slide & Healey, they took their present moniker from legendary movie actor James Coburn for extra attitude. Not a bad move, if you ask me. This début release of theirs will definitely do the trick as soundtrack for your next topless love parade.

KEEN K: Structures

 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 10 2008
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Artist: KEEN K (@)
Title: Structures
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
Active since the 80's with different musical project Kai Lüdeling has released few things as Keen K. This new E.P. is presenting six new tracks in balance from lush electronics and italo disco intuitions (like the female vocals on "Retro 420"). The sound used and the way of alternating the different synth layers remembered me the latest Kraftwerk. You know, that sort of soft techno sound with many rhythm layers and rich sound textures. The whole E.P. is based on this kind of sound where long pads are enriched by light glitches, electronic breaks on mid tempo structures. This is the most "modern sounding" release for Das Drehmoment Records and it's good to see that they are varying their sound always keeping the quality high. This E.P. is available as limited edition of 200 vinyls with three different hand sprayed covers by Dinasix. Pick up the one you prefer...

FRACTIONAL: Come Mierda

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 08 2008
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Artist: FRACTIONAL
Title: Come Mierda
Format: CD
Label: Brume Records (@)
Rated: *****
Belgian musician Pierre Remy is active as Fractional and his latest album COME MIERDA ("Like shit") is going to be released at the end of the month by Brume Records. Fractional creates great sound sculptures where ambient, dub, break beat and industrial music is blend into a cinematic mixture that works really great. Listening to tracks like "Sibi" makes you dive into a different world and if you close your eyes you'll realize that it isn't a really comfortable one. Tension, a bit of sadness, melancholy and rage are the feelings expressed by Pierre's music and if you check the Antonin de Bemels ''Misute'' video, (you can find it into the CDrom partition of the CD) you'll check yourself what I mean. We have faceless guys walking down the streets. The main character (when the break beat part is on) turns into what it seems to be a Tibetan demon (or it is an oni) with a great visual effect (his hair spread and twist). Great sound and atmosphere...


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