Music Reviews

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
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
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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 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
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Nov 22 2006
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.

DDAMAGE: Shimmy Shimmy Blade

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 16 2006
Title: Shimmy Shimmy Blade
Format: CD
Label: Tsunami Addiction (@)
Rated: *****
Ddamage is the project of two French brothers, Jean-Baptiste and Frederic Hanak from Paris. SHIMMY SHIMMY BLADE is their fourth full length and it is the first for Tsubami addiction (their previous two have been released by Planet Mu). The sixteen tracks of this new album feature on vocals a lot of people: MF Doom, Tes, Existereo, Bigg Jus, Mike Ladd, Dose One, Orko Elohiem, Crunc Tesla, Sin, TTC, Stacs of Stamina. All their guests are part of the independent hip hop scene and this, mixed with their particular blend of grime and electro, make sound this album like a particular one, a CD that you can’t file under a specific genre (even if electronic danceable distortions could be a good way of explaining it). The analogue sounds are mixed with samples, bleeps and 4/4 syncopated rhythms and the hip hop influence is given mainly by the vocals because if you concentrate your attention to the music you’ll discover electro distorted tracks with a dance attitude and thousands of influences that goes from techno to electro with a little bit of experimentations in the middle (try the instrumental ones like "Punkture", "Inter rock" or "Pull the plug").


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (3184)
Nov 13 2006
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Title: Hospitality
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****

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HOSPITALITY is the latest Venetian Snares release and it contains six new tracks where Aaron Funk redefine his latest breakcore i.d.m. orchestral sound that he presented with "Rossz Csillag Alatt Született". If you were used to his breathtaking digital cavalcades, this time Aaron decided to surprise his audience using also moments where sonic disintegration is kinda under control. Take for example the first couple of minutes of the opening "Frictional Nevada" where he build an ambient melodic orchestration (which is soon after joined by the usual crazy rhythmical section) and see how he deals the rhythm and the new melodic lines on the following minutes. If on "Rossz Csillag Alatt Született" he preferred orchestral sounds on HOSPITALITY you’ll find a lot of organ sounds along with strings (like on "Shoot myself" where he creates a good melancholic moment). I don’t know what do you think about the new Venetian Snares style but I like it because melodies and rhythmic complex structures get along really well and this new MCD is a good work that will make people, that were afraid or unused to this kind of sounds, appreciate Aaron’s work as they will find great amounts of involving atmospheres.

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