Music Reviews



SURFACE 10: Surface Tensions

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 08 2006
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Artist: SURFACE 10 (@)
Title: Surface Tensions
Format: CD
Label: DiN (@)
Rated: *****

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Limited to only 1000 copies, SURFACE TENSIONS is the third release by Surface 10. While the previous two were containing tracks composed and reworked during the 1994-99 period, this new one contains tracks that have been composed within 1997 and 2006. Dean De Benedictis, the person behind Surface 10, describes the music of this album "techno-tragic sound". The eleven tracks of the album have been composed by Dean with the help of Eddie Loyola (aka Niture) and members of the Fateless Flows Collective. Musically the tracks have a strong electronic background that sound like a mixture of ambient and minimal techno with some i.d.m. here and there but if you listen to it with attention you will also notice a certain jazz or fusion attitude (see "X tension" for example) of the melodies used on some tracks. This is the interesting thing about Surface 10 music: the multi layered structure of the tracks contains so many melodies and rhythms that even if the whole effect sounds like ambient trance music, you’ll be amazed by the richness of the sound. This denote a will to experiment with sounds and solutions that I really appreciated and even if the approach to sound is really minimal you could let yourself lose into the ambience created finding something new that goes beyond the usual ambient music.

HEADMAN: On

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 07 2006
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Artist: HEADMAN (@)
Title: On
Format: CD
Label: Gomma (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****
Robi Insinna a.k.a. Headman and Manhead is a successful dj which since the early 2000 is rocking the dancefloors. During the last period he’s touring with Soulwax as their official tour dj as well he did many remix for Franz Ferdinand, Royksopp, Yello, Anne, Mylo, Scissor Sisters, etc. The respect he gained during his career allowed him to have on his second full length many guest singers, so ON features: Anthony Roman (from Radio 4), Stephen Dewaele (from Soulwax), Tara, Anton Spivac, Matt Safer (from The Rapture), Ed Laliq, Ben Rymer and Erol Alkan (from Trash). The album contains twelve tracks that mix indie rock urge with dancefloor taste. To tell the truth I was expecting something more electronic and less rock oriented but it seems that Robi wanted the album to be enjoyed also at home and he concentrated the will to party for the remixes you can find on the three singles taken from the album: "Roh", "Moisture" and the upcoming "On & on". Listening to tracks like "Balearica" it seems to hear the Kills affected by a soul fever with electronic arrangements. It sounds nice but it sounds also a bit too MTV oriented.

KARSTEN PFLUM: Idhax

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 04 2006
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Artist: KARSTEN PFLUM
Title: Idhax
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The first words that pop out in my mind when I listen to this third Karsten Pflum CD, are: deranged, obsessed, minimal and cyclic. From the guinea pig that wanders in a garden between wires and broken amplifiers that you find on the cover, you realize that something is going on. When you start listening to the first track of the CD "Impulse 9" you realize that definitively something is happening: for the first five minutes i.d.m. rhythms make yourself lose your boundaries but after a break the rhythm turns into something more structured as well some melancholic melodies start to fill your room. After the first eight minutes of the album Karsten showed what you have to deal with as the whole album is based on the balance of these ingredients: rhythm, glitch noises, light melodies and suspended atmospheres. Having showed the essence of his music he didn't broke the toy, because each track has something to give and even if I appreciated some titles more than others, IDHAX is a nice album that dare experimenting with some chaotic moments (like during the whole "Draworder") but that at the same is able to create dark or heart moving atmospheres.

Dezrok: They Love You Feel

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 03 2006
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Artist: Dezrok (@)
Title: They Love You Feel
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Burn records (@)
Distributor: Sumthing Distribution
Rated: *****

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Prolific NY-based dance music producer Dezrok just fully recovered from a scary motorcycle accident (rumor has it that his alluminium powerbook in his back bag prevented his spine from breaking and leaving him paralyzed forever and that he is still using that very same beat up G4 laptop to DJ at clubs around town!!!) and is celebrating by releasing his new "The Love You Feel" maxi-single on Christian Leone's Burn records/Fire Entertainment Group outlet (the release party is scheduled for Sept 14th at Lotus in NYC). The first peculiarity about this release is that Dezrok, for the first time in his solo career, steps up to the mic to deliver some good vocals on the opening "Main Love" mix. The five tracks flow consistently on the wings of the underlaying pounding beat that is pretty much the common denominator here. One of the most intriguing versions is probably "DezroK's dub love" version, which features slow progressions and minimalistic processing of his otherwise bombastic arrangments that will trip you out for almost ten fully entrancing minutes. The tracks also feature some female vocals that at times echo reminiscences of Delerium's daciest tracks.
You can listen and buy individual tracks from SumthingDigital.com at the link below or buy the CD from Amazon. If you like Dezrok's dance angle, also check out pop singer's Rietsa debut "Cold Shower", featuring Dezrok's production.

VV.AA.: International DeeJay Gigolos, Vol. 9

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 03 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: International DeeJay Gigolos, Vol. 9
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Gigolo Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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Arrived to its ninth issue the Gigolo compilation it’s still a double CD packed with delicatessen picked up by label master DJ Hell. This time electro wave lovers have a lot to bite the first CD carries Felix Da Housecat version of "Jack U", as well as Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin & The Hacker remixed by Anthony Rother, DJ Hell remix of one of the most famous Grace Jones songs "I’ve seen that face before", Linda Lamb and Jor-el. After the first six tracks we have a little break and techno lovers could join in as Bodzin & Huntemann will make you sweat with their "Black ice". After that one it’s the G. Rizo turn with "Eye wanna cee u". Mike Perras, Terence Fixmer and Saturn V make you visit the house/techno realm for a little while just to prepare you to the minimal electro of Trike and -=UHU=-. Last but not least, you’ll find DAF’s "Der rauber und der prinz", the A side of the track you can find on the "New Deutsch" compilation. The second CD propose the same formula of the first one starting with the electro wave of Fischerspooner, Xlover, Hell, Christopher Just, Kiko’s & Gino and Freaks, everyone with remixed versions or with track only released on 12" (as Hell’s "Fun boy 3"). Digitaria are present with a track from their same album released only on mp3. Martin Matiske is present with "Japanese science", a track from his E.P. "Blackout" while Child are here with "Spoiled lips". Techno faces up again with Mick Wills’ "Scoop VII", a new unreleased track. Now it’s time to listen to new artists that will release something on Gigolo, so we can check out Replica (they are here with "Transmission" a track from their previous E.P. released on Noiselab), Mexican Sonido Lasser Drakar (their funky electro pop is so 80’s). The last two tracks present two techno electro acts: Masstyk (with "Dis era", a track from his Gigolo 12") and Herman Schwartz, a newcomer that present here an instrumental track "Nothing to loose". It’s not a thrilling one, but we’ll see. Wow... what amount of good tunes. As usual Hell with his compilations series is able to present the past and the future of his label in a perfect way and each time we discover a little more.


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