Music Reviews



GIRL TALK : Night ripper

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 25 2006
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Artist: GIRL TALK (@)
Title: Night ripper
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Illegal Art (@)
Rated: *****
Bastard pop...an what if it was bastard hip-hop?. If there’s something you can't write about Girl Talk is that this cd is not damn well done...and another thing that's forbidden from the vocabulary when talking about them is their samples are not heterogeneous. Have you eve heard Verve, Madonna, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani, Boredoms, 50 cent, Pixies, Black Eyed Peas, Smashing Pumpkins (and that just a small portion of it all) sampled on the same record?. I wish they won't get famous otherwise I'm sure they should fight a legal war to protect themselves from copyright control and from all those greedy vampires (by the way fuck copyright, are we anarchists or are we mice?). Their rapping is really mainstream oriented therefore no kick ass approach a la Cannibal Ox but sure while the tissue is popular and soft the tailor is not so soft honey. This record is damn well done but what after the hip hop indie trend is gone? What's gonna happen when the bastard pop will disappear?. But honestly isn't the majority of pop nothing but the reinterpretation or nothing but a well done robbery to some rich Nottingham son of a bitch?. I'm not into Girl Talk but sure I've enjoyed trying to recognize every single sample...but unfortunately this' not a quiz otherwise I’d have become a millionaire. If you’re into the ironic, hip hop thing this probably could be an interesting listening.

VV.AA.: Sacred Symbols Of Mu

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 25 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sacred Symbols Of Mu
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
SACRED SYMBOLS OF MU is Planet Mu’s 100th release (postponed release as they are arrived already to 150) and the perfect way to celebrate it, was gathering twenty four tracks/bands showing what has been passed in the last three years since their last compilation "Children of Mu" thanks to old (Jega, Venetian Snares, µ-Ziq, Luke Vibert, Shitmat, Leafcutter John and Dykehouse) and new (Vex'd, Pinch, Distance, Boxcutter, Breakage, etc.) acts of their roster as well as new signings such as Tom Burbank, 0=0 and Mileece. If you are new to the label’s sounds it’s enough to say that Planet Mu explored every corner of dance sounds that have a heart. Jungle, i.d.m., breakbeat or grime, to name a few, have been covered but always with an eye opened on experimentation of new sounds/solutions. This brought the label to release other projects that aren’t properly related to dance but that use acoustic sounds along with particular rhythm solutions. If you are looking for something different try this double compilation that comes at a mid price!

N.PHECT & DIZPLAY: Beautiful Bytes

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 21 2006
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Artist: N.PHECT & DIZPLAY
Title: Beautiful Bytes
Format: CD
Label: Basswerk (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****

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N. Phect & Dizplay are two brothers coming from Cologne which decided back in 2002 to collaborate as a drum’n’bass production team. After working in other different bands (sometimes also together) they released for Basswerk their first album titled "Beautiful bytes". The thirteen tracks of the CD gathers their newest releases, revisitations (their big hit "Velvet morning" here’s remixed as "My velvet morning" and "Tsunami" along with "Inside the hive" are here present as in their "2006 VIP rmx"), collaborations ("Deep throat" see dj Phace working with them) and remixes (here you can find their version of The Green Man’s "Damn wire" and the r’n’b influenced Starke & Gorterer’s "You can go on"). There are also a couple of tracks by Dizplay alone, "Shining through" and "Don’t you see" (two tracks that have also a certain pop influence with catchy vocal inserts along with the drum’n’bass/breakbeat solid structure) as well one by N.phect alone ("Enjoy the madness" has also ambient influences along with powerful orchestra samples). Even if the album is a collection of tracks it sounds homogeneous and it will give you the opportunity to enjoy the energetic brothers’ style called "neurofunk".
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash Frequency 02 - Australian Independent Darkwave
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
The Australian Crash Frequency strikes back, this time with a DCD set to gain some international and world-wide attention. It was lately Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY who told us in our current interview (please look for it somewhere else here...), that the Australian Electro/Industrial/Goth scene has reached a special point of evolution, where some good recognition occurs and that the included bands, especially the ones presented through this collective – show a lot of diversity and originality. His words got proven right with this compilation featuring almost all Crash Frequency bands – I miss only SOBIQUET, INTRA-SONIC and STARK here. The first disk named "Arrival (Home)" features 15 tracks of – so-called - "radio versions" featuring mostly the best pieces taken out of the latest albums of each band, but also some goodies and unreleased new tracks. Opening act marks – like expected – the currently striking duo of ANGELSPIT with their track "Vena Cava". If some of you really haven’t checked out their new CD "Krankhaus" – an epic in both parts, Industrial-Metal music and artwork – I then advise you to do so! Goth Rock was and is not my cup of tea, but the famous IKON give a well done piece here and their "Sunset At Golgotha" is still unreleased. To the straight and melodious EBM/Electro music of ANGEL THEORY I don’t have to give any further explanations, because this act is maybe together with IKON the most known act internationally. "Human", out of Charles’ last and highly recommended full length CD "Re-Possession" is one of the best tracks he has ever composed. Comes then N0N-PLUS, a relatively new member of the collective and musically based into the Powernoise/Ambient genre. I haven’t heard anything from this act before, so that’s a bit hard to start comparisons, but this decent track featuring ominous synth layers and a steady beat makes me hungry for more. Follows then the great duo TANKT with a new and unreleased track "Surveillance". You remember their well done "Club Life" CD, also licensed to Static Sky Records? Well, forget it, because this "Surveillance" knocks almost all tracks from "Club Life" out of the field! Comes then the duo of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT and so the journey into a musically more strange copulation, because they mix Electro elements with Trip-Hop efforts mostly guided by decent female vocals. Their track here, "One Time In Life" taken from their new EP "Blurred Edges" is a well done example for the more Trip-Hop-based kind of this duo. LUX VOLTAIRE is also an act I haven’t discovered so far, I can only remember their funny "Oberheim" contribution from the first chapter of this compilation series. Their new and unreleased "Dreamtime" is a straight and modern arranged Electro dance track with a duty guitar riff in between. They are followed by THE PROCESS VOID coming up with a new instrumental cut and the Synthpop act TYCHO BRAHE with a track of their latest release "Atlantic", out on the US-based label Coohagen Music. RESURRECTION EVE have already produced more remarkable tracks than "Embrace", which was also available on their great last CD "Ascension", out on GUP/Endless Records. PLAQUE SEQUENCE follows and they are totally new to me. "Futuristic Techno, Cyber-Electro, Psytrance and Technosexual Fetish-Industrial", so the description on their music – nothing what could help to make the things clearer. Lee Bulig of STARK has done some additional music and Pete Crane of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT seems also to be a member.
We have then two tracks done by DOMINO THEORY (dark Pop with Trip-Hop attitudes leaded by female vocals) and DANDELION WINE, who could lately get a deal with the German Ars Musica Diffundere, a division of the Black Rain group. DAZY CHAIN give us their track "Hush" taken from their last full length – a track which starts peaceful and calm, but then to come out in a rough and angry Punk/Metal-like raging piece. Last track of this first CD then is provided by the new collective member THE TENTH STAGE musically ranging between Goth Rock and Electro. I dig this track a lot, it mixes up both styles with some good male vocals. So 15 tracks in all on the first CD, let’s check out the content of CD2, called "Departures (Club)" and so – like the name explains it – turns the music into a more club-oriented field.
ANGEL THEORY now opens the second disk, again with "Human", but this time in remix version created by John Van Loon out of the Netherlands. The rhythms are now a bit updated, John has also done some further production and he added his voice for a kind of guest singer appearance – in all a very satisfying remix work. THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT now show with their second track "Only You Can See You" their other side, musically more depending on a modern kind of Electro dance – it’s a great and previously unreleased track. ANGELSPIT send out another invitation to join them on the dancefloor for some crunchy Industrial/X-over actions with a new "Pill Binge" remix of their "Elixir", originally another fine piece out of the "Krankhaus". I then see the difficulty to offer a club-friendly track from IKON – finally they present here with "Ghost In My Head (Adam Cal Remix)" a track of the 1998 album "This Quiet Earth". Also some unreleased stuff is offered by TYCHO BRAHE with their track "Avarice", which got by the way remixed by another Australian legend alive again, George Pappas of REAL LIFE. It’s a great Synthpop tune with some female vocals integrated, which doesn’t leave any wishes open. Also the newbies of THE TENTH STAGE give a second track "Criminal World", which got remixed by Dave Foreman of TANKT. Have a clear listen to the great and alive-sounding synth layers. Next are TANKT with the title track of their past full length CD "Club Life", here in a special remix created by Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY. Please note also his special guest vocal appearance on this great track. PLAQUE SEQUENCE return with a modern dance track taking influences out of Trance and Techno. Pete Crane of THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT does his best here, although the adding of some more vocals wouldn’t be wrong. The rough tunes of THE PROCESS VOID – here "Lethargy" taken from their debut - also got a remix here, this time done by LUX VOLTAIRE. Relatively danceable, but mostly instrumental. RESURRECTION EVE then show themselves from their very best side and offer a new remix of their track "Forever" – be sure and listen only 1 – 2 times the refrain, it will be undeletable burned in your mind - one of the finest Synthpop tune this act has ever produced! Comes then DOMINO THEORY with an "Apology" – but there’s nothing to excuse, because the track grows on you after a few rotations. But don’t ask me who the responsible remixers ROMUS & REMULUS are, if we don’t think of the historically meaning. DANDELION WINE have again the flute in action, their at times strange female vocals and some guitar riffs as well – it’s always hard for me to sort them in, but I take it as sports – they are another proof of the diversity offered out of Down Under. Last but not least we get an unreleased track by LUX VOLTAIRE, "Australia’s Premier Neuropunk Outfit – whatever this means. After an acoustic opening the track "Despite You" turns into an acceptable and danceable electronic track, well done, Gentlemen.
A final and special note has to be taken for the brilliant artwork created by Destroyx of ANGELSPIT - indeed it has some relations to that famous "Krankhaus" art, plus also the great "flying skull" logo craeted by Roberto Massaglia of TANKT/THE TENTH STAGE. Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY finally has collected this well done comp.
I of course have some personal favorites here on this compilation, but I try to avoid to pick them out specially. It is because that the Australian Electro/Industrial/Goth scene has so much diversity and surprises in all genres to offer that every listener will find his/her very own favorite. Come on and take a steady listen to Down Under and the leading Crash Frequency collective – satisfaction guaranteed!

Disc CF01 : Arrival [Home]
1. Vena Cava - Angelspit
2. Sunset At Golgotha - IKON
3. Human - ANGELTHEORY
4. Of The in Visible - n0nplus
5. Surveillance - Tankt
6. One Time in Life - The Crystalline Effect
7. Dreamtime - Lux Voltaire
8. Skyro - The Process Void
9. Don’t Feel That Way - Tycho Brahe
10. Embrace - Resurrection Eve
11. Oblivion - Plague Sequence
12. No Apology - Domino Theory
13. Tulip Eyes - DandelionWine
14. Hush - Dazychain
15. The 10th Stage - The Tenth Stage

Disc CF02 : Departures [Club]
1. Human (JVL Mix) - ANGELTHEORY
2. Only You can See You - The Crystalline Effect
3. Elixir (Elixir Remix) - Angelspit
4. Ghost in My Head - IKON
5. Avarice (George Pappas Real Life Remix - Previously Unreleased) - Tycho Brahe
6. Criminal World (Exclusive) - The Tenth Stage
7. Club Life [Club Mix] - Tankt
8. Take The First Step - Plague Sequence
9. Lethargy - The Process Void
10. Forever - Resurrection Eve
11. Apology - Domino Theory
12. Arc - Dandelion Wine
13. Despite You (Previously Unreleased) - Lux Voltaire