Music Reviews

Artist: URCEUS EXIT (@)
Title: Metro
Format: CD EP
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Another new signing for the Canadian label Artoffact, this time a new project done by Richard Duggan who hails from Vancouver. Conclusions to any PUPPYan influences here are totally wrong placed, URCEUS EXIT’s music dwells more into wide fields of enjoyable Synth Electronica, Future Pop (some parts in the title track and also the good piece "Together"...), some Trance/IDM and Tekkno ("Metro – Shy Brothers Remix") elements and also some Ambient-like layers ("These Spots in my Eyes"). This "Metro" SiCD is a 8-track appetizer for soon to be released full length CD "Contra" with a nice and satisfying playing time of about more than 52 minutes. The title track "Metro" comes here in four different versions, but there is only one remix work by a different act (SHY BROTHERS), and this one will push the crowds to the dancefloors. Very danceable stuff is required for a SiCD release and it is rich given here – but this project has as well a dark and experimental side. The bass lines and beats get more experimental, sometimes even distorted on a track "You Taste Like", which is (of course) my favorite here. Also the "Dark Slavery Mix" of the track "Soil" is worth any listening while still servicing any dance attitudes. Richard Duggan’s music shows a wide range of diversity and I haven’t found any weak point. The music is intelligent produced and guaranties an enjoyable listening from track 1 to 8, nice manipulated cover artwork of a driving train constructed by Sam Javanrough,, too. I can’t await the full length album!

DJ Baby Anne & Jen Lasher: Assault & Battery

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 01 2005
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Artist: DJ Baby Anne & Jen Lasher
Title: Assault & Battery
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: System Recordings / Zone Records
Distributor: System Recordings
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
I found this to be an unexpected drop in my box. As a DJ remix CD it also seems to be a bit of an unexpected pairing as well in some ways. Two high energy female DJs on a 2CD set by System Records, this creates several minutes of nightclub styled dance music with two distinct flavors. The first is DJ Baby Anne who's overall style is that of the Bass Culture. This femme fatale hails from Orlando, FL and mixes the likes of Malicious Mike, Trixie, Scratch-D (Dynamix II), Mylo, and KMFX as well as dropping a few of her own unique tracks. The second is Jen Lasher, this was the big surprise for me! This cute redhead reveals more of the underground styles between EBM and Synthpop. I found this a pleasant switch from 'traditional' DJ remix projects I've heard previously. Many of the artists she spins have a retro-modern Synthpop flair, some with EBM overtones. I would never have expected to hear Wolfsheim and Covenant on a DJ remix disc! Very nice! She also spins quite a few great tracks I'm previously unfamiliar with by bands such as The Glass, Naommon, Roxanne, The Knife, Mason, Infected Mushroom and one of her own making. The first disc starts out rather 'traditional' to older bass style DJ mixes then slowly transitions into something less familiar and more unique. Overall, I found this to be entertaining and fun to listen to. Not the type of disc I normally purchase but if you are looking for something fun to play at parties and you have a mixed crowd of trendies and alternatives alike, you can get away with this nicely!

[1] KILO OF BLACK BONDAGE : Fear the windows

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2190)
Sep 26 2005
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Title: Fear the windows
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
This french band has been a nice surprise above all considering there's something that has driven my thoughts back to some years ago. [1] kilo of black bondage is indeniably near to some old projects involving Mick Harris, Eraldo Bernocchi or Laswell and for who's writing (read: me!) it already means "tip of hat" to the french guys. I can assume a good know it all will complain not everything in which the three artists mentioned have been involved was groundbreaking, but hell knows how deep and ass kicking have been some of the records featured by these three musicians I've mentioned. What reminds so much of Bernocchi and Harris? Above all the atmosphere: it's dark but not depressed, just mystical...shady to say it all. There's a dark mood, but there's rhythm in the hip hop/dub/ambient/rock/jazz "splinters driven in the body" of this cd. The front cover of this elegant jewel box shows the shadow of a man with a hat on his head, don't ask me why, but it reminded me of William Burroughs, not so far from that shadow in the cover of Sonic Youth's "N.Y. city ghosts and flowers". Uncle Bill would have loved a record like this, it's the result of a cut and paste process enriched by elements played with drums, guitars, vocals, bass, trumpet and many other things. "Fear the windows" also reminds me of some of the Sub Rosa's releases at their best. Are you dazed and confused enough? Ok, I'll add that the vocals have a baritone deepness similar to Ira Cohen that will cross your stomach/guts like you're getting screwed like a can. Cut up, good ideas and experience: this could be a know how in the making of a good record and [1] kilo of black bondage probably have learnt the lesson.

Superchumbo: Wowie Zowie

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 21 2005
Artist: Superchumbo
Title: Wowie Zowie
Format: CD
Label: Twisted Records
Distributor: Beatport
Rated: *****
The most frustrating thing about dance music is that most of it becomes dated or overplayed within a couple of years, or sooner. Not only that, but the music in question may be in some sort of niche subgenre that perhaps even your close friends don't listen or dance to. When you actually care enough to wonder where all those hours and hours of dance tracks and influences wind up over the years, you certainly don't count on the Club crowd to care along with you. But I have a hard time imagining a release such as Wowie Zowie dating badly, if at all, and I can't imagine anyone *not* caring, once this is listened to.

As far as vocal House goes, this hard electro offering of Superchumbo's hits the spot. High-octane all the way through, WZ is extremely versatile in both the dancefloor and pop departments. Superchumbo, t/n Tom Stephan, is of American persuasion based in London (at the moment the world's most cosmopolitan city), and his international sensibility shows through really well. He treats his work with the best of all possible House influences, and all of his guest vocalists' performances shine through accordingly.

Keep in mind that these tracks are all original Superchumbo. Three had already been prior Billboard chart-toppers in the U.S.: "Irresistible", "This Beat Is," and the title track. Some of them are run together as "mixes", not blended but simply butted against one another, with tempos changing cleanly. This makes the CD both listenable as a continuous party mix, yet still useful for a working DJ situation. Listen for Samantha Fox orgasmically cooing on "Sugar", some salty language from Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys on "Tranquilizer", and Bashiyra on "U Know I Love It". My personal favorite, "Everything U", features Stephan's own vocals. A few tracks may appeal more to the gay side of the spectrum than the straight ("Bring It", "Filthy Dirty"); believe me when I say there is more than enough love to go around for everybody. Like I said earlier, Wowie Zowie should keep its lustre for quite a while.

Andy Caldwell: Late Night With Andy Caldwell

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 16 2005
Artist: Andy Caldwell
Title: Late Night With Andy Caldwell
Format: CD
Label: Swank Recordings
Rated: *****
This is a highly competent selection and mix of funky and soulful vocal house, worthy of a more upbeat Cafe del Mar. "Brand New Day," Caldwell's own opener featuring Gina Rene on vocals, sets the tone of the mix with a keynote style--Brazilian flavor with acoustic guitar. Recent tracks from Holmes, Mylo, Jaswho?, S.U.M.O. and Liquid People are featured, as well as another Caldwell track, "The Waiting Game" (Ronan's Deep Moody remix). According to the CD's own liner notes, this is first (or one of the first) in a series of "Late Night With" mixes, each starring a featured DJ. The intent is to present a "transcendent set of house grooves...without the snare rolls, melodramatic anthems [or] big room drama." I suppose that's a noble aim, if one ignores the fact that big rooms are largely how House and all the other dance genres got started in the first place. Nevertheless the tracks, as well as the mix, are top-notch and not overlong. This disc is most at home being played at your pool party, whereupon you put the DJ system on autopilot so you can go get a drink and mingle (as I can attest firsthand).

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