Music Reviews

Sep 19 2015
Artist: Dennis Young (@)
Title: Reel To Real
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
Have you ever experienced those kind of fits of nostalga that let you go through a hundred dusted boxes full of artifacts of your more or less glorious past? You could find something really interesting in piles of yellowed love letters, old comics or stickerbooks, playthings, postcards and funny snapshots - during one of my last explorations I found interesting and somehow mysterious relics like an old vinyl of Visage's "Fade To Grey" on a scratched 7"...I remembered I labelled them as "the witches" when I first saw them on Italian television while I got the measles at the age of 4 or 5! -. During his cleanup day, Dennis Young, former marimba player and percussionist of the legendary NYC-based 80ies band Liquid Liquid - their hit "Cavern", which was included in the first volume "Disco Not Disco" of the newborn Strut Records in the beginning of the new millenium, got famous for having been sampled by Grandmaster Melle Mel for another hit, "White Lines (Don't Do It)", a song with clear references to cocaine, whose clip reaches its idyllic peak in the moment when some dancers keep on sniffing nearby a box of Frosted Flakes... an unauthorized sampling which caused the bankruptcy of 99 and Sugar Hill labels -, found a box of tapes he recorded by means of a 2-track Teac reel-to-reel recorded between 1982 and 1983, when he was just 24 as well as a member of Liquid Liquid yet. According to Dennis own words, "in early 1984 I bought my first 4 track cassette machine which ended my live reel-to-rell recording phase. The tapes were boxed up and put into storage for the ext 30 years. About six months ago I was going thru some old boxes and happened to find the tapes again. I was curious to hear what I had on those tapes so I purchased another Teac reel-to-rel tape-recorder. To my surprise there was a lot of music to choose from these recording, so after hours of listening I came up with a set of songs that I thought was the best representation of my work from this period". Many of them are really surprising: the bizarre chord strikes on guitar-driven songs such as "Little Girl" or the funny "Tape Interface for Guitar", the acidulous sci-fi nuance of tracks like "Panic in the Air", "Contortions" "Unknown Origins" or "Forbidden Planet" - a somewhat paranoid obsession for sci-fi themes is even clearer on the song "Aliens"! - and above all, the tracks when the skills on percussions splashes - the opening "Big Boom", the catchy "Overdub Dub", "Drum Solo" or the amazing "More is Less" -. Thanks to Staubgold, those recordings won't be just memories to get endangered by dust and oblivion.

Germanovski: Promise/Confession

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 18 2015
Artist: Germanovski
Title: Promise/Confession
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Plush (@)
Rated: *****
Denver-based label Plush, which also developed a branch on the other side of the ocean in South London, a strategic position to grab and spread good tunes in the field of bass-driven music, expands his interesting catalogue by hiring Lithuanian producer Igor Komar aka Germanovski. Even if Plush has not labelled his couple of tracks as drum'n'bass, Igor packs a nice assay of minimal dnb up on "Promise", which got embellished by vaguely balearic breezing sounds, placidly rolling breaks and sparse vocals that could resemble the more chilling side of this branch of drum'n'bass. Breaks sound even more swabbed on the following "Confession", as just some sparse hi-hats as well as a gentle set of softly knocking wooden beats and tribal sounds crack the narcotic sonorities of the track. An awesome and somehow soothing strategy to repaint well-known liquid sonorities by means of some hooks to the fluttering sheets of junglist ghosts.

Ya Tosiba: Mollah The Machine Remixes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 17 2015
Artist: Ya Tosiba
Title: Mollah The Machine Remixes
Format: 7"
Label: Pingipung (@)
Rated: *****
"Mollah The Machine", the first release by Ya Tosiba, the Berlin-based collaborative project between Finnish producer and pioneer of Swkee style Mesak and Azeri singer Zuzu Zakaria, was rapidly sold out soon after it got launched in summer 2014, so that Pingipung decided to release the downloadable edition. Some months after such a successfull debut, the label decided to release three nice remixes (two of them are availble on a 7inches vinyl as well): Natalie, Falk and Max of RSS Disco applied their acidulous mid-tempo house and synth--disco recipes to "Masin", whose remix is enjoyable, but it's nothing special to be honest. My favorite one on the vinylic version comes from Patric Catani's alter ego Candie Hank, who preserves the elasticity and the hilarious hook of the original version of "Mollah" by whacky synth-driven squawks and a catchy dubby movement. Likewise funny, the remix of the same track by Cologne-based electronica veteran Schlammpeitziger, who announced he was working on this remix when we interviewed him last February: you'll find his whimsically harmonious and charming make-up of "Mollah" on the digital version of the release.

ADMX-71: Coherent Abstractions

 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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Sep 16 2015
Artist: ADMX-71
Title: Coherent Abstractions
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: L.I.E.S.
Rated: *****
Adam X started his adventure in the musical world on early nineties, as founder, along with Frankie Bones, of Groove Records, which later became Sonic Groove Records, one of the main American techno shops. In the mid nineties he started his own label and he's still running it. As a musician, actually he has several solo side-projects: ADMX-71, Traversable Wormhole, X-Crashed & Mass-X-odus. My review is dealing with his ADMX-71 moniker, as, on mid October, L.I.E.S. Records will release its third album "Coherent Abstractions". Containing eleven new tracks, the album shows Adam's industrial techno downtempo side which is made of menacing atmospheres, electro intuitions and now obsessive and then minimal rhythmic patterns. If the opening "Virtuality Continuum" is a repetitive track with smooth industrial noise loops and drums, the following "Arrival Into Uncharted Territory", will please the lovers of Der Zyklus' most glacial side (like some tracks you can find on "Biometry"). Also lovers of early e.b.m. could find some satisfaction thanks to Adam's melodic loops mixed to pounding drum sequences. If I would have to find a small weakness, is that, besides having interesting sounds and structure, the overall atmosphere is the same. There are no hard tracks alternating dark/ambient ones and this, in my opinion, would have helped a lot appreciating even more the album which is a good one, anyway.

AAAA: Shiva Watts

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 27 2015
Artist: AAAA
Title: Shiva Watts
Format: 12"
Label: Antime (@)
Rated: *****
It doesn't really matters the circumstances that "Voyager II", "SH Crush", "VCO mode" or the awesome title-track "Shiva Watts" could resemble some stuff by Richard James's acid techno act AFX as well as other EDM tunes of the late 90ies and similarly "Blackfish" could vaguely remind of some EBM outputs (even if a friend of mine thought it was a remix of Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy" by Gridlok!), "Vocall 300" could be closer to some vocal daydreaming electro-hop that used to shake many headphones in the second half of the last decade, "Domo Geodesico" could lay in between contemporary Berlin electronics and 70'ies progressive electronic music - very interesting matching, indeed! -, "Pet Grief" could be confused as the remix of some Depeche Mode's unreleased melody by Beefcake or Proem, "Class of 1999" could sound like a robotic romance by Royksopp, which seems to get counterbalanced by the more lukeworm and softier sounds of "Bad Hair Day" and tracks like "Mixtape Alpha Dials" and other interplays could recall some clips by Boards OF Canada to some attentive listeners. Similarites are sometimes unavoidable, but the debut album by AAAA - a moniker, which sounds like a new format of batteries for electronic devices! -, the alias of Gabo Barranco, a Paris-born producer who raised in the suburbs of Mexico City, melts all these possible influences in a so roughly funny way that similaties become something to brag about! Previously released by Mexican imprint Maligna, Antime's founder Martin Steer thankfully decided to import it for the pleasure of Old Continent's listeners. Wise choice!

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