Music Reviews



N.O.I.A.: The Rule To Survive - 31th Anniversary

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 02 2014
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Artist: N.O.I.A.
Title: The Rule To Survive - 31th Anniversary
Format: 12"
Label: N.O.I.A. Records
Distributor: Clone
Rated: *****
It's difficult to sum what N.O.I.A. were and are into a review, because, as a cat, they lived different lives. First of all, N.O.I.A. formed in late 70s in Cervia, Italy and, influenced by Kraftwerk, started to play electronic obsessive tracks with catchy melodies and synth sounds. They also won the first Italian rock festival in 1980 and thanks to that, EMI included two of their tracks "Europe" and "Hunger In The East', into a compilation. Their first life ended here and in 1983 a new one started. A new one which has been deeply linked to Oderso Rubini's label Italian Records. With Italian Records, N.O.I.A. lost two band members and became a three member band that principally worked in the studio. With Italian Records they recorded five singles and a MLP and reached a good success in the Italo Dance scene. After that, they recorded two singles for Rose Rosse Records and CBS and then disbanded. The band members started new projects: Davide Piatto formed a rock band called Rebels Without A Cause and recorded three albums, Bruno Magnani formed Sacred Circle. Their third life started at the end of 90s, when Davide Piatto, his brother Alessandro and Bruno Magnani decided to re-record their early tracks and the now deceased label Ersatz was ready to release them on a really good record titled "Unreleased Classics 78-82". Now, after a compilation released by Spittle in 2012, it's again time to talk about N.O.I.A., because they are back on their own label N.O.I.A. Records with a 12". "The Rule To Survive - 31th Anniversary" contains three versions of the track which originally was released in 1983 but, as the band did in the late 90s, it has been re-recorded with the original gear. The track is still sounding fresh, catchy and powerful as the classic sounds by TR-808, Roland SH1 (which now is living a new life thanks to the new version you can install on the new Roland Aira keyboard) and Prophet 5 have been used by many nowadays bands who discovered their beauty and the warmth. On the 12" we can find also the instrumental version and a remix made by Prins Thomas. He kept most of the original mix but doubled the bass line which now is more bouncy and dance-floor oriented. On the digital version of the single, we can find much more as we have other two remixes for the main track (Kirk Degiorgio did a Detroit techno version and Baldelli And Dionigi, famous for their work at La Baia Degli Angeli club, did a great mid tempo spacey dub mix) and an unreleased song titled "Time Is Over Me". The track opens with a particular accordion sound just to turn into a melancholic mid tempo that sounds like a mix of new wave, late italo disco and pop. As for the first song, we have the instrumental version and two remixes. This time we have Gaudi & The Orb that reworked the track making it sound like a 90s techno house tune and a dub version did by the band. Great single and welcome back N.O.I.A.!

Asolaar: Interceptor

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 02 2014
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Artist: Asolaar (@)
Title: Interceptor
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
Even if the excellent Ukrainian label Kvitnu situates Asolaar, the brainchild by Argentinean producer Dario Pinto Calvis, in between the artists which fly on the "heavy wing" of its oustanding sonic squadron, it seems that he has slightly softened his sound and such a mitigation is clear since the opening electric peristalsis. His sonorities on "Interceptor" keeps on propagating vitriolic frequencies and abrasive distorsions, but Asolaar shows much more familiarity with his dangerous electric devices than other previous more abstractly chaotic stuff: he rarely move away from circuit-driven rhythmical loops, which soak tracks like "Gravastar", but he frequently deviates from excessive repetitiveness by means of amazing electromechanical saturations such as on "Cruce Magnetico II", "Cruce Magnetico II", "Emptiness Dealers", whose combactive stepping could let you think about the possible death rattle of a stricken drone, or the fragmented high-voltage break of "Random Violence", where his style get closer to old stuff from Celluloid Mata, P.A.L. or Synapscape, or by clipped chemical burns ("0028-13", "Lord H.Mohawk" or the nice "Lu In Dimension"). It's really remarkable the ability to draw so many noisy tidbits together in just 24 minutes, which could be sometimes much more lieable than excessive prolongation of less surprising brainwaves.

Break, Mako, Fields & Villem / Chromatic: Shadowlines / Found You

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 26 2014
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Artist: Break, Mako, Fields & Villem / Chromatic
Title: Shadowlines / Found You
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
A single track where Break, Mako, Fields and Villem combined their sounds and samples is like a planetary conjuction whose gravitational waves manage to win gravitational forces keeping any falling object or person on the ground and this is what happens on the smashing tune "Shadowlines", a track where besides the fact the heaviest element is Break's strained breaks, listeners will enjoy the traces of each producer as well as one of the best tune of the year. On the other side of this new dnb little treat by appreciated Bristol-based dnb label Utopia Music, you will keep on levitating on warmer sonic uplifter by Uk-based super trio Chromatic, whose "Found You", whose mellow vibes and entrancing keyboard-spiffed haze got enhanced by nestled crispy percussions and delicious vocals. Red-hot tracks like the ones you'll hear on this drop should not make you fear of forthcoming glacial wintertime by keeping freezing point low.

Sabre/Cruel Culture & Keosz: Yoga/Threat

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 24 2014
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Artist: Sabre/Cruel Culture & Keosz
Title: Yoga/Threat
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Plasma Audio
Rated: *****
Newborn drum'n'bass label Plasma Audio announced this second drop for its hopefully huge pool of tunes since the first beating of wings of Melbourne-based owl by Icicle, Safire, Amoss and Gamma and its kickoff finally came. On this occasion, other skilled producers joined the Pasma circle: in spite of a sort of whisper, which could evoke the cry of an owl or possibly a robot kite, Bavarian producer Fabian Simoneit aka Cruel Culture and Slovakian dj Erik "Keosz" Osvald depart from a tribal ritual drumming and gusts of synth to forge "Threat", an amazing minimal-techey dnb tune, whose knocking bass kicks roll over a bed of stabbing hits and synth-sequences, while London producer and dj Gove "Sabre" Kidao prefers more sinister sonorities and wonky beats on "Yoga". The common denominator of both tracks is the high quality of sounds, which seems to be the feature that Melbourne-based dnb label wants to be a distinguishing element of its expanding catalogue.
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Artist: Ueno Masaaki
Title: Ununseptium/ Vortices
Format: 12"
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
Four years after the discovery by Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian, a group of American and Russian researches and nuclear physics of the 117th element by means of the fusion of Calcium and transuranic radioactive chemical element Berkelium at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Raster-Noton discovered its 117th element for unun series, the notorious series of releases, named after the family of transuranic or superheavy elements. Its scientific connection got emphasized by Japanese sound-artist Ueno Masaaki, whose four tracks for the seventh ring of this chain are aimed to be a sort of reconstruction of natural laws and forces by means of complex polymeric grooves, clipped rhythimcal cuts, clusters of chopped metallic hits and overclocked suctions of piercing bass pulsations, which could be vaguely described as a possible groovy declension of Autechre or Emptyset stuff. It might sound repetitive only to absent-minded listeners, as more attentive listeners will easily appreciate the rich assets of sonic detailes of this zipped stuff.


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