Music Reviews



XP8: Adrenochrome

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 17 2013
cover
Artist: XP8 (@)
Title: Adrenochrome
Format: CD
Label: 2393 Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
It has been nearly 8 years when I lastly had this Italian project on my table for a review, which doesn't mean that I hadn't the chance in between. Somehow I never had the drive in me to give them some more spins. I also laughed a while with their introducing sentence of their current info-sheet: 'What Benny Benassi and The Bloody Beetrots are for pink-shirt-wearing mainstream girls, XP8 is for the alternative electro scene: and Italy's most successful export in that field, these days.' And while I lost them a while out of sight, they now come up with this new, crowd-funding supported album. There has been several, most unlucky episodes happened in their now 12-years-long band history, especially when it comes to sign with labels. Black Flames of Poland went bankrupt, Infacted Recordings seemed not to much interested in them after two album, and their last episode under Death Watch Asia, which has brought us their 10-years anniversary release 'X: A Decade Of Decadence', was quite too short for a more optimistic resume. What they always had and on what they still can count is a loyal fan-base. 'Adrenochrome' as being a crowd-funding project has become reality in a record-suspiciously time frame (18 hours after initiation). This album represents a concept and tells us track-by-track a still futuristic story of two individuals being placed in London based on a Cyberpunk story-book written by Marco Visconti in the late 90ies, but nowadays revised. The tracks on 'Adrenochrome' are named after the chapters in this book and give the listener some insight into the story-board. Musically Marco Visconti and his partner Marko Resurreccion are sort of a fresh breath to all musty one-dimensional EBM-structures of the old-school formula: Mostly providing very straight produced and dancefloor-oriented tracks with higher bpm-rates, this talented Italian duo integrates Trance, Techno, or Hardfloor styles in their music. Their tracks are definitely able to drive sweat out of the pores of their audience - it's mostly an action-driven form of EBM/Electronica with a fair vocal performance. Since they've seen and experienced a lot of positive as well as negative things this scene has to offer, they are matured enough with their programming skills not to let this new album come out as a pure, blatant stomp-fest. I actually find myself being entertained by their chosen sounds and I am able to consume their tracks without kicking against the loudspeakers. 'Awakenings', 'Night Run' and the very catchy, Futurepop-inspired 'Inside Their Heads' are impressive produced dancefloor-tunes and can be counted to the favorites on here. As for a musically contrast, the angst-driven, dark and raw sounding synth-pads with the sinister drum pattern-programming of a track like 'Going Underground' impresses totally. Finally I too ask myself, why they aren't a bit more successful to become global scene-players, because musically, as well as sound-wisely here's nothing to complain. And even if I still enjoyed them too with their first singer Paul Toohill, I see no longer a reason to slap this dead-beaten horse over and over again, because Marco Visconti's vocals are fair enough produced to support the XP8 sound-outfit properly. Sure, their vision of EBM doesn't fit with the deeds of veteran projects and they rather represent an attractive form of post-modern arrangements and style-diversity. But what they do, they do crafty and decent.

L 33: Piedestal/All I Want

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 15 2013
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Artist: L 33 (@)
Title: Piedestal/All I Want
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Avantgarde
Rated: *****
This new master stroke, the third ring of an hopefully long chain, for the limited series of Italian label Avantagarde is a very good assay of minimal dark drum'n'bass coming from Bulgarian producer Daian Kutsarov aka L33, the pulsating noggin behind the small but really interesting label Mindtech Recordings. The vaguely menacing atmosphere of his tracks have been sharpened and somewhat delighted by funny sonic inserts, such as the squelching bassline of "All I Want", which could resemble an angry alien duck which seems to squawk on a kicking hammer and a vocal sample, which repeats the title before getting nuked by an electronic wind, or the amazing sounds of "Piedestal", whose waddling movements roll over ping-pong-ball-like hits, properly injected noises which are similar to burning oil drops, intake-like breathing and sudden sonic sprains. The rarefaction of its minimal style makes these sonic artifacts that L33 inoculates into his tracks more discernible and relevant.

Thrash Pilot: Galaxian/One Armed Man

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 15 2013
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Artist: Thrash Pilot
Title: Galaxian/One Armed Man
Format: 12"
Label: Killscreen Recordings
Rated: *****
After his welcomed return on the scene by a couple of incendiary tracks - "Firewalker" and "Calisthenics" -, which he left for a long period due to the aversion against the state of drum and bass scene, Mancunian producer Jim Kennedy flings his second release on the scene, which highlights further the features of his sound, whose rhythmical brawn got enhanced by sci-fi-oriented hooks. The long introduction of "Galaxian", where he pushed the cartridges in by means of a truculently ominous electric-guitar, menacing snare drums and obscure sonorities which could remind some similar stuff by Aphrodite, Upbeats or Ed Rush/Optical, announces the following machine-gun fire of snaking stormy beats and 303 vitriolic bass, which got even more armoured on the second part of the track. The evoked hero or anti-hero of the following track "One Armed Man" on AA side seems to arise from radioactive electric sea mists while the mysterious halo Thrash Pilot derived from main theme of the notorious OST of Twin Peaks got shaked by a chasing d'n'b protonic flux before turning into a radioactive hip-hop medley and gliding on a drier faster movement again. Sound quality of this new drop on Jim's Killscreen imprint is really remarkable.

Rekord 61: Nedra EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Nov 14 2013
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Artist: Rekord 61 (@)
Title: Nedra EP
Format: 12"
Label: Konstruktiv (@)
Rated: *****
This forthcoming third tidbit by skilled Russian beat juggler Alexandr Babev aka Rekord 61 ideally drills through the highland he evoked on his previous release "Pereval". The playful and somewhat merry nuance of the title-track "Nedra" could make you imagine a secret gaming room of a group of dwarfs in their hidden mine, where a number of astonishing multicoloured rock crystals, jewels and gemstones surround a ping-pong table due to the sound of a ping-pong ball which makes an amazing groove of rocky thuds and granular harmonies, which sound like rising, friskier. The following track "Izumrud" (Emerald) seems to shuffle previous sonic and percussive elements, but its brilliant cuts are more entrancing. On this release, you'll also find a remix of "Nedra" by UK techno wizard Glimpse, who extrapolated some sounds from the original version before interpolating them into a charming tech-house movement, which counterbalance the other tracks of the release by means of a wink to dancehalls.

Atom™: Lassigue Bendthaus ‎– Matter

 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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Nov 12 2013
cover
Artist: Atom™
Title: Lassigue Bendthaus ‎– Matter
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: AtomTM_Audio_Archive
Rated: *****
The moment when someone will try to discover if there's some biological secret behind the exceptional musical brain of Uwe Schmidt is hopefully distant, so that even if the remarkable amount of eureka moments which propagated like a widespread reticulum over an otherwise impressive number of stylistical fields could let you conjecture it's an impossible mission, a retrospection, which could look like a nonsense for something which smells of retrofuturism, could help and let save a lot of formaldehyde in the meanwhile. This German genius decided to give his fans their cue by usering in his own roots by way of a brand new label, whose first ring of an hopefully long chain is release no.1 (the release no.0 is "the Engineer's Love" which got released on the cassette-label NG Medien I jealously keep in my colection till the moment I could decide to exchange it with some crazy collector in the event that I'll need a cornea or a kidney...) by Atom TM, "Automotif", which became part of "Matter", signed by Lassigue Bendthaus, one of better known Uwe's innumerable aliases, which dates back to 1991. All those contemporary fans which missed it have the opportunity to appreciate the way by which Uwe drifted and overtook industrial and EBM by means of sonorities which already included the spawns of acid and techno music before these electronic blood vessels begun to get massively pumped up. This first file of Atom TM's massive archive is going to be mouth-watering for the collectors as well, as it includes some versions of legendary tracks of that album such as the above-mentioned "Automotive", "Velocity Life" and "Statique", which got later printed on a number of vinyls, the follow-up "Hertz" on Parade Amoureuse, the second very rare edit and the (previously unreleased) first edit of "Automotive". You can begin to go into ecstasies as the protean feeder of this newborn archive is going to store his whole collection of files. Spruce your hard-disks up!


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