Music Reviews



In A Mindset: Compartments

 Posted by Marc Tater   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 31 2010
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Artist: In A Mindset
Title: Compartments
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Abstrakt Reflections (@)
Rated: *****
And another promising newcomer act, which installs cinematic Ambient-like synth arrangement combined with experimental and part-wise abrasive percussion elements. What surprises the most is surely the musically background of the German fellow Steven S., mastermind behind IN A MINDSET. I.A.M. has been started in 2009 and is therefore a relatively new project, but Steven has played previously in various Metal-bands (FTE, MORTHEIM) and he is still active in this genre with the project SERAPEUM. For hailing out of a relatively different music genre, he provides a really cleverly and matured kind of music work, which can be described as an Electronica/IDM-onslaught consisting of elements out of Dark Ambient and Neo-Classical influences combined with Industrial, Noise and Abstract rhythms. I tend to pick out again the often named US cult act GRIDLOCK as being a quell of inspiration, while I would too agree to name Steven's Neo-Classical influence with its bombastic tendencies ('Devastation P. 2' ' did I hear a real cello riff here???) as being the most remarkable difference. A quite good 5-track EP to hopefully soon more to be discovered stuff from this talented artist ' which fits quite well to the Abstrakt Reflection label-roster.

Andreas Gross: Stone Thrower

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 31 2010
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Artist: Andreas Gross (@)
Title: Stone Thrower
Format: CD EP
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Since the very first notes of the new EP by Anders Gross and his ensemble ' both the masked and the unmasked! -, you'll maybe perceive a nostalgic and dreamy atmosphere: the sparkling sound pearls surrounding the ghostly and childish voice by Tabitha Anders, which looks like a crossbreed between the most depressed tones by Meriel Barham (the voice of the English alternative band Lush, launched by the glorious 4AD) and the entranced and tenuous ones by Slowdive's Rachel Goswell and the melodic steadiness of Anders' musical whirls in the introduction of this good example of 'oneiric shoegazing', giving the name to the whole EP. The preface of the following track, 1847, maybe is what could be considered closer to the unconvincing and partially improper classification of gothic trip-hop, used by someone to describe Anders Gross' music, even if the light distortion on the bass, reminding to me some treatments on the basslines Massive Attack used to spread, is soon replaced by a cradling folk-tinged movement. The only track with no voice, At The Edge, seems to be nothing but a puzzle of some sounds which deeply marked 80s ' I even recognized a reference to U2's With Or Without You'¦ -, but it's really well crafted! Tabitha's soft and feeble tone of voice stands out again in the hesitating False Prophets, a track whose programming is not exactly that kind of food sating the hardest-to-please listeners and even the techno-trance remix of this track by Phantoms of Paradise is nothing special, even if I've found quite funny to hear Tabitha's voice under disguise turning into a robotic creature, while I definitively don't understand the Avoid-a-void remix of Stone Thrower, maybe because the original track is good enough to be treated. The final track, Relief, could let you think someone has seated on the remote controller of your hi-fi system or you could even argue your neighbor is joking with you after buying a powerful universal remote controller'¦no prankster or heedless sitters indeed! Just a sweet pop ballad written by Tabitha, you'll appreciate anyway! There're maybe some slight flaws in this EP, but I couldn't say that I've not been positively impressed by the well balanced sound exhibited by Anders Gross on this occasion. Measured rhythms, lovely melodies, peaceful sound, intimate lyrics'¦ I feel that nemesis should sound out of place!

MikTek: Speculations

 Posted by Marc Tater   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 30 2010
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Artist: MikTek
Title: Speculations
Format: CD EP
Label: Abstrakt Reflections (@)
Rated: *****
Not completely a newcomer project, the Greek Electronica musician Mihalis A. can already refer on a digital-only release available on 33Recordings, a Greece-based Electronica/Experimental netlabel, which also brought POORDREAM in collaboration with the too early gone Spectraliquid label to our attention. Mihalis hails from Mytilene (Lesvos Island, Greece) and he has been in touch with music since his young days as being working at a radio station in the age of 16 by mixing his favorite tracks. Also several experiences as a DJ and organizer are slated in his bio. In 2002 he started producing his own sounds under several monikers and under the influence of diverse music styles. With his project MikTek he mixes experimental and deep electronic sounds to provide a Downtempo- and often Ambient-like Electronica-/IDM-sound environment. That fits relatively will with Abstrakt Reflection's ideology, but differs a bit compared to the enthusiastic celebrated APPARENT SYMMETRY ' MikTek moreover created deep drowning Synth layers, quite often with a monotonous and hypnotic impact. Mihalis uses lesser distorted drum/percussion elements, as he seemingly totally trusts in the role of his well worked out synthesized lead sounds. This works at best on 'Dreamlayer' and the collaborative effort 'A Walk In A Cloud 3.0 (with IN A MINDSET)'. MikTek understands it well to entertain the listener with his cinematic sound outfit, even if his kind is rather servicing a more chill-out-like mood. 5 well arranged tracks, the best consumed under a good pair of headphones.

SE: L 36

 Posted by Marc Tater   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 30 2010
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Artist: SE (@)
Title: L 36
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Second full-length album release for this talented German fellow again signed to Tympanik Audio. SE aka Sebastian Ehmke continues his path to explore the depths of an outer-space sound environment by producing a quality outfit of a modern IDM/Ambient-Electronica album, just like you would expect it from Tympanik Audio. Somehow Sebastian's music can draw relations to SUBHEIM, but he also allows a slight acoustic impact produced through some guitar loops to take place. However ' and not because I prefer to be a purist ' the only electronic sounding tracks receive my vote as being the more interesting produced ones. The opener 'Chrono' ' already discovered on the latest 'Emergency Organisms 3' compilation - is such an example, which focuses to produce foggy synthesizer moods, combined with raw and experimental-minded drum patterns. Also 'Mimikry' impresses with an outstanding synth layer arrangement and its clear structures - as this can be generally noticed, that Sebastian's sound arrangements aren't overfilled with too much different floating Synth layers. The concentration on clearance and subtle produced structures is a winning point in Sebastian's work and makes this album easily consumable also for untrained IDM-/Electronica listeners. Also 'Weit' earns a 'thumbs up' rating for its straight monotonous, but also addictive produced Industrial percussion work. Sebastian has hammered out a fine IDM/Electronica album, which fits pretty much with the expectations someone would relate with Tympanik Audio. A German music project not to underestimate asides the bigger and better known names of this label like TOTAKEKE, ESA, ACCESS TO ARASAKA or ZENTRIERT INS ANTLITZ.

Candle Nine: The Muse In The Machine

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 30 2010
cover
Artist: Candle Nine
Title: The Muse In The Machine
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Tympanik Audio isn't sparse, when it comes to release newcomer acts ' but to 99,9 % this is welcomed, as this debut release for CANDLE NINE proofs well. CANDLE NINE is also a nice proof, of the 'how-to-feed-the-masses-after-a-stunning-compilation-appearance' procedure, because 'Penumbra', featured on the last 'Emerging Organisms Vol. 3' compilation, was without any doubt the best participant. The music presented on this fine looking album (artwork by Mr. Justin PNEUMATIC DETACH Brink) consists mainly out of two quite different parts in the sound dimension of this Chicago-based, mysterious musician. There we have real ear-candy stuff for friends of icy-cold synth-pad programmings, as CANDLE NINE knows well and proofs to be an expert, how to produce moody Industrial ambiences through this. As for a merciless contrast, CANDLE NINE installs abrasive and brutal performed rhythm elements, which draw some relations to the works of acts like GRIDLOCK or APPARENT SYMMETRY. To unite the raw percussion work with the fragility of the matured synth-play, well, that's the biggest adventure, which CANDLE NINE solves with fortune. And this is at least the most thrilling point in this production for the listener. CANDLE NINE offers brilliant ideas, when it come to merge both of his different stylistic elements - with the usage of tempo-bending interruptions and an experienced fx-processing with reverb, delay and/or saturation effects, this tracks are becoming unique. Another good point worth to mention, is the rather straight and linear orientation of the tracks. Asides 'Penumbra', the track 'Kerrianne's Spine' would allow some movements on the dancefloors of the dark clubs worldwide. Two extra remix contributions by the renowned label colleagues of ACCESS TO ARASAKA and AUTOCLAV 1.1 do not alter the total positive impression of this album, in case of AUTOCLAV's remix on the track 'R5-D5-RB', I would like to congratulate Mr. Tony Young, for offering an upbeating and totally different sounding interpretation to the original composition. The muse may hides somewhere in the machine. Luckily Tympanik Audio was able to sign one of the most talented wizards, who's capable to release this muse out of the machine and to burn it onto this silver plastic circle - this is a top-notch album like a milestone!



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