Music Reviews



KREUZER: In Hoc Signo Vinces

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 25 2009
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Artist: KREUZER
Title: In Hoc Signo Vinces
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
Musical project of a young guy coming from Israel, Kreuzer's debut album IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, has been released by The Eastern Front. Limited to 300 copies two panels folded cardboard packing, the album differs a lot from the MCD "Noises Of Independence" released on the Eastern Front sublabel T'an! Kaven!! Ash!!! Taking as inspiration medieval atmospheres and Crusaders' battles the album is a pleasant surprise. Despite the over exploited theme (the good thing is that here the tracks sequence follows a theme like it was a concept album), IN HOC SIGNO VINCES succeed into creating an interesting atmosphere made of 8-bit distorted rhythms, treated vocals, synth ambient sounds, martial atmospheres and basic melodies. Being minimal but with a strong personality, tracks like "Our Sights Are Set At The Holy Land" or "New Christian Empire" create mysterious scenarios with hypnotic effects. Kreuzer don't exceed with drums or industrial sounds and this well balanced mix help into the creation of a very good full length debut. On his myspace you can check some tracks.

Ethan Rose : oaks

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 24 2009
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Artist: Ethan Rose (@)
Title: oaks
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru
Rated: *****
Baskaru keeps on putting out some heartfelt classy post-ambient music like in the case of american artist Ethan Rose. This guy has several releases out on japanese Locust music-Headz label and yes, the aesthetic nature of his compositions by some means reflects this japanese electronic influence, above all if you think to those electronic ambient artist from Japan dealing with soft ethereal music with some soft digital sounds, I think this may help you to identify the global sound of this work. "Oaks" is really relaxing and luminous, from what I can read in the inner notes Rose has adopted as a primary source a bunch of sounds coming out from a 1926 Wurlitzer organ and then manipulated it all with computer and electronics, if I wouldn't have read it inside the notes I doubt I would have ever recognized the primary source of sound. The music definition is great and despite the analog source the global sound has a digital aura, but yet warm and self assuring. In tracks like "the floor released" this cd reaches a great atmosphere by tying the knot between soft high pitched melodies and a warm bass framework. As I've been repeating from the beginning of the review this cd can be easily filed under ambient-electronic music and is not one of those work where the artist looks desperately for a strange or extraordinary revolutionary solution, it's a simple (but not simplicistic) release where Ethan Rose has embroided some delicious, relaxing and easy listening solutions. The production is good and the majority of the melodies strike deep inside where you heart aches, if that's still a good reason to put out and buy a cd here is a warm embrace to celebrate the spring that's approaching.


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Artist: KINIT HER
Title: glyms
Format: CD
Label: Hinter Zimmer (@)
Rated: *****
Funny, when I first got the package from Dense, knowing it was on Hinterzimmer I was almost sure it would have been something dealing with "experimental-music-concrete-electronic-and-the-hell-knows-what-else", it was dark, I was driving home from work and I put it in the player for the "dangerous" first listening and surprise surprise: the cd had nothing to do with the aforementioned categories. To say it all this release is quite weird, above all if you add this band comes from the States, this' a elegant and sick mix of weird folk (really Current 93 alike) and norwegian black metal... ok, nothing surprising here, there're so many bands crossing this black area lately but Kinit Her sounds both honest an quite personal. The atmosphere sometimes is dark and scary, sometimes brings you in a weird middle aged dimension, the vocals have been probably treated in some bizarre way so it ends up resulting as the main vocals have been sung by a bunch of devil-possessed children. The recording and the production are brilliant and while giving this odd-darkened impression it also results quite warm above all in its folk components, in the same song they work with stop and go and at the same time alternate different sounds to reach the climax, the global impression I got is this cd has been well pondered. Despite the fact here and there they've this heavy guitar riffs and some "darkness will prevail" episodes the majority of the release is quite melodic, listenable and recreates atmospheres not so far from Dead Can Dance during their Aion-era, stylistically they've nothing to share with Perry-Gerald but I wish you will get what I mean. Ancient arias/arrangements, odd-folk, some old-acid-rock passages, black metal, a spruce of ambient and these strange voices are coming and going for the whole length of a cd that appears as a real narrative plot... I'm still waiting from some dwarves and witches to come and bring me back in the past like in Raimi's "Army of darkness". "Lucifer over London"?... ha, ha... we're living in such a dark age that I see Lucifer is over the whole globe.



Stendeck: Sonnambula

 Posted by Michael Grillo   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 18 2009
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Artist: Stendeck
Title: Sonnambula
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Rated: *****
Stendeck’s latest effort "Sonnambula" is perhaps the best release that Tympanik Audio has put out to date. This says a lot because Tympanik Audio consistently puts out quality music. As someone who has reviewed several albums from the label, I have no qualms in saying that I think the future of dark electronic music lies with them. Stendeck’s latest effort is no exception. "Sonnanbula" offers a very sophisticated blend of EBM, IDM, and modern classical. What is great about this album is that in infuses emotion into electronic music, which has become increasingly rare these days. This is an album that has something for everyone from intense synth-lines, to delicate piano and synth string parts, to highly complex rhythms. It’s all here, from the beautiful to the unsettling. One thing that is particularly impressive about this album is its rhythmic compositions, which completely dispenses with the standard 4/4 convention to showcase intricate drum patterns that constantly shift tempos. However, what is even more unique is that the rhythm tracks, while highly complex, do not dominate the songs at all. On the contrary, the songs sound extremely spacious and ethereal, as opposed to the cluttered sound that one often gets with IDM albums. I would highly recommend "Sonnanbula" to anyone that is looking for an album that pushes boundaries.

Tapage: The Institute of Random Events

 Posted by Michael Grillo   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 18 2009
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Artist: Tapage
Title: The Institute of Random Events
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Rated: *****
Hailing from the Netherlands, Tapage’s debut album for Tympanik Audio is aptly titled "The Institute of Random Events." Influenced by IDM, breakcore, and Glitch, the album is a cornucopia of complex beats and various electronic effects, which at times sound randomly placed and discombobulated. Overall the album is very good for what it is, which is an instrumental IDM album along the lines of early Autechre, though less melodic. My only complaint with the album is that there is not much variation in the tracks. Hence if you’ve heard one track off this album, then you have in essence heard them all. For me, this one of those albums that I would put on while working or studying, as it is well suited for passive listening. Indeed, it is one of those albums that you can put and trust that it will carry you along for the duration of whatever task you are engaged in. Now let be clear in saying that this is not an insult to the album, as good passive listening albums are hard to come by. "The Institute of Random Events" is great in that it’s steady enough to keep you going and the nuanced enough to occasionally distract you, which is exactly what you need if you are spending your day running SQL queries.


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