Music Reviews



Subheim: Approach

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (4499)
Jul 05 2008
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Artist: Subheim (@)
Title: Approach
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
The one-man-project SUBHEIM hails out of Greece and presents with "Approach" a debut signed to the Chicago Heights-based label Tympanik Audio. This fact is quite remarkable, because Kostas K., who stands behind the audio and visual results of SUBHEIM, is also one of the leaders of the new Greek label collective Spectraliquid. So it would be an easy procedure to release this album under the own flag, but luckily also the responsible people behind Tympanik Audio have washed their ears and are able to recognize the great talent, which sleeps in Kostas. The music of SUBHEIM is a sort of moody Ambient-Electronica, which allows musically comparisons between the works of POLYGON and/or the unforgotten US-duo GRIDLOCK. Already the exceptional and beautiful done cover art with its nature-, rain- and water-related photos done by Kostas, offers a first impression of the coming autumn. "Approach" is a rather sedating and gloomy trip into a cinematic sound outfit, which concentrates to combine Down-Tempo ambience with some dark but remarkable melodic spots, often inserted and presented with a piano ("Ybe 76", "Away", "Voces Perdidas"). Not too much sci-fi in its attitude, also no vocals are present, with the exception of some female background inserts provided by Katja, who was already active with SUBHEIM on the Spectraliquid "Konkrete" compilation appearance "Howl", also here present in a different version. "Approach" features 9 original tracks by Kostas plus 2 additional remix interpretations provided by the German FLAQUE and the up and coming Greek talent MOBTHROW. It’s an eclectic but very coherent arranged Ambient-Electronica album, which is the ideal disc to let you sink deep into an armchair with a pair of good headphones. Make sure to consume this fantastic Ambient journey without any disturbance, it deserves your fully attention. One of the best for this genre currently, check it out!

Xkollective: Electric Flowers

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 03 2008
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Artist: Xkollective (@)
Title: Electric Flowers
Format: CD
Label: FlexiTrax (@)
Rated: *****
Xcollective is a very hip group of talented musicians who merge chilled electronica with world music influences and urban attitude. With six members from different parts of the world and so many backgrounds converging into one, this album pretty much had to come out of NY or London and to be honest when I read it was the latter it all seemed to make perfect sense (especially because of the heavy Indian contributions). This is the perfect soundtrack to the pulse of the city of London, borrowing and remashing (Ableton and Pro Tools) breaks, tablas performances, hypnotic loops, dubby bass lines and delays and both male and female spoken word and sung vocals, ranging in style from the drum'n'bass-type MCing and urban cityscape hip hop to soulful black singing. This is a great example of global downtempo music with organic sounds over a bed of relaxing programmed music: positive-thinking, happy, relaxing and at times funky!
If I had to pick this apart I'd say that it sounds like this squad is still searching for the ultimate balance of elements and that "Electric Flowers" lacks a little bit of congruency, but whether this is a debut or not (I don't know), it's already a pretty mature record and I am sure the next one will be even more on point.

Chaoticum: Psybersects

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 02 2008
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Artist: Chaoticum
Title: Psybersects
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
A new signing and addition to the SkullLine roster hailing out of the United States. And as usual for SkullLine also CHAOTICUM can’t be thrown simply into one specific style, because they play a sort of Experimental music, which integrates excerpts out of different music styles between Ambient, Psychedelic, Classic and mid-80ies Electronica. Not that usual form of a static Ambient droning sound outfit, here’s action through additional drum programmings placed over the improvisational sound sculptures. Some fragmented vocals are joining the scenario here and there, too ("Caress", or even more ominous on "From Now Unto Eternity"). The spooky "Occultique", which can be also be heard on the SkullLine compilation "Bewein Dein Mädel" is featured as well and seems to be one of the favorites on here. Quite diverse interpreted, although it is favorable that the above mentioned different styles are in your vein, so that someone can be impressed with this musically excursion. Strictly limited release to only 69 exemplars, you’ve got to hurry up to pick it up directly from SkullLine.

TZOLK\'IN: Haab\'

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 02 2008
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Artist: TZOLK\'IN (@)
Title: Haab\'
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
There seems to be some intellectual background behind this project, since the term "Tzolk’in" shall describe the mesoamerican 260-days calendar of the Maya civilization. However, what counts is the music, and the project TZOLK’IN can refer the band members of the Belgian EMPUSAE and the French FLINT GLASS to its roster. So this new and second TZOLK’IN full-length album after a debut signed to Dive Comedy, isn’t that sort of your usual Ant-Zen release. It comes out lesser distorted and it rather concentrates to perform with several percussion layers and a decent Ambient/Electronica mood – somehow a release which would fit with the latest efforts of the rising Tympanik Audio label. Even if this music and the existence of this mutual project draws its inspiration out the doomed and gone Maya civilization, the result is a rather brooding and Sci-Fi-related outfit, but with an amazing doze of creativity included. And even if the melodic content is easy-listening minded ("Muwan"), the music of these talented artists is sort of an epic outfit. Some really fine tunes asides the usual noise therapy, and another safe 4-stars rating for Ant-Zen.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Bewein Dein Mädel
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
A new DCD compilation set by the German SkullLine mail order service, which is pretty much dedicated to present you a wide-ranging overview through different rather underground-based music styles. Even if this compilation and ist participants follow pretty much a mutual main and Military-based theme (dedicated to document the loss of women during the world wars), the music remains diverse. Be it Military, Neo-Folk, Minimal, Electronica or Dark Ambient – you’ll get it all and complete. And almost all of the signed label artists of SkullLine are featured on here, too. One of them, GRABSTEIN opens this comp with a Dark Ambient-tune, which follows after a sampled classic introduction. IN SCHERBEN stands for clear Neo-Folk music, while PARA-DIOXIN offer harsh and minimal Electro-Powernoise music. CHAOTICUM, a newcomer to SkullLine offer an extra-ordinary mix between Ambient, Experimental and Psychedelic elements and that rather on DIVE-related tune of BLEIBURG featuring Russian voice samples is one of the best tracks this act has produced so far! AYWASSCREAMING convinces with a staccato-like rhythm work wide driven in the stereo field and voice samples related on a battle at WWII at Sewastopol. The productive duo of TRITON 83 is still one of my personal favorites of the SkullLine roster, this new track "Alptraum" reminds strong on some classic recordings by PIERREPOINT for example. GENOCIDE LOLITA, well behind the cool band name hides a US-based project offering an Ambient/Experimental tune featuring a harsh and overdriven vocal performance. CD 2 starts with the Italian ZR.19.84 project with a new tune, and that harsh Japan-Noise-like tune of KADAVER – "Heart-Shaped Torture" doesn’t take prisoners. Dark and ominous growling Dark Ambient pieces you’ll get offered by both MANIFESTO and ZYANKALI, while the international known act FORTHCOMING FIRE offers a smooth and danceable Electronica tune. More and more Ambient tunes are following, some with Noise infiltrated (NOCTURNE, B-MACHINA, but all of them with that thematically fittig Military thing. Last but not least also KREPULEC, an act we had presented on here with an interview is featured as well und closes this satisfying DCD set. Nearly 150 minutes of exclusive music out of this wide field of different styles – this compilation reminds a lot on the last years "New World Order" compilation by the German collegues of Thonar Records. As usual it comes out strictly limited and only available at SkullLine directly, be it a normal 200 exemplar-edition, or the strictly limited release to 100 exemplars (including a special bag).

Track list:

CD1:

01. Grabstein - Kraft durch Freude
02. In Scherben - Ein letztes mal
03. Para-Dioxin - 1942
04. Kenji Siratori - Nietzsche Girl
05. Chaoticum - Occultique
06. Bleiburg - Mirogojske Svijece
07. Aywasscreaming - Sewastopol Bunkerlinie
08. Riccardo Z. - Einsamkeit
09. Triton 83 - Alptraum
10. Melek-tha - Le triumphe de la volontée
11. Waffenruhe - Todgeweihte (BDM Version)
12. Hybryds - White Snow (excerpt)
13. Heiliges Licht - Crime Against Humanity
14. Stormfagel - Mitt Hat (Fritz version)
15. Genocide Lolita - Bilderberg Silent Order
16. SnowWwhite - Der Fruehling

CD2:

01. Zr19.84 - Non Un Passo Indietro! (CCCP)
02. Kadaver - Heart shaped torture
03. Kammer Sieben - Altes Lied (piano) Musik: Butow Maler. Text: Heinrich Heine.
04. Rose Rovine E Amanti - False Priests and Homo Nazi
05. Manifesto - Discipline
06. Zyankali - Evakuierte Zone
07. Forthcoming Fire - Achtung Achtung (wir kommen wieder)
08. I Hatt einen Kameraden - Feilds of Honor
09. Der Feuerkreiner - Sie gehen daher wie ein Schemen
10. Nocturne - Winifred Wagner
11. B-Machina - Willkommen zur Gewalt
12. Lifes Decay - Orguanium
13. B.L.O. feat. The 120 Days - End Of The Game (Baader-Meinhof_Mix)
14. Exemtum - Infestus
15. The Pride of Wolves - Will you?
16. Fourniersches Gangraen - Steyrermühlener Klangdruck
17. Krepulec - Warschauer 1944



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