Music Reviews

Neon Coil: Non-Stop Electronic Cabaret

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 01 2008
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Artist: Neon Coil
Title: Non-Stop Electronic Cabaret
Format: CD
Label: Klangdynamik Records (@)
Distributor: Mono Culture
Rated: *****
This is surely one of the most courageous releases in years for the Electro/EBM/Industrial genre because of its musically concept, which can be called unique. NEON COIL is a German newcomer project providing a sort of minimal Synth-Electronica pretty much inspired by the sound aesthetic of some pioneers like KRAFTWERK – you’ve simply to erase the Pop-music-attitude of the German giants, because NEON COIL is light-years away to fit with any mass-compatible attitude. No vocals, only a very few voice samples, this album depends to explore the sound in itself. So the sound of NEON COIL is programmed on analogue synths and Felix Keuling creates hypnotic sequencer lines in vein of old KLINIK or MORTAL CONSTRAINT-like efforts ("Gelb"). No stuff at all to invade the dancefloors, rather experimental-minded Electronica for a consumption under a pair of headphones. So the concept behind this album leaves no space for a so-called "hit" – all tracks have its own kind, some are more, some are lesser accessible, it only depends on your personal taste and your ability to accept this release of what it really is. It is a kind of work-show in which a young fellow offers his vision of sound and programming. Nothing more nothing less, this album is dedicated to sound-fetishists.

Stahlwerk 9: Revolution Of The Anti-Christ

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 31 2008
Artist: Stahlwerk 9 (@)
Title: Revolution Of The Anti-Christ
Format: CD
Label: Steinklang Industries (@)
Rated: *****
"Revolution Of The Antichrist (R.O.T.A)" is the new album from the well known Stahlwerk 9 project and shows a twist into pulsating ritual ambiences. They used to play a compelling mixture of death ambient with noisier moments but this one is a lot quieter with gloomy drones and some minimal rhythms. "R.O.T.A." is a concept album dealing with the coming of the Antichrist and we are accompained for this descent to hell by ten superb artworks (one for each track) by Alexander Nemkovsky. Those paintings show a very peculiar vision of hell full of allegories that reminded me of Jodorowsky's approach to religion and myth. Returning to the music - the sounds heard herein have to be absorbed carefully. The cd comes in three different editions - the basic is limited to 666 copies has the size of a 7" and contains the 10 pictures, the wooden box edition which is limited to 333 copies and the box with t-shirt which is limited to 66 copies. For sure this is the most intresting and compelling release by Stahlwerk 9.

VVAA: Muzyka Voln

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 30 2008
Artist: VVAA
Title: Muzyka Voln
Format: CD
Label: Muzyka Voln (@)
Rated: *****
Muzyka Voln is the name of the Zhelezobeton sub-label and MUZYKA VOLN is also the title of their first compilation containing twelve bands/tracks coming from Russia which focus their sound on industrial/dark-ambient/drones music. First of all I must say that lately it is a bit difficult to find a dark-ambient project which is capable of creating a track which is able to catch your attention bringing you down through its world made of hypnotic and throbbing sounds. Also this compilation prove what I'm saying and if some projects composed their track using uniquely few humming sounds creating a dark atmosphere which grew little by little its intensity, some others tried to distinguish themselves adding a bit of melody, a treated guitar or some industrial sounds. The bands which convinced me most are: Kshatriy, Exit In Grey, Closing The Eternity, Nectropolis, Anthesteria feat. Kay?, Lunar^Abyss^Deus^Organum, Bardoseneticcube and Remoteband and eight out of twelve isn't that bad. Here you can check some sound excerpts and here's the track-list:
1. Kshatriy - Orgamis
2. Exit In Grey - Kosmorders
3. Closing The Eternity - Autumn Dream
4. Hum - Halo Magnetic
5. Necropolis - At the End of the Universe
6. Cisfinitum - Moon Room
7. Anthesteria feat. Kaj? - In Gedanken an Russisches Drone
8. Lunar^Abyss^Deus^Organum - :Crystalline:Earth:
9. Instant Movie Combinations - Boiler Pipe
10. Bardoseneticcube - The Castle in a Fog
11. Polaris - Prickle of the Emerald Moon
12. RemoteBand - Untitled

VV.AA.: A weevil in a biscuit

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 30 2008
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: A weevil in a biscuit
Format: CD
Label: Bearsuit (@)
Rated: *****
Funny, I was unaware of the existence of this label and in one month I happen to listen and review two of their cds, I've been positively surprised by Harold Nono solo work and this label sampler shows they've a good roster. Apart from Harold Nono it's the first time I hear the rest of the musician here featured with a track, what we have is basically melodic if not poppy music thought there's some weird "trait d'union" joining the ninety per cent of the artists on this cd. Electronic pop music? More or less that's the deal in many tracks even if there're some considerable differences but I've to repeat that it looks like the label has a clear distinctive physiognomy: for example take the first four tracks they're different but still have something similar and that means at Bearsuit they've probably assembled the tracklist to make the listening easier and flowing, I'm quite sure about it or well, that's my impression. The first track that put me on guard for some sensitive difference is the fifth, the composer moniker is Oldman and offers a weird mix of soft rhythms plus sexy vocals and some distorted guitar to make the difference, somehow it reminded me of New Wet Kojak. Kaboon Karavan, Harold Nono serve a couple of bizarre fragmented tracks that (above all in the case of Nono) are quite out of ordinary. Then, when you think you've finally identified the general sound of the label here we go with some strange but ethereal tracks like those of Pequena Fiera!, Limbic Somnus, Alfred Brown. With the last musician there's also a sort change of atmosphere of the whole cd, above all when you pass to James Ross' song whichh could have been part of Badalamenti's soundtrack for Twin Peaks... and what about Linda Bjalla?! Is it that far from Julie Cruise or Elizabeth Frase?. The compilation opens with some electronic music but approaching to the end it follows a song-writing route. Sonicbeat reminds me a lot of early Mum without vocals, while Hulk and Cahier are still really melodic like many indie-tronic artists but don't change the very substance of the sampler. It's a weird, melodic-oriented sampler, give it a try for they may have discovered the heirs of Plone, or Mum or the new answer to Hood and Postal Service among their ranks, interesting label and soft enjoyable sampler.


 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 27 2008
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Title: Gaseous Opal Orbs
Format: CD
Label: Record Label Records (@)
Rated: *****
This' the second release by Robert Martin aka Fluorescent Grey I review and it confirms all the good things I've been thinking at the time I've heard his previous work. This electronic musician joins some nice post-IDM reminiscences with some experimental-electronic attitude therefore it's easy to speak about some of the most cryptic, odd Afx, Autechre and maybe Lfo with less melody and with a dark electronic attitude. Let's say if this label is gonna have Mick Harris in their catalogue as I've read, I'm sure the taste of his forthcoming work for them won't go that far from some of the darkest moments of this cd (the first track for example). Fluorescent Grey kept his rhythmic skill and hasn't hidden his "acid" aftertaste, the fact is he's refined his working on abstract tracks and at the same time when surrendering to melody he's put some narcotic dub radiations. Martin has an odd sense for melodies which means the music is not that easy listening-electronics alike and here's where he probably in some way he's closer to Mick Harris "Logghi Barogghi"-era. Dissecting the track-list you'll find the music becomes more melodic when you're arriving to the end of the cd but the strangest things of all is a really melodic song that due to the flutes reminded me of that Marxmen anthem sung by Sinead O'Connors titled "Ship ahoy". I think Fluorescent Grey has improved his compositional process but hasn't changed his physiognomy therefore if you liked his first full-length your expectations won't be deluded. Good recording and well shaped production that crystallizes all the particulars of the music assembled by Bobby Martin, he probably has to work a bit on the atmosphere of the tracks but if you're into rhythmic electronics, post-drum and bass music take for granted this guy plays in the major league.

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