Music Reviews



JERICO ONE>: Exterminator Blues

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 11 2006
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Artist: JERICO ONE>
Title: Exterminator Blues
Format: CD
Label: Urbcom (@)
Distributor: Pinnacle / Nova Media
Rated: *****
The British Urbcom label sends out a new sign of life, this time in form of the second studio full length release of the maybe most known act of this underground label, JERICO ONE>. Not the second release at all, this act could release before a remix EP of their biggest smasher "No Blind Runner" and a live recorded album. It seems a bit that Urbcom couldn’t receive the expectations with their last distributor, the German SX Distribution, they now can count on a combination distribution between the UK-based Pinnacle and the German Nova Media Group, surely a good choice. Consisting of one half of the Urbcom label owners, J. Hookens, this new full length is not just one another Electro/Industrial album of another bloody newcomer – no, this work needs some more attention because of the musically content. Some of you may have their famous mentioned track "No Blind Runner", featuring Marc Heal of CUBANATE doing some guest vocals in mind, which made it also on the famous BLC Productions compilation "Interbreeding II: Industrial Mutation" and which has become a play list favorite by some DJ’s. But if you expect a filled album with related stuff, you then will rather disappointed by this effort. The music of JERICO ONE> is a kind of mixing between Electro/Industrial with some steady influences out of Dark Electro, sci-fi and IDM structures. This counts especially for the rhythm patterns offering some at times weird structures far away of that expected 4/4-on-the-floor kind. Breakbeats, also several other percussion elements can be heard and on several tracks these elements are the driving forces which keep the globally static pieces their motion ("Flashing Light", "Bodyshock", "Obsidian" or the title track, to name a few). The music is mostly relative monotone arranged, often based on some dark and cinematic styled synth layers, while I haven’t found it "nightmarish" how the info sheet tends to explain it. Ominous – yes, but only with a little thrilling factor. Think about some smoother works of Dirk Ivens, the DIVE release "Grinding Walls" comes to mind – to have a possible taste how this album got produced, while both acts on any other point don’t show any musical similarities. Although that several tracks here seem to drown in a musically static and motionless kind, it’s quite fun and interesting to let this album flow – a good pair of headphones is required for this. An album to follow for sure, but to be a bit open-minded is needed.

CORELINE: Please Keep Moving Forward

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 08 2006
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Artist: CORELINE (@)
Title: Please Keep Moving Forward
Format: CD
Label: Infekted Sound (@)
Distributor: Music Non-Stop
Rated: *****
This is the second official release of the London-based Powernoise/IDM label Infekted Sound, which has released before a compilation called "Rhythm For Decay", featuring some well known acts among others FLINT GLASS or ISZOLOSCOPE. When I received this CD and had a look to the cover art I expected at first to receive a kind of meditation release, he-he – but NO WAY! This solo effort by Chris McCall provides an almost fast paced hybrid of Powernoise, IDM, Glitch and Electronica compressed here in 9 original tracks and two remix works done by his label comrades of DYSPRAXIA and EVA/3. The chosen title can be understood as an order to keep your body in motion and it couldn’t chosen better. This is really hardcore stuff and surely not designed for the heart-fainted. Chris understands it well to keep all his elements well into the mix and here can be discovered some fine tune like the rotating and harsh designed Powernoise "Overdrive" or "Organized Sounds" and "Rollright (Far)" which both feature besides all rhythmically distortion some ominous synth layers. This release is harsh, noisy, disturbing, it features diversity with the integration of the mentioned styles, it’s addictive danceable without falling into that harsh EBM style mixed with Powernoise beats cliche – in short: you can’t ask for more. A marvelous output which can become a favorite for the genre fans. Also the fact that this release received the final mastering through the skillful hands of John Sellekaers in his well known Metarc studios proves the professionality behind this output. Well done, good work, keep it on.

SURFACE 10: Surface Tensions

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 08 2006
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Artist: SURFACE 10 (@)
Title: Surface Tensions
Format: CD
Label: DiN (@)
Rated: *****

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Limited to only 1000 copies, SURFACE TENSIONS is the third release by Surface 10. While the previous two were containing tracks composed and reworked during the 1994-99 period, this new one contains tracks that have been composed within 1997 and 2006. Dean De Benedictis, the person behind Surface 10, describes the music of this album "techno-tragic sound". The eleven tracks of the album have been composed by Dean with the help of Eddie Loyola (aka Niture) and members of the Fateless Flows Collective. Musically the tracks have a strong electronic background that sound like a mixture of ambient and minimal techno with some i.d.m. here and there but if you listen to it with attention you will also notice a certain jazz or fusion attitude (see "X tension" for example) of the melodies used on some tracks. This is the interesting thing about Surface 10 music: the multi layered structure of the tracks contains so many melodies and rhythms that even if the whole effect sounds like ambient trance music, you’ll be amazed by the richness of the sound. This denote a will to experiment with sounds and solutions that I really appreciated and even if the approach to sound is really minimal you could let yourself lose into the ambience created finding something new that goes beyond the usual ambient music.

VV.AA.: Cryosphere

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 07 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Cryosphere
Format: CD
Label: Glacial Movements
Rated: *****
"Cryosphere", a chock-full sampler featuring 9 tracks for almost 80 minutes of music, marks the debut of Alessandro Tedeschi (Netherworld)'s new label Glacial Movements - you may have noticed that the recurring theme is ice, glaciers, vast frozen horizons etc. in the best tradition of Thomas Koener, Biosphere, etc. None of the featured tracks is less than well-done, so fans of isolationist drones will surely have much to sink their teeth into. My personal favourites were Siberian Closing the Eternity (authors of a superb 7" on Drone Records), Tho-So-Aa (mostly working on menacing low rumbles) and landlord Netherworld of course, who is brilliant and deep as always; but you can easily pick your own soundscape among those offered by Northaunt, Lightwave, Tuu, Troum, Aidan Baker and Oophoi. I wish a bright future to Tedeschi, and heartily recommend this to those even remotely interested in labels like Drone, Manifold, Mystery Sea and the likes.

ECSTATIC SUNSHINE : Freckle Wars

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 07 2006
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Artist: ECSTATIC SUNSHINE (@)
Title: Freckle Wars
Format: CD
Label: Carpark (@)
Rated: *****
If you know Carpark via its melodical droned or electronic releases read carefully 'cause this not the classic product of their catalogue. Ecstatic Sunshine is well recorded and sometimes also really brilliant but this could be easily described as a modern guitar driven indie-rock record without drums. The funny thing is that this’ really far from being an acoustic or a slow release based on ballads: most of the songs have a pounding rhythm and the song structure give space to many accelerations. The music is rather relaxing but sincerely in most of the cases I've had the impression I was listening to some well recorded rehearsal tape or even worse to some Jad Fair solo release without the sick genius of the ex Half Japanese member. Imagining a solid drumming embodied in this "Freakles Wars" and it could bring to mind a sort of mix between softest Don Caballero ("What burns never returns"), American Football/Joan of Arc, indiest Sonic Youth and perhaps Modest Mouse. Sure this’ by some means unconventional in its guitar-only essence, it could also be the new episode of the Subsonic series of Sub Rosa if you remember it, but unfortunately it's not. Not bad, but you'd better give it a listen before buying it.


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