Music Reviews

Grabstein: Anne Frank

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 02 2008
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Artist: Grabstein (@)
Title: Anne Frank
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Second album-release for the Switzerland-based Military/Industrial-act GRABSTEIN, which this time seems to be a kind of a conceptual release. The main theme deals with the female Anne Frank and the Nazi-German invasion of the Netherlands during WWII. Military-inspired stuff quiet often documented with some historic voice and war samples, but with GRABSTEIN often accomplished with some further music styles. Enjoyable Neo-Classic influence like a top-notch piano performance like on "Nowhere To Hide", but also some ominous sounding Dark Ambient-like sound environments as offered with "Deportation" or "Death". GRABSTEIN often declares not to follow or to defend any politically system and I believe in this, since the chosen samples seriously don’t bring on a drama – the historic content is recognizable. Rather more worth to mention is the out-of-any-question higher artistic and musically valuable content presented through the Neo-Classic arrangement. No stuff of course if you feel ashamed if someone feels the need to deal with some past atrocities, but... wouldn’t it time to grow and to get some more distance which especially counts for the older generation? No one should forget and everyone shall be warned – this album fulfills this with some real historic content.
Title: Silencis
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Named after a group of Munich artists active during the first decades of 20th century (some of them were Vasilij Kandinskij, Franz Marc, August Macke, Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin), Der Blaue Reiter (meaning "the blue knight") are releasing for Caustic Records their second full length album titled SILENCIS. The Spanish duo formed by Lady Nott and Sathorys Elenorth (active also with Narsilion) with this new album are presenting twelve new tracks divided into four different chapters titled respectively: "En sentir la tristor al cor", "Enfosquits els ulls de la mort", "Ordre i caos" and "Perdicio... l'espurna d'un trist record". Mixing quotes from classical interludes by Henry Purcell, Chopin and Antonio Vivaldi with martial atmospheres/rhythms, Der Blaue Reiter succeed into painting a personal vision of the decay of the world. They pass from energetic tracks with snare drums and vocals ("Eyes of the lost") to neo-classical/dark ambient suites like the following "Death and decadence". Rich orchestrations and classical minimalism (with some industrial ambient ambience) duet with ease creating a multifaceted canvas where the duo express their melancholy and their sadness. Songs, suites, industrial influences, everything is good to obtain an atmosphere of dreamy suspension where happiness is an old dusty memory.

PINK INDUSTRY: Low Technology + Forty Five

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 29 2008
Title: Low Technology + Forty Five
Format: CD
Label: Isegrimm Records (@)
Distributor: Tesco Distribution
Rated: *****
Born on early '80s, Pink Industry were the natural continuation of the musical process started by Jayne Casey with Big In Japan (on this band there was also Holly Johnson who formed Frankie Goes To Hollywood which had their worldwide success "Relax" on 1983) first and Pink Military then. The name changed from Pink Military to Pink Industry when Jayne stopped working with Nicky Hillon and Ambrose Reynolds took his place as her musical counterpart. The CD I have in my hands is the first release that reissue the first E.P. "Forty five" and the first album "Low technology" in its integrity (on "Forty five" there's missing its version of "Don't let go") since their first issue on 1981 and 1982. During the last couple of decades we had only a two compilations ("Retrospective" on Parade Amoureuse in 1989 and "New Naked Technology" on the Brazilian Museum Obscuro in 1995) but they were kind of hard to find then, imagine now... Anyway, Isegrimm contacted Ambrose and he, in 2005, remastered the original recordings you find here along with seven bonus tracks (of which three of them released here for the first time as the rest were also available on the previous compilations). If you never listened to Pink Industry try to imagine a sort of electro wave experimental kind of musical background with drum machine and effected bass guitar (most of the time a flanger was used) with a female vocal performance full of pathos and personality (no guitars involved!). If tracks like "'47'", "Final cry" or "Remove the stain" have a strong experimental background, songs like "Don't let go", "Enjoy the pain" or "Savage" are melodic hits that time won't be able to delete: try to imagine a funky aggressive effected bass guitar coupling a minimal drum machine sound and the vocal dramatic performances of an inspired girl. Pink Industry were able to channel melancholy and drama into three minute songs shaping them once like a fist in your face and then as a tear in the snow (you won't forget the piano/bass/vocal performance on "Is this the end" or "Send them away" because it's so minimal/simple and unforgettable at the same time). If you love electro wave with an early industrial approach I suggest you to get this release. Isegrimm should reissue also the other Pink Industry albums so support them by purchasing this one, don't download it, ok?

Anders manga: X's and the Eyes

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 27 2008
Artist: Anders manga
Title: X's and the Eyes
Format: CD
Label: Vampture records
Distributor: Released in ITunes-CdBaby-Amazon
An horror addicted artist, his songs and world, see videos, are totally devoted to horror icons. And that's good for me. The first track invades space with New Wave synth envelopes and a New Wave voice, the track giving the title of the work, X's and the Eyes is more "brutal" and in my opinion effective. The electronic pattern and sounds played are not the newest but for sure they achieve the best result. Reading among lines Anders takes a relevant parts in USA horror community and he sings for them focusing icons and symbols of "Vampires community". There will be Blood, numb5 track, continues the path of New Wave but the seventh increase pressure and sound aggression, my favorite track of the album. Fade to Black is another track that speed up the Wave path with loops and electronic noisy percussion. The last chapter is a ballade about war, occupation and the meaning of the terms: enemy.

MONO INC.: Pain,Love & Poetry

 Posted by Mariano Equizzi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4665)
Sep 27 2008
Artist: MONO INC. (@)
Title: Pain,Love & Poetry
Format: CD
Label: NoCut
Distributor: Twilight Distribution
Rated: *****
My favourite tracks of this work: Sleeping my day away and Planet Shame. Mono Inc. works with great passion and emphasis in the domain of the romantic/dark content. The lead vocals, Martin Engler, plays some rules of the great NOMI, and the deepness of his voice fits perfectly the content of his poetry. The themes they like : love, torment, torture of feelings and sleep put the band in the same territory defined by romanticism but also surrealism. The image of Mono Inc. is rich and well designed, every pixel is under control and their skills and live performance are powerful. I surely think that those tracks are ready to be used in horror movies about vampires bloody and dramatic loves stories. Last note: the synths pads are really nice and are one of the back bones of the tracks.

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