Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Broken Nighlights (A Collection of Nighttime Music and Inky Dark Beats)

 Posted by John Gore   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 13 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Broken Nighlights (A Collection of Nighttime Music and Inky Dark Beats)
Format: CD
Label: Suspicious Records (@)
16 tracks of various darkened detritis. From the label: "The first compilation for Suspicious Records, Broken Nightlights is a cinematic journey across anonymous alleyways, silent bedrooms, and blurred cityscapes that hum with all the electricity, hope, and absence of the human heart. The songs collected on this CD represent the the very best artists making melancholic electronic bliss today, from the understated majesty of Arc Lab to the blue smoke and cool pre-dawn solace of Leaf to the sadness of Clover and the aching pure honesty of Sunday Munich. This album is necessary listening for fans of trip hop, glass-fragile downtempo electronica, and moody instrumental hip hop." Artists: Atonalis, Beauty's Confusion, Detritus, Clover, Opgave, Arc Lab, Cinephile, Lacunae, Leaf, Sunday Munich, Ognihs, Atomica, DJ Inzi, Moshe, Redeem All Sorrows, Saltillo, Antenne. If there’s one truth about sadness, it’s that it’s a universal everyone understands. If you let yourself go on many of these tracks you’re going to want to crawl into bed and sit in the dark. There’s much beauty in sadness at times and some of that beauty is displayed here.

APOPTOSE: Schattenmädchen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 10 2007
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Artist: APOPTOSE (@)
Title: Schattenmädchen
Format: CD
Label: Tesco Organisation (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the cover's showing a little girl (the CD title means "Shadow girl"), which wasn't making me suppose to find the kind of music I'm going to talk you about, Apoptose's SCHATTENMÄDCHEN is a well done mix of dark ambient / electronic music with great sounds (you can also find some industrial sounds here and there) and a very deep and involving ambience. The album collects old reworked tracks (the opening "Asche" was titled "Eichensiechtum" on "Infernal proteus", "Ba-137m" was originally titled "137Cs" when released on the "Statement 1961" compilation while "2wei sonnen" had its original version released on "Solaris collaboration" as well "...und null sekunden" which originally was released as "Null" on " the crystal cage") and three new tracks ("Violet silence", "Schattenmädchen" and "Karla") which with the new version of the old tracks form a strong work which is taking you through hypnotic places made of drones, humming loops, rumbling noises and spoken word vocals. Concerning the spoken word parts, we have Kenji Siratori (this is the third CD I received this month which sees Kenji's participation) as guest on the main track. Getting back to the music issue, I have to tell you that also synth pads have played a large part on this album and they create a dense layer which help so much into the creation of the sound-scape created. Tension also is a great element onto Apoptose's music and is good to see how it has been used. Check "Ba-137m", for example: see how the tension/noise grows during its nine minutes just to be released on the last two minutes, here the noise decrease but there's always a certain feeling of disturbance in the air. You can find some excerpts on Apoptose's website. Check them out...

Artesia: Chants D'Automne

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 08 2007
Artist: Artesia (@)
Title: Chants D'Automne
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After one year from their debut Artesia, a young French female duo, go back with their melancholy and suffered chant. They produce a sort of neo-classical sound, sad and arioso. On one hand the lesson of Dark Sanctuary, but less ponderous, on the other sound like Arcana, Trobar de Morte, The Moon And The Nightspirit, and sound tracks inspired by films like "The Lord of The Rings" or "The Last of the Mohicans", in which you’re surrounded by very impressive landscape and live epic adventures. Their music is a mixture of neo-classicism, gothic and fairy atmospheres, and obviously over the entire work hangs the shadow of the stainless Dead Can Dance. Compared to the debut this work is mature and less repetitive, and all seems more satisfactory. Maybe some songs lack of personality, but the final result is quite good.
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Artist: Pimentola
Title: Misantropolis
Format: CD
Label: Cold Meat Industry (@)
Rated: *****
The sound of this album reminds me of art music and I like the fact that this kind of performance music (strange they don´t do performances!) are released by cold meat!!!
The bizarre cabaret/musical style vocals seem to be very inspired by Mr Doctor of Devil Doll.

The Percussions are almost on all tracks the main instrument and they sometimes seem a bit weak when they flirt with triphop/trippjazz. Sometimes they are very good!
The industrial parts are also pretty lame. It´s really a shame as the sound and some of the ideas are really great. "On Tuoni Pauloo Tinkoin Sitein III" the dark ambience is and atmosphere is intruiging and very suggestive. Reminds me of bands like Lycia.
The song "Black Globe" is a five star track. Very haunting and driven into strange corners.
"Wish Upon a Fallen Star" sounds like wild opera (but the voice is failing and not as good as for an example Sibelian).

The whole album breath 30s and 40s and retro film music and that I really enjoy. If that good have been a more obvious red thread I would have given this release probably a 4,5 or 5 but the diversity (normally really good) kill this album.
"Wann Endet die Zeit" could been so good but the drums are lame and to be honest: bad!

It hurts me giving this crazy and well played album such a low grade. Sorry!
If you are into a strange mix of goth, industrial, darkwave, neo-classical, retro, tripjazz and dark ambient all at once (yes it´s crazy) you should check this album out. Do not expect to love all tracks because some are great and some suck.


 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 03 2007
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Artist: DAS PRÄPARAT (@)
Title: THX LD50
Format: CD
Label: Scanner / Dark Dimensions (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
After a 5-track EP "Mein Schmerz Trägt Deinen Namen", this German male/female duo returns now with a complete full-length album. DAS PRÄPARAT, consisting of Dr. Hyde and Nachtschwester K., continue in their style by providing a rebelled kind of Electro/EBM with charismatic vocals, musically somehow influenced by acts like WELLE:ERDBALL, old DORSETSHIRE or THE PSYCHIC FORCE. The lyrics are provided mostly in German always dealing with some human failures regarding the choice of wrong medicines ("THX", "LD 50"), diseases, scandalizing professional blunders, or illegal mortal help ("Psyche Amor") – at times very bizarre and drastically formulated. They like to stir up a filthy impression over their whole work, i. e. you’ve got always the feeling that they point out the opposite of things you would expect of being a patient, like sterility, anonymity, etc – a portion of disgust is always included. Also conspicuous is the fact that they have avoided on some tracks that genre-typically quantisizing of some instruments, mostly on the piano/organ-driven works ("Das war noch nie ein Liebeslied", "Da Vinci" or "La Croix") – they sound as they would have been live recorded, featuring the factor "human". Of course – and I guess I’ve said this already on their debut EP – this all is a matter of taste. Applause for sure still for their tracks "Euthanasie" or "Maschinenherz", both are real smashers, but generally the Electro/EBM purists may can find their efforts as being too Goth-infiltrated. Solid and satisfying for sure, this duo reflects both styles on this album.

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