Music Reviews

MULPHIA: Dark Sides

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 24 2007
Artist: MULPHIA (@)
Title: Dark Sides
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
With MULPHIA the Hungarian-based Advoxya-Records label likes to introduce us another newcomer one-man act hailing out of the Czech Republic. I had to have a watch after the website of this act to recognize that this release is rather a kind of collection of older material of the band instead of being a new produced release. Anyway, this "Dark Sides" give a fine introduction to the internationally Electro/Industrial audience. Musically MULPHIA are based in the wide Dark Electro field featuring a constant Goth influence in all pieces. I would tend to compare them with some early works of SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS and CEPHALGY with a lesser megaseller attitude. It’s definitively not the freshest water of chosen sounds and – so I think – equipment with which the band has to cook here their musically work and I’m not sure if their use of almost forgotten sounds of about 10 to 15 years is intentional or not. The vocals are on most pieces rather natural and almost unaffected performed, while some tracks offer some well-done vocoder effects ("Dark Side", "Into The Core"). It isn’t too much EBM-driven and thanks to the Goth influence rather the tracks tend to concentrate on compositional efforts (nice example: "Broken Down"). Not bad at all and a decent debut, but I’m sure that this act can reach a wider experience to add a bit more complexity in the programmings – also a bit more refreshing of sounds and production should help.

MOCKINGWYRD: Cracks In The Void

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 23 2007
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Title: Cracks In The Void
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Some Place Else (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 150 copies, CRACKS IN THE VOID is the first release by Mockingwyrd. Behind the project there's a mysterious bass player that probably is also collaborating with Kaaos in Eccentris, Typhon Sleeps Heavily and Rytannia. Also on this release the person behind Mockingwyrd uses only the bass guitar to create two suites that remembered me the drones created by the guitars of early Earth records. The bass roars through the effects beings picked, rubbed and used as a magical wand just to create isolationist landscapes that are capable of catch the attention in no time. "Primordial soup" and "Stirrings of life" will fight to find their place into your CD players by winning other boring ones which have tons of cool sounds but without passion... Try it.

MARK LANE: Anti-Tech Testament 1981-1985

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 13 2007
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Artist: MARK LANE (@)
Title: Anti-Tech Testament 1981-1985
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Editions Mark Lane (@)
Rated: *****

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As anticipated on my "Inner most folds" review, Mark Lane has released for his 25th music anniversary a double CD set that contains tracks of his 1981-1985 period. THE ANTI-TECH TESTAMENT 1981-1985 contains 24 tracks coming from his early releases. Just to go a little deeply on the tracklist you can find 3 out of 6 tracks coming from "Misselijkheid ist niet intellectualistisch" a 6 song 7" EP, 1 out of 3 from "Love is so aggravating", a 3 song 7" vinyl EP, 1 out of 2 from "The reflection" a 2 song 9" opaque blue flexi-disc, 5 out of 5 from "Who's really listening?", a 5 song 12" mini-LP, 1 out of 1 from "Pleasure heist", a 1 song 7"vinyl picture-disc. The remaining 13 tracks are rare ones and some of them found already place on "Kill joy", a 17 song CD-R album released by Spider-Disc Int. on year 2000 and on "Who's really listening?+", a 12 song CD released by MetaWave Classix/Germany on year 2001, at the same period of the "Creepy a la weepy" MCD. Listening to the CDs I realized that Mark was sons of his times as the early songs sound like cold wave experiments that had a lot to share with the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget and Bauhaus and a lot of other bands that grew with the sounds of Bowie, Roxy Music and punk in their ears and that lived on their flesh the new sounds and ideas of the post punk movement. Even if coming from the U.S., Mark had a lot of contacts in Europe where he released a bunch of his records and where he shared some gigs with Klinik. By listening to THE ANTI-TECH TESTAMENT 1981-1985 it's difficult for me to explain what you can find inside because I like it so much: I can hear so many influences that have been re-processed that I can't name other bands without underlining that Mark succeeded into giving his own print on all the tracks. Some of them are synth based rough melodic songs while some others like "Il pluet a Bruxelles" sound like little post punk gems and if the minimal approach of"3rd party" can catch your attention, the hypnotic "Tsar" will be able to stick its almost theatrical vocal lines into your memory. The pity is that the double set contains only less than 90 minutes of music, while it could contain all the whole first releases which aren't that easy to find. I hope that Mark will reissue all his stuff but without waiting other 25 years! Wait for an interview to Mark Lane on Chain D.L.K. anytime soon...

AKRON: Origins Of The 7 Deadly Sins

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 13 2007
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Artist: AKRON (@)
Title: Origins Of The 7 Deadly Sins
Format: CD
Label: Hypervoxx Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
What can compositions like "Chariots of Fire", "Lucifer", "Popcorn" or "Zarathrouska" have to do with this release? Well, above mentioned pieces are so-called "Synthesizer Classics" and got coupled and re-assembled several times, those tracks are undying melodies which will survive milleniums. If the tracks of this new signing for the Hypervoxx label will reach this status is rather questionable. But musically the compositions of this duo hailing from Greece tend into the same direction. I could resist to have a listen of their stuff in advance through their Myspace account, as I’ve heard about their signing. So the surprise was on the side of Simon and Yiannis and the label. AKRON, written originally with the Greece letter O (Omega) simply to document their belonging, play a sort of instrumental Industrial-Orchestral music. It is a never heard before mixture featuring several string and classic sounds, human voice sounds, warm synth bass lines and a mostly straight forward attitude. The result is remarkable, real and experienced synth play is balsam for my wounded ears. Comparisons are hard to figure out, parts of ENIGMA, INTERMIX or ALAN PARSONS (also regarding "Lucifer") come to mind. One and only point to criticize is the too short playing time of only 39 minutes. Nevertheless it is somehow to hope that this project will earn the deserved attention. I agree totally with the label sheet talking on "the most innovative duo of the century". Applause for this courageous release!
Artist: Jack Or Jive (@)
Title: Issin 1988 - 2006
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Label: Ultra-Mail Prod. (@)
Rated: *****
Already active since a long time, JACK OR JIVE have decided to celebrate their 20th anniversary with the release of this limited CD set, available in 900 normal editions and 100 special box sets. The rare special packaged and very nice designed 3-CD box set featuring besides three conceptual CD’s an artistic impressive created booklet providing several drawings by the female lead singer and main artist Chako, several background info, bio and discography of this Asiatic act. You got introduced into the diverse and mysterious sound worlds of this act, also a brief description about the compositional process is included. Edited and published by the Honk-Kong based label Ultra-Mail Prod. (which still needs to bring up a website...;-)), this package is one of the most outstanding works I’ve discovered so far! The band JACK OR JIVE featuring the imaginary female fronted Chako presents here unreleased recordings created over all the years of their long-time existence, but mostly completely new arranged and re-assembled. The music is as always the acoustic manifestation of Chako’s compositional efforts, stylistically based on Goth/Wave, Neo-Folk, Ambient and Ritual Industrial tunes – while all these genre-friendly monikers are still too limited to catch the whole musically horizon of this act. Their wide-spread cultural background they can integrate in almost all works, maybe this explains the fascination and mysticism behind this international renowned act. The CD’s are strictly separated under the monikers "Dark", "Light", and "Outside" – and somehow in the same vein the music is arranged. While the "Dark" CD features among others creepy and ominous sounding Ambient and Ritualistic drones and the whole mood is rather experimental and dark, the "Light" CD somehow clears up and brings up some more easier accessible works. "Outside" against to this looks and sounds a bit like the "live" side of the bands and can also integrate some improvised works – only possible and recorded for the moment. Chako’s voice and vocal cords have indeed a hard job to do to provide and fit with the required mood. Overall a must-have edition of a historically meaningful release for the fans and followers this act could gain world-wide.


1. Leave a temple
2. Wisdom from above
3. Chinese dragon
4. Solitary
5. Person of vision
6. The letter from the heaven
7. Nation which sank
to the sea
8. Four seasons
9. Lie in the palm of your own hands
10. Invulnerably
11. Riddance
12. Say goodbye
13. Lily dyed red


1. Star
2. Blue train
3. Floweret
4. Over
5. Rompish girl
6. Cross your hands
7. I will wait
8. Seashell ornament
9. Snow line
10. Brought to a head
11. Friends in Asia
12. And then
13. Autumnal leaves
14. His favorite book
15. Snow line 2
16. Advance together
17. Thank you


1. Next life / Flag stones
2. Show windows
3. Procession of mourners
4. Stare into the darkness
5. Sequent
6. A man in the moon
7. Reach across
8. Depletion of sensitivity
9. Capability for crisis management
10. So what?
11. Aberrations of youth
12. Row courage
13. Fragments of me 2
14. Zen riddle
15. The window
16. Spiritual echoes

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