Music Reviews



THELEMA: Burnt Memories

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 01 2006
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Artist: THELEMA (@)
Title: Burnt Memories
Format: CD
Label: Small Voices (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Thelema were and are a reality of the independent Italian music. I won’t talk about their past right now, because I’m preparing the follow up to my interview I did with Massimo back in 1985 so we’ll have the opportunity to talk about the various band’s incarnations and more. This record has been recorded by two members of the original 80s band line up, Massimo Mantovani and Giorgio Parmigiani. Their previous album has been released in 1997 and was produced by Pankow’s Paolo Favati. If the previous one had post punk tracks treated with industrial arrangements by Paolo, the new album BURNT MEMORIES finds the band renewing their style. BURNT MEMORIES didn’t born properly as a Thelema album because Giorgio prepared all the tracks and then asked to Massimo if he wanted to sing them. If you are used to the old post punk sound of the band, well, prepare yourself to something radically different. The twelve tracks of the CD (the double album contains four bonus tracks: a cover of Death In June’s "Heaven street", "Lost in my wonder", "Ballad of untold memories - radio edit mix" and "Ritual - Many moons ago mix by Muthant") are electro ballads with acoustic guitars (check also their cool version of Stranglers’ "European Female" where Thelema catch the original feelings reworking the song with their style). Even if sometimes the rhythm and the structure of the song are similar the beautiful melodies and the deep seducing vocals of Massimo (helped by Francesca Giuli on "Juice of life", who she co-written) help giving life to a good and convincing album. The tracks are written like for a concept album where the writing that you find inside the booklet (it talks about the life of an adept and about his different steps through the path of Magick until his death where he loose everything about his ego in the ocean of Aima) is the key that you have to read to understand the sensations and situations described into the lyrics. Thelema is setting up a band to tour, don’t miss them and visit their website to check some unreleased tracks.

FIRST NATION: First Nation

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 29 2006
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Artist: FIRST NATION (@)
Title: First Nation
Format: CD
Label: Paw Tracks (@)
Rated: *****

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Have you ever wondered to know how a cabaret version of Slits could sound? Well, now your chance to satisfy your curiosity has come. First Nation is a group of girls that were used to support The Animal Collective and now they have their chance to prove their talent and just by listening to the first three songs I can say that their distinctive tribal minimal style is really functional. Listen to "Monkey" for example and you’ll realize that the apparent shabby style could be an updated version of Virgin Prunes, where punk, folk and controlled chaos create a sort of friendly freak. "Swells" could sound as a new version of "Sweet Home Under White Clouds" only with the instruments out of control. I really appreciated their attitude and even if their sound is less devastating respect the Irish band I loved so much, First Nation in my opinion aren’t a hippy band of the new millennium. Maybe their way of dealing with music could make the audience think so but if creativity passes from here, then there could be only a word left to say... PEACE!

THE STRIKE BOYS: Being In A Boy Group

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 22 2006
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Artist: THE STRIKE BOYS
Title: Being In A Boy Group
Format: CD
Label: Stereo Deluxe (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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BEING IN A BOY GROUP is the new fourth album from The Strike Boys. On this one Tommy Yamaha and Martin Kaisa did their best to offer to the audience the top notch danceable tunes taking influences from house, funk, dub, pop, indie rock and electro. I know that it could seems strange to name so many genres but I assure you that the ten tracks of BEING IN A BOY GROUP aren’t a nonsense mishmash. Probably you already listened the "Barfing barfly"’s funky rock into a Puma ad on MTV. If you want to know how to mix dub, funky and rock check "Paralyzed Part I" and "Paralyzed Part II" while the following "Chemical princess" (with Iamx vocals) is a catchy dark electro pop gem. "Heart on fire" with Thomas Lang (singer of the German indie rock band The Robocop Kraus) on guest vocals is an funky indie energetic one. "The body" switch the atmosphere on instrumental electronic reggae just to end into "Loss of the badman", another track influenced by reggae and indie rock (it reminded me the Gorillaz) and on vocals we find Earl Zinger (known also as Rob Galliano). "Push push" leave the reggae influences to embrace electro funky while the closing "Being in a boygroup" is a mid tempo indie rock dub track full of reverb. On BEING IN A BOY GROUP you’ll find so many highlights that you’ll forget about questioning yourself what genre is this.

PLANNINGTOROCK: Have It All

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 19 2006
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Artist: PLANNINGTOROCK
Title: Have It All
Format: CD
Label: Chiks On Speed Records (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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Planningtorock is the personal project of Janine Rostron, a girl from Berlin that besides creating her personal musical vision she is also a video artist. HAVE IT ALL is her first album and it’s a real threat for the occasional listener because the twelve tracks are a sort of aural circus where she uses brasses, strings, xylophone (to name few) to create a blend of blues, opera, hip hop and tons of craziness. If you want me to do names, I feel someway an affinity with a Swiss electronic band that was more active in the past, called Yello but the attitude seems more similar to projects like Peaches. The effect is interesting but after six tracks the attention starts to fail because of the repetition of the main idea. Things change with "Have it all" where the dance structure awaken the senses and the particular coupling of upbeat tempos and Janine’s dramatic way of singing here works really well. Also the closing "When are you gonna start" is a good one with its structure made of strings layers. In my opinion HAVE IT ALL could be a great E.P. with half of the track but I’m sure that Planningrorock will know how to surprise the audience in the future.
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Artist: FLYNT GLASS (@)
Title: Nyarlathotep
Format: CD
Label: Brume (@)
Rated: *****
This a glacial cd right from the first sight, an frost-blue colour that domains everything with ice pics both in and out of the digipack. Weird or not Brume is putting out some industrial oriented electronic musicians, it means they’ve a clear perception of where to go and who’s better for their release schedule. Flint Glass has a good amount of echoes and drones ordered on a rhythmical skeleton, but good taste blessed this release and while being obscure it really sounds "melodical". Can you remember Afx's darkest episodes featured on the second double cd of "Selected ambient works"? Well add some straight tempos (really well programmed) and a load of drones counterbalancing some acute sounds and here is your cocktail. But a good cocktail should be accompanied by some sneaks and let's say the salsa is a nordic one: a bit of Biosphere and a grain of Pan Sonic so that you can even feel the taste in your mouth. "Nyarlathotep" is a record perfectly focussed, a bit too long maybe, but I think that's the problem of many electronic releases. While the lay out may lead to think this cd is meant for "industrial listeners", the music can be appealing for a wide spectrum of electronics fanatics, it accomplish the good result of mixing a night feel with an all electronic ambiental mood. Good and definitely well produced.


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