Music Reviews



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Artist: RONNIE SUNDIN
Title: the amateur hermetic
Format: CD
Label: Komplott
Rated: *****
Thinking to the cd of Hanna Hartman I've the itch to think Komplott could be labelled as "field recording gone odd and dark" without any doubt this fits really well with this new release. Ronnie Sundin concentrated it all in just one track: a structured and elaborated suite with several crescendo and diminuendo obtained mainly thru a good mixing skill and leaving lot’s of the original sound source intact. "The amateur hermetic" differently from what the title suggests paints the landscape black as the colour of its cover and if you won't get this impression from the very beginning with the second movement around the twentieth minute I'm sure the weird "coral effect made out of who knows what" will make you pray for the holy ghost. Right after the second crescendo the scene is crossed by a killer distorted bass sound that's left hanging enough to scare the shit out of your ears. Right when the climax is reached the distorted bass gradually leaves the crime scene for more white noise waves and to some quiet parts that recall the first the beginning of the cd till it all fade like the fog in the famous movie by John Carpenter. Without being a dark ambient release I'm sure many fans of the genre will dig this for the "lost in a forest" sensation.

Bizarre Musik Machine : Bizarre Musik Machine

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 23 2006
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Artist: Bizarre Musik Machine (@)
Title: Bizarre Musik Machine
Format: CD
Distributor: Bizarre Musik Machine
Rated: *****
First off, I owe these guys a big apology. I promised them a review well over a year ago, and due to circumstances ended up taking an overly-long hiatus from the reviewing biz. Now that I’m back in the grooves, let me give them the critical eye they certainly deserve. Bizarre Musik Machine is a duo out of San Antonio, Texas, a tough town to make it for most any band. And I’m sure that making dark music there really puts you at a disadvantage. Be that as it may, Yayumi (Vocals/Keyboards) & Gino (Guitar/Sequencing) deserve a lot of credit for trying. Probably the easiest comparison is early period Cocteau Twins with more easily decipherable vocals. Plenty of that shoegazing echo & verb to the guitar with drum machine keeping the rhythm moving along. Unlike some bands who consciously try to mine the retro-80’s vibe of bands like te Cocteaus, Joy Division, The Cure, et al, Bizarre Musik Machine are different enough to make you take notice. While Yayumi doesn’t possess a stellar set of pipes, she still has enough quality to keep you enthralled for at least 35-40 minutes. And from what I’ve seen of her visually, she’s almost got an interesting appearance, in a Bjork kind of way. Gino’s no slouch as creating the proper aural atmosphere either, even though sometimes his guitar work seems a bit meandering. Still, to my knowledge, there’s NOBODY doing just this kind of thing now, to my knowledge. (Then again I could be wrong, but of there is another band taking this path, I certainly haven’t been exposed to them. Most of the tracks on the CD are pretty good, but the most memorable one is titled "Silent Regrets" will really take you back to the early 90’s, the heyday of the Madchester’ and Shoegazer scene. If 4AD is still signing bands, Bizarre Musik Machine is one they definitely ought to look into. With some better production, this duo has the potential to carve their own niche (and maybe even write their own ticket) in the Goth n’ Dreampop music genre. Their website is definitely worth a visit, and while you’re there, BUY a copy of their CD. Don’t wait for them to become famous, because then it’s only the label that makes the money on product, and they really could use your support.

SILENCE: Key (Anthology / Rarities)

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 21 2006
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Artist: SILENCE
Title: Key (Anthology / Rarities)
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
If music would be that easy to understand and consume after only 2 – 3 rotations, I would have written this review much earlier. "What the FUCK is this?" – well, that does fit with my first impressions on the music of this Slovenian duo and I have also to admit that I’ve never heard any of their highly acclaimed releases before, although they were signed on the well known Germany-based label Chrom Records. No, their musically career went totally away of my attention. Here are two musicians at work – I mean "real" musicians – persons which are able to perform live on stage with real instruments, although when there’s someone switching off the voltage. In short – people with more talent in a little finger than any else PC musician around. Also the named category I’ve chosen for this review explains nothing at all. It’s not Synth Pop, it isn’t Wave or something else. I would tend to name it Pop-Art, only at times Synth Pop, but also often inspired by orchestral/classic related themes. The Polish act CABARET come to my mind somehow, but also acts like DEINE LAKEIEN. As I said, this stuff is a musically discovery, but I mostly like to dive into it. This DCD set features one the first "Anthology" CD a kind of "Best of..." compilation to give the greenhorns (like me) a first overview of what has happened through the years. The mainly Synth Pop influenced tracks like "I Love You", "Belief" or the outstanding melodious masterpiece "Kraljestvo macjih oci" convinced me the most. Please check also out the addictive cover version on KRAFTWERK’s "Hall Of Mirrors" featuring Anne Clark on the guest vocals. Also available here is a "rocking" remix of the DEINE LAKEIEN musician Ernst Horn on the track "Scream, Greeneyes". The second CD entitled "Rarities" features (you got it!) unreleased stuff this band has recorded through the years. On it you can find an impressive dark piece named "Der Untergang", featuring a nice German lyric content. Not all of the tracks can grab my totally attention here, some stuff turns to much into classic inspired or Avantgarde anthems. Globally I must say that I am quite impressed and surprised by this abilities of this act. That they’ve signed to Accession Records, a label mainly focusing on Electro/Industrial music, is just another surprising point. What could I read in the inlay of their CD? "Music is art, as long as you don’t ask me what art is" – well said – keep it on!

PLAN E: Bassonova

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 18 2006
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Artist: PLAN E
Title: Bassonova
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
After a couple of years from the previous "Best Kept Secret" Jani Lehtosaari and friends created the fourth chapter of their adventure under the Plan E moniker. Producing their songs using everything but electric guitars (only bass guitars are used along the other instruments) the band creates another masterpiece of powerful sadness that doesn’t sound nihilist. Have you in mind the effect of the tracks of the third Nick Cave album titled "Your funeral my trial"? Tracks like "The carny" where the crawling effect created by the gypsy atmospheres were splitting the hearts in two? Plan E did the same with "Remember the future" but using a rock structure. 70s rock meet new wave atmospheres with a metal approach a la Type O Negative. The ten tracks will entertain you exploring the deepest corner of you soul. This is passionate music!

Preussak: Werkschau 1989-2005

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 11 2006
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Artist: Preussak
Title: Werkschau 1989-2005
Format: CD
Label: Vaws (@)
Rated: *****
Presented as electro-industrial/EBM (old school) Preussak respect the premises from the very first second in which you'll be holding the booklet in your hands. Vaws' profile as a label was quite clear with the sampler I happened to review a while ago, but brick after brick their target is always clearer. Dark electronic with a straight beat not so far from that scene that originated bands like Front 242, Dive, Insekt or 808 State...somebody said "keep it authoritorial and martial"!?!. And what could someone expect if not a cover of Joy Division immortal hit "We walk the line"? If your answer is a cover of Killing Joke you’ve won the supergenius award of the day: "Aufruhr" aka "Follow the leader". Music to mach on, yes, but only if you’re wearing a pair of black leather trousers and you're completely into the style. The beat is pulsing, straight and quite often fast, but on such a long record probably it gets to linear that's why is easy to be left thinking there are a bit too many tracks at the end of the cd. Strong vocals and a layout that leaves no hesitation on the fact Preussak comes from the hard core of the scene, therefore be prepared for a demonstration of strength thru the kick ass rhythm of the songs. The lesson is: if you're into the style that's addressed to you... if you're not you'd better relax to the sound of Bob Marley.


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