Music Reviews



Treasure of Grundo: Dysantzu

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (7895)
Nov 17 2013
cover
Artist: Treasure of Grundo
Title: Dysantzu
Format: 12"
Label: Geertruida (@)
Rated: *****
Treasure of Grundo is the work of Netherlands-based Yannick Tinbergen and Bert Zaremba, who also co-founded the Geertruida label. According to the label, they took the name from the eighties cartoon Teddy Ruxpin, Grundo being the name of the fictional land the show is set in. As such, it is unsurprising that there is a kind of 80's vibe here. Some of this kind of reminds me of old school 1980's dark new wave. Lots of old analogue synth sounds, but it doesn't really sound dated or like a homage to a particular group. Other parts of it remind me of angry darkwave with a hard guitar edge. For example, "Myr" features the chorus, 'You should stop fucking everything up / There's a whole lot going down the drain' and 'She screams you're her biggest mistake.' Definitely feel good music lyrically, but with a nice staccato, upbeat synth track. In this way it is very much like some of the best of the 80's, where the music and the lyrics are completely incongruous. This song has been stuck in my head for days. Also, if the song titles are a bit off-putting, realize that the singing is in English. Overall, this is one worth taking a chance on. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was. This album weighs in at around 40 minutes and limited to 150 numbered copies on transparent green vinyl but also comes with a download code for those of you without turntables.

Covenant: Leaving Babylon

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (7874)
Nov 05 2013
cover
Artist: Covenant (@)
Title: Leaving Babylon
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Even if some changes of the line-up and some enhancements occurred - Haujobb's mastermind Daniel Myer, who received praiseful gratitude in the credits by present members, just contributed to the opening title-track and the contrite lyrics of "For Our Time", whereas Andreas Catjar joined the band which came back on Dependent Records for European version as well -, Covenant gloriously came back to a sound which heavily surmises some of their better past hits - some songs from "Sequencer" and "Northern Light" re-emerged from my musical memory -, but "Leaving Babylon", their 9th studio-album, disclosed somewhat wiser poetics and a specific conceptual or I'd rather call it emotional framework, where the immanence of an imploding chaotic world, the perception (and no more just a forboding) of downfall, the increasing awareness of this irreversible decay or that "anti-thesis about the bygones", as "Leaving Babylon" better pinpoints, where "the weight of history and modern society/obscure our true sights" don't degenerate into a craven or bleary escape. The meaning of their getaway seems to be explained by other songs at most: the vertiginous and almost wheezy techno-oriented song "(Auto) Circulation" gives some cues to listeners when they sing "desperation/circulation".../I leave the flow of time", whereas another great song of this album, "I Walk Slow", seems to say that any temporizing, which got rendered by the temporary short circuit of the electron and mental flow of this "getway" and the research for proper strategies and directions as well as by the clouded guitar chords, could be justified by the fear of a nonsensical epilogue which might cripple any reaction and chagrin any purpose, a thought that trigger the electrical storm in the middle of the song. This spiritual need is so driving that it seems to permeates the sound of the first songs of the record such as the piercing pained moan of EBM/future pop hybrid of the heady "Last Dance", the intertwining of the dulcimer, the sharpened basslines, the seraphic voices and the sudden crash sounds by Shift on "Thy Kingdom Come", where lead vocalist Eskil Simonsson sings "come heaven come shadows/come crashing over me/I feel that something has to break/come mother come Caesar/come and tend to me/I feel that something will have to break/and its gonna be me". I let you discover the other amazing nuances of this album (including biblical and thelemic occaisonal references, the lovely piano-driven reinterpretation of Dimbodius' song "Not To Be Here" and the hidden track "Babylon II", a sort of experimental eerie soundtrack, which squeezes the whole spirit of the album) or check the limited edition, which includes a second cd whose text and vocals comes from Swedish poet Helena Osterlund, which could let you surmise that what Covenant are really missing and searching for is their native Sweden and their spiritual nest.

Kajkyt: II

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (7870)
Nov 02 2013
cover
Artist: Kajkyt
Title: II
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: GOD Records (@)
Rated: *****
Besides the sepulchral and cryptic vocals (sounding more cryptic as I don't know a Serbian word to be honest, even if I could guess he's not singing about carefree jaunts, harvest festivals or love games...), the very first song of this album by Serbian-born, but currently living in Graz, Austria, composer Slobodan Kajkut aka Kajkyt made me thought about an obsidian variation of Radiohead's "National Anthem" or some imaginary remix of some stuff by Unkle by witch-house rising stars like AAimon or Lustmord, due to the easier structure this interesting composer applied to his sonorities. Such a gimmick doesn't alter both the elliptical halo of his stuff, which heavily draws from his past and current projects - Slobodan contributed to regroup English industrial seminal band Sleeping Dogs Wake as well as Daine Lakain's voice Alexander Veljanov's project Porta Macedonia by performing on the record and on the occasion of the album tour, which was brought all over Germany and on notorious stages such as the ones of M'era Luna and Wave Gothic Treffen - as well as from seemingly different stylistical fields by holding downtempo, illbient, drone, noise, Byzantine chant and dark ambient doors ajar all over a record which alternates hefty industrial clashes, industrial ("IV") and trip-hop ("VII") inoculations, dull thuds onto sinisterly obscure cones of silence, trepanning guitars or piercing low frequencies, which sound somewhat menacingly spooky on tracks like "I", "V" or "VI", and stifling stridencies. All these sonic entities lift nebulous dazes around Kajkyt's voice, which is maybe the most striking active ingredient of this dark-soaked mash. It's a shame I don't understand Serbian in order to appreciate lyrical content of this release, which deserves a listening anyway.

Agent Side Grinder: Hardware (sfwr Included!)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (7852)
Oct 20 2013
cover
Artist: Agent Side Grinder (@)
Title: Hardware (sfwr Included!)
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
I could begin the introduction of this amazing release by a nostalgic "once upon a time" as if it were the introduction of a fable, but I won't, even if this amazing Swedish band seems to have crafted a sort of tribute to the miliar stones of new wave and synth-pop by injecting doses of primordial EBM mutations. I could make a list of all stars of late 8ies and first 90ies which came to my mind while listening to this old-fashioned, but still working in an excellent way, computerized device such as Depeche Mode, DAF, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, Clock DVA, Nitzer Ebb, Cabaret Voltaire, the first Front Line Assembly and so on, but if you missed this release, I'll let you discover all the wisely dissolved sonic minerals which spring from Agent Side Grinder's analogue devices and even from the way lead vocalist Kristoffer Grip modulates his voice, which nimbly moves within a wide range between Dave Gahan ("Look Within"), Jim Morrison ("Mag 7") and Gabi Delgado, on the condition that you don't goof by thinking about wrong or inappropriate stylistical kinships like the ones I've heard by people who listened this album, the "poppiest" one of their discography, who for instance linked the nice electronic march of "Sleeping Fury" to Capricorn, the chirpiest melody of "Rip Me" to LCD Soundsystem or Blur and so on. The difficult assignment of bringing Agent Side Grinder back to less archetypal styles has been committed to 15 remixers, which have been grouped on the second cd (that's the included software suite!) of this enhanced reissue, which set many suprising outcomes aside such as the sci-fi-scented broken waves by Swedish electro/krautrock band /MF/MB, the kraftwerkian synths of Emanuel Lundgren aka Red Idiot on "Wolf Hour", the track which features vocals by Henric de la Cour, the pruning electro/disco hooks by Jacques C and the amazing techno-dub by CCIS on "Life In Advance", the crisp punkish EBM by Container 90 and the syncopated pop-punk by Blackstrap on "Die To Live", the drilling techno incubation of "Voice Of Your Noise" by FOLD, the seducing beauty of the cover of "String Strikes" by Styx Tiger, the lulling and somewhat sepulchral cosmic radiance of "010-195" remix by Thomas Ekelund aka Th.Tot, the alienating ambient-drone tech version of "Mag 7" by Jasper TX and so on. All the remixers manage to elicit many different prompts from Agent Side Grinder's music, which already sounds like a retro-futuristic shrine.
cover
Artist: The Legendary Pink Dots (@)
Title: The Gethsemane Option
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Younger listeners, who didn't know the impressive history and the traces that this cult band fronted by Edward Ka-Spel left in different stylistical fields, could link the first song of the umpteenth album to the last releases by Massive Attack (just to mention less esotheric stuff everyone could think about) as someone could perceive some similarities between that some songs from the notorious Bristolian band and the hallucinatory atmospheres, the somehow solemn dragging of slow pace and eerie synths and the tolling bass line of the initial "A Star Is Born", which could vaguely described as a witch-house version of MA's "Special Cases". Such an introduction is maybe the first clue about the fact this record is more accessible of some previous records by The Legendary Pink Dots from the musical viewpoint, but the semantic and conceptual efflorescences over the whole album which seems to describe the quandary between an aware exhausted willpower against a sort of remote-controlled dominant thought and artificial heavens where impossible deceptively appears like normal ("We're all in this together./In a place we all can share./A Big Society./Let's call it Esher Everywhere!", where the initial electronic lulling melody got pierced by this unavoidable and unsettling coincidental dimension) and the spiritual longing of lodging peace and quiet of some big shadowing tree in Gethsemane, which might be considered as a metaphysical peaceful place where a clear headed and anguished soul could find relief, even if the evangelical reference has some relevance, where Ka-Spel's slightly paranoid mental effluviums shine together with many remarkable instrumental moments, electronic fade-ins and fade-outs involving poetic acuity on tracks like "A Stretch In Time", "Pendulum" or "Grey Scale".


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha