Music Reviews



Movement Ten: Movement Ten

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 14 2013
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Artist: Movement Ten (@)
Title: Movement Ten
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
We have here the debut release of a British duo consisting of the music-producer Shadowless Man and vocalist The Sweet Chap. Why they feel the need to hide behind pseudonyms you ask? Well, I really don't know, also their web resources don't offer too much information. However, what counts is the music, and after consuming the self-titled debut of them, I really don't see a reason to hide anything. 'Movement Ten' is a self-produced and self-released 10-tracker, which provides some well-sounding and interesting arranged content to the Electropop-/New Wave-/Alternative-scene. 'Gravity', also released as being the first single out of this album, opens this album and they couldn't have chosen any better one. A catchy song progression with subtle insertions of Electronica- / acoustic-guitar elements and a pure, natural sounding male vocal performance in vein of 'James Blunt meets Synthpop' opens the hearts of the fainted listener. The ongoing tracks are sort of straighter produced: 'Machine Girl' surprises with a robotic sound-effect on the vocals, while 'BWK' celebrates straightness through its pummeling kick drum. One of the best tunes of this overall quite promising album is the Synth-/Futurepop-related 'FTBIA' with its melodic chorus, well-done vocals and its machinated beat-work. Not too much impressed with both following tunes, the marching samples of 'One Hundred Percent' are storming in until the slow Breakbeats starts to lead the scenario. I enjoyed those warm Kraftwerk-ish synthesizer-pads woven into an arpeggio-environment to rule the chorus. 'Monochrome' with its acoustic-guitar undertones is the next one and will represent the bands' third single release after 'Gravity' and 'BWK'. Last track worth a mention is the sugar-sweet album-closer 'Moon Palace', with beautiful male vocals provided in a higher Erasure-like register. Movement Ten are one of the most promising newcomers lately discovered of the British Independent-scene. This album proves a wide taste for musically diversity of the protagonists and leaves enough room for several, similar interesting sounding follow-up releases. Good work, keep it on!

Traffic A.M.: Left Behind Left Within

 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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Jan 14 2013
cover
Artist: Traffic A.M.
Title: Left Behind Left Within
Format: 12"
Label: Seja Records (@)
Distributor: Seja Records
Rated: *****
Where the fuck have I heard about Traffic A.M. before? It isn't their debut because this Cologne-based duo has already released a CD signed to the German label Plastic Frog Records. The music of Michel Kissing and Stefan Gonser sounds like a long missed friend as they give a flying fuck on the recent efforts and inventions of the pseudo-Goth/Electro-kids. There is a huge amount of nostalgia and 80s-inpired mood integrated to their music, reviews of them often picked-up relations to The Cure and/or Joy Division. Here stands surely a fair amount of truth behind, but since we so-called music journalists are always searching for the right shelf to sort music-projects into, I was about to throw in additionally names like Poesie Noire and melodic-sounding Neon Judgement as possible quells of inspiration to the ring. To cut that short: Traffic A.M. play a sort of Electronica-driven Dark Wave music, which can find influences with already established projects, but it is far away of being a faceless try to copy. Signed to the Netherlands-based label Seja Records, this vinyl-only release (!!!) limited to 300 exemplars is a goody not to be missed. The attractive, mostly calm and Electropop-inspired synthesizer arrangements as well as the Wave-influenced guitar inserts got perfectly united with Stefan Gonser's natural and melodic sounding vocal performance. This duo knows the right registers to entertain: they avoid musically any hectic of the rushing times, although their lyrical content reflects pretty much socio-critical content. The Post-Industrial / Neo-Wave flame is alive and kicking with them, and even if they fall into the trap to get very close to already known EBM-related themes ('Subway Story (Repetition)'), they still proof to find an elegant way out of it. 8 tracks for you to consume pressed on high-quality vinyl and to me especially that warm, analogue sound of the needle of your record-player strengthens the overall good impression of this release. Traffic A.M. want their music to speak for itself - the music speaks wisely in this case, so hurry up and purchase this records - only 300 available exemplars are faster gone than you can think of...

Cold Design: Ckopo Aeto (Summer Will Soon Be Here)

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 14 2013
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Artist: Cold Design
Title: Ckopo Aeto (Summer Will Soon Be Here)
Format: CD
Label: Electrica Caelestis / Shadowplay Records (@)
Distributor: Casus Belli Musica
Rated: *****
This is a Russian release by the both labels Electrica Caelestis and the well-known Goth-label Shadowplay Records. This promotional package has seemingly had a bizarre course taken by snail mail, the stamps of the envelope are based from the first half of this year, but I received it a few weeks ago. By freeing the CD out of its unique packaging the surprise was on the side of the responsible art-worker for this release. It's a real goody with a high glossy, folded cardboard packaging including a huge poster with the both protagonists Al_Ex and Mar_La. The art is filled with black/white photos of tanks, soldiers, KGB officers, general Military, and related. So my expectations have turned to get another newbie producing Harsh-EBM/Hellectro or a rather Military/Neo-Classic/Dark Ambient producing project. Luckily they have included an information sheet, which actually offers English translations of the content including a track-list. They call their music style Combat Electro-Goth and are singing complete in Russian language, so also the lyrics printed on the back side of the poster are completely printed in Cyrillic letters. This is still a problem for us at Chain D.L.K., as we are not able to provide reviews in its original Cyrillic letters. The music is a fair mutation between Electro with a driving kick and snare work and a Goth-related pathos. Military elements can be noticed here and there too, marching snare drums, some war trumpets, or military voice-samples are the chosen ingredients. Most outstanding, but also most unusual element in the music of this Voronezh-based duo, is the vocal performance of band-leader Al_Ex. He sings like a classic-trained tenor and offers a full scale of emotion for sure, but since this isn't the daily routine of an often discovered vocal style, one needs to get used to it in the first instance. Cold Design offer a well constructed third album (limited to 555 numbered copies), which deserves respect for its kind and crafty progression, though it will be a hard cake to bite for them to score against international-based rivals.

How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood?: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 09 2013
Boring Machines keeps on plumbing the depths of remarkably rich Italian underground bands and this time it manages to recover one of the most gloomy band from the bottom with the support of Avant! Records. Named after the notorious English tongue twister "How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woochuck Could Chuck Wood?", this Turin-based trio articulates a gloomy and somewhat oppressive sound which manages to avoid a certain sloppiness and superficiality many "damned" musicians usually succumb to when they try to mold their own musical language from inside an imaginary grotto by pouring more or less esoteric musical references, quotes, borrowings, devilments and identity crisis in their melting pot. Even if Ghier, Coccolo and female voice Iside pile the above-mentioned items and could be associated to some listening memories of stuff from Current 93 or Swans by an anamnesis on listener's side more than from the side of the band, whose choice of a charred firebrand, which could grossly resemble a maimed trunk, on a black field for the cover artwork of their self-titled debut release, give hints to listeners about the stylistical autopsy they made on dark folk corpse. The sense of paralysis coming from the slackening guitars, which keep on playing exhausted simple melodic lines, the Mephistophelean voice, whose occasional mock-tragic fomenting never result in demential declensions of some "poete maudits", the sinister appearance of sullen reverbs and low frequencies don't entail the surfacing of some transient epic moment, which stigmatize the best moments of the release - the charming chasms of "In Aria", the cryptic hibernation of "The Rock", which include some hieratic quotes from T.S.Eliot's pageant play with the same name, or the ominous obsessions of "For Nobody", outlines the portrait of a certain authenticity in spite of the consumed barks they've chosen to wrap their simple melodies, as if they had to mirror the tangled disguise of the underlying meaning of a tongue twister...

Horror Vacui: In Darkness You Will Feel Alright

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 04 2013
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Artist: Horror Vacui
Title: In Darkness You Will Feel Alright
Format: 12"
Label: Avant! Records
Rated: *****
Horror Vacui are a band who formed recently in Bologna, Italy. The band members are coming from the crust/hardcore scene (see the bands Kontatto, Campus Sterminii and Sumo) and fascinated by 80s goth and punk rock, decided to "release the bats" and to play mixing elements of Sisters of Mercy, Lords of the New Church and a bit of Misfits, I'd say. Their first album "In Darkness You Will Feel Alright" has just been co-produced by Avant! and band's own Legion of the Dead (sublabel of Agipunk). Opening with the classic "Rosemary's Baby" theme, the album starts off with "Black Rivers" a powerful 4/4 track with tribal drums, strong guitar riffs and bouncing flanger bass guitar lines just to keep on going on a similar track until the end of the album. Personally I've nenver been a fan of goth aesthetic and I think that it's really difficult for a nowaday's band to succeed into re-defining a genre which is so rooted to a specific period and I don't see it possible to revive something like the Batcave scene or so. Horror Vacui, to me, sound powerful and melodic but I don't find them catchy. For sure it's my fault and it's possible that I'm missing something but to my ears their sound isn't fresh. Since it's only a question of taste, you can make your own opinion by checking their album at the label's Bandcamp page at http://avantrecords.bandcamp.com/album/horror-vacui-in-darkness-you-will-feel-alright-lp


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