Music Reviews

Newclear Waves: Newclear Waves

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 28 2012
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Artist: Newclear Waves
Title: Newclear Waves
Format: 12"
Label: Desire Records
Rated: *****
Three years in the making and after producing a split tape and a split single with Opus Finis, two CDrs and different remixes, Newclear Waves, a.k.a. Alessandro Adriani, are ready to deliver their first vinyl album through Desire Records. Alessandro, is also knows as the man behind Mannequin Records, label that brought you two volumes of 80s delicatessen under the "Danza Meccanica" brand and different Italian 80s reissues (Degada Saf, Chromagain, Janitor Of Lunacy, Intelligence Dept. to name few) plus several electronic/wave releases of nowadays bands of the such of Led Er Est, Soviet Soviet, The Present Moment, Frank (just Frank), etc. Printed in 300 copies, black vinyl, printed inner-sleeve, four panels die-cut sleeve, the self titled LP contains ten tracks. Nine out of ten have already been issued on the previous releases (on the tape, the CDrs or the double vinyl compilation "Doppelhertz Vol. 2") but if you think that the tape and the second CDr have been printed in fifty copies and the first CDr in ten copies available at a live concert, we could think of them as brand new and in any case, they have been re-recorded. Anyway... Newclear waves base their sound on the warmth and richness of vintage synthesizer sounds creating a strong core of pusating bass lines and rhythms where stripped to the bones synth melodic lines are added. Also the vocals tend to be straight like a razor cut. No thrills or frills, just a bit melodic but sorta cold with a bit of filtering. It takes a while to find these atmospheres comfortable but step by step, beat by beat, you find the path to follow and then the light dissonances and the 4/4 rhythms start to lead you through nightmarish scenarios made of buzzing noises and crying filters. It's like being in front of a wall which is melting realizing that under the wallpaper there's the portrait of the old householder. If you love post punk, cold wave and minimal wave, you'll find all this like home... As last note; on two tracks we find two guests: Lou Chano of Der Noir, Ivs Primae Noctis and Tiresia Raptus on bass guitar on "The End Of The Cold War" and Oksana Xiu on vocals and synth on "Tishina". Cool one...
P.s.: You can preview all the tracks here

Rivolta Dell'Odio: Osanna! L'Angelo Sterminatore

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 17 2012
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Artist: Rivolta Dell'Odio
Title: Osanna! L'Angelo Sterminatore
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Sometimes Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Ancona and active during the early/mid 80s, Rivolta Dell'Odio were a band which musically started with an hc/punk sound, ending with a particular kind of post punk sound. The story of Rivolta Dell'Odio is deeply linked to the one of the label Attack Punk/Toto' Alle Prese Coi Dischi, label born thanks to people involved with the band Raf Punk (Gianpaolo Giorgetti, better known as Jumpy and now as Helena Velena and Laura Carroli). Influenced by the anarchic experience of Crass Records, they produced about sixty records of different bands such as CCCP, Borghesia, Disciplinatha, Rivolta Dell'Odio, etc. Rivolta Dell'Odio never had their releases reissued and this double album "Osanna! L'Angelo Sterminatore", contains all their recordings plus four live tracks. The band lyrics incarnated the anarchist, vegetarian, anti-clerical credo and on their first two releases "L'Affaire Marat/Sade" (split 7" with Cracked Hirn) and "La Danza Del Sangue E Del Sole", mixed hc attitude with will to experiment (check the monophonic synth noise on "Casa Rossa"). Their sound was obsessive and dissonant (on some tracks they also recalled the no-New York guitarism) and the declamative vocals made the audience focus on their lyrics. With "Il Cuore Della Bestia" EP, their sound became a bit more influenced by post punk. Try to think about UK Decay and the following band formed by Abbo: Furyo. The sound is still powerful but the drums were more tribal and the guitar arpeggios created a more focused melodic schema. To me this single has been their best release because the recordings were kinda rough but really energetic. "Osanna! L'Angelo Sterminatore" was their last release. Some tracks are re-arrangements of old ones (the opening "Metanoia", was a reworked version of "Altari Del Terrore", "L'Anticristo" was also on the their first tape, "Terezin" was on their EP with the title "Dal Fumo Di Terezin") and then there were new ones: "La Caduta Di Babilonia", "Per Chi Ci Ha Amato", "Golgotha", etc were good tracks but in my opinion the mix, which exalted the drums (they have been constatly filtered through a reverb like on some Sex Gang Children early recordings), vocals and the bass guitar invalidate a bit the whole result. Anyway, this is a nice reissue and thanks to Sometimes Records and Fono Arte, another piece of Italian music which meant something for the scene of the past, won't be forgotten.

Ryan Wildstar: A City of Brittle Stars

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 30 2012
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Artist: Ryan Wildstar (@)
Title: A City of Brittle Stars
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
A City of Brittle Stars is a new up and coming project by the late Rozz Williams' ex roommate of 8 years and lead singer of EXP and co-author of The Whorse's Mouth. This cd is so important as It is Ryan Wildstar's newest piece of work for quite some time now. It is available on amazon and iTunes so go check it out after this review. Ryan's other projects are various art pieces, his self expressions and his book, ' What about the Bells, ' a book containing all unreleased poems and lyrics by the late Rozz Williams all compiled in one book available through French publisher Camion Blanc, , a true find for any collector. One thing I want to let the world know Ryan inherited all of Rozz's works and never bought anything from Rozz it was all given to him from Rozz Williams himself and always shares what we can for the world to own through his eBay site due to the fact some of these mementos are just to painful to own.. Please, any Rozz collectors buy something from Ryan, to painful to own and support this cd when it comes out as cds are become a rare find these days and Rozz's mom is 80 or so years old and is still working to stay alive and hasn't seen no money for her late sons projects. Ryan is trying to include Rozz's world to own some of his treasures, his art, collages, poetry and hasn't seen no money for her late sons projects. Ryan is trying to share some of his world. With that said let us progress to his new up and coming cd that will come out on hard copy pressing soon ' A City of Brittle Stars ' is fresh and new and probably I personally can say is where the late Rozz Williams would have left off. Ryan is so Rozzesque, cryptic and all knowing. This is a spiritual ride that leads to a new rebirth for music. Spoken word across the board, beautiful piano ballads to compliment the beauty of the one chosen to speak about the society as we know today. Little bits of trivial bits that the listener shall grasp in the knowledge of truth. Ryan speaks in
one passage, ' Onset by the passage of this grueling life', so profound and so true about the woes of disappointment this life brings. Another line that stuck in my mind, Ryan says, '
She drank the wine and screwed the cool breeze, she surely will go to hell for that, with poison petals on her palette. Tribal drums to back up this unforgettable in sync poetry reminiscent of early Christian Death antics, whimsical bells and even xylophone dirges fill this album to add to the flavor of feeling and sentiment right straight through the heart, making this cd truly unique and cinematic with the soberness that it unveils. There is an undying beautiful ode to oneself and others, A City of Brittle Stars, Ryan calls it, ' octopus highway which leads to the city of brittle stars ' , which taunts and calls to each and everyone of us and wants you to listen and learn. This is the cd that speaks of life experiences that all can relate to. So nice to see a real album that pulls on
our heart strings and won't let go. In one passage, Ryan sings to us, as an anthem for this album, 'We are All Brittle Stars', so true, clever, witty and truthful. This cd is about to pull you under from he that awaits'¦release the Kraken, release this soon. For all
of you to look under the floorboards from the brilliance of this Wildstar.

Matt Elliott: The Broken Man

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 19 2012
Artist: Matt Elliott (@)
Title: The Broken Man
Format: CD
Label: Ici D'Ailleurs (@)
Rated: *****
Don't be taken in by appearances of these seemingly drunken ballads as the portrait of such a broken man, whose painful awareness led nearby the steep cliffs of self-annihilation and disenchanted cynicism, proposed by Bristol-based songwriter Matt Elliott, head of The Third Eye Foundation and notable musician of Stephane Gregoire's label Ici D'Ailleurs (as well as member of the big ensemble This Immortal Coil, a cover project of Coil assembled by that wit label owner, together with other known musicians coming from that scene such as Yann Tiersen, Chapelier Fou, Sylvian Chauveau, Christine Ott and many others), sounds lucid, detailed and anything but confused (to be more precise, confusion seems just episodic, a sort of functional brushstroke of the finishing touches of the above-mentioned portrait, not really a permanent coat...), so that it could give the impression that some lyrics could bump against some topoi particularly when inmost spleens look like shadin off into collective imagination and memory. That's a finicking emotional chisel, whose pedigree conceptually could be recognized in his Songs, but it sounds more concise and austere from the musical viewpoint, whose most touching peaks have been climbed when Matt leaves some Andalusian declensions appearing in the first songs "Oh How We Fell" and "Please Please Please" aside and twists the knife in the broken man's wounds with some delicate musical gems such the gloomy demure and seemingly ironic symphony of "If Anyone Ever Tells Me That it is Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Have Never Loved At All I Will Stab Them in the Face", whereas emotional rifts deriving from the struggle between an agonizing feeling and its inescapable obfuscation sounds emphasized by the contribution by Katia Labeque's piano improvisation, the sense of oppression and frustration coming from the catchy emotional pallor of "Dust, Flesh and Bones" where Matt's voice looks like getting out from some baritone's ashes in order to hover fow a while when repeating "This is how it feels to be alone", just before the final insert which evokes traditional western movies'desolate deserts as well as a gothic-tinged sense of relentless tragedy, the lukewarm psychedelic jack'p-lanterns of sad auguries in gipsy dark-fork song "The Pain That's Yet To Come" and "This Is For". It's going to sound infectious like a whispered voice surfacing from the obscure depths of unconscious to many listeners.

Kreuzweg Ost: Gott Mit Uns

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 16 2012
Artist: Kreuzweg Ost (@)
Title: Gott Mit Uns
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
I want to believe raving insinuations about relations between so-called martial industrial and nazi propaganda, supported in the past by paranoid groups such as Anti-Defamation League or other ones which had or just have a strange perspective on the concept of freedom in arts which often turns the capacity of understanding a provocative language into a poser, have been filed once and for all. I thought such a preamble could be necessary as references to Utoeya massacre included in the track "Calvaria" by this interesting Austrian project, headed by Michael Gregor aka Silenius, could be purposefully misunderstood as well as other references spread all over Krezweg Ost's third act whereas even a 9-years old pupil could understand its intention, which sounds clear since its title "Gott Mit Uns" (German for "God With Us"), so that listeners will easily catch that it focuses on fanaticism and its ominous offspring and such a goal has been reached by means of a very wise musical operation of syncretism, fed with martial industrial, darkwave, ambient, drones, classical military music, movie samples and soundtracks, whose stylistical peaks have been climbed in tracks like "Geh Mit Gott", "Geistige Emigration", the above-mentioned "Calvaria" - who knows if it could act as a wise hint to Norwegian Court in order to better crack Breivik's mind -, the disquieting electric ventilator-aided march of "Stammen" and the cinematic hooks of "Thy Will Be Done". An authentic piece of uplifting musical literature!

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