Music Reviews



Aerial Fx: Same River Twice

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 20 2010
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Artist: Aerial Fx
Title: Same River Twice
Format: CD
Label: Other Voices Records
Rated: *****
Active during the first half of the 80's, Aerial Fx were a band from Oxford that were know before their Island Music deal as Exit 13. They incarnate the story of many indie band of that signed a deal with a major label just to be fired soon after. Aerial Fx after the 7" released on Island released their first album and only album in 1982 on Kamera Records (label that had on their catalog also The Fall, Palais Schaumburg, Allez Allez, etc). After a small line-up change they signed for EMI but because of musical disagreements with the label they never released a record with them. They continued until 1986 to play but at that point with no label, they decided to end their musical adventure under that name. The Aerial Fx's story seemed to end there but nowadays the vocalist/guitarist Chris Hufford (well-known in music industry as the manager of Radiohead, Supergrass and Gamma Hayes and active with his i.d.m., ambient project Anti Atlas) decided to allow the Russian label Other Voices to release some unreleased song from the 1980 and 1984 period. The CD contains twelve tracks ("Make it for you" is here both in the 7" and 12" version) which are in balance from post punk, new wave and pop (try to imagine a blend of China Crisis, Gang Of Four of the third album period and Comsat Angels) and shows a band that should have gained success and that make me curious to listen how sounded their first album. If UK new wave is your cup of tea check Aearial Fx.

Lark Blames: The Reins Of Life

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 18 2010
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Artist: Lark Blames
Title: The Reins Of Life
Format: CD
Label: Ur Muzik (@)
Rated: *****
THE REINS OF LIFE is the second release for both Lark Blames and Ur Muzik and this should be a sign of something, because this album is really intense. Formed by Lloyd James (Naevus, Retarder) and Marc Blackie (Sleeping Pictures, These Papercuts), Lark Blames released their first album "Chimney" four years ago on Old Europa Cafe and now are back with six tracks in balance from noise folk (the opening "Cups), industrial noise patchwork ("Hospital"), industrial psychedelia ("Sunday" and "Church") and ambient experimental psychedelia ("Lunge" and "Nimbus"). Most of them are long suites born from improvisation sessions where layers of guitar noises create a thick background for rumbling drums or melancholic piano melodies. Now slow and intense (remembering a bit Skullflower) and then experimental and hallucinatory the album will lead you through muddy paths... watch your step!

Sub Luna: Awake!

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 15 2010
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Artist: Sub Luna
Title: Awake!
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by Mikael Lindblom (also a live collaborator for Karjalan Sissit) and Fredrik Sooberg, Sub Luna are the first act to have a release on the new Cyclic Law's First Eclipse series. Dedicated to dark folk music, First Eclipse, bring to the lover of the genre a great second album by Sub Luna. Released four years after their double debut CD "In The Shade of time", AWAKE!, sees the Swedish duo gathering the atmospheres already explored by Current 93 on their "Swastikas for Noddy" album and by Death In June on "But, what ends when the symbols shatter?" giving to the whole a distinctive imprint that refresh the whole result. Singing of love and hate, nostalgia and progression, magic and loss these are (as stated by the label's note) songs of protest from the age of nihilism. Basic 4/4 upbeat bass drum / snare drum beats enforce passionate acoustic guitar / piano ballads that will convince every lover of these sounds.

Distance: at the end of all things?

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 12 2010
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Artist: Distance
Title: at the end of all things?
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
This album stay in a sub-genre of dark wave, DM-Clone: listening to "Back in Place" is like listen to an outtake of "Violator". That rhythm, that sound, that synths but also, fortunately, that level of production too. It's subjective to say this is a musical value or not, certainly this project plays his match on the production quality and songwriting. This album is thinked, planned, the synth are layered in a clever way. Listening to "something" could well be instructive to all people playing this type of music: a carefully layer of drum machine, synth and a clean line of vocal. That's it, simple but seductive. "Silent Days" is the track that set the line of the album. It's not original at all, but the form is carefully done. While the songs run on the cd, i never stop thinking this could well be a great album if only there's almost one original musical idea, because the songwriting is enviable.
Distance, a cooperation between Avalist who produced some albums of Misantrophe and René (ZERITAS), has openly declared his influence but, with a more personal path, could well stand above many popular acts of dark wave.

HUNTER COMPLEX: Hunter Complex

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 12 2010
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Artist: HUNTER COMPLEX
Title: Hunter Complex
Format: CD
Label: Narrominded (@)
Rated: *****
Hunter Complex is the project of Lars Meijer, guy already involved with Living Ornaments and Psychon and also one of the people who run the Narrominded label. HUNTER COMPLEX is his debut album under this moniker and contains twelve songs that find their roots into 80s electronic / synthpop music. Lars' songwriting recalled me the electronic wave of the last decade of 70s and the first three years of the 80s when people like John Foxx, Paul Haig and Thomas Leer were producing their hits. If you're questioning yourself if there is a reason why I picked up these three names, well for sure there is one: Lars, in my opinion, is looking for the right blend of electronic analog sounds and personal songwriting and for this reason we have intimate song like "Chinese restaurants" and "Fashion street" (with an upfront piano/organ duet that remind me of some Scritti Politti atmospheres), cold wave tunes like "Here is the night" (the last year Lars issued an E.P. with three mixes of the song, the original and the instrumental versions which is available as free download and as MCD) and "Kerosine". If you love all the kind of 80s wave bands, from Human League to ABC passing from A Flock Of Seagulls, Ultravox, Dalis Car or obscure cold wave bands, I suggest you to check Hunter Complex.


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