Friday, May 14, 2021
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Music Reviews

CESIUM 137: Advanced/Decay

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Artist: CESIUM 137
Title: Advanced/Decay
Format: CD
Label: Tonedeaf Records (@)
As I was thinking by listening to their first release "The Fall E.P.", this first Cesium 137's album is a killer one. The seven new tracks (seven new ones, because there's also "The Fall" as opening track and two remixed version of "Effigy", remixed by J. Singer and Lost Signal) are the sum of all the 80's ebm music and by listening to this album you'll have forty nine minutes of electronic music that won't loose its bite. I mean, each track has got catchy sounds and rhythms and during the listening I've got the feeling that someone is chasing me and this keeps me wanting for some more. You know what this means, don't you? It means that this music has guts and energy and because of ADVANCED/DECAY Cesium 137 will gather a lot of consideration within the electronic scene.

HOCICO: Signos De Aberracion

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Artist: HOCICO
Title: Signos De Aberracion
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line
Distributor: Audioglobe
This is the best Hocico's album to date. SIGNOS DE ABERRACION contains all the elements that made of the band a successful one into the ebm realm but this time the two cousins fixed the right things (they also bought new gears).
The album has got more melodies, more catchy sounds and one hundred percent more compression/power. Don't expect nothing revolutionary, we are always talking about ebm, you know, but the eleven tracks are really pumping and the distorted vocals are well mixed and you can also understand the lyrics (I'm not joking... you know, when you've got a lot of distorted or compressed sounds it's difficult to have a good mix). The instrumental tracks "Pandemonium", "Child's Eternity", "Un Alma Y El Vacio" and the final "Callate El Hocico" aren't a blast but they're functional because they keep the audience waiting for the explosive ones. Of the album there's also a boxed version that along with some merchandising contains a bonus mcd "Silent Wrath" with the following tracks: "Silent Wrath", "Final resource (therapy version)", "Poltergeist (slave version)" and "Instantes de perfección".

S.A.T.K.A/SEDARKA: Living Twice

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Artist: S.A.T.K.A/SEDARKA (@)
Title: Living Twice
Format: CD
Label: Divine Comedy (@)
Two projects (if I'm not wrong, from the same person) splitting this cd on the French label Divine Comedy (which has also issued H.I.V.+, A Challenge of Honour and Othil – see archive for past reviews). S.A.T.K.A start off with a dark ambient noise track, then switch to rhythmic industrial electronics - really repetitive beats, which reminded me of Esplendor Geométrico or their label-mates H.I.V.+ - then back to a gloomy, chilling ambient track, very horror movie like. Then back to the heavy beats, and so on. I'm glad there are practically no techno or electro hints, but I wish the programmings were a bit more articulate; the ambient tracks are quite good, instead. Sedarka start with a mix of dark ambient and ear-piercing high frequencies (à la Ikeda), then switch to rhythms like their counterpart, but the beats are definitely more interesting and various, with lots of samples (from classical music to massacred d'n'bass to full-on noise) and glitches/click'n'cuts shit going on, and I feel they're actually closer to this experimental current than to boring club rhythms. Good.

Muckrackers: #0

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Artist: Muckrackers (@)
Title: #0
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Negative rec
Born from the ashes of hardcore band The Draft Poets, the french techno-industrial-rockers Muckrackers follow the trail of Germany's glorious ebm tradition (they sign in German although they're french) but integrate the old-style with some kick-ass new school post-core metal guitar riffs and industrial beats. The result is pretty interesting. As a lover of the industrial-metal stream, I was immediately fascinated by these guys' sound, even though after several listening sessions I still feel like something's missing, something's not quite there... Muckrackers are definitely on the right path, but their growth is obviously not over and I'll be looking forward to check out what else they can come up with to fill the gaps left by the five tracks of this MCD.
It's interesting to note that the term "muckracker" refers to those who "rack muck" (stir up shit), but in the US the expression was used to describe the work of the two D.C. journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal and forced Nixon to resign in '72. The political involvement of the band is further accented by their lyrics, which deal with delicate subjects such as the anti-Milosevic regime, Otpor support (Serbian student movement), anti-totalitarian regimes etc.
Keep rocking the dancefloors!

VV.AA.: 45.18

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 45.18
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
45.18 is a truly radical release aiming to portrait nine free interpretations of what perhaps is the most controversial composition of all times: John Cage's "4.33", consisting of opening the piano lid and closing it after the given time, without playing a single note. The closest to silence as a form of music is AMM member Keith Rowe's opening track. Other performers also experiment with industrial and electronic noise, hardcore, various noises and include Artificial Memory Trace, Sonic Youth's guitar player Thurston Moore, Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening Band and guests, Jio Shimizu (WRK), Voice Crack, Clive Graham (Morphogenesis), Toshiya Tsunoda, Alignment and Frans De Waard himself, who also provided the CD with very extensive and interesting liner notes (co-written by Alignment's member Mark Poysden). If there was an award for most experimental label of the present time, I think I would definitely award it to Staalplaat and its various sub-labels and branches (such us in this case, Korm Plastics). Get ready, here it comes: silence...