Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Music Reviews

P.A.L.: Live 2 A.M.

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Artist: P.A.L.
Title: Live 2 A.M.
Format: CD
Label: Pflichtkauf
Distributor: Audioglobe
It's many years that P.A.L. represents one of the main industrial manipulators and this live CD prove it. The tracks are based on a sound increasing structure that could be functional for a soundtrack of a dreamy dark movie (also because of the way the various tracks merge into the others creating a sort of long mutating suite). "In The Now", the opening track, for example, contains vocal samples and various noises and creates a tense atmosphere built with rough sounds and it's amazing the way it's mixed with "Heiden Heiland", which is a sort of industrial mixture of classical sounds as well as "Creed" is. I assure you that the effect of treated cellos along with the various noises creates an unbelievable sense of "crawling tension": I don't know why but it recalled me the atmospheres of the German expressionist movies like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". The other tracks (starting from "Freising 0801"), instead, are based on vocal treatments and are basically more "industrial". An impressive release that will convince also occasional listeners of industrial sounds. Try to make it listen to your friends that love sci-fi's soundtrack recordings...

VV.AA: Evolution

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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Evolution
Format: CD
Label: Cohaagen (@)
Distributor: Ninth Wave
This compilation is the first release of this brand new label called Cohaagen. This is the first time you're listening this name, that's for sure, but you are already familiar with the people involved into this project, because we're are talking about Ganymede's members Patrick Runkle and David Friede supported for distribution by David Richards' Ninthwave Records. You know how I appreciate their music and probably we've got also the same musical tastes. The fact that I've already interviewed or positively reviewed almost half of the bands presented here (bands like Ganymede, The Mourning After, Nukleon, Gary Flanagan, Blind Before Dawn and soon Empire State Human) prove it! The label's aims are quite clear, but let's hear it directly from the guys: "This compilation represents the "new breed" of electronic pop, featuring many of today's hottest rising synthpop stars from around the globe as well as some new bands that will be making their presence felt in the near future. The tracks here illustrate the great variety the synthpop genre has to offer, ranging from melancholy to uplifting in mood, laid-back to energetic in tempo, and retro to modern in sound. The common elements are that all of the songs selected for this release are exclusive, original, and of the highest quality". Well, one thing is for sure, you bet you can find into this CD some of the best and original synthpop bands of the globe and if you love 80's sounds it's impossible you won't fall in love with Soviet's "Bank Holiday", Nukleon's "Sometimes", Gary Flanagan's "Summertime", Raindancer's "I Believe In You" just to name few. I don't care if this review is sounding too supportive but believe me, I lived the 80's and I enjoyed every electronic and new wave band of that period and I think to know what's worth to listen to! ;-)

GANYMEDE: Euromantique

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Artist: GANYMEDE (@)
Title: Euromantique
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave (@)
At last, thanks to the two Daves (one from Ganymede and the other one from Ninthwave), I finally get my hands on the second Ganymede's album: EUROMANTIQUE.
I've got to thank them both because this is a great one for every Telex and 80's lover as I am. Starting from the main song which recalled me the Telex (which are remembered unfortunately only for their hit "Moskow Diskow") you can listen to a good sequence of potential hits like "It Not Enough", "Are You Falling In Love Again?" or "This Wasn't The First Time". Songs that will light your day with their melodies and analogue sounds. The band improved their songwriting since their first album and EUROMANTIQUE is here to prove that they are a great band. Along with the ten tracks you can also find two remixed versions of "Neon Rain" and "Only Pictures Cry" did by Electroquad and Cruxshadows. They did a rhythmic and kinda dreamy version of the first song and a more electro one of the second, but they respected the songs' structure. I need to suggest you to get this one???

Rain Fell Within: Refuge

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Artist: Rain Fell Within (@)
Title: Refuge
Format: CD
Label: Dark Symphonies (@)
Distributor: FAB
Following up to their critically acclaimed 2000 debut "Believe", which sold over 7000 copies worldwide, Rain Feel Within released their second Dark Symphonies album, entitled "Refuge" during February March 2002. "Refuge" features ten dark-wave-metal-new age songs with female vocals and lots of guitars. Atmospheres range from heavy and powerful to soft and ethereal. As you know this is not exactly Chain D.L.K.'s cup of tea, but we enjoy every now and then giving exposure to bands like these, who certainly deserve credit for what they do and how they do it. The music is well-played, well-recorded and well written. Even though I haven't listened to dark-wave-metal x-overs in a while, they kind of reminded me of bands such as Opeth and maybe 3rd and the Mortal. Engineered and co-produced by Ron Vento. The cover design is by Mike Riddick frem the band The Soil Bleeds Black).

Banabila: Spherics

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Artist: Banabila (@)
Title: Spherics
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: FAB
You would expect a Dutch like Michael Banabila to release an album such as this one on the national label Staalplaat, instead he chose Tone Casualities, one of California's most interesting labels for experimental and avant ambient music. This CD, which follows the two Tone Casualities releases VoizNoiz I and II, contains seven tracks of pure textural work, soundscapes that reinvent turntablism through the use of pops and clicks. You feel like you are listening to an old and worn-out vinyl and you are possibly touched by the warmth that those little noises transmit, but instead you are being hypnotized by seven smooth and beautiful compositions whose title, "Spherics", fits right on (maybe 'cause it recalls the very shape of those old records you used to dislike when CDs overtook). Created with editing, splicing and sampling and enriched by Jorien Muste's violin and Piet Lichtveld's guitars (I really like what the guitar does!) "Spherics" achieves some amazing and soft ambience (with occasional cute percussion samples) and goes well beyond the concept of a plain ambient album when it reaches into minimal rhythmical structures and makes it huge with cool deep droning sounds (by some mysterious guy/band/machine called Bobby - there was a Japanese noise band once called Billy, maybe it's a relative) that actually give it a quite a push sometimes. The evolution of a song is real slow, the peace is layed back and small bits of sounds make it cooler every 16 bars or so, but as you all know good things come to those who wait ;-) In conclusion it's a great piece of sounds, I really enjoyed listening to it and I think you will too, especially cause you know you are listening to a CD and so you won't be cursing and getting crazy cleaning the needle, which you would do if this was an LP, trust me! ;-)