Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Music Reviews

VV.AA.: First

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: First
Format: CD
Label: Operative Records (@)
An excellent debut for this London-based label, run by people behind Knifeladder and Shining Vril. The cd is quite varied, but with a constant high quality throughout and a kind of underlying cohesion – which is rare in a compilation. Antichild League (featuring Gaya Donadio of London's premiere industrial venue Hinoeuma) and Antivalium respectively open and close the cd with their abrasive power electronics/industrial. Along with Muffpunch (ear-crushing harsh electronics) they're the noisiest projects here. Leisurehive offer an ok dark-wave track, while Naevus are a noir-folk duo in the vein of Death In June and Sawns; nothing new from both bands, but they're good at what they're doing. Knifeladder impressed me with a menacing mix of tribal drumming, free-jazz sax and bleak vocals/noises disturbances. John Murphy (SPK, Death In June etc.) at drums is a warranty of good quality. Knives present an interesting improvised instrumental, leading to the core of the cd, which is more or less isolationist ambient with remarkable soundscapes by Ruse, Shining Vril (Murphy's solo project) and Andrew Liles. Emblem's "Azazel", instead, is recited lyrics over a tranquil electronic background leading to an orchestral crescendo, which reminded me of some Current 93 or Coil moments. All in all, a very pleasant selection – I'm now curious of listening to some full-length releases by these acts...


LILAC AMBUSH: Breathe Deep E.P.

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Artist: LILAC AMBUSH (@)
Title: Breathe Deep E.P.
Format: CD
Label: Twisted Spinach
Lilac Ambush is the name of this duo coming from Gluchester, Massachusett. Their second E.P. titled BREATHE DEEP contains four good dark pop (they name their music that way) songs and two radio edit versions of the first two "Breathe Deep" and "One Good Reason". Even if their music is dark new wave they did a good thing by renaming it "dark pop". This because their songs have good really enjoyable melodies and sounds: "One Reason", above all, is the one I prefer even each songs' refrain has got something that makes you remember it. Lilac Ambush is a good band for sure and one that is better of the tons of goth clones that unfortunately don't even try to make their own music! Hey, you can get their CDs for 5 bucks, contact them...


LILAC AMBUSH: Breathe Deep

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Artist: LILAC AMBUSH (@)
Title: Breathe Deep
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Twisted Spinach
Lilac Ambush is a duo coming from Gluchester, Massachusetts and BREATHE DEEP is their second E.P. containing four tracks and two radio edit versions of "Breathe Deep" and "One Reason". They name their music dark pop and even if they have got goth and new wave influences I think they did a good thing by categorizing it that way. This because the four track have got good melodic parts and each songs' refrain has got something original that you can remember easily and even humming, but the main thing is that they are original. Something that too many goth bands tend to forget easily... After the first listening you'll find yourself listening again songs like "One Reason" or "Masquerade". If you love dark sounds and melodies you can get this one for 5 bucks only. Contact them...


VLE: Book Of Illusions I & II

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Artist: VLE (@)
Title: Book Of Illusions I & II
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Well, it's difficult to put these two CDs under a category, because I really should put them under ambient experimental and under industrial metal because of the kinda metal songs like "Freedom To Fly" (which remember some solutions used by our old friend Paul Chain) or "Timeless". Fortunately the work of the one man band that hides behid the name of VLE is more multifaceted that a mere classification. Tracks like "3 in 5" or "Stark" of the first Chapter of the BOOK OF ILLUSIONS and the other nine new tracks of the second Chapter (nine because the first one is, as on the first part, "Kano") are intimate composition with classical instrument sounds along with synth pads. The atmospheres create on both the kind of tracks (metal and dark ambient) is intriguing and even if sometimes the drum seems to miss a beat VLE is capable of catch the attention with a good work permeated of mistery and mysticism. At his mp3.com website you can listen to his work: try it!


Illumina: Chameleon

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Artist: Illumina (@)
Title: Chameleon
Format: CD
Label: Nightbreed (@)
Distributor: Plastic Head Music Distribution
Nightbreed records continue to appeal to an apparently huge following of electro-goth/darkwave. Illumina's record is not too far from the other releases on this label, in fact "Chameleon" is 11 tracks of melodic singing, electronic structures and darkwave feel. The m/f British duo sings about idols, images and feelings inspired by literature, history, mythology, art and technology. The sound is pretty old and the singing is not always perfectly in tune, but I am sure that me being so picky or maybe too technical and my personal taste for more modern sounding music streams will not represent an obstacle to all those English and European kids out there who love to go back in their minds while looking at the past through an electronic lens.