Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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Music Reviews

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...

TV POW: Despite Ourselves

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Artist: TV POW (@)
Title: Despite Ourselves
Format: 3" Mini CD
Label: Fire Inc (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
The three Chicago dudes behind Aerospace Soundwise, Black Dot Corporation and Wheaton Research joined to give birth to a laptop trio called TV Pow. Together they explore small bits of sounds, hi frequency hisses that a 70 year old man would probably not even hear, microscopic audio data streams, occasional string instrument string picks, outside field noises and other sounds and noises from mechanical and natural origin. 15 tracks on a cute little 20 minutes 3" disc. Pretty damn twisted stuff. I wouldn't know about fresh and innovative (unless of course you consider everything in this category of music fresh and innovative just for the fact of plain being in this fresh and innovative category) but definitely something weird ;-).
Recent releases include Staalplaat's "Mort Aux Vaches" (cmp this section for review) and Erstwhile's "We Are Everyone in the Room" with Iceland's Stilluppsteypa.

Tarentel: Mort Aux Vaches

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Artist: Tarentel (@)
Title: Mort Aux Vaches
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
Recorded April 18th 2000 for the dutch VPRO radio this 4 piece full lenght instrumental CD presents a band that makes extensive use of guitars and other traditional instruments such as bass and drum... Although their info sheet presents them as a band playing "rock music of the more spacious kinds" there are not many rock traces to be found here... More like some slow almost psychedelic wave eventually escalating into a nearly psychotic repetitive burst of energetic riffs... It's actually pretty relaxing at times.. Yes occasionally, throughout the long run of these four compositions a couple of guitars (tremolo, distorted, clean, noisy) plays over a repeating bass riff and a smooth drum beat with muted snare (like in track no.3).
The cover is made of a silver plastic sleeve designed by Cyan in Berlin.

CLAWFINGER: The Biggest And The Best Of

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Title: The Biggest And The Best Of
Format: CD
Label: MGV
Distributor: Audioglobe
As stated by the title, this is a Clawfinger compilation. If you don t known them, here s a little history: The Scandinavian heavy metal four-piece Clawfinger formed in 1988 when Jocke Skog and Zak Tell met while working together at the Rosenlunds Hospital in nearby Stockholm. Bard Torstensson and Erlend Ottem joined them in 1990. By the mid-'90s, Clawfinger self-released their debut Deaf Dumb Blind and their unique blend of metal and hip-hop was critically acclaimed in Swedish press, not to mention the album having sold over 600,000 copies worldwide. They've played at several European festivals including Holland's Dynamo Festival, Roskilde in Denmark, and Rock in Reim in Germany, and achieved different awards. Clawfinger took home two Grammies at the Swedish Grammy Awards in 1994 for Best Hardrock Band and Best Video. In 1995, the band recorded a sophomore effort, Use Your Brain, and maintained momentum with constant touring, notably participating in Ozzy Osbourne's Monsters of Rock Festival in South America and rocking alongside American metal counterparts like Megadeth, Faith No More, and Alice Cooper. Two years later, Clawfinger released their third self named album . I think at this point you know what to expect from this CD: twelve of the best tracks of their three albums packed with energy, distorted guitars, great tunes and echoes of the best Ministry along with hip hop breaks.