Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Music Reviews

Mlada Fronta: Fe2 O3

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Artist: Mlada Fronta (@)
Title: Fe2 O3
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Wow! When I opened the package and saw the name Mlada Fronta I got really excited for a moment, even though I didn't even exactly remember what they played, this band had a particular significance in my memory because they were the first band I ever interviewed in my music writing career ;-). That was back in 1993, "Illusiory Time", but I have totally lost track of them afterwards and from their discography I gather that that was their debut CD and after that two more releases saw the light in '95 and '99, before it was time for "Fe2 O3" to come out. The name of the album is the chemical formula that describes the iron trioxide element (I believe), which basically is one of the last stages of iron, commonly called rust... The beautifully packaged double CD actually has a very nice booklet with lots of pictures from old rusted industrial sites, so I think I got that right ;-). By the way the packaging of this product is absolutely mind-blowing and incredible! A luxurious 3 panels folding digipack with an awesome 20-pages booklet all boxed inside a cardboard shell: you got to check this out yourself! But let's go to the music. The bio tells me that this french one man band (Remy Pelleschi, one of the two founding members, is now alone) has moved away from the sound of their debut (Treponem Pal meet Ministry and Young Gods) already by the time of the second album and has instead developed the electro-industrial side of their soul giving up the guitars and every other traditional/human instrument, focusing on atmospheres and beats instead. The former of these two CDs, called "Fe2", is the more atmospheric one, where floating and extremely cinematic ambient music with spectral stereo-plays meets beautiful dark electronica, while the latter, "O3", presents us with fourteen tracks of rough hardcore industrial beats mixed with hypnotic and pounding dancefloor material. When I say cinematic, I mean it! Not only this music would be very suitable for a number of movies I can think of, but it also is filled with voices from movies that I know I have seen ('cause I recognize the voices and what they say) and it's interesting to hear those little speeches in a record... Also don't think that it's all fancy trancy background music only, there actually are beats and song structures that develop into full body compositions. The really nice thing about it, though, is that the balance is kept all the way through the two CDs and it never gets boring or too intense (is there such thing in music as too intense anyway?), so when you are listening to the first CD there might be some sprinkles of industrial beatz here and there, in the same way as the second one, the more aggressive one, actually opens up to layers of calmer moments of electronica and soundscapes that maybe enhance the hypnosis of the overall experience. The chemical approach (further emphasized by the songs' titles) and the experiments Remy has been doing in his audio-laboratory have definitely lead to a new and exciting formula that I recommend you all to check out carefully! The album is very interesting and multi-faceted and a quality production and very good sound help the impact of such a complex opera as well! By the way, there are five remixes by Orphx, Savak, Dither, Zonkt and Kaltesglas.


PERSEPHONE: Home

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Artist: PERSEPHONE
Title: Home
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Persephone for the ancient Greek's mythology was the death's goddess but in our case is the Lame Immortelle's Sonja Kraushofer side project. Aided by Martin Höfert (cello; live appearances with Janus and L'âme Immortelle), Tobias Hahn (piano; music, arrangements, producing, programming; Janus), Dirk "RIG" Riegert (music, lyrics, arrangements; Janus), Wim Leydes (guitars; ex-Christian Death) to name few, Sonja creates something totally different compared to his main band's music, playing dark and melancholic acoustic ballads (which have, sometimes, some rare rhythmical distorted samples and electric guitar inserts, also). Of the twelve songs I prefer the first one "My Prayer", "Immersion", "Reflection" (which remember me the French "chansonnier" atmospheres), the main track "Home" and the final "Coming Home" which are someway personal and intense. The other seven tracks, in my opinon, tend to lose themselves into the forced research of a sad atmosphere instead of concentrating into the melodic structure and the vocal performance. This album could be paragoned to some Marc Almond ones (like "Jaques") but I'm sorry to say that Sonja fails into creating the atmospheres Marc is able to give to his performance. "Home" is not that bad but it hasn't exploited all its potential.


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. Anyway...do I need to suggest you to get this one???