Saturday, June 19, 2021
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Music Reviews

Voyager: Shields Down

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Artist: Voyager
Title: Shields Down
Format: 12"
Label: Tempo Records (@)
Considering the references to space journey, satellites, and the guessed image of Jupiter, that according to some eschatological visions is the planet where the souls of philosophers and thinkers migrate after a life on Earth (if not a hidden tribute to the glorious and versatile synth series by Roland, that were used - particularly Jupiter 6 and 8 - by drum and bass producers as well), I'd like to think that this nice output on the Dutch label Tempo Records intercepted transmissions that reached some lucky zone of the outer space 25-30 light-years away from here, but if you check who's hiding behind the moniker Voyager, you can surmise that those same sounds were spread some Earth years ago and maybe reshuffled more recently by the same author/interceptor. Pete Parsons signed many great tunes, belonging to the so-called old skool of drum and bass in the early 90ies, and his tunes reached truly iconic dnb labels such as the glorious Good Looking by LTJ Bukem. All those listeners, who enjoyed that promising stage of electronic music and those awesome years of that scene, will be really delighted and I won't wonder if this delight will run together a fit of nostalgia while listening to the romantically beautified amen break that Pete assembled on "Shields Down" and "Enso" - with those emotional "traditional" refills, stressed by super-low bass punches -, as well as by the dubby tune of "Still Waters", going back to the primordial forms of sweetened dub that artists like Dj Krush, Robin "Big Bud" O'Reilly, The Amalgamation Of Soundz, Makoto Shimizo and many more that Pete surely met during his sonic journeys. A nice "once upon a time" sonic pearl drop! While I'm writing just 6 of the 100 copies of the picture disc are available, but the label highlights that if you're reaching a higher quality the classical black vinyl (500 copies should be printed) is recommended.



Runi Graph: For I Know That The View Of A Tree Is Not Subjective

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Artist: Runi Graph
Title: For I Know That The View Of A Tree Is Not Subjective
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mahorka


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4 tribal, percussion and drum fixated pieces from Mike Blackbeat, a drummer who's working with experimental sounds and musicians since a few years. He's also part of the duo HAU (Human Restlessness and Oppression).
Besides the first piece "I Sit Here, Watching..." which sort of explains the EP's title with lyrics added in a distant voice all tracks are purely based on drums and percussion and surprisingly for a mere experimental release groovey in a tribal way. This reminds me somewhat of MC 900 Ft.'s "Dancing Barefoot" which is of course something different. "The Stream Of Your Hunger" is a bit undecided and might have gained from additional input but tracks 3 & 4 which are explicit mastered finish the EP on a high. Not sure if I'd make it through an whole album though but this is a different form of minimal which is well worth a listening.
A brave EP issued by the long running Bulgarian Netlabel Mahorka which is definitively worth a deeper investigation. And btw: it's issued as 'Pay What You Want' like many of their releases so nothing should stop you to give it a try.



Maschere Personae: Sónno Blu

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Artist: Maschere Personae
Title: Sónno Blu
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Rexistenz (@)


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Sónno Blu is a surprising sidestep by Dino Tagliaferri who was more know for dubstep and dubreggae in the past but considering the recent times he ventured into a reflective mood, expressing his personal POV in a micro composition with three acts.
Multiple layers of sound create an not necessarily dark ambience, in search of the balance between loneliness and insecurity there is always a movement but it remains unclear where it will lead to. The tension of the center piece 'Giovane Diavolo' builds slowly a bridge into the deeper areas of one's mind without giving any clues away what to make of it.
In an accompanying note he declares this work as personal reading of the recent times, in which the only possible epilogue is a ritual fusion with nature to generate new forms of consciousness.

A short but impressing soundscape where the feelings expressed remain comprehensible while abstract.



DVS NME: The Electro Manifesto

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Artist: DVS NME
Title: The Electro Manifesto
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: * * * * *

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About one year after "Dunklewissenschaft" Johan Sebastian Bot (who is also the guy behind the radio show “Dark Science Electro”), is back with a new album titled "The Electro Manifesto". Lately, Johan picks up a theme to develop his albums' theme: is three years ago we had Kraftwerk's reference with “Trans Asia Express” and the last year the Dopplereffekt's one with "Dunklewissenschaft", this year we don't have a musical reference as this time the latest DVS NME album is titled "The Electro Manifesto" after Karl Marx's 'The Communist Manifesto'. As Johan explains: " Every song title is a nod to the German philosopher's economic and political theory. Even the album cover borrows directly from Marx, re-adapting the original cover of the 1848 pamphlet entitled "The Communist Manifesto"". This time we have 25 new tracks composed with the classic sounds Mono/Poly, MS-20, SH-101, Jupiter-8, Juno-106, SH-2, System 100, Juno 60, JX-3P, TB-303, Polysix, TR-606, OB-8, TR-808, ARP Odyssey, as well as some contemporary additions to his studio like Hydrasynth, System 8, Novation Peak, Minilogue, SE-02, and Microkorg. With 25 tracks to check, we have a wide spectrum covered, as we pass from the cold robotic ones to the midtempo ones more atmospheric, driven always by the drumbeats but with a certain cinematic approach (for example I think that tunes like "Class Traitor" could fit well a Carpenter movie). We have also tracks like "Privatize Gain/Socialize Loss" where the atmosphere recalled me stuff like EOD (so, not strictly electro) and I think that this is good, because having a tracklist so loaded, it's good to be a little transversal. This is a nice album and you can check it at the DVS NME's Bandcamp page!



The Red Hour: Cracks

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Artist: The Red Hour
Title: Cracks
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Manual Control Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: * * * * *
There's activity behind this Minneapolis-based electronic label established by Jason Hollis (Endif, Retcon) and Brooke R. Calder (Felipe & Brooke, Lolly Pop). As a result out of this, The Red Hour is a mutual project between both. “Cracks” is as far as I know their first release under The Red Hour moniker, a Maxi-Single release which surely is intended to gain some first recognition and to introduce a coming album.
While Jason's Industrial-/Noise-project Endif is rather intended to satisfy the needs of a small niche of specialized listeners, The Red Hour is surely destined to reach a wider audience with the clear intention to be successful.A "Femme-forward Darkwave duo from Minneapolis" so they call it, it needs to be said, that musically “Cracks” is a catchy and fast-forward marching Techno-/Electronic tune with a crafty produced dancefloor-compatibility.
Outstanding is the general nasty attitude provided through the raunchy vocals and BDSM-inspired lyrics of Brooke on here. Well, who won't like to lick her boots now...?;-)
Already the chosen remix contributors speak for itself and the strategy behind, as there's prominence on this release available. The names of the remixers include the famous Belgian musician Jean-Marc Lederman (The Weathermen, Fad Gadget, Front 242), the UK-based and Analogue Trash-recording project Nature Of Wires, DJ Transporter, Steven OLaf (who has been around for years by remixing acts like Xorcist, Out Out or Hate Dept.), Prophei, and Badrich.
Both the remix contributions of DJ Transporter as well as Nature Of Wires bring in fresh club food while the interpretation of Jean-Marc Lederman unites Jazz and Big Beat elements and is surely the strangest and most unexpected contribution on here. Badrich tested diverse Glitch percussion elements on it, while Steven Olaf used a few Break-Beats and guitar loops on it to integrate a rather more classic Industrial-/Coldwave influence to this globally modern sounding track in.
Decent stuff available on here provided by all remix contributors available as download-only release available via the Bandcamp refrences of label and band project. A YouTube video to support this track and the project is in the works too. Give a try!