Saturday, October 31, 2020
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Music Reviews

Siderartica: Night Parade

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Artist: Siderartica (@)
Title: Night Parade
Format: CD
Label: Shadowlab
Distributor: E.N.D.E., Audioglobe, Triton
What starts out like a female-fronted power-noise album inspired by Dive, instead quite suddenly turns into an electronica record of intense emotional contents inspired more by 80es bands like Ultravox, but definitely not out of touch with the present. The beautiful Elena Fossi, also one of the newest members of the historical electro/dark band Kirlian Camera, further reveals her talent as a songwriter and musician with Siderartica, a three-piece project she heads, aided by her brother Andrea and by Andrea Savelli. The entire album is made with MC-505s, treated guitars turned into frozen harmonies and of course heavy sound processing and vocals (treated, reverberated, whispered, sung, spoken and even operatic): in other words this is not your average pc/mac-chopped-up-samples record! Actually no samples were used at all here, except in the album's only remix by Gianluca Becuzzi (aka Lamachina) which uses Alva Noto samples. Considering the material and the referrals of these sounds I am surprised no theremin was used, but we are not too far off from that anyway. The eleven tracks of "Night Parade" (9 original compositions, one remix and one Joy Division cover of "Atmosphere" - another influence of the Siderartica sound, if you will) delivers joy and sadness, great electronic music and glacial industrial-ambient soundscapes, pounding beats and minimal rhythmical patterns. All this graciously enriched by female vocals singing English, Italian and German lyrics (all printed inside the beautiful, blue-ish, thick and glossy booklet of the standard version). Unfortunately Elena didn't send us the 102-copies limited metal-box edition so we can't tell you anything about how that looks. If you are after the Kirlian Camera/Stalingrad influence you will get some, sure, and even though the cold siberian apocalyptic vision is mostly present and the ethereal vocals remind of KC's female and romantic touch, this is not necessarily as martial, as claustrophobic, as grand and as complex as the sound of the masters. I am not trying to oversimplify here or to file it under easy-listening pop music, not at all, I am just letting you know that you are dealing with a great project, a great sound, but also with a differnt sound, an original creature, and basically with the softer, smoother and more melodic side of this italian singer; not just with a KC clone (as if that would be of any interest to anybody anyway). Elena Fossi's debut is a great proof of musicianship. Get it while you can!

CESIUM 137: Regrets

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Artist: CESIUM 137 (@)
Title: Regrets
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Tone Deaf (@)
This second Cesium 137's single has been released after their first album titled "Advance/Decay" and it represents a sort of celebration of what the band reached in such a short time. This new single contains four new versions of the main track, the album version and a beautiful new track titled "Bloodletter" which is a good example of energetic 80's ebm orientated track with catchy melodies and arrangements (the memorable riff and the synth bleeps will get you to dance without even noticing)... Of the remixed versions of "Regrets" I prefer the Yendri Mix (it's a shame I hadn't the opportunity to listen her new album yet!) because I like how her changed the melodic lines without twisting the song's structure. Instead the "Haujobb - The 1k Mix", "Kbn-Colony Of Zooids Mix" and the "Quiet Eye-Red Eye Mix" versions tend to dilate the track's structure basing themselves on the rhythmic impact: they are always interesting but you know how much I love good melodic and powerful songs. Along with the MCD you can also find a good video of the main track where you can see also the band playing in their own basement! ;)

OverVoltage: Belaruzer

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Artist: OverVoltage (@)
Title: Belaruzer
Format: CD
Label: DIS Productions (@)
Seven tracks for 50 minutes of beating industrial with harsh drum machine constructions. OverVoltage bet on songs built upon only rythmic compositons, sometimes entering on techno territories ("Transmitter"), but this means a limit for this cd. Often the song evolution is too much scholastic and little various, expecially in the first two tracks, "Kanci" and "Scheduling", where the drum march is so much fast as boring. Things get better with the syncopatic movements generated on the fifth track "Lodki", but the real top track of the album is "Belaruzer ver.b" with a interesting progress and an intelligent superimposition of sounds. With this track of eleven minutes OverVoltage show that they are able to create passages worthy of praise, but this is too much little to save this work from boredom.

VV.AA.: Electro club attack - The classix I

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro club attack - The classix I
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: XXC/Zoomshot
Distributor: Audioglobe
The usual slab of more or less famous electro/EBM acts on this double cd in the "Electro club attack" series. This time the sampler seems to be focused on harder old-school styles, with the likes of Dive, Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Die Krupps, Die Form, etc. But also the more recent projects included lean on the more violent and in-your-face side of the genre, with some examples of the Ant-Zen undercurrent (Synapscape, Hypnoskull, Imminent Starvation…). Other names featured: Velvet Acid Christ, L'Ame Immortelle (of course!), Oomph!, Terminal Choice, In Strict Confidence, Covenant…

LOST SIGNAL: Catharsis

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Artist: LOST SIGNAL (@)
Title: Catharsis
Format: CD
Label: Matrix Cube/Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Lost Signal is Charles Rehill at vocals, lyrics, programming and composition; this cd also features Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) at production, mixing and additional programming, and Mads Fogt (Arzt+Pfusch) at digital mastering. The production is actually very well done, with clear and powerful sounds. Lost Signal plays a blend of pounding and aggressive (but not monotonous) electro beats, some ethereal synth/keyboards layer and clear, unfiltered vocals delivering some personal, existentialist lyrics. There's a constant presence of multi-layered beats and catchy melancholic tunes, like in "Apathy", which sort of draws a line between Lost Signal and the tons of heavier, but rougher electro acts.