Friday, August 7, 2020
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Music Reviews

Artist: Frank Phal & Klimperei (@)
Title: Music for Desserts
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Distributor: In-Poly-Sons
Everybody knows experimental musique-concrete band Kimperei, but in this case they rather play a role of supporting musicians for what seems to be a project by Frank Phal, previously with the American band Only A Mother, one of the last surviving "mecanic" musicians, or those extravagant, inventive and creative people who build their own weird instruments and then use them to make records. Just reading the extensive list of instrument's names used in this record is almost worth the record itself: buzzsaw uke, microcontrolled air organ quartet, binary doorbell quintet, washing machine, virtual pet, shrutti box, automatic zithers and many more. While Klimperei add more conventional instruments to the ensemble, call me crazy, but I actually think they added that french touch to the work too... I am not just talking about traditionally romantic instruments, but about the vibe... Nostalgic moods, simple melodies, a very orderly petit chaos and that "a la maison" feel. Titles such as "Snow Eggs", "Ladies Kisses", "Cat's Tongues with Cream", "Almond Rock Cakes", "Espresso Cheescake", "Crepes Suzette" and "Melon Sorbet" complete the picture of this random caprices, avantgarde bricolage, appetizing experimentalism and romantic voyerism... Keep room for dessert!

The Dawn Visitors: The Ashes will never be cold...

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Artist: The Dawn Visitors (@)
Title: The Ashes will never be cold...
Format: CD
Label: The Brass Collective (@)
Cute Belgian female singer Roxane ain't new to the electro/dark/goth scenes. She's been playing keys and singing for over ten years with the bands The Dark Rebels and De Volanges and has finally decided that she should be alone, or at least lead her own fate and have musicians support her for the many live shows she's been performing. Announcing the forthcoming full lenght album "Ordal", this 50 copies limited edition demo MCD features four electro/goth tracks with punchy old fashioned synth lines, slow beats, melodic dark-ebm singing. The opening track "1989" is a total ebm anthem with fast raving beats and a title that makes me think of the Sisters while the other three songs go on the slower side and keep the melodic approach on the vocals. Overall very '80es sounding, so you know what to expect. One thing that is worth mentioning is the very original packaging of the CD, that comes in a transparent plastic shell (with a sticker) that you can't actually open, instead you sort of push a plastic button that pushes out the CD form the case... Never seen that one before, but really cool!

KMFDM: Attack

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Artist: KMFDM
Title: Attack
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Audioglobe
KMFDM exists since 1984 and in all these years they released ten albums (plus remixes albums as well) before their new one: ATTACK. It took three years from the last CD titled Adios to release this new one because some band's members leaved. The core members Sascha Konietzko and Raymond "Pig" Watts teamed up with Tim Skold, Lucia Cifarelli (Universal Music Group recording artist), Bill Rieflin (Ministry, REVCO) and signature vocal diva KMFDM style mainstay, Dorona Alberti to release this album. I'm not that familiar with KMFDM's music but this new album is what the fans were expecting for: energy, melody and tons of distorsion. Maybe some melodic solutions, like on "Save Me" or "Superhero", are almost "pop" (even if buried under tons of industrial sounds) but during the fifty minutes of the listening there's nothing that will disturb too much their fans because the band have still their characteristic ultra-heavy beats based sound. If you have been disappointed by the MDFMK CD be aware that this is a come back to what KMFDM was.

Artist: CALAN.DRA (@)
Title: Where Did You Go?
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Personal project of Dust Of Basement's Birgitta Behr, Calan.dra released her first album early this year. WHERE DID YOU GO? has been a pleasant surprise because it has got a good blend of upbeat rhythms, dark melodies and introspective moments. Nothing revolutionary but the elements are well balanced and this is an important thing for every good "recipe". The CD contains ten original tracks as well as three covers (Einsturzende Neubauten's "Blume", Depeche Mode's "Photographic" and Sisterhood's "Rain From Heaven"). The music kinda darkwave-oriented with heavenly femal vocals: some moments are gothic oriented (you know, the ones with dreaming vocals, acoustic sounds and sad atmospheres) while others (like "Why" or "Empty Star") are more electro oriented. I think that Birgitta gives her best on the second kind of tracks because her voice is in contrast with the distorted guitars and the synth based sounds and this creates interesting moments. Unfortunately the gothic based songs are the 70% of the CD but the whole album is quite interesting anyway.

Artist: RAS.AL.GHUL (@)
Title: Synmatic Layers
Format: CD
Label: This.Co (@)
This must be the fifth cd by the Lisbon duo, and the first one on their recently founded label Thisco. Ras.Al.Ghul are experienced veterans and you can feel that in the perfect balance of beats, programmings and samples of these 10 new tracks. New cinematic soundscapes perfectly merging ambient electronica, dub, drum'n'bass and trance/intelligent techno in mesmerizing compositions of crystalline beauty. If you can imagine Kraftwerk playing songs by African Head Charge by using modern digital equipment, you'll get close to the picture. Just listen to the opening track, with that blend of dub cadences and d'n'b counterpoints. On a sidenote, it seems that this cd is a bit lighter and more dynamic than the previous one, "Sonic Yonic". Great stuff, recommended as always.


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