I really dig the description of "mesmerizing trip hop listening experience", used by the label in an attempt to define what is just that what those words say, but yet so much more: Michael Banabila's second CD "VoizNoiz - part II", part of the Urban Sound Scapes series is a mind-altering thing... Rotterdam-based sound-manipulator Banabila has collected a bunch of voices and other sounds and turned it into this swirling electronic voyage that peeks into experimental musique concrete (never getting annoying though), lets you vanish within clouds of soundscapes and patterns of beats and doesn't ever forget the time-frame it is coming out in. Pulsing beats, freezing german-like Kraftwerk robot voices, beautiful patterns of changing rhythmical structures, skillfully arranged into a nice album where sounds and voices have never been used so magically together before, treated as one single thing, one entity. What I also really loved in this album is the use of almost jazz-line-up instruments (i.e. the soooo english and soooo cool song "Dinoh Dinoh", with an uprigth bass sample, funky brass instruments and hammond sounds) and other traditional instruments such as guitars, drums, bass clarinet... You got to check this one out!
Hungarian-born Gabor Csupo is the founder of the Californian quality-experimental/electronica label Tone Casualities and known for his music work on various TV shows. When he left Communist-ruled Hungary to move to the US he decided not to forget his roots and the Eastern European musical projects. In 1994 he started the label to give exposure to the people whose music he's been listening and have been influencing him. He didn't take too much advantage of the fact he owned a record label, in fact he only put one other record of his own out on Tone Casualities. So after many years he's now back with this ambitious double CD, packaged in a beautiful folding digipack with nice graphics. The two CDs are called respectively "Liquid" and "Fire" and present you with 35 left-field electronica pieces of great impact and quality. Although his extremely wide array of credited sources of inspiration spans from jazz/free jazz/fusion/progressive bands (Brand X, King Crimson, Miles Davis etc) to the pioneers of new music (Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, David Torn, Bill Laswell, Laurie Anderson) to the more modern geniuses of the electronic pop sound (Bjork, Massive Attack, Lamb) without forgetting true electronics-only bands (Skinny Puppy, Leftfield, Autechre, Chemical Bros) you don't really find very much of this. Let's just say those influences are there but they ain't in your face. The list goes on and on and basically most of the folks he mentions are some of my favorite artists, therefore I thought this album was gonna totally kick ass!!! I didn't get what I was expecting musically (I don't really know what I was expecting with a list that big anyway) but I wasn't disappointed at all. It is an original album of sample-heavy inventive music. It's hard to explain. It has that particular "genius-at-work" shadow, kind of thing... It's almost like a concept album but I couldn't find a common denominator to be elected as the theme, expect for maybe his life... His life, his musical experiences, his emotions are probably all inside this, packed and ready to be put on display, so this is Him, this is Csupo, so please allow me to introduce you to Gabor Csupo!
These two individuals and their attitude are most likely considered sick and shocking by the so called "normal" sheePeople, or whatever else you enjoy calling your fellow earthlings, but in our world, where true meaning is to be found beyond mere appearance, I still don't know whether these dudes are to be placed in the Marylin Manson category of bands just trying to draw attention through disturbing graphics and images of politico-social provocation or part of those few fine folks who actually find it amusing to shock bourgeoise masses but who try to go beyond superficiality and deliver a message about something real... According to the booklet they get inspired by american trash-tv such as Jerry Springer, Montel, Riki and all that other crap-talk-show garbage, so that would probably credit the latter possibility, I just don't know for sure, and because I hate the all-appearance-no-content acts such as Manson, I am just a little skeptical... Considering that they call their music electro-punk I would think they are the real thing... The images of vivisection laboratory's horrible results, representatives of stupid racial groups and other stuff like that makes me think they really care. Musically their music is infested by samples (a lot of speech samples) taken from a number of different places... If cyber punk is what they like to call it that the word "punk" is there to identify their attitude and heart. Not much punk in the music (except of some fast beats here and there), more like power-ebm with distorted vocals, electronic beats and industrial. Sounds a lot European actually and reminds me of older stuff at times (Cat Rapes Dogs etc) but fortunately they don't play like clones of the good old eighties, they achieved to actually sound like a current band and they sound pretty good too, at least not boring, that's for sure... I am sorry if I have been a little too picky and over-critical about them, I just have these reactions when I am not sure whether I am dealing with genuine feelings or theatrical acts. But they sure are a valid band worth to be checked out.
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 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.