Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Music Reviews

ASP: Der Schwarze Schmetterling, Teil II, :DUETT

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Artist: ASP
Title: Der Schwarze Schmetterling, Teil II, :DUETT
Format: CD
Label: Richterskala/Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
I'm not really sure I got the name of the band and the title right, but oh well. ASP play a blend of electro, wave and rockish, radio-friendly music with great care for arrangement and details. No wonder they play live with an extended line-up with non-electronic instrumentation, since all tracks have distinct melodies and are arranged like "real" songs - thus, though rhythms are exclusively electronic, they skillfully avoid the classic feeling of monotonous repetition which plagues most electro acts. But the song structure itself seems to be based more on melody than on rhythm, and tracks like "Maybe" have those catchy pop lines that could guarantee proper airplay. Really not my cup of tea, but definitely better than most EBM stuff I've listened to over the past few months. Uh, comes in digipack with booklet (good layout).

Propulsion: Flesh & Blood

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Artist: Propulsion
Title: Flesh & Blood
Format: DVD
Flesh & Blood is the third self released album by this Belgian duo. One older song on this album is Human Catalyst which is completely reworked. With the first two songs (Flesh & Blood and Neglect) they underline their EBM qualities. If you like VNV nation you will certainly enjoy the beginning of this CD. This album is different than previous recordings for many reasons. One reason is that they introduce more variety. Besides the danceable Rage, the industrial minded Attack and the softer ballad Everything Is Gone (with female vocals), they bring instrumental tracks like Omar Cantar and Dark Disco. If you like samples and danceable beats, catchy melodies and electronic sounds, you could check out Propulsion.

ALEC EMPIRE: Intelligence And Sacrifice

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Title: Intelligence And Sacrifice
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: Santeria (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Alec Empire is or was (since I don't know if his main band disbanded) Atari Teenage Riot's singer. He for sure gathered a lot of experience with his main band as performer as well as sonic/noise manipulator. This new CD is a double one and contains two different CDs: the first one similar to the ideas he carried on with ATR and the second one as he says is "electronic music without any vocals, a cycle that never ends". To give you an idea about how he conceived his music, read the band's members that played with him at their first big shows at Japan?s Fuji Rock Festival: Charlie Clouser from Nine Inch Nails on synths, famous Japanese noise legend MERZBOW on drums, Gabe Serbian from The Locust on a second kit, and ATR?s NIC ENDO on synths/keyboards. Nic is also a permanent member in the band and is responsible for all the special effects, sounds, noises, and the "Third World War" 14 minute apocalyptic finale of the last song "New World Order". All the tracks of the first CD are like a sonic assault and tracks like "The Ride" or "Addicted To You" are really immediate. A CYCLE THAT NEVER ENDS is the subtitle of the second CD and musically it recalls me the first Cabaret Voltaire experiments but played with digital instruments and hip hop breaks. This CD has been a sort of surprise as well as "2641998", the twentynine minutes long track which opens the CD, is really particular and based on a sequenced loop (do you remember DAF's tracks?). With this one you can taste the most experimental side of the man and I assure you that it's really enjoyable.

Icon of Coil: The Soul Is The Software

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Artist: Icon of Coil (@)
Title: The Soul Is The Software
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)

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From the start it is easy to see why Icon of Coil is becoming more well known in the EBM scene. Their music combines elements of earlier versions of the genre like the heavy Technophile F242 sound of "Thrill Capsule" to the more VNV-like "In Absence" or the very Synthpop "Access and Amplify" or "Other Half of Me" which are restructured from the typical synthpop sound into a very IOC brand.

Strangely enough you'll even find some more urban influence on "Everything Is Real" which utilizes a heavy hip-hop beat distorted and industrialized and also incorporates piano into the mix.

If I had to pick any favorites for this album though it would have to be the last two tracks. "Disconnect" could readily be an anthem for anyone living in our modern high stress society while "Simulated" sounds like something that should be in The Matrix II. With lyrics like the following I really hope this one does NOT get missed!

We're alive and we're among you. We breed and we conceive you. You live because we allow you to live and you breath because we allow you to breath. You're incapable to think or breath for yourself. We pull the strings, cut of the wings. We're in charge of all the peace and of all the noise. You think there is a God, you are only toys.

Overall this album contains track after track of heavy EBM club beats. Excellent!

davaNtage: No Candle Light

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Artist: davaNtage
Title: No Candle Light
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain (@)
A cd-ep (5 tracks, 22') featuring exclusive songs and remixes as an advance of the forthcoming new album "Global badlands". I recall listening to davaNtage's previous work, but I can't trace the review right now, so I hope my memory doesn't betray me... I think davaNtage's electro/EBM has become a bit lighter – while "The Warming" has that slow, darker groove, "No candle light" (remixed by Future Trail) and "Defense" (normal version and remix by Future Trail) opt for a relatively fast-paced rhythm and ear-catching refrains, while maintaining a kind of sullen mood. Ok, then there's "Switch Off", a track featuring Cyborg Attack's Sandro F. on vocals – I haven't liked C.A.'s cd and I don't like this one, I think the gruffy death-metal vocals are really dull and over-the-top.


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