Aug 2011 09

Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy Reconfigured
Daft Punk
Category: Electronica
Album: Tron: Legacy Reconfigured
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: A fresh and satisfying companion piece to an already great soundtrack.

 

With music that has resonated in the minds of fans for nearly 30 years since its release, Wendy Carlos’ brilliant work from the soundtrack to the original Tron has left its own massive legacy. Whoever would be tasked with the music for the much anticipated sequel would certainly have massive shoes to fill. With a track record of producing extremely poppy dance music, it was unknown if Daft Punk could produce the caliber of music that complemented a film and didn’t just feel like a movie with Daft Punk music slapped on top of it much like their previous work on Interstella 555. Surprising many a naysayer, with Tron: Legacy Daft Punk proved more than capable of producing a mature, intricate, and beautifully orchestrated score that perfectly complemented the mood of the film. However, Daft Punk’s work still wasn’t without criticism as many or the group’s fans that obviously did not understand the concept of a film score and bemoaned the album’s lack of dance tracks. For those fans, there is now Tron: Legacy Reconfigured.

Building on top of the superb foundation laid by the soundtrack, this team of remixers has taken this newly iconic work from Daft Punk and reworked its songs into full-length dance tracks sure to please those whose bodies were left wanting from the lack of rhythmic beats on the score. Acts like the Crystal Method, Kil:Theory, Paul Oakenfold, Moby, and Pretty Lights magnificently capture the wonder and awe of the original work, maintaining the original mood and imagery while transforming the tracks into something much more suitable for the dance floor. Unfortunately, artists such as Photek and Com Truise who seemed relegated to working from the more incidental and less interesting moments of the soundtrack fail to leave any sort of impression and fade into a background haze. There is also the track remixed by M83 and Big Black Delta, “Fall,” which is one of the few versions to incorporate vocals, but makes itself memorable for all the wrong reasons as the ear-splitting and poorly mixed vocals will leave the listener wincing as the repeated “Na na na” leaves their ears bleeding while trying to enjoy an otherwise well put together track.

The Tron: Legacy soundtrack is sure to be a remixer’s dream for years to come and these certainly won’t be the last remixes to be spawned from it, but this first official remix offering is definitely satisfying as it dips its toes in electronica styles past and present. The lack of repeated tracks is also a significant treat, saving the listener from an album full of remixes of just “Derezzed” and “The Grid.” There still may be some disappointment from diehard Daft Punk fans hoping that Tron: Legacy had been transformed into a typical Daft Punk album by this collection of artists, but apart from one or two exceptions, the typical Daft Punk sound is still not present. Those not stuck on Daft Punk’s past, however, are sure to find a lot to love as these skilled hands play with Daft Punk’s building blocks.
 
Track list:

  1. Derezzed (Remixed by The Glitch Mob)
  2. Fall (Remixed by M83 Vs. Big Black Delta)
  3. The Grid (Remixed by The Crystal Method)
  4. Adagio For Tron (Remixed by Teddybears)
  5. The Son Of Flynn (Remixed by Ki:Theory)
  6. C.L.U. (Remixed by Paul Oakenfold)
  7. The Son of Flynn (Remixed by Moby)
  8. End of Line (Remixed by Boys Noize)
  9. Rinzler (Remixed by Kaskade)
  10. Encom Part 2 (Remixed by Com Truise)
  11. End of Line (Remixed by Photek)
  12. Arena (Remixed by The Japanese Popstars)
  13. Derezzed (Remixed by Avicii)
  14. Solar Sailer (Remixed by Pretty Lights)
  15. Tron Legacy (End Titles) (Remixed by Sander Kleinenberg)

 
Daft Punk Website http://www.daftpunk.com
Daft Punk MySpace http://www.myspace.com/daftpunk
Tron: Legacy Website http://www.disney.com/tron
Tron: Legacy Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Tron
Tron: Legacy Twitter http://twitter.com/TronLegacy
Tron: Legacy Soundtrack Website http://tronsoundtrack.com
Walt Disney Records Website http://www.waltdisneyrecords.com
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2011-04-05
 
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

Aug 2011 09

Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Daft Punk
Category: Electronica
Album: Tron: Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Stars: 5
Blurb: Daft Punk reinvents the concept of the movie score and produces their most epic work to date.

 

For the better part of the last 15 years, Daft Punk has been at the forefront of mainstream house/techno music. Initially thought to be just another faceless one hit wonder of the late ‘90s electronica movement, their release of 2001’s Discovery catapulted them into full Top 40 success. The formula they used was simple: take music and vocal samples, mix with old-school synths, lather, rinse, repeat. But as the duo continued, they managed to find their own sound among the hundreds of similar acts doing the exact same routine. Daft Punk created retro-futuristic music that sounded like it was from the past but with its mindset in the future, like watching old films about what people imagine the future as being like (i.e. 2001: A Space Odyssey). When the rumors of Daft Punk doing the score for Tron: Legacy began in the summer of 2010, many people were skeptical. Could they make the transition from radio friendly house music to the controlled sound of an orchestral score? Would they be able to blend the genres together in a cohesive way?

The short answer is yes, but what was unexpected was that the end result is potentially one of the greatest movie scores of all time. The album, even without seeing the film, gave the sense of the emotion of the scenes the music was to be the background for. The music flows with dynamic power; listening takes you to the edge of soul then pulls you back, only to pusher farther just moments later. This is heard in tracks like “Recognizer” and “The Game Has Changed,” where the buildup reaches a fever pitch, then pulls back just long enough for your mind to catch its breath before hitting full force again. When others have tried to use classical and techno for a movie score (i.e. Oakenfold’s soundtrack for the movie Swordfish), the two genres tend to overlap on each other and become muddled. Daft Punk manages to avoid this, having the tracks come off as elegant in how they are blended. But the real beauty of the soundtrack is presented within the film. The movie takes place in a computer generated world; however, the computer was built in the ‘80s, so while everything looks very futuristic (black and neon are the predominate colors of everything in the film), it also feels stuck in the past. This is where Daft Punk’s use of vintage synths really works its magic. Tracks like “End of Line” and “Derezzed” are pure ‘80s synth at their best, with “End of Line” even incorporating 8-bit sounds.

The mark of a great movie soundtrack is one where you cannot imagine the film without the music, and this album has the potential to be one of those soundtracks. Even outside of the realm of movie scores, this should also be considered Daft Punk’s best record to date. The maturity of the sound and production, the perfect ebb and flow of the progressions, and the sheer magnitude of intensity make this a truly legendary album.
 
Track list:

  1. Overture
  2. The Grid
  3. The Son of Flynn
  4. Recognizer
  5. Armory
  6. Arena
  7. Rinzler
  8. The Game Has Changed
  9. Outlands
  10. Adagio for Tron
  11. Nocturne
  12. End of Line
  13. Derezzed
  14. Fall
  15. Solar Sailer
  16. Rectifier
  17. Disc Wars
  18. C.L.U.
  19. Arrival
  20. Flynn Lives
  21. Tron: Legacy (End Titles)
  22. Finale

 
Daft Punk Website http://www.daftpunk.com
Daft Punk MySpace http://www.myspace.com/daftpunk
Tron: Legacy Website http://www.disney.com/tron
Tron: Legacy Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Tron
Tron: Legacy Twitter http://twitter.com/TronLegacy
Tron: Legacy Soundtrack Website http://tronsoundtrack.com
Walt Disney Records Website http://www.waltdisneyrecords.com
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
 
2010-12-07
 
John Galope (SilentBKS)

Aug 2011 09

Twitch the Ripper - Bodiless
Twitch the Ripper
Category: Electronica
Album: Bodiless
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Great promise struggling to overcome the weight dragging it to its death.

 

Quickly making a name for themselves supporting My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and 16volt on the Sinister Whisperz Tour, this young group from Connecticut’s debut album definitely suggests them to be an interesting addition to the lineup. A somewhat retro styled synthpop album, Bodiless channels ‘80s styled synth lines but smears them with an aura of melancholy and gloom. This low-key and subdued style could have made for a calming and relaxing album, but unfortunately, some of the group’s more glaring weaknesses will leave the listener struggling to appreciate the good and ignore the bad. [..]

Aug 2011 09

Kidneythieves - TryptOfanatic
Kidneythieves
Category: Industrial Rock
Album: TryptOfanatic
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: As if the eight-year-long gap between albums never happened, Kidneythieves return with their signature blend of trippy melodies and grating industrial rock.

 

Beginning life in 1998, Kidneythieves has remained just under the radar of the underground music scene thanks to an enticing mix of trip-hop style melody and texture with guitar-driven industrial rock. After the release of their second album, Zerøspace in 2002, during which time they opened for KMFDM on the Strum & Drang tour and appeared on several film and television soundtracks, and the 2004 rerelease of their debut album, Tricksterprocess, the duo of Free Dominguez and Bruce Somers went on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other projects and leaving a void for the band’s fans. While the band reformed three years later, it would be another three years after that before the release of the third Kidneythieves album, TryptOfanatic. [..]

Aug 2011 09

Witness the Apotheosis - When the Night Comes
Witness the Apotheosis
Category: Industrial
Album: When the Night Comes
Stars: 2
Blurb: A single that does not soar to the heights promised by the band’s moniker.

 

A seven track single from Athens, Georgia’s Witness the Apotheosis, When the Night Comes is just the second entry in this young group’s discography. Though attempting to show off their spin on dance floor friendly electronic darkwave by incorporating cello into the mix, When the Night Comes feels more like an interesting concept that got overpowered and watered down until it was bland enough to fit into a specific niche rather than making its own path. [..]

Aug 2011 09

Microwaved - Desperation Upon the Wings of Angels
Microwaved
Category: Industrial
Album: Desperation Upon the Wings of Angels
Stars: 3
Blurb: After years of intense work, Microwaved’s debut album has finally seen the light of day.

 

Formed in 2002 in Cedar Falls, Iowa by Gabe Wilkinson, Desperation Upon the Wings of Angels is Microwaved’s first collection of music. While in one sense it falls into the category of an album, it’s also very much a compilation of songs, sounds, and ideas that Wilkinson has been experimenting with and perfecting for the better part of a decade. Influenced by older industrial music projects like Ministry and Skinny Puppy, as well as ‘80s pop music and classic rock, Microwaved’s music displays a unique blend of industrial music that could only come out of an isolated community in America’s heartland.

While at times saturated with crunchy guitars and distortion, Desperation… also frequently exudes electronic and dance-oriented material, and a number of instrumental tracks can be found as well. The record features a great amount of variety and diversity. While there is always some level of intensity and energy to the music, the almost soothing atmosphere of the album overall often leads to a record full of a nervously calm tension. As it did take Wilkinson years to pull this record together, it lacks the cohesion and spontaneity of albums that are produced much more quickly. In addition, there are a number of guest musicians on the record as well as considerable differences in some of the effects and instrumentation used, so at times it feels like you’re listening to a completely different band. While certainly not a bad thing in itself, it can be a little jarring.

As Desperation Upon the Wings of Angels is available as a “pay what you want” download, this writer recommends this release for anybody looking to hear something new and a little different in the electro/industrial rock vein.
 
Track list:

  1. Gave Up
  2. Ass Head Reign
  3. Every Time
  4. Blood
  5. I Can’t Let You Go
  6. Graven Image (featuring Douglas Havlik)
  7. All Out Monsters Attack
  8. Escape
  9. I Ran Through a Flock of Seagulls
  10. I’m On Fire
  11. Number Five (featuring Tyler Crew)
  12. My Own Device
  13. Song Seven
  14. Grave
  15. Worthless

Bonus Videos:

  1. All Out Monsters Attack
  2. Blood
  3. Gave Up

 
Microwaved MySpace http://www.myspace.com/microwaved
Microwaved BandCamp http://microwaved.bandcamp.com
 
2011-01-11
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

Aug 2011 09

Various Artists - Drinking the Goat's Blood
Various Artists
Category: Compilations / Experimental / IDM
Album: Drinking the Goat’s Blood
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: New compilation that offers a very specific foray into a corner of electronic music that often gets over looked.

 

Drinking the Goat’s Blood is a new compilation from an independent label based in California, known as Record Label Records. Featuring artists from the label’s own roster, as well as acts from Hymen Records and Ant-Zen, Drinking the Goat’s Blood features a notably diverse range of sounds and approaches.

While it’s impossible not to hear a little Boards of Canada or Aphex Twin at times, much of the music on this disc is more abstract and directionless. Featuring anything from frantic beats to nearly comatose noise, the music here encompasses a wide range of moods and minimalistic styles. Senryl’s “Dusted” is one of the high points of the record, offering a melancholy and somewhat rhythmic piece.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of repetitiousness. Considering that some of these songs are in the near seven minute range, it can become quite a drag after awhile. There are also a couple of tracks that are particularly pointless and, as it happens, outright annoying. Mike Dunkley’s “Rap Career” probably deserves this honor the most, in addition to the honor of being the album’s first featured artist.

While this writer can’t conceive that this album will find sizeable audience, the varied nature of the recordings and their repetitive nature does encourage their use as sample fodder for other artists to take advantage of and experiment with. “Ice Berg Marimba” by Jacob Jarnigon is one of those tracks just aching to be manipulated and added to.
 
Track list:

  1. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  2. Wobbly – I Can’t Speak
  3. Fluorescent Grey – Acoustic Barber Pole
  4. Column One – 100 Märsche & Tänze (Grey Version)
  5. Candle Labra – Physmod Pt 1
  6. Ata Ebtekar – Nuke Concrete
  7. Nommo Ogo – Chromomiasma
  8. Wisp – Ptolemy Sphere
  9. Dalglish – Yvonlin Bck
  10. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  11. Koyxen – 410b
  12. Claroscent Dray – Seraphim (Excerpt)
  13. Contagious Orgasm – A Present Spot
  14. Sean Niessen – Backwards (Excerpt)
  15. Jacob Jarnigon – Ice Berg Marimba
  16. Upside Down Umbrella – Egg in the Head (Excerpt)
  17. Wobbly – A Wall of Blood
  18. 10-20 – Baltimoriole
  19. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  20. Bloodysnowman – Psychic Sunrise (Bonus Track)
  21. Candle Labra – Physmod Pt 2 (Bonus Track)
  22. Yoshihide Nakajima – Room (Bonus Track)

 
Record Label Records Website http://www.recordlabelrecords.org
 
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
 
2010-12-07
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

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