Aug 2011 09

Anthony Jones - Viktorian
Anthony Jones
Category: Electronica
Album: Viktorian
Stars: 4
Blurb: The red hot pulse of ethereal dark electronic from the late ‘80s through to today, ready for you to sink your teeth into.

 

Anthony Jones – vocalist and lyricist who has contributed his talents to projects Alaska Highway and The Point of Reflection – has now released Viktorian, a musical immortalization of an eight-year-long relationship that met its end. While much of Jones’ previous work has also explored the heights and pitfalls of love treasured and lost, and while that work has been composed expertly enough to give such an intense and universally human subject a properly robust voice, Viktorian does all of this and more. It has the extra “something” that makes the difference between a good album and a great album. Maybe that “something” is pure passion, maybe it’s the power of personal experience, or perhaps it’s simply an outstanding example of emotion translated seamlessly into music. Whatever it is, if listened to from start to finish, this is an album that makes a deep – even painful – impression.

Viktorian is an homage to late ‘80s and early to mid ‘90s dream pop, trip-hop, and darkwave, and half of the album consists of cover versions of songs that come out of these time periods and genres. While some will consider this release to be too heavy on unoriginal material, the Viktorian versions of these songs are crafted so masterfully and generate such a powerfully nostalgic mood that they do not come across as “covers,” even if the listener is familiar with the original material. The original songs are as well done as the cover songs; interspersed with the four reinterpretations, they ensnare and enrapture with a rich combination of organic instruments, synthesized effects, and captivating vocal work.

The first track, “What Dreams May Come,” creeps up on the listener with organic drums and a flurry of notes from Chinese flutes, going then into a driving electronic beat. Jones’ vocals, which come in with the synthetic percussion, have a light electric effect applied to them, which makes for a strong larger-than-life presence. With this first track we are introduced to the very well put together drum progressions in Viktorian, consisting of several layers of subtle, asperous textures. “Shoulder to the Wheel,” a tribute to Bel Canto, gets into the meat of this album. The original song’s opening synth swells are replaced by the intonations of well known vocalist and Los Angeles DJ, Amanda Jones. An atmospheric and wonderfully eerie effect is applied to her vocals, and the duet that occurs at the chorus is phenomenal. “Come to Me,” a more ethereal version of Brad Fiedel’s Fright Night II movie soundtrack piece, is absolutely brilliant. The image conveyed is that of a misty night filled with sweaty desire, or of a passing but thunderous squall. This song and “Viktor” are the two tracks that feature Anthony Jones’ impressive vocal range and richness of tone. “Agonized by Love,” a cover of Clan of Xymox, starts off with piano and a lone Chinese bamboo flute and moves into a slow beat, dreamy vocals, and background guitar, carrying the listener along in a fluid stream that seems to reach far across time and space. The concluding track, “In Sleep” is sublime as a closing piece on this release, promising so much more just beyond the final veil. This piece also has a slow beat that intensifies into a stannic lash in the middle.

Viktorian is a rare combination of subtlety and in your face intensity. It is a worthy veneration of two decades of dark ethereal electronic music and a masterfully crafted testimonial of the most noble of human emotions.
 
Track list:

  1. What Dreams May Come
  2. Shoulder to the Wheel (Bel Canto – feat. Amanda Jones)
  3. Falling Snow
  4. Come to Me (Brad Fiedel)
  5. Viktor
  6. Eden (Sarah Brightman / Hooverphonic)
  7. Agonized by Love (Clan of Xymox)
  8. In Sleep

 
Anthony Jones ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/AnthonyJones
Night Shift Records Website http://nightshift-records.com
 
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
 
2011-02-14
 
Dillon Carlyon

Aug 2011 09

Ace Reporter - Arcadia EP
Ace Reporter
Category: Electronica / Indie Rock
Album: Arcadia EP
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Eclectic and surprisingly deep, Ace Reporter’s Arcadia needs to be heard.

 

In 2010, singer/songwriter/musician Chris Snyder – a.k.a. Ace Reporter – began his inspirational ThreeSixFive project, and wrote and recorded one song a day for an entire year. With that massive archive to pull from, he spent 2011 taking on the task of wading through the material and releasing a number of free EPs to showcase his work. The fourth installment is Arcadia, a collection of six surprisingly diverse and intelligent songs. The average songwriter can take months to create something half as complete.

The EP begins with “Arcadia.” Doing a search through the 365 songs, you can compare Day 309’s “Arcadia” with the one on the EP. It’s not the same, but you can hear where the instrumental about cause without effect may have influenced the slightly more upbeat indie/pop vocal version. It would have been nice to get a bit of the original piano into it though. “Stick To” is pretty similar between the original and EP versions. Featuring distorted organ and some robotic backing vocals, it’s an interesting piece. However, the newer version is made superior with the addition of a catchy sing-along “ladidadidah” chorus – nice. A dance track sneaks in at the third position. The remix of “Lean Honey Lean” is a joyous celebration of the things we can depend on, with a strong tempo and great lyrics. “The World is On Fire” is a bit political, but the heavy message is easier to swallow when swathed in a smooth beat and nearly hip hop-like vocals. He could just as easily be singing about driving down the road in a convertible and checking out the ladies. And on a completely different note, we have “Pelican,” with distorted beat boxing and an experimental Radiohead-like feel. It’s not the easiest to listen to, but definitely the most haunting. Finally, we have the beautiful “We Used to Wait.” It is a cover of Arcade Fire, but when looking past that, it’s really, really nice with gentle vocals, guitar, subtle percussion, and a string section.

Whether you heard every song the moment they were posted or you missed out on the ThreeSixFive project, you should still make an effort to download these free EPs. Ace Reporter may be a genius. Just writing and recording a song every day for a year proves he’s insane, but aren’t we all a little mad?
 
Track list:

  1. Arcadia
  2. Stick To
  3. Lean Honey Lean (Swingset Committee Remix)
  4. The World is on Fire (Barbara Remix)
  5. Pelican (feat Chris Kuklis)
  6. We Used to Wait [Bonus Track]

 
Ace Reporter Website http://myacereporter.com
Ace Reporter MySpace http://www.myspace.com/myacereporter
Ace Reporter Facebook http://www.facebook.com/acereportermusic
Ace Reporter Twitter http://www.twitter.com/myacereporter
Ace Reporter SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/audibletreats/ace-reporter-arcadia-ep-03
Ace Reporter Bandcamp http://acereporter.bandcamp.com
Genious Collective Records Website http://geniouscollective.com
 
2011-02-09
 
Charity VanDeberg (CharityV)

Aug 2011 09

Culture Kultür - Spirit
Culture Kultür
Category: Industrial / EBM / Futurepop
Album: Spirit
Stars: 3
Blurb: Culture Kultür captures the spirit of the dance floor with this new album.

 

Spain-based industrial artists Culture Kultür are back five years after their Reborn album with Spirit. Following in their previous mode, Culture Kultür provides an atmosphere full of heavy dance beats, sweeping electronics, and deep, impassioned vocals. While the band doesn’t self-identify as such, Culture Kultür’s sound harkens back to the glory days of futurepop, blending it with a more modern EBM technique. While variety may not be in its schema, Spirit is an album for the dance floor and a well executed one at that.

Fueled by strobe lights and stomping rhythms, Spirit rides the upbeat dance model hard, bouncing from track to track with danceable EBM backed by pulsing drum and bass. From opening track “Sieged” to “Drum Machine” to “Never Again,” Culture Kultür hardly lets up from the beat. Only occasionally will the band slow things down a bit, with tracks such as “Silence” and “I Found You” toward the end taking a more airy and light path. The vocals move from seductive to grand in volume and style along with the musical tone. The band’s almost total reliance on this dance feeling allows for limited range of motion, and hinders the band a bit when they tackle the Joy Division classic, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Here, Culture Kultür’s go-to style kills the mood behind the lyrics of the song in favor of a club-like atmosphere; it’s good for dancing, but its lyrics lose the meaning.

Culture Kultür has come to dance. If you haven’t, then go find a different album. There’s no doubt that Spirit will receive widespread club play, as its tracks are most certainly in the spirit of dancing.
 
Track list:

  1. Sieged
  2. Blind Man
  3. Love Will Tear Us Apart
  4. Dead Second
  5. Drum Machine
  6. Unforgiven
  7. Toxic Pulse
  8. Never Again
  9. Silence
  10. My Voice
  11. I Found You

 
Culture Kultür Website http://www.culturekultur.com
Culture Kultür MySpace http://www.myspace.com/culturekultur
Culture Kultür Facebook http://www.facebook.com/culturekultur
Culture Kultür Twitter http://www.twitter.com/culturekultur
Culture Kultür ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/culturekultur
Caustic Records Website http://www.causticrecords.com
Caustic Records Myspace http://www.myspace.com/causticrecords
Caustic Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/CAUSTIC-RECORDS/316918998270
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-10-01
 
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

Aug 2011 09

Dexy Corp_ - Uchronopolis
Dexy Corp_
Category: Industrial
Album: Uchronopolis
Stars: 3
Blurb: You don’t need to follow the storyline to appreciate this album’s chugging industrial metal riffs.

 

French industrial rock act Dexy Corp_’s newest full-length release, Uchronopolis is an ambitious concept album, a story of rebellion in a steampunk-inspired totalitarian city-state. Influenced by such films as Dark City, Brazil, and of course Blade Runner, it’s a cool concept for an album and one eminently suited to the group’s style of sample-laced chugging industrial metal. Ultimately though, it’s just a diversion from the real attraction. Though spoken announcements and instrumental interludes blending Dixieland jazz with distorted electronics help cement Uchronopolis together as a complete work of art, the songs do just fine standing on their own. With vocals screamed through layers of distortion and guitar riffs chugging over thumping, occasionally glitching rhythms, songs like “Tainted Cortex” and “Nero’s Dream” borrow from American-style coldwave in the vein of Acumen Nation, complete with occasional bad acid trip wah-wah pedals and stuttering electronic beats. “Black Flash” and “Exodus” are tighter, raw yet controlled, with fist-pumping bursts and bellows broken up with tense pauses, while “Lockdown” moves into Marilyn Manson territory with its slower groove and sneering robotic vocals. It’s all appealingly abrasive, the vocals always threatening to burst into uncontrolled rage but just barely restrained by tight guitar work and precision electronics. Uchronopolis is a narrative journey, yes, but more importantly a musical one, paying sonic homage to industrial metal both classic and modern.
 
Track list:

  1. Welcome to Uchronopolis
  2. Black Flash
  3. Tainted Cortex
  4. Revenge
  5. Totalitarize Me
  6. The Great Parade for Monkeys
  7. A Birth
  8. ExUtero
  9. Exodus
  10. An Exile
  11. Day of the Hatred
  12. Lockdown
  13. No Tears
  14. Nero’s Dream
  15. Hyber-Nation
  16. Uchronopolis

 
Dexy Corp_ MySpace http://www.myspace.com/dexycorp
Dexy Corp_ Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dexy-Corp_/280376763157
Black Rain Media Group GmbH Website http://www.blackrain.de
Black Rain Media Group GmbH MySpace http://www.myspace.com/blackraind
Black Rain Media Group GmbH Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Rain-media-group-GmbH/178915337013
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (USA)
Amazon CD (DE)
Amazon MP3 (DE)
 
2010-11-30
 
Matthew Johnson (infinitywaltz)

Aug 2011 09

Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent
Killing Joke
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: Absolute Dissent
Stars: 4
Blurb: 13 turns out to be lucky for Killing Joke as the original lineup reforms for this powerhouse album.

 

With 30 years and 12 albums under their belt, the original Killing Joke lineup reunites for this lucky thirteenth album, Absolute Dissent. This hugely underappreciated band has influenced many of today’s biggest rock and industrial acts with their unique blend of gothic-tinted rock, subtle electronics, and the distinctive vocals of Jaz Coleman. Absolute Dissent continues Killing Joke’s record of excellence and their trend of evolution and growth.

Largely, the album is what fans have come to expect from Killing Joke. Tracks like “Absolute Dissent,” “In Excelsis,” and “Here Comes the Singularity” show off the vintage high energy post-punk glazed rock style they have become known for. Breaking up these faster paced, edgier rock tracks and Coleman’s face peeling vocals, two of the most unexpected and most memorable tracks of the album are the significantly mellower “European Super State” and “The Raven King.” “European Super State” wistfully plays with a steady danceable beat and shows Coleman’s vocal ability goes far beyond his trademark coarse gravelly style, showing off harmonies that help make this an exceptionally smooth and relaxing treat for the ears. “The Raven King” is similarly mellow, but carries with it a grandness and majesty befitting the title as it ebbs and flows between its lovely verses and powerful chorus. Another surprise is the closing track, “Ghosts on Ladbroke Grove,” which carries a slight reggae or dub style that mixes seamlessly with gloomy rock elements and shows off Killing Joke’s boldness and lack of fear in trying new things and exploring new horizons.

Even after 30 years, Killing Joke still continues to impress and shows absolutely no sign of its age. Their subtle evolution of sound has kept their work ageless and modern with their new work pushing boundaries and innovating just as much as their work of old. Longtime fans will find plenty of Killing Joke’s typical energy and style to satisfy, but it is in the less typical work where Absolute Dissent truly shines and ranks this album amongst Killing Joke’s best and one of the must own albums of their discography.
 
Track list:

  1. Absolute Dissent
  2. The Great Cull
  3. Fresh Fever from the Skies
  4. In Excelsis
  5. European Super State
  6. This World Hell
  7. End Game
  8. The Raven King
  9. Honour the Fire
  10. Depthcharge
  11. Here Comes the Singularity
  12. Ghosts on Ladbroke Grove

 
Killing Joke Website http://www.killingjoke.com
Killing Joke MySpace http://www.myspace.com/killingjokeofficial
Fontana International Website http://bsnpubs.com/mercury/fontana/fontana.html
Spinefarm Records Website http://www.spinefarm.fi
Spinefarm Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/spinefarm
Universal Music Group Website http://www.universalmusic.com
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-11-22
 
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

Aug 2011 09

Angelspit - Larva Pupa Tank Coffin
Angelspit
Category: Industrial
Album: Larva Pupa Tank Coffin
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Angelspit’s 2010 release is an exemplary combination of new material balanced with remixed material.

[..]

Aug 2011 09

Nude - Basic Guerilla Moves
Nude
Category: Electronica
Album: Basic Guerilla Moves
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: The absolute antithesis of highbrow electronic music, this bizarre mix is equal parts childish, catchy, and revolting.

 

Forcibly smashing together mid ‘90s electronica styles, hip-hop, and punk, Basic Guerilla Moves is an extreme oddity. The type of album that at first seems downright unlistenable somehow manages a bizarre and inexplicable charm. At times excessively poppy, and at others unbelievably crude, the album’s contents feel like they were put together by a committee of prepubescent children, but with musical accompaniments composed and arranged by an evil pop genius troll.

Despite the album’s introductory promises of a “high octane kick your big ass gig,” it starts off with almost comically saccharine tracks “Headbite” and “Let Me Go,” which conjure memories of the family friendly musical cover series Kids Bop. Things do get a little more serious with “Upbeatrealizm,” a solid gem of a drum & bass track that suffers from some occasional poor choices in vocal modification. The maturity level quickly falls again with the cheesy diva vocals of the following track, “Panicattak” and shows our first sign of the exceptionally childish and “dirty” rhymes that become prevalent later. “Showtime” is probably the catchiest and most fun track of the album, and though still overwhelmingly poppy, has enough of an edge for it to avoid much of the album’s juvenile feel. Things take yet another drastic turn when the music suddenly turns excessively crude in the track “All We Want Is,” which features gems like “I want to rock your body right; till the juice comes out your tights” and “Come on everybody and sing along; come up to the stage and suck on my dong.” Things become a bit more respectable and classy with “A Little Excitement,” but unfortunately, the track seems to borrow heavily from an old Orbital song. Nude also presents a very creative and well done cover of The Human League’s “Being Boiled,” which is arguably more enjoyable than the original and better highlights the song’s lyrical content.

Despite everything that’s just so very wrong about this album, it’s still very difficult to absolutely dismiss it as fluff trash. The album largely seems to be aiming for an Andrew W.K. style feel good party album and certainly succeeds on that level with the juvenile and thuggish mentality pervasive throughout, possibly being just as much a selling point as it is a turnoff. Musically, the beats are fun, exceptionally catchy, and well put together, but the vocal and lyrical components just completely torpedo the album’s credibility. Those who love the energy and swagger of Hadouken!’s Music for an Accelerated Culture will likely find similar things to love in Nude’s work, but ultimately the album comes across as good ideas turned into a frivolous and largely annoying pop fiasco.
 
Track list:

  1. Intro
  2. Headbite
  3. Let Me Go
  4. Upbeatrealizm
  5. Panicattack
  6. Showtime
  7. Being Boiled
  8. Inside
  9. All We Want Is
  10. Souvenir
  11. A Little Excitement
  12. You Had It Coming
  13. Ruff Rugged + Raw
  14. Here I Come
  15. Outro
  16. Normalee

 
Nude Website http://www.nude-music.com
Nude MySpace http://www.myspace.com/nuderiot
Sabotage-Concept Records Website http://www.sabotage-concept.eu
Sabotage-Concept Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/sabotageconcept
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-11-12
 
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!