Sep 2011 27

SCAMIn late July, Belgian electronic act Psy’Aviah was made aware of a biography on their band that had been making its way through stores digital and physical. Released by Betascript Publishing, the biography was never endorsed or authorized by Psy’Aviah; in fact, they had no knowledge of its existence up to this point. The Betascript biography turned out to be nothing more than the content from the Wikipedia article on Psy’Aviah lifted, printed, and sold. To this date, multiple electronic acts such as VNV Nation, Front 242, and Apoptygma Berzerk also have unauthorized Betascript biographies being sold. Reportedly, Betascript is a subsidiary of Germany-based VDM Publishing, which controls numerous publishing companies of similar nature.

The initial reaction, of course, is to balk at Betascript’s actions and decry them for their lack of ethics and taking advantage of these bands while hardly doing any true research of their own. Psy’Aviah member Yves Shelpe and Side-Line’s own Bernard Van Isacker have already made their opinions known publicly regarding Betascript’s actions. According to Shelpe’s own investigations, Betascript publishes countless titles, music-related and not, based on Wikipedia articles. One need only search for Betascript Publishing on Amazon.co.uk or Barnesandnoble.com to view long lists of titles ranging from Pay-As-You-Earn Tax to National Pool Guard Qualification to Sammy Brooks (Footballer). Furthermore, Shelpe found that numerous fans of his own band and even public libraries were buying these books. He himself decried Betascript’s actions, stating, “It’s not because something is legal that it isn’t a scam or pure unethical business.”

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Sep 2011 26

Mona Mur / En Esch - Do With Me What You WantMona Mur / En Esch
Category: Industrial / Goth
Album: Do With Me What You Want
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Dark grooves, sensual energy, and industrialized pop appeal make for one of the best albums of these two artists’ careers.

 

In 2009, two of the underground music scene’s luminaries joined forces to create an album that lived up to its title as a work of unabashed beauty and raging violence, drawing on the gothic burlesque drama of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht combined with industrialized atmosphere. Now, Mona Mur and En Esch continue their collaboration with Do With Me What You Want, treading down their dark musical path with intense bravado, wrought with groovy rhythms, sexy bass lines, gyrating textures, and vocals that are as menacing as they are erotic. Whereas 120 Tage was comprised of older material, most of which was originally conceived by Mur with members of Einstürzende Neubauten, here we have all new material, representing the full breadth of the two artists’ talents as producers, vocalists, and songwriters.

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Sep 2011 26

Everpresent - PhoenixEverpresent
Category: Electro-pop
Album: Phoenix
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: A concise bit of electro-pop that shows a slickness of sound and style, but whose power is ultimately set to a mild stun.

 

Matthew Cahoon has spent the last half-decade under the radar honing his songwriting skills in Everpresent, his primary musical outlet. Since the band’s inception, it has transformed from an artsy gothic drone to melodic synthpop to its current incarnation of being pure, unabashed electro-pop. With the band’s latest release, Phoenix rises indeed as its title suggests from the ashes of its past to create a concise and coherent cornucopia of catchy bass lines, blissful melodies, replete with groovy beats and a hint of the ethnic for added flavor.

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Sep 2011 26

ohGr - unDevelopedohGr
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: unDeveloped
Stars: 4
Blurb: Balancing pop appeal with scathing experimentalism, ohGr returns to form with an album that is far from what its title suggests.

 

Nivek Ogre has become something of a legend in his own time. Over the course of the last three decades, he has come to exemplify the very idea of what a creative artist and thought-provoking performer should be. With his de facto solo band ohGr, he and Mark Walk have redefined the boundaries between experimental electro/industrial and saccharine pop music with 2001’s Welt and 2003’s SunnyPsyOp. In 2008, the pair took a drastic and unexpected turn with Devils in My Details, presenting a massive and distorted mélange of pure musical exploration that defied categorization, distinguishing itself from not only past ohGr material but even their work in Skinny Puppy. While this approach was given a mixed reception among fans, with unDeveloped, ohGr makes a stylistic compromise between that leans toward the pop sensibilities of the earlier albums without losing the exploratory edge.

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Sep 2011 26

Decree - FatelessDecree
Category: Industrial
Album: Fateless
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: A downright stunning return from this Front Line Assembly alumni.

 

Nearly seven years since the release of Moment of Silence, Front Line Assembly veteran Chris Peterson returns with the vicious and powerful Fateless. Spawned from the early ‘90s collaboration with Rhys Fulber, Will, Decree is the spiritual successor to that great ritualistic electronic act. Known for thick unrelenting rhythmic noise, in this outing Decree has incorporated more rock elements giving the sound more versatility and preventing the punishing weight of the music from becoming too much for the listener to bear.

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Sep 2011 26

Gnome & Spybey - Beyond Willie’s PlaceGnome & Spybey
Category: Ambient / Experimental
Album: Beyond Willie’s Place
Stars: 3
Blurb: Hardly as beyond the first album as the title would suggest, but still an enticing and more melodic foray into experimental ambience.

 

Having released At Willie’s Place only a few months prior, one could easily mistake the second release from Gnome & Spybey to be a quintessential remix companion as the title Beyond Willie’s Place would seem to suggest. However, Tony D’Oporto and Mark Spybey have taken a more literal approach to the title as this album takes the foundations of the previous album and takes them even further, solidifying their collaboration into something more than simply the sum of their individual parts… at least, that seems to be the idea. Equal parts Spybey’s mangling of sound and samples and D’Oporto’s synthesized atmospheres, Beyond Willie’s Place is everything the first album was, but the question is if it is more than that; is it really “beyond?”

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Sep 2011 26

Psy’Aviah feat. Ayria - Into the Game EPPsy’Aviah feat. Ayria
Category: EBM / Electronica
Album: Into the Game EP
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Fans of Psy’Aviah will enjoy these remixes, but with nine versions of one song, too much of even a very good thing is still too much.

 

To keep fans sated until their next full album, Belgium’s Psy’Aviah has released a 47 minute digital EP including nine subtly different versions of “Into the Game” from 2010’s Eclectric. When you begin with such a strong, positive, high-energy song, it’s difficult to go wrong.

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