Sep 2011 26

Sky Burial - KiehtanSky Burial
Category: Ambient / Experimental
Album: Kiehtan
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: As with any extended ambient drone piece, there are moments of utter boredom, and there are moments of sheer creative beauty.

 

Making the transition from harsh noise to trancelike ambience is perhaps not as extreme a turn as one might expect for a creative artist, especially one who is able to draw from all aspects of one’s personality. While Michael Page had established himself in the field of power noise with Fire in the Head, he began Sky Burial in 2006 to explore another side to his musical intensity, focusing on experimental sound structures and atmospheric exploration. Kiehtan marks his sixth release under the Sky Burial moniker, offering up just under 48 minutes worth of audio phantasms and mystical soundscapes that are as haunting as they are inviting.

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Sep 2011 26

Heimatærde - UnwesenHeimatærde
Category: Industrial/Folk
Album: Unwesen
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: For a sound that’s both old and new, regular and unique: Heimatærde.

 

Heimatærde continues forward with its unique blend of electro/industrial and medieval and anachronistic motifs and sounds. The solo project of DJ Ash (aka Ashlar von Megalon), Heimatærde presents their newest album Unwesen, mixing engaging dance music with haunting instrumentals, chant numbers, and deep voiceovers. While the instrumentation may not show much variety in spite of its unique ensemble, Unwesen is an engaging album full of enough dance and boom for a variety of fans.

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Sep 2011 26

REIZstrom - Dwarfs Like GiantsREIZstrom
Category: EBM / Industrial
Album: Dwarfs Like Giants
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Reizstrom’s 2010 release is an amalgamation of retro sounds, pop sensibilities, and modern techniques.

 

An up and coming band, REIZstrom is an all electronic-based act from Germany who to date have released all of their material on their own, forsaking record label middlemen. Influenced by bands such as Kraftwerk, Front 242, and Klangstabil, REIZstrom’s output has resulted in a style that sounds much like a modern version of the WaxTrax! vein of music released in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

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Sep 2011 26

Meat Beat Manifesto - Answers Come in DreamsMeat Beat Manifesto
Category: IDM
Album: Answers Come in Dreams
Stars: 3
Blurb: Meat Beat Manifesto returns with a collection of cerebral audio fascinations that explore the dark reaches of IDM, electronic music, and industrial.

 

In 2008, Jack Dangers and company – better known in music circles as Meat Beat Manifesto – released an album of thought provoking industrial/electronic pieces that built upon social commentary and political themes of that year’s interesting mood of theoretical change. Fast forward three years, and we now find Dangers becoming a little more introspective, laidback, and not afraid to refine the experimental nature of his musical musings. Answers Come in Dreams is an album that characterizes the Meat Beat Manifesto sound as one that is not so much industrial, dub, trip-hop, ambient, electronic, synthetic, or even experimental. Instead, the album is a tribute to all of those genres, mashing them together in to a freeform adventure in collective sound design.

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Sep 2011 26

Martin Phillip - RecumbentMartin Philip
Category: Electro-pop
Album: Recumbent
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Like his electronic forefathers, Martin Philip has discovered the key to romantic electro-pop… moody vocals and layers of beautiful sound.

 

Martin Philip is obviously heavily influenced by electronic greats like Pet Shop Boys, The Eurythmics, Yaz, and Thomas Dolby. It shows in his vocals, music composition, and even retro mod fashion choices. To get the complete image of Mr. Philip, as you listen to his latest album, Recumbent, take a stroll through the photos of him posing with intriguing instrument-inspired props while wearing English suits and bowler hats. And make sure the volume is turned high enough to allow your ear to pick up all the nuances of his voice or you’ll miss something essential.

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Sep 2011 26

Unit 187 - Out for BloodUnit 187
Category: Industrial
Album: Out for Blood
Stars: 3
Blurb: An impressive, heavy, and gritty coldwave showcase that unfortunately comes across as too restrained.

 

Only the fourth full album to be released in this Vancouver based act’s 15 year history, Out for Blood once again brings Unit 187 together with Front Line Assembly alumni Chris Peterson, this time in a more active, official band member capacity. Their first album since 2004’s Capital Punishment, Unit 187 has significantly downplayed the electronics this time out, incorporating heavy throbbing guitar giving the work a mellower, but far grittier feeling.

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Sep 2011 26

Kordan - The LongingKordan
Category: Rock/Shoegazer
Album: The Longing
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Kordan’s debut album does leave a longing: for more substance to go with all that style.

 

Debuting from Brooklyn, New York comes Kordan, mixing electronics with shoegazer rock for an airy and ethereal sound perfect for a relaxing moment. Synths are overlaid with guitars and effected vocals for a humming atmosphere of mellow music. Kordan’s first album, The Longing showcases their style through 11 tracks of like sound. However, for all of its glints, The Longing feels lacking in solid substance, seeming to reach for appeal to a niche market crowd rather than expand the full reach of Kordan’s musical ability.

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