Jul 2013 28

Various Artists - Absolute Grrrls Manifesto [Chapter 1]Various Artists
Category: Compilations
Album: Absolute Grrrls Manifesto [Chapter 1]
Stars: 5
Blurb: Covering just about every musical genre imaginable in the alternative scene, this four-disc set celebrates women’s musical talent.


With women being more prevalent than ever in alternative music, this four-disc box set from Alfa Matrix, celebrating female musical talent in alternative music, is a most opportune release. This isn’t the first such collection of its type (the label has been behind similar projects in the past), but it’s certainly the largest and most all-encompassing, containing 71 tracks that cover a wide range of musical styles. There is a great deal of melodic metal with contributions with Lovelorn Dolls and the gothic flavored September Mourning rubbing shoulders with such luminaries as Liv Kristine, Mantus, Tristania, and The Birthday Massacre among others. The electro/industrial styles are also well represented with Javelynn’s “Wannabe” and Ayria’s excellent “Plastic Makes Perfect” getting the whole collection off to a fine start with the latter promising that Jennifer Parkin’s forthcoming album will be every bit as good as her last! Not that It’s any surprise that Alfa Matrix artists feature heavily here and they can hardly be blamed for taking advantage of such a promotional opportunity with the tuneful gothic metal of Helalyn Flowers and the atmospheric electronica/punk hybrid of newcomers Junksista making their mark, as well as a surprisingly beat-lite piece from Neikka RPM and a typically sassy slice of electro from the excellent Diffuzion all stating their cases in fine style.

Synthpop isn’t forgotten either, with the inclusion of Celluloide and Xberg Baboons’ “Hey Yoko Ono,” which is given a typical Kraftwerk-style remix by Metroland, while the overhaul that Angels and Agony give to Zeitgeist Zero’s “United In Black” emphasizes this British act’s electro/goth leanings (with an intro that resembles Depeche Mode’s “Master and Servant” just for good measure). Of course, no compilation like this would be complete without the participation of L’Ame Immortelle whose expertise is evident during the masterful “Wie Tränen Im Regen,” while label mate Tying Tiffany likewise makes her mark with her expansive goth style and, ensuring all genres get a look in, old school EBM lovers are catered for by the husband-and-wife team of Ad:Key and Aesthetische, the latter of which gets on purely through having a guest female vocalist. A few bands resort to this trick and while it doesn’t exactly break the rules, it does seem to go against the spirit of the project somewhat, even when one of the offenders is Grendel’s “Deep Waters,” which is always worth hearing. Likewise, the slick, uplifting feel of Essence of Mind’s “Ald Ri” is embellished further by Benedikt’s sweet tones while Hanne Hausgand adds a touch of elegance to Kant Kino’s quirky old school style on “My Sweetest Crime.” Elsewhere, the dreamy mood of Glis’ “Blue Sky Night” is enhanced still further by Lauren Krothe’s rich, sultry voice, although it’s telling that in order to be included, Patenbrigade:Wolff had to resort to using a track that is nearly three years old. That’s definitely pushing it a bit (that “edit” suffix isn’t fooling anybody), and in this respect, the inclusion of such acts as Regenerator and the welcome return of The Azoic, where the female aspect is an integral part of the act, or such wholly female acts as Marsheaux and Erica Dunham’s sister acts Unter Null and Stray are especially welcome. After all, it would be a pretty poor showing if women were only employed to provide vocals as and when.

With so much music on offer, any review can hardly do this release full justice, but suffice to say that it will hopefully inspire any budding female musicians perhaps lacking the confidence to take that all important step, while the generally high quality of the music means it can be enjoyed solely on its own merits.
Track list:
Disc 1

  1. Javelynn – Wannabe
  2. Ayria – Plastic Makes Perfect
  3. Collide – Chaotic (Oxidized Mix)
  4. The Birthday Massacre – Leaving Tonight
  5. Liv Kristine – Paris Paris
  6. Dark Orange – Butterflies
  7. Polar Dust – Deep End
  8. L’Ame Immortelle – Wie Tränen Im Regen
  9. The Dreamside – Collide
  10. September Mourning – Crimson Skies
  11. Diskarnate – Greed
  12. Zeitgeist Zero – United in Black (Angels and Agony Mix)
  13. Lunacy Box – Save (Din [A] Tod Remix)
  14. Diffuzion – Wasted
  15. Daybehavior – God Speed (Radio Edit)
  16. Xberg Baboons – Hey Yoko Ono (Metroland Mix)
  17. Even More – Always

Disc 2

  1. ∆Aimon – Black Cross (Delusion Edit)
  2. Lovelorn Dools – No-Life
  3. Chamber of Echoes – Fatal Attraction
  4. Tying Tiffany – Drownin’
  5. Tristania – Year of the Rat
  6. Krystal System – I Wanna Be (Manifesto Mix)
  7. Death of Art – Anti-Valentine
  8. Helalyn Flowers – Before the Sunshine
  9. Cinderfall – Dance of the Dead
  10. Desdemona – Euphoria
  11. GNY – Beezz
  12. Nude – Deeper/Shame (Deep Mix 02C)
  13. Junksista – Paranoid
  14. Alive in Videoland – Bender
  15. Canal Pop feat. Polette – Things You Say You Like
  16. Chaos All Stars – We Are the Sinners
  17. Celluloide – Imprévisible (Version Claire)
  18. Ad:Key – Kalter Krieg (Female Edit)
  19. Aesthetische feat. Ava Nima – High-Heel Fixation
  20. Neikka RPM – Blood Line

Disc 3

  1. Essence of Mind feat. Benedikte W – Aldri Mer (Out of This World Mix)
  2. Psy’Aviah – On My Own (Forlorn Edit)
  3. Marsheaux – Breakthrough
  4. Noblesse Oblige – The Great Electrifier (Club Mix)
  5. The Devices – The Bridges
  6. I:Scintilla – Skintight
  7. Elastic Society feat. Miss Mykela – Like I Never Did
  8. Datasushi – Hide Myself from You
  9. Concise – Voyager
  10. The Azoic – Lost Soul
  11. Mari Chrome – Toxic
  12. Kant Kino feat. Hanne Haugsand – My Sweetest Crime (Grrrls Edit)
  13. Grendel – Deep Waters
  14. Isis Signum feat. Sara Noxx – Heat Moving (The Synthetic Dream Foundation Mix)
  15. Soman – Skin Deep
  16. Dimension Flux – Sex Noise
  17. Uberbyte – We Like the Bass

Disc 4

  1. Lovecrave – The Other You
  2. Xandria – Valentine
  3. Vita Nova – Vita Nova (2013 Version)
  4. Leave’s Eyes – To France
  5. Mantus – Hoffnungslos Allein
  6. Mina Harker – Bittersüss
  7. Regenerator – Hunger
  8. Mellonta Tauta – Love is Happiness
  9. Stray – Obsolete
  10. Chandeen – Shadows Fade
  11. Glis – Blue Sky Night
  12. HausHetaere – Brothers
  13. Grausame Töchter – Tanz für Dich
  14. Unter Null – Broken Heart Cliché
  15. Arcana Obscura – Stella Splendens
  16. Schwarzblut – Der SchwereAabend (Psy’Aviah Mix)
  17. Patenbrigade:Wolff feat. Antje Dieckmann – Voyage (Alfa Edit)

Absolute Grrrls Website http://www.alfa-matrix.com/manifesto1
Alfa Matrix Website http://alfa-matrix.com
Alfa Matrix MySpace http://www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
Alfa Matrix Twitter http://twitter.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Bandcamp http://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Carl Jenkinson (carlj)

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