Reviews: electronica

(idm / electronica / technoid)

Hinsidan – God is in the details

The double album ‘God is in the details/ Music for ghosts’ comes in a nice sleeve packaging with ten inserts. The inserts are single-sided and contain (parts of the) ‘lyrics’ used in Hinsidan’s songs. Mostly I loathe lyrics in ambient/ industrial music but in Hisidan’s case the lyrics are nicely altered by effects and accompany the whole atmosphere, which is (of course) quite cold and dark…

Remain Silent – Dislocation

Dislocation is Remain Silent’s second disc, his first on the French Axess Code label. The first thing you notice is the beautiful artwork that accompanies the disc. 80’s science fiction is what comes to mind. And in fact this is exactly how it is meant to be. The story behind this cd tells of the age of Dislocation that has come upon earth…

V/A – Monosyllabic 002

Most bands on this cd are local to Arcata, California, so it’s probably no wonder I’ve never heard from them. The bands presented from that area are Level Anchorage, A is for Algorithm, Zach Meints, Swimming, Stereoprimer and Xandicus. The other bands are total alien to me as well, probably because this records is based solely on ‘undiscovered talent’…

Build Buildings – There is a problem with my tape recorder

Ben Tweel is the man behind Build Buildings. ‘There is a problem with my tape recorder’ is his third release under this moniker. As far as I can see, this record is very professionally self-released. Although not totally hearable, all electronic sounds are derived from computers, instruments and household noises…

Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko – 28

Friendly and gentle clicks, cuts, shimmers, glitches and the very warm, feminine voice of Tujiki Noriko. In no way this sums up the accomplishment of the two artists, both of Japanese origin, but these are just some of the ingredients: the whole is much, much more than the sum of the parts The mood Noriko evokes with her dreamy singing, reminds me of a Sigur Ros-alike atmosphere…

Black Lung – The Coming Dark Age

David Thrussel is a very productive artist. Last year he served the listener The Grand Chessboard as Black Lung. Recently a Snog remix cd/12” was released and also a Black Lung 12” entitled Karmageddon saw the light earlier this year. The Coming Dark Age , his new album, is a sequel to this last 12”…

Somatic Responses – Pounded Mass

Somatic Responses was categorized as an IDM act and they didn’t like that. So they decided to make a record that would change the public’s opinion on them about this. Pounded Mass is that album. To me this is still IDM. The music on Pounded Mass is intelligent electronic music with roots in elektro and industrial…

Flatline Skyline – Horizon grid

Flatline Skyline’s ‘Horizon Grid’ is the result of a collaboration between R. A Scott and Jacen Kemp. This debut release is a quite interesting blend of abstract electronic noise and accessible industrial pop like Nine Inch Nails or even Einstuerzende Neubauten. The beat is strongly present, sometimes resulting in a trip-hop kind of groove, sometimes creating a harsher technoid atmosphere…

Terminal 11 – Illegal nervous habits

Imagine listening to Aphex Twin’s IDM (‘Intelligent’ Dance Music). Remember that funny clip ‘Windowlicker’ in which Richard D. James does this little umbrella-dance to erotically arouse two ghetto-whores, that, enchanted by his lunacy, get his deformed head on their marvellous bodies? Well, take that song, that clip and image it playing on high speed…

Compest – Kryptozoologie

Cryptozoology was a new term to me, and a few Google-hits later, I found out that it is the study of unknown animals that are not (yet) accepted by science, such as Big Foot, Yeti and The Loch-Ness monster…

Vitalic – OK Cowboy

If I had a car, I would open the windows, put the debut album by Vitalic on repeat, turn up the volume and make a long drive. And then another one. Because ‘Ok Cowboy’ is such a good album. After the disappointing new album by Daft Punk, Vitalic (aka the 28-year old Pascal Arbez) puts France back on the dance map. Better said: the electroclash/techno map…

Kraftwerk – Minimum – Maximum

Unbelievable, how flawless and crystal clear “Minimum – Maximum” sounds. If you didn’t hear some cheers of the audience now and then, you’d barely notice that this is a live registration. “Minimum – Maximum” contains 22 tracks that were recorded during the highly succesful world of Kraftwerk in 2004…

Freiband – Martin

Although the music is totally different, this release has got everything to do with the cult lp ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by the great Joy Division. So what’s the case? The artist behind Freiband noticed seven tracks with ‘errors’ on the lp produced by the notorious and late Martin Hannett. These were errors such as clicks and strummed guitars…

Neutralizing Force – Absolute Terror

A mini cd with four tracks by Neutralizing Force, a project of Jeremy Brown, Twenty minutes of electronic music, dealing with the powerful psychological weapon of terror. The instrumental tracks are heavy and dense, with a gritty low-resolution sound. There are certainly melodic aspects, everything is not covered under a wall of noise…

Enduser – Run War

Ad Noiseam has built up a good reputation, with various releases full of challenging electronic music. Their musical scope seems to become broader and broader. A good example is this album by Enduser, which combines breakcore, jungle, ragga and hiphop. Certainly no styles I’m often exposed to. “Run War” is the first full length album for Enduser aka Lynn Standafer on Ad Noiseam…

V/A – Funkwelten

With a handful of releases Funkwelten built up a good reputation as an interesting label for electronic music. The music they release is usually situated between ambient and IDM. Sometimes relaxing, sometimes challenging. Especially the albums by For a Space, Flint Glass and Polyspace were very enjoyable for me. These acts are also present on this first label compilation…

Wreathy – Abaddon

One of my favourite electronic releases last year was “Leviathan” by Wreathy. Therefore I was delighted to obtain new material on a 3″ mcd, a format and length (20 min.) which I quite like. Magnus Puu from Sweden, who is behind the Wreathy project, has the gift of creating epic compositions, which fuse electronic and industrial styles, with elements of ambient and classical music…

V/A – NOW 02

The second edition in Underscan’s compilation series, again with a 4-track 12″ record. When all four EP’s are released, a cd with all tracks will follow. “NOW 02” starts excellent with a track by Scanner aka Robin Rimbaud, whom also released the EP “Lost without light” on Underscan…

Mlada Fronta – Dioxydes

Previous releases on Parametic already showed impressive artwork and packaging. The visual aspect is clearly important for Rémy Pelleschi, look for instance at the stunning digipack of his latest Mlada Fronta album ‘Oxydes’. A dvd was perhaps a logical next step, though an ambitious one. Time nor effort were saved to make ‘Dioxydes’ into a feast for eyes and ears…

V/A – NOW 01

Underscan, an electronica label from Berlin, already surprised me positively with the fantastic Vool EP by Menu:Exit. They have recently started a new compilation series, called NOW, to be released on four limited 12″ records. A full length CD featuring all tracks will be put out to coincide with the fourth and final EP. In the first part of this series, four different acts are participating…