flagita Italiano
flageng English

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z    *   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0


back to top

2ND Civilization - "Let's Play" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

2NDen  Belgian from Aalst, 2ND Civilization was founded in 1986 initially purely as amateur purpose by the duo Koen D / Johan VS, both impassioned of drum-machines, synthesizers and of the rational electronic sounds created by Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft, Trisomie 21 and Kraftwerk, of the synthpop invented by the early Depeche Mode and of the emerging technologism listenable in the first Front 242's Electronic Body Music. Subsequently, in 1991, Patrick D joined the band completing the same line-up of the present days with the following order: Koen (Vidi), synths / mastering, Patrick D, synths / guitars / vox and Koen D, synths, vox / drums - whose name of this latter appeared in 2002 into the compilation "Difficult Music For Difficult People II" dating with his personal project called Forgotten Heroes - . It's also reported the presence of the original 2ND Civilization in the 1989's rare EBM / electro / industrial tape compilation entitled "BEF I", in which tracklist there was at the same time the name of their experimental side-project known as Trans-Vorm. The albums published by the project initially mentions "Eros And Civilization", a twelve tracks demo tape self-produced in 1989, containing mostly electronic / EBM covers of songs belonging to the mentioned inspirer bands, followed in 1990 by "Report", a second demo-tape of ten songs in style EBM / electro independently produced; the 2nd Civilization finally reached in 2012, after a long and constructive period devoted to gigs and technical improvements, to their official debut, "Report From The Dark", an album of twelve songs published by EK Product, whose contents are the electronically modernized remakes of the songs included into the previous "Report". The new, awaited full-length "Let's Play", released in digipak format in 2014 by the Space Race Records - a division of the same EK Product - proudly offers an irresistible multitude of EBM / synthpop / electro sounds formulated with expertise, creativity and with the ambitious goal of increasing the number of fans. The twelve acts included in the tracklist deflagrate from the pulsing vitality of "Walk It Off", in which the union between EBM and electro elements originates an highly danceable and vaguely Arabic composition, supported by precise sections of filtered voices and dynamized with coldness by the midtempo tracks of drum-sequencing. "The Crash" is an enthralling EBM / electro composed by uptempo beats connected to tense and occasionally melodious vocals, together with the essential harmony of synths, futuristic effects and dry conjunctures of programming, while the beautiful "Fuck Up My Mind" immediately catches you by its vocal accents and its lyrics in which you perceive moments of icy irony and dissatisfaction, all this animated by the whippy uptempo propulsion of drumming symmetrically flanked by the sequencer lines and, further, by wrapping flows of keys, in a well-constructed, significant song to dance and listen with great pleasure. "John Carpenter" is instead the tribute given by 2ND Civilization to the homonymous and famous film director, an 'electro soundtrack minded song' almost entirely instrumentally played, perfectly adapted to the typical cinematic horror current of this artist and therefore characterized by obsessive dark atmospheres drenched in thrilling, announced with disquieting piano melodism on which hypnotic notes are gradually stratified tenebrous dissonances, midtempo drum-programming, gothic synth orchestrations, burning electric guitar riffs, robotic vocals and a sinister background of screams, reverbs, pads and austere organ symphonies. The sound concept of the next "Timehunter" incorporates danceable electro / synthpop modulations developed on midtempo drum-machine beats, fluorescent programmed pulses, aseptic propagation of synths, loops and an authoritarian chant simultaneously scanned by the two vocalists, as well as the mainly technopopish physiognomy of "Games" radiates a mathematical-automatic midtempo drum-programming further enlivened by bright keyboard chords and by the immediacy of refrain. In the hyper-technological "Fight" they predominate high-speed electro sounds to dance frantically, obeying to the uptempo rhythm of drumming, to the fast sequenced punctuations, to the peremptory of vocals and to the extended coverages of synths, while the following "Brussels" is an electropop which suggestively swaying between downtempo replications and a sadly obscure chant that the two vocalists emit on the intensity of keys. The synth basements of the next "Alien Love" coding beautiful and prolonged harmonies combining them to the metallic dryness of midtempo drum-sequencing, creating in this way an electro / technopop strongly attractive and of great value. "The Virus" is an electro-track composed by thick and fast programmed beats to which are added alienating emissions of keyboards, filtrated segments of voice, a chant dictated with inert tones and futuristic effects, while the EBM / electro geometries of "Bug Spray" are fractionated by uptempo drum-programming and strophes schematically uttered by vocalist, all supported by flashing executions of synths that energize the entire song. "Heartbeat" is the last chapter of the release, a glacial electropop that overall recalls some Kraftwerk-oriented reminiscences, especially in the mechanical voice predisposition, in the harmonious cerebrality of keyboards and in the global arrangements, supported by a minimal drum-programming and, sporadically, by an harsh guitar. Band in possession of winning projectuality, of interesting avant-garde intuitions well as of an almost thirty years music experience lived in the electronic universe, 2ND Civilization finalize a completely successful album that highlights the unconditional devotion of the three performers to technological sounds, aspect revealed through an intelligent use of machines and a concrete, constant desire of innovation. The Belgian project has fully intercepted the sensitivity of the public, framing their specific listening needs and offering them a musicality that incorporates old-school retrospectives and modernism, all in a full-length which includes an exciting consecution of songs. This work is therefore the authoritative result of progressive studio experimentations evolved with discipline and an open minds towards sonic research: if you really want authentic 'techno body movement', by "Let's Play" you will be fulfilled in an unlimited extent.

* A *

back to top

A Modern Way To Die - "Pulse And Treatment" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

amoden  Among the new generation of Europeans post-punkers, the Catanian A Modern Way To Die are distinguished for their unique and multi-inspired style, inside which they sinisterly push dark sonorities created by the legendary Ian Curtis band, combined with the sharp waver-rock acoustic that characterized the music of early Devo, in addition to further extrapolations from the claustrophobic after-punk of Public Image Limited, with assimilable pop formulations and other ones markedly shoegazing, contiguous to the sound schemes of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, sustained by guitar turbulences that raise compact barriers on which they crash essential electronic choreographies and a obsessively hypnotic percussiveness. The project, founded in 2010, is represented by three members: Cristian Battiato, aka Cris "Batt's" (guitar / synth / sampler / effects), Patrick "Pat" Guerrera (vox / synth / sampler / effects) and Santo "TT" Trombetta (guitar / synth / sampler / effects) whom, previously this debut-album now treated by Vox Empirea, they have so faf perform a targeted dissemination activity of their talent, initially through "Bad Medicine" - a 'no published' EP containing some demo versions of tracks subsequently integrated into the official full-length - followed in 2013 by a productive mini-tour in Sicily and by as many constructive experiences as openers at various concerts, among which we mention for importance that one of Beatrice Antolini - a solo-act from Macerata active in the alternative/indie rock/psychedelic pop-rock scene - and that one of the eclectic Schwefelgelb - a Berliner power-duo protagonist of an experimental electro/EBM/new wave/trash sound - The purpose designed by Modern Way to Die is undoubtedly to go beyond the limits of their island for diffusing their music to the areas where it may obtain the appreciations and all the consideration that which is worthy of; in more details, the music of the band is a solid, fiery aggregate of guitar electricity, alienating vocals and linear drum-programming rhythmics on which they run cold synth transmissions, all this in perfect harmony with the conceptual identity of the new album, ideally corroborated by depressed sentiments powered by the grayness and the pessimism of a reality observed by disillusioned, analytical eyes, transformed into a whirlwind of isolationists thoughts, in perpetual conflict with the desire to externalize all the bitterness and despair that they incessantly haunt the souls of the three musicians: all this, finally, is musically expressed with the immediacy and the impetus of a too long repressed inner liberation, now conveyed into the eight tracks of the debut-release called "Pulse and Treatment", published by the Arezzo based label Seahorse Recordings. The opening episode is "She Walks", a song also available as video format directed by the Palermitan Andrea Di Gangi: its post-punk shape, atmospherically deviant, is built through incandescent guitar extensions which lengths, alternating with a more melodic/psychedelic section of strings, they run with regular midtempo drum-machine beas and with a chant saturated by paranoia and exasperation. In the next "Last Time", the aggressive guitar's originates a colorless long line of sparks, among which it surreally resounds the echoed voice of Patrick, fractionated by the midtempo symmetries of drumming and by dark keyboard's flashes. "Moon In Blue" emanating the anxiety and the perpetual state of tension of which is full the post-punk/wave sound, now materialized in the leaden vocals evoking deep dissatisfaction, in the rocky consistency of guitars and in the midtempo drum-programming intersected by subterranean currents of synths. From the epicenter of "Flow" they propagate energetic uptempo scans, the cutting stridors and the riffs of guitars, the dense chords of keyboards and the voice of Patrick distressed by dissatisfaction, while in the excellent "My Own Friend" the 'wave' inflections they prevail over the punker curvatures, emphasized by a melodically visionary singing, by flaming guitar ornaments rhythmically aligned to monochrome uptempo percussive replications and by obfuscations of synths. The sound of "Beautiful Wordz" destabilizes, confuses, upsets, insinuating into hearing, penetrating to the most remote caves of the unconscious, all this using stiffened, shocked vocals, hatched by the electro-uptempo pulses and tortured by loud shoegaze-oriented guitars, which create, together with synths, a kind of granitic supporting homogeneity that it further evolves in a succession of pyrotechnic guitar-riffs. "Misanthropy" is an electro-wave track entirely permeated of punker guitar's incandescences, whose trails intersect midtempo subdivisions, the unpredictable veers of keyboard and vocals that put in the our memory an aura of gloom and desolation, poisoned by pessimism and dictated with glacial inflexibility. The percussive drum-machine cycle slows down processing downtempo sequences, as well the vocal arrangements, they still keeping their own disheartened attitude, they partially renounce to the extremization of pathos, suggestively reverberating between the increasing intensity of guitar and the evanescences of keyboards: all this in the final song "Fell into The Void". The climax of the album, torn apart by existential distress, vividly interprets the contradictions, the hypocrisies and the unsolvable enigmas that dwell into our everyday life: the musical foundations of A Modern Way To Die unify their potential, shaping an unique, authoritarian structural unit within which the thrill, the neurasthenia and the drama of post-punk they emotionally transduce lightless harmonies, having as their prerogatives the distorted abrasiveness of 'white noise' of guitars, the hallucinatory euphonies uttered by the voice of Patrick, and the supporting function of a mechanical drumming. The debut full-length deserves to be fully heard, lived and understood: its symbolic contents will become part of the life of the mentally prepared auditors, whom will consider impossible the separation from such a source of conscious suffering. This is what it means to share time with "Pulse And Treatment".

back to top

Atropine - "Recurring Nightmares" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

atroen  The mostly noticeable elements in the music of Norwegian Atropine are three: the dark energy of which are saturated their compositions, the atmospheres electronically oppressive that dominate sounds, and the ability to establish an instantaneous and durable feeling with the listener who is culturally inclined to alternative forms of Electronic Body Music. The power-duo, founded between 1994 and 1995 by Alex Jarlev - aka ALX - (synths/computers/samples/programming) with Tomas Kulberg - alias CTHULBERG - (lyrics/vox/tapes/videos/programming), is the synergistic result of the experiences of the two protagonists lived during past and present times into the various stages of their constructive and multi-articulated career in Norge: in fact, describing the artistic course of Atropine, it initially emerges their biennial militancy as a side project of Anstalt, a band of explicit EBM derivation, as well as the member CTHULBERG, with Miza [R], is an active part of Epilektrician, the IDM/experimental duo-act author in 2014 of the reworking of the song "Cherish 8" included in the "Remix" compilation by the American electro-acoustic/minimal band Ike Yard. Alex is instead a component, with Halvard Djupvik, of the synthpop/coldwave platform Panzerveps and also, with T. Kulberg, of the retro-industrial/powernoise project Pogrom Synod, in addition to collaborations as producer and musician in several releases, among which the single "Storm" published in 2002 by the famous Code 64, the 2011 self-titled debut album of Substaat with their 2012 single "Refused". Atropine, in essence, interpret the most combative and impetuous EBM through an alternation of coolly melodic sonorities and other ones darkened with ruthless malevolence, all this planned using highly corrosive lyrics and vocalizations, besides a wide deployment of modern equipments and samplers, together with electronic "vintage" instruments from the ages late 70's / early 80's. The discography of the duo began officially in 1996 with the last of three previous publications recorded on cassette, "Angels Pass By Open Sewers", an album of ten electronic/industrial tracks published by Sutured Music, the same label to which they were entrusted in 2000 the thirteen electro/EBM/industrial songs of the full-length "Feigned Hearing" and the subsequent fifteen ones included in the album "Master Raze", released on CD-r limited edition in 2001, stylistically similar to those of the antecedent work. "Recurring Nightmares" of the year 2014, licensed in digipak format by EK Product, is rather the new album now examined by Vox Empirea. Many songs contained into it are preliminarily and totally reworked, produced and recorded between 1995 and 2002 by the same Atropine: more in detail, of the thirteen listed episodes eight of them are extracted and fully reconstructed from the original tracklist of the album "Master Raze", one track derived from a participation at the Y2K "Feigned Hearing" festival release, while four titles are taken from the recent repertoire, one of which is a remix version. The full-length, mastered by the German Dirk Steyer - he with Mike Koenigsberger are the members of the famous EBM/industrial/electro duo-act called Accessory - is introduced with slowness by the dark resonances of drum-machine, by the caustic, terrifying phrasing like psicokiller and by the keyboards emissions that obscure "Glass Jaw", a track followed by the vehement voice incitements, by the bombastic uptempo electro-rhythmic coverage and by the solemn synths of the subsequent "Shears". In "Remaining Limb", its introduction consisting of an extended looped dialogue plus misty breaths, anticipating a drumming densely segmented by programming which is transformed into a rigid midtempo march that surrounds the whistle of the vocalist and the fluctuating electronic opacity. "Retch Trigger", a track conceptually inspired to "Coma Sola" - the song created by the EBM/disco/gothic/synth-punk project called Order Of The Solar Temple, aka the Norwegian Ismael Henriksen - is a danceable sonic-mechanism strongly moved by fast steps of drum sequencing, embittered by acid, cruel vocals and adorned by shadowy keyboards, while the following and capturing "The Second Culling" plans two contrasting sonorities: a first one in which the perfect midtempo linearity of drum-programming geometrically supports the sourness of voice and the Plutonian solemnity of pads, while a second one, infinitely more devastating, angry and hallucinated, devours your hearing arousing moments of pure terror. The EBM diagram of "Coercion" is based on the acrimonious and electronically distorted chant that the singer interposes among samples, percussive midtempo segments and leaden synths, as well as in the subsequent "Reject" the schematic drumming divides the rhythm into cold, automated midtempo beats that drive the vocals gutturally acidified of CTHULBERG, artificial-toxic spunds, alien drones, vocal-samples and obscure symphonies of keyboards. "Black Sludge" maximizes the vox-filterings commuting the human chant into a glacial and atonal monologue rhythmically cadenced by midtempo drumming on which they gravitate heavy pads, while the uptempo percussiveness of "Luminax" frantically runs flanking a compact, grim configuration of voice, keyboards and programming, whose energy and danceability flagellate the sound dragging the listener into a delirious electronic 'black hole'. Internally the next "Bonesaw" - whose lyrics are inspired to the song "Shogun Assassin" born by the cooperation between Atropine and the project Solar Temple - they co-exist two different phases, the first of which, robotically rhythmed by downtempo bpm's, is alternated with a second one typically EBM more agile and speeded up, full of perfidious vocals and circumscribed with coldness into a poisonous climax of loops, synths, psychedelic echoes and hypnotic sequencing. "Churn", totally reconstructed on the basis of more extensive "Churn/Paroxysm" - a song planned by the Norwegian EBM/industrial-cyber band Anstalt - partially enlightens the atmospheres formulating an electropop/EBM in which the pulsing midtempo bass-lines, programmed by Tarjei Krogh E. suggestively sustain the melodic keyboard sections and the singing roughness filtered by the CTHULBERG's microphone: as final, the same track is remixed by the industrial/EBM/Anhalt Colombian duo Struck 9, which grandly elaborates the arrangements and the globality of the original structures combining 'old-school Electronic Body Music' and euphoric dance-minded solutions. The album "Recurring Nightmares" is dismay, is perdition: its obscure meanings, made even more alienating by upset texts, are perfectly adapted to the the music contests highlighting enormously the states of alteration and the drama that reign on the tracks. In order to make persuasive the concepts and sound environments, each execution of the relase is played with strong engagement and conviction, employing balanced doses of pathos and instrumental force from which is originated a disturbed-electronic/anxiety-inducing substance that spreads unstoppable. In the sonic scheme of the full-lengtt, the sense of menace hangs palpably obsessive, resurfacing in our memory as a ghost to inflict torment even in the daylight, remembering us that the bad dreams artificially generated by Atropine don't end at dawn.

* B *

back to top

Bal Paré - "Ein Tag Am Meer" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

balpaen  Synthpopish formation generated in 1980 in Hamburg by the evolution of an initial project called Jeanette Und Das Land Z, through which its components Matthias Schuster (vox/synths/drum programming), Kirsten Klemm (vox/synths/cello) and Jan T. Krahn (synths) published in 1981 the the 7" entitled "Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son/Raumpatrouille" for the label Konkurrenz, recruiting later in the line-up Jürgen Weiss (drums/percussions/synths) and Manfred Asmus (synths/guitar), then making the debut in 1982 under the new name Bal Paré - an epithet dedicated to a song sung by the German musician, actress and writer Hildegard Knef - with the ten chapters of the album "Hamburg Paris Catania" always fired by Konkurrenz that in those years was a Phonogram GmbH's sub-label, becoming the momentary record platform of the band before dying in subsequent times. The release, getting a positive response from fans, stimulated the finalization of a second work, "Metamorphose", a mini-album consisting of seven episodes published in 1985 by the Krautrock Records label. The discography of the project continued in 2009 with these further three publications: a double collection of seventeen songs included into the self-released/limited-edition compilation "Bonus CDR 2009", the six-tracks 10" limited-edition titled "Sommerwind" issued by the German label NLW, and the four tracks limited-edition too of "Untitled", the 7" fired by the U.S. Minimal Wave, the same label to which it was entrusted in 2010 the distribution of "The Best Of...", a digital anthology that precedes this new album "Ein Tag am Meer" published in 2013 by NLW. Before exploring into this record, it's right to deepen the membership with other interesting projects by Matthias Schuster, Kirsten Klemm and Jürgen Weiss: in fact, Matthias is the minimal-synthpop solo-act Im Namen Des Volkes, constituting also with Trautonia Goat the synthpop/electronic duo Das Institut and showing his appreciable stylistic versatility within Geisterfahrer, a new wave/electro-rock band in which it participates also Kirsten and Jürgen, who's the same member included inside the goth-rock/heavy metal ensemble called Brosch from the name Brosch and, together with Michael Ruff, inside the new wave/experimental platform Schönsten Die. Focusing now the full attention to the Bal Paré's music, it mainly draws its form from the aseptic, cerebral electronics of Kraftwerk and from the "easy" counterpoints of Depeche Mode, transforming the sounds into construction delightfully punctuated with minimal linearity by drum and embellished by the synthetic notes played by keys, all this completed by melodious vocals sung strictly in German: a set of special atmospheres and backgrounds that feel very 80's. The first of the eleven songs on the album "Ein Tag Am Meer" is called "Neuer Mann": this track coincides perfectly with this description, being it formulated through elementary segments of synths, midtempo rhythmic and chant which strongly interacting with Kraftwerk's alchemies, as well as the subsequent "Transistorpop" declines a keyboard musicality more agile and brilliant, schematically inside a midtempo drumming punctuated by sequencer, by geometric vocalizations and, further, by electric guitar inserts. The next "In Meiner Erinnerung" is a deliciously melodic synthpop, energized by essential keyboard-sounds, by programming, by guitar and by vocals harmoniously squared that the singer exposes naturally following the uptempo drumming. "Minuten Zwei Leben" uses an easily assimilable instrumental language taken from early-Depeche Mode's reminiscences: i is into a very danceable synthetic pop created using dry midtempo beats and sequenced pulses over which they develop fluorescent keyboard evolutions and the monochromatic singing by Matthias. "Madame Chanel" deserves a special place within the tracklist, constituting by its sound system a little gem of old-school technopop, composed by regular midtempo percussiveness and programming, which subdivisions propel with precision rational vocals and the crystal touches of synths. "Augenblick" combines futurepop sounds obscured by shady keyboards, which, ranging slowly between low chords and cosmic expansions, they amplify the sense of mystery inside in the vocals, together with the mechanical downtempo symmetry of drum and programming. Again graceful pop technology strictly related to the '80 decade is detectable in the following "Wie Die Sonne", a track performed with great inspiration recovering enchanting sonorities and arrangements that capture instantly the listening, all this masterminded by slender uptempo apportionments of drum-programming, by apollonian phases of keyboard played in "bells" mode and by vocals sung with regular metrics. The subsequent "Zwei Meter Schnee" is a synthpop built by effervescent micropulsations of sequencing which chasing midtempo drumming into a logical vocal-instrumental context. "Café Orion" radiates a concentration of robotic midtempo cycles, programming, airplane-effects, minimal synths and vocal harmonies definitely inspired by the technological pop of Kraftwerk. In "Der Ozean Tränen" they triumphs again the 80's synth-sounds on this occasion designed by concise keyboard/voice elaborations integrated into a straight midtempo circuit. Those that drive the homonymous "Ein Tag am Meer" they are instead colorful synthpopish expressions conceived with grace and disarming simplicity, using bright keyboard emissions, a danceable midtempo rhythmical line and a softly harmonious vocal foreground, at the conclusion of an album in which they're identifiable connotations and references related to the pioneering and initial European electronic-pop movement that still gloriously survives, unassailable by the "time factor". Bal Paré, with the same easiness and mastery that have always characterized them, they repropose faithfully since many years the traditional and unforgettable retro-synthpop stylemes, through a succession of discographical episodes to collect with enthusiasm, as this representative full-length containing their more modern repertoire, a release ardently recommended to the large crowd of followers devoted to this music genre and, why not, to the next venture generations of alternative listeners.

back to top

Bal Paré - "Taxi Zum Mond" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

balparen  An exhaustive as complete description of the German band Bal Paré is readable in the review about the album "Ein Tag am Meer" published on Vox Empirea in 2014. The synthpop / minimal wave / 'elektronische musik' project, currently only represented by its mastermind Matthias Schuster, it returns at the end of this same year with the full-length "Taxi Zum Mond", in which we can perceive atmospheres emotionally and musically variable into an extensive tracklist of seventeen episodes published by NLW - the label founded in Hamburg by the musicians Haiko Herden and Alexander Pohle - with moments that predispose to reflection alternate with others enlivened by rhythmics and vocal accents less introspective. The style of the new album overall follows the traditional guidelines of the former band, mainly inspired to the best Neue Deutsche Welle, but also to certain intelligent electropopish solutions minded by protagonists from the 80's technological music scene such as the Vince Clark's Depeche Mode, extrapolating the vocal-instrumental conciseness of Kraftwerk, thus introducing into the structures minimal-waver elements of synth and analog drum-machine combined with precious counterpoints taken from the range of experimental modulations belonging to Coil. The new title-track opens with "Nach Dem Ende", a synth-wave song instrumentally and vocally lightweight, built through a melodiously rational chant that stands out over the linear midtempo cycles of drum-programming, integrating with precision with the dazzling keyboard. Even more extrovert and comunicative, "Aussichtsturm" expands synthpopper radiance giving high prominence to the harmonious keys textures and to the fast dynamics of drum-sequencing, join them to schematic vocal euphonies. "Überdosis Leben" is a minimal-electropop caressingly designed by linear midtempo scans, by basic orchestrations of synths and elementary vocal cadences, as well as the subsequent "Bis Hier Und Nicht Weiter" spreads old-school and vaguely nostalgic synth-wave airs, using catchy keyboard luminescences and a danceable rhythmical midtempo planning on which they neatly align the singing inflections. "Denken / Glauben" is a synthpop characterized by a compact and essential musicality, based on serried as haggard midtempo drum-machine punctuations firmly assembled to the synth intermittences and to equally skeletal vocals. A touch of melancholy and of decadent elegance is the peculiarity of "Eine Nacht In Palermo", a synthpop composition made very assimilable by the chant oversimplifications and by of the pleasing keyboard performance inserted within the regular midtempo drumming beats. "Ganz Weit Draußen" elaborates notes and vocal chords minimally harmonic, using a symmetric midtempo drum-programming automatism and a seductive synth, as well as the following "Gleich Hinter Den Städten" highlights a graceful lyricism, manifested with calculated passion in a substantial midtempo context of drum-sequencer and crystalline keyboard flows. "Rockstars" is an exciting and eventful song, an intermediate point between the synthpop, represented by the danceable blend uptempo drum-sequencing / keyboard, and the pop-rock, symbolized by guitar's electricity that scrapes against cold vocals alternated to the obsessiveness of refrain, while the next "Schattenland" propagates a technological pop in which the cordial tones of the vocalist, together with the delicacy of the keyboard melodies, they create intoxicating sound fragrances rhythmed by thin midtempo intermittences. "Im Dunst Der Städte" is built by repetitive forms of singing, whose consonances they conform with gracefulness to the sobriety of midtempo drum-sequencer and to the terse sounds processed by synth. All continues with "Russische Blondinen" and its minimal rhythmic dryness consisting in uptempo micro-pulsations, which hold up the hatching of sequencing, the subtly melancholic pads, the synth rarefactions and the disciplined harmony of vocals. "Der Schöne Klaus" enunciates an electronic pop expressed by playful vocalizations and danceable midtempo drum-machine / programming scans decorated by a jovial synth, anticipating the following "Schneller Als Die Zeit" in which you hear an electropop marked by enchanting notes of keyboard and by a succinct vocal melodism geometrically distributed among the midtempo bpm's of drumming. "Telegramm Von Dir" is inclined instead to depressed mood-sounds, sweetly nostalgic, all this fractionated by slender downtempo sections of drum-machine, by elegiac keyboard symphonies and a chant wrapped by sadness. "Abgesang Auf Die Alte Zeit" is embellished by minimal waver calligraphies, vocally exposed pouring segmented strophes, lovely synth progressions and orderly drum-programming, while the final track, the homonymous song "Taxi Zum Mond", offers saddened states of mind manifested by oblique keyboard harmonies and 'radio-transmitted' vocals around the soft rotations of downtempo rhythm-generator. Contextualized into a technological genre among the most radically sectoral ones, the music created by Matthias Schuster is designed with meticulous clarity and accessibility, keeping unchanged the stylemes that they have always made exclusive the typical sound shaped by Bal Paré. The album "Taxi Zum Mond" recovers many aspects of that unadorned and courageously pioneering synthpop / wave in vogue in Europe in the early-80's, an heritage still nowadays contemplated by a limited number of good connoisseurs: they will consider really essential to possess this full-lenght, reserved for all the true alternative listeners who made electronic music their faith.

* C *

back to top

Cardinal Noire - "Cardinal Noire" - cd - by Maxymox 2015

carden  The two interpreters of the Finnish platform Cardinal Noire come from the autochthonous industrial-metal scene: Kalle Lindberg, the front man, in 1997 he founded with the guitarist Lasse W424 Alander the project called The Republic Of Desire. Further on, in 2005, Kalle oriented its interest towards the typical Canadian electronic sound of Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, introducing in it the synthpopish stylistic features of Depeche Mode and the goth-rock elements of Fields Of The Nephilim, establishing in Lappeenranta the electro / industrial solo-act known as Protectorate - of which Lasse is live-member - through which he published in 2012 the self-produced EP of four tracks titled "Come Fall". At the same time, by reacting the logic processes of softwares with the physicality of hardware instrumentations, Kalle (vox / additional production) and Lasse (synths / production / backing vox) generated the Cardinal Noire, totally restricting their music inside the electro / EBM / industrial sound, then coming in contact with EK Product: and it was precisely through this renowned Italian label that the duo fired in 2015 a great release now analyzed by Vox Empirea, the namesake digipak debut-album "Cardinal Noire" composed of nine songs: for this release the power duo recruited in the line-up a third member as additional synthesizer-vocalist marked with the effigy Erich 2. The full-length keeps all the ruthlessness, the hardness, the darkness and the annihilator power of industrial-metal, to which they combine dramatic atmospheres, vocal aggressiveness, an energetic danceability and the glacial perfection of sonic technology. "Venom - The kognitiiv Dissidenz" plays the role of 'opener', spreading initially ethereal pads, mysterious whispers and hazy symphonies, interrupted by dark and austere electronic sediments on which they fall with martiality the mighty scans of drumming. "Narkomat" directly expresses the prerogatives which constitute the repertoire of Cardinal Noire, or harsh, threatening, alienating vocalizations, inserted in an equally monolithic electro / EBM / industrial context of synths, cosmic-effects and geometric midtempo percussiveness. The keyboard process turbid orchestrations, while rabid vocals terrify the senses, merging with the midtempo automatism of drum-programming and with the dark flows created by machines, all this in "MKIV - Eternal", an EBM / industrial track cold and imposing like a wall of ice. The visionary surrealism of "A New Form Of Machinery" takes shape by a disturbing turbines of Electronic Body Music and industrial acoustics, which procedures are literally flayed by the abrasive Kalle's chant and by lunar pads that wrap entirely the mechanical, slow drum -programming beats. "White Dust" is a symphony for post-nuclear landscapes: its dark-electronics / dark-industrial schemes originate a growing vortex in which they swirl solemn keyboard emissions, metal echoes, sinister-guttural vocals and soldierly drumming, in a sonic mass within which they spectrally rise the dense mists of the synth, the austere organ sections and the segmentations of programming. "Flagellant" is a violent delirium in which they alternate rigid EBM modulations and the murderous insanity of industrial-metal, all this designed in its first act through uptempo rhythms of drum sequencing, electronic interferences, synth fluctuation and malevolent vocals, whose structures, after concise interludes, they are wildly devasted by a storm of hypersonic rolling drumbeats, guitar saturations and rough techno-noises. The drum-machine fractionates vigorous midtempo bpm's in an assault acrimonious voices, expansion-verticalizations of keyboard obscured by toxic frequencies and rhythmic asymmetries of programming: is what happens in a dark-electro / EBM / dark-industrial track that sounding chaotically epic, "Black Sustenance". The anti-gravitational energy of the subsequent "Purgation" launches the sound in an electronically hallucinated, infernal dimension, built through a background of harsh-effects on which they alternate melodies full of otherworldly forces, percussive disconnections, a dark, marmoreal orchestra of synths and urticant vox transfigurations. Then we come to the epilogue, "Mirror Shards", a dark-electro / EBM / industrial song of enormous imposingness conceived in two distinct periods: the first one, long introductory, it artificially and obsessively extends slow drum-beats, sequenced punctuations, iron and hostile vocals, contaminated by the impurities of keyboard, as well as the second one is a leaden, frantic transmission of disarticulated rhythmical waves, lines of drum-programming, caustic irradiation of synths and inhuman vocalizations, a terrifying Apocalypse in which they furiously blow currents of electronic winds. The balanced distribution of power and singing violence, in conjunction with experimental technicalities, claustrophobic states, perversion and oxidized harmonies, they increase the level of involvement that continues unceasingly during the entire tracklist. Enveloping acoustics and inflexible percussiveness drag the listener into an abyss of heavy frost, while perturbations of supernatural noise haunting the unconscious, annulling any possibility of salvation and exerting an irresistible, authoritarian charm. This album is lethal: it brings out the deepest anguishes, lacerating sorely the substrates of psyche and poisoning it until its complete dissolution, all this topped by a thundering sound that will impress eternally in your memory, upsetting your nights, disquieting your souls. Cardinal Noire are unique and unparalleled: it will take decades of electro-music to equal their skill.

back to top

Circular - "[Moon Pool]" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

circulen  Circular is a Norwegian ambient / cinematic-ambient / electronics platform founded in 1995 by the two music producers Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik, this latter interpreter of his IDM solo-act Debris, also included in the line-up, with Lars Kristian Sande and Oddgeir Hvidsten, of the abstract / techno / ambient trio Neural Network, and member, with Rune Andre Sagevik, of the experimental / minimal / ambient power-duo named Pjusk. Since its early phases, in the early 90's, the design Circular extrapolated and combined the house / techno sounds in vogue in those years, creating formulations mainly inspired to the refined music-research of the legendary Future Sound Of London, or to the cosmic and visionary excogitations of Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere. The fusion of all these elements, together with a personalized and innovative decryption of 'modern ambient', contribuited to the improvement of particularly atmospheric soundtrack-oriented acoustics congenate yesterday like today for recall artificial universes, dreamy landscapes and out-of-body projections, details previously identifiable in the first song officially released by Circular, "Pinpoint", included into the anthology "Hypnotic Psychedelic Ambience" published in 1996 by the Californian label Cleopatra Records. The duo's discography lists at least ten appearances on compilations and a series of albums of high level, first among them the debut "Nanotopia", eight electronic / abstract / ambient tracks published in 1997 by the Norwegian label Origo Sound, followed in 1999 by the second full-length entitled "Divergent", consisting of an extensive tracklist of eighteen electronic / ambient songs distributed by the Norwegian brand Beatservice Records. In 2004, after the return to the label Origo Sound, Circular published the seventeen IDM / electronic / ambient tracks of the album "Glass Darkly", while about the next three releases, their extremely tidy packaging, their high-teach coloured sleeves and their electronic / downtempo / ambient musics instantly suggest the unmistakable imprint of Ultimae Records: the first chapter generated by this excellent synergy between Circular and the Lyon-based record home is the album "[Substans]" dated 2009, containing thirteen interesting performances. In the year 2013 it was the turn of the digital album "Nordic Circles / Live Nuit Hypnotique #4" with a tracklist of ten live-recorded acts, succeded in 2014 by the eight fascinating psychic-ambient suites of the new work "[Moon Pool]" now analyzed by Vox Empirea, an album built by a scientific installation of sounds connected with the minds of Bjarte and Jostein, whom perfectly balance technology, evocative capacity, minimalism and emotions, projecting all these abstractions into the listener teleporting virtually him towards the Infinite. It all starts by the incorporeal "Lunockod", an ambient / electronics / downtempo structured by floating suspensions, water-noises, heavenly keyboard-chorus, immaterial reverberations and gaseous pads below which they take form electronic resonances, delicate guitar arpeggios and the undulations of sequencing. The returning echoes that support fully the subsequent "Selenic Light" they transform into very extensive and very slow ambient-expansion through its density we can hear looping vocalizations, crystalline sections of bells, artificial rain, modular synth punctuations and trampling of horses noises, for a whole of otherworldly vibrations, darkenings and luminescences that instill a sense of beatitude. The listening of "Theory Of Tides" is like the exploration of a galaxy beyond our Solar System, all this by mesmerizing sci-fi sounds created by diaphanous currents of laptop, which slowing downs they rise cathartically joining the cusps of programming and flowing towards the motionless of rarefied piano notes, vocal-sampling, electronic irradiations and downtempo drum machine."Ashlands" spreads neurosonic waves by futuristic effects, by looped replications, sophisticated fluorescences of synths and advanced ambient technicalities, preparing us for the next "3 Moons" in which they develop ethereal pads and intermittent keyboard, together with foggy filtering vocals and downtempo grooves of drum-programming, in a continuous succession of unreal shades and pale melodies wrapped by serene electronic consonances. "Imbrium" is a composition written, produced and performed by Circular in cooperation with Aes Dana, aka the French ambient / downtempo / IDM / morning-electronica solo-project of Vincent Villuis, co-founder with Sandrine Gryson - aka Mahiane - of the label Ultimae Records: the musics of this enchanting track evolve through ambidrum'n bass trajectories, with an introduction made of suggestive keyboard opalescences and noises that intersect downtempo asymmetries of drum-programming, micro-vocal segments, distant dissonances and spiral of astral effects. The ambient / electronics movement of "Synchronous" is slowly set by downtempo cadences on which they lie down a stratospheric nebula of key-chords, vocal-loops and filaments rhythmically hyper-processed, as well as "Meteorites", the final song of the tracklist, is a view full of ecstasy facing to lunar horizons, all this by a long and relaxing sequence of ambient-pads, magical notes of piano, sporadic vocal transmissions and sidereal effects surrounded by masses of radioactive wind. "[Moon Pool]" is an album superbly created with mannerisms and a dexterity, an unique, attractive experience for all devoted to this music genre. Its contents harmonize the essence of ambient sound with rational electronic criteria, interacting actively with the imagination deeply relaxing body and soul: in this full-length every moment grows surreally on vertical trajectories alternating light and darkness, decelerate emissions of inorganic substance, synthetic expansions and hypnotic oscillations, which contract the space-time dimension in an cycle without end. Circular are catalysts of dreams, a midpoint between the imaginary and the tangible, a project whose sound is able to change the course of reality. It's hard to imagine anything more beautiful.

back to top

Cold In May - "Dark Season" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

colden  The East European alternative-electronic panorama, for years in large and fast development, presents to its fans one quoted and interesting collective from the new-scene, the Cold In May, a trio born in 2006 in Minsk, Belarus, whose line-up consists of the front man Arsenio Archer (vox / arrangements / concept / music / programming), with Grover (guitars) and Lars (keyboards / programming). The most recent musical structures devised by the band are stylistically related to synthpop Mesh-oriented models to which they are added alternative/gothic rock details plus the persistence of a decadent romanticism, as inheritance of the past, different music orientations experimented over the years during the 'work in progress' searching for a final settlement. And it's precisely the discography officially published by Cold In May the best evidence of the mutations that have characterized the band's compositional imprint, a process begun in 2008 through the success of the nine self-produced tracks included into the gothic-rock maxi single/EP entitled "Childhood's End", followed by "Gone Away with The Memories", the debut album of 2011 with eleven darkwave songs, licensed on CD format by the Russian label Shadowplay Release and, simultaneously, issued on digital version by the Russian brand skyQode. In the year 2013 this label is also the publisher of the present album "Dark Season", anticipated in the same year by the three tracks on the single "The Reason", a title included into the mentioned second full-length now examined by Vox Empirea. The sounds listenable in the release, published in digipak format, are all impeccably designed by capturing keyboard harmonies synergized with geometric precision to the beat of drum-machine and adorned by the beautiful voice of Arsenio - he is since 2012 also the dance-rock/alternative-electronic solo-act called 3 Passengers Left, and since 2008 with Lars is the futurepop/synthpop/electropop Monoclast - whose singing expansions elegantly culminate in the irresistible melodies of the refrain intersecting the decentralization of guitar audible at the edge of the constructions. Motivated by the awareness to offer to the wide audience of listeners an appreciable music style and encouraged by the positive feedbacks received in time by the specialized press - the portal Russia Gothic has in fact assigned to Cold In May the tenth position of the Top Ten "Breakthrough of the Year" selecting the band among two hundred other artists - the three protagonists are back with their "Dark Season", willing to conquer more credits and with the intent to permanently consolidate the band's name as one of the best electro-newcomers from Oriental Europe. The album, strong of its twelve beautifully performed tracks, wonder us already in the preliminary stage through the sumptuousness of "The Grand Opening", a short and totally instrumental intro which combine atmospheric symphonies of keyboards and a peaceful line of drum-sequencing which gives to chords a suggestive and hypnotical aura, connecting it to the next "the Reason" - the hit single available in the web even in video mode - a song enhanced by the melancholic intonations that the singer spreads between precise midtempo scans and fluorescences of synths. "A Little Place For Hope" is a technopop fluidly danceable in which the clear voice of Arsenio conceals vaguely nostalgic nuances, harmonizing it with the midtempo rhythmics generated by drum-programming, with the luminescent choreography of keyboards and with the electric guitar. "Dirty Diamond" instead leans toward a more resolute synthpopish exposure, hardened with steely consecutiveness by cadenced bass-lines and drum machines on which they rise the bitter Arsenio's vocalizations, the catchy fluctuations of synths and the guitar riffs played by Grover. The charismatic electropop formulations of "Starbright" are based on the parallel action among modular piano replications, on hot flows of keyboard, on a vibrant forcing of guitar and on solid midtempo drum-programming beats, whose rhythm is followed by a very romantically introspective and depressed chant, all this in a song perfect from every point of view, to listen to again and again with vivid participation. Equally exciting is "Everyday", a track in which the Arsenio's singing accentuates the 'Mark Hockings'- oriented intonations, while the powerful electric guitar pours an impressive energy on the sound, surrounding the regular midtempo bpm's of drum-programming and the schematic apportionments of synths. In "Happy People" the vocalist rhythmically scans the text by more lower tones, slightly hoarse, concentrated in an attempt to externalize an inner dilemma, the meaning of which takes its form by an electropop musicality configured through dry midtempo fractionations accompanied by melodic sequencing/keyboard punctuations. Loneliness, self-analysis and psychodrama, are the themes that inspire the subsequent "Night Like These", a song in which the Arsenio's voice resonates sharp and intense, revealing melancholic visions of deserted streets and 'after-midnight' atmospheres, all this for a synthpop animated by intermittent midtempo drum-programming, refined through solemn keyboard breaths and decorated by guitar reverbs. "Last Day On Earth" is also driven by mechanical midtempo subdivisions and energized by bombastic synth and guitar, while the Arsenio's chant rhythmically declines lyrics tormented by the spleen. We continue with the next "Black Wind", an electronic pop whose nucleus encloses sad sentiments and one deep nostalgia, elements perceptible both in the tonal inclination of vocalist and in the reverberated harmonies of piano and synth to which are simultaneously added the calculated percussive midtempo drum-programming and the rhythmic abrasions of guitar. "No Way Back Home" is a synthpop track that incorporates passionate voice extensions together with the interplay between the midtempo e-drumming and the immersive melodies of synths, as well as the exclusive acoustic version of "Night Like These" concludes the tracklist completely separating its original electronic livery offering itself in a new and more contemplative whole created by minimal rhythmical segmentations, by delicate piano airs, by crystalline guitar arpeggios and by sampled viola scores, to whose evolutions is integrated the musing singing of Arsenio. The album "Dark Season" is a continuous succession of sonic events conceptually reflexive, intimate, entrusted to the ability of the three performers in being able to turn the course of the thoughts into long moments of true emotional purity; the band masterfully directs a release which quality exceeds many lengths the usual standards, thanks to a diadem of songs that you will remember for their instrumental harmony and for the important role assigned to the Arsenio's voice, which performs very well its function embellishing the sound-architectures and giving them that special charm which today characterizes the style, the professionalism and the unquestioned supremacy of this band. The worth of Cold In May in "Dark Season" is incalculable, authentic. As the admiration they will arouse in you, if you really love synthpop.

* D *

back to top

DANI'el - "The Book" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

danien  The electropopish solo-act DANI'el corresponds anagraphically to Danijel Majcen, an affirmed composer from Croatia whose artistic growth has evolved since he was young by studies, until obtaining the title of a teacher at the Music School in Zagreb, profession currently performed by the protagonist with devotion and satisfaction. Over the years, Danijel is also entered into possession of the techniques and specific guidelines that have he allowed to collaborate actively with many Croats D.J.'s, as well as with the fashion and photographic world, accumulating all the constructive experiences and the necessary enthusiasm to convince the artist to found in 2009 his personal project so called DANI'el, and later, in 2013, the realization of this debut-album today analyzed by Vox Empirea. The sound created by the artist is the exact combination between preponderant techno-pop elements considerable "easy", combined in various awkward situations to house-sound, a formula that guarantees at the same time the maximum danceability and a constant level of involvement through dynamic rhythmics, sophisticated harmonies and instrumental suggestions arising from the passion and depth that characterize the Danijel's voice. Each of these details is perceptible in the tracklist of his debut album entitled "The Book", issued by one of the best synthpop/electropop labels in Europe, the German Conzoom Records, from ever infallible in selecting and promoting the best talents identified from the alternative-electronic scene, whether they are emerging or already in vogue. The full-lenght in question, published in limited edition and produced by six different names including Bryan Cox, enumerates eleven official songs plus two bonus tracks and it's also supported via the web by an interesting documentary of eighteen minutes which its sequences highlight the most representative moments experienced in its the making of, as well as unpublished images filmed and taken from "behind the scenes". The first episode of the title-track and first single from the DANI'el's repertoire is entitled "Safe", issued by Conzoom Records in 2012, which extended version is included, as well as this album, into the compilation "ElectroPop 7" also published in 2012 by the same label: the song, with four other titles viewable even in video format, has romantic-dance-synthpop connotations in which Danijel's chant plays a dominant function throush its intensely passionate melodies, dialoguing with a lithe midtempo drum-programming and with warm keyboard breezes. Vaguely Erasure-oriented, the subsequent "Tell Me Why" is a danceable electropop built as prominent elements a substrate of synth and the strength of the vocal front, together with midtempo sequenced beats/punctuations such as rhythmic and decorative supports; the next "Music", a song transmitted with a great success by the Russian station KMC Radio and also available in video format clicked by seventy thousand users, predisposes a midtempo technological-pop that captures by its irresistible singing harmonies and by its sparkling keyboard-percussive configuration really suitable to be proposed in the most elegant alternative dance-floors. Equally indicated for the D.J.'s is "Sorry", the second single from the album, in which scheme they are interwined sophisticated dance-house and synthpopish theorems, made danceable by the uptempo impulses generated by programming and by the "disco" electronic-keyboard ornaments, all this further embellished by warm and expressive vocals: this song, for which was made a nice video, it was appreciated at the Conservatoire of Paris as audio support during the screening of visuals recognized to the protagonist as rich of artistic elements and fashion, also receiving a good radio appreciation from overseas placing it among the twenty most popular songs of the Miami based Butterflies Radio. "Only You", enjoyable on the web by its video , it slows down the bpm's processing them into midtempo speed, creating a soothing softness climax around the synthpop sound: the track's percussiveness, is scanned with mathematical regularity by the drum-programming that supports vocals caressed with charming elegance by keyboard's flows, as well as in the following "Exordium", an atmospheric interlude only spoken-words and keyboard played, we can distinguish more clearly the nobility of the Danijel's voice. Pet Shop Boys-minded solutions are foundable in the subsequent "Algabal", a track into which are propagates full spurts of keyboard sound that interacting actively with the midtempo thrusts of drum-programming and with dragging chant, while "Nothing 2 Regret" is identifiable as a cleany-melodic dance/electropop song, able to stimulate the legs by symmetrical midtempo beats, vibrating bass-lines and by cold expansions of keyboard, as well as able to attract fatally the listener by ultra-seductive vocals and by a fantastic refrain. "Passing Thru" reserves captivating and aestheticized synthpop modulations, formulated through precise midtempo drumming, by bright keyboard colors and singing levity, all this anticipating the next "It's Time", the last track available on video, a chapter musically more introverted, subtly melancholic, sung by Dani'el with reflective voice in a synthpop midtempo context of drum-machine/sequencing and tenue keyboard's shading. Nostalgic, clouded feelings, connected to vocal harmonies that recall distantly those by the more meditative Erasure, are listenable in "For A Friend", a sad-electropop that gently touches the universe of emotions allowing moments of reflection under the influence of a singing melodiously depressed that rests on the downtempo drumming and on the touches of synth. We continue with the first of two bonus tracks, or the extended version of "Safe", now dilated by a more solid dance arrangements followed by the uptempo beat-transmissions of the final "Mark My Words", a definitely clubby song produced by the label NeptunCity and originated by the collaboration between DANI'el and the techno/tech-house/ tech-funk musician called PHNTM: within this track's structures we can hear the classic and danceable typicalness of these specific genres belonging to the guest-artist made of hypnotic, circular drum-programming, keyboard effervescences, loop replications , alienating sections of voice with percussive decelerations and verticalizations crossed by electronic effects. No particular complexity is detectable into this album: every track inside it manifests the desire to be assimilated with immediacy without interfere with that aura of class which is an inseparable part of our musician's compositional style. The full tracklist conveys a technologically perspicuous and "human" modulations that establishes with the listener a durable feeling, thanks to these thirteen demonstrations of professionalism and creativity that DANI'el has actually acquired and introduced into a debut-release accessible by an audience that knows how to appreciate the variations of the classic synthpop register going beyond its formal concept. Rhythm, exciting melodies and listening lightness are waiting you in "The Book" for ravish with their charismatic melodies and all the energy of dance sound. Very, very cool!

* E *

back to top

Electric Resistance - "Brave New Day ep" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

elecren  The Russian solo-act Electric Resistance, founded in the year 2011 in Kaliningrad by Alexander Dmitriev (music / arrangement / lyrics / vox) is part of the new generation of protagonists from Eastern Europe eager to conquer not only the native listeners, but also the Occidental ones, proposing an electronic sound of high quality and perfectly adequete with the latest trends. Alexander puts into his music cyberpunker atmospheres and the visionary evocations of future landscapes extrapolated from the sci-fi literature, through a multiple style that incorporates techno-industrial / EBM / aggrotech / synthpop / harsh-futurepop elements. The artist debuted in 2012 as live-performer, supported in the sessions by a second external member, Pavel 'mertveckij' Grudnev (keyboards / sampler), increasing his own reputation and his technical knowledge umtil the ambitious achievement in 2014 of a first, concrete target to be projected on the independent panorama:it's the EP "Brave New Day", conceptually inspired by the namesake science tale written in 1932 by the English novelist Aldous Huxley. The release, now analyzed by Vox Empirea, is published by the European label Insane Records and it's formally composed of six official songs plus three bonus remixes: all nine episodes are created with impeccable dexterity by solid rhythmics, by capturing harmonies and by vocals sung in Russian language, in whole that expresses all the magnetism, the danceability and all the energy of the 'advanced music technology'. "Electric Trash", the opener, is a tangible, wonderful demonstration of the mastery and the genius possessed by Electric Resistance: its unceasing uptempo drumming beats are glacially synchronized to the programming and to the harsh, enthralling chant, combined with the metallic emissions of synth and with a multitude of electronic effects, all this enclosed in a aggrotech / industrial / futurepop stratospherically danceable and in possession of enormous potentials. In the subsequent "N.E.O.N." they interweave futuristic surrealism, artificial sonorities and the obscure melodism of tha singing that triumph with intensity in the refrain, all this in a dark-electro / industrial / futurepop mechanized by intermittent midtempo drum-programming and backlighted by shining synth. "Remember", a song created by EBM / aggrotech / futurepop modulations, accelerates the percussiveness, channeling dynamic uptempo bpm's of drum-sequencer, vocal assaults,loops and synthetic melodies of the keyboard. The following "City", a track dedicated to Kaliningrad, the Alexander's birthplace, is also available on video format: its uncontainable technopop / EBM / aggrotech musicality urges unbridled dances, through the hyper-sonic drum-programming, pulsing bass-lines, shouted vocal sections, with other ones acidly sung on euphoric keyboard sectors. A swarm of electronic effects flies around "Glass", an upset midtempo dark techno-industrial / futurepop convulsively vocalized, robotically scanned by drum-programming and darkened by alien propagations of synth, while in the next, beautiful "Brave New Day", we can perceive solemnity and post-apocalyptic futurism, all this highlighting the martial intonations of Alexander sung between rhythmic midtempo drum-programming and grainy orchestrations of keyboard. The three final bonus remixes are processed by projects operating in the Russian underground electro music, first among which is Cutoff:Sky aka Oleg Xaler, a techno-industrial one-man act based in Moscow: his personal reconstruction of "Electric Trash" exponentially increases the danceability of this song by percussive reinforcements, clubby arrangements and higher doses of electronic-effects. The same song "Electric Trash" is also remixed by the industrial-metal band called Blood Type V: within its structures they alternate cosmic sounds, electric guitar riffs and drumming obsessively cadenced, multifaceted, ready to turn cyclically into uptempo rides. The dark-electro / EBM band Deviant Haze redefines the forms of "City", transfiguring partially the original features by rhythmic intensifications and functional electronic devices for dancefloors, well supported by an angry, psychotic voice. I acknowledge to this Extended Play important virtues and an unique, unexceptionable style that elevates the project Electric Resistance as one of the most valuable and promising reality from the new Eastern vanguard, this is thanks to an ultra-futuristic interpretation of sound, to the meticulous care in the planning of the electronic formulas and to the rare art of knowing how to convert clearly the ideas into music executions of great importance. If this first, anticipatory mini-release has impressed you, try to imagine what it will arouse the next, awaited full-length...

back to top

Electro Planet - "Way To The Planet" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

electropen  Russians from Ryazan, Electro Planet are the spokespersons of a technological-pop characterially sentimental, danceable and futuristic. The band, formed in 2011, counted at that time only its two founders, Andrey Nigrovskiy (vox) and Sergey Mokhov (synths / programming), both animated by the intention to emulate the sounds belonging to the most famous electropop bands. In a second time the line-up joined Vasiliy Loginov (electronic drum-set) and Andrew Sinetsky (synth), making possible for the platform a series of successful concerts in Central Russia: shortly afterwards, in 2013, Andrew Sinetsky and Vasiliy Loginov left the project yielding place to Andrey Kontseus (synths). Through the integration of this musician Electro Planet found its constructive equilibrium settling in the current array, directing then the sound toward new solutions that today highlight a particular assembly among dreamy futurepop-synthpop and danceable electronics, together with harmonious new wave, pop-rock romance and techno-house complements, all this conceptually immersed in a dreamlike dimension evoking visions of frozen lands or urban landscapes illuminated by artificial glows, and even inner feelings into whitch they alternating melancholy, nocturnal atmospheres and the nostalgic side of love, in a continuous succession of fantasies with open eyes and deep moods whose essence inspires the imagination and creativity of each of the three artists. The music of Electro Planet integrates electronic formulations of high intelligibility in which we can distinguish vocal elegance, rhythmic dynamism and a strategic use of keyboard sections, peculiarities audible in a discography currently at its initial phase but destined to an ever increasing productive cycle. The debut-album "Way To The Planet" of 2014, now analyzed by Vox Empirea, has been anticipated in the same year by the digital-single "In the Glare Of Roads" consisting of three tracks of which the first one vocalized by the Russian electro / techno / industrial solo-project Max 'Raspatory' Suchkov, the second one remixed by the electronic / tech-house musician Kei Kohara, and the third one reconstructed into mix version by the German electronic / house / experimental / minimal-techno alchemist Daniel Bemberger alias dB. These two works, published by ScentAir Records - the home Moscow based home specialized in electro / new wave / synthpop music - they're raging in the international underground scene winning a large number of listeners and getting a positive response in terms of market: in fact, citing only an example, the full-length "Way To The Planet" has reached the top sales of the U.S.A.'s store-label A Different Drum, formalizing this band as one of the most credited from East independent electro avantgarde. The album consists of ten episodes, including three remixes, and it opens by the melodic synthpopish homonymous track entitled "Way To The Planet", in which Andrey spreads his passionate, beautiful chant making perceive us a sense of nostalgia which blends the crystalline synths and the pulsating uptempo drum-programming cadences. "In Glare Of Roads" brightly expresses the melancholy aura that surrounds all the techno-pop executions of Electro Planet, and this by the flow of emotions conveyed into vocals, by the fascinating keyboard notes and by a danceable-fast line of drumming. "Wonderful Life" is an attractive synthpop built by midtempo replicated cycles of drum sequencing, by terse modulations of keyboards and by the Andrey Nigrovskiy's voice that is also characterized by a marked clarity, while in the next and totally instrumental song "Somewhere In Dreams" they converge some of the typical, irresistible sound elements of the band, or high-tech arrangements, a solid rhythmical midtempo dance-oriented planning, fluent emissions of keyboard and capturing chords that instantly transporting our mind towards unrealistc cosmos. "Blazing Shine" is the first official song from the Electro Planet's repertoire, written between 2011 and 2012 by Andrey Nigrovskiy and Andrew Sinetsky in the early phases of their project: the future-synthpopish musicality of this song combines the grace and the nostalgic sentimentalism of vocals with the melodic radiance propagated by machines, in a whole of voice, uptempo bpm's, pads and sequencing to be danced with the course of our thoughts that wanders distant and in loneliness. The beauty of vocal harmonies pervades every moment of the next "Thing Called Love", a lovable dreaming-electropop that will enrapture the more sensitive souls, by the purity of singing and the by romantic junctures of keyboards which fullness mantles the midtempo drum-fractions. In "Live On Your Night" the polychromatic vocal foreground of Andrey Nigrovskiy centralizes the listener's attention dominating on musics, filling the strophes of ardor, making them interact actively with warm synths and midtempo drum-programming. The first of the three mentioned remixes is that one regarding "Blazing Shine", now elaborated into 'Shining Sun' version by Raspatory, who adds further danceability to the original sound structures enhancing the bass-lines and intensifying the electronic counterpoints. The same Raspatory also remixed "Way To The Planet", transforming it into a perfect dancefloor-hits through pneumatic uptempo scans and by sophisticated technicalities for d.j.'s, as well as the London-based electro composer-producer Ed Reik he too ingeniously reprocesses the form of "Way To The Planet", creating for it a solid and 'very danceable' rhythmical flooring which articulates the movements and sonorities of this song by wonderful technological counterpoints. Russia is once again country of a countless number of talents operative in the alternative music industry as Electro Planet, a band really able to offer us an interpretation of modern synthpop impeccably performed with romantic spirit and with the aim of projecting the listeners in a world suspended between reality and magic, sharing with anyone who desires it the utopian images and the sensitivity so vividly generated by the music of the three protagonists. The album "Way To The Planet" is in the same instant an excellent reserve of clubby sounds and an intimate, comfortable space within which we can dialogue with ourselves and our own consciousness: it's nice to know that all this is possible simply pressing the "play" button.

back to top

Eurotix - "The Secret" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

euroten  The Swedish Larry Forsberg (keys / instruments) and Dennis Alexis Hellström (vox) - this latter blogger and songwritter known in the past years with its hard-house / electropop / italo disco-dance solo-act named Bimbo Boy - they are the only members of Eurotix, a platform founded in Gävle in 2013. Into the music of this project they intersect melodic and danceable 80's synthpop / euro italo-disco / Eurodance / electropop elements, optimized from the same in 2013 through a prevalent series of digital EP releases distributed by the Swedish label Computer Killed The Recordstore: the first Extended Play from the Eurotix discography is titled "I Plead Insanity", four tracks one of which performed in collaboration with Owe Emfestav, alias the Swedish electropop / synthpop solo-project A Blue Ocean Dream, and a second one, the 12" "Supernatural", created in collaboration with four interpreters from the Swedish electronic scene, or Alexander Bard - ex former member of Vacuum and included in the line-up of Army Of Lovers, Bodies Without Organs and Coma - Emil Hellman, producer and owner of Soundfactory's remixer-team, Leif Jacobsson from the eurodance trio called Polaris, and finally Magnus Frykberg aka Technobrat. In the year 2014 followed the most of the releases before the debut album, starting with the self-produced single "He'll Be Home For Christmas ", then continuing with the excellent four episodes of the digital EP's" Are You Strong Enough?" and, especially, the four ones of "Let's Die Young" that contain "Lies", a song of considerable importance being it composed in cooperation with three of the four original members of the legendary German wave / synthpop band Alphaville: Bernhard Lloyd, Frank Mertens and Marian Gold. In order of appearance it closes the list of EP's "Life As It Slips Away", the which four songs they precede the twelve ones enclosed in the debut release now treated by Vox Empirea, "The Secret", published in 2014 by the same brand Computer Killed The Recordstore. The evolution of the tracklist begins with "Superstar", an uptempo synthpop characterized by the vocal freshness propagated by Dennis combined to retro melodies of keyboard and programming, all this in advance on the next "I Plead Insanity", also conceived through danceable synthpopish uptempo procedures of drum sequencing, catchy vocals and bright keyboard decorations. The 80's oriented matrix inherent the style of Eurotix is openly manifested in "Let's Die Young", inside which they are distinguished old-school synthpop recalls and thin Italo-disco veining, all this supported by the pleasant and vaguely melancholic chant of Dennis, by uptempo beats of drum-programming and by the amenity spread from the keys. More soft, slow and caressing, "After Before, Before After" features in many aspects the pop romanticism of Pet Shop Boys, a detail very perceptible in the singing accents and in the sumptuous keyboard orchestrations, while the following "Life As It Slips Away" is a clubby midtempo electropop / italo-disco, thanks to the force of the rhythm-machine, of the iridescent synth junctures developed by Larry and the exciting vocalizations of Dennis, which together they generate atmospheres of great effect and highly danceable sounds. Much of the electropop structure encluded in "Replay" is based on slow-minimal percussiveness, on the synthetic colors of the keyboard and on the metronomic midtempo scans of drum-programming which support the equally essential chant. The whippy midtempo electronic-pop trajectories of "I'm Ready For My Close-Up", together with the loveliness of its vocals and the colored sections of keyboards, they make an excellent song to dance with fervor, as well as the subsequent "The European Man" recovers 80's electropop sonorities played by accelerating the speed of the rhythm-machine among which they are perfectly incardinated the melodious voice of Dennis, the programming layouts and the brilliance of the synth. The homonymous "The Secret" privileges disengaged and graceful singing solutions combined with a synthpop musicality instantly assimilable, all this executed through slow scans of drum sequencing surrounded by clear keyboard's flows. "Don't Let Go", probably the best track of the full-length, it activates an irresistible electropop / disco-dance mechanism by energetic and captivating vocal formulations, symmetric midtempo drum-programming pulses and seductive synth, a whole that ensures to this track a role of infallible floorfiller. The electropop / eurodisco consistency of "Decadence" is not materially different from what we have experienced in the past chapters so far listened to, with harmonious singing language, always extremely accessible and closely interconnected to the sharp euphonies of keyboard and to the midtempo drumming. "We Have Built A Satellite (To Make It Crash)" concludes the title-track exposing an highly danceable and fascinating synthpop / eurodisco built by uptempo pulsations and embellished by sparkling keyboard's modulations and by the clean, intelligible chantt. The mostly easy-listening squaring of the album "The Secret" does not compromise neither the refinement and nor the preciousness of its contents: the entire sequence of the songs is designed and planned for the sole purpose of attracting that wide range of listeners devoted to non-complex and danceable electronic music schemes, besides to a retrospective melodism that amuses and entertains with simplicity and immediacy. Larry and Dennis they free large amounts of creativity and good taste, moving easily into a dynamic, communicative and endearing sound, within which they converge multiple technologic-pop styles and an ardent desire to relate with the masses: anyone who identifies himself in this specific description will develop instinctively a magnificent and lasting feeling with the Eurotix power-duo. Is maybe this their big secret?...

back to top

Estetica Noir - "Estetica Noir ep" - by Maxymox 2014

esteten  Estetica Noir born in Turin in 2013 directing their masterplan to stylistic old-shool new wave combined with explicit rock and industrial references. the band consists of three components, each of them holder of respectable credentials: Silvio Oreste (vox / lyrics / guitars / synths) in fact, has a long experience in quality of singer, guitarist and song-composer, as well as his current militancy into the famous new wave / rock / aternative platform based in Turin called Favole Nere, while the arranger and bassist Rik Guido (bass / synth) comes from the Turin hard-rock ensemble Redlynx, as Alesso Sogno (drums / synth / programming) stands as producer, arranger, but especially for an appreciable transversality as multi-instrumentalist, attitudes to which he adds its presence in the line-up of Kynesis, a note psychedelic-experimental / post-metal / post-rock / post-doom band also located in the capital of Piemonte. The sound of Estetica Noir is an electric mixture of guitar tensions, rock-drumming, keyboard fluctuations and a visionary, alienating lyricism, deeply introspective, in which accents is perceptible a vague feeling of darkness. All these sonic details are detectable in the self-produced debut-EP entitled "Estetica Noir" now analyzed by Vox Empirea, a release published in 2014 of five tracks excellently built and via radio widespread even beyond the national borders. First of them is "I Will Kill You", a song included in the same 2014 internally to the prestigious American and underground death-gothic rock / post-punk compilation "For The Bats Vol. 1": the track, a wave / industrial-rock, propagates a marmoreal dynamism generated from the double combination guitar-drums, simultaneous with emission of synth and vocals tones hardened by resentment, pronounced with vivid strength and bitterness. "Metà Statica" is also characterized by waver sounds in which we can point out strong rock connotations, all this expressed by the desperate melancholy of a chant harmoniously superimposed on the guitar textures, for an alternation of melodious arpeggios, suggestive touches of synth, fluid programming and fiery periods in which it reigns the supreme drumming-guitars synergy. "Beautiful Absence" propagates waving neurasthenia tracing initially its own rhythmic structure by symmetric interactions between programming, electric guitar and bass pulsations, to which which they are incorporated rock elements and tormented vocals. Wide new wave spatiality, misty atmospheres, vocal pathos annihilated by dissatisfaction, depressed romance, cultured, evocative and dramatic text: these are the prerogatives of "Le Scogliere Di Okinawa", an episode of fundamental importance in the entire tracklist, structurally composed at first by dry riffs of strings to which they follow sinuous euphonies of bass, synth and vocals, all this awaiting the majestic industrial-rock verticalizations performed making red hot the sound using incandescent guitar noises and hard drumming, descending later to obscure wave-reggae interludes. Here's the epilogue, "Tentacles", a song in which the destabilizing 'anti-system' proclamations uttered by Silvio they integrate the drumming wave / rock contractions-accelerations that form the introductory segment of drum-guitar-synth-bass, whose skinny fractionations, evolving, they keep a perfect sintony acquiring greater consistency and hardness, accumulating the force of industrial-rock and also, in certain instants of the obsessive electric guitar playing, post-punk intuitions, all enhanced by the lyrics saturated of resentment, sung by Silvio with disillusioned voice and deeply injured by social-media hypocrisy found in today's everyday life. The new wave aesthetic standards meet the industrial rock vehemence: worthy followers of a stylistic archetypal wonderfully inspiring as immortal, Estetica Noir in their Extended Play they flaunt discipline, resourcefulness, impeccable technique executions and the ability to dominate the sound, overheating and forging it by the unmistakable ease of experienced musicians. The vocals, perpetually tortured by afflictions and by inner discomforts, they run cyclically into sporadic moments of quiet and tumultuous constructions in which it stands out the drum thrusts rhythmically synchronized to guitar impetus and to cold keyboard extensions. The result is a predominantly aggressive musicality, sometimes meditatively, always direct and compelling. Animated by the desire to give vent to emotions converting them into notes, the band knows how to transmit to the listener every fragment of that intensity so extraordinarily alive enclosed in the soul of the three protagonists, in a succession of suffering, nostalgia and unsolvable existential dilemmas. Ovations and praises to an Italian project that left the clear, indelible sign of its presence.

* F *

back to top

Framework - "[Untold Stories]" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

framewen  The genesis of the Framework started in 1996 in Rostock, Germany, for initiative of Sigmund Droese and Andreas Lehmann, both animated by the desire to reproduce the typical dark-electro-alternative sonic models successfully proposed in that decade. By this synergy it arose in 1997 the first concrete result entitled "Hand On The Trigger", or a self-produced single-cassette consisting in five electro/EBM demo tracks. The real evolution and rise of the project took place in 2000 when it introduced in its organic a third element, Daniel Konrad, with whom Framework sharpened more mature stylistic improvements becoming suitable for a good contract with the German brand Scanner, sub-label of Dark Dimensions. By this first subscription it had origin in 2002 the debut album "Reflections", eleven electronics/electro/IDM/industrial episodes mastered by Kolja Trelle, aka the industrial/trance solo-act better known as Soman. Into this full-length we can find also the vocal partecipations of two guests from the German new wave band UNI.VERSAL, respectively Robert Frank in the song " Warriors Of Time" and Manuela Peters in "Kill Switch": the record received n a short time many flattering reviews encouraging so a fortunate series of gigs that contributed to the Framework's consolidation with the Europenan audience. Despite the effective and growing reputation gained, into the band it occurred initially a period of stagnation, and then an unexpected division: in fact, Sigmund Droese was the first one to break away from the line-up, followed shortly by Andreas Lehmann who became the official vocalist of the famous Swiss electro-project Sleepwalk, supplanting in his role the outgoing Oliver Spring, he in turn included in the EBM/synthpop collective called Nine Seconds and member of the electro/industrial platform tEaR!dOwN. After years of silence, precisely in 2010, Daniel Konrad and Andreas Lehmann decided to re-establish Framework keeping their own music fundamentals of the 90's, but adding to them the new concepts of techological sound, until reaching Electronic Body Music modulations together with synthpopish, darkwave, electronics and glitch elements: through this specific scheme and by a laborious, progressive exercise of improvement, the power-duo has deservedly been able to recapture the prestige, the self-confidence and the enthusiasm needed to finalize their second album represented by "[Untold Stories]", the subject of this review by Vox Empirea. The tracklist, superbly mastered by Manuel G. Richter known by his electronics/ambient/downtempo solo-project Xabec and also to be with Gregoire Vanoli a member of the synthpop/EBM duo Underwater Pilots, includes thirteen songs, one of which created in collaboration with Nine Seconds, plus two wonderful bonus-tracks remixed by Disharmony and Talvekoidik; also important is the supporting label, the Italian EK Product, considered today among the best ones from the entire modern underground electro scene, which, as its good, long tradition, it publishes this full-length too in digipak format. The title-track starts by the ethereal and totally instrumental intro "Non Ho Sonno", formulated through infinite pads extensions and heavenly melodies broken by the rhythmical IDM asymmetries processed by drum machine, sounds anticipating the next song, "Sinners", a dark-electro whose compactness originates from hoarse, testily vocals, surrounded by the icy embrace of synths and moved by the midtempo drum-programming scans. Similarly, "Scene Of Crime" flaunts an electro musicality obscured by synth's cloudiness and rough vocalizations crossed by the robotic midtempo drumming, while the following "Mayhem" they active sequencer's punctuations, uptempo drum-beats, exciting harmonies of keyboards and a guttural singing by which combination it germinates a dark-electro/EBM module strongly indicated for dancefloors. IDM/glitch recalls highlighted in the rarefied and fragmented sections of drum programming, loops, atmospheres electronically obscure, propelled by enchanted keyboard's breezes and by contracted vocal tones, they form the structure of "Parting", followed by "Submerge", a track of great value in which the intrument's coldness forges a classic electro/synthpop blackened by shady vocal melodies, dynamized by uptempo drum-programming and melodiously supported by a keyboard's register, all this in a song of considerable interest for the alternative D.J.'s. The voice of the guest Oliver Spring embellishes the subsequent "No Shut Eye" uttering rancorous phrasing, as well as its midtempo rhythmical line, the sharpness of sequencing and the intensity of synths draw a sound that impels the dance, while in "Confidence" the pneumatic and rapid drum-beats, along with vivid keyboard's transmissions and angry vocals always, they amplify the power of this forceful dark-electro track. "Before Dawn" generates a tense, restless climax, using the penetrating action of the chant which accents, perennially shaded by gloomy sentiments, they alternating with convulsive breaths, joining with them to the mechanical midtempo drum-programming and with the atmospheric suspensions of synths, developed a very danceable electronic musicality. "Walk Away" captures the listener through dark frequencies made by keyboards, by dry percussion's fractionations, by sequenced impurities and by a vocal bitterness able to evoking moments of suggestive melodism, before the next song, "For A Lifetime", in which the energetic uptempo layouts are combined with turbid, acid vocals that the singer extends between the intriguing touches of synth and the prolongations of pads, planning by these elements a formidable obscure-electro particularly suited for alternative clubs. In the version named "For Eternity" of the song "W.O.T." they converge danceable midtempo percussive metrics and an abrasively melodic voice, which intonations they harmonize with the circular waving of programming and with the wraparound procedures of synths, waiting for the entry of "The End (Experience)", a fully instrumental track, celestially symphonic, conceived by elegiac pads which chords they abduct, move, tearing apart your mind. The first of the two bonus-tracks is the remix of "Parting" reworked by the Slovak dark-electro/ambient two-men project called Disharmony personified by Robert Gajdos, aliasLord Sauron, and Riby: the song's transfiguration deviates towards sophisticated electronics/IDM trajectories played by hypnotic downtempo beat-replications and rhythmical decompressions, by dreamy keys dimensions and vocal reverbs artificially modified; the epilogue is entrusted to the magnificent "Walk Away" mutated into "Tannhauser Gate Mix" version by the genius of Talvekoidik, alias the electronics/rhythmic-noise/modern-classical/IDM side-act of Kai Christian Hahnewald as well as member of the rhythmic-noise trio called S.K.E.T.: The track is deprived of its original schemes, completely recalculating its own configuration settling into a very elegant advanced-electronics/industrial form within which we highlight robotic phonemes, thundering downtempo percussions and a surreal orchestrations of keyboards. The music created by the duo respects all main '90 electro-culture dogmas, circumscribing their sonorities into the variable geometrism of Intelligent Dance Music and into the charisma of dark-sound, revealing an executive perfection and, most importantly, the ability to materialize it with exciting results. The tracks are compared in a space within which they interact rhythmics, vocals, keyboard's conjunctures and extremely interesting technological-sonic artifices: everything listed here and now has contributed to building a solid album, "[ Untold Stories ]", which connects listening pleasure, exhortation to dance and electronic refinement: all this and much more is the Framework effect.

back to top

Friends Of Alice Ivy – "The Golden Cage And Its Mirrored Maze" - cd - by Maxymox

friendofaen  One of the most awaited discographic news of this 2014 is definitely the one on the album of Friends Of Alice Ivy, the Australian Melbourne-based ethereal / avant-garde / neoclassical / gothic / darkwave band whose full biography is available on Vox Empirea in the review regarding their anticipatory single "We Are As Ghosts" included in the 2003's section. The debut full-length "The Golden Cage And Its Mirrored Maze", published by the label Elysium Sounds owned by the same Friends Of Alice Ivy, constitutes therefore a fundamental step in the career of project, representing the distillate and the externalization of the state of art acquired by Kylie and Amps, whose expressive level reaches today very remarkable heights. The album, outcome after three years of work, musically reflects suggestive atmospheres wonderfully evocative and retrospective, combined with a concept that takes its principles both from the Nineteenth Century utopic-scientific vision about the exploration of Cosmos, and from a refined interpretation of the classic-futuristic poetry in vogue in that Epoch, all this by immaterially labyrinthine sounds and vocals that diffuse in the air a celestial melancholy. Each of the eight songs is created by a wide range of space-rock and progressive-folk finishings that incorporate in their turn ethereal elements: the result is an elegant aura of romanticism that widely influences the listener's mood, originating in his mind visions of enchanted landscapes, awakening the long time asleep nostalgia. The line-up of Friends Of Alice Ivy always includes the two well-known protagonists Kylie (vox) and Amps (instruments / programming) to whom is added a team of excellent Australian guests-musicians such as the guitarist Clifford Ennis, the harpist Megan Reeve, the celliste Zora Barisic and Emily Williams, the classical soprano Frances Catherine Brüggener, the drummer Pat Cake and the percussionist Adam Calaitzis, this latter responsible of the mixing part of the album, but also producer and sound-engineer from the Toyland Studios in Melbourne, at which they recorded bands of important resonance as Ikon, Eden, Jerusalem Syndrome and The Seventh Dawn. The album's tracklist opens with the splendid "The Aerial Mariners", a song which title is inspired by the adventures in the skies narrated by the English Nineteenth Century poet-philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley: in its procedures, the guitar strings vibrate under effect of the e-bow, propagating fascinating modulations created by the guest Clifford Ennis - recently integrated into the legendary Australian goth-band Ikon, member with Mark Tansley of the dark-electro duo Razorfade, besides with Chris McCarter of the mentioned goth-rock act called Jerusalem Syndrome and, with Rick Mullen, of the goth-rock project called Subterfuge - while the sweetly sad Kylie's chant meets lysergic sounds of harp and keyboard rhythmed by the slow drum-beats. Neoclassicism and a deep melancholy are the predominant elements of the next "Song Of Lyra", in which short playing time it reverberates the marvelous heavenly-voice of Kylie, materializing ancestral, misty scenarios populated by legendary figures, in an ethereal orchestration of cello, synths and sporadic percussive inserts on which they echo funereal-bell chimes. "Miranda", the first single from the album, abducts you through the seductive, rueful singing expanded by Kylie between keyboard flows and downtempo space-rock drumming, as well as the subsequent "False Fox" leads towards surreal territories in which you unconsciously lost, bewitched by angelic vocal emissions that the singer rises over a poignant whole of pinched harp and strings, keyboard wakes and soft percussions sinuously ethnic-oriented. "The Sky Of The Bright Unfoldings" exposes an ethereal-gothic sung by Kylie with sorrowing voice recalling a sense of loneliness and decadence, all this fluidly scanned by slow drumming in which they converge keyboard chords tha further accentuate the perception of sadness. The Megan Reeve's harp formulates harmonies similar to clear gems, gently caressed by the intonations overflowing with suavity that the vocalist incorporates to the cello and to the desolate synth symphonies, in a succession of emotions and melodies that make "Igraine" a song listenable during the rainy Autumn twilights. In the following "Oars Under Glass", an ethereal-folk songs conceptually dedicated to Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Kylie's chant intersects the vocalizations emitted by the guest backing-singer Frances Catherine Brüggener: the answer is a nostalgically graceful, ethereal, spiritual singing, adorned with aesthetic refinements of piano and pads, initially minimal, and then evolved into a neoclassical, paradisiac choral-orchestration. Ideally connected with the images viewable in the documentary "Cosmos", realized by the U.S. astronomer and sci-fi author Carl Edward Sagan, the final chapter "Song Of The Willows" is once again permeates of the sentimentalism so infinitely passionate and fairy transmitted by Kylie's vocalizations, lulled by the melancholy generated by keyboard, by the consonances played by the guitarist David Redhill and by downtempo percussiveness, all this until the achievement of a sublime climax. The album "The Golden Cage And Its Mirrored Maze" inebriates, conturbates: it is a florilegium of apollonian melodies, immaculate vocals and delicate arpeggios that are transformed into poems and into ecstatic introspection, enrapturing the listener from the first to the last moment. After a long period of experimentation, Friends Of Alice Ivy deservedly aspire to success by offering their audience a tracklist that summarizes the artistic greatness and the noble sensibility of Kylie and Amps, whom confer to the sound a function arcane summoner. Start walking towards the evanescent Friends Of Alice Ivy's worls with receptive mind and pure soul, searching and finding time enough for this transdimensional journey separating yourselves from what you feel tangible. Everything else around you will no longer have any importance.

* G *

back to top

Glanko - "Alset" - cd - by Maxymox

glanken  Emerging protagonist in the Italian hyper-technological scene, Giuseppe Fallacara plays since 2012 the solo-act Glanko, proposing his original and experimental illustration of the electronic music concept. The sound created by the artist incorporates sophisticated industrial / ambient / IDM procedures generated using analog equipments, in a whole made of elaborated filterings, distorted-noises, essential keyboards, intricate trajectories, asymmetric rhythms and a globality of avantgarde euphonies minded with particular care for evoking restless and fascinatingly-futuristic atmospheres. The discographic Productivity of Glanko began from "Telekommand", a digital-EP licensed in 2013 by the French netlabel Sirona-Records, consisting of five tracks stylistically ambient / glitch / electronic / IDM, one of which played in synergy with Marco Caricola aka the post-classic / electronic Bari based solo-project called Mote. The present "Alset" - ideally dedicated to the Serbian electrical engineer, physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla - officially represents the debut-album published in 2014 by the German brand Halbsicht Tonträger Records: its tracklist includes ten highly cultured songs oriented towards IDM / glitch / downtempo electronics sounds mastered by the same Glanko in collaboration with the sound technician Robert Gutierrez. The release evolves by the opener "Set A", an ambient / electronics track built through a suggestive crescendo of synthetic noises, effects from 'space laboratory' and keyboard nebulizations. The climax darkens, becoming surreally gloomy: this happens in the next "Vathal", a song of evident belonging IDM / electronics, created by Glanko planning hypnotic scans, icy evanescences of laptop and a masses of deep bass-lines processed by the rhythm-machine. "Prol5" spreads an electronic sound disturbed by cyclical interferences on which they rotate systematically the IDM's propulsive drumming and dark-pads ornaments, as well as in "AC", a cold IDM track, we hear alienating emissions wrapped by the grainy density of keyboard, while the underlying percussiveness outlines transverse downtempo beats sectioning mechanically the melodies. "Set B" is a brief interlude from whose ambient / electronics musicality they originate gaseous pads and anti-gravitational perceptions, allowing the entrance to the beautiful "Lex", an IDM track geometrically intersected by robotic drumming and by a flow of electronic micro-particles, all this elegantly decorated by sequencing punctuations combined to vast synth expansion. The IDM acoustics of "Mochiron" mesmerizing body and mind: it happens by with modular watery sounds of the introductory phase, followed by precise divisions of drum-programming and keyboard vaporizations, transmuted in the final segment into ambient-pads wakes. The futuristic IDM iridescences projected for "2244" capture the senses, at first transmitting spherical ambient / electronics propagations, energizing the pace gradually through a dense automatism drum sequencing, and then intoxicating the listening by stellar additions of keyboard. "Set C" is a dreamy IDM architecture accurately schematized by dry drum-machine intermittences, placed in support of intangible pads and of slight keyboard sounds, while from the final "Transform HN" they rise corpuscles electronically pulverized and minimal synth replications, whose melodies are artificially shaped around percussive reduplications. Glanko masterfully succeeds in his intent to neutralize the antithesis between complexity and substantiality, placing them in relation unifying their meanings in a visionary sound, effective in materializing virtual realities. "Alset" is a release formulated with admirable dexterity, contriving an aggregation of songs in which it prevails the hegemony of electronics conjugated in one of its infinite declinations. The aestheticism and the intelligence of executions suggest an authoritative inventiveness of which the project is consciously owner, as well as the remarkable characteristics of sound quality and the minuteness of arrangements they give us an high professional artist's image. This is music for human next venture civilizations: privileged is the one who will come in contact with this album.

back to top

Grandchaos – "We Suffer When The World Changes" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

grandcaen  Leading figure in the underground electronic music scene since the early-80's, the young Russian Tcheleskov Ivanovitch began his artistic course founding with his brother Trevosky in 1982, the same year of their transfer to Brussels, the unitary cult-project called Ivanovitch Dans L'Ombre, both attracted by the post-Neue Deutsche Welle and later by the first EBM born exactly at that time between Belgium and Germany. Through their platform, Tcheleskov and Trevosky originated unusual, elementary sounds, orienting them towards experimental emission of synths with compact rhythms of drum-machines, all this supported by special visuals. The two brothers created in this way a succession of tracks exhibited during their appreciated concerts, select and later independently published in a series of self-produced releases anticipated by the 12" vinyl-single "Dag Command Dust 17'" dating back to 1987, followed by a concatenation of productions recorded on tape-format: the Maxi-single of 1989 "Listen The Sound!", the albums "2 Missing Madmen", "Expose! Expanse..." and "Amok! Shock! Seque!", all issued in 1990, the Mini-album "1 2 3" of 1992 and subsequently two works published on CD format by Galaxy Records - label connected to the Swiss home Urgence Disk Records - the Maxi-single "Trans Level" of 2002 and finally the 2005's super remixed-compilation "In / Out": in the twelve tracks of this release they highlight the important reworking by Bak XIII, Oliver Moreau, Metamorphose, Op.ale and Shizuka. In the year 1995 Tcheleskov however decided to pursue mainly a solistic career, choosing as its nickname the effigy Grandchaos, further optimizing the past Electronic Body Movement sounds and releasing officially in 2003 a first product by Galaxy Records, the five-tracks Maxi-single "La Forge", followed in 2004 by a second Maxi-single published by the label Urgence Disk Records, "Ionize Me," which also contains five episodes. The year 2006 was marked by the release entitled "In Sedens", a spectacular anthology of seventeen songs belonging to Grandchaos except one, the homonymous "In Sedens" previously designed as Ivanovitch Dans L'Ombre. The long tracklist of this work is remixed by many electro-artists, divided into two CDs and published by the Denver based label Deathkon Media, converted since 2007 to Revenge Music: all the song's structures of this release, burned by the American Brian Hazard - who's the synthpopish solo-act Color Theory - are remakes by great electro names among them, for their high reputation, we absolutely must mention Bak XIII, Cobalt 60, Brain Leisure, Digital Factor, Skoyz, Armageddon Dildos, Plastic Noise Experience, Severe Illusion, Tyske ludder, Neon Cage Experiment, Ionic Vision, Panzerlab, Terminal State, Synaptic Defect, Disharmony, Last Influence Of Brain, Electro Synthetic Rebellion and Depressive Disorder. The Tcheleskov's old-school EBM style, increasingly considered as one of the best on the scene, allowed in 2007 the completion of "Open Source", the fourteen tracks debut-album published by the same Urgence Disk Records and mastered by the Belgian electronic musician Geert De Wilde. In 2011 Grandchaos issued, again through the label Urgence Disk Records, a remixed compilation of fifteen tracks, "Refuge", to which they partecipated famous projects such as, listed once again for their notoriety, Tech Nomader, Signal Aout 42, Interfront, Bak XIII, Mono Electronic Density, Mechaload, Equitant and Operation Of The Sun. By the successive engagement signed with the Italian label EK Product, occurred in the year 2012, it was issued the second and highly acclaimed album "Rumours of My Life" - mastered by the Belgian d.j. / composer / singer Cedrik Fermont aka C-Drík - within which we list thirteen tracks, four of them enhanced by the voice of the Belgian guest-singer Jacky Meurisse - from the famous EBM-band Signal Aout 42 - and two remixes created by French projects, respectively the electro /synthpop duo Foretaste and the EBM band Groupe T. "We Suffer When The World Changes" is the title of the new, awaited Grandchaos album published in 2014 in digipak format always by EK Product, sixteen songs shaped combining classical EBM elements with electro-80's procedures, along essential segments of voice and effective new-beat / techno strategies. As consolidated habit, in this album too Tcheleskov uses the collaborations by guest-musicians, both for the singing - again with Jacky Meurisse in two songs - and also for the remixes entrusted to good exponents from the European technological music scene, finalizing so an electronic sound fantastically danceable and energetic that shows the progress achieved today by the Grandchaos platform, which was recently performed on stage in Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Belgium with the legendary Signal Aout 42. The opening track of the new album is "The Light", a song built by cyclic midtempo drum-sequencing and elementary vox counterpoints dictated by Jacky Meurisse, in a whole of monolithic euphonies that solicit instinctively futuristic dances, while the following "Man On Fire" shakes the rhythm by linear pulsing midtempo beats and essential hatches of programming, all this connected to the chant gutturally transfigured and scanned with coldness by Tcheleskov. "Love And Hate" is an electro-song surrounded by hypnotic midtempo cadences that dissect robotically skinny synth melodies and emphasizing at the same time filtered vocals pronounced with dark iciness. Jacky Meurisse also sings in the subsequent "The Death Of You And Me", incorporating the harshness, the obsessiveness and the gloom of his vocals to circular, decelerated electro-EBM modulations of sequencer and drum-programming, as well as the penetrating buzz that pre-announce "The Tempest" propagates its noise throughout the length of this track, contaminating it by phases of radioactive sounds, danceable midtempo b.p.m.', by android-loops, vocals uttered with systematic inflexibility and by fluorescent sequencing replications. Urticant keyboard flows torment now the first chapter of "Pulse", which midtempo percussiveness is reproduced by the historic Roland TR-909, an half-analogic drum-machine widely used in the 80's: in this song's scheme, the synth emissions they blend with the Tcheleskov's telegraphic vocalizations, together with a corpus of electronic-noises and sampling. As many fast than the previous ones but tonally more supple, the percussions of the next "We Suffer" subdivide the time joining them to a danceable agglomerate of atonic vocals and sequencer, so as the rhythmical unity of "Memory Is A Poison" spreads midtempo intermittences and periodic emanations of sequencing, into an austere electro-EBM song overshadowed by the artificial and mono-dimensional chant of Tcheleskov. "Tell Me You Love Me" is a track oriented towards techno / EBM sounds, through perpetual midtempo drum-beats reduplications punctuacted by synth and by programming over which they dominate concise geometries of voice. The second version of "Pulse" is instead characterized by the use of another 'cult' analogic rhythmic-machine from the early 80's, the Roland TR-808: its midtempo beats drag you to a very-danceable space of rétro-minded keyboard flashes and short as rigid vocal messages, anticipating the following and totally instrumental "End Of Transmission" with its electro / techno sonorities created by acid distributions of synths, spills of sequencing and midtempo drum-beats. The first of five remixes included the title-track is that related to "The Tempest", reworked by the Belgian Techno Body Music / Nu Body / industrial singer d.j. and producer Ethan Fawkes, who adds more depth to percussions, underlining vocals stubbornly firm, dark, enhanced by the action of drumming and systematically placed in an hyper-danceable contest. Alex Jarlev and Tomas Kulberg, both interpreters of the Norwegian EBM duo called Atropine, they now remix "The Death Of You And Me" intensifying the suggestive keyboard background, the electronic sections and the obscure vocals, alternating extended uptempo accelerations and minimally rhythmed interludes. VV303 is the name of the Belgian industrial / ambient / darkwave / futurepop solo project which remixes "Tell Me You Love Me", a song slightly slowed than the original version, in which the machines reiterate a gloomy, iron, dance-minded electro-sound full of alienation. The sound of "The Death Of You And Me" reveals very-remixable features, so as to be again object of re-work, on this occasion for the Swedish Kaii, Judas and Nik Beat, from the alternative-electro band known as # 366: A Live Lifed: this project, deconstructing the initial song model, converts it into an unadorned, spectral rotation of downtempo drumming crossed by voice trasfigurations with progressive sampling, electronic impurities and, further on, solid reinforcements of sequenced percussiveness. The Belgian brothers Jean-Marc and Pierre Pauly, aka the electro / EBM project called Parade Ground, they remix the tracklist's ending-chapter, "Memory Is A Poison", illuminating it hypnotically through incessant, regular synth harmonies, strong drumming and strategic arrangements for dancefloors. This release is studied by Tcheleskov with admirable dexterity, demonstrating once again the intention to forge a different and representative style. The protagonist formulates a set of sounds in which it prevailing the hegemony of traditional Electronic Body Movement with the addition of specific transversalities that reveal unconventional enterprise and original ideas. Each song is meticulously planned emulsifying and aggregating specular, dark, megnetic vocals with instrumental metrics always danceable, claustrophobically repetitive and rigorous as futuristic marches, often embellished by minimal-techno details. Rendez-vous dedicated to authentic connoisseurs, enthusiasts and practitioners of the electro disciplines: "We Suffer When The World Changes" is your album and Grandchaos is your emblem.

* H *

back to top

Hall Of Mirrors - "Altered Nights" - 2cd - by Maxymox 2014

hallomen  Structurally and conceptually, the project called Hall Of Mirrors consists of a duo played since 2005 by Andrea Marutti (Amon) and Giuseppe Verticchio (Nimh) to which they are added different oustider musicians whom collaborate actively into the album releases. The music belonging the protagonists is circumscribed into the dark-ambient//experimental electronics genres, a sound that must be heard in complete isolation, so gloomy, austere, foggy and powerful evocative of restless images and memories that we supposed there were faded into oblivion, a conglomerate of frequencies elaborated through a complex instrumentation, atmospheric processes and through sonic manipulations. The Hall Of Mirror's discography lists at today three solid albums in which you fully can find the fundamentals that they make so special the strategies designed by the two artists: the debut full-length entitled "Reflections On Black", licensed in 2007 by the label from Treviso Silentes Minimal Editions, contains four obscure-suites played with the guests Giulio Biaggi, aka Nefelheim, and Daniela Gherardi. The next release was "Forgotten Realm", published in 2009 always by the same Silentes Minimal Editions, includes five episodes produced in cooperation with interesting artists of whose is obligation to illustrate their identities, first among them Andrea Freschi from the following multitude of projects stylistically classifiable into the electro-goth rock/darkwave, dark-ambient and goth-rock/ethereal/industrial/ambient that they are Weltschmerz, Subinterior and Canaan. The second album's participant is Andrea Ferraris, a versatile musician mainly devoted to hardcore/experimental and also involved in numerous bands of various genres such as electronic/non-music/abstract, hardcore-punk, electro/math/post-rock, electronic/jazz, dark-ambient/minimal/drone, ambient/field recordings and IDM, which names are Airchamber3, Burning Defeat, Deep End, Lonius, Luminance Ratio, Meerkat, One Fine Day, Outright, Permanent Scar, Sil Muir, Ulna and Ur. The new double album "Altered Nights", conceived during the summer of 2010 and fired in 2012 by the U.S. label Malignant Records as digital/six- panels format, includes of two separate acts: a first phase containing four long suites and a second phase consisting solely in a single and very extensive track of over forty-five minutes; as in previous releases, also at this specific work we highlight the important artistic contributions given by guests such as the same Andrea Ferraris, the philosopher composer and multimedia-sound maker Pietro Riparbelli artistically codified with the markings K11 and PT-R, continuing with the dark-ambient project Vestigial and with New Risen Throne, aka the obscure-ambient solo-act represented by Gabriele Panci, then concluding with the aforementioned Andrea Freschi. The opening track on the CD 1 enclosed into the album "Altered Nights" is "The Meeting", a slow expansion of spiral shaped sounds in progressive amplification, within which the most absolute darkness are reproduced using field recordings and the effects directed by Andrea Freschi, these latter originated by the inventiveness of Andrea Marutti who's also the author of the cold vaporization generated by analog synth and by samples, all this combined with support of keyboard and the sound-effects provided by Giuseppe Verticchio and, finally, with the guitar effects counterpoints by Andrea Ferraris. "Invocation" spreads the oxidized musicality of dark-ambient played through incessant storms of cosmic materia, indecipherable echoed voice, grainy propagation of synths, sampled percussions, loops, field recordings and effects planned by Andrea Marutti, at the same time with the surreal vibrations of khlui, or Thai flute, blown by Giuseppe Verticchio to whom they are assigned additional sections of keys, guitar-drones, metals and sound-effects, in addition to the 'short wave radio frequencies' and the effects applied by Pietro Riparbelli. The following "Magmatic Resonance" is an authentic, obscure and glowing reverberated eruption that comes from the lithosphere of dark-ambient, which deadly exhalations reach the senses with exasperated slowness, in an abysmal, seething crescendo of artificial sounds built using samples and loops formulated by Vestigial and New Risen Throne added to the the perturbations of sequencer, guitar-drones, synth, and vox-effects composed by Giuseppe Verticchio. The fourth and final chapter of disc 1 is "Immaterial Bodies", a black vortex beyond imagination created by extending the continuous, hard fragmentations of sound/samples-effects and the dissonant analogue/digital synths operated by Andrea Marutti, as well as the violin/guitar drones, the synth, the disturbed radio frequencies, metals and effects shaped by Giuseppe Verticchio. The evolution of "Late Summer Ceremony", the only one long-track contained into the second CD, is a gradual succession of dark-ambient/industrial/electronics events initially conceived by atonic and prolonged fluxes of keyboard energy output by the Vestigial's synth into which they're inserted, during the following development, the motionless pads emissions created by Giuseppe Verticchio, he also executor of sequencing, of the guitar/violin drones, of the alien voices and effects, the same ones that, overflowing into the dark sonic twists of the samples and field recordings activated by Andrea Marutti, they sedimented with variable intensity in a resonant rise of metal stridency, subterranean noises, pauses composed of spatial expansions, icy irradiations and thunderous frictions, continuing with the sharp interference of short wave radio signals and the sound-effects by Pietro Riparbelli transfixed by the sound-loops engineered by New Risen Throne. Inorganic acoustics, planned for soliciting our neurotransmitters inducing terrified, claustrophobic feelings, by a continuous cycle of drain, decomposition and transformation of the "sound" element: this is what results from the unexceptionable synergy among the members of line-up and the modulations they played which explore the darkest intricacies of ambient sound, emerging from its depths as creatures with no inner light, animated only by instinct to turn every moment into something absolutely cold, inert, messenger of nightmares. This excellent release of Hall of Mirrors is considerable as one of the best Italian and representative publications related the genre in question, providing to the auditors, through the total annihilation of melody, an obsessive and psychically diverted vision of music, imprisoning and making them vain every conceivable possibility of escape: it's very probable that, after listened consciously and entirely each of the two paragraphs of "Altered Nights", you will never look in the direction of dark with the same, unaware eyes.

back to top

Harm Joy - "Inside Out ep" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

harmen  Dislocated between the U.S.A. and Germany, Harm Joy is an interesting platform operating since 2012, the which evolution is arousing the appreciation of that section of public not only inclined to the musicality end in itself, but also to the conceptual aspects and the value of the messages whose whole suggests the artistic identity of a project. The heterogeneity that distinguishes the sound of the band, today a duo, comprising various orientations from the technologic-sound area, among whic they prevail an effective future-synthsy-electropop melodism, danceable EBM strategies, distant industrial echoes, a certain sense of gothic decadence, shoegaze recalls and dubstep inserts. The originally super line-up incorporated three members, all from important realities of the European electronic scene: Dan von Hoyel (vox), lyrics-writer and vocalist of the Swedish synthpop/doompop trio called Titans - composed by the same Dan with Fredrik Mattsson and Jimmy Svensson - to whom they added Ølåf Å. Reimers (synths/machines), starring with Claus Albers and Ralf Homann of the German EBM/electro/ ndustrial project Tyske Ludder, and Krischan Jan-Eric Wesenberg, known as the vocalist of the German EBM/synthpop band Rotersand, who left the partnership in 2013, giving way to Dan and Olaf the conduction of the current Harm Joy. Deep lyrics, morbidly and elegantly twisted, undertaken to describe the thinking radically inbuilt within the duo-act, from which it emerges the irreplaceable function of 'negativity' to get the natural achievement of the exact opposite namely 'positivity', also enhancing the beauty of perversion as indispensable tool to accentuate the maximum pleasure, the purifying action of torture as a means to thoroughly achieve the joy and the mental clarity: these and other similar arguments are vividly expressed in the song's lyrics, through which the listener can also perceive another aspect of the psychology of the two artists, that is subtle aura of cruelty and inner satisfaction observing the vicissitudes and misfortunes of others, in order to celebrate ideally the principles of the so-called "Schadenfreude". The duo's record realizations, all licensed by 73 Second - a sub-label of Germanic Emmo.biz - are focused in 2014, initially by this debut-EP "Inside Out", now treated by Vox Empirea, and then with the second EP "Pain Decay": both creations anticipate what you'll listen to in the forthcoming first official album "Silver Lining Of The Mushroom Cloud". "Inside Out" testifies the outstanding qualities of passion, of sound technical and eloquence that the power-duo concentrates particularly on four songs directly played by them to which they are added two remixed versions, all this in a debut of great relevance that will satisfy even the most demanding audience. The work, published in digipak and professionally mastered by the same Krischan Jan-Eric Wesenberg, begins with the homonymous track entitled "Inside Out", a cultured futurepop/EBM supported by the linear midtempo bpm's of drum-programming, into which the singer's chant is combined to the seductive harmonies processed by the Ølåf's keyboard, whose extensions spread a sequence of melodies that will capture to the hearing, especially during the refrain. Symmetric midtempo pulsations to dance with enthusiasm, solid/well-modulated vocals and an energetically techno-popish/EBM climax, are the elements that build up the next "Whispers and Rumours", a very clubby track anticipating the refined sensuality of "Submarine", a downtempo electropop in which the voice of Dan draws nocturnal and introspective atmospheres caressed by melancholy, all this connected to an electronically depressed musicality, formulated by slow scans of drum-programming, ethereal flows of synth and artificially darkened sonorities. The Hearhere - German duo maker of a danceable synth-elecytropop, composed Crystin Fawn and Mark Petracca - remixed the original structure of "Inside Out" by converging voice and keyboard towards to a more reflective and nostalgic mood, slowing the cyclicality of drumming and keeping however the fullness of its tones, then introducing tenuous sections of piano and minimal electro ornaments. Dan and Ølåf now reprise "Submarine", transforming it into 'Edit Under Water' version, an episode that doesn't radically subverts the primary sound-conformation of the song, however making prevail in it prevail the alienating surrealism evoked by the synth's textures and by the arrangements which accentuate the feeling of 'unreality'. In conclusion, the Chrom - electro/synthpop duo from Germany with exponents Christian Marquis and Thomas Winters - rework the criteria of "Inside Out", adding melodic keyboard iridescences that punctuate the entire track increasing the brightness in the crucial moments, unifying them to the fluidity of pads and to the slow rhythm of drum machine, all this fully wrapped by a penetrating air of sadness. Vocal foreground emanating charming nobility, musics carefully designed and an original concept, make the EP "Inside Out" an epic debut. Harm Joy are the equilibrium between light and dark, the interrelationship between them, or better, the underground energy that mutually 'complete them', transforming the heartache into sublime, the darkness into radiance, causing the torment for arousing and valorising the bliss with total awareness, in an endless genesis of sorrow, bewilderment and rebirth. Harmjoy: the ecstasy after the pain.

* I *

back to top

I.R.O.N. – "Re-Forge: Metalized, Mechanized & Upgraded" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

irronen  Two different solo-acts, interpreted separately, they express in this New Millennium the artistic identities and the ideologically wills of the composer called I.L.: the first of them is Legionarii, his martial/ambient/industrial platform, while the second one is named I.R.O.N. that focuses his musicality toward a complex maze of electronics/martial/cyber-power-industrial formulas: the readers who are interested in the biography and the discography of both projects, they can be found every detail inherent Legionarii within the review published on Vox Empirea in 2012, while the complete focus about I.R.O.N. is readable in the space dedicated to his debut-album "Evolving", available in the review's section of 2013. The loud and proud message of belonging to Europe, more specifically that one regarding its ancient, cultural, religious and geographical roots threatened by the increasing globalization, is communicated through the Legionarii platform, as well as the side-project I.R.O.N. is the supreme exaltation of avantgarde industrial-militaristic concepts played by modern acoustics so oppressively automated, obscure, extraordinarily advanced, created using the percussion's dynamism as the main foundation on which developing a disruptive electronic musicality that inspires feelings of absolute rigor, efficiency, ruthlessness. The album "Re- Forge: Metalized, Mechanized & Upgraded" of 2013, issued on this occasion too by the excellent Polish label Rage In Eden, is mainly the modernization and the re-release of four tracks included in the previous full-length: these songs are now renamed with other titles, in addition with five exciting new compositions. Printed in the panel of the release, distributed in only three hundred copies in digipak format, there are the significant citations by V.Vinge and A.J. Good, which contribute with their deep meaning to strengthen further the emphasis of a sound of metallurgic hardness that begins by the explosive, martial, downtempo percussiveness that supports the opener, "The Industrial Man", a track disrupted by electronic lightning turbulences, by expansions of dark matter, by the electric guitar shake and by telluric rumbles which make vibrating the structures of this creation able to transmit an aura of leaden vastness. The subsequent "Titanium Sun" is the remixed-edit version of "Dawn Of Steel", an episode from the album "Evolving": its grandeur and magnificence is materialized moment by moment, drawing movement from the combustion of heavy militaristic rhythmical scans, from programming's oscillations and from the abrasive guitar-noises, an obsessive, stinging orchestration, fully wrapped by the post-industrial's flames. "Infiltrate The System" is a sonic device in which circuits they initially flows electronic noises and convulsive rhythmic subdivisions, the same ones that, after a prolonged dilatation of echoes, acid guitar's flashes, alien signals and dark resonances, they explode into a thundering industrial course pushed with vigor by the drumming's power and by caustic guitar samples. "No Existence" is the transfiguration of the original "Destroy", a song also included in the "Evolving"'s tracklist, now further solemnized by a compact, schematic industrial-downtempo which reverberations and which hypnotic replications are crossed by a black vortex of keyboard and electronic sounds. From the following "Troopers" they burst, with the same pathos of a soundtrack, symphonic modules glacially repeated until they amplify themselves within the listener's brain stimulating the perception of the "dramatic" and "sumptuousness", all this punctuated by a downtempo concatenation of mechanized pulses alternating with periods of suggestive keyboard's orchestrations and electric guitar rarefactions. Internally "Demolition Force" they are remixed the past theorems of "Hammer Down. Build Up", another track included into the previous full-length: this song, under its transformation process, uses the supremacy and propulsion of industrial-sound for spreading flamboyant modulations composed by a warrior percussiveness, among its immensity they alternate metal-guitar's clutches with an obscure cloud of electronic emissions and a thin programming line, while into the next "Hypercharger" the drum machine's automatism corresponding to an hammer, which motion generates a linear progression of midtempo bumps: their frantic beats emulate the operation of a great industrial device beyond which they resonate gloomy guitar's frictions, hallucinating sirens, derailing electronics, alienating clamors and saturations of pure steel. The fourth remake extracted from "Evolving" is the natural metamorphosis of "Mechanic State" or "The Machine", a lethal military-industrial gearing driven by metronomic percussive subdivisions similar to bursts, gradually expanded and culminating into the epic conflict among erosive guitar's apportionments, tumultuous automated sequences and keyboard's radioactivity. The last chapter of the tracklist is "Singularity: The Final End", an ethereal dark-ambient/industrial-electronics surrounded by cyclical waves of pads, by a swarm of effects and by the abyssal chasm created by the keyboard. The insuperable operational capabilities of I.R.O.N. are proportional to the intensity of his music that combines visionary technology, futurism, industrial militarism, tension, darkness and discipline: "Re-Forge: Metalized, Mechanized & Upgraded" is a release designed with extreme accuracy and motivation: its prospects interact effectively until the achievement of a disquieting sonic diagram that will upset the auditor's mood. This album is a catalyst of progress and functionality, the exact mid-point that connects the present time with the future: it will be the time when Science will be able to convert the power of this sound into a form of alternative energy.

* K *

back to top

Karma Marata - "Nepal 23 / Ein Abschied" - by Maxymox 2014

karmamen  The concise biography and the scarcity of informations about the German quintet Karma Marata make it as a sort of 'mysterious band' to be placed between the best ones in its specific genre. The project, founded in in Erfurt in 2002 by the front-man Marcel Kleemann, is the promoter of a musicality defined by the general epithet "neofolk", but particularly complex, sophisticated, combined track after track with multiple styles ranging from folk'n roll to industrial, from 'popish' melodrama to military-pop, crossing neoclassical melodism to reach experimentally martial or atmospherically ambient elements. The valuable and rare discography of Karma Marata originates from "... And Still Remain", a split-album, published in limited edition in 2010 by the melting of two labels, the Russian Ufa Muzak and the other one that will become later the official project's brand, or the Germanic and mythical Skulline: in nine tracks of this release - created in collaboration with the Italian indie-rock / shoegaze / post-rock musician Kristian Giorgini, Karma Marata contemplated modern-classical / ambient / experimental / neofolk slopes, anticipating the eleven songs contained in the real debut-album entitled "Das Sturmläuten", published in 2012 also in limited edition only by SkullLine: this full-length, minded towards military / acoustic / neofolk sounds, is also available in ultra-limited special edition including the bonus-disc of seven songs entitled "Wasser". The title now examined by Vox Empirea is "Nepal 23 / Ein Abschied": the album, printed once again in limited edition by SkullLine, integrates a tracklist of fifteen songs which, considering the succint details about this release, they objectively represent the last recording act of the band before its unexpected dissolution occurred during the same album's realization year, the 2014. "Nepal 23 / Ein Abschied", also distributed in an even more limited special edition - consisting in 2CD that integrate the fourteen-songs bonus disc on CD-r "An Ufern Des Zorns" - reveals a neofolk / neoclassical musicality mainly vocalized in German, strongly melodramatic and militarily popish, attitudes listenable in the starting track, the funereal "Vergehen," a dark-ambient blackened by flows of noises and keyboards, by gothic choirs, bells, loops and sinister whispers, anticipating so the next "So Geh Fort Nun" whose structure incorporates greater and typically neofolk sonorities, exalted in the minimalism of sampled accordion, in the melancholy singing and in the background of keyboard, all this slowly punctuated by obscure-industrial percussiveness. "Lost And Forgotten" is a graceful neofolk / neoclassical / ethereal composition, nostalgically sung by the vocalist and embellished with nobility by beautiful piano notes, by seraphic synth chords and by an industrial-downtempo drumming, while the rarefied neo-classicism of piano distinguishable in the "In Meinen Augen Stirbt Die Welt" sequences, is hidden under a gloomy ambient-industrial / military subsoil of keys, field-recordings, noises and drum-programming, from which it raises, clear and evocative, the voice of the guest Jenna Rot, singer of the German EBM / synthpop / futurepop / new-wave band Enter And Fall, in duet with Marcel. "Glanz Der Leis Verfällt" configure instead austere modern-classical orchestrations of keys and bells, dynamized by martial drumming and adorned by the solemn chant of the vocalist. In "Summer Ends" the sweet sadness perceptible into singing and into the pinched guitar arpeggios meets downtempo militarily percussions and an emotional keyboard accompaniment, as well as the following "Red Nights In Paris", a track played in neoclassical / darkwave style and realized in collaboration with the German neoclassical / martial-industrial / black metal / militant-Christian band called Spreu & Weizen, is enriched by the voice of the front man Mr. P. whose depressed tones are mixed to slowed and decadent instrumental phases, formulated by incorporeal synthetic-downtempo percussiveness, by hypnotic piano scales, by modular electric-guitar and, further on, by poignant keys symphonies and sections of carillon that give extra depth and great atmosphere to the whole. The solemnity of melodrama expressed by vocal polyphony between Jenna and Marcel, the inflexibility of military-pop drumming and a large dose of neoclassicism create now "Die Flucht", beautifully decorated by epic keyboard. Proceeding in the title track, here's "Ein Schwarzer Tag", a militaristic neofolk softened by crystalline bells and fractionated by slow, toxic drum-machine beats on which we can hear sad and evocative accordion harmonies, monochromatic vocals and piano suavity. The drama, the darkness and the sense of tension immeasurably grow in the next "Our Throne In Hell", an Apocalyptic-folk / industrial / martial song created in conjunction with the unacknowledged German project Igniis / Husen, whose orchestrations, consisting in spectral phrasing, subterranean echoes, alienating evolutions of keyboard and electronic layers, are rhythmed by war drum-programming and completed by the desperate, visionary chant of the vocalist. "Falling Down", a track generated in synergy with the German neo-classical / dark-ambient duo Schattenspiel, disseminates passionate litanies that torment the soul, together with minimal baroque schemes of keyboard, delicate piano and martial percussions, while the following neoclassical / martial / ethereal "Requiem" is entirely crossed by grainy drum-programming textures, by cadenced drum breaks and dark synths, next to which they germinate heavenly chorus, sequences of bells and squared vocal melodies that keep the song's context in perpetual balance between rigor and celestiality. The structure of "No Days Of Glory" is enhanced by strong resonances of martial drumming, by the magnificence of keyboards from the fair voice of Jenna and Marcel, all this in an exceptional charismatic song. The neoclassical / martial / industrial ritual then continues with "Staub", an episode in which the tenuous procedures of guitar, the keyboards wakes and the refined piano soften the iciness of downtempo drum-machine and electronic sounds, while Marcel intones a canticle overflowing with nostagia intersecting it, only for a few moments, to sensual vocalizations of Jenna, the same singing protagonist of the closing track, "Black Roses On Dead Hills", a modern-classical / industrial-electronic / martial slowly scanned by oxidized replications of drum-sequencing and entirely covered by long choral extensions propagated by the keyboard, by reverbs and by dramatic vocal-loops, sounds that transport the listener to otherworldly dimensions within which it emerges the regal accent of the female vocalist and the pathos of the male singer. The experimental combination of desolate lyricism, neoclassical counterpoints, symphonic arias, martial rhythms and shading electronics, they makes "Nepal 23 / Ein Abschied" an album out of the ordinary, a masterpiece to collect and to honor with periodic listens. The extinction of Karma Marata, anyhow, further strengthens the value of their record publications which, this latter in particular way, will acquire an unique, unrepeatable preciosity that certainly is capable of arousing the admiration of connoisseurs. Thanks to Marcel Kleemann for writing an important chapter in the European neofolk history: his project will be remembered for years as a legend.

* L *

back to top

Le Cose Bianche (L.C.B.) - "Aesthetics Of A Good Pornographer" - by Maxymox 2014

lecosben  Approaching to the non-music theorems developed by the inventive "G" means entering into an inner world dominated by insane psychic mutations for descending more and more towards the intricacies of human instincts: a wide report about the identity and the artistic work of the solo-project Le Cose Bianche is readable on Vox Empirea on the 2013's section, inside the review dedicated to the album "Parabused". The nine tracks that build "Aesthetics Of A Good Pornographer", a C-40 tape release published in the same 2013 by the label Industrial Culture in only twenty-five copies, represents a further evolutive level of the industrial/weird/ power noise experimentation which since 2008 it distinguishes the protagonist's style, fortified by the teachings instilled over the years by the talented Maurizio Bianchi and Laxative Souls: the discographic product now analyzed is inspired by a perfidious sexual context full of mental aggressions and malevolence, interpreted into a perspective that doesn't internalize the explicit act of eroticism, but rather the disciplined harmonious and intimately obsessive profile of those who do it, all musicated by electronic propagations episodically supported by the lyrics written by Giovanni Mori that damage the soul disturbing our thoughts and our quite sleeps. The sound system planned in the tracklist formulates structurally essential and spectrally processed executions, resulting by darkness that always obscures the mind of "G": the sonic manipulations applied on machines initially generate "Dad Stole My Panties", one power noise concatenation created by distorted industrial fractions, by incandescent abrasions and twisting the acoustic materia, psychotic sequencesby which they materialize whispers that conceal the unmentionable. The flow electronically saturated that energizes the following "Vaginandum" is generated first through incorporeal oscillations and then exposing the sound to a ruthless effects of a ruthless discharge of virulent effects, loop's fragmentations, echoes and digital corrosions that inflict damages to your hearing. "Incest Like A Final Solution" sonically represents the concept of depravity expressing it through a long cycle of neuronical bursts traversed by sharp microwaves and by stormy frequencies which, spreading them into space with multiple modulations, they radiate a succession of tormented vocals, as well as the cosmic hurricane built inside "Portable Hole" spreads caustic jets transformed in between few seconds into infinite, expanded reverbs followed by an artificial screeching, by dark electronic currents and by atonic dilatations. The sensory alteration perceptible in "Why No One Will Never Make A Step Forward To Get Inside You" contaminates by its toxicity using extensions of hard interferences, noises and radioactive distorsions into which "G" exposes a pathological and oppressive phrasing. Even "I Know That I'll Go Empty Hand From This Earth" is an ominous power noise horizon in which they lightning synthetic turbulences and disturbed electronic energies which power, destroying the structure of the "sound element", it propagates deformed pulses and excruciating attritions that dangerously cut the air, while the subsequent "There Is A Pig In The Head" is a glacial, bitter and depressed monologue in which the words they alternate to conditions of repression caused by traumatic youthful coercions impossible to exorcise, whose mental projections now take the form of concrete nightmares and obsessions internally relived with anger and intense suffering, lyrics initially supported by subtle electronic punctuations transfigured at the end of spoken words into dissonant fluctuations. Into the homonymous song "Aesthetics Of A Good Pornographer" it joins an aggressive distribution of processed signals, hallucinated sound violations and disfigured noise peaks, a set of artificial tremors , short and painful interpause emanations industrial intersected by neurotic whispers that accentuate the perception of dissoluteness; by the same way, the final track "As If Pornography It Had Never Existed" is corroded by the erosive force of power noise and by strobe perforations to which are added a morbid spoken buzz and high-sounding transmissions. Alienating, exasperating, the sound created by the project Le Cose Bianche corrupts and changes the real dimension focusing mainly its effectiveness on the most radical technological minimalism and on a dark as introspective depravity, all this entrusted to violent emissions and texts that showing to listeners the offensive but seductive face of immorality and the drama of the "carnal frustration". The sourness of vibrations produced by the implants, together with the murky and degenerated nature of the concept, make "Aesthetics Of A Good Pornographer" an unrepeatable realization formally confined into a restricted area of fans on which they fall the impetuousness of psycho-electronic derangements and the noir-sex atmospheres evoked by lyrics: all this is shockingly, disturbingly perverse.

back to top

Le Cose Bianche (L.C.B.) + Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte – "True"- by Maxymox

LCBMEN  The artistic biography about Giovanni Mori, aka "G", and regarding its 'power electronics weird' design called L.C.B. - or Le Cose Bianche - has been extensively treated by Vox Empirea in the year 2013 inside the review dedicated to the album "Parabused", and also inside that one inherent "Aesthetics Of A Good Pornographer", the full-length analyzed and described in these pages of the current year 2014. "True", the very limited edition 7" vinyl record published in the same 2014 by the Italian label Custom Body Records - parent-label of Flagello Imposte - is yet another interesting result of the frequent artistic partnership among L.C.B. and some progonists gravitating around the gloomy power noise cosmos, in this occasion with Adriano Vincenti, vocalist, instrumentalist and member - together with Lorenzo Macinanti and Pierluigi Ferro - of the Roman harsh-dark power electroncs / crime-jazz project named Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte, author since 2001 of a long series of releases that our readers can find listed on the web, some of them issued by prestigious Italian labels such as Hau Ruck! SPQR, Old Europa Cafe and FinalMuzik, mentioning also the Russian Ufa Muzak. The two musicians also share since 2001 their 'perverse power electronics' side-project Cronaca Nera, through which they released the following albums, "Maniac Series No. 1" and the Mini "Compagni Di Sangue", both dated 2001, followed in 2014 by the subsequent "Maniac": these works were distribuited by Butcher's House Prod. - a label founded by Adriano Vincenti with Alessandro Marchettini, alias 'Darkyota'- integrating to them, again in 2014, the EP "Black Nylon Stocking Session "published instead by Signora Ward Records, a label specially invented by Macelleria Mobile Di Mezzanotte for reprint specific volumes and rarities taken from their discography. Among the most relevant planning activities undertaken by Adriano Vincenti is reportable the dark-ambient / industrial platform Marat Sade, created with the mentioned Darkyota, Flavio Rivabella and Simone Puorto. Turning now due attention to the two episodes included within "True", we distinguish in their structures details that make this release an obscure, disquieting 'affiche' of sonic technology, this transforming electronic modulations into authentic 'systems of connection and interaction' between machines and the cerebral hemisphere of the listener. The A-side entitled "Murder Affair" is performed by placing "G" to the role of noiser with Adriano Vincenti as vocalist and writer of the lyrics: they rise nightmarish prospects, evocation of darkness, of endless tension, mystery, perversion and cruelty, all this generated by acute, thunderous introductory pseudo-ambient / industrial frequencies crossed with inhuman malevolence by filtering voice, further upset later by ominous interferences, synthetic twistings, by caustic gusts and lancinating power electronics dissonances, under whose surface you can hear intermittent micro-percussive beats. "G" writes and vocalizes the side-B's delirious and psychotropic text of "Last Procedure Carnal", enhancing its intensity by tones rigidly shocked and electronically processed, combining them with the sequence of power noise anti-matter and industrial sub-percussiveness played by Adriano Vincenti, which, assuming the form of a mad vortex, it ferociously devastates the hearing and mind using fast, abrasive curvatures, artificial riots, acid flows, sharp stridors, acoustic deformations and an overall violence that leaves the auditor in a state of complete alienation. Experiment perfectly successful, that one extemporaneously undertaken by the two artists for "True" it possesses characteristics such as to alter the cognitive-sensory capacity, formulating a succession of extreme and direct sounds addressed to the aggression of the emotional sphere. The claustrophobic obsessiveness of atmospheres, the lucid schizophrenia of the texts and the harshness of electronic tamperings, they activate quick reactions of alarm and restlessness, all this emitting continuous waves of darkness inextricably merged to an energy outside of the human concept, aimed at obtaining integral neurological distruction and, more probably, the complete insanity. It's all 'true'.

back to top

Logic & Olivia - "Don't Look Back" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

logicaen  The Germans René Anke (vox/production), Matthias Trompelt (synths/piano) and Tino Weigel (guitar) return proposing once again a technological-pop qualitatively remarkable through their project worthy of maximum signaling called Logic & Olivia; anyone who's interested in a comprehensive deepening about the artistic biography of the band, they can connect to the 2012's section of Vox Empirea consulting the review dedicated to the excellent debut-album "Playground of The Past". The new full-lenght entitled "Don't Loook Back" highlights with a further level of refinement the electronic romantic atmospheres heard in the first work, externalizing composite and evolved sounds which correlates the authenticity of the best 'post-Depeche Mode electropop' tradition with the unlimited universe of human sentiments, these latter introspective and tend towards melancholy: they resulting important songs, professionally built and effectively able to penetrate more deeply into the mind, moment by moment, expressing a musicality often danceable and overwhelmed with intrinsic meanings, or also fully reflective and dominated by inner torments, however always oriented towards the avant-garde as well as towards the research of special melodies and technicalities that finally conquer the listener. The new album-release, published in 2013 by the formidable German label Danse Macabre, is composed of ten tracks whose initial is "Need You Here", an electronic-pop introduced with orchestral classicism by nostalgic executions of only synths to which they are gradually added the symmetrical clarity of programming, the deep and harmonically elegiac voice of René, the perfect midtempo symmetry of drum-machine and decadent keyboard symphonies. The homonymous "Don't Look Back" is heralded by electronic oscillations, by solemn keyboard and by the hatching drum-programming that is the rhythmic uptempo base on which they expand superbly the baritone singer's vocalizations, while the following "Surrender" captures by an atmospheric support of synth that wrapping the delicate piano notes created by Matthias and the electricity generated by Tino's guitar, all in a sad-electropop slowly scanned by drum machine and melodically embellished by the sorrowful voice of René. "Games You Play" is certainly one of the most quotable songs of the album: it's high-sound technology harmonized to the frequencies of human feelings, a characteristic strongly perceptible listening to the intense singer's voice crossed with dynamic uptempo fluidity by dry drum-sequencing beats and by keyboard winds which, together with the chant, they constitute a splendid refrain. Futurism and trance/electropopish refinement are distinguishable in the next "Nothing Remains", beaten by a straight sequenced filament which sharp midtempo pulses galvanizing with calculated precision the bitter tones of René and the long extensions of synth, as well as the subsequent "Pictures", after a contemplative intro consisting in periods of modular electric guitar, percussive rarefactions and suggestive vocals, it increases its intensity by the danceable and regular midtempo drum-programming which is flanked by exciting synth and, as always, by the charming singer's voice in which we perceive an aura of nobility combined with depressed melodies. "Shine" is another marvel of electro-pop-art created with sophistication and true passionality by an initial expansion of guitarristic reverbs and by a neo-classical theme performed into melancholic violin-mode by synth which propagations, following the downtempo trend dictated by drum-programming, they combine harmoniously to the desolate chant of René, proceeding with it towards a percussive development combined to exciting electric guitar formulations and celestial keyboard textures. The pulsing and boxy rhythmics of "Beautiful" spread midtempo bpm's reinforced in a second phase by the sequencer, on which they alternate vocals sung with melodic depth and romance n conjunction with luminescent synth, as well as in the masterpiece titled "Monsters" sidereal dissonances envelop the chant of René whose intonations, infinitely saddened and poetic, await the arrival of the mechanical midtempo drum-programming and, farther on, the solemn keyboard sounds and the electric guitar grafts. The 'classic' version of "Don't Look Back" concludes the tracklist revisiting now the song in a predominantly acoustic dimension in which we highlight class, melancholy and an extraordinary expressivity, feelings evoked by the romantic piano composition that resonates throughout the song uniting it to sadly musing vocals, to warm keyboard progressions and to the aestheticized electric guitar. That one conceived by the three protagonists is a sophisticated and intelligible electropop culture, clearly offered through a sound that serves as element of melodic sublimation and, above all, as direct connection with the emotions. The ten tracks listened in the new album "Don't Look Back" are a prodigy of elegance, of modern poetry: they are a disenchanted thought facing where it vibrates the swirl of our memories, consciously revived in the need to look ahead, to tomorrow. The most sincere gratitude goes to Logic & Olivia for having given us so much.

back to top

Lupi Gladius - "Veritas" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

lupien  The Lupi Gladius is a talented Italian collective originated in 2002 formed by a four-members line-up: the performers are Pietro Burzo (vox/acoustic bass), Fabio Vitelli (synths), he's also a member of the new wave/electro band Hidden Place, Antonio Losenno (percussions/synths/choirs) and Giampiero Di Barbaro (acoustic guitar/choirs) : the protagonists are makers of a particular martial/neofolk genre in which, even if occasionally, they are molded new wave elements which recall faded atmospheres filled of nostalgia, sometimes played through an experimental musicality, without superstructures and highly evocative, which meanings highlight the deterioration and the dramas of today's society, all this interacting with an exteriority strictly connected to avant garde-retrospectives and the aesthetical militarism from Twentieth Century, as they confirm the manly images and the vieux style colours impressed on the new album's sleeve. The record's performances of the band mention at first "Lucania", a demo dating back to 2003, republished in 2013 by the German label Castellum Stoufenburc and circumscribed in the military-neofolk style, in which seven tracks they were distinguished two interesting episodes formulated in cooperation with as many German artists: "Guerrieri Impavidi", created with the neoclassical solo-act Spreu & Weizen, and "Massacro", played in collaboration with the martial/industrial project Waffenruhe. The 2014's debut-album entitled "Veritas" now explored by Vox Empirea seals the agreement between Lupi Gladius and the prestigious Italian/Austrian label SPQR through which they are distributed the 500 copies in digipak limited-edition format containing a tracklist, as mentioned in the opening, formally devoted to martial/neofolker tradition, having as peculiarity sporadic combinations with the 'wave sound' and complex but intelligible texts, so cultured, charming and written with deep passion by Diego Banchero, a musician from the acoustic-folk project Egida Aurea, from the goth/rock act called Malombra and finally to the folk-rock band Recondita Stirpe. In the new debut full-lenght they are also important, for number and for demonstrated ability, the contributions from external musicians including the name of SaraLux, she also active in the Hidden Place in the role of female vocalist. The introductory "Sulle Rive Del Basento" is the first of the eight tracks of the release: it's a vivacious and totally instrumental song performed by Michele Caruso, an excellent accordionist who died in 1997 emotionally tied to the life of Fabio and SaraLux, whose deeds still live into this composition that it makes a well-deserved tribute to his art. "L'Elogio Dell'Alterità" is a neofolk-wave full of actual and introspective lyrics, vocalized with baritone tonality by Pietro Burzo, from which it emerges the exhortation to differentiate the individual way of thinking preserving it from an homologation that more and more radically it affects the social agglomeration's existence: the music of this track, enhanced by the acoustics played by three guests, it offers melodious airs of accordion played by Daniele Onorati, the bass punctuations woven by Quirino Burzo and the soft guitar notes arpeggiated by Duccio Del Matto, all this rhythmed by a midtempo drumming illuminated by the synth. "Gli Ultimi Bagliori", a martial-folk/neoclassical song, obscures the sound stiffening it in the first section by a crescendo of drum beats and by rigorous keyboard's solemnity, the same modulations expanded and intensified that afterwards predispose soundtrack-pads, a short vocal-loop from film repertoire, the electric guitar inserts formulated by the guest Eugenio Auciello and the wonderful voice of SaraLux, whose lyrics express sadness and existential decline. The melancholy neofolkish melodies of "La Nuova Adunanza" are made martial by dry midtempo drumming on which they develop the depressed accordion's harmonies and the chorus of Daniele Onorati with Gianni Caldararo, the nostalgic touches of acoustic guitar by Duccio Del Matto, the synth accompaniments, the bass lines and an ecstatic singing intensity that the vocalist pushes towards the listener's soul using disillusioned words, metaphorically apocalyptic, addressed to the mistakes made by today's generations from which future consequences will arise. "Agone" is an instrumental martial-symphonic theme exclusively designed by a solid military drumming, epic and low-spirited keyboard orchestrations in addition to the blows of trombone and electric guitar counterpoints performed respectively by Domenico Lauria and Eugenio Auciello, while the subsequent "Umano E Imperfetto" sets a splendid new waver/neofolk register played by speed percussiveness, all the melodic richness inherent into the coverage of the synth, into the accordion of Daniel Onorati and into the guitar partitures of Duccio Del Matto on which towers above the important voice of Pietro Burzo whose lyrics describe in first person, with clarity and courage, vicissitudes of real life, highlighting in them the betrayals perpetrated by multitudes of "false prophets" from the social and religious scene, the distrust against moralists and the pride of owning an autonomous, disenchanted, analytical reason, free from hypocrisy. "Nel Vento" is a sad-gothic/neofolker ballad acoustically played by the Duccio Del Matto's guitar, by enchanting prolonged extensions of synths and by the vocal melancholy that SaraLux expresses by lyrics about human decadence and hopes lost in oblivion of nowadays. The last track, "I Figli Del Tramonto", is a neofolk/neoclassical poem full of anguish in which the afflicted violin sections arched by Michael Peter Vereno interact with the warm pad's expansion on which it finds its location a depressed "spoken words" monologue by Daniele Onorati, together with the gentle guitar arpeggios by Duccio Del Matto and Andrea Campopiano. By the band's inventiveness they come emotions, torment, refinement and a special depth of soul that capture us leaving in the motion of our thoughts the imperishable sign of its passage. The ensemble affirms its desire to create sounds and voice narrations able to go beyond the simple stage of listening, reaching the innermost hemispheres of spirit to talk longer with the consciousness: everything happen with harmonic grace and expressive fineness, the same ones that make "Veritas" an album of extraordinary poetry. The decades will spend inexorably, a period during which many productions belonging to similar projects they gradually eclipse into the final silence: something of Lupi Gladius music, however, will survive.

* M *

back to top

Matt Springfield - "Erase All Data" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

matten  Listen to the music of the French solo-act Matt Springfield means getting in touch with a set of new-wave/synthpop sounds taken from the '80 decade mixed with typical 90's pop/indie-rock. In fact, during those years the artist was an admirer of the protagonists of the hottest commercial music of that Era, such as Depeche Mode, U2, The Police, Oasis, Coldplay, New Order and The Editors, demonstrating simultaneously his innate passion towards the guitar, specializing him moreover in the programming techniques, planning and realizing afterwards his first demos which, in 2006, were proposed with success on the web. Another important goal was reached by Matt in 2008 when the track "Hunted" was published by the U.S. label Woobie Bear Music; the career of the musician followed therefore a fortunate course developed by the meeting and the active collaboration of major names in the music industry such as producers Greg Haver and Clint Murphy, this latter also sound engineer, continuing also with the guitarist Andy Taylor from Duran Duran, the expert of studio-mastering Ryan Smith, and finally with the producer and performer Peter Rainman alias the new-wave/synthpop solo-project called People Theatre: each of them contributed to the construction of the single "Things I've Said" published in 2010 by the European label Akamusic, remixed later in more phases by various D.J.s and included in the 2013 both into the releases "Things I've Said ( remixes)" and "Matt Springfield Remixed EP" issued by the Spanish Clipper's Sounds. The accomplishment of the debut-album "Erase All Data", begun in England in 2011, was completed in 2012 by the subsequent and official publication which took place 2013: the credits report the contributions from Andy Taylor on guitar and bass with Beth Gibson and Nick Nasmyth on keyboards, as well as from the mentioned Clint Murphy always as sound-englineer, from Greg Haver on drums and production, concluding with Ryan Smith on the mastering sections. The full-length, consisting of nine tracks, offers accessible and immediate sound formulas often built by melodic electronic supports, by well-fractionated vocals and by popish-rock tactics far from any asperity, preferring disengaged mainstream-oriented solutions without renouncing a concrete refinement: all these aspects are tangibly findable from the first track, "The End Of Life", a synthpop/rock/wave of strong attractiveness which configuration, consisting in bright keyboard chords propagated on the heels of an enthralling uptempo drum-programming, is embellished by the enthralling Matt's voice whose intonations are combined with electronic harmonious shades. Tending towards capturing late-80's pop/electro-rock trajectories, the subsequent "Poplife" diffuses a sparkling vocality melodiously connected to fast drumming, to shuddering guitar riffs and to the symmetric flow of programming, while the following "Need You Tonight" disseminates synthpop/rock melancholies easily codable, created through the romantic and well-defined modulations of the singer into a context of midtempo drum-beat, clear keyboard, electric guitar grafts and sequenced intermittences. "American Soldier" is a sad ballad atmospherically conceived on soft acoustic guitar arpeggios and key-pads that caress the passionate chant of Matt, anticipating the entry of "Feel Loved", an effervescent synthpop to listen with lightness savoring its graceful concordances of singing and keyboard, both rhythmed by linear midtempo beats. Pop sentimentalism is undetectable in the folowing "See You", a sweet-song for lovers based mainly on extended, warm synth chords and on the nostalgic chant that Matt pronounces without the support of any percussiveness, while the renowned "Things I've Said" captures by a radiophonic synthpop founded on exciting vocals and an irresistible musicality supported by midtempo drumming and programming, by guitar decorations and intense gusts of keyboard: two alternative versions of this song are also included in the compilations "Electropop Vol. 8", published by the prestigious Conzoom Records, and "Dirty Impact Club Tour Vol.5". "Haunted" is a 90's inspired by 90's alternative-pop/rock designed through colorful synth evolutions strengthened by the solid construction of drums and by the guitar's electricity, around which it orbits the compelling chant of Matt; Peter Rainman aka the one-am project Theatre People, reworks finally "Things I've Said" as "Monologue Mix" version, adding further seduction to the original song's scheme by 'very clubby' electronic arrangements that make the song so danceable and highly attractive. The secret of the music of Matt Springfield is keeping itself into an intermediate collocation not particularly alternative an not too "easy listening", convincing for its immediacy, for its fluidity and its innate appeal. The league among electronic, rock and pop elements assembled by the artist, is mainly turned to an audience that prefers clean sounds, free from any abstruseness and adaptable to any circumstance of listening: if the final purpose of "Erase All Data" is to deligh us, it was perfectly achieved.

back to top

Mechatronic - "Dystopia" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

mechaen  Year 2002, in Uppsala, Sweden, Wilhelm Äretun (vox / programming) and Emma Hortlund (lyrics / synths) generated Mechatronic, a project whose musicality originally combined EBM / synthpop / futurepop elements of particular interest to the alternative electronic-dancers and lovers of technological North-European sounds, a scene into which the two performers they effortlessly move as good organizers of live-sessions and theme events, during which the duo manifests its maximum potentials animated by the excitement proclaims "alive and kicking machinery music". Starting and considering the details of their early sonic compositional structures, we can notice that Mechatronic's style is partially modified, granting greater spaciousness to the electronic pop, minimizing inputs from 'electronic body music', all this until the achievement of a more lithe mixture, rich in melody and renewed danceability. The first discographic appearance of the platform was "Mind Control", a 2005 self-released digital EP containing four explicitly EBM-synthpopish songs, among which there was a nice remix of Torny Gottberg, from the electronic-act Swedish Project-X, and a fifth video track. This release was followed by the debut-album "Promises From The Past", or twelve tracks in style EBM / electro / synthpop issued in 2003 by the own label founded by Wilhelm and Emma, SpaceLab Records. By the subsequent record contract signed in 2011 with the Italian home Space Race Records (SRR), Mechatronic succeeded to publish the full-length "Dreams", in which its eleven episodes stood out a remix created again by Project-X and a second one by the Norwegian electropop / futurepop band called Spektralized. "Dystopia" is then the new album chapter available in digipak and distribuited in 2014 by the same Space Race Records: its tracklist includes twelve songs which further refine the typical electronic / synthpop concept of the two musicians, always through harmonious, capturing vocalizations firmly connected at frequencies of drum-programming designed for futuristic dances and at radiant decorations of keyboards. "Falling Apart", the opener, immediately creates 'very-clubby' formulations using open vocals of Wilhelm at their best and the captivating vitality of electro-pop / futurepop reproduced by machines, from which they profusely gush pour midtempo drumming and the irresistible synth punctuations by Emma. In the subsequent "Endless Search For Something" the vocalist spreads a well modulated and intriguing chant, while the keyboardist constructs chords and short melodies that merge themselves with the bass-lines and sharp sequenced midtempo subdivisions. "Don't Bother To Knock" is a danceable futurepop / synthpop also planned on pulsing midtempo beats that give dynamism and fullness to the fascinating keyboard, all this enhanced by the Wilhelm's singing, whose brilliant inflections greatly amplify the forcefulness of this song. More kinetic, the homonymous "Dystopia" is an electropop / futurepop ride built by uptempo drum-beats and keyboard accompaniments that make more intense the enthralling vocal-sections, while the electropopish diagram of the next "Niagara" immediately captures and incites us to dance through functional melodic synth, by the handsome midtempo drum-programming and the shining chant, in a song that is one of the most quotable from this album. The thunderstorm sampling audible in the introduction of "Trapped In A Nightmare" announces a 'very danceable' electropop / synthpop made of persistent uptempo drum-beats, emerald keyboard fluorescences and solid vocal tones, all this prior to the compactness of "Sinister", a formidable dance-oriented electropop emphasized and speeded up by pneumatic uptempo drum-programming on which it develops a captivating synth / vocal scheme, in a set of electronic and percussive harmonic fervor, for a song perfectly integrable in the playlist of alternative techno-dj's. The melancholic electropopish quietness that sweetens "Beyond The Silence" is the result of the interaction between apollonian pads plus a mathematically slowed drum-sequencing put in synergy with the nostalgic voice of Wilhelm, while the following "Broken Promises" radiates an exciting futurepop-sound vaguely similar to that one of the more melodic and danceable S.P.O.C.K. in which the vigor of singing and the intermittent midtempo drumming are mixed with he fluidity and brilliance of keyboard. In the same way of the previous track, "Vicious Words", incorporates high levels of danceable pop-futuristic rhythmically built by cadenced vocals, symmetric midtempo replications of drum-machine and by sequencing, on which Emma creates her articulated synth textures. The impetus of uptempo drum-programming, the brightness of keyboard and the glittering chant of Wilhelm they originate the futurepop substance of "This Moment", another track proposable with success in every electro-dancehall, against which it opposes a cold, mechanical downtempo drum-machine and 'male-female' vocal-sampling of the closing track, "Dying Together Is not Going To Solve Anything". By the album "Dystopia" Mechatronic directly points to their full triumph, through songs in which they alternate clear voice, catching keyboard emissions and super-drumming at variable bpm's speeds, for a sound electronically amiable and generous with energy. In the twelve tracks analyzed by Vox Empirea, we can distinguish features of immediate freshness and a lot of music aesthetics, but never too much scientific or too much intricated, a sodality between sound progress and melody that will be particularly appreciated by that vast range of listeners favorable to the more instantaneous electro-entertainment. Mechadance + Mechafun = Mechatronic.

* N *

back to top

N-Frequency - "Monomatic - cd - by Maxymox 2014

nfrequen  Germans from Nordhausen, the N-Frequency since 2009 are a valid and active part of the of the European pop-electronic front typically post-Depeche Mode/ post-Erasure/ post-Kraftwerk, in which the interaction between bright geometries of synths and harmonic vocals favors every conceivable opening towards sonic structures distinguished by an hint of futurism combined with melodies and arrangements of 80's exquisite taste. The line-up of the project consists of three members: David Erdmann (songwriting / modular-system / drum machine / vox / management-organization), Rocco Schulschenk (songwriting / vox) and Nicky Schulschenk (main Vox / songwriting / drum-machine / lyrics), while the record's productivity of the band at the present year lists two self-produced releases both published in 2014: the debut-album "Monomatic", now analyzed by Vox Empirea, and "Let Love Be Your Guide", a maxi-single taken from the full-length containing the homonymous 'extended version', a second one remixed by the German electronic solo-act Bernd Kupke, plus the official video for the track. Describing the special musics designed by N-Frequency, they mostly are full of bright and immediately capturing synthpopish constructs, processed with precision by touch of minimalism, built through slender groundworks of drum-programming intertwined with elegant vocal-keyboard partitures, all this gravitating around retro sounds and clear atmospheres to listen and dance with true enthusiasm. The ten tracks included in the album "Monomatic" don't represent only the concrete and current manifestation of N-Frequency's compositional ability, but also an effective element aimed at the decisive emergence of the band into the electronic scene: the mentioned "Let Love Be Your Guide" is the song that opens the release by midtempo pulsing drum-programming, by sequenced hatchings, colorful synth puntuactions and by the Andy Bell-oriented chant that characterizes the whole voice-planning of the album. "Radioman" is a relaxing synthpop in which the simultaneous action of drum-machine and programming formulate slow scans adorned by terse keyboard decorations and by the melodious voice of David who spreads arias overflowing of emotions. The danceable rhythmical configuration of "Homesick" is mathematically subdivided by uptempo beats on which they run the programming symmetries and the ultra-harmonious evolutions of voice and synths, all in a compelling track that combines electronic futurism with techno-pop retrospectives. The following "Elane", so romantically melancholic, slows down the percussive cycle reclining itself softly on gentle downtempo beats, which replications give consistency to synth's evanescences and to the sweet singing traversed by the sensual sighs of the additional vocalist Monique Fliegel. "Your Carless Smile" is a track of spectacular beauty in which is strongly perceptible the Depeche Mode's old-school synthpop classicisms that surrounds, now more than ever, the music of the N-Frequency, in this particular episode embellished by radiant keyboard orchestrations, by brilliant vocalizations that conquer you instantly and by midtempo danceable rhythmics that ravish your hearing. "Monocromatic", the song which gives the own title to the album, is an exclusively instrumental theme that integrates Kraftwerk-minded sonorities and technicalities, composed by robotic downtempo fractionation, synths, cosmic effects and alien-voice rarefactions, as well as the subsequent "Gloomy Nigths" reproposes with vivacity and dynamism the technological modulations so far experimented, using the midtempo thursts of drum-machine for energizing a fluid electropopish musicality in which the David's voice echoes magnificently, relating with the suggestive textures drawn by keyboards. Once again, romance and sentiment they merge perfectly originating the intriguing succession of synthpop melodies of the next "Secret Garden", in which they stand out senses of nostalgia and inner passion, these ones more noticeable in the singing, as well as graceful keyboard's perspectives and downtempo percussiveness. The sparkling "No Waste Of Time" is driven by dancing midtempo e-drum propulsions, the which bpm's fly fast in parallel with sequencers marking the graceful synths and the charming vocalist's intonations, while the subsequent "Ausklang" closes the tracklist offering an electronically relaxing and atmospheric sound totally performed through polychromies of synths and through mechanical drum-programming sections. The N-Frequency project concentrated in its style the best avantgarde-pop dictates, interpreting them with impeccable technique, with charismatic freshness and with expressiveness: the exciting melodism of chant, together with all the instrumental/rhythmical complements aimed at increasing its intensity, creating an evolved sonic dimension easily to memorizing that is the ideal introduction to the final, well-deserved success of this band. "Monomatic" is a full-lenght designed with intelligence and good aesthetic taste, which portentous effect is the result of the summation of technologically advanced music conceptions plus the necessary ability to expose them with such naturalness: by an objective investigation of this debut-album we can find authentic wonders of electronic culture that will ensure to the fans many hours of good listening, entertainment and sonic-enjoyment, in a synthesis between past, future and present time. This release is something extraordinary.

back to top

Nikonn - "Instamatic" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

nikoen  The Greek solo project Nikonn, aka Nick Bitzenis, is the musical synthesis between the fixity of images and the world of feelings, a project conceived and born to give movement, sensibility and soul to the glassy stillness of a foto-frame, through a sound that exponentially enhances the ability to fantasize expanding the dimension of thoughts until the attainment of a psychic sequence in which they magically and indissolubly join together the dreams and the perception of reality. This is not improvisation, but it's the effect of rare artistic predisposition owned by Nick from his childhood, the same one later perfected and made so effective during the long evolutionary course taken by the protagonist. Admirer of the most emblematic cult-icons of avant-garde electronic music such as Kraftwerk and Vangelis, but also of the representatives from the 80's new wave/synthpop panorama as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Yazoo, Human League and Depeche Mode - a band to which our musician has always been very devoted, so as to have constituted the Carpe Diem IV, a cover-act whose repertoire mainly played the songs of the famous Gahan, Gore and Fletcher's project - Nick has collected over the years a series credits that honoring his biography with experiences and initiatives of significant interest, such as the creation of Mikro, an acclaimed Greek dreampop/synthpop/electropop/indietronic band which took place in conjunction with Lefkaditis Yiannis (John-John), Chloe Ann and 5irc, then continuing with the foundation of the Athenian label Undo Records, created in cooperation with George Geranios, a musician, song-writer and producer with whom Nick formed in 2007 the power-duo Fotonovela. His artistical advancement moreover quotes the activity as D.J. and the production of three albums by the Thessaloniki based female-duo act Marsheaux, but, above all, a previous discography as Nikonn, fully published by Undo Records and features two excellent albums containing particularly extended tracklists, with relaxing musical formulas, tending to an intimate reflection: the first of them was the twenty-songs debut full-lenght "Poladroid" of 2006, stylistically divided among chill-out, electronics and synthpop, followed in 2008 by the second album "Utopia" of eighteen tracks, in which the artist instead contemplated downtempo, deep house and ambient horizons. The release "Instamatic" now presented by Vox Empirea and published in 2011 in digipak format always by Undo Records, deserves to be cataloged and suggested as among the best of its music genre, this due to the extraordinary beauty of its harmonies, as well as the vivid expression and the emotional involvement that it communicates through a tracklist of fifteen episodes, all variously eletro-synthpop/downtempo/midtempo, rhythmically dynamized respecting to those heard in the Nikonn's antecedents works: "Silence" is the opener, an infinitely atmospheric song, almost ethereal, enriched by the echoed heavenly voice that Nick ecstatically propagates among programming replications, sweet keyboard airs and sections of midtempo percussiveness. The waves, the indigo blue and the scented Aegean wind as Muse: here's "The Sea", a gently melodic and evocative electropop, punctuated by dry beats of drum-programming, illuminated by the rays of synths and spoken with sensuality by the first of three guest-singers, Kid Moxie - a solo-act from Los Angeles starring Elena Charbila, maker of a particular electro-sinthpop mixture defined by the same musician as "gutter-pop" - . "Afterimage" is a combination between high-tech pop and danceable aesthetic spirit, all this in a song embellished by the seductive chant of the Greek talented singer called Maroula Koutsouri, who extends her lyrics on a flexuous midtempo basement, irradiating of beatitude the keyboard flows and the electronic counterpoints, in a succession of notes which touch their maximum comeliness in the refrain. The appreciation of Nick in regard to Richard Melville Hall has made possible the conception of a tribute-track that quotes in its title the name of this famous electronic musician, "Moby Is Around", in which, not least, we can find the typical sounds that distinguish this artist, or celestial pian/keyboard symphonies electronically rhythmed by a drum-linear sequencing, a whole of synthpop's romance and elegance that in this specific interpretation of Nikonn is decorated by the beautiful vocal trails of Kid Moxie. Sweetness and grace entirely permeate the homonymous "Instamatic", openly revealing the nostalgic and passionate nature of Nick, who disseminates profusion of gently vocals full of tenderness, placed into an equally suggestive context of synth and downtempo drumming. "Unbroken" is a composition for modern dreamers, fluidly performed using the piano as instrument to highlight a touch of romantic classicism, and the wraparound warmth of keyboard to give greater prominence to the suffering that overflows into this song. The soft voice of Maroula Koutsouri now lovingly embraces "All We Can Do Is Love", with its midtempo glitch micro-punctuation synchronized to the beats of drum-machine and to the slight oscillations of keyboard, as well as the following "Slowdown" neutralizes part of its dream-pop immateriality by an electric guitar connected to a visionary chant and to fairy pads. The Apollonian vocal textures of Maroula Koutsouri softly color the electropopish shape of "Someday", a track that captures the listening by its crystalline instrumental clarity into which they are interwoven harmonious synth compartments and dense hatching of drum-programming, while the following "Lifeless" outlines an imaginary progression of Levantine choreographies painted by keyboard and by the noble lyricism of the vocalist Elizabeth Sciakwe, all this schematized by the midtempo pulses of drumming. "La Bottega", a wholly instrumental track, is a poetic synthpop ode which music, like a breath of summer breeze, are adorned by silvery keyboard modulations accompanied by gentle sampled violin on downtempo rhythm, as well as in the following "Walking On The clouds" the mellifluous voicing of Nick caresses the cold rationality of drum-programming, which scans slowly fractionate a dance-electronic sound so exquisitely romantic and intriguing. The innocent strophes of Maroula Koutsouri dialogue now with the harmonious whiteness of synth and with the midtempo subdivisions of drum-programming, intersecting then the sweet vocalizations sung by Nick: this is what happens in "Sunrise". Almost at the end, we hear the graceful melodic form of "Nikonn Vals" a synth-phonic theme instrumentally played by noble piano/keyboard melodies on waltz base, which sonorities propagate in the air some kind of aristocratic melancholy emphasized by the angelic chorality of Kid Moxie, anticipating the closing track entitled "Lust", an ethnic-electronic pop totally instrumental, built by hypnotic downtempo drum-machine saturations and by keyboard coverages that spreads an Arabian climax. Fifteen prospectively impeccable creations, enriched by the docility of transcendent voices that lead us to catharsis, an effect further enhanced by minimal electronic orchestrations which beauty inspires feelings of peace, until the achieving of a state of mind very similar to ecstasy. The music of Nick Bitzenis is also a spell: in it, identically to what happens into a photograph, time is crystallized, becoming only mere illusion, nothing more than an abstract phenomenon to be immortalized forever in its most significant moment. "Instamatic" invented those moments of complete alienation and disconnection from reality, using only the force of inspiration and the prodigious ability to transpose ideas into a lush Eden of sounds: if after listening to this album we reflect on the relation that connects it to the simplest and purest values of our existence, we'll immediately perceive with joyful awareness that thereafter something of Nikonn will live forever within us.

back to top

Noise Trade Company - "Unfaithful Believers" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

noisden  The Noise Trade Company, an ingenious alternative Tuscan cult-project, are in constant progress since 2008 gravitating around a plurality of styles transiently connected to the post-punk, power-electronics, industrial, downtempo, dark-ambient, cold/darkwave and post-rock. In the Vox Empirea's reviews section of the year 2012, through the description of the album released in 2011 entitled "Post Post Post", it is available the complete biography and discography of the band done up to that time, then continued in 2012 by the full-length "Reformation", licensed by the label EK Product, and now in 2014 by the latter album "Unfaithful Believers" distributed by the Italian brand Space Race Records associated with the mentioned EK Product. The line-up of Noise Trade Company incorporates the brilliant mastermind Gianluca Becuzzi (electronics/programming /vox), Elena De Angeli (vox) and Fabrizio Biscontri (guitar/bass), they authors of a release marked exclusively by instrumental rarefactions and, above all, by the mesmerizing power of voices so frequently expressed into the form of hypnotic phrases from which they transpire depressed poetry, sensuality, psychodrama and alienation, all this often wrapped by dark, vicious, corrupted atmospheres, the same ones apparently candid and pleasant too beyond which we can perceive senses of repression, torment and bitterness. The album "Unfaithful Believers", available in digipak format, consists of ten tracks whose opener is "To The Hilt", a darkwave-song coldly rhythmed by the downtempo essential scans drum-machine and by bass transfixions on which they are alternated surreally the singing dialogues between Giaunluca and Elena: she's also the main interpreter of the next track, "Fire", which is introduced by and nostalgic suffered 'spoken words' that the vocalist sets into recited mode using as background crackling noise flames waiting, after a fraction of silence, the imminent instrumental developments that are entrusted to the spectrality of a dark-blues/cold-wave created by reverberating arpeggios and by the deeply melancholic vocals of Elena in addition to the gloomy choral nuances of Gianluca. Into "Do Something Evil" the plectrum gently caresses the guitar's strings generating dreamy notes while a skeletal downtempo percussiveness and the bass ornaments outline geometrically the rhythm, all in support of the romantic vocalizations that the singer free in the air with infinite grace and decadence, ethereal sounds, light as the wind, anticipatory the most nocturne ones of the following "Black Souls Motel" in which the suggestive synth manipulations into saxophone mode gradually give way the register to the extensions, to the industrial roars, and to the sinister gusts of dark-ambient that envelops the second phase of this song in which final we hear once again the remote 'spoken words' told by Gianluca. "Last Train" combines downtempo electronic minimalism, aspect represented by the bloodless consistency of drum machine, together with additional elements ranging from the most crepuscular psycho-blues played with shadiness by guitar evanescences and by obsessive bass lines, until the dreamlike melodies sung with simplicity and clarity by Elena, modularly accompanied by Gianluca's vocal punctuations. The next "Still Water Runs Deep" is not materially different from the previous track, deploying it the same, haggard 'male-female' singing formulations, the fractioned and floating guitar arpeggios and the dry synthetic-midtempo drumming processed by machines. The essence of "Innocence Is Lost" is announced with vacuity by concise, symbolic words by Gianluca who repeats them with hoarse, remote voice, followed by the faded musicality of the dark-ambient in the form of disturbed noises, obscure echoes, breaths of radioactive winds, dissonant manumissions and murky spills of electronic matter, dominated, further on, by unadorned melody of keyboard. In "Beauty" the wonderful voice of Elena sings a chant innocently clear, boyish, evocating fantastic images and dreams, at first simply combined with harmonious reverberated guitar counterpoints, and after with caressing downtempo beats, as well as the next "Broken Toys", a track subdivided into two acts, propagates in its opening a psychedelic cold-wave built by electronic stridency, fleshless drumming and dilated electric guitar, all this stopped by a soft pause followed by Elena's singsong, interspersed by the deep vocal markings of Gianluca, and by a basic percussive support of drum and strings. The episode that ends the album is "Her Cold Lips", created through replicated, funereal throbbing bass pulses over which they hovers enigmatically the singer's chant and the second voice of Gianluca, the lysergic guitar fluctuation and the aqueous noises that saturated the background. This full-length "Unfaithful Believers" personifies with its dark-ballads the unspeakable obsession, the thrilling, the disturbed thought: the sound experimentation undertaken from long time by Noise Trade Company continues intelligently, cultured, intimist, multifaceted, never stereotyped or aseptic, totally free from obvious paradigms, from specific cataloging and from linear schemes: it interprets musically the emotions, melting psychically them and creating interactions with the world of sounds, extracting elements shaped and then rebuilt again and again in different forms always characterized by an indissoluble connection with the most boundless, diverted and dirty dimensions of the human mind, and also by distinct, original and no-compromises music compositions searching perpetually what we call "the unfathomable perversion of Spirit".

* P *

back to top

"[Passages] framed by Nova" - compilation - cd - by Maxymox 2014

passaen  Downtempo-electronics/IDM/emo-ambient compilation in digipak format conceptually inspired by the London's metropolitan horizon and by the variable conditions that the fundamental cycles of life and the consequent mutations of 'social status' impose to Man, them as an integrated entity of the urban dimension: these theorems are also ideally associated with relational evolutions that the existence into the vastness of the city causes in all the interpersonal relationships experienced by each individual. Cultured, avant-garde minded, introspective: this anthology is the sonic celebration of modern "rituals of transition"; it's impeccably planned by the journalist and international promoter manager from London called Massimo Terranova, alias Nova, who since 2000 is confirmed as resident chill-out d.j. and official live performer in many alternative English clubs, therefore providing since 2003 his valuable collaboration to Ultimae Records, the excellent French label expert in all possible variations of electronix/ambient music, founded by Vincent Villuis and conducted in collaboration with Sandrine Gryson: a deserved credit note should be assigned once again to the mastermind Villuis for his work of sound mastering that took place at the Ultimae Studio and also, as usual, for the beautiful ideation of the artwork, on this occasion embellished with the abstract frames in black and white immortalized by the fashion photographer Giovanni Calemma impressed on the sixteen pages booklet. The Nova's discography lists two past fundamental records always available on compilation which show a fertile intuition, selection criteria and the ability to sift and place the right sounds into an highly atmospherical context, details initially confirmed by "Albedo", a downtempo/experimental/ambient collection published in 2005 by the Ultimae Records, whose concatenation of eleven tracks including the excellent contributions from the projects Carbon Based Lifeforms, Between Interval, Solar Fields, Ishq, Ochi Brothers, Nova, Aes Dana, Sync24, Hol Baumann, Vir Unis and Antonio Testa. The second compilation called suggestively "Imaginary Friends", licensed in 2009 for the same Ultimae Records, explores instead glitch/modern-classical/ambient/downtempo slopes through eleven episodes by Field Rotation, Kevin Andrew, Rena Jones, Offthesky, Murya, Cell, Aes Dana, Hol Baumann, Asura, Solar Fields and James Murray: this latter is the English ambient/downtempo musician selected for worthy opening the tracklist of this third Nova's chapter entitled "[Passages]": this is done by the first of twelve songs, "Passing Through Walls", which, by its increasing and enchanted keyboard flow, ecstatically surrounds the suffused high-tech counterpoints and the minimal-dub tones, all in a romantic electronics/ambient module able to transport sweetly the listener into an universe of emotions. The next "Delicate" is a dub-ambient poem played by French Laurent Bisch, aka Fingers In The Noise, who expands hot and diaphanous pads, glitch intermittences, attenuated downtempo bpm's and a whole of electronic incorporeal acoustics so melancholically and elegantly expressed. From Malta, the solo-act Cygna, starring Mario Sammut, offers us "Within", an ambient/downtempo track vaguely ethnic in some curvatures which alternates programmed cycles of electronic transfixions, dilated effects and fading keyboards whose evanescences, expanded with solemn slowness within the interpauses, lead the mind to a meditative state. The album continues with the next "Opal", a song created by the Italian Brando Lupi who, through a long, hypnotic sequence of ambient keyboard pads and surreal extensions made more tangible by the percussive downtempo drumming, interacts with the unconscious evoking otherworldly landscapes to fly over by fantasy. The Hellenic solo-project Miktek, aka Mihalis Aikaterinis, shapes the visionary electronics/IDM structure of "Kinematics", a track built by a gaseous and monolithic basement of synth chords over which they atmospherically rotate synthetic nebulae, downtempo cadences and spatial effects, while the following and nostalgic "Der Blaue Engel", an electronics/IDM song drawn by the Icelandic Gudmundur Gudmundsson aka Murya , uncloses its beauty spreading a seraphic feminine chorus supported by downtempo bpm's corroborated by key pads and synthetic shades light as air. The continuation of the album is entrusted to the next "Moments", a deep-house/ambient/electronics execution composed by the German musician Martin Nonstatic who gives to the track a distinctly autumnal mood introducing into it a rainy background surrounded by touches of electric piano whose melancholy punctuations, floating and reverberating, intersect keyboard rarefactions, effected currents and an imperceptible rhythmical downtempo line, accentuating in you by these sounds the impression you're watching engrossed a grey, drizzly sunrise which is palely illuminating the metropolitan landscape. The German Lars Leonhard, a musician devoted to ambient/dubtechno/deep-house/tech-house genres, clears up the listening through his "Deeper Direction" an act into which the sonic technology harmonizes it perfectly with the sphere of feelings, thanks to the fascinating circularity of pads to which they alternating ascensional micro-vortex generated by machines combined to a mathematic downtempo drum-programming. Aes Dana, the famous project interpreted solely by Vincent Villuis, raises by "Unlit" a nostalgic melodism particularly suitable for long nights spent in solitude: the artist realized this prolonging initially soft piano replications in conjunction with the midtempo micro-beats of drum-sequencing, developing afterward a period during which the rhythmical subdivisions take more consistence interweaving them with thin electronic outlines and with the regular pulsations of sequencing. The interaction between the French Alexandre Scheffer aka Cell, and Japan's Hidetoshi Koizumi aka Hybrid Leisureland, originates the platform named Connect.Ohm, author of the wonderful "9980" here and now listenable as 'Cell Remix' version: the result is a contemplative ambient/electronics dominated by refined and subterranean keyboard-percussive euphonies combined with effervescent glitch micro-sections, a set of stratifications and impulses to wich abandoning you transported by dreams, as it identically happens in the next "Skying", in which the instrumental ambient/electronics rituals are magnified by the ability of the Athenian Maximos Maximilianos, aka Max Million: the track radiates melodic and echoed synth luminescences, long pad's breaths, oneiric guitar arpeggios, the ethnic-oriented recall of chant, lysergic soundscapes and visionary patterns, an immersive succession of technological artifices rhythmed by downtempo scans that seduce ensuring a deep relaxation and a vibrating spiral of emotions. From the same Greek capital of Max Million also comes Zinovia Arvanitidi, better known by the nickname Zinovia who, faithfully with his own style, once again gives the desolate and romantically elegiac musicality that characterizes his electronics/neoclassical/soundtracks repertoire, finalizing the final track of the compilation, "Northern Wind", essentially structured on piano suspensions that reverberate gracefully, languidly, elevating and waving over an alienating microcosm composed of echoes, bells, artificial noises, contrails of siren chant and unreal transmissions of sounds. "[ Passages ]" is a valuable document that certifies the competence and professionalism of the d.j. Nova in one of his best performances that reveal the talent, the expertise in mixing and the sensitivity of this artist: the presence of emerging projects along with the names permanently active in the European ambient/electronics scene, makes the release a valuable opportunity to experience the creativity and communicability of the new electronic alchemist's generations, relating them with the consolidated masters. The trait d'union that connects each event of the tracklist is the desire to give life and movement to an highly expressive, compelling sound-system, able to represent as vividly as possible the imaginary shape of beauty. If you feel willing to cross the limiting sphericity of rational thought to establish a direct connection with the Infinite, this music will be the ideal way to reach it.

* S *

back to top

Sad January - "Believe In Better" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

sadjen  Another, shining star is added to the European electronic constellation illuminating us by its sound in which they resurface gloriously the 80's memories harmonized with captivating interpretations of the classical pop technology: the project in question is Finnish, its name is Sad January and it currently consisting of four elements, Lasse Laurila (vox), Joonas Hernesaho (synths/programming/production/backing vox), Kimmo Kautio (lyrics) and Jaakko Hernesaho (guitars/synths). The official biography of the band does not mention further particulars or details of any kind, except a common passion shared among the three elements of the line-up regarding the musicality about the best electro-archetypes such as Depeche Mode, Erasure and Gary Numan, to whom is strongly inspired the music style demonstrated in the ten tracks included into the debut-album optimistically titled "Believe In Better", licensed in 2014 by the prestigious U.S. label A Different Drum also available on 'limited edition VIP series' version of three hundred copies. Following the order of the tracklist we meet at first the fractionated effects similar to cosmic rays of the brief "Intro", anticipating the next song "Just Stop Believing", a fine synthpop which rhythm, cadenced by regular, linear midtempo pulses of drum-programming, it holds up the melodious Lasse's chant by futuristic synths and suggestive passages of artificial trails. "Frozen Tears", coherently with its own title, propagates a melanchonic aura through atmospheric textures of voice, synths and downtempo rhythmical subdivisions of drum-machine, as well as the structural axis of "Avenue Of Lost Desire" incorporates nostalgic Erasure-oriented vocals, harmonious keyboard fluorescences and the mathematical midtempo circularity of drumming. "Insecure" is an electronic pop that gets sounds typically Depeche Mode's by keyboard iridescences and by the romantic, intimate mood expressed by the vocalist, all this dissected with precision by e-drums and sequencing among which it reverberates the electric guitar, while the following track called "Visions Of You" offers a danceable synthpop full of fascinating and emotional singing evolutions, together with capturing keyboard modulations circumscribed around the perfect midtempo geometrism of drum-programming. The ephemeral interlude "December", identically to a snowy landscape, it delights the senses transmuting images into an essential and hypnotic sound played by delicate hatches of sequencer softly reinforced by downtempo beats, at the end of which it follows the next "Love", an electropop song within which the clear vocal harmonies of Lasse are combined with synthetic consonances expended by keyboards and by the mechanical-midtempo rhythm produced by drum-programming. "Don't Cry Still" is an excellent synthpop released through tender keyboard shades, symmetrical midtempo scans and the graceful intonations of the singer by which we can feel perceptions of tormented romance lived even more intensely in the refrain; in the final and as many saddened song entitled "Apocalypse", the evanescence of synths and the passionateness of voice they lead us to sensations of abandonment, cradled with infinite sweetness by rational downtempo beats and by velvety acoustic guitar arpeggios. A convincing starting-performance, the album "Believe In Better" by the newcomers Sad January gives to listening all the supreme wonders of modern synthpop internalizing the infallibility of the 80's aesthetics, all this elaborated with refinement, discretion and with an elegantly aristocratic portamento: the electronic instruments, together with chant, they write avant-garde notes and lyrics overflowing of nostalgia perfumed of decadent, poetical fragrances that, seducing gradually us track after track as a sonic novel, they finally culminate into an emotional climax to which is impossible to escape. Let the true fans of synthpop find this full-length, listen to and love it forever.

back to top

Star Matter - "ChemTrails Era" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

starmaen  Star Matter is the sodality between Claudio Dondo (electronics/keys/vox) and Alex De Siena (electronics/rhythms/vox), both from the alternative technological scene. Biographically, Claudio Dondo is one of the most active 'cult' characters of the national underground panorama, being him the protagonist and member of several dark-ambient/experimental projects created in previous eras such as the famous Runes Order, Atom Infant Incubator, Five Thousand Spirits, Helden Rune, Tunguska, Wandervoegel and Wiegen Den Toten, while Alex De Siena she has excelled in Amsterdam as a 'rave protagonist' demonstrating a convincing artistic versatility ranging from spectacular set designs and sound composition. It's also essential mentioning the name of a third element called Giovanni Indorato, directly involved in the concept inspiration and in the musical techniques of the duo: since two decades, he's also producer and mastermind of Masterpiece Distribution which is one of the best Italian diffusing platforms of alternative music. Giovanni has played an important role in the making of this debut-album today analyzed by Vox Empirea, mixing , arranging, producing and mastering "ChemTrails" at its Cyber Ghetto Studio, creating a release of strong resonance circumscribable in one of the infinite variations of modern sound, that is the cosmic/cyber-electronics subgenre. The full-length, published in 2013 by the label Cyber Ghetto Records, experiences high-tech strategies using concise, telegraphic and rarefied vocal expressions, allowing an unlimited amplitude to instrumentality which evolutions surreally mould danceable, hypnotic, futuristic atmospheres, thanks to the contributions made by a prestigious team of guest musicians. The tracklist of the album, composed by twelve episodes, initially exposes the short intro "New World (Dis)order", a sonic experiment based on deconstructed vocals similar to alien emissions made absolutely not codable by tamperings, all in anticipation of the next "Hidden Secrets", a song in which the predominance of psychic-electronic-futuristic sonorities is ircumscribed into linear midtempo pulses on which they swirl spatial and obsessive intermittences and increasing keyboard apportionments icily vocalized by Alex. "Plastic Clouds" replicates a percussive uptempo symmetry around which they spin the alienating transmissions reproduced by synths and programming, simultaneously with neuro-sensory stimulation evoked by the neutral singing of Claudio and by the tribal chorality of Alex, in conjunction with the shamanic voice of the guest Luigi Maria Mennella. "In The Here And Now" is an astral trip that we have transported by electronic formulations veiled of mystery and darkness that convert the purity of 'ecstasy' into an enchanting genesis of sounds generated by downtempo drum-machine in parallel to atone and detached vocals emitted by both artists, to the Tibetan singing by the guest Vincent Infante and to the Nepalese reverberations by Giovanni Indorato. The sound system that moves "Happy Slave", a track particularly addressed to the alternative dancefloors, is a dense combination of programming pulses and rhythmic midtempo cadences surrounded by solemn pads and by the harsh/theatrical vox of Alessandro Casoni, while the subsequent " Psychotronic Weapon" is a generator of futuristic melodies gushing from synths and processed by the cold signal of drum-sequencing. The robotic midtempo conjunctures belonging to "All Against Ourselves..." incorporate synthetic effervescences, percussive gusts cycles, programmed transversality and keyboard's suspense, the same one that, in close proximity to the end of the song, it transform into a sidereal execution of harmonies. "The Apex Of The Pyramid" foreshadows future scenarios and interstellar atmospheres proceeding with a persistent, straight flow of uptempo beats on which they amplify cosmic effects, extraterrestrial vocals, syncopated intermittent irradiations of programming and keyboard, as well as the ultra-electronic-dance sound of Ancient Domination-Games Over" dynamically interacts with the movement of the body, using pulsing drumming beats, Uranian emissions of keys and, one more time, the visionary chant of Luigi Maria Mennella. We continue with the atmospheric spatiality of "Chemtrails. Chemlies?", a track to listen and dance captured by systematic midtempo bpm's that support radioactive winds, voice effects and metallic synth replications. "Akasha" configures an hyper-technological sound through which we can travel expanding our mind's boundaries, aided by the vocal essentiality of both artists and in particular by the oriental choirs propagated by Alex. The final segment of the release is entitled "Awakening In The Universe", whose otherworldly charm is shaped by glacial extensions of keyboard, by automated French and Arabian 'spoken words' pronounced by the guest singer Ismael with the lysergic chorus of Alex, by uptempo propulsions and liquid spills of programming which conclusive hatches accompany the voice of the English novelist Aldous Huxley recorded during an interview. The release finalized by Star Matter is a blend of sounds from the outside World, designed solely to solicit within the listener fantascientific images going beyond the edge of reality, thanks the splendid interplay perfected by the power-duo that intersects avantgardism, cerebralism and sonic abstraction: these elements will make the listening of the album "ChemTrails Era" an experience as fascinating as the overflight of an unexplored constellation.

back to top

Stereomotion - "Days Of Faith" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

stereomen  Power-duo from Stuttgart and of considerable interest in dark-electro area, Stereomotion consisting in the front-man Florian Jäger (vox/lyrics/programming) and Christian Coburger (keys/additional programming/beats/production) : this latter is a member of the German synth-pop/electro quartet called Access_Denied and also included in the line-up of Ariane V, a rhythmic-noise/industrial/experimental trio. Stereomotion was initially an one-act founded and represented since 2003 only by the same Florian, supported in live concerts by the guitarist Richard Raistrick: at that time the project contemplated an electronic musicality combined with industrial/EBM/trance elements conceptually oriented towards future planetary catastrophes and an apocalyptic vision of the World, together to the fundamental dualisms that regulate the cycle of life, such as love/hate, life/death. After the integration of Christian Coburger, the sound of the platform began a gradual transformation amplifying in its structures the EBM principles with other styles as gothic and pop, keeping until today the dark and pessimistic aura so intensely expressed in the lyrics since the beginnings: every detail of this evolution is findable into a discography originated in 2003 by the promo album self-released "Alpha Demon" that includes nine tracks, followed in 2004 by the nine episodes of the second self-produced promo album "Omega:Angel". In 2005 Stereomotion has independently created a third promo of only four tracks, "Demo I/2005", while then the first contract signed with the German E-noxe, aka Équinoxe Records, label founded by Jörg Kleudgen from the goth-rock band The House Of Usher, allowed in 2006 the creation of the official debut-album "Resistance:2012", seventeen songs mastered by the IDM/downtempo duo Echorausch within which it stood out the song "Torment" issued in the same year as maxi-single by the label Endzeit Productions: also, the release included the bonus-tracks completely rebuilt from the projects Dunkelwerk, Wynardtage, Geminis Are One, Acylum and Access_Denied. Two years later it was the turn of the second full-length, "Apocalypse:Forever", mastered again by Echorausch, published by the same E-noxe and including sixteen songs, four of which were remixed by May-Fly, Xotox, Blind Effects, Pala-Din and Gottesfinsternis. By the contractual transfer to the prestigious Danse Macabre in 2009, it was published one of the best albums of the Stereomotion, "Sehn:Sucht", in which ten tracks it detects the presence of Richard Raistrick on electric guitar and still Echorausch in the mastering stage. "Stolz Und Demut" is the title of the remixed album ever issued in 2010 by Danse Macabre, which tracklist of eleven songs, mastered by Bruno Kramm from the famous German electro/industrial/gothic duo called Das Ich, offered the reworks by other big names such as Sleepwalk, Retrograd, EGOamp, Metastat, Menschliche Energy, Pala-Din, Concrete/Rage and Bleve Effect. After gaining a vast experience in the electro/industrial/EBM panorama and after obtained numerous praises from a great number of fans as well as from the alternative music media, the project published in 2013 his masterpiece, "Days Of Faith", the release selected now by Vox Empirea for this review: it's an important album, because it's the synthesis of all the solid compositional tactics reached so far, perfected with the sole intention of giving the audience something really special from Stereomotion's repertoire Stereomotion. The precious cooperation provided once again by Bruno Kramm in the mastering stage and a label of great resonance as the aforementioned Danse Macabre, they guarantee a spectacular sound quality, a detail confirmed by the first of the thirteen songs, the opener "Prologue", a track rigidly atmospheric, almost military minded, announced by net midtempo drum-programming/keyboard splits which are inserted between imperative vocal-loops: this module connects to the next and homonymous "Days Of Faith", a perfect dark-electro song in which the heavy rhythms of the drum-machine, following the same beat's cadences heard in the previous track, they hold up the leaden Florian's voice and the toxic, fluorescent synth. The post-atomic prefigurations and the persistence of dramatic sensations are replicated in "Fallen", a dark-electro/industrial of grainy and murky sound, composed through an hard and danceable midtempo linearity of drum-programming on which they gravitate electronic impurities, capturing keyboard chords and the melodic roughness of the vocalist, while the impenetrable compactness of "Divided (Edit)" draws the listener into a futuristic dance orchestrated by the pulsing midtempo drum-sequencing flanked by dense keyboard pads and by the dark-filtered voice of Florian. "Herzschlag" offers a dark-electro/EBM more clear, transmitted using the vigorous midtempo drumming thrust as an engine, the alienating Florian's voice, the vocal-loops and the synth emissions as obsessive torment, as well as the subsequent "Leave It All Behind" intensifies the sound by corrosive, mechanical midtempo drum-programming subdivisions which, spearing coldly hoarse vocals, they merges with electronic flashers. "The Voice Of Freedom" is a dark-electro perfectly suited to the people of alternative dancefloors: its catching synth harmonies, its electric guitar riffs, its pneumatic drumming and its sharp vocals they create a sound technologically resolute, as well as in the next track entitled "In My Arms" the caustic sections of chant, perpetually worn by electronic acidifications, they intone lyrics filled with melancholy and rage into dirty midtempo drum-beats, loops, sequenced punctuations and circular synth modulations. "Rebellion Of Dreams" is focused on dark-electro trajectories further made restless by angry vocals which tones, harshly pronounced, they meander in a shady context of programming, of synth extensions, looped phrases, dark reverbs, touches of piano and downtempo drumming. "Requiem" accelerates the percussiveness processing uptempo bmp's that ensure the maximum danceability energizing a sound electronically distorted, performed by powerful drum-programming automatism, by resentful, upset vocals, consumed by manipulations and by the radiaoattive keyboard flows. The uptempo percussive implant of "True Belief" conveys danceable pulses of drum machine, programming and thundering bass-lines that strikes with hardness the Florian's voice, disfigured by cutting electronic micro-fragments and tortured by acid synths, while the following "Unbreakable" gives very atmospheric moments evoking melancholy emotions, futurism and deep anguish, through technologically advanced sonorities of piano, of symphonic keyboards, dark dissonances, electronic arpeggios, reverberated expansions, loops and vocals surrounded by infinite sadness, all this in a song of exceptional beauty and able to lead to reflection, conquering the listener without any compromise. "Epilogue" closes the tracklist by a first segment of undulating expansions and peremptory vocal-loops on martial drumming, and then drifting away by cathartic synth melodies and by downtempo rhythms, formulating a charming and sophisticated electro-song you will never forget. Those contained in the album "Days Of Faith" are all prospectively impeccable creations formulated through complex and obscure geometries and through futuristic technicalities, a transposition extremely evolved of the electronic concept which demonstrates the greatness achieved by the new Stereomotion. The instrumental performances, altered by the radio-emissions of keyboards, by torrential micro-interferences and hyper-percussive saturations, decorates a vocal range characterized by abrasive tones that scratch ruthlessly an authoritarian sound. It's now time to consider definitely Stereomotion for what they really are: a project with enormous potentials and fertile genius. This release is their authentic triumph.

back to top

Stone Wired - "In Silent Attention" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

stonwen  Significant name operating in the death-dark ambient / drone / death-industrial scene, Stone Wired is a project born in the last 90's by the Hungarian Gyorgy Turoczy, alias Mortum - owner of the label Exabyss Records and interpreter of the death-industrial / harsh electro one-man act called Human Vault - in collaboration with the American and cryptic D-mon. The true origins of this design are dated back to 1997, when Gyorgy developed his interest towards the world of modular synths, electronic noises and the monophonic sounds of drone music, founding in those times the Stone Wired as solo-act, all this until 2003, the year of his fusion with a second member, D-mon, an event that officially projected with glory their partnership into the obscure-ambient universe. Going back over the entire Stone Wired's discography since its inceptions, both as a solo project that as a duo, they are cited initially several demo tapes recorded between 1997 and 1999 - today still on digital remastering process - followed chronologically in the same year 1999 by the self-produced album "Omnium Humanity", and in 2003 by an EP fired by the Hungarian label Sonics Records "Proto-Culture", the precursor of the next full-length "Proto-Culture / Dweller Of The Deep", published for Exabyss Records, a brand that since that date has marked all the products issued with the pseudonym Stone Wired. They followed the albums "Grave Filler Enter Institute" of 2008 and "The Original Serpent" of 2012, with "Kristuscorpum" of 2013 and the present "In Silent Attention" released in 2014, before the next "Umbral Depth Of Shade" of 2015, the album that included an excellent remix elaborated by Vinnui Balazs Varga, aka the Hungarian musician coming from the industrial /EBM / electro platforms Nadragea and Project OMX. Wide and polyhedric is also the cooperation of Stone Wired with numerous Hungarian and international representatives active in the experimental dark-ambient / industrial / drone / rhythmic noise / power-noise abstract-electronics panorama, initiatives materialized by singles and EP's releases all published by Exabyss Records: first of them is "Perceiving Dark Matter" of 2014, performed with Marko Jovich aka Asimonde, the artist known as Xtematic, the effigy by which in the same year he realized with Stone Wired a second second Extended Play entitled "Infected Shaping". Always in 2014 it was published "Where The Light Consumes The Darkness", a split-EP shared with the Adam Mankowski's solo-project Limited Liability Sounds. "Beyond", also issued in 2014, is another split-EP built with the Swedish artist Von Cogwell, as well as in the same year the Brazilian Parreira Hari Maia collaborated with Stone Wired by participating in their split-EP "Worm". "All Shall Be Dead All Shall Be Not" is instead a digital-single dated 2015 created with the Hungarian Odour Sonour, all this before the next tape-releases of 2015 "Messe Des Morts" and "Dust Never Covers My Broken Mody", both published solely by Stone Wired as 'special edition' version. Four anthologies fired in 2014 by Exabyss Records completing the full discography of the project: "Unreleased", "Something We Never Endure (Imminent Death 1997-1999)", "Something We Should Endure (Early Death 1997-1999)" and "Demo[n]s 1997-1999". The sound built by the power-duo is ominously dark, cold and terrifying: its structures are long and monophonic sub-frequencies of pads that they inegrate drone synthesis, field recordings, death-noises, drone generators, sequencers, modulators, effects, programming and sampling, with episodic recitations of spoken-words, all this for an oxidized musicality, conceptually inspired by a total pessimism toward the future of Planet Earth and by a very disenchanted, realistic vision of the deceitful, perverse and destructive intentions hidden within the human mind. The Stone Wired channeled into their sonic creations all the resentment, the frustrations, the eternal suffering, anguish, negativity, the drama, the selective annihilation of every hope and every dream, the fears and the skepticism in the tomorrow days, giving chance to the most cold and impenetrable darkness to obscure and surround completely the listener's imagination, projecting mortally apocalyptic scenarios in which they triumph despair and oblivion. The album "In Silent Attention ", now focused by Vox Empirea, sums up all these elements in eight tracks: the modulations of the release, mastered by the Newyorker Nathan Reiner - interpreter of the darkwave / electro one-man act called Third Realm - are played by the special processing at 24-bit 44.1 kHz, in order to emphasize the most subterranean tones and the noise sections of the electronic backgrounds. "Grim Wish", the first chapter of the tracklist, is a prolonged expansion of acoustics volumetrically dilated that encircle the senses by slow and inexorable heaviness, raising obsessively dark-ambient / dark-industrial atmospheres in which they alternate death-drone pads, grainy interferences, cycles of 'no physical' atonic melodies combined with interludes dominated by the dark breaths of synths, in a disturbing-ambient suite that leads to alienation. "Corporeal Phenomena" is a dark tunnel with no end in which the listener will lose his orientation, tormented by the hypnotic, morbid beats of programming, by psychotic phrasing and by angry, guttural emissions, all this suggestively harmonized by ethereal and extended chords alternated with the gradual obscurations of drone-machines and with the vaporous synths. Death also impends over the next "In Silent Attention", wrapping it in the coils of an infinitely abysmal and destabilizing dark-ambient based on long trails of field-recording, low-keyboard transmissions, drones, artificial haziness, looped vocalizations and sinister echoes-noises emptied of every light, in a slow, murky set of sounds characterized by spectrality and coldness. "Uninvited Flames" is a quiet spreading of Plutonian irradiations between whose gloom, generated by the motionless roar of synths, they are audible distant, crystalline bells reverberations, suffocated by dark, perpetual death-ambient counterpoints and sub-dimensional sonorities, the same ones detectable within "Sequencing Death", a track in which the drone-engines originate incorporeal flows disturbed by cosmic radiations, spaced and echoed on minimal pulses of an extraterrestrial programming, all this in a succession of vitrified, deep pads traversed by electronic impurities. The dark-death ambient surface of "Universal Mutability Of All Things" is uniformly eroded by acid-noises, whose toxic effervescences sluggishly deconstruct the sounds joining them with the ascension of drones and with the caustics perturbations made by synths, as well as in the following "Wolf Soul Bitten" the leaden, oppressive mass of keyboards it fascinatingly dives inside the otherworldly darkness, transforming the pads into powerful signals for civilizations from other Worlds, by sudden emanations vertically scanned under which they blow synthetic winds, together with an occult, monolithic line of dark-ambient pads which ending in a sound effect similar to the take-off of an interstellar aircraft. "Helion Trajectory" concludes the title-track pouring in its first segment heavy death-ambient elongations elongations on which they fluctuate with regular cedences the intermittent programming and, later, processed exhalations with a sequence of electronic hisses that lingers until the last moment of the song. Very interesting album, "In Silent Attention" is another declaration of the talent and of the communicative greatness reached today by this project: the solemn 'no-music' configuration of death-dark ambient / drones / death-industrial formulated by Gyorgy and D-mon, it pesters, it restless, using sounds consumed by an invisible energy that causes altered states and virtual nightmares. The themes concealed within the compositions they faithfully and ruthlessly illustrate a reality deprived of expectations and trust in Humanity, in its sentiments and in all the institutions that regulate its fleeting existence: Stone Wired manage to transmute anger, dissent and condemnation into tangible acoustic vibrations, giving them one voice, that of a dead, shockingly black and evocative sound. Its shadow darkened the Sun.

back to top

Structural Fault - "Herbe" - by Maxymox 2014

struren  Discovering the executions by Structural Fault means grant to ourselves the possibility to transmute avant-garde frequencies into fantastic images, allowing the thoughts, following suggestively the waterfall of sounds, they adapt them naturally to the atmospheres created by instrumentations: anyone who wanted to analyze the artistic identity of this exceptional single-act personified since 2007 by the Argentine Sarco, they may consult the interview on Vox Empirea viewable in its appropriate section. The sonic range formulated by the protagonist is primarily the result of hybridization among IDM/ambient/industrial elements devoid of any vocals and united to glitch and cyber-punk interferences, for an uninterrupted flow of electronic energy that enchains our listening through extensional emanations of keyboards, by ethereal suspensions and percussive asymmetries. The nine songs included into the tracklist of the new and second album "Herbe" licensed in 2014 by Solanic - the Belarussian netlabel founded by the mastermind Andrei Solaris - they continue the unique and inimitable style that characterizes the discography of Structural Fault, started in 2011 by the thirteen episodes of the full-length entitled "Intro/Version", mastered by Robert Gajdos - aka the ambient solo project Headdreamer - and published by the Slovak brand Aliens Production, arousing at the same time "human" feelings of depressed romance created by aeriform chords and perceptions of mechanical coldness arising by the drum-programming, all this screened on an imaginary, futuristic dimension that expands with fascinating slowness in our minds. The contents of "Herbe" start initially by the quiet scenery drawn for "( -10 º C Romantic )", a downtempo track in which the evanescence of keyboards, together with the complex IDM drumming, they generate spiral-shaped chords, emotional reverberations, glitch micro-attritions and nostalgic extensions of electronic sounds, as well as the ecstatic ambient/IDM propagations created for the next "Distante" spread relaxing and aeriform pads to which they are gradually added distorted industrial transmissions of programming and, further on, the scanned downtempo circularity of drum-machine. In the beautiful "Throb" the percussiveness advances and retreats in a continuous interplay among unforeseeable polyrhythms, saturated pulses and echoed fragmentations, a miracle of cerebralism, harmonic beauty and inner exploration, materialized inside an electronic nebula made intensely and persistently sentimental by keyboard emissions. "Prophet" scatters incorporeal ambient fluctuations that convert sounds into three-dimensional heavens, all this corroborated by the opalescent effervescences gushing from the implants connected to an hyper-processed, discontinuous downtempo rhythmic. In "Synthese" they germinate intangible keyboard vaporizations which undulations hypnotize our hearing combining them with the acid saturations and with the powerful intermittences of drum-programming, so as the following "Rung" exhales gaseous ambient melodies driven in starting by percussive rarefactions which, transforming them later into a more defined drumming, they intersect a stereogram of electronic corrosions and sequenced tamperings in an astral travel climax. The last three tracks of the release are remixes assigned to as many musicians active in the IDM/industrial/alternative electronics panorama: Huron, aka the German Steffen Schröder also known by his side-project Cybotnik, redefines the schemes of "(-10 ° C Romantic )" giving to it renewed charm, thanks to the addition of metronomic effects and long keyboard expansions, while the Belarusian artist called RecFrag, from the label Solanic, reconstructs the features of "Synthese" amplifying immensely its seductive power through hi-tech manipulations and arrangements by which they arise sentimental ambient curvatures and the distorted industrial automations that compose the percussive unit. Logical Disorder - the Spanish one-man act played by Javier Barrero who's also active in the three parallel projects named Cuartilla & Muto, Muto and nnID - beautifully restructures the core of the final "Throb" integrating within it a more linear rhythmical continuity embellished by the prolonged luminscence of pads. Contemplative music, orchestrated with great inspiration: the magical sounds devised by the outsider Structural Fault is a safe harbor for anyone who wants a sound particularly suited as background to spend hours in complete isolation, exploring the depths of his own existence recalling the most significant events. Those contained in this new album are nine paragraphs catartically electronic which solemnize every single moment lived away from the tangibility of the real World, psychically transported towards emotional states oriented to affliction. The remarkable magnetism of pads, the intricate processing of laptop and the dissonant percussive fractures, they favor romantic introspections strictly related to an advanced sound technology: everything in "Herbe" is cold as ice and ardently tormented as melancholy.

* T *

back to top

The Blank VRS - "The Idiots And The Envious ep" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

theblaen  There's something of fatally attractive and unique in the music-imprint conceived by the solo-act The Blank VRS, aka Kalle Fagerberg. Anagraphically from Stockholm and currently residing in Berlin, the artist is the creator of a sonic mixture primarily based on new waver minimalism and post-punk experimental re-enactments, both ones combined with electronic elements and, in a lesser measure, pop oriented. Previously his final conversion to this specific sub-genre, Kalle contemplated various and opposite musical horizons militating as a guitarist, during the first decade of the 90's, into the Swedish death metal band called Nauseant, developing afterwards a different propensity towards experimental/ambient/noise: for this event it was chosen the name Blank Verse, by which the musician published in 2010 a convincing and dark CD-r Extended Play of six tracks entitled "Karelia Ingria", issued by the French label Visceral Circuitry. The stylistic transformation of the project, which officially took place after the first decade of the New Millennium with the pseudonym The Blank VRS materializing a first result, the album "Milaya Moya", seven episodes recorded on cassette C-25 licensed in 2012 by the Serbian label Color Triangle Recordings. If the new-wave/post-punk contents of that full-length still included the technological dark-noise impurities formulated antecedently, the new ep "The Idiots And The Envious" offers more defined sound traits, planned using in a very original way the synth's executions, the percussiveness, the electric guitar and the electronic supports: the result is an alienating, icily depressed sequence of songs created by instrumental essentiality and harmonic glumness. The release, mastered by Dean Rostron and published in 2013 by the music-brand belonging to the same Kalle, the Swedish Muskox Productions and also by a sub-label of the Rainbow Bridge Recordings, the U.S. Swamp Circle, includes six tracks of which "Fig Head" is the initial part: the song internalizes a singing spectrality and early-new wave reminiscences, exposed by fractionated, skeletal drum machine's midtempo beats, glacial micro-effervescence of programming, pulsating bass-line, synth deviations and fast guitar arpeggios. The homonymous "The Idiots And The Envious" continues the list encircling the listener by a cold, essential electronic embrace of synths, effects and uptempo drum-sequencer, among which spires it stands out the lucidly distraught chant that Kalle accompanies by modular guitar's shooks, while the following "Pigeon Song (For Sparrow )", in my opinion the best track of the ep, gradually reaches its peak spreading first incessant, obsessive post-punk guitar extension which stridor, sharp as a blade, acts as the base on which the uptempo rhythmical phases and the bass puntuactions place side by side the vocal darkness, all this awaiting the imminent refrain openings that occurs by an hallucinated chant and by the increasing, dashing new waver intensity, exalted by wonderful synth's verticalizations strengthened at a second time by more guitar's insertions and by the symmetrical bass propulsions within which Kalle modulates a melodically crestfallen chant, for a triumph of existential dissatisfaction, bitterness, isolation. Unadorned new wave, executed with coolness is foundable again through the schematic percussions of "Polygraph", a track sculpted by icy midtempo beats beside which they flow the continuous bass-guitar's transfixions, in conjunction with vocals full of discontent, with sporadic effects emissions and with cyclic electronic pulses, as well as in the following "Night Life/Night Death" is strongly noticeable the hybrid fusion between after-punk subculture and new wave avant-gardism, concept enunciated in a rigidly melodic sound, played by midtempo percussive cadences crossed by replicated guitar's scales, by periodic synth's distributions and by electronic oscillations on which it stands the rational vocals of the protagonist. "Lucipheromones" closes the tracklist offering an experimental, nocturne and decadent musicality, initially consisted in keyboard's psychedelia and slight guitar's chords, followed by grievous touches of piano and acute synth's hyperfrequencies around which the brief voice's appearance instills sensations of spleen and deep abandonment. That one belonging to The Blank VRS is a pentagram reserved for an élite of faithful devotees: in this release they will listen to the posthumous celebration of the vintage post-punk and of the more radical new wave movement, living them through the interpretation of a visionary epigone of our times, whose alchemy fully expresses the inner desolation, the desire for solitude, the discomfort, the neurasthenia, the untold frustrations and the conflicting relationship with the world, fundamental components which they have always inspired these mentioned music genres. Kalle Fagerberg demonstrates that he has the exact knowledge of the sound is not easily achievable, as well as excellent technical attitudes and a particular atypical features that make it suitable to obtain more ambitious targets, such as a future album that integrates a succession of compelling and highly communicative tracks, designed, planned and finally executed with the same honesty as those ones contained into "The Idiots And The Envious". If music was describable by the colors, to this ep they could correspond all the darker shades of gray.

back to top

The Rorschach Garden - "Tales Of A Fragile Mind" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

theroren  Originally from Bielefeld, Germany, the platform The Rorschach Garden was founded in 1989 as a solo-act by Philipp Münch, an avant-garde musician and performer with Tim Kniep of the electronics / power-rhythmic noise / dark-ambient / industrial duo Synapscape; since its creation the project contemplates a linear and clean technological musicality that intelligently connects 80's synthpop melodies with the essentiality of minimal-electro, getting a module in which the protagonist experimentally and sporadically adds additional IDM elements. The extensive discography of The Rorschach Garden, available on the web in all its full details, began only in 1991 by two albums "First" and "Second", both issued by the German brand Fich-Art, to which it followed a significant amount of full-lenghts, 7 "and compilations on cassette, on vinyl, CD-r and on mp3 file, among which they highlight the partnerships held with the German alternative-electronics projects Moata Omen, Telepherique and Asche: of the The Rorschach Garden's record publications, only a few number of them are self-produced releases, with a greater prevalence of distributions from the labels Cat Killer, Scientific Intercosmo, IRRE Tapes, Jeremy Bamber Tapes, Gorkon Recordings, Sub.ver.siv, Disorder Records, Thrill Beat Construction, as well from the synergy between Kaleidoskop and that one which will become the permanent and official home of Philipp Münch, the German Bazooka Joe, parent-label of the legendary Ant Zen. In 1997 The Rorschach Garden had a prolonged period of artistic immobility, reactivating it in 2001 initially with a series of concerts supported by the two live-performers Natascha Ruf (synths) and Babsi Teichner (synths), dedicating entirely himself in subsequent years to a progressive advancement of sound research and, in particular, always searching specific and innovative modulations that they fully represent the new ideals of reference. By this constant refinement work has resulted the new full-length "Tales Of A Fragile Mind", conceived during the period 2010/2013 and published in 2014 by Bazooka Joe: the release includes fourteen episodes, thirteen of which are exclusively created by Philipp (vox / synths / programming / treatments) and one beautifully remixed by Michael Morton, aka the Canadian IDM / ambient solo-project called Displacer. The sounds contained in the tracklist, as would happen in an authentic narration of real life or in a spontaneous confession, offer a variety of settings, feelings and atmospheres made vivid by the emotional universe, but also by the sense of alienation caused by social injustices, all this musically expressed through an alternation of sadness and joyful or dreamy manifestations, also achieving long and intense moments of nostalgia and other ones afflicted by regrets, in a balanced sequence of meaningful lyrics, vocals sung with flat but low-pitched tones orchestrated by an analogic electropopish-sound frequently tinged of darkness. "Fun Tastica" is the first track on the album, a techno-pop that incorporates hypnotic 'sub-house' formulations built by Philipp programming its rhythm-machine and the sequencing on uptempo bases, highlighting the depth of the basses, spreading skeletal keyboard emissions and an harmonious, minimal chant. From the rectilinear electropop geometries of the next "Control" they shine the calculated liveliness of synth inserted between the midtempo automatism of drum-programming and monolithic vocals, as well as in some circumstances of the subsequent "Experiments With Me" we can perceive distant synthpop reminiscences of early-Depeche Mode, particularly distinguishable into precise and fascinating keyboard evolutions metronomically aligned to intermittent midtempo drum-machine beats and to a cold voice, the same one schematically pronounced in the following "Stay In Line", a minimal synthetic-pop very similar to a 'robotic dance' in which the midtempo dryness breaks up the rhythm of drumming by symmetric scans, while the Philipp's voice and pale wakes of keyboard they interlock mechanically to instruments, enhancing all their icy beauty in the refrain. By "Distant Disco" the electronic experimentation of ThevRorschach Garden explores danceable 80's technicalities of synth and midtempo drum-programming strongly inspired by the unmistakable stylistic elements of Patrick Cowley, a visionary, evocative and dynamic sound combined to the impassive voice of the protagonist. The apparent melodic vox lightness and the flows of Keyboard in "Nothing Matters" are interspersed with sections electronically distorted and more plumbeous singing accents, a rarefied perturbation that obscures for a few moments the structure of this synthpop thinning then quickly, allowing therefore the harmonies to illuminate again the sounds, dancing to midtempo drum-programming. Whippy uptempo propulsions enliven instead "That Fading Line", rhythmically interacting with the detached composure of vocals, with unpredictable trajectories of synth and the regular modularity of sequencing, all this in an electropop that reveals excellent dance-oriented characteristics. The pleasurable effervescences of "My Major Mistake" gladden and capture us using its main strengths that are immediate catching vocals, uptempo rhythm with solid bass-lines marked by drum-programming on which they slide rivulets of sequencer, for an electropop song really compelling. "Simple Minded" is also an harmonious germination of pop-electronic counterpoints that color space of lightheartedness, by one-dimensional midtempo replications of drum-programming, by keyboard brightness and vocal cadences synchronized to percussiveness, while in the subsequent "Faith And Obedience" low midtempo frequencies give majesty to the regular beats of drumming around which they rise shadowy pads and livid synths emanations corroborated by a depressed singing and sequenced iridescences. "A Little Piece Of Moog" gives continuity to minimal-electropop register, setting up a danceable as experimental scheme of imaginary and stroboscopic tech-sounds, arranged on supple midtempo fractionations and vocoder that adds elegance and modernism to the whole, as completion of an almost entirely instrumental track that will take the best consensus from all avantgarders. "Visions Without A Meaning", a sophisticated futuristic-pop, speeds up the calculation of the drum-programming placing it on uptempo rhythmics illuminated by fast flashes of synth and sequencing, by keyboard ionizations and spatial decorations always adorned by the deep vox-tones of Philipp. The thirteenth song, "We're All Gonna Die", is the latest generated one by the inventiveness of The Rorschach Garden in this tracklist: slow maneuvers of drum-programming, a sorrowing chant, soft synth and sequencer embellishments form the structure of this chapter that precedes the final act of release, the 'Beautiful Corpse' version of the same title now remixed by Displacer, who immeasurably extends the electronic intensity of musics without changing their original shape, but making cross them by fading artificial expansion and psychedelic reverbs, finalizing an ultra-futuristic poem of great charm that pays tribute to the mastery of this sound alchemist. A sincere, intimist album, that attracts by its intelligibility and, especially, by its ability to establish an open and confidential dialogue with the listener, besides a relation of extreme complicity intended to last over time: The Rorschach Garden through its new full-length exterior without any difficulty their weaknesses, their enthusiasms, the hopes, the inner dramas and existential fears, sharing them with those who, like him, is an introspective, sensible one, prone to self-analysis. With "Tales Of A Fragile Mind", Philipp Münch establishes an important frontier in his music repertoire, combining in an indissoluble way pop technologism and emotions, revealing himself to us not only the great artist of ever, but also simply, wonderfully human.

back to top

THYX - "Super Vision" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

thyxen  The foundation of the Austrians Mind.In.A.Box happened in 2002 by initiative of the front-man Stefan Poiss to whom they joined Markus Hadwiger and then the live performers Roman Stift, Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky and Gerhard Höffler: this event represented and still represents nowadays a significant presence in the alternative-electronic scene, being the style of this band an original mixture of voice and sonorities among futurepop, gothic and progressive-trance so specific to be instantly recognizable. The side-project called THYX, impersonated solely by Stefan, can be considered instead the unspoken and the most intimate side of Mind.In.A.Box and, above all, the ardent desire to research and replicate those psychic vibrations, those meanings and those frequencies arised and lived through the musics written by the protagonist for "Thyx", a song to which is conceptually inspired this one-man act and whitin which they reside electro structures and a symbolism of great importance for Stefan. That special track spreads the power to transform sounds into vivid imagination, the chronological time into a dilated suspension without any movement, the vastness of the surrounding space into a dimension to tread mentally, the melodies into an uninterrupted flow of emotions and self-analysis. However, the vocal and instrumental configuration of THYX, often diverse and changeable, strongly recalls the same one played by Stefan in Mind.On.A.Box, but now equipped with additional elements that make it even more unique and unmistakable, with vocal settings episodically effected and android, but also atmospherically opaque and baritone, expressed with hard emphasize in some of the most evocative moments of the songs, or else harmonically solid, dramatic and full of passion when the context demands the instant materialization of restlessness. Similarly, the electronic diagram planned in all THYX's compositions is under some aspects the effective transposition of the compositional modules formulated in Mind.In.A.Box, that having for foundations infinite, compelling uses of synths by which they are originated vaguely melancholic, wraparound partitures that pulsing on variable drum-programming speeds, all this for a whole of sonic vanguardism, danceability and inner exploration with which sharing in solitude the hours of a long night journey, or to convert any moment the music into a fascinating projection of memories and sensations you never experienced. The three album releases constituting the primary productivity of THYX are invariably characterized by a dual publishing platforms: the first one is THYX Records, the label independently founded and managed by Stefan, and the legendary Philadelphia based Metropolis. Describing the complete discography of the artist, it began from "Into The Realm", a digital debut-single released in 2010 by THYX Records, stylistically focused on synthpop/electro in 2012 and subsequently included into the eleven tracks of the limited edition debut-album "The Way Home", later followed in the same year by the digital self-produced one-track release entitled "Project Tape Evidence", a sonic experiment composed with the complete Mind.In.A.Box line-up specially for all THYX's fans. The 2013 is considerable as a particularly fertile period for Stefan's creativity: in fact, in that year were published the ten tracks of the second album "Below The City" and also the four episodes of the hit single "Network Of Light", always published by the same THYX Records, followed by other three self-produced releases each containing two digital tracks created in collaboration with the American musician Ray Koefoed: their titles are "Survival Instinct", "Survival Instinct (Rock Remix) "and "Ships To War". "Super Vision" is instead the new and waited full-length of 2014 now analyzed by Vox Empirea, a technically perfect release, an umpteenth, refulgent example of advanced sound technology which finds correspondences in that infrequent side of futuristic pop really able to interact with the senses of listeners : the album's tracklist enumerates eleven songs that beginning emphatically with the solemn orchestral keyboards and the drumming of the short and triumphal "Intro", an opening connected to the following "Will They Learn?", within which the midtempo drum-programming alternating linear rhythmics and, during the suggestive pause, fractionated roll strokes, holding up an exciting transmission of synths and a singing that combines robotic vocoder interacting with human tones full of phatos. In "Robots Don't Lie" the voice, artificially transmuted by filtrations, draw melodies multi-spaced melodies surrounded by spherical keyboard emissions punctuated by midtempo combinations of drum-machine and sequencing, all this for a futuristic pop of sure effect. The high-tech musicality of "Für Immer" is characterized by three different vocal patterns similar to a dialogue between man and machine: the first one, icily synthetic, is alternated with a second one hoarse and darker, flanked in the song development by the romantic melodies that the same Stefan interweaves to visionaries keyboard chords and to polyhedral midtempo cycles of drumming. "Waiting For You" isn't only a charismatic uptempo future/electro/trance, but also a foolproof track for alternative dancefloors that simultaneously merges rhythmic energy, catchy vocals and atmospheres full of emotions, thanks to pulsing bass-lines of drum-programming and a tense, resolute chant intersected by a whirling swirl of pads. Meditative, surreal, the subsequent "Don't Let Yourself Go" is a distillation of psychedelia and charm, a quiet electronic galaxy into which they initially converge the long extensions of keyboard and, afterwards, the Stefan's voice so profoundly low, remote, lysergically floating around a context of unreality, waiting the sudden current originated by synths, by the electric guitar and by the slow drumming that interrupt, just for a moment, the motion uniformly placid of the song. "Loyalty" is a downtempo futurepop rhythmically scanned by drum-machine apportionments on which subdivisions are placed evanescent synth chords and the thoughtful Stefan's singing that, during the splendid opening of the refrain, becomes an hot, passionate melody that penetrates indelibly into the memory, beautifully accompanied by guitar shades and by more compact keyboard/percussive reinforcements. We continue with "Our Only Home" and with its elegant sound shape harmoniously played by futurepopish procedures, expressed through vocal transformations, radiant synth stratifications and piano loops driven by midtempo drum-programming. Absolutely magnificent, the following track "Believe" is an episode explicitly futurepop within which is focused all the harmonic sensibility of THYX: the drum and sequencer create an hypnotic segment of midtempo replications, as well as the Stefan's vocal conjunctures, immediately assimilated in their sophisticated disposition, they capture the listening flying towards a constellation of synths and electronic artifices. The next track, "Forgotten", inebriates the hearing inciting the legs and brain to technological dance dynamizing the sounds by uptempo percussive metrics and by processing seductive vocals that synergize with irresistible scales of keyboards. The last part of the album is "Every Time" an ultra-modernistic pop distinguished by keyboard irradiations, by thundering midtempo rock-drumming sections and by granular, murky, arcane vocals, the same ones which, in the explosion of refrain, change their shape becoming exciting harmonies coming from the soul, sung with open, overwhelming tones. The eleven songs, carefully planned in all their aspects, reveal details of great attraction among them stands out the voice of Stefan in possession of an irrepressible melodic richness and communicability, as well as the instrumental geometries designed to achieve the highest level of participation. The tracklist employs the best electro/futurepop/trance disciplines connecting them to intuitions and arrangements Mind.In.A.Box-oriented which synergy produces an untold number of mega-technological frequencies curved toward introspection, the necessary state for researching into our subconscious something elusive, unknown, but of fundamental importance for the completion of inner balance. This release not only integrates the best electronic fundamentals available today, but also an huge, unequaled deployment of sounds, so as to make this album unique in its genre. "Super Vision", super THYX, super music!

back to top

TourdeForce - "Jedem Das Seine" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

tourdefen  The Bergamo based TourdeForce born in 2004 originally as a duo formed by Christian Ryder, assigned mainly to electronic equipments, and Eric Raven to the vocal compartments and electric guitar. Since 2008, when Eric left the line-up, the design has assumed the identity of a one-man project represented only by Christian, but in perpetual synergy with an heterogeneous and ever variable number of guest-musicians. Initially, the sound processed by the project TourdeForce was marked by the specific desire to emulate the alternative North European electronic-pop, combining with it the same, vivid sound reminiscences of the 80's that still inspiring Christian Ryder, until obtaining an evolved musicality in which we can distinguish a balance between electro-waver harmonies and brilliant synthpop formulations, all this supported by cultured concepts and texts which, besides to externalize subtly destabilizing and provocative arguments, they deal with extreme clarity and realism different themes, ranging from the actuality strongly related to the social-political decline of West Europe, to more intimate other ones dedicated to the unfathomable depths of sentiments and psychology, taking symbolic proclamations suggested by literature, both classical and contemporary, by Sociology and History and by the universe of cinema. The Tourdeforce's career has also been marked by a will to interact artistically with relevant members of the same music for sharing with them the live experiences: this aspect, made possible by the technical preparation of Christian, has turned into reality the performances with electro / synthpop bands like the Italians Babylonia and Ottodix, the Swedish Covenant, the English platforms Client and the solo-act of Ronan Harris called Modcom including the legendary VNV Nation, the Germans Frozen Plasma, then concluding with the Americans A Place to Bury Strangers and Levinhurst. Remarkable is also the electropopish project called Consenso, founded by Christian Ryder and Daniel Murgia, which in 2011 it published an excellent album entitled "Un Disco Onesto", whose review can be read in the Vox Empirea's 2012 webpage. The list of record publications issued under the name 'TourdeForce', an epithet intended both as a duo and as a one-man act, can be considered a multiform and personalized interpretation of the electro-wave / synthpop principles, whose gradual rise began in 2004 through the seven self-produced tracks of the homonymous EP "TourdeForce", followed in 2005 by "The Wedding In Fusion", a self-produced demo-EP containing eight songs, one of which, bearing the same title of the release, it was included in the same year within the famous EBM / industrial / techno / dark-ambient / synthpop digital-compilation called "Italian Body Music vol.2". "Omnes Feriunt, Ultima Necat " of 2007, also self-produced as the previous works, represents the official debut-album which consists of a tracklist of fifteen episodes that announced the arrival on the scene of Tourdeforce. "We're NOT Underground" is a digital-experimental album published in 2009 by the Italian net-label Inv3rno, containing ten tracks stylistically classical / house / ambient / EBM / electro / synth-pop, succeeded in 2010 by "Colours In Life", a full-length that enumerating fifteen songs published by the Italian label Breakdown Records. All this was followed by "Leaving Colours", a digital-release of fourteen files edited in 2011 by My Owl Music: this one is a TourdeForce's antology remixed by various electro-artists into electropop / classical / italo disco / new wave / techno / EBM / trance styles, with unpublished songs and other ones extrapolated from the previous album, reworked by the following names that deserve a special mention for their validity: the French synthpop duo foretaste, the EBM / futurepop's Syrian, Luca Urbani from the projects Fluon, Soerba and Zerouno, the French electropop band Dekad, Porta Vittoria - a side-project consisting of Christian Ryder and the vocalist Lisa P. Duse oriented towards the genres noise / classic / electronic / jazz & blues / ambient / retrogarde / experimental folk - then continue with the French trance solo-act Blue Velvet, the sound engineer Alessio Sogno, People Theatre, or the synthpop / electro-wave platform of the French musician-producer called Peter Rainman, and finally Chemnitz, a member from the Roman synth-wave / dark-electro duo Klonavenus. In 2012 it was the turn of the digitized version of the album "Omnes Feriunt, Ultima Necat", publisged again by My Owl Music label, integrating a tracklist of sixteen songs partially modified from its previous format. Year 2014: is the time of the controversial new album "jedem Das Seine", released in digipak for the Italian home Space Race Records (SRR), parent-label of EK Product. This work is reasonably definable as the apogee of the musical repertoire created by the current project, thanks by its twelve beautiful tracks on which Christian puts all his vivid creativity, as well as an attractive range of sounds professionally built and mixed / mastered by Rob Early, a member with Nikk Allen, Dmitry Pavlovsky of the Washingtonian D.C electro / synthpop trio called Retrogramme; into the credits of the full-length are also unmentionable the important of collaborations given by Nicholas Diak, an artist working in the neofolk / martial area convened in studio as 'music consultant', and Andrea Di Nunzio, a member of the Roman electropop band Zero-eq, now in the role of 'additional technical assistant'. The opening track is "John Lennon Was A Warmonger", a danceable electropop marked by the symmetrical midtempo drum-sequencing designed by Alessio Sogno on which Christian sings a chant melodically stretched, embellished by bright keyboard streams, clapping hands and later transformed a brilliant refrain. "History Is Written By The Winners" speeds up the rhythm using dry uptempo drum-programming as energy to drag the warm chords of keyboard, the junctures of electric guitar and vocals perfectly harmonized with the seductive and vaguely nostalgic aura of this synthpop. The guest-singer Kyt Walken - a successful writer who in the past has joined Christian as additional-live vocalist - spreads her well-cadenced singing alternating it with the most atmospheric one of the protagonist, for an electropop algebraically fractionated by midtempo drumming and made futuristic by sequenced hatches, by pads and cosmic effects: all this in "Kebab Trauma". A second guest-singer, Lisa P. Duse - artistic-partner with whom Christian cooperate closely in their common duo called Porta Vittoria - she accompanying the vocal quadrature of Christian adorned it with her intensive modulations, in the song that, in my opinion, deserves the highest appreciation of the entire album, the amazing "Adolf Hitler Platz", a track built into electro-wave / synthpop 80's trajectories that allow infinite amplitude to the danceability, to the melody and to the depth of its lyrics, uploading uptempo dynamism of the propulsion of drum-programming which simultaneously supports electric guitar ornaments and wonderful keyboard emissions whose synergy created what I consider without delay a 'potential hit single. Sophistication, decadence, melancholy and a touch of classicism are the peculiarities of the next "La Nuit De La Enchanteresse", a lysergic combination between ambient and electronic sounds totally played without any rhythmic support, in which Christian propagates suggestively his chant of rare beauty whose textures flowing smoothly, abandoned to the slow pads, to the piano reverberations and to the string sections. The electropopish structure of the following track "Did Six Million Really Die" is innervated by a snappy drum-sequencing which linearly and symmetrically punctuates the entire length of the introductory patterns, melting them with the keyboard wakes and with the monologues coldly pronounced by the singer, all this until the attainment of the refrain, phase in which the percussive electronic force accelerates getting stronger. "Human Geometries" is an electro / futurepop song that recalls in a few moments the typical Seabound's sonorities: this track re-establishes the connection with the dance-oriented mood, through metallized chromatics of keyboard whose expansions, joining with the iciness of the midtempo drumming, form a compact nucleus around which spins fascinatingly the aseptic singing of Christian, while into the following "The Last Hope For Europe" they prevail electro-waver / synthpop trajectories segmented by midtempo drum-programming in a sonic whole prospectively clear and melodic, all this making interact with each other the opened voice of Christian, the sharpness of the keyboard's aura and the electric guitar counterpoints. Visionary, futuristic and post-Kraftwerk, "Floating By The Immeasurable Nothing" is mechanically activated by robotic midtempo bpm's of drum machines and sequencing both lined with the radiant euphonies of synth, alien voice, artificial effects and serene singing. Electropop consonances that give the sense of immensity can be heard in "The Time-Music Of Quasars", a track surreally high-tech in which the slow pulse of drum-programming creates hypnotic repetitions emphasizing the melodic vocals and the spaciousness of keyboard, as well as the swift "No Other Forms Of Life" is full of capturing electro-wave / electropop formulations of voice and synths driven by powerful midtempo drumming, in a triumph of rhythm, vocal charisma and solemnity that incite dance. The final chapter of the release is "Decrepitude", an 'hidden-ghost track' written by the Norwegian Varg Vikernes, founder of black metal / dark-ambient one-man act Burzum: darkly menacing and sinister, this dark-electro composition disturbs through harsh-vox, plutonian synth irradiation and cadences of drum-programming, whose exasperating slowness amplifies the feeling of cold and oppression present in the musics. The phenomenon Tourdeforce belongs to that élite of national realities operating in the independent music macrocosm still able to communicate with the listeners by intelligent and imaginative creations, conjugating impeccably them with harmonic richness, aesthetics, technology and assertions of strong meaning. "Jedem Das Seine" arouses a lasting interest and a pleasantness that is invariably renewed at each subsequent listening, attesting the Christian Ryder's inventiveness as one of the most fertile available in absolute terms into the Italian alternative-electro hemisphere: each step of this full-length, every single note of it, every verse decanded in its texts communicates genious and passion, getting the finality to be loved unconditionally for an indeterminable number of years. Or forever.

* U *

back to top

United And Identified - "At The Border Of The Line EP" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

uniten  Rising Belgian trio from Aalter founded in the year 2009 which line-up includes Steve Caster (vox/programming/mixing/recording), Joep "TheSurvivor" Moens (drums) and Sammy "IS.Rafil" Glaïed (studio aid/production assistant). Since a very young age each one of the characters individually built their own artistic erudition by the acquisition of the main technical knowledge of various instruments, manifesting subsequently multiform tendences from gothic-rock to the trance, consolidated through many experiences as D.J.'s or through the foundation of ephemeral bands and solo-acts such as, in the case of Steve, Indigo Moon, Project X and 1D-Fens, then converging gradually towards the electronic music conceived nowadays by the project called United And Identified which aggregates futurepop, wave and EBM elements, in addition to trance-oriented sonorities: this combination originates a sound that incorporates mainly the magical atmospheres of VNV Nation, the compositional refinement of Covenant and the danceable intuitions of Apoptygma Berzerk, making of elegance and immediacy its most conspicuous virtues, thanks to capturing keyboard harmonies and inciting rhythmical settings, always associated with a powerful vocal range and lyrics that develop abstract or real concepts related to our World, to the human's behavior and, as the same band's name suggests, to the interconnection among cultures of different peoples. "At The Border Of The Line" is the self-produced debut-demo EP released in 2012 within which they are contained four precious tracks that concretely demonstrate the validity of this special platform, entertaining the listening with vivid involvement and making we hope to rapid developments in the direction of an album. The release opens with "X-Truth-e", a song in which the classical dancing futurepopish technicalities evoked by synth and by midtempo drum-programming interacting with the visionary and solid chant of Steve, as well as the marked rhythmic pulsations and the keyboard sections of the following "Mirror Of Denial" drag on an exciting electronic ride to dance until its last moment, completely enraptured by the wakes drawn by the singer's voice. The homonymous "At The Border Of The Line", a formidably attractive song, is supported by a geometric uptempo percussiveness which cadences inciting to dance, merging them with modular synth notes and with marvelous vocal intonations: this episode is a potential floorfiller that the alternative D.J. may propose successfully. "Life", the closing track, fascinates and moves by an electro-symphonic ballad so contemplative and melancholy, perfectly played into Harris/Jackson's style, essentially composed by solemn pads which dialoguing with the wonderful voice of Steve whose intonations, so penetrating and intense, leading us to an universe of dreams that feel like Infinity. The Extended Play just listened is the explicit demonstration of the potential and talent that characterize this emerging band, which has assimilated the qualities and the best strategies of technological music: the United And Identified And enrapture and conquer us without breaking the rules, but simply presenting themselves with honesty and intelligence: this project possess all the characteristics to be able to enter with unquestioned authority into the electro scene, relating fiercely with its most illustrious members. Now that the basis for the next evolution have been finally established, the band must advance its work in progress with the only aim to reach the ambitious goal of a full-length which equals this "At The Border Of The Line", elaborating a meaningful and ample tracklist which will pay honor to the bravery of these three artists: if this will happen, we will be in the presence of an event of extraordinary importance that Vox Empirea will support with eulogic words. In the meantime, you can discover and enjoy the sound of United And Identified: make you it as if it was the anticipation of their future glory.

back to top

United And Identified - "Moments Of Evolution" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

unidifen  The biographical aspects of the Belgian United And Identified are exhaustively treated within the previous review regarding the EP of 2012 titled "At The Border Of The Line", whose description is available in this 2014 section of Vox Empirea. As wished at that time in these webpages, the determination of the mastermind Steve Caster (vox / programming / lyrics / mixing) in collaboration with the faithful Sammy "IS.rafil" Glaïed (studio aid / production) and with the drummer David Vermeersch - succeeded in replacing Joep "TheSurvivor" Moens - has finally allowed the realization of this long expected album which fulfills all our high expectations already intuited in the mentioned antecedent Extended Play and also in the nineteen episodes of the digital-album published in 2013 called "The Early Years", an anthology comprising self-produced tracks created between 2004 and 2012: and so here today the United And Identified interpreting as always their music in an absolutely impeccable way, stylizing it around functional techno-dance / trance / Electronic Dance Music / futurepop elements, in which they often resonate many VNV Nation / Pride And Fall accents. This present "Moments Of Evolution" is the full-lenght issued in 2014 by the egregious Moscow label ScentAir headed by Vladimir Romanov: the tracklist includes twelve songs, two of which extracted from the previous EP. The new release discloses a mature, professional sound, electronically capturing and danceable, all this through the voice of Steve perfectly intoned and timbrically solid, corroborated by an instrumentality of synths and drum-programming minded for dancefloors. Even the lyrics contain important meanings, revealing a songwriting careful observer of the events that characterize the Planet Earth in its whole, focusing the analysis on the infinite variety of behaviors of the modern human society, also giving ample space to surrealism and to fantastic conjectures. The album opens beautifully with the solemn, epic martial-neoclassical orchestrations of synths and drumming of the introductive "Open Portal", followed by the next "Union Spark", an electrodance / futurepop track sung by hyper-seductive harmonies of voice, supported by danceable uptempo drum-programming and surrounded by the bright choreography of keyboards. "Millennium" is propelled with regular linearity by drum-machine, whose midtempo scans they harmoniously encounter the programming, the melodic synth coverages and the emphatic singing that Steve inserts into an electrodance / trance / futurepop context particularly attractive for the alternative d.j.'s. Technological aestheticism embellishes also the subsequent "Saviour Complex", a wonderful electrodance / futurepop song rhythmed by midtempo beats, sung with passionate bombastic voice and made fluorescent by emissions of synths. Now the atmospheres become more markedly futuristic: it happens in "Choices Before Sunrise", a mainly instrumental futurepop track in which they combine refinement, high-tech sounds, cosmic suggestions, danceability and visionary euphonies, all this dynamized by sophisticated textures of drum-programming, decorated by essential symphonies of keyboard and by looped phrasing. The aura full of shuddering passion, romance and nobility perceptible into the structures of "One Last Goodbye", is originated at first by the intensive vocal pathos that Steve puts in his chant like a melodramatic recitation and then by the electro-symphonic conjunctures reproduced by keyboards and sequencing, in a song without any percussiveness, highly communicative, fervidly sentimental and of incalculably preciosity. The perfect midtempo cadences of drum-set, the elegant, fiery vocals expressed on the artificial stream of synths, they form the bases of "X-Truth-e", a melodic and enthralling futurepop. "Mirror Of Denial" also formulates energetic electrodance / futurepop trajectories by the connection between singing and keyboards: the superb vocal harmonies are pronounced with aristocracy, while the synths rise fascinating assonances pierced by sampling and by the midtempo drum-programming. The chant now takes the form of an intimate poem, the vocal-loops give depth to the futurepop sound, as well as the keyboards expand its melodic luminescence and drum programming dissects the rhythm processing a danceable midtempo: is what happens in "Borrowed Time". The accelerated percussiveness enhances all the majesty and the vigor of the subsequent "Fallen Angels," an electrodance / futurepop song neatly divided by uptempo drumming and by well set vocals, the same ones that, inebriating our hearing by their warm tones, they harmonize with the polyphonies of synths. In the following "Guardian" the drum-programming outlines geometrically midtempo metronomic rhythmics which encourages techno-dances, as well as the ornaments of synths, in conjunction with the open and clear Steve's chant, they donate more spatiality to the harmonies of this intriguing futurepop. The percussive segment of "Mindset", the closing track, is built by automating the midtempo drum-programming together with the symmetrical accompaniment of live-drums, all this in synergy with the dominant voice and with the shining paths of synths. All the twelve executions played by the band are the logical consequence of different factors: a superior talent, the determination to achieve more ambitious goals, in conjunction with an incessant musical research within which they converge feeling, intelligence, technique, rhythm and a rare sense of melody. This release evokes instinctively the perception of beauty, transporting the listener into a sonic genesis from which they take life mental projections of extraordinary realism that taking place simultaneously in a single, compelling performance, "Moments Of Evolution" is an album that all electro-followers must necessarily possess. This is true avantgarde. This is true sound evolution. United, identified and sensational!

* V *

back to top

Valerio Orlandini - "Annullamento EP" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

valeoen  Affirmed Florentine composer operating since 2005 in the sector globally identifiable as 'ambient', whose sound specificity, regarding Valerio Orlandini, imposes at this generic musical suffix a wider interpretation of its own meaning. In fact, the Valerio's electronic spectrum has a plurality of extensions and orientations that not only make it confined into a single formula, but it rather introduces him in a style immune from unilateral schemes and constantly inspired by research. In the year 2007, before proposing himself with his own name and surname, Valerio Orlandini in 2005 founded a first one-man act called Symbiosis by which the artist contemplated ethereal-ambient fronts being very appreciated for many years in the underground scene, thanks to a particularly atmospheric and charming electronic sound listenable in at least fourteen publications released on cassette, CD-R and MP3-file formats, divided in turn into split-releases, albums and EP's. The desire to share their experiences plus an hard will to explore new horizons, meant that in 2011 Valerio consolidated an effective partnership with the Canadian Alexandre Julien, an artist musically active both into ambient and metal genres by the platforms Éternel Vision and Soufferance, constituting with him the ambient project called Citadel Swamp through which it was officially generated "Dead August Leaves", a track included in the 2014 compilation "InsomniSerpents Vol. 1" published by oach Clip Records. Inside the acronym NORV, originated in 2013, they're hidden the identities of Valerio Orlandini and Nàresh Ran, a member of the post-metal / ambient / avantgarde band - also based in Florence - named Qube: by this original design stylistically defined artic-ambient / experimental, it was created, again in 2013, the glacial execution titled "Polaris". Transformation, perpetual experimentation, inventiveness, they are the main percepibile characteristics of Valerio's artistic course, who since his beginning has been successful to interact musicality with various elements such as poetry, industrial culture and darkness, allowing the visual-art images, now more than ever, the fundamental role of completion, finalizing and customizing of the ambient 'concepts', all this in the juncture that more than any other expresses the sound of this artist: the live sessions. Mentioning the discographical releases on which sleeves is imprinted the full name 'Valerio Orlandini', we can now list the following works: "Winter Solitude", that contains two electronic / dark-ambient digital-edition traks issued in 2007 by the Texas label Black Montanas , to which it succeeded in 2010 the six digital tracks "Dead Industry Musik" played in experimental ambient / drone / field recordings style and published by Format Noise, a sublabel of the German Raumklang Music. Then it was released another digital work published in 2010 by the German net-label Petcord, titled "LentoVeloce Propagare D'Abissi", consisting in a electronic / dark ambient single track. Again in 2010 it was the turn of the self-released "Saturno Meccanico", a selection of demo compositions created between 2007 and 2012, six digital tracks gravitating around dark-ambient / experimental / industrial-ambient orbits, followed in 2014 by the self-produced EP "Annullamento", realized both on downloading and CD versions, and finally ""Luci Accese Alle Soglie Del Mattino", an additional creation strictly connected to the previous work, which is available in cassette C-35 numerically in very limited-edition published in 2014 by the U.K. label Cruel Nature Records, whose two-songs exalt pure dark-ambient / drone sonorities. The Extended-Play "Annullamento", the object now analyzed by Vox Empirea, it may be be considered a kind of 'affiche sonore' in which Valerio Orlandini combines the different stylistic electronic / ambient / dark-ambient / industrial currents acquired during his career, concentrating them in seven tracks of great interest to which it is added their end a "ghost track". "Una Croce Al Sole" is the first chapter of the disc, a stormy ambient / industrial whose musicality evokes feelings of alienation and threat by the glumness and the obsessiveness of keyboard emissions on which they blinking warlike explosions, electronic fall-outs, sombre effects and the reverberated desperation that Valerio propagates by his voice. The martial attitude of "Rituale Della Nascita" is underlined in the hypnotic subdivisions of drum-machine flanked by the murky linearity of programming and by distorted keyboard backgrounds, all this in an industrial / ambient / experimental song of remarkable effectiveness. Hibernated emanations of laptop, a funereal and rarefied downtempo drumming, synthetic distant rumbling, cold modulations of programming and mysterious whispers they build up the electronic / dark-ambient substance of "Crasi Di Corpi", while the lysergic keyboard that entirely wraps the next "Re-Petition" it creates obscure-ambient dissonances to which they alternating castings of electronic particles, abysmal noises and the sepulchral mantra proclaimed by Valerio corroded by filterings. "Rituale Del Nulla" sinks below an icy dark-ambient / industrial mist from which they emerge gaseous expansions that acidified the echoed modularity of drumming. Cyclical vaporization of electronic sound, an industrial-noise / dark-ambient geometry, caustic interferences, loops, voice transfigurations and computerized abrasions they are instead emanated from "Disintegrazione", anticipating the subsequent psychotically narrated text of "Contemplazione Del Tuo Corpo Nudo E Morto", a dark-ambient / electronics within which the Valerio's monologue recites scary, manic, hallucinated litanies, spoken by oxidized vocals artificially inserted among sequencing intermittences, episodic echoes of drum machine and shady keyboard evanescences. The conclusion of this EP is represented by a 'ghost-untitled track" performed by expanding the pads breaths until originating a concatenation of circular and fascinating ethereal-ambient / drone waves, under which they spectrally resound electronic extensions that give us the sense of darkness, reaching at last the reverberations of a short piano theme that seems to come from a submerged dimension. Minimalism, inner dark, mastery of the machines, imagination: the protagonist of this release portrays glacial, degraded landscapes, virtually connected to the silent scream of anguish audible inside the recesses of mind: the artist captures their vibrations, their movements, converting musically them into the motionless and darkened aura of the more avant-garde ambient / industrial. The eight tracks integrated into this EP are permeated with ambiguous acoustics, sometimes destabilizing, able to get hold of the listener extending under his unfathomable depths: Valerio Orlandini is technological innovation of sound, while "Annullamento" is a chasm without end and without light that will fatally attract you. Composing music in the shadow is a sublime thing.

back to top

Vanguard - "Retribution" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

vangeen  A somewhat succinct biography, compelling technical skills and a brilliant career currently in constant development, are the strongpoints of Vanguard, the Swedish electro power-duo founded in Gothenburg in the year 2008. In the early days of its rise, the project was a fanciful hybrid musically tending to the energy of the Electronic Body Music and the hypnotism of trance, searching and finally finding in recent times its ideal location in the synthpopish discipline: the line-up mentions Jonas Olofsson (Keys / Lyrics / live-drums / art) and Patrik Hansson (Keys / guitars / lyrics / vox), which are supported on their concert sessions by the additional musicians Staffan Hansson and Karin Hallberg, with the occasional appearance of Dirk Laux - alias the German synthpop solo-act Pleasant Fiction - . Retracing chronologically the whole discographic process of the two protagonists, we can find the following releases: the first one is the self-produced/self-titled demo-EP "Vanguard", released in 2011 on CD-R and consisting of five tracks, all them included in the fourteen ones of the debut-album "Sanctuary" dating back to 2012, mastered/mixed by Dirk Laux and published by Conzoom Records that will become the official label until nowadays. Always in 2012 and always for the same label, they were issued the five digital-songs of "Goodbye" among which they were highlighted the remixes elaborated by Enrico Cibulka - member with Ralf Thieme of the German trance-duo called Future Mind - and by the French Peter Rainman - aka the electro/new wave/synthpop solo-project People Theatre. In 2013 they were published other two EP releases: the first of these is entitled "Shine" and includes six self-produced tracks and remixes versions respectively ingegnate by the German EBM-trio PAKT and by two other world-famous Swedish bands: that electropop one Code 64 and that electropop/melodic EBM 8kHz Mono. The second Extended Play single "On My Own", ever published by the same Conzoom Records, instead counts seven songs in which it highlights the remix of the well known Canadian-German synthpop/darkwave duo Psyche. The recording activity of Vanguard then continues in 2014 with the following publications: the three single tracks digitally self-realized "Retribution Club" and the EP "Let Us Fall" containing five episodes also available in digital version for Conzoom Records, which purpose, identically to the previous single "On My Own", is to announce the new full-length "Retribution" anticipating its sounds: in fact, these two titles are both included in this album released in 2014 on CD format by the brand Conzoom and Records and independently as digital file by the same Vanguard. The new tracklist is structured by eleven songs, within which the most recent synthpop-oriented conceptions join post-Depeche Mode/post-Camouflage elements, creating a vocal-percussive-keyboard trajectory melodically and rhythmically intriguing; "On My Own", the opener, is driven by danceable midtempo replications surrounded by harmonious flies of synths and by the clear, resolute voice of Patrik, the same one that decorating the electropop architecture of the next "A Brighter Day", which sonic developements, preceded by heavy piano notes, evolves into vibrant modulations in which the drum-programming linearly scans midtempo beats followed by the wonderful intonations that Jonas and Patrik interlace to keyboard luminescences. The solid compactness of "Dirt" is accentuated by regular midtempo pulsations, by the waving flux of keyboards and turbid singing, reservating to the listener an electropop that unifies the typical oscillating-rhythmics of And One and vocal details inspired to the more alienating Depeche Mode. We can't now escape from the energizing power of the next "Leaving You Behind", an electronic-pop built by uptempo hammering drum-programming on which the vocalist spreads his enthralling chant while the circuits of synths process coolly melodic sounds, all this in one of the most representative songs of the album. "Firefly" gives ample space to the sentiments proposing music technology and romance, all this through a wistfully introspective chant, decadent keyboard orchestrations and downtempo pecussiveness, as well as the next and comely "Bleed For Me" abducts us with all its impeccable elegance and its intensity, permeating the sound of very 80's counterpoints whose rhythmical base is mathematically measured by hypnotic midtempo fractionations of drum-programming, while the disciplined inserts of synths and the nostalgic vocals execute a concatenation of melodies that mesmerize instantly. We proceed now with "Let Us Fall", a danceable electropop cavalcade which aggregates powerful midtempo thrusts with an open and magnetically harmonious voice on which are imprinted with calculated precision the iridescences of keyboards, as well as in the following "Loved Once More" the rhythm is divided into uptempo beats, whose impulses tow exciting vocals and shining synths that exhort us to dance." Words Like That" combines nostalgic atmospheres with pop technology, for a relaxing and seductive song, all this through vocal polychromies oriented towards a sad poetry so beautifully highlighted in the refrain, through downtempo drum-programming and warm pads that wrap softly the sounds. Even the subsequent two tracks predispose an intimate and self-analytical mood dominated by inner torment: "Not Even You", a song also available as video version, in fact, pours touching and depressed melodies like a gloomy afternoon of Autumn, emotionally played moment by moment by sophisticated notes of piano in the background, by rueful synths chords, downtempo drumming and by the deep singing that Patrik fills up of further sadness. The lyrics and the sound-system of the last track entitled "Be Alive Again" are conceived and executed with the intention of stopping the flow of time, evoking melancholy thoughts to which surrendering with sweetness: the spleen is perceptible and emphasized in the vocals, as well as the minimal piano textures decorate the shady symphonies of keyboards and the dense, rarefied punctuation of drum-sequencing. The talented Vanguard optimize without any uncertainty the unique electronic-pop language, giving to sound a strong personality, all the supremacy and all the greatness of their inimitable style which definitely transcends the conventional geometrism that characterizes many other similar artists, reaching in this way heights of absolute excellence and, above all, the coveted admiration of a growing number of fans. The duo directs the masterplan of "Retribution" on evolved and superb technological expressions, triggering a succession of songs that point out the cleverness of the vocalist and his perfect synergy with the electronic instruments played, all foundations whose union has made it possible the realization of an album so formidably captivating that it rises with pride among the huge amount of recent discographic proposals belonging to the same style. The project of Jonas and Patrik masterfully interprets its musicality by a triumph of synths and rhythmics synchronized with catchy vocals that exteriorize a multitude of meanings to capture and interpret: asking for more is really impossible.

back to top

Vaselyne - "The Fire Within" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

vasen  Vaselyne were born in Amsterdam in 2011 by the merger between the musician/remixer/producer Frank Weyzig (instruments) and the vocalist Yvette Winkler (vox/lyrics). Both protagonists have got an art-curriculum of important relevance: Frank, in fact, he played gloriously until 1990 as a guitarist and keyboardist in the line-up of early-Clan Of Xymox and then, from 1995 to 1999 as vocalist and guitarist with Remco Helbers and Willem van Antwerpen, in the Dutch indie-new wave/goth-rock band Born For Bliss. The artistic initiatives by Frank also mentioned the founding in 2007 of alternative/downtempo-abstract duo called Stargazing Project conceived in collaboration with Remco Helbers and later, in 2008, of the indie-rock/acoustic ensemble ensemble known with the name White Rose Transmission: the Frank's credits aren't limited exclusively to his work as bandmember, but they also emphasize its concrete commitment putting in connection and interacting among them many alternative international musicians through the web-network Turmoil Music created by the same Frank in 2011. The biographical notes regarding Yvette Winkler appoint her as the official voice and co-founder of Sea of Souls, a duo stylistically oriented toward a particular jazzy-wave/experimental-rock/ambient/soul formula, shared since 2006 with the guitarist Klaas Wortman. By the perfect, constructive agreement between Frank and Yvette have resulted their ultimate project Vaselyne proponent a specific music genre that they like to call "darkwave with a Glow & a full load of Soul", or an indefinable variation of sonorities ideally post-This Mortal Coil / post-Nine Inch Nails / post-Peter Hammill, melancholically performed through atmospheric, nocturne and passionate ballads, structured mainly by downtempo rhythmics, by acoustic instruments, by guitars and keyboard, by moderate electronic dosages and by wonderful vocalizations that depart from the depths of the human soul. The album "The Fire Within", licensed in 2013 by the German label Echozone, fully includes each of these mentioned elements magnifying their substance until reaching noble and corroborant modulations that make the eleven songs of the tracklist an experience of rare intensity. The making of the release also involved three guests who we will discover analyzing the single tracks: among them it reappears the name of Willem Van Antwerpen, recruited now as additional-drummer. All starts from the first song "Earthbound", a composition adorned by melting cello sections played by Lucas Stam, caressed by the stupendous voice that Yvette spreads into contrails of keyboard and piano punctuations, all in a decadent and autumnal sad-symphony that leads you to the total abandonment. The soft integration of acoustic guitar, the key pads light as air, the hot gusts of electric guitar, the singer's tones so melodiously depressed and the most bitter ones by Frank, they create "Not To Be Mine", while into the subsequent episode "Half-Cast" they are audible multi-articulated arpeggios of acoustic guitar, a tribal percussiveness on the background and reverberated chords, sounds embellished with alienating sweetness by the nostalgic Yvette's chant and by the Rina Vervoort's flute, the same one that blows sinuosly in the following "The Fire Within" between low-spirited vocals, downtempo beats and harmonious pinches of acoustic guitar under which it flows the turbid current of the electric one, for a song that internalizes indie rock, soul and gothic components. The next "August", contrary its sunny symbolism, it smells of rainy season and of infinite prostration, feelings expressed using the disheartened tones of Yevette which shake and make emerging from subconscious all our sorrowful emotions, evoking them by a slow symphony of cello, keyboard and piano, crossed afterwards by electric guitar scans and midtempo drumming. The great reconstruction of "World In My Eyes", the same famous song of Depeche Mode, is composed by solid drum-programming, by wide keyboard and by a solid guitar-forcing on which it burns emphatically the well-modulated voice of Frank, anticipating the subsequent "Ship In The Wind" in which the tormented chant sung by Yvette is supported by a vibrant orchestration of guitars, by prolonged keyboard chords and downtempo rhythmics. Into "Fragile" they converge desolation, repressed anguish, deep isolation, all concentrated in a darkwave/indie-rock musicality first introduced by velvety arpeggios, by suffused programming, choirs and voice, to which they are joined stabbing extensions of guitar, the delicacy of piano, a slow drumming and the more suffered Yvette's lyricism, tormented by a burning nostalgia. "Allright" is an alternation of saddened and ethereal atmospheres, soul-shadows, psychedelia and darkwave, all them materialized into a minimal sonic organism consisting in harmonious scales of acoustic guitar and reverbs/expansions of keyboard, made suggestive and more penetrating in the refrain by downtempo drum and by the chant of the singer that floating on a dreamlike dimension. The consternation afflicts also "Fall From Grace", introducing into it vivid expressiveness and sentimental warmth by the tearful voice of Yvette initially wrapped by the notes of piano and by pads that inducing to reflection, all in an extensive introduction accentuated in a second time by languid arpeggios, by downtempo beats and, still further, by the emotional intensity generated by the chords of the electric guitar. The last song is the 'Profane Mix' version of "Earthbound" in which its deep spleen, strongly imprinted on the symphonic architectures of cello, of keyboard, piano, on the caressing acoustic guitar and on the distant rumbling percussion, renewing all its evocative power and its elegance making now them simply immense. Vaselyne have made an album of extraordinary value that generates crestfallen sensations where we can fall and drown in, fatally attracted by the enchanting voice of Yvette and by the harmonious sensibility of Frank. The duo's music is an elegiac, crepuscular poem that seems originated by the remote vibrations of an endless dream, as well as the full-lenght "The Fire Within" is an introspective journey searching the inner flames that flare up in the recesses of our psyche. And the spirit wanders, getting lost in this placid ocean of sadness...

* W *

back to top

WANT/ed - "Harmony Under Construction" - cd - by Maxymox 2014

wanten  WANT/ed is a Russian collective native from Koenigsberg consisting of four elements: Dmitry Roshchin (music/sampling), Sergey Surkov (sampling), Evgeny Rodionov (vox) and Yury Aryasov (musics). The band interprets an electronic model configured using a seductive vocal/instrumental calligraphy and danceable rhythmic progressions designed to interact actively with the listener: each component of the line-up has evolved over time according to his personal stylistic guidelines that ranged from industrial to synth/dance-music, founding in the year 2010 the project WANT/ed by an unified musical direction having for peculiarities only synthpop/electropop modulations built with impeccable accuracy and melodic choice. As we will see, the discography concerning WANT/and, despite the short timeframe between the band's conception ti the present days, is numerically productive, interesting for its contents and characterized by many remixing collaborations with important exponents from the international electro scene. The official WANT/ed's debut came in 2012 with the publication of the digital-single "Sounds", four tracks issued by the label Electric Romeo Records and produced by the Norwegian electronic musician Isak Rypdal, an event followed in the same year by the eight self-produced songs of the second digital-single called "What A Desire" into which stand out the remixes by Architect, Starlane, Sleekey, Gods Own Medicine, Hermes and finally by Conoley Ospovat. "A Few Steps Behind The Sun" of 2012 is the title of the album release published simultaneously in 2012 by two labels: the first version, released by the Russian ScentAir, contains eighteen tracks, while the second one, included in the 'VIP series' of the American label A Different Drum, has a tracklist of lesser amplitude enumerating thirteen songs. Each of these two publications includes individually their remixes: in fact, into the edition fired from ScentAir there are the reworkings by Redline, Dark Phenomenon and Logika Metro, continuing then with the project Fear Of Grace, Nogales & Kuchinke, Sleekey and Starlane, as well as in that one by A Different Drum you detect the names of only two remixers, the famous Daniel Myer and Starlane. The 2013 was the year of the Maxi-Single "Never Will Take It Back/Start To Live" distributed by ScentAir, which title track, composed of seventeen episodes, lists the remixes by excellences as AndyK, Spektralized, Paul Kendall, Vanguard, Unison Detune, Vision Talk, Crab Key, Erotic Elk, People Theatre, RedLine, Kant Kino, Mental Discipline, Arome Artificiel, Radiomun and Diezel Xzaust. Ever in 2013 were published others digital-singles, beginning with "Secret Dialogs", four tracks that integrate remixed versions by the projects Logika Metro, Hermes and Digital Machine, then continue with the next single release "Future Rhythm" published by ScentAir, five tracks embellished by reworks from Rayphonic, Roman Halouzka and Sleekey. "The Remixes" is the digital-release of nine episodes into which there are the contributions by XSaid, Vision Talk, Sleekey, Miss Manoosh, Unison Detune, Vanko Samar and Sebastian Golobow, while among the nine chapters of the following digital-single "Show Me", released by the same ScentAir too, they are present the re-built versions performed by Paralyzed, Twisted Destiny, Ego Instinct, Fate Creator, Arachnophobias and by Nordika, in addition to the vocal participation of the Muscovite songwriter Olga Digitalmodel. In the same 2013 WANT/ed published via ScentAir the four acts of another digital-single, "Special", offering the remixes by Starlane, The Voice In Fashion and by Alexis Voice, finally completing this new release today examined by Vox Empirea, "Harmony Under Construction" album released again in 2013 by ScentAir in which you note the renewed presence of Isak Rypdal, this time to the mixing/mastering sections: its tracklist incorporates thirteen well-architected technological gems that stand out for their consistent level of entertainment, such as the opener "Lust", a dance-synthpop erected on pulsing bass-lines and midtempo drumming around which they vibrate the obsessive repetitions of synths and the alienating vocals by Evgeny. "Sweet Time" is a beautiful electropop obscured by shading vocals/keyboards and by dynamic, precise midempo drum-programming, while the capturing synthpopish melodies of "Show Me" are made of harmonious keys luminescences, by midtempo dance intermissions and by the fascinating intonations of Evgeny, supported by the backing vocals of Digitalmodel. A further example of the strong executive talent of WANT/ed is "Special", an electropop song formulated by vaguely melancholic sounds from which nucleus they hover melodic keyboards, a romantic chant that touches the soul and symmetrical midtempo drum-programming beats, all in one of the most representative songs of the album. The atmospheric sounds of "Dreams Are Not The End" are confined into an electro/futurepop scheme introduced by a charming, slowed microcosm of keys/programmings to which is added gradually the depressions of the singer's voice and an electronic crescendo of midtempo percussiveness and synths irradiations. "Full of Grace" is a totally instrumental future/synthpop to dance and listen with vivid participation, thanks to the deep and regular bass-line beats that pulsate in parallel with a midtempo rhythm full of sequenced waves and cyclical keyboard sounds, while in the subsequent "The More We Want" the intonations melodiously bitter of vocalist join the intense orchestrations of keyboards, the emotional touches of piano and the midtempo drum-programming. "Anything To Give" spreads the intriguing singer's lyricism strictly combined with the spirals of synths and with the fast scans of drumming, as well as the experimental "Under Skies" is created by enigmatic, mysterious sounds elevated by evanescent pads, by piano reverbs, by rarefacted sitar sampling, by sequenced emissions and by slow splits of drum machine. The final segment of the album includes three bonus-tracks: the first of them is the fully instrumental "Sensitive (v.2)", a significant electronics/future-pop which plots of programming and keyboards describe complex diagrams alternating them with trembling piano shades and with the cold artifices of the electronic machines, all punctuated by regular downtempo subdivisions. The next song "Show Me (How Not to Feel)" is also viewable on the web in video version: in its musics is emphasized the beautiful voice of the guest Olga Digitalmodel in a delightful electropop contest generated keyboard flows, by elegant electronic complements and by the sophisticated timbre of drumming, while the French Peter Rainman from the electro/synthpop/new wave solo-act called People Theatre, glacially vocalizes the final track "Musique Industrielle, structured through a rational electronics/electropop/industrial built by mechanical uptempo beats and austere symphonies of keyboards, interspersed with an iridescent sequencer. WANT/ed direct their efforts searching sounds technologically advanced and melodies that have maximum grip on the listeners, passing over the ordinary electronic classicisms distinguishing them for their spirit of enterprise and their great talent. Every performance heard in the full-length "Harmony Under Construction" are synonymous of inspiration and creativity, sorties from an highly insightful intelligence able to capture, processing and materialize artificial music strategies assembled with graceful vocals. Super!

Reviews 2014 Eng
We hereby declare that all the photographic material present on Vox empyrean webzine is to be regarded, without exception, for display only.
Each image published on Vox empyrean webzine can not in any way be taken, copied or modified without the express written request to its rightful owner in compliance with current copyright laws.