back to top
A.I. Zero - "There Will Be Solutions" - by Maxymox 2019
The German duo-act A.I.Zero officially born in 2014 by the artistic partnership between the musicians Maikko Advance ( Mind.Area / Sceptica / Human Decay ) and Flesh Wire ( Melting Rust Opera ) , who initially collaborated in 2013 in a Human Decay's remix, finding later those affinities and those understandings that allowed the foundation of a common project. Within the line-up they do not necessarily carry out specific or assigned roles; in fact, the creation of the musics takes place through an always variable synergy, without particular and rigid collocations. However, despite in the duo emerges a mutable distribution of their respective functions, we can deduce that Flesh Wire, as well as being the vocalist, is the author of the totality of the texts, while the realization of the tracks and the programming are responsibility of both members, as well as the planning of synths and refrains are performed by Maikko. The style developed by A.I.Zero isn't easy to catalog; it transcends the usual classifications belonging to the alternative technological scene, being it defined by the two protagonists as 'cyberpop', or a complex, multi-articulated combination of electro / industrial / futurepop / goth-raggae / indie-noise / EBM / IDM / dubstep. The project's discography first mentions the Extended Play "Obsolete Cyborg" ( 2014 / Hunter Netlabel ) , followed by the debut-album "Reality Design" ( 2014 / ScentAir Records ) , by the two EP's "Follow" ( 2015 / ScentAir Records ) and "No Pain Forever" ( 2019 / ScentAir Records ) - this latter realized in collaboration with the legendary German electro-industrial / EBM project Armageddon Dildos - therefore concluding with the second full-length "There Will Be Solutions" ( 2019 / ScentAir Records ) now analyzed by Vox Empirea. The fourteen songs included in the tracklist denote a sophisticated electronic, intelligent and polymorphic musicality, full of rhythmical dynamism and intriguing, unpredictable and never explicit melodies. The sound system of "There Will Be Solutions" is a whole of mainly midtempo percussions - episodically uptempo / downtempo and often danceable - dark vocals, sometimes sybillinely cruel and enigmatic, pronounced mechanically almost like 'spoken words' among the cold euphonies of synths, minimal-rectilinear sequencing and distorted sampled guitar riffs. All tracks are characterized by structurally transversal, asymmetrical schemes, occasionally recalling some 'obscure cabaret' counterpoints, in which the ephemeral linearity of the harmonies converges towards wide spaces of alienating vocalism and melodically challenging instrumental formulations. The uniqueness of these musics requires an extremely mature, audacious and psychologically participative listening: for this reason, those who come into direct contact with this release will undergo an immediate, radical selection, which will privilege only the most mentally advanced and musically expert auditors. A.I. Zero goes beyond the ordinary, playing sophisticated modulations, aestheticized through relatively assimilable sonic technicalities, the same ones that raise "There Will Be Solutions" to one of the most original and courageous electro proposals of this year.
The best tracks of "There Will Be Solutions", chosen for you by Vox Empirea::
- "Soon You're Mine" : linear midtempo intermittences of drum-programming and sequencer, constitute the rhythmical base of this elegant dark-electro / industrial / synthpop song, blackened by a tonally low, raucous, enigmatic chant, embellished by periodic harmonies of synths and by electric virtual guitar sections. You will be totally seduced by so much charm.
- "End Up All Alone" : a monumental, evocative electro / industrial / IDM track, a technological hymn to the power of sound machines. It is composed through polyrhythmic midtempo break-beat of drum-machines, enveloping pads, melodic touches of synth and deep vocals, pronounced with solemn coldness. Its sound is something indescribably majestic and mentally subjugating.
- "Not Afraid": a melodically tortuous, dark-synthpop / electropop / futurepop song, built by an essential midtempo drumming on which float heavy synths chords, obsessive note cycles and a depressed singing. It will be particularly pleasing to the disenchanted connoisseurs, who will be able to extrapolate from this track a lot of post-Kraftwerk elements interwoven with geometric and obscure, electronically avveniristic sounds.
Album of great interest for those who want to expand their sonic culture, approaching with participation in many non-ordinary technological acoustics. The clever fusion of styles generates a multi-layered title track, embellished with textures that sublimate the balance between immediacy and intricacy. With "There Will Be Solutions", A.I.Zero have made a considerable progress, demonstrating exclusive intuitions, genius and talent beyond all expectations. A fundamental release, recommended to all electro-followers in possession of unlimited musical views.
back to top
Bragolin - "I Saw Nothing Good So I Left" - by Maxymox 2019
Edwin van der Velde ( also in Zwarte Poëzie ) - vox / bariton / guitar / synths - and Maria Karssenberg - guitar / organ / synths - , are the components of the Dutch duo-act Bragolin. Although Edwin prefers not to reveal the exact year the project was born, he connects this specific event together with the launch of the debut album "I Saw Nothing Good So I Left" ( 2018 / Young And Cold Records ), the release now analyzed by Vox Empirea and the only realization published so far by the band. The artistic evolution of Bragolin - before the subsequent entry of Maria - was characterised by Edwin’s growing sound investigation with pauses of reflection; at that time was fundamental the cooperation with Dutch musician / photographer Isolde Woudstra - singer of the title-track and author of the images imprinted on the album's cover - who helped in the improvement of the musics and in the consolidation of a more obscure style, the one that today finds its own unique direction in post-punk / darkwave / synthpop models. After the artistic separation between Edwin and Isolde, the protagonist finished the album individually and subsequently he started play live shows with Maria on guitar and organ. Was also significant the participation of Edwin as vocalist and bass VI player in the song "As Trees Do Fall" ( 2018 / album "Damage" / Unknown Pleasures Records ) by the English post-punk / coldwave / gothic rock one-man project called Kill Shelter. "I Saw Nothing Good So I Left" is a full-length of great level, in which eight tracks stands an excellent synergy between the tendentially depressed climax of the vocals and the catchy essentiality of the instruments: so, we can hear an intriguing, intelligible waving sound, capable of joining modernism and 80's retrospectives. The sounds are built through a chant full of alienating sadness, through rational-danceable midtempo / uptempo drum-programming beats, straight sequenced lines, basic 'shoegazy' melodies of synths, schematic baritone arpeggios, suggestive guitar riff and fascinating sections of organ. An 'electric' and 'electronic' album that expresses with deep realism sensations of inner tension, existential psychodramas and images of nightmares, involving the listener from the beginning to the end of the tracklist. A perfect combination of elements that seduces and excites.
The best tracks of "I Saw Nothing Good So I Left", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Into Those Woods" : snappy and nervous, this synthpop / post-punk / new wave song includes linear uptempo drum-programming metronomies, symmetrical
sequenced subdivisions, harmonious guitar scales and obsessive synth counterpoints, all completed by the decadent Edwin's vocals. A track to listen and dance
- "This Grotesque Dance", a darkwave / synthpop episode in which the singer's melancholic vocalism whirls sinisterly over an obscure midtempo context of
drum-machine and sequencing, while a gloomy organ and the guitar create cyclical alienating textures. An ideal floorfiller for gothic-horror parties.
- "In Our Field Of Oaks" : the post-punk / synthpop / darkwave architectures of this song are enriched - especially in the refrain - by the intense and
passionate vocalizations of the German post-wave / post-punk / synthpop 'guest' musician Adam Usi, who adds further value to a sound-system created through
precise midtempo drum-programming, sequenced modulations and intermittent wavish guitarism.
Charismatic, eloquent, vivid album, played with great determination and with the desire to propose a different vision of the classic post-punk / darkwave
theorems. This release generates everything needed to attract the listener: strengthening melodism, danceability and meaningful texts. A thought of gratitude
goes to Bargolin for having contributed with "I Saw Nothing Good So I Left" to the spread of such extraordinarily precious musicality.
back to top
Cryo - "The Fall Of Man" - by Maxymox 2019
Deservedly considered as one of the best Swedish names of the latest electro generation, Cryo is a project was founded in 2002 by Martin Rudefelt (musics / vox / lyrics), flanked at the time on stage by Andreas Ingefjord ( keyboards / backing-vox ) , who was then replaced by Torny Gottberg ( live Keyboards / drums / backing vox ) - aka the mastermind of the superlative label Progress Productions - with whom Martin consolidated the current line-up. Irreprensible and professional, the power-duo is strongly animated without compromise by the dogma: "never sacrifice art for profit". With this specific leitmotiv, Cryo's music has always ensured a remarkable authenticity of intents and a technical quality above average, partially converting the classic Neue Deutsche Welle's schemes into futuristic EBM / synth-pop / industrial sounds, perfectly adapted to the modern trends, with a particular care towards the interaction among percussions and bass-lines, which synergy generates an hypnotic and danceable drumming, harmonized with suggestive keyboards and with aggressive or velvety vocal counterpoints. The Cryo's discography started officially with the debut-album "Cryogenic" ( 2006 / Progress Productions ) , followed in order of publication by the EP "Mixed Emotions" ( 2007 / Progress Productions ) , by the full-length "Hidden Aggression" ( 2010 - Progress Producions ) , by the compilation reserved for the Russian market entitled "Холод" ( 2011 / Razgrom Music ) , by the EP "Beyond" ( 2011 / Progress Productions ) , continuing with the EP "In Your Eyes" (2013 / Progress Productions ) , succeeded by the album "Retropia" (2014 / Progress Productions ) , up to the two Extended Play, "Control" (2018 / Progress Productions ) and "Sanitarium" (2018 / Progress Productions), which have had an important success both in the Deutsche Alternative Charts and in the German Electronic WebCharts, becoming two formidable club-hits in the alternative dancefloors. The Cryo's participation in the most resonant events of the global electronic scene such as the Amphi Festival, NCN Festival, the Wave Gothic Treffen and their recent support to the VNV Nation during the "Noir" tour, have greatly increased the fame of the project, consecrating it as a band of absolute and proven effectiveness. "The Fall Of Man", the release now analyzed by Vox Empirea, is the album licensed in 2019 by the excellent brand Progress Productions; each of the ten tracks included in the tracklist reveals the high competence reached today by this duo-act, further developed in these last five years, formulating the new sound-system through an exclusive and contemporary illustration of the old aggrotech / EBM modulations present mostly in "Geography" , the legendary masterpiece debut-album created in 1982 by Front 242, the inventors of the Electronic Body Music, to which Cryo were inspired. Symmetrical midtempo / downtempo drum-programming replications mathematically beat the rhythms, while obscure vocals pronounce a reverberated and rational chant, diffused among precise sequencer synchronies and icy, atmospheric synths, all concentrated in a dance-minded climax that highlights technologically advanced interpretations of the formal EBM concepts.
Best tracks of "The Fall Of Man", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Control", performed by pulsing mdtempo drum-beats, catchy keyboard fluences and a fascinating vocal calligraphy: these are the elements enclosed in this 'very clubby' and extremely danceable dark-electro / EBM / dark synthpop. Its euphonies emit a powerful attraction, combining the charisma of vocals with an irresistibly magnetic instrumentality. This sound will take full control of your conscious state.
- "Remember" : the imperative is dance! This order is transmitted through incisive midtempo percussive lines, rectilinear sequencing, a coolly pronounced chant and through systematic synths flows. The most avant-garde EBM is now reality.
- "Decay Decay Decay", robotically scanned by mechanical downtempo drum-programming procedures and sequenced dashes, this song spreads an electronically lysergic, introspective sound, embellished by a seductive singing and by relaxing spirals of keyboards.
- "When You Cross The Line" : extraordinarily penetrating and intense, the musicality of this track diverges from all the sonic paradigms listened so far, trespassing into dark-electro / synthpop / darkwave territories, extending its harmonies full of emotional attraction. The vocals spread tonally dark melodies but at the same time so expressive and fascinating, enhanced by compelling keyboard sections, midtempo percussive automatisms and by monospaced sequencing. The refrain is a triumph of enchanting elegance, which captivates us instantly. This song is something indescribable, a precious jewel of technological sound to listen with participation and to love forever.
Admirable full-lenght in which EBM retrospectives are intertwined with these electro-avveniristic innovations that make "The Fall Of Man" an immersive, exciting experience. The electronic sound of Cryo isn't however completely aseptic and 'scientific': it also knows how to be humanized, communicative, virtually timeless and adorned with supreme grace. It is very difficult to hear on the electro scene a more sensational novelty than this album. What a stratospheric release!
back to top
Cyto - "Antimatter" EP - by Maxymox 2019
The Berlin based duo-act Cyto was founded between 2017 / 2018 by the soundtrack composer Christoph Schauer ( instruments ) and by the songwriter Arc Morten ( vocals / lyrics ) , with the main aim of creating a sound model that interpreted the stylistical, musical, cinematographical and cultural tendences of the 80's, characterizing prospectively them through an obscure vision, diametrically opposed to the simplistic concepts of nostalgic regrets towards a decade intellectually further and further away from ours, whose collective ideologies were fundamental in the liberation from previous dogmas. The message spread by Cyto is strongly focused on that radical need of subvert the conventional post-70's social models, on the utopian conviction of living the present intensely with light-heartedness without considering the future and, finally, on the impertinent effrontery with which an alternative youth faced every day as if it were the last, without worrying about the consequences. No repentance. No sadness for those times gone by. Only the celebration of nonconformity, of the unassailable awareness and of the schismatic values belonging of that glorious, unforgettable temporal dimension. But that's not all: the Cyto's music is thematically highlighted also on the personal analysis of the existential aspects of Man, such as life, death, topics skillfully inserted in the texts and sung with vivid ardor. The two protagonists interact musically within German projects from 2000, the year in which they were initially part of the electro-rock band called LEM until 2006, to subsequently orient themselves towards the dark-electro avant-garde ensemble Morphose and later producing the song "Dream Off", contained in the soundtrack of the pseudo-utopian / sci-fi thriller "S.U.M.1". The duo's sound model intelligently combines darkwave / new wave / synthpop / electropop / industrial elements, in which we can perceive implicit 80's nuances harmonized with ultra-modern technological modulations, in a triumph of predominantly midtempo percussiveness, catchy instrumental melodies and deep, passionate vocals, extremely expressive, capable to propagate the more blinding light or the more impenetrable darkness. The Cyto's discography currently lists two releases: the debut EP "Dark Matter" ( 2018 / Metamorphose ) - from which was selected "Right Now", a song included in the film "Abgeschnitten / Cut Off" - and this new Extended Play "Antimatter" ( 2019 / Infacted Recordings ) now analyzed by Vox Empirea. The six chapters of the titletrack reflect the further actualized evolution of the sound scheme of the project, whose creativity generates a heterogeneous rotation of episodes that alternately incorporate long moments full of shady introspection and openings towards a clearly magnetic, exuberant melody, surrounded by a tormented aura of gloom, all this played through midtempo / downtempo rhythmic automatisms, seductive extensions of synths, perfect sequencing symmetries and by a vocal inflection considerable, for its noble intonations, among the best in today's electro scene, which whole wraps immediately the auditor, transporting him to a state of complete emotional involvement. The ease with which you will sing aloud the Cyto's songs will be disarming: this is what we would correctly call 'music with irresistibly attractive power'.
The best tracks of "Antimatter", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Dressed To Creep" : the linear midtempo trajectory of the drum-programming and the dotted sections of the sequencer, replicate percussive cycles on which the fascinating vocalism of Arc predominates, embellished by melodic keyboard counterpoints, in a polarizing, danceable and highly charismatic synthpop / electropop song.
- "River Runs Red" : the rhythmical implant of this synthpop / electropop track processes fast drum-beats, while the cold notes of the keyboards and the rigorous geometries of the sequencing backlight a rich, authoritative voice overflowing with tension. You will dance to exhaustion, to start over and over again. Truly a stratospheric performance: we applaud enraptured.
Authentic witnesses of the 80's 'new way of thinking', Cyto, at the peak of their emerging phase, definitively confirm an unitary module of great value, in which stands out a solid compositional maturity and leitmotiv that demonstrate the impeccable artistic virtuosity of the binomial Schauer / Morten. The sonic form of the duo-venture, worthy of a great project, internalizes wonderful peculiarities that only the direct listening with "Antimatter" can fully reveal: if you are true admirers of this specific genre, know that this EP represents a fundamental release for you. Cyto have entered with full rights in the electro mythology.
back to top
Dark-O-Matic - "Zugzwang" single - by Maxymox 2019
UK-Belgian power duo established in 2017 by Greg Dovas (musics / sounds) and Piero Delux (vox / lyrics). Greg's initial stylistic direction, tending towards progressive-rock and metal, gradually turned into different and more advanced electronic musical forms, concretely expressed in 2014 with the foundation of his solo-act Neonskylines - an integrally instrumental retrowave project, inspired to the thriller / drama / noir film "Drive" and to the action videogame "Hotline Miami" - through which in 2016 he published the namesake self-released EP entitled "Neonskylines". Instead, Piero's passion for technological sound allowed the foundation of his experimental synth-pop / electro solo-design called Elsehow; by the artistic interaction between the two protagonists resulted the Dark-O-Matic platform, perfected over time in collaboration with the Greek freelancer sound-engineer / music producer George Nerantzis, with whom Greg and Piero began a journey of songwriting, finalizing later those that became their current sonorities. The duo's discography, currently still in its evolutionary phases, mentions two tracks: the first one, "Authentic?", was inserted in 2019 in the prestigious super-compilation "Neonautics V.03" - as the two previous volumes published by the German label SkyQode - and the second, "Zugzwang", represents the digital-single today analyzed by Vox Empirea. Edited in 2019 always by the SkyQode brand, this song can be considered the strategic anticipation of what we will be listen to the ten episodes of the album awaited within this year. The single release, mastered by Alexander 'Rush' Gladky (Unity One / Alpha Point / Rush AX), consists of the 'regular version' of the song, plus three remixes elaborated by eminent names from the electronic scene, respectively by the Russian-Moldavian futurepop / synthpop duo Unity One, by the Russian synth-rock / industrial-metal / gothic project N-616 and by the French electrosoul / new wave / electro / synth-pop duet People Theatre. Structurally circumscribable into a multifaceted range, the modulations played by Dark-O-Matic incorporate the melodic freshness of the synthpop, the 80's retro-futuristic aestheticism of the synthwave, fascinating new waver harmonies and obscure darkwave melancholies, while the lyrics deal mainly the ambiguity of loss but with a light of hope. The four declinations of "Zugzwang" impeccably combine the solidity of midtempo rhythms generated by drum-programming, the enchanting trails of the keyboards and the captivating vocals, spreading a strongly dance-oriented climax, but also so intensely melancholic and profound, able to dialogue with the soul of the listener, giving life to an impetus of desolate feelings and to images of a faded romanticism.
Best tracks of "Zugzwang", chosen for you by Vox Empirea::
- The original version of "Zugzwang" is undoubtedly the best way to internalize its essence. In this synth-pop / new wave / darkwave song you can hear well-defined midtempo drumming, sequenced impulses, suggestive keyboards, the dark mood of the atmospheres and, above all, a chant filled with nostalgic sentiments, a whole of sounds that induce you a strong desire for reflection, in complete solitude. All this happens with surprising rapidity and incisiveness. The auditor will consciously let himself be carried away by this sound, incited by the urgency to listen to it infinitely.
- "Zugzwang (People Theater Remix)", reformulated through splendid clubby arrangements, in which the danceable percussiveness features boombastic bass-lines, as well as the sober electronic embellishments and the strengthening of the keyboard patterns, they harmonize perfectly with the melodious spleen expressed by the voice.
Prelude to an equally irresistible tracklist shortly included in the debut-album, the single "Zugzwang" is a major performance in the alternative electronic firmament. Inside it you can feel the thrill of passion, the warmth of emotions, the invisible and invincible force of a sound capable of penetrating the mind, a music you would never want to end. Dark-O-Matic are now at the at the top of their extraordinary creative potential.
back to top
Der Klinke - "Decade" - by Maxymox 2019
Belgian formation founded in 2009, initially animated by the passion for the classic 80's darkwave / new wave, played by the band yesterday as today with the intention of proposing them in an absolutely personalized and efficacious key. The project is currently composed of five elements, respectively: Chesko Geert Vandekerkhof ( lead vox / keyboards ) - who also collaborated as live keyboardplayer with the punk-rock band The Bollock Brothers - Marco Varotta ( guitar ) , Miss Lollirot Deaddoll ( keyboards ) , with the two Red Zebra members Sam Claeys ( bass / vox ) and Hazy Chris De Neve ( drums / guitar ) ; all protagonists are engaged in achieving of the main target, that is to create an increasingly original music of remarkable level, which possesses that essential extraordinary to stand out within the global underground scene, perfecting the evolutionary process at every step and transforming the primary sound archetypes into something exclusive. The official record publications of Der Klinke enumerate five full-lenght: the debut "Square Moon" ( 2011 - Echozone ) , "The Second Sun" ( 2012 - Echozone ) , "The Gathering Of Hopes" ( 2014 - Echozone ) , "The Unexpected" ( 2017 - Wool-E Discs ) and the new "Decade", published in 2019 by the Belgian brand Wool-E Discs, sisterlabel of Wool-E Tapes. The Extended Play "The Doll" ( Echozone - 2013 ) , the self-released single "Bridges" from 2018 and the collection of unreleased works on "The Unexpected Bonus Tape" ( Wool-E Tapes - 2017 ) , complete the full discography of the ensemble. "Decade", the album now analyzed by Vox Empirea, is a celebratory work dedicated to the ten years of the band's career. Conceptually, it is not to be considered an ordinary compilation, but an authentic selection of tracks taken from the past repertoire and re-interpreted following innovative schemes, in addition to an assortment of remixes plus unpublished songs. Structurally solid, disturbing, planned with extreme care and perfectly able to involve the senses of the listener through its polymorphic climax, the release combines in different doses the obscurity of the darkwave, a psychotic post-punk obsessiveness, visionary new waver digressions, melancholic gothic-rock asperity, cold-wave fluctuations and persistent dark-electro elements. The vocals, melodically deep and dark, suggestively overshadow the musics, giving the songs a disquieting, spectral and at the same time solemn imprint, spread to the remotest recess of the tracklist. An essential percussiveness, generated by an excellent rhythmic variety of drum-programming, by sequencers and by the drummer, punctuates the sound-system, often giving it a formidable danceability, inciting with vigor the alienating electricity of guitars, the granitic bass beats and the catchy keyboards, whose harmonies, in some moments, propagate majestic orchestrations. Filled with significant episodes, the tracklist offers a wide overview of Der Klinke's composite style. The release, produced by the mastermind John Wolf ( Your Life On Hold / Diskonnekted ) , contains a different number of tracks based on the specific format: the vinyl version is, in fact, is composed of nine songs, the CD of sixteen and the digital of eighteen.
Best tracks of "Decade", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "The Doll", whose dark / electro / darkwave / gothic harmonies mesmerize us through a superb chant, obscure keyboard trails and danceable midtempo scans of drum-programming.
- "Clear Mind", wonderfully re-edited by John Wolf, who reworks the leaden darkwaver / post-punk / gothic sound of the track through fascinating synths alchemies, highlighting simultaneously the midtempo coldness of the drum-machine and the reverberated arpeggios of the guitar.
- "Our Dance In Darkness", so authoritative in its dark-electro / gothic context created by imperial vocals, by symmetrical midtempo drumming, impure flows of keyboards, bass scaless and by seductive lines of guitars.
- "The Facts Of Life", remixed by Belgian musician Serge Feys ( JCProject / Lala / Ottorongo / TC Matic / The Beast, / War People ) , in a set of electronic danceable darkness, fortified by resolute vocals, midtempo pulsations of drum-programming, bass riffs and resounding sequences of keyboards.
- "We Are Here", reformulated by Jan Dewulf from the Mildreda project, whose dark-electro orientations are transmitted integrally in the track, enhanced by regular midtempo drum-programming, dense currents of keyboards and by peremptory vocal patterns.
- "Someone Who Smiles (Decade Version)", whose waving / post-punker sonances are embellished by the dark severity of the singing, all immersed into an aggregate of guitar reverbs, slender sections of midtempo drumming and tenuous keyboards.
- "House Of Belief (Decade Version)", is a spectacular darkwave / dark-electro / gothic song built with vocal declinations full of dramatic tones, combined with fascinating keyboards, hypnotic midtempo drum-beats, electric guitar background and gloomy bell tolls.
Emblem of a creative and intensely inspired decennium, "Decade" internalizes radically the state of the art of this 'band in progress', definitively consolidating the Der Klinke as a project of concrete interest, whose executive abilities can go much further than the imaginable. A mythical release, simply unmissable. It will honor your records collection forever.
back to top
"Drone Islands - Land Raising" Compilation - by Maxymox 2019
Analytical exploration in the droning structures, focused mainly on the multi-faceted forms that this particular style manages to acquire in all its perpetual evolutions. The relative dynamism, the circumscribed spatiality of the dark-ambient and of the industrial noise, both present in some significant episodes of this compilation, they allow the predominance of drone-based music to express itself in a functional, illustrative way, through a succession of twelve tracks generates by a prospectively oblique view of music. Mastered by the same author of the release, that is the Italian dark ambient / noise / musique concrète / industrial solo-act SONOLOGYST - aka Raffaele Pezzella, founder of Eighth Tower Records, sub-label of Unexplained Sounds Group - "Drone Islands - Land Raising" ( 2019 / Eighth Tower Records ) is an accurate, rational selection of innovative talented European artists. Some of them are historically known in the underground electronic scene, while others are emerging names, but all equally competitive in technical/ evocative capacity; the protagonists included in the title-track are the following: Ah Cama-Sotz, Satori, Kammarheit, Ashtoreth, Daimon, Stefan Klaverdal, SONOLOGYST, Instinct Primal, Lars Bröndum, Massimo Olla, Nihil Impvlse and HLER. The contents of the anthology impeccably configure the drone concepts, a multiethnic musical process of very ancient origin, today modernized and converted into an advanced electronic sound communication, which, ideally, as the black color absorbs almost one hundred percent of the light, it assimilates in the nucleus of its slow vortex through the entire diatonic scale, dematerializing it, extremizing it, reformulating it and finally molding it in a single, a symmetrical wave without further accompaniment. The result is a sophisticated scheme of separation from the music substance. In each of the creations predominate the extensive tonal flat repetitions, which gives the sound the typical minimalist and replicated physiognomy of the dronescapes, propagating in the ether an obscure continuity of synthetic dilations, abyssal currents, hypnotic monophonies, ecstatic dissonances, inorganic oscillations, alienating sensations and white noise lines, able to temporarily subvert in the listener his the objective perception of reality. The tracklist emanates a great quantity of hyper-suggestive, totalizing atmospheres, by instrumentations that transmit blank notes, synthetic noises, dilatations, suspensions and clusters characterized by an integrally horizontal movement, in whole of sonic flows which subliminally infiltrate into the psyche, until reaching the deepest recesses of the neuronal system. This genre, definable overall as 'no music', finds its perfect collocation in this representative compilation, which represents an indispensable document reserved for a specific, conscious audience of estimators, or for anyone who feels himself prepared to make a radically progressistic transition in his own understanding of the sound element, here and now declined in one of its most avant-garde conjugations.
The best tracks of "Drone Islands - Land Raising", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- Kammarheit - "The Indefinite Vaults" : the Swedish dark-ambient solo project personified by Pär Boström, combines lethargic, enchanting, spectral frequences, constructed through oscillating, gloomy timbral curvatures of keyboards and through obscure droning diagrams, in a set of electronic fades and prolonged sonic-sensorial fluctuations that progressively expand as fog.
- Stefan Klaverdal - "Ambient Earthquakes" : the Swedish musician intertwines dark-ambient / drone counterpoints with modern-classical cinematic orchestrations, permanently keeping until the end an aura of supernaturality. The keyboard works, so desolate but elegant, quietly pushed by rope sampled breezes, then reaches an austere intensity, increasing the volume of the chords under which the roar of the pads persists. This is true sound aristocracy.
- SONOLOGYST - "Indostan" : subsonic extensions keyboards induce us into a state of meditation, while the infinite dimensional twists and an subterranean mantric vocalism recall rites of ancestral India, shrouded in mystery. The aforementioned artist finalizes an attractive drone / dark-ambient composition full of otherworldly energy, designed to thin the boundaries that separate the objective world from the unreal one. This is not just sound. It is a direct connection with transcendence.
- Nihil Impvlse - "Malthusian Practices" : the Italian industrial / power electronics / ambient solo-act manipulates cold sequences that destabilize instantly, in which are emphasized nightmare screams of desperation suffocated by angry gusts of artificial wind, dark deflagrations ed disrtorted emissions. You will be terrified listening to the transposition into a sound key of an antidemographic economic doctrine. Get ready for the incredible.
This collection is one of the greatest abstractions thematically concentrated on modern dronology. The twelve performers of the tracklist found in the audio-breath of the machines a different musical expression, projecting on an apparent sound immobility, shadowy, disquieting evanescences that seem the ramifications of their minds. The heterogeneous alchemies heard in the release spread signals that compenetrate into the cerebral cortex, harmonizing them with the unconscious, diverting the course of every cognitive activity and soliciting the production of fantastic, tormented images. The authentic followers of the drone culture will be conquered by so much sibylline charm: they will instinctively interact with "Drone Islands - Land Raising", contemplating for a long time the its spirals of light so ominously obscure, remaining bewitched. And then all will be oblivion.
back to top
Frontier Guards - "You" - by Maxymox 2019
Solo-act from the Czech Republic, currently formed by Martin Pavlík - alias Atreid - member of the electronic / darkwave duo called Beamship. Frontier Guards was founded in 2007 as a progressive succession to the original H.E.E.L. (Human Existence Exterminate Life), an electronic / EBM / ambient band consisting of Martin, Patrik Lev and Tom Galle. Although Frontier Guards can be considered in all respects an one-man project, it is constantly evolving: in fact he is still occasionally supported by the collaboration of Patrik Lev as guest musician in the role of vocalist and music creator, with Martin at the vocoder. The particular importance given to the musical aspects associated with strongly evocative images, makes Frontier Guards an intelligent and highly expressive audiovisual platform, whose music sublimely integrates various styles, such as electronic ambient / ebm / experimental electronic / glitch / idm / downtempo and dark electro. The prevailing concepts covered in the sounds investigate the interiority of the mind, analyzing its most obscure elements, at the same time searching for the true essence of Man and placing him in relation with the most unexplored secrets of his existence. The discography of the project enumerates a total of five albums: "Predestination" ( 2008 / Aliens Production ) , "Interface" ( 2013 / Aliens Production - Signifier ) , "Battleground" ( 2014 / UTSC ) , "Oblivion" ( 2017 / Advoxya ) and this new "You" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) now analyzed by Vox Empirea. Interesting for its prestige is also the appearance of the project in the release "The 5th Anniversary Compilation" ( 2008 / Monopol Records ) , in which he participates with the rare-track "Insider". Entirely instrumental music, that of Frontier Guards combines from his debut in each track continuous successions of futuristic, diaphanous and extremely elaborated harmonies, in which rise up atmospheric pads and suggestive electronic grooves, with sporadic, telegraphic inputs of vocal samples, all this punctuated by sophisticated downtempo / midtempo hits of drum-programming and sequencers. "You" - album mastered by the ingenious Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( Massaith / Tokee / UDPWNF ) - is the culminating episode of the whole Frontier Guards artistic career, who dedicates it to a person sentimentally very close to him with the nickname "Fox ". The full-lenght precedes the upcoming publication of "ReLoad", a collection of remixes versions finalized in cooperation with Patrik Lev. In many of the ten songs included in the tracklist of "You" we can perceive a greater presence of emotional elements, with the particular exaltation of refined piano counterpoints intersected by melancholic or serene keyboard formulas, placid ambient suspensions, by fragments of spoken words, dispersions of glitch microparticles, hypnotic patterns and by enchanting fades of technological sound, but also sometimes by cold and harsh melodic segments of synths and by compact distortions, all intertwined with discontinuous downtempo IDM / industrial percussiveness: the listening of this complex set of modulations arouses in the auditor an alternation of contrasting states of mind, so enigmatic and deep like love. Interfacing with "You" means probing the most introspective dimensions of our soul and the universal vastness of Nature, losing ourselves in their infinite meanders, then finding us more pure, more authentic, more aware at the end of this long journey.
The best tracks of "You", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Shelter" : introduced and characterized during its entire extension by romantic, reverberated piano scores, the song develops a crescendo of contemplative melodies, perfectly subdivided by the synchronous movement of the midtempo drumming and by the sequencer. Pads light such as air and celestial notes rise, touching on the surface of electronic / ambient / IDM structures, following the course of the listener's thoughts. An incredibly intense and mentally satisfying sound experience.
- "You": the enveloping keyboard extensions of the incipt melt later with the symmetrical intermittences of the sequencing, joining gradually with the nostalgic sentimentalism of the piano, with the downtempo drum-programming and with the touching synth harmonies, generating electronic / ambient / IDM sounds full of languid abandonment that induce the meditation.
- "Hope" configures an highly prospective and intimate experimental electronic / ambient act, in which the elegant solemnity of the pads meets terse sections of synth, which euphonies mesmerize the senses, while downtempo percussive ornaments and regular sequenced periods metronomically schematize the rhythm. A track to listen with absolute emotional participation.
Interiorizing these extraordinary sonic alchemies is a privilege reserved mainly for estimators with superior sensitivity and a musically expert beyond the average. "You", besides representing an exceptional document of avant-gardism, possesses an intrinsic beauty that captivates, a majestic mood and a communicativeness that transcend the ordinary. The ten chapters of the title track are technological dreams that Frontier Guards materializes in front of our astonished eyes. Once in contact with this release you will never be able to leave it.
back to top
HA[A]RP - "Destroyer" EP - by Maxymox 2019
Frank Kittelmann ( vox / programming / keyboards ) and Jan Iwanow - Jan Vdoc - ( backings / programming / keyboards ) are the components of the German duo-act HA[A]RP, founded at the end of 2018. Both come musically from past experiences inside electro bands, in which the two protagonists have developed an ever wider knowledge of the different instrumentations, individually improving their skills up to the attainment of remarkable abilities in the processes of mixing / recording and how to relate them with the audience on stage. The innate predisposition of Frank and Jan for the technological modulations, increased exponentially over the years has therefore concretized in its maximum expression, through an unitary, defined project, considered as the materialization of an inner passion to be spread as much as possible in the alternative music sector. The HA[A]RP's style combines impressive synthpop / electro / new wave elements, through an impeccable synchronicity between mostly midtempo drumming, suggestive keyboard melodies and openly harmonious vocals, sometimes tending towards an introspective melancholy. The lyrics of the music deal with various aspects taken from the daily observation of life, leaving the listener the free possibility to interpret the meaning of the words in which to identify himself. The HA[A]RP's discography mentions an important appearance in the release "Orkus! Compilation 145" ( 2019 / Orkus - Nr. 10 ) and this expected debut-Extended Play "Destroyer" ( 2019 / Sonic-X ) , now analyzed by Vox Empirea. The tracklist enumerates five songs, each systematically characterized by pleasant, modern classically synthpopish melodies, variable according to the specific episode and ranging from an intensely reflective mood or tending to dance-oriented dynamism. In the music of the HA[A]RP we can perceive a concrete compositional hegemony, a communicative, polarizing and valuable electronic register which in the "Destroyer" EP reveals itself in all its attractiveness.
The best tracks of "Destroyer", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- Destroyer ( Radio Edit ) : the essential keyboard melody that introduces the song is periodically replicated into a catchy synthpop context, created by regular midtempo drum-programming beats, bright sequenced backgrounds and by a well-pronounced chant, all in this episode exhaustively that illustrates the stylistic imprint and the high executive level acquired so far by the duo.
- "Sex Isn't Like Love ( Darkness On Demand Mix ) , remixed by the EBM / electro Berliner band Darkness On Demand, the song is a perfect 'clubby-hit' in which converge all the peculiarities of a floorfiller: automatic midtempo percussiveness symmetrically dashed by sequencing, extensive flows of keyboards and enthralling vocals, incite dance. The vigorous energy of this track is an unstoppable force. It is impossible to remain motionless!
Linear, without any superstructure and perfectly intelligible, the sound of the HA[A]RP intrigues, vitalizes and seduces. Consequential to the iconic concepts of the synthpop phenomenon, that of the duo sums up its best criteria with a touch of originality, generating pure pleasure of listening and danceable exuberance. The EP "Destroyer" is interpreted with great inspiration, representing one of the most interesting innovations of the current electronic panorama. Enchanting harmonies, amazing rhythms and significant lyrics. Everything is ready to excite you. Welcome to the HA[A]RP's world.
back to top
Halo Effect - "Shout Remixed 1" - by Maxymox 2019
The musical epic of Halo Effect continues with another, extraordinary reinterpretative event of their songs, built as always by esteemed names from the global electro scene. Updating the band's discography, resuming it chronologically from the Vox Empirea's report about the "Life Is Perfect" album - available in the 'reviews' section of 2015, in which the Halo Effect's biography is also exhaustively described - we note the remixed projects first released through the two digital compilations entitled "Code Mixing - Recoding Remix Album" ( 2014 / Space Race Records / EK Product ) - both related to the full-length "Recoding" ( 2012 / EK Product ) - followed by the three digital anthologies of " Life Is Remixed " ( 2017 / Space Race Records ) - corresponding to the album "Life Is Perfect " ( 2015 / Space Race Records ) - and subsequently by the digital tribute dedicated to Depeche Mode, The Cure and Kraftwerk, entitled "A Mode To Cure" ( 2018 / Space Race Records ) , in which is contained the formidable hit "To Have And To Hold (A-909 / Nocturnal Transmission Acid Remix)". The Halo Effect launch now their new digital compilation "Shout Remixed 1", now analyzed by Vox Empirea; the release constitutes the first of the three volumes of remixed versions concerning the tracks contained in the full-length "Shout" ( 2018 / Space Race Records / EK Product ) : the trilogy will be published starting from June 2019 at regular scheduled intervals. Remarkable for their resonance are the protagonists selected by the Halo Effect as remixers: Plexøs, FLmm, Delusion & Ballistic, Illnurse, Dazzling Malicious, Time Traveler, Paul Mørk, Weever, Antiflvx, Erotic Anarchy and Unconformist. They systematically retrace the entire tracklist of eleven episodes, following the original order of the tracks, also including the twelfth unpublished act "Voices = Noises" remixed by Æven, as a worthy completion of the performance. All the songs are deconstructed and then reassembled through sophisticated sonic innovation processes, each permeated with highly danceable grooves and clubby-oriented arrangements, elements that make this title-track successfully inserted into the most exclusive and alternative D.J.'s playlists. The musicality of the compilation declines various conjugations of the electronic concept, alternating dark-techno, industrial, synthwave, electro-synthpop, futurepop, darkwave and electro-wave, preferring intense bass-lines, danceable midtempo-uptempo trajectories and extremely atmospheric keyboard configurations, all enhanced by transfigured vocal diagrams. "Shout Remixed 1" is a vibrant parade of futuristic modulations and strongly magnetizing drumming, a sound-document planned by the genius of twelve illustrious projects with the common target of conquering the listener in his own space, drawing around him an invisible perimeter of drum-programming, sequencers, capturing melodies, electronic transmissions, cosmic effects, darkness and rhythmical energy. The interaction of these sonorities is amazing: it will make converge the imagination towards evocative, unforgettable virtual dimensions.
The best tracks of "Shout Remixed 1", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Love Is Black (Paul Mørk Remix)" : the French electro musician-remixer devises this vigorous synthpopish / industrial ride, fortified by a solid scheme of midtempo drum-programming and sequencer that enhances its amazing dance connotations, further accentuated by the the clarity of an enthralling chant, which, combined with the harmonious sections of the keyboards, creates sounds that excite instantly, deflagrating in a triumph of electronic dynamism and high attractive power.
- The Innocence (Antiflvx Remix)" : an unsurpassed reformulation of this track by the Colombian coldwave / darkwave project: the pulsing midtempo drumming and the sequenced hatchings, subdivide simmetrically an ocean of seductive synthpop / synthwave euphonies, embellished by well-marked vocals and charming keyboard extensions. One single listening is enough to remain spellbound.
- "Voices = Noises (Æven Remix)" : the French D.J. / producer plans a set of vigorous midtempo percussive squarings, whose pulsations intersect the symmetrical intermittence of the sequencing and the ethereal flows of the keyboards, in a fascinating set of synthetic sounds, danceability, technological seduction and altered perceptions of reality. To listen at maximum volume.
The first chapter of the "Shout Remixed" saga is a work of great value; every artist involved in the tracklist has done a simply excellent work, breaking up the original delineations of the tracks, to reassemble them with clear knowledge of the most effective sound strategies, giving them an unique and intriguing imprint. Halo Effect hit the mark. As always.
back to top
Halo Effect - "Shout Remixed 2" - by Maxymox 2019
Biography and discography regarding Halo Effect can be consulted in two exhaustive reports: the first one is about the "Life Is Perfect" album, viewable in the Vox Empirea's section of 2015, while the second one, about the compilation "Shout Remixed 1", was recently published in this 2019 review sector. As announced, the band fires on the pre-established date the second volume of the triad of remixed versions containing the tracks included in the album "Shout" ( 2018 / Space Race Records / EK Product ) , entrusting the reworking of the songs to a selection of resonant artists, who formulate an extraordinary tracklist of twelve episodes, mastered, like all the songs in the trilogy, by the mastermind Rob Early ( Retrogramme ) and characterized - equally to all three publications of this series - by the best dark-techno, industrial, synthwave, electro-synthpop, futurepop, darkwave, rhythmic noise and electro-wave elements. The creators of this new remixed anthology, all them belonging to the international electronic scene, are in order: Neuron Specter, 2 + 2 = 5, Avarice In Audio, Blac Kolor, L'Avenir, Stahlschlag, Paradox Obscur, Illnurse, Guilt Trip, Prophän and A Humanoid Individual. "Shout Remixed 2" is the second paragraph of three self-released compilations planned to provide a renewed electro-energy to the technological musical dimension, through an almost integrally dance-oriented sound reconstructed following the most innovative trends and the most catchy entertainment strategies. The title track is a succession of surprises, most of which are dynamized by super-danceable rhythms; however, in the track "I Never Meant To Hurt" - proposed in 'Meant To Hurt Mix' version by the Swedish industrial electro rock Swedish duo-act Guilt Trip - there's the opportunity for a more reflective, melancholic and atmospheric intimist listening. Also in "Shout Remixed 2" is included the unpublished song "Voices = Noises", for this occasion remixed by the Slovenian techno project A Humanoid Individual. Through "Shout Remixed 2", the auditor will be conveyed in a very wide cosmos filled with pulsing midtempo-uptempo percussiveness, futuristic synthetic melodism, re-arranged vocal patterns and dance schemes maximized to the nth degree. Second chapter of the epopee and second masterpiece.
The best tracks of "Shout Remixed 2", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Let The Stars Can Shine Away ( L'Avenir Shine Hard Mix )" : in this song full of nostalgically alienating, suggestive and danceable sounds, the Swedish synthpop / darkwave solo-project sets linear midtempo drum-programming sections, which running parallelly long synth extensions and sequenced hatchings, while harmonious fragments of singing punctuate the musics. Irresistible as the Astral Recall.
- "Love Is Black ( Stahlschlag Remix )" : the solid industrial / rhythmic noise compactness develops all its magnificence in a track of great hi-tech charm. The German power-duo enhances the perception of the 'sound vigor', through the powerful midtempo thrusts of the drumming, micro-sequenced distortions, solemn rises of keyboards and regular, turbid vocal subdivisions. A spectacular clubby remix and a true floorfiller.
- "Just Beyond The Fall From Grace ( Prophän Remix )" : the inventiveness of the Moroccan dark-techno / D.J. producer and solo-act, together with the artificial intelligence of machines, generate hypnotic, surreal deep techno sounds. The midtempo intermittences of bass-lines and drum-programming, the regular beats of the sequencer and the sidereal flows of synths, combine psychic trip elements and physical movement, all pervaded by images of boundless electronic spaces..
The Colossal of three volumes continues its completion, enunciating also with this "Shout Remixed 2" twelve further, amazing reinterpretations of an original tracklist as much portentous. The stylistic vastness of the sounds and the high professional level of the remixers, give this release a remarkable distinction, exponentially increasing its prestige. Play it loud and continue without stopping!
back to top
Halo Effect - "Shout Remixed 3" - by Maxymox 2019
Detailed information regarding Halo Effect and their discography are available in the two spaces of Vox Empirea, the first one, relating to the album "Life Is Perfect", can be consulted in the Vox Empirea's reviews section of 2015, while the second one, concerning the compilation "Shout Remixed 1", was recently published in this 2019 report page. Focusing us now carefully on the third and last chapter of remakes entitled "Shout Remixed", we can deduce to be again in the presence of a tracklist planned with excellent meticulousness, stylistically varied and perfect as the conclusion of this superb trilogy. As in the two previous episodes, these twelve songs included in the release also communicate rhythmic vitality, catchy melodies and reworked schemes of great value, conceived by the new array of international electro-projects. The names of the artists recruited in this last act are the following: 80 Strange Robots, Warsaw Pact, Stieglitz, Abyssal Chaos, Negant, The Mark, The Frixion, Formal Method, Croona, Mechatronic, Synths Versus Me and Kiss Of The Whip; they masterfully restructure the original musicality of the tracks, building hyper-danceable midtempo atmospheres, infallibly effective instrumental solutions and formidable vocal formulas; the synergy among all these elements will draw the listener into an extraordinary sonic dimension that alternates synthwave, synthpop, electropop, industrial, techno, EBM, dark-electro, new wave and darkwave. The modern technology of the machines harmonizes excellently with the renewed configuration of the compositions, finalizing the winning strategy that makes "Shout Remixed 3" yet another, unmissable masterpiece of the full Halo Effect's repertoire.
The best tracks of "Shout Remixed 3", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Love Is Black (The Frixion Remix)": the English duo-act creates a grandiose set of electropop / dark-electro euphonies, that are invariably suitable both for individual listening and for being proposed by DJ's as a floorfiller in alternative dancefloors. Advanced sounds, incisive melodism, attractive patterns and a considerable charge of energy characterize this song. The drum-programming and the sequencer systematically articulate midtempo cadences, while the vocals charm exhorts the listener to join the chant, as well as the wide coverage of keyboards wraps entirely around the entire track. Impossible not to move you rhythmically to such electronic attractiveness.
- "I Never Meant to Hurt (Synthes Versus Me Remix)": an entirely instrumental song, enhanced by the Spanish duo-project through advanced combinations of arrangements and sophisticated synthwave / electropop solutions that make this track a musically advanced, almost futuristic 'experimental theme', but with a vaguely 80's retrospective. The geometric midtempo danceability of drum-programming and sequencer crosses the suggestive extensions of the pads and the pulsing bass-lines, melting together with a second, more intense keyboard from which spread majestic chords. You will be surprised by the continuous desire to click the 'repeat' button on your sound device.
The last segment of this monumental three-volumes creation, "Shout Remixed 3" is the triumph of technological sound, the definitive confirmation of the artistic professionalism of the Halo Effect and of the remixers who are the protagonists of this splendid performance. Identically to the two antecedent albums of the epopee, the title-track is a succession of electronic wonders performed in multiple transcriptions, in which nucleus is indelibly imprinted the distinctive sign of the band. An authentic, massive flood of synthetic sounds will submerge the listener, involving him physically and emotionally. It is not an impression, it is an irrefutable certainty: the triad "Shout Remixed" is pure electronic-karma expressed to the nth degree. Magnificent!
back to top
Hidden By Ivy - "Inner" - by Maxymox 2019
The Polish project Hidden By Ivy is the result of the artistic union founded in 2014 by Rafał Tomaszczuk ( vox / lyrics ) and Andrzej "Andy" Turaj ( guitars / synths / drums / programming / backing vox ) , whose synergistic collaboration - interchanges of sounds and lyrics, studio processes of mastering, demo recordings and every other operation of songwriting - takes place mainly through the support of modern internet communication devices, with sporadic 'direct' meetings, living the two protagonists far away between them on two opposite sides of Poland. Both come from a virtuous, solid background of musical experiences that have contributed to the exemplariness of Hidden By Ivy: Rafał, in fact, was a member of the now extinct Polish new wave / synthpop band Agonised By Love, while Andrzej is the interpreter of his art-rock / darkwave / gothic rock / post-punk / shoegaze solo-project God's Own Medicine, by which he published a particular masterpiece represented by the album "Afar" ( 2018 / Alchera Visions ) . That of Hidden By Ivy is a cultured and transversal stylistic repertoire that circumscribes different genres, including the avantgardistic non-conformism of post rock, melodic new waver reminiscences, experimental immersions into ambient-rock, pop lightness, refined jazz-oriented conjugations, the irreverence of the cold wave, the intellectual obscurity of the darkwave, sophisticated dream pop arias and the electric spectrality of ghost rock. By the wise combination of these elements and thanks to the professionalism in the mixing / mastering of the mastermind Mariusz Piętka at the MP Studio, Hidden By Ivy published chronologically this following discography: the digital debut EP "To Abandon", anticipator of the next, first full-lenght "Acedia" ( 2015 / Alchera Visions ) , the subsequent Extended Play "Moments Of The Past" ( 2015 / self-released ) , the limited edition album "Beyond" ( 2017 / Alchera Visions ) and the new album "Inner" (2019 / self-release ) now reviewed by Vox Empirea. As in every previous release, also in this full-lenght the duo-act takes advantage of the cooperation of external musicians and artists known in the Polish underground, which on this occasion are: the graphic designer Małgorzata Masłowiecka, the post - industrial music producer, singer and songwriter Natalia Gadzina-Grochowska of the Shagreen project, the harmonicist Marcin Dyjak, Ryszard Czernecki - guitarist of the ethereal rock / dream-punk band Dziewczęta - , Maciej Sochoń - aka the prog / post-rock solo-act called Seasonal - and the trumpeter Michał Michota. Despite the wide geographical distance that separates them, it does not constitute an obstacle for Rafał and Andrzej, who, united by their great passion for music, systematically manage to create a unique sound, conceptually tending to nostalgia, a feeling characteristically belonging to the two artists and extended extensively in every existential context, as in love, in the interpersonal relationships and in the global vision of reality. "Inner", an intimate and introspective album, mostly increases this abstraction, exalting it in its expression closest to the awareness of who, analyzing his life path, perceive that the long effort towards the search for himself has now come to an end, reflecting on the impossibility of a further individual evolution which, as a direct consequence, generates regret for lost youth. The texts - in two episodes sung in Polish language - are the poetic extensions of an engaging, vibrant musicality, concentrated in eight tracks full of absolute emotional purity, performed mainly through midtempo / downtempo drumming, suggestive keyboards, soft electric guitar arpeggios, precise bass-lines and a melancholic vocal foreground that inebryates the senses, capable of exponentially increasing in the listener the power of 'looking' at the face of his own conscience, allowing him to dialogue sincerely with it. "Inner" fills the emptiness within us, transforming torments into ecstatic serenity, the desolation into a bloom of beatitude. This is not a simple album: it is something very similar to a prodigy.
The best tracks of "Inner", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "The Wonder Years" : delicate arpeggios introduce the successive dream-pop / post-rock / new wave euphonies, composed through symmetrical midtempo percussive cadences, harmonious keyboard accompaniments, atmospheric guitar counterpoints and wonderful, seductive vocal intonations. A song of noble calligraphy, performed with ardor. Indelibly touched by his notes, we sing and remember.
- "In Front Of Us" : the languid nuances of guitars caressed by Ryszard Czernecki and soft vocals, are expanded in slow, harmonious ambient-rock patterns, until reaching the refrain, in which they verticalizing shoegaze / dream-rock melodies overflowing of penetrating melancholy, accentuated by the strengthening of the guitar-keyboard schemes, by the underlying downtempo drumming and by a majestic chant that frees all its desperation. Once it entered our soul, this song will always be part of us.
- "Ghost Of The Summer Past" : the vocal duet between Rafał Tomaszczuk and Natalia Gadzina-Grochowska raises an atmospheric melodism that smells of autumnal landscapes, of infinite nostalgia, initially outspread on an evanescent register of sampled piano, impalpable pads and tenuous guitarism, followed by a more enhanced downtempo dream-rock / shoegaze instrumentality, all elegantly embellished by the vaguely jazzy trumpet sections played by Michał Michota.
Vocals structurally characterized by a rare perfection, fascinating instrumental modulations, copious dosages of spleen and significant lyrics, are the basis of the Hidden By Ivy's sound model, which also in this album finds that indescribable communicative force and that immediate, assimilable feeling that induce the auditor to reflect, actively participating in his emotional states, comforting him, embracing him physically. Thoughts and sounds intertwine, becoming a single, indissoluble substance. The mind investigates deeper, more and more, to then fly far away in lost places on the wings of the imagination. "Inner" is for all the privileged who still know how to daydream.
back to top
Insight - "A New Day" - by Maxymox 2019
All the biographical and discographic informations regarding the Spanish solo-act Insight can be consulted in the report of the debut album "A Light In The Darkness" ( 2015 / ScentAir Records ) , viewable in the 2016's reviews section of Vox Empirea. Encouraged by the great resonance expected by the first full-lenght in which stood out the digital singles "Damage" ( 2015 / self-produced ) , "The Same Mistake" ( 2015 / self-produced ) , "Insane" ( 2016 / self-produced ) and "Fame" ( 2016 / self-produced ) , Raúl Muñoz-Torrero Gálvez issues with renewed enthusiasm his new work, "A New Day" ( 2019 / ScentAir Records ) , anticipated by the digital single "Cruel Life" ( 2019 / self-released ) . The ten tracks included in the album confirm persuasively the compositional growth of the artist, proposing one more advanced, mature and effective synthpopish style respect to the already excellent sonorities of his beginnings. The release - mastered by the electronic / synthpop / IDM musician, producer and remixer Cyborgdrive - sublimely combines the precise functionality of the machines with the vocal melodism of the protagonist, spreading an alternation of interesting episodes during which the auditor will experiment without pause moments of suggestive melancholy, futuristic harmonies and a danceable dynamism. The songs are carefully constructed with a lucid knowledge of modern trends, mainly through midtempo percussive symmetries of drum-programming, straight sequenced diffractions, catchy keyboard decorations and a clear chant perfectly harmonized to the instrumentality; the synergy of these elements configures an electronic climax full of pleasantness, formulated specifically to adapt it to any occasion. The winning Insight's feature of is that of being able to identify oneself in the listener, succeeding in arousing in him musically an immediate feeling and a stable empathy, all with surprising naturalness. An expected return to the scene that will send the most authentic and sincere fans of the synthpop into raptures.
The best tracks of "A New Day", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Aching Heart": the midtempo pulsations of the drumming and the sequencer draw a linear, danceable percussiveness, while the euphonic vocals intersected by essential flows of keboards complete this highly attractive synthetic pop, which regenerate and energize your minds and bodies.
- "I Don't Like The Future": introspection, captivating melodism and rhythm, enhance here their full potential. Regular, very danceable midtempo sections of drum-machine, followed by sequenced dashes, by measured doses of keyboards and by an harmoniously passionate singing, charge the sound of irresistible attractiveness. Shape and substance of the modern synthpop.
- "The Light", an effervescent electronic pop elaborated by midtempo trajectories of drum-programming, by equidistant punctuations of sequencer, melodiously clear voice and by strong gustere radiations, all this in an 'high resolution' synthpop song, very danceable and communicative.
Great album, pleasant in its entirety, "A New Day" is the tangible manifestation of the skill of a musician in constant ascent. Each track is the iconic representation of a technically progressed, balanced and structurally consistent synthpop, evaluable in terms of absolute excellence. Relating to this music will be accessible to all, both for the extemporaneous listener and for the most demanding estimator. Raúl's artistic career it has been embellished by a second full-lenght, in which definitely stand out the concrete executive dexterity and the exquisite mannerism of a new, inspired alternative electronic pioneer. Although today Insight is at his top level, we are sure that there is still a lot to discover in this project...
back to top
Maneuver Maneuver - "Maneuver Maneuver" EP + "Sorry" single - by Maxymox 2019
Maneuver Maneuver is the name of the emerging duo-act founded in Budapest in 2018 by Tamás 'Tonyo' Szabó ( vox / musics ) and Szilágyi Máté ( backing vox / musics ) . The two protagonists are known to be active in other projects of the Hungarian alternative scene: Tonyo is in fact the frontman of the indie-rock band The Moog and the vocalist / keyboardist in the alternative rock ensemble Dope Calypso, as well as Máté is the creator of the pop / lo-fi / hip art duo called Dorothy's Legs. The considerable technical experiences acquired over the years by the two artists within their respective musical ranges, together with the objective of jointly elaborating and synergizing different modulations which had the prerogative of an approachable electronic footprint, allowed the origin of the Maneuver Maneuver, whose tendency incorporates interesting synth pop / dark-synth / synthwave / indietronica elements. The discographical career of the duo-venture, currently in a 'work in progress' phase, officially lists the namesake debut EP "Maneuver Maneuver" ( 2018 / self-produced ) and the recent single "Sorry" ( 2019 / self-produced ) , both now reviewed by Vox Empirea. Noteworthy is furthermore their appearance in the compilation "Undead And Open-Minded: Volume 4" ( 2018 / Electrozombies ) with the first single "Locked Out", also available in a video version. The musics of Maneuver Maneuver are characterized by an elegant synthpopish shape, always oriented towards a clear singing calligraphy under which we can perceives a melancholic obscurity, embellished by warm flows of keyboards, by midtempo drum-programming and by straight sequencing trajectories: the result is wide expansions of irresistible sounds full of passion and modern romanticism, but also of vibrant dance energy, stylistically circumscribable in a temporal context included in the 80's / 90's / 00's decades. The lyrics of the songs describe the introspective mutability of moods, the desire to achieve better conditions in interpersonal relationships and in solving existential problems, probing at the same time the most intimate depths of the mind in search of ourselves. The two musicians therefore find a fundamental, total convergence in the Extended Play "Maneuver Maneuver", which five tracks possess the intriguing ability to arouse in the listener lasting sensations of pleasantness, tuning and harmonizing with his psyche. The release offers moments of reflection and others of invigorating dynamism, combining graceful technological melodies, colored in part of darkness, with the charismatic authenticity of the texts, systematically sung with suggestive perfectionism and with immediate comprehensibility.
The best tracks of "Maneuver Maneuver", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Rovers" : the fusion among seductive vocal counterpoints, midtempo danceable drum-programming, dashed lines of sequencers and futuristic patterns of keyboards, generate synthpopish euphonies definable as 'refined aesthetics of sound'. A technically flawless performance that will conquer you sooner than you can imagine.
- "Is It Me Or The World" : this song conjugates a synthpop paradigm in which prevail melodisms predisposed to instantly reach the sensibility of the auditor, through danceable midtempo hits of drum-machines, crystalline cadences of sequencing, terse keyboards and a chant that exalts all its charm in the refrain.
- "Sorry" : - single not included in the EP - it's a track with great potentials, beautifully orchestrated, interpretable as the emblem of the Maneuver Maneuver's identity. Its synthpop sounds are drawn with extreme precision, using rational midtempo percussiveness, polarizing vocal intonations and compelling keyboard extensions. Dance it, listen to it, love it until you are exhausted.
Music worthy of the best names belonging to the alternative electro panorama, that of this newcomer duo amazes for the rapidity with which it conquest the listening. Eloquent in its vocal expressions, solid and polychromatic in its instrumental melodies, the release deserves all possible visibility, distinguishing itself for the structural superiority of its contents; the EP brilliantly overcomes every optimistic expectation, maybe constituting the encouragement and the presuppositions for a next coming full-length. This is the sound of Maneuver Maneuver. This is high functionality synthpop.
back to top
MediaData - "Adore" - by Maxymox 2019
MediaData is the solo project of the Russian Denis Vasiliev, who, starting in 2008, explores the most cerebral ramifications of the technological musical criterion, merging glitch, IDM, industrial and ambient sounds. The perpetual research for a balance between these various electronic morphologies, always inspired by the multiple sensations experienced in the everyday life, has originated multiform styles, in which Denis totally pours his own introspections, narrating them as in a modern novel, through music languages composed of sci-fi elements and psychic vibrations, interweaving reality with fantasy, sublimely combining the cold tangibility of logic with visionary projections, conceptually positioning the themes on the interpretation of 'space', understood not only as the astronomical void that exists among the Celestial Bodies in the Universe, but as a direct dialogue between the physical macrocosm and the inner dimensions. The first chapter of the one-man act's discography is represented by the digital album "Over" ( 2016 / Abstrakt Reflections ) , followed in the same year by the second self-produced digital full-length entitled "Vers". Subsequently, MediaData continued his journey with the digital album "Submersion" ( 2017 / Abstrakt Reflections ) , then publishing in the order: the digital Extended Play "Fifth Element" ( 2018 / Raumklang Music ) , the digital album "Emergent" ( 2018 / self-released ) , the digital split single "The Black Economy" ( 2019 / self-released ) - created in collaboration with the cryptic Testing Of Sound - , the digital EP "Gracefulness" ( 2019 / self-released ) , the digital EP "Impulsiveness" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) , the digital single "VERS Continuation" ( 2019 / self-released ) and finally the album "Adore Resurrect" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) . Further expanding the vastness of his sounds to the discovery of ever more original horizons, capable of describing with vivid phatos and realism that intrinsic and fabulous world that cannot be expressed in words, MediaData proposes in 2019 this new limited edition digipak album "Adore", now analyzed by Vox Empirea, fired by a label that today can be considered as an authoritative institution in the alternative electronic scene, the Slovak Aliens Production. The tracklist, mastered by Anatoly Tokee Grinberg - aka Massaith and Tokee, member of the Bouquiniste and Paindonor projects - enumerates ten songs, in which we perceive the simultaneity of Intelligent Dance Music intuitions, mesmerizing downtempo rhythmics, suggestive ambient rarefactions, tenuous glitch convergences and elegant modern classical ornaments. Electronically romantic and melancholic harmonies fill the sounds with enchanting atmospheres stimulating the listener's imagination, to transport him into sonic territories in which coexists the dualism among systematic intellect and musical abstractions. The album's sounds communicates senses of immensity, by the cathartic flows of the pads, by the algebraic asymmetries of drum-programming, by sequenced micro-particles and by the refined embellishments of neoclassical orchestrations, impeccably elaborated by chordophone instruments and piano.
The best tracks of "Adore", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Luo And Little Argentina", so nostalgically immersive, introduced by a placid whirlwind of ambient keyboard agreements and then dynamized through fractionated downtempo percussiveness, among which sequenced IDM / glitch corpuscles sparkle and alternate. An artificial cosmos of high-tech modulations that leads to ecstasy.
- "French Revolution": its structures evoke a complex set of futurism, retrospections, historiography and decadent romanticism, all included into mechanical IDM-downtempo rhythmic structures, passionate keyboards, aristocratic sections of strings and poetic piano euphonies that reveal a noble modern classical calligraphy which crosses highly cultured electronic solutions.
- "Above Everything Part 1", princely, languidly dreamy, this track propagates infinite serenity and melancholy beauty, through neoclassical, delicate partitions of piano and violin joined with contemplative pads, in a bouquet of notes that fade inside the short and resonant downtempo final drumming.
This album is the fascinating observation of a man's emotional depth; it calms the spirit, making interact surrealism and rationality, through the incisive power of minimal symphonies, avant-garde technology and the purity of feelings. Denis Vasiliev's sensitivity is true art and his ability to transmute sensitivity into music is unique. We 'adore' MediaData.
back to top
MediaData - "Impulsiveness" EP - by Maxymox 2019
The exhaustive, complete description of the biography and discography of the Russian project MediaData is available in the section 2019 of Vox Empirea, specifically in the report of the album "Adore". The musical journey undertaken by Denis Vasiliev continues through this new release "Impulsiveness" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) , an Extended Play overflowing with technologically advanced sounds, able to generate enchanting abstractions in the imagination, vibrant emotions and futuristic scenarios. As in all the previous episodes, the seven songs of this tracklist are ideally considered the 'slow motion' of the mental extensions originated the protagonist, inspired thoughts electronically converted into three-dimensional modulations, projected in the surrounding space in the form of experimental IDM / ambient / glitch / downtempo frequencies. Immersive, intensely atmospheric music, that of MediaData finds in "Impulsiveness" further access codes, through hi-tech suggestions that unfuse ecstatic sensations of abandonment, of interior reflection and supreme sonic aestheticizations. The intelligent strategies processed by the machines interact progressively with the listener, until the achievement of a total, indissoluble aggregation between the sensoriality and the sound element. Impeccably mastered by Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( Massaith / Tokee / UDPWNF ) , the EP, almost predominantly instrumental, includes resounding braindance ornamentations in which they harmoniously synergize wide, dilated pads, downtempo asymmetries of drum-programming, sequenced micro-fractions and rational dispersions of electronic matter. The millimeter accuracy with which MediaData regularly elaborates his performances, together with an innate emotional expressivity, also gives "Impulsiveness" fascinating peculiarities that greatly amplify its attractive power.
The best tracks of "Impulsiveness", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "AutoCAD" : IDM / ambient track based on avveniristic, melancholic consonances of keyboards, rhythmically intersected by downtempo beats of drum-programming and glitch-sequencer. Electronic fades, unreal harmonies and interrupted percussions, spread a quiet, polarizing sound, suitable for those who know how to immerse themselves in deep meditative states.
- "Impulsiveness (Testing Of Sound Remix)" : the Russian solo-act personified by Vitaly Chernov reformulates the original structures of the track, re-configuring them by his typical IDM / ambient / industrial process, all through systematic downtempo drum-machine cadences, nostalgic pads substrates, sequenced effervescences, noble neoclassical sections of sampled violin and hyper-technological arrangements.
A sonic explorer, a sensitive and visionary artist, Denis Vasiliev always manages how amaze us by his evolved musicality, with which he investigates the most unfathomable meanderings of the psyche, distinguishing himself for an excellent, relative compositional terseness and for giving more emphasis to his exquisitely sophisticated electronic style. Inside "Impulsiveness" burn contemplative celestial melodies, synchronized with both concepts of avant-garde and introspection, predisposed to expose the sound in figurative mode. Immensely, extraordinarily MediaData.
back to top
MediaData - "Adore Resurrect" - by Maxymox 2019
All biographical and discographical informations concerning the Russian solo-venture MediaData can be viewed in the reviews section of 2019 of Vox Empirea, inside the report on the album "Adore" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) . Denis Vasiliev is the author of this recent "Adore Resurrect" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) , an album that in some aspects abstractly follows the antecedent full-length "Adore", of which this new work can be considered its own further evolved and introspective extension. Also in "Adore Resurrect" MediaData elaborates highly suggestive schemes, converging the musics towards an heterogeneous downtempo fusion of IDM / ambient / glitch and modern classical, combining perfectly the best principles of sonorous avant-gardism, the infinite spatiality of the mind and the hidden depths of emotions, all this circumscribed within a sensible and tendentially melancholic mood. The ten songs included in the tracklist - mastered by Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( Massaith / Tokee / Bouquiniste / Paindonor ) - are at the same time subliminal dialogues with the soul, intense seduction, the synthesis between reality and imagination. The electronic harmonies seem evanescent, virtual scenarios, yet so concrete and infinite, rhythmically moved by the slow intercalation of drum-programming, punctuated by sequenced micro-pulsations, embellished by keyboard iridescences and, sometimes, by acoustic instruments, such as piano and balalaikas. The parallel universe of "Adore" is reflected in its consequent palingenesis, in its advanced and equally visionary 'alter-ego' called "Adore Resurrect", thus completing a natural, balanced cycle of birth, inner transformation and awakening, all without ever going through the process of decline. A prodigious metamorphosis of the sound concept.
The best tracks of "Adore Resurrect", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "You're The Symphony": atmospherical elegance and noble technological aestheticism characterize this electronic / IDM / modern classical episode, punctuated metronomically by automatic drum-beats underlined by the sequencer, around which are systematically replicated minimal harmonies and nostalgic chordophone sections.
- "Legend", a splendid electronic / IDM / neoclassical execution, in whose musicality it's possible to capture multiple sensations, in particular modern soundtrack strategies, fairy-tale perceptions, refined classicism, aristocratic decadence and a progressed sound-system, all through a rational downtempo percussiveness scanned together with sequencing, graceful, extensive piano backgrounds, melancholic euphonies of strings and seductive keyboard patterns: the combination of these elements diffuses the identical, languid climax that can be perceived by walking in the Autumn with solemn steps through the meanders of a wither garden, immersed in the memories of a distant mythological past full of romanticism. Amsvartnir, Camelot, Avalon...no matter where.
Visionary hi-tech soundscapes, passionate electronic fragrances and a penetrating spiritual energy, also distinguish this new sonic-mental journey by Denis Vasiliev. The unmistakable music of the protagonist does not only constitute the usual hybridization between multiple styles, but it's their more expressive personalization. Album with sculptural forms, "Adore Resurrect" crosses the boundaries of the impossible, transporting the listener to a psychic dimension thousands of worlds away, in which the Time and the material consistency are only pure illusions. This full-length, as every release of MediaData, fills life with supreme beauty.
back to top
My Love Kills - "Glitch" - by Maxymox 2019
To better understand the personality, the concepts and the musical characteristics of My Love Kills, it is necessary to extrapolate the meanings from these two emblematic, exhaustive sentences impressed in the pages of the CD's sleeve: "Here come the ghosts every day they're haunting me , all I have done I can't forget it, I can't forgive me " and "My heart is full of pain. You know I can't find the right words to make you smile. My heart is cold as ice, I can see the tears in your eyes. Let it go and come in my arms. My love kills all around". Founded in 2014 by the Swedish Fredrik Sigeback ( Erotic Elk / Vaylon / State Of The Nation ) - musics - and by the French V.V. Arkames ( Ad Inferna ) - vox - , the project was born with the ambitious intent to abstracting, elaborate and express individually the most emotional part of the two protagonists, reproducing it musically with surprising realism in a sensory hybridization that involves at 100% the listener, who will be projected into a vivid dimension of fear, sadness, alienating melancholy, sense of existential difficulty and apprehension, making him the main character of every event described in the tracklist, played through exciting harmonies and sung through texts dealing with situations of daily life, whose synergy always hits reason and spirit with the maximum intensity. The sounds created by My Love Kills are an amazing combination of electro / EBM / synthpop / futurepop elements, made strongly atmospherical by a dark instrumentality and by the magnetic gloom of vocals - sometimes coldly aggressive - , while some songs are rhythmically dynamic and perfectly suited to the dancefloors. The first act of the discography of My Love Kills is the appreciable single "Love Undone" ( 2014 / self-released) , followed five years later by a second single, "Love Is Suffering" ( 2019 / self-released ) , anticipatory of the following debut album "Glitch" ( 2019 / ScentAir Records ) , the release now analyzed by Vox Empirea. The twelve full-length's tracks are the result of a sonic experimentation that lasted for five years, during which the power-duo tenaciously researched the most incisive formulas among hi-tech electronic modulations and effective lyrics, finally obtaining a product of great success, a masterpiece that honors the technological musical genre. Abyssal keyboard extensions full of vibrant suggestion, catchy synth's melodies, avant-garde arrangements, midtempo / downtempo percussiveness and a chant able to impress itself definitively into the auditory system, constitute the true, significant substance of this release.
The best tracks of "Glitch", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Just For One Kiss" : danceability and seductive melodism innervate this electro / synthpop track, elevating it to an high potential performance, in which the pulsing midtempo drum-programming, the sequenced lines, the compelling keyboards and the obscure charm of the vocals, build an energizing a set of rhythm and melody which culminates its run in a formidable refrain.
- "2 As 1", fascinating, visionary and technologically arcane, this electro / futurepop song is performed through rarefied downtempo percussions, enchanting pads, echoed synth's sections, hypnotic sequencing cycles and an hoarsely tenebrous vocalism that generates surreal images. Absolutely evocative.
- "Slaves of Joy" : danceable industrial-oriented counterpoints interact with dark-synthpop melodies, subjugating, energizing the sound. The compactness and the danceability of this music form a synchronicity of tension and efficiency, composed through geometric midtempo drumming, threateningly caustic vocals and through solid re-sampled electric guitar, played by the guest musician Tomas Gustafsson ( Erotic Elk ) , on which systematically stand out enchanting synth harmonies. It's simply impossible to try to resist it.
Flows of mind-expanding sounds and modern technicalities merge, converging them into a single core in which feelings dialogue in perfect harmony with the artificial intelligence of machines, through a unique 'electronic' and 'human' language. "Glitch" stands proudly on the scene, eloquently certifying the great compositional ability of My Love Kills, a promising and inspired newcomer band that knows how to drag us into its universe. Owning this album is a must.
back to top
Nermi - "In The Creation" - EP - by Maxymox 2019
Nermi is the artistic projection of the Russian musician Max Ignatev, who can reasonably be considered a new revelation in the whole technological alternative scene. Founded in 2019, this 'outsider' solo-project has evolved combining classicism, filmic culture and avant-gardism, researching for a proportionate equilibrium among these three different movements; the objective was therefore achieved through a long, continuous process of individual sound explorations and through the development of his own authenticity. From these solid foundations results a particularly evocative musicality, planned merging the sculptural portamento of the neo-classical style with captivating soundtrack-oriented atmospheres, ethereal ambient suspensions, electronic industrial energy and martial downtempo rhythmics, often alternated with slow and more linear drum-programming progressions. The debut EP "In The Creation" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) - now analyzed by Vox Empirea and Nermi's only record publication - conveys the imagination towards supernatural and fantastic horizons, in which remote past and abstract futurism intersect, generating an uninterrupted flow of imaginary worlds, ancient battles, immortal glories, angelic characters and exciting adventures, all through an elegant songwriting that acts with natural effectiveness on the listener's mind. The five songs of the tracklist - exclusively instrumental and mastered by Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( Massaith / Tokee / UDPWNF ) - magnificently enhance the abstraction of 'sound design', or the basic concept on which the entire Extended Play is built, perfectly documenting the accuracy and expressiveness of this inspired sonic alchemist. The main impression that came from listening to "In The Creation" is that of an aestheticized perspective of sounds, always filled with cinematic phatos, powerful modern-classical orchestrations and industrial symphonism, all in an intriguing succession of dynamically contemplative sonorities incorporated into a refined post-modernism. Powerful keyboard executions, rigorous counterpoints of drum-machine and sequencing, moments of ecstatic suspension, suggestive euphonies overflowing with drama and noble melodism, they constitute the structures of this release: just one listen to judge it as an indispensable element to be proudly added to your collection.
The best tracks of "In The Creation", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Last Battle" : its incipt initially spreads warm extensions of pads and melancholic keyboards harmonies, while a growing neoclassical orchestration then pours all its authority into the musics, through pugnacious consonances, female artificial choirs and mighty sections of militaristic downtempo drumming. The ideal encounter between sound discipline and the most vivid demonstration of heroism. A superlative performance.
- "To The Stars" : an austere ride introduced by prolonged, hypnotic expansions of dark-ambient sequenced modulations, followed by epic soundtrack keyboard's arias, thundering downtempo drumming and a fascinating 'mermaid' chorality.
Compositional solemnity and emotional vastness exponentially increase the levels of entertainment. Nermi's musical configuration is extremely meticulous, chivalrous, persuasive, aimed at the mental concretization of legendary landscapes. "In The Creation" accompanies the auditor on a timeless journey, in which he will only perceive the desire to abandon himself to such profound intensity. Now you know what to listen to in the next hundred years.
back to top
Netherworld - "Algida Bellezza" - by Maxymox 2019
Performed by the Italian musician Alessandro Tedeschi - owner of the prestigious label Glacial Movements Records - the solo-act Netherworld was founded in 2004 with the main objective of musically exteriorising the entire introspective dimension of the protagonist, through an efficient set of electronic technicalities that incorporate, elaborate and shape vibrant emotions, finally transforming them into a sound capable of dissociating the listener from his perception of reality and amplifying every energy directly connected to his extrasensory activity. The evocative function of Netherworld, variably oriented towards themes inspired by the elements of Nature, or tending towards the stimulation of the psychic sphere, also proposes to explore the innermost depths of the mind, decrypting the multiple signals coming from the subconscious-unconscious cerebral subsoil, but also to transcribe in sound form the most significant events that occurred in the artist's life, this through the transmission of specific ambient / drone / dark-ambient / minimal / field-recordings frequencies able to awaken new and extraordinarily intense sensations. The musical journey of Alessandro Tedeschi was characterized in the past times by a constructive militancy into the Liquid Ghosts, creators of the album "La Camera Obscura" ( 2004 / Umbra ) , which is also today a fundamental document in the Italian drone / ambient scene. The highly prolific record production of Netherworld initially start from the album "Eternal Frost" ( 2004 / Umbra ) , followed by the full-length "Hermetic Thoughts" ( 2004 / Umbra ) , "Otherworldly Abyss" ( 2005 / Umbra ) , "Firmament In Obscurity" ( 2005 / Umbra ) , "Six Impending Clouds" (2005 / Gears Of Sand ) , "Kall - The Abyss Where Dreams Fall" ( 2007 / Mondes Elliptiques ) , "Mørketid" ( 2007 / Glacial Movements Records ) , by the split "Magma To Ice" ( 2008 / Fario ) , shared with the German-Canadian ambient / drone / metal project Nadja, succeeded therefore by the albums "Over The Summit" ( 2011 / Glacial Movements Records ) , "Alchemy Of Ice" ( 2013 / Glacial Movements Records ) , "Zastrugi" ( 2015 / Glacial Movements Records ) , "Himuro" ( 2017 / Glacial Movements Records ) - produced in collaboration with Italian musician / producer / sound-designer Eraldo Bernocchi - and by this new "Algida Bellezza" ( 2019 / Glacial Movements Records ) , now reviewed by Vox Empirea. Mentionable for their authoritativeness are the three Extended Plays "Lost" ( 2005 / Penumbra ) - conceived in cooperation with the Italian artist / communication and management consultant Fiorenza Gherardi de Candei - , "Postcards From The Void" ( 2005 / Penumbra ) - performed with the contribution of the Italian ambient-drone / minimal solo-venture Oophoi - and "EP Collection Vol.7" ( 2006 / Penumbra ) - recorded with the participation of Oophoi and Liquid Ghosts. The mini Hallucinations ( 2007 / Taâlem ) and the appearances in the compilations "Lágrimas De Miedo N° 13 - Parhélie ( 2007 / Fear Drop )" plus "Lágrimas De Miedo N° 17 - Polar Twist" ( 2014 / Fear Drop ) conclude the list of publications. The five tracks included in "Algida Bellezza", arranged, mastered and mixed by the sound engineer Matteo Spinazzè, globally anthologize the typical compositional style of Netherworld, projecting enchanted soundscapes, capable of mentally portraying the most vivid cognition of Arctic territory and of its autochthonous fauna, the latter at the base of every episode of the tracklist, whose subjects are boreal animals scientifically named and illustrated by ample, incorporeal emissions of pads, subterranean percussiveness, reverberating droning structures and by electronic fades similar to iced exhalations. The sounds hover diaphanous, misty, slowly, conveyed in the air as cumuliform masses with a different density, or emanating spectral dilatations that rise reaching the celestial vault, for then gradually disappear into oblivion as seen in slow motion. Ethereal modulations like the visions of a dream, capture, subjugate, hypnotize, induce reflection, expand infinitely the line spacing of the horizon that stands in front of the third eye, in an increasingly rarefied and distant evanescence, until its progressive, torpid disintegration. With Netherworld, the notes become an abstract representation that goes beyond the traditional concept of "melody", interpreting solely ambient music as a tool to arouse in the auditor visceral suggestions. Sound interacts with brain chemistry.
The best tracks of "Algida Bellezza", chosen for you by Vox Empirea::
- "Orcinus Orca" : chords of annihilated musicality elevate in placid waves of black vapor, generating slow suspensions among which to float, while symphonies of cosmic darkness and dronescapes sink placidly into the abyss with spiraled movements. The dark-ambient is the mysterious force that will push you virtually under the icy surface of the Polar Ocean.
- "Ursus Maritimus": energized in its first phase by asynchronous rhythmical loops, this song spreads narcotic keyboard extensions and ascensional-descensional currents of sound at subzero temperature, in which stand out the fascinating evolutions of drones, in a whole of apparent figurative immobility, sense of alienation, of solemnity and of total abandonment. You will experience all the shades of the cold on the skin.
Atmospherically 'mind expanding', essential and of incomparable qualitative level, the formulas of Netherworld constitute the maximum expression of the sonic evolution achievable by human iintelligence. They condition the perceptive faculties of the listener, who will be psychically harmonized with an artificial world, oscillating between flights on parabolas of semi-darkness and sinking in absolutely light-free chasms. "Algida Bellezza": over forty-four minutes in apnea into the dark-ambient hyperspace.
back to top
Plastikstrom - "Beton Gegen Angst" - by Maxymox 2019
The historical premises concerning the initial design of this German duo-act, date back exactly to 1991, the year in which Matthias Günzler militated as vocalist in an underground new wave / gothic band called The Last Curtain, extinguished in 1991 and rebuilt in 1992 with the name of Darc Entries, stylistically oriented towards gothic-rock as well ascompleted shortly after with the introduction of the keyboardist / drum-programmer Jürgen Schips. Subsequently there was a long period during which, parallel to the Darc Entries, the interest of the two protagonists found new expressions in the alternative electronic dimension; the music experimentations took place using as as rehearsal room a disused old factory in Reutlingen built in 1909, into which, under the pseudonym Plastiktrom, Matthias, Jürgen and Wimp, their mutual friend, perfected inedited modulations, created through synths and noises from a wide range of objects. This sound received positive reactions at the live sessions, encouraging the band to continue always ahead, searching for increasingly avant-garde electronic solutions. At the same time, the entry into the Darc Entries of Stah, keyboardist at the times of the early The Last Curtain, introduced in this band a perceivable new waver / electro orientation. However, later Stah and Wimp came out from the project, leaving Jürgen and Matthias the results of the advanced sonic explorations carried out up to that point. In 1995, they founded the Plastikstrom, recording a satisfactory amount of demo tracks but concentrating anyway the most part of the attention to the Darc Entries, temporarily setting aside their transversal electronic project. All this until 2001, the year in which the Darc Entries dissolved, thus allowing Jürgen and Matthias to revive the Plastikstrom, an intense live activity and some participations in compilations. Both roles within the line-up are currently these: Jürgen Schips (synths / Keyboards / drums), Matthias Günzler, (vox), while the musical genre played by the duo can now be circumscribed into an heterogeneous minimal electro / EBM context, inside which we can also distinguish darkwave, new wave and synthwave elements. Chronologically making a list of the complete Plastikstrom's discography - mainly self-released - we get this order: "Die Kunst Des Unbeschädigten Öffnen's" (1995 - self-released demo-tape ) , "Projekt Emil Adolff" (1996 - self-released demo-tape ) , "Nichts Ist Heilig" ( 2001- self-released demo-CD ) , "Gesammelte Werke" ( 2002 self-released demo-CD ) , "Gipfelstürmer" (2002 - self-released demo-CD ) , "Plastikstrom" ( 2015 - self-released mini album ). As mentioned above, there are also nine appearances these important compilations: "9.Wave / Gothic-Treffen" ( 2000 - UpScene / as Darc Entries ) , "New Dark Age Vol. 2" ( 2004 - Strobelight Records / as Plastikstrom ) , "Goth Is What You Make It Vol. 4" ( 2004 - Batbeliever Releases / as Plastikstrom ) , "Darkness Before Dawn Vol. 1" ( 2009 - UpScene / as Plastikstrom) , "Abby Compilation 4.1 "(2014 - UpScene / as Plastikstrom)," Gothic File 15/1 "(2015 - Batbeliever Releases / as Plas tikstrom), "Minimal Baby X" (2017 - SkullLine / as Plastikstrom), "Gothic File 18/1 - Gothic Magazine 87" ( 2018 - Batbeliever Releases / as Plastikstrom ) , "Young & Cold Festival VI" ( 2018 - Young And Cold Records / as Plastikstrom ). The ambitious goal of a debut-album was finally reached in 2019 with this "Beton Gegen Angst", a release containing thirteen tracks mixed by Daniel Hallhuber, German sound engineer, producer, musician and founder of Young And Cold Records, the label responsible for the publication of this first, amazing Plastikstrom's full-length, now analyzed by Vox Empirea. Conceptually, the album treats existential arguments, ranging from individual fears to the fate of the world, to the social and political decline today in progress, also touching on issues concerning the restlessness experienced by many people in the 90's for a new Cold War. Each of the thirteen songs included in the tracklist arouses different sensations, exercising a powerful attraction that chains the listener, in a triumph of emotional tensions, rational sound technology and strong danceability, all created mostly through neurotics, essential electro aestheticisms. Telegraphic vocals, often brimful with schizophrenic and desperate tones, incite imperiously, propelled by hypnotic uptempo / midtempo grooves of drum-programming, sequencers, replicated bass-lines and by minimal synths harmonies. Excitement and seduction are assured.
Best tracks of "Beton Gegen Angst", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Großstadtalarm", a minimal-electro / EBM / new waving song frenetic like a run, driven by a basic uptempo drumming, whose skinny and fast beats give the track a remarkable incisiveness, while the singer's psychotic chant wriggles out convulsively among cool synth luminescences and sequenced punctuations.
- "Tote Stadt", so authoritative in its minimal-electro / EBM livery, built through vigorous vocal exhortations that do not grant respite, systematically inserted within the uptempo mechanism of drum-programming, compact sequencing and cold keyboard streams. Impossible to resist its impetus and its dynamic action.
- "Amok", whose austere minimal-electro / darkwave architectures are cleverly composed through an enthralling use of vocals, as always so darkly dramatic and atmospheric, embellished by the suggestive forcing of keyboards and midtempo drum-machine, for a combination of electronic darkness and rhythm that drags us in an endless vortex.
The duo's first album is characterized by floods of strong vocalizations, snappy percussive automatisms, concise keyboard melodies and virtues that only the direct approach to this release can fully reveal. The perfect synergy between instrumentation and singing generates a configuration of morphologically squared / mentally stimulating sounds, which will be appreciated by all followers of this specific genre, who will find in the release innovations and retrospectives at the same time. The great artistic ability and the explosive desire to emerge, guarantee the project a well-deserved affirmation, as well as the official publication of "Beton Gegen Angst" must to be considered an exceptionally important event: this full-lenght indelibly sculpts the name Plastickstrom on the alternative electro scene, opening future, boundless horizons of glory. A stellar debut, without any compromise.
back to top
Polygon - "Einzelheiten" - by Maxymox 2019
The German sound-engineer / designer / visual-creator Ingo Lindmeier represents his solo-act Polygon since 1993. Ingenious, mediatically-reserved and artistically multi-faceted, the protagonist is characterized by a marked aptitude for the research for increasingly original and communicative technological sounds, through which to stimulate the sensorial functions and the formation in mind of individual, fascinating musical landscapes. Intuition, creativity, courage to go beyond the conventions, constitute the main bases of this project, whose priority is the elaboration of suggestive, intelligent and effective modulations, able to shake the imagination, transporting the listener into an immaterial Universe composed of electronically atmospheric, meditative sounds, formulated with scientific rigor and sensibility. In the musical style of Polygon they converge several elements, which, intersecting and synergizing among them, in turn generate a particular, abstract IDM / downtempo / dark-ambient / ambient / industrial / electro / glitch combination, transmitting in the brain hypnotic impulses, states of perceptive alteration, surreal visions, intense emotions and, above all, an immense, indescribable spatiality. Polygon's discography, published over the years at irregular intervals and in limited editions, first chronologically lists the album "Refuge" ( 1995 / Glasnost Records ) , followed by the 7 "single "Beyond Nothing" ( 1998 / White Head Records ) and by the subsequent full-lenght's, "Images" ( 2001 / Polymorph Records ) , "Traveler" ( 2003 / Polymorph Records ) - realized in collaboration with the German tribal-ambient project Arbre Noir - , "Infinity" ( 2005 / self-released ) , "Sein Lernen" ( 2015 / Aliens Production ) , "Sein Lernen Remixes" (2015 / Aliens Production) and, finally, "Einzelheiten" ( 2016 / Aliens Production ) the album now analyzed by Vox Empirea. Very interesting is also the split entitled "Kalt" ( 2002 / Polymorph Records ) , which includes songs by Polygon and by the project Halbschlaf - aka Jürgen Fahrner ( Ambit / Loss Of Center ) .The twelve tracks of "Einzelheiten", considered as a collection of early drafts, they are a race in slow motion and with eyes uses towards the depths of the subsconscious, in which unexplored recesses the reality is changed into utopia, the tangibility into incorporeal structures, leaving the listener in a dimension of totalizing, continuous ecstasy. Rarefied, minimal harmonies, so vibrant and luminescent into the darkness of sounds, sequenced microparticles, essential / mechanical downtempo rhythms, ethereal suspensions, electronic transparencies, digital-creaks, intricate textures full of seduction, broken pads, cycles of interrupted melodies , mysterious whispers and alienating reverbs, originate an impressive sound-system that slowly expands as a cosmic fog.
The best tracks of "Einzelheiten", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Unterhaltung" : IDM / electro / glitch song played through a metronomic alternations of dry downtempo percussiveness, rhythmically followed by a technologically skeletal musicality, full of perpetual sequenced repetitions, gravitating glitch corpuscles, dissonant melodic sections and episodic spoken words. The auditor will instantly fall into a sort of psycho-electronic trance.
- "Sattigungsgrad" : IDM / electro / industrial / ambient chapter in which a cold downtempo rhythm systematically and robotically fractionates millimetric glitch sections of sequencer, while diaphanous, melancholic pads embellish its very elegant, relaxing architectures.
- "Zeiterfassung / Neu Erfasst" : the track, written by the German dark-ambient / drone / industrial-ambient project Nerthus, configures relaxing IDM / electro-ambient / industrial trajectories, set up in refined sound schemes supported by discontinuous intermittences of downtempo drumming, surrounded by onyric pads, whispered vocals and glitch punctuations. What would be called 'the synthesis of a dream'.
The complexity of this full-length is only apparent. Its cryptic, evocative geometries take possession of thoughts with extraordinary immediacy, infusing feelings of contemplative and sometimes tormented introspection, which exceed the limits of all the concepts of physicality. The alternations of tiny numerical symphonies of laptop develops synthetic sonances, simultaneously disturbed and clear, suitable only for musically advanced listeners, endowed with natural reflexive abilities. Polygon's talent is boundless and "Einzelheiten" is an unforgettable album.
back to top
Polygon - "Mental Border" - by Maxymox 2019
All biographical and discographical informations regarding the German solo-act Polygon are available in the 2019 reviews section of Vox Empirea, precisely within the exhaustive report dedicated to the album "Einzelheiten" ( 2016 / Aliens Production ) . After a prolonged period of stillness, the eclectic musician Ingo Lindmeier returns to the scene proposing his finely elaborated, evocative musicality, exploring sound horizons in which are included experimental electronic / ambient / dark-ambient / downtempo-midtempo / EBM / IDM / industrial elements. The album "Mental Border" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) is in fact an extraordinary 'reissued publication' containing unpublished material, in which fourteen tracks you can perceive all the powerful inner inspiration of the protagonist, combined with an absolute compositional perfection and with an extremely polarizing interactive energy. The structures of this full-length - entirely instrumental and mastered by the Moscow based musician Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( Massaith / Tokee / UDPWNF ) - go into the most avant-garde technological minimalism, directing the sound towards light-shadow combinations mechanically driven by cold post-Kraftwerk downtempo sections of drum-machine, dripping sequencers, severe orchestrations of synths, liquid effects, by incessant trails of micronized noises, hypnotic dilations, murky counterpoints, sporadic vocal-looping and by crystalline dissonances of carillon. In the listener's imagination, the perspective space expands immeasurably, totally subjugated by a psychic involvement capable of trespass on the physical dimension, all in an algid alternation of reverberations and dark areas, immersions in abstractionism and emersions in the reality, turbulences interspersed with static moments. Polygon maneuvers the machines with great skill, transmitting flows of emotional waves that cross the surface of the mind, rapidly spreading in the neural circuits as an extraterrestrial life form, taking total control of thoughts. Alienating, logical and highly intense, the album's sound-system draws concentric circles around which your imagination will orbit enchanted.
The best tracks of "Mental Border", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Semi Conscious State" : suggestively obscure-ambient and atmospherical, its sounds propagate estranging evanescences, which, replicating themselves cyclically, evolve into gloomy transmissions of pads, sinister bell tolls, murky electronic breaths, interferences and abyssal refractions, all this continuously punctuated by the elementary luminescences of the carillon. If you want to know the meaning of 'alteration of senses and of the self-consciousness', listen to this execution alone, at night, in a dark room.
- "Restless Brainwaves" : the three phases of the experimental-electronics / dark-ambient track evolve initially from neurotic sequenced effervescences and from hundreds of asynchronous intermittent sound-pixels, followed by a brief suspension of artificial placidity, succeeded by atonic segments systematically crossed by patterns similar to aqueous waves, glacial winds of unknown origin and by downtempo subterranean deflagrations.
- "Confrontation" : the machines process robotic electro-ambient / IDM / industrial modulations, through linear midtempo scans, darkly solemn pads, sequenced pulses, noise from an alien cockpit and elementary echoed keyboard melodies. The concept of fascination becomes synthetic sound.
Rationally technologized, Polygon's music takes place within a perpetual dualism between essentiality and complexity, immediately activating the brain chemistry responsible for the production of utopian visions. The multi-articulated schemes played by the artist are manifestations of a functional refinement, but above all of an effective method of communication generated by an extraordinary intelligence, which finds its maximum expression in this specific electronic style. If you want to undertake an intricate sonic trip to remember forever, "Mental Border" is the essential vehicle for traveling beyond all that you have apparently considered so far as real.
back to top
RecFrag - "Recovered Fragments" - by Maxymox 2019
RecFrag is the solo-platform of the Belarusian Dmitry Nikolaenko, an outsider with great compositional ability and a deep knowledge of the most sophisticated high-tech sounds. After past experiences in the drum and bass / breakbeat universe, with an ephemeral passion to guitars, Dmitry founded the RecFrag project between 2010 and 2011, inspired by the cerebral and atmospherical IDM / ambient / glitch / electronic music of the Californian duo Gridlock, whom also today the protagonist considers a point of reference, although not specular or entirely identitary. In fact, during long years of continuous experimentations, RecFrag has perfected its own style, transforming the artificial laptop modulations into authentic transmissions of energy that physically reach the human neural networks, generating highly attractive technological waves, in which stand out in various proportions avant-garde electronics / IDM / noise-ambient / dark-ambient / EBM / glitch / rhythmic noise elements, with particular attention to the exaltation of the dialogue among percussiveness, danceability, melancholic harmonies and feelings full of obscure emotional tension. RecFrag's discography started from the two digital EP's "Membrane" ( 2011 / Solanic ) and "12-41" ( 2011 / Otium ) , followed by the first official album "Burning Rime" ( 2015 / Solanic ) and by the full-length "Recovered Fragments "( 2016 / Alien Production ) , the release now analyzed by Vox Empirea. Also noteworthy are the significant appearances of RecFrag in these compilations: "Solum1 - Inception" ( 2011 / Solanic ) , "Solum 2 - Our Time" (2013 / Solanic ) and "CRL Studios Presents: Reconnection 2" ( 2013 / CRL Studios ) , as well as the publication of the digital split "RecFrag & Letzte Ausfahrt Leben - Premonition Before And After" ( 2014 / Format Noise ) . "Recovered Fragments" - aka the full name of the abbreviation 'RecFrag' - internalizes and consolidates all the Dmitry's artistic evolution, through transversal vortexes of electronic substance, suggestive keyboard textures and mighty rhythmical asymmetries, wisely intersected by placid pads interludes, by the boombastic verticalizations of downtempo / midtempo drum-programming and by hyper-processed sequenced signals. Listening to this album is like exploring an imaginary but at the same time so incredibly concrete world, dominated by the perpetual balance among the power of sound, futuristic aestheticisms and a strong emotional spatiality. The tracklist in the digital version lists nine episodes, while the limited edition CD includes four spectacular remixes created by Xsodect, The Opposer Divine, Tokee and Ish. The participation of Taelih ( Diffusion ) in the song "Temeraire" is also relevant. A succession of electronically exciting alchemies go beyond the tympanic membranes, definitively penetrating the encephalon, building an incalculable number of unique, indelible sensations. This, and not only, is the RecFrag effect.
The best tracks of "Recovered Fragments", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Proto-D", introduced by linear sequenced segments, which expand them into cosmic pads and danceable midtempo drumming sections, in a set of frequencies able to evoke psychic stereograms, opening parallel dimensions in our minds. This stentorian rhythmical-electronic / IDM / ambient sound activates the concept of movement, subjugating the listener through solemn, metallic-coloured euphonies. Hypnotic keyboard suspensions merge with midtempo break beats and with icy synthesized flows. The result is simply electrifying.
- "New Point Of Loneliness" : distinguished by dreamy electronic / IDM / ambient registers, this track draws sadly and sweetly introspective landscapes. Piano counterpoints filled with nostalgic mood awake romantic feelings, while classical keyboard orchestrations and a downtempo drumming superbly embellish the structures. In it, the listener will be able to dialogue internally with himself.
- "Magnetic Spheres (Xsodect Remix)" : the Russian IDM / ambient solo-act reformulates the track through a diagram initially consisting of phlegmatic pad extensions and essential percussionism, which subsequently develop systematic downtempo cycles and catchy metronomies, all this in an escalation of refined rhythmic synergies, intense keyboard chords and electronic ornaments. A superlative execution.
Ultra-modern sound representation, characterized by a culturally advanced musicality that communicates through functionally researched languages, but planned to be naturally decrypted. The supreme grace of keyboard configurations, the intricate technicalities of sequencing and the multifaceted percussive geometries, combine scientific sonic rigor, automated instrumentality and high sensory receptivity, exponentially amplifying the level of emotional participation. The statuary beauty of "Recovered Fragments" seduces, disconcerts us. RecFrag is proudly part of that array of musicians of extraordinary intelligence who have anticipated the future.
back to top
Re.Mind - "Unique" EP - by Maxymox 2019
Re.Mind is the name of a promising Leipzig duo, ready in the near future for its emersion on the alternative electronic panorama. The inspiring orientations tending towards the classic 80's synthpopish formulas have created the primary matrix from which the current style of this act has evolved, constantly searching for its own authenticity and for ever more seductive harmonies. The line-up is now composed by Reminder M ( vox / lyrics / songwriter / programming ) - aka Marko Bonew, former singer of the synth-pop band called Strange Indications and inventor of the entire music planning of Re.Mind - plus Reminder U ( vox / keyboards ) - aka Uwe Dörr, electronic drummer in Spalter East, a German dark-electro / wave band that dissolved in 2010 - . The foundation of the project dates back to 2014, the year in which Marko decided to realize an artistic synergy together with the musician Reminder O on vocals and keyboards - aka Oli Haas ( vox / lyrics / programming ), both animated by the desire to form a band through the which to express a sound that could conquer a large number of electro-fans and stand out for its distinctive imprint. An intense and productive period of experimental activity followed, during which Marko and Oli perfected their music, writing and archiving a conspicuous quantity of sound material. In 2017, however, Oli abandoned the Re.Mind, dedicating himself entirely to his initial electropop / EBM project Audiotherapie - established by him in 2008 - until, in early 2018, Uwe entered in the band, immediately contributing to optimizing the musics, which became structurally more defined and evolved. The numerous live sessions organized by the power-duo on the German territory proved to be particularly useful for the growth and consolidation of their reputation, as well as the creation of promotional videos spread the name and the sound of Re.Mind across the borders. The band's discography mentions an appearance in the prestigious "Orkus Compilation 138", dated 2019, with the track "I Promise" and another participation in the same Orkus Compilation's saga scheduled for June 2019, with the song "My Face". The Re.Mind, now at an high level of technical sound advancement preparation, finally present in 2019 their official debut, the Extended Play entitled "Unique" now analyzed by Vox Empirea, that is the result of a long process of selection of the tracks and qualitative advancement of the sounds. The release, whose preliminary phases date back to 2016, is licensed by the German label Sonic-X; the eight songs contained in it fully reveal the musical style of the project, definable as an harmonious, danceable combination of synth-wave, electro and synthpop. The concept of "Unique" has indistinct meanings, dealing with a variety of topics such as human relations, love and the aversion to war, all played through strongly and pleasantly catchy melodies, vocalized with clear-cut euphonies, rhythmed by precise sections of drum-programming / sequencers and embellished by persuasive keyboard streams. The immediacy of listening is the pre-eminent element that characterizes the Re.Mind's sound: each track emanates an indefinable electronic magnetism that fascinates instantaneously, entertaining with grace, inebriating the senses and exhorting the dance.
Best tracks of "Unique", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "I Promise", by far the most representative song of the Re.Mind and, potentially, the most quotable one for incisiveness. His enthralling musicality is a modernized reinterpretation of the traditional 80's synthpop schemes, now magnified through the addition of agreeable electro solutions. The solid and terse chant of the singer imposes suggestively itself on the midtempo symmetries of the drumming and on the melodic keyboards, polarizing the listener's attention, especially in the introductory first minute and then culminating in a very impressive refrain. The track is also present in other two interpretations: a 'Red Wine Version', melancholically downtempo and full of modern romanticism, plus a 'Club Shot' version, a true masterpiece of synthpopish energy and effective floorfiller in alternative dancefloors, thanks to arrangements of the latest generation and to the powerful strengthening of bass lines.
- "In My Face", whose geometric midtempo cadences of drum-programming and the spatial keyboards draw us into a futuristic highly danceable synthpop / electro dimension, over which an intriguing chant attracts us fatally.
- "The Killing Fields", a functional synthpop / electro with new waving sediments, well marked by fast midtempo drum-programming and dashed by the sequencer, above which the singer intonates fluidly resolute and at the same time extremely harmonious vocals, while all around it spreads a microcosm of compelling keyboard extensions.
Advanced electronic metrics meet 80's synthpopish retrospectives: this union generates a formidable sonic aggregate of technicality and melody, sublimated by the enthusiasm that only a project eager to stand out can offer. This EP is a precious document attesting genius and tenacity, amplified up to the obtaining of an higher range of music. The sensations you will perceive by this listening will be 'unique'. Unique like Re.Mind.
back to top
Sea Of Sin - "Love Won't Wait" single - by Maxymox 2019
Epic German band founded around 1991 initially under the name Black Eight, later changed as Covent Garden and finally, always in the 90's, in the definitive Sea Of Sin. Even the line-up, although partially, has undergone a transformation over time: in fact, at the beginning of its career it was composed by three members, respectively Frank, Klaus and Dirk, the latter one left the ensemble before the end of the 90's . The current line-up is officially represented by the duo-act Klaus Schill ( synths / guitars / production ) and Frank Zwicker ( vox / words ) . The Sea Of Sin's style presents an unmistakable, electronically pleasing synthpopish / indie pop imprint, full of melodic refinement and deep conceptual meanings, the winning features that have allowed the project a gradual but steady ascent in the alternative scene, until it reached in 2018 prestigious goals such as the entry into the Top 10 of the Deutsche Alternative Charts ( DAC ) and into the German Electronic WebCharts ( GEWC ) . The complete discography of Sea Of Sin chronologically mentions the following releases: the debut-album "Watch Out!" ( 1995 / Subtronic Records ) , followed by the EP "Illuminate" ( 1997 / Subtronic Records ) , by the full-lenght "Urban Chemistry" ( 2000 / Synthphony Records ) , by the digital singles "I Live My Life ( Twilight Version )" ( 2017 / Oceansight Records ) and by "Twilight ( 2017 / Oceansight Records ) , continuing with the series of digital singles "Beyond Sadness ( Radio Edit )" ( 2018 / self-released ) , "I Live My Life ( NEO Remix )" ( 2018 / self-released ), "Star ( Stockholm Nights Remix )" ( 2018 / self-released ) , "Closer To Sin" ( 2018 / Oceansight Records ) , "Hold On To Your Dreams" ( 2018 / Oceansight Records ) and "Beyond Sadness" ( 2018 / Oceansight Records ) , then carrying on with the album "Future Pulse" ( 2018 / self-released ) , with the digital single "Contamination" ( 2019 / self-released ) , with the album "Unbroken" ( 2019 / self-released ) , then with the digital singles "You" ( 2019 / 7Music ) , "What Are You Waiting For?" ( 2019 / 7Music ) , "What Are You Waiting For?" Remixes V2 "( 2019 / 7Music ) , with the EP "The Love Trilogy" ( 2019 / 7Music ) and with the upcoming "The Remixes" (2019 / 7Music ) . The list of record publications closes with the additional digital-singles: "Demo Versions 2015" ( 2019 / self released ) and "You ( Periodic Table Of Synthpop Remix )" ( 2019 / self-released ) . "Love Won't Wait" - the digital single now reviewed by Vox Empirea - is included in the aforementioned Extended Play "The Love Trilogy" ; the sounds of its three songs are the enchanting combination among a multiplicity of elements resulting from the great technical experiences matured by the two protagonists, who with this release once again demonstrate their innate ability in knowing how to infallibly reach the listener's sensibility.The structures of the tracks clearly reflect the modern romanticism, the melancholic passion, the distinction and the communicative power that make Sea Of Sin a true institution in the 'emotional-synthpop' universe, all this through accurate instrumental and singing processes that indelibly imprint themselves in the mind. Midtempo rhythms of drum-programming, subtle dashes of sequencers, warm streams of keyboards and a catchy vocal finesse, are the prerogatives of this creation orchestrated with rare mastery. By the Sea Of Sin's sound the perception of love is absolutely intense, infinite.
The best tracks of "Love Won't Wait", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Love Won't Wait" : Frank's soft vocalism, overflowing with evocative nostalgia, especially in the unforgettable refrain, is accompanied by splendid synths euphonies, while drum-programming and sequencer propagate midtempo metrics, all in an elegant synthpop song of an almost angelic beauty, from which spread the same sensations of a strong infatuation. Love exists and is all around. This track is not just music: it is a catalyst for dreams.
- "Substitute" : harmonious keyboard chords embellish by the graceful singing of the singer, whose strophes sadly caress a tenuous midtempo percussiveness and luminous sequencing sections. The words of the text are poetry. The notes are fragments of vivid sentiment. Falling in love with it is inevitable.
Intelligently aestheticized formulas, intertwined with expressive contents meanings, make Sea Of Sin one of the best synthpop bands of the last thirty years. The atmospheres of the three songs transpire sonic purity, mental activity tending towards introspection and an ardent desire to involve the listener in the emotional whirl generated by a charmer, sincere melodism. "Love Won't Wait" is synonymous of a dimensionally perfect technological musicality of immense value, to be projected in one's own personal theater of memories.
back to top
She Pleasures Herself - "XXX" - by Maxymox 2019
The exhaustive biographical and discographical description of this Lisbon based band can be consulted in the review section of Vox Empirea concerning the year 2017, precisely in the report on the debut album "Fetish" ( 2017 / Manic Depression ) . The ensemble finally returns to the scene, re-proposing with this new full-length "XXX" ( 2019 / Manic Depression ) its astonishing sounds that made She Pleasures Herself famous by now, always tending the musics towards post-punk / darkwave / coldwave / 80's gothic-rock horizons, perpetually and strongly characterized by implicit-explicit references to sex and to fetishism, in this specific case even more centered on the figure of the woman, the main subject ideally expressed through evocations of murky sensuality, stimulating kisses, unbridled eroticism and of BDSM practices, masterfully combining these elements in a further spatiality of interpretations thematically intertwined with them, such as fashion, the interpersonal relationships of the protagonists and the general aspects of everyday life observed in an apocalyptic perspective; images, decadence and libidinous fantasies are converted into music and visually externalized to the fans through the exciting refinement of the artworks of the sleeves and through the support of the videos shown during live performances. The sonorities perceivable in "XXX", equally to those of the previous full-lenght release, drag the listener into an immersive dimension of tormented carnality, of hard sensuality, extrapolating without compromise his most deviant thoughts, leaving him at the same time in a condition of yielding abandonment and intoxicating physical-mental pleasure. The eleven songs of the tracklist highlight once again the boundless ability of She Pleasures Herself in recalling restless and disturbing sensations, generated through simultaneous electrical-electronic structures, based on linear midtempo / uptempo drum-programming, minimal sequencers punctuations, catchy extensions of synths, hypnotic bass-lines, scratchy guitar riffs and vocal euphonies pronounced with dark passion, in a whole of dance-oriented energy, post-punker tension, desolate gothic reminiscences, dark shades and incessant lust. The album is also embellished in three distinct tracks by the projects Ash Code, Crying Vessel and Bestial Mouths, whose performances give a significant added value to the release. "XXX" is the uninhibited embrace between sinful intimacy and music, a sound experience that every auditor must absolutely live in all its unprejudiced intensity.
The best tracks of "XXX", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Private Hell" ( Featuring Ash Code ) : by the perfect partnership between She Pleasures Herself and the Italian post-punk / darkwave / coldwave / synth-pop band, born this highly evocative and melodic song, composed through fast uptempo drumming, fascinating waving guitarism, harmonious keyboards, symmetrical bass beats and, above all, though the atmospherical duet by the singers Nuno Varudo and Alessandro Belluccio. Dancing instrumentality and vocalism at its top: a rare masterpiece of magnificence. Very difficult to find superlatives to define so much splendor.
- "Darkroom" : the vaguely melancholy of keyboards and of guitars replicate fascinating textures, shaping themselves with the gloomy resoluteness of chant, while drum-programming and the sequencer cadence regular midtempo hits. The result is a darkwave / coldwave / gothic track with depressed, subjugating melodism, designed to be remembered and able to conquer at first listening.
- "Disposable" : his scheme is executed through classic coldwaving / 80's darkwave metrics, with systematic bass impulses, replicated, nervous electric guitar patterns, dry midtempo drum-beats, alienating keyboards and through a tense vocal foreground that spreads an aura of melancholy restlessness. This song has the same oppressive, black and perturbing charm of a windy autumn night with no moon and no stars.
Subliminally aphrodisiac music, formulated with evident sex appeal, that of She Pleasures Herself maximizes the meanings of eroticism, transforming them into a figurative mode through an effective, dynamic process of obscuring and of corporal materiality. "XXX" is a refuge for sinners, an unique sensory exercise; this sound means forbidden desires, lascivious phatos, attraction for the unspeakable. The eleven tracks flow superbly, exhorting the dance and arousing transgressive emotions that will physically cross the listener, satisfying him totally and neutralizing the ability to control himself. You will never forget this album.
back to top
Sjöblom - "A Victory Of Love EP" - by Maxymox 2019
All the biographical and discographical informations regarding the Swedish solo-act personified by Johan Sjöblom are available in the reviews section of 2016, specifically within the report of "6" ( 2016 - Manic Depression / Ad Inexplorata ) , the debut album that allowed the project to enter fully into the best underground revelations of that year. The protagonist comes back today even more determined, satisfied to publish an Extended Play of great interest, with the aim of further increasing his fame and definitively consolidating his style. "A Victory Of Love" ( 2019 / Reptile Music ) was created inspiring conceptually its title and its opening cover-track to the namesake, famous, old Alphaville's song contained in their first full-length "Forever Young" ( 1984 / WEA ) , including remixed versions taken from his past repertoire in addition to an unreleased track. The contents of this new chapter anthologize once again the perfect combination of new wave / post-punk / indie rock / synthpop and darkwave that unmistakably characterizes Sjöblom's music, offering the auditor an high level of entertainment. In the realization of this EP - both as instrumentalists and remixers - they participated actively prestigious names of individual artists and bands belonging to the European alternative music scene, starting the list with the following first four Swedes: the drummer Richard Ankers ( Consequences / Strip Music / IAMX / Melody Club ) , the keyboardist-producer Jon Bordon ( Melody Club / Nicole Sabouné / Agent Side Grinder ) , Daniel Kaufeldt ( Alien Waveform ) - author of the mastering of the entire EP - , the vocalist-guitarist Emina Pavlovic Svensson, the Italian post-punk / darkwave / coldwave / synthpop ensemble Ash Code, the German rock-wave / post punk band Luc Stargazer and the Belgian electro / pop-rock duo Vive La Fête! Each track of "A Victory Of Love" manages to do the maximum efficiency, spreading midtempo / downtempo sounds overflowing of seductive vocals, solid bass-lines, precise guitarism, moderate doses of sequencing, wide keyboard flows and irresistible melodies suitable to be simply listened to or to be danced in clubs. The vibrant electricity and the alienating neurasthenia of the post-punk / wave are harmoniously intertwined with essential electronic strategies, generating sound structures with modern connotations typical of the 2000's, but at the same time immersed into nostalgic 80's reminiscences, which puts a comparison two different generations of listeners, systematically finding a convergence point between them. A triumphant return!
The best tracks of "A Victory Of Love", chosen for you by Vox Empirea::
- "A Victory Of Love" : this post-punk / wave transposition of the Alphaville's song brings to the memory sounds that seemed to be forgotten. A schematic sequence of guitar chords introduces the track, replicating and gradually joining the midtempo drumming of Richard Ankers, the electric consistency of strings and the enveloping intensity of keyboards, while Johan's fascinating chant follows the strophes propagating pure magic.
- "Not A Man For You ( Shameless 3030 )" : a song of immense value, impeccably proportioned in every its angulation, masterfully remixed by Daniel Kaufeldt, enhanced by Johan's educated chant melodiously synergized with the additional vocals of Emma Pavlovic Svensson, the singer already present in the original version of the track. The juncture of melodic new wave / synthpop elements, give the sound an enthralling dancefloor energy: midtempo percussive symmetries of drum-programming rhythmically followed by the patterns of the sequencer, harmonious vocals, an ultra-catchy refrain and exciting keyboards will conquer you since the first moment. A great performance. Listening to it again and again without pause is a real pleasure for the senses. Impossible to resist so much splendor.
Formidable rentrée, the EP "A Victory Of Love" relaunches the best of Sjöblom's music, in which stand out the primary colors of his excellent art; the remixer's team has been able to extrapolate the substantial centrality from each single song, reinterpreting and personalizing it through first-rate technicalities. This release enthusiastically continues Johan's musical journey, constituting, together with the rest of his discography, an indispensable object that will honor and complete the collection of every respectable and authentic post-punker. Enjoy it all from beginning to end!
back to top
Spark! - "Chaos" - by Maxymox 2019
Spark! is the name of the formidable Swedish duo-act originally established in 2007 by Mattias Ziessow ( musics / programming ) and Stefan Brorsson ( vox / lyrics ) , the latter subsequently replaced in 2013 by the musiciam and producer Christer Hermodsson - Biomekkanik / Biomekkanoid / S.P.O.C.K. / The Last Man On Earth - ( vocals / lyrics / producing ) . Before the current platform, Mattias - coming from the Amiga demo-scene and from a past as D.J as well as drummer into several bands - with Stefan founded a pre-Spark! synthpop project called Les Digital, with which they published the EP "Untitled" ( 2007 / self-released ) , developing that embryonic sonic model that would later turn into a distinctive brand and integrating different harmonious melodisms sinergizable among them, until the achievement of the current hybrid musicality that over the years gradually become less "hard EBM", today definable as a personalized reinterpretation of the classic Neue Deutsche Welle schemes intertwined with melodic synthpopish elements: the result is an irresistible and ultra-danceable combination from which erupt kilotons of technological energy, in addition to a very high level of entertainment that far exceeds the concept of oldschool Electronic Body Music, giving this style an innovative, original imprint and making unmistakable the sound of this duo. Spark!'s discography mentions chronologically to date the following releases: at first the debut album "65 Ton Stål" ( 2007 / self-released ) , followed by the mini EP "Tiden Är Vår" ( 2008 / Electric Tremor Dessau ) , by the full-lenght "Ett Lejon I Dig" ( 2009 / self-released ) , by the Extended Play "Genom Stormen / Tankens Mirakel" ( 2010 / Progress Productions ) , by the super-single "Popkomplex" ( 2011 / Progress Productions ) , by the album "Hela Din Värld" ( 2012 / Progress Productions ) , by the singles "Man Överbord" ( 2013 / Progress Productions ) and "Stå Emot!" ( 2015 / Progress Productions ) , then by the albums "Spektrum" ( 2015 / Progress Productions ) and "Maskiner" ( 2016 / Progress Productions ) , by the singles "Två Mot En" ( 2018 / Progress Productions ) and "Cause And Effect" ( 2019 / Progress Productions ) , concluding the list of publications with this new full-length entitled "Chaos" ( 2019 / Progress Productions ) now reviewed by Vox Empirea. The lyrics sung by Spark! are not focused on the usual themes dealt with in the EBM contexts: they are often inspired by a sarcastic, humorous vision of what is happening in the world and by the individual experiences lived by the two protagonists in every circumstance of their daily lives. The sound structures of Spark! , systematically characterized by an involving rhythmical and vocal dynamism, also reveal in the nine tracks of "Chaos" the special Electronic Body Music paradigms worked through schematic percussive midtempo-uptempo riffs joined with symmetrical sequencing replications, in an irresistible, vigorous conjuncture of instrumental incisiveness, strengthened by the bombastic vocalism of Christer pronounced mainly in Swedish, which incites and drags the listener into a bursting vortex of fiery dances. Very spectacular in their live sessions - during which Mattias plays the role of drummer while Christer plays the synths - Spark! are able to fully convey their enthusiasm on stage, galvanizing at each exhibition a steadily increasing number of international fans, thanks to a sound predisposition centered on an electrifying digital percussionism, reduction of the electronic bases, vocoder chant and synthesizers expertly maneuvered. "Chaos" - mastered by the Swedish producer / musician / mixing and mastering techniques Hans Olsson Brookes, owner of the Svenska Grammofonstudion studio - is the definitive confirmation of a constantly evolving artistic alliance, in which we can perceive more emancipated and perfect compositional geometries, evaluable as another concrete step of Spark! towards a further advanced EBM culture. High performance 'techno-dance' testing passed.
The best tracks of "Chaos", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Släpp In Mig" : danceable quotient at the highest levels in an EBM / synthpop song built by a linear midtempo percussiveness of drum-programming, regular sequenced pulsations and by essential synth highlights, in a set of electronically catchy modulations designed to break the immobility, above which dominates the compelling and resolute Christer's singing.
- "DNA" - scanned midtempo sections of drum-machine and sequencing generate an irresistible rhythmical trajectory, while the melodic keyboard complements and the vocal foreground, clearly and solidly sung, intensify the authoritativeness of this amazing EBM / synthpop track that will conquer you instantly. Grandiose.
- "Klara Färdiga Gå" : song that breaks the stereotyped Electronic Body Music formulas, proposing an alternative and more avant-garde creation consisting mainly of strong EBM solutions fused with vague synthpop-oriented recalls. Squared uptempo grooves of drum-programming, cyclical sequenced punctuations, minimal keyboard counterpoints and impetuous vocalizations, spread a disciplined, rational mood. Get up and frantically move your legs without pause!
Memorable album, "Chaos" is an injection of pure electronic force disconnected from conventions, a sound power capable of activating imperatively and without compromise the listener's need to dance. The modernized and transversal interpretation of the EBM retro-form, consecrates the Ziessow / Hermodsson duo as an unparalleled institution, projected faster and faster in the highest summits of the entire electro worldwide scene. The automatic elementarity of drumming, the intermittences of the sequencer, the exciting charisma of the voice and the synthetic configurations of the keyboards, propagate an accelerated mass of frequencies full of flammable propellant and Spark! are the detonator that triggers a great explosion of pleasure. This release is an authentic masterpiece of its genre that absolutely must be part of your record collection. Get ready again for the incredible: Spark! are back.
back to top
Stairway Maze - "Kelevra" - by Maxymox 2019
The Russian Denis Tverdokhleb is the interpreter of his solo-act Stairway Maze. Founded in 2017, the project evolved from the first embryonic musics created years ago, then gradually and substantially improved until reaching an original style, characterized by precious electronic modulations, at the same time labyrinthical and linear, inspired by a modern ruthlessly metropolitan vision of the reality, but together fascinated by the wild beauty of Karelian landscapes and by the dark complexity of human nature, all this enclosed and expressed in the fundamental concept of Life. Incited by the slogan "organic life will not survive!", the sonorities of Stairway Maze can be described as the emotional combination among industrial / ambient / IDM / downtempo / EBM / electro / experimental elements, in which predominate cinematic suggestiveness, rhythmical tribalism, melancholic introspection, isolationism, gothic nuances and analogical structures. The official discography of the protagonist, entirely published in limited edition, mentions to date this following order: the digital EP "Aries" ( 2017 / Aliens Production ) , the debut album limited edition "Hollow Spaces" ( 2017 / Aliens Production ) - containing as a bonus also the "Aries" EP - and the new full-lenght "Kelevra" ( 2019 / Aliens Production ) now reviewed by Vox Empirea. All three releases were individually mastered by two illustrious names from the technological music scene: Anatoly Tokee Grinberg ( aka Massaith / Tokee / UDPWNF ) is in fact responsible for processing of the albums "Hollow Spaces" and "Kelevra", while at Headdreamer ( aka Robert Gajdos ) has been given the mastering of the Extended Play "Aries". The ten tracks of "Kelevra" reflect extremely atmospherical polychromies, technically formulated with cartesian rationality and with what could be called "logical sentimentality", or a flow of intimate, instinctive sensations controlled by the more functional side of the brain. The sound-system of the album draws an elaborate, intelligent, melodic and often danceable diagram of fully instrumental synthetic frequencies, supported by downtempo / midtempo drum-programming percussiveness, sectioned by millimetric sequencers and embellished by futuristic keyboard harmonies, which transports differently into avveniristic worlds, or in fantastic, mystical projections backwards in time, these last ones propagated through deeply reflective sounds, composed by short 'male-female' sampled phrases and by Arabic /orientalizing settings, almost shamanic, capable of carrying the listener in faraway, mysterious places. Soul and body will be lost in this sonic maze. Consider it as inevitable.
The best tracks of "Kelevra", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "X" : fast synth notes, evanescent underlying pads, mechanical downtempo / midtempo drumming and melodic sequenced symmetries, edify the schemes of this IDM / electro / industrial song, in which stan out the luminous euphonies of the keyboard and the harmonious algorithmic transmissions calculated by the equipments, all in a catchy aggregate of robotic percussions and avant-garde sonances. An episode to listen to endlessly.
- "Follow The Blind" : ancestral downtempo rhythmics and arcane sound procedures intertwine in a slow, mesmerizing, electronic vortex of dark-ethnic ambient / industrial chords that enchanting the senses. The essential extensions of the keyboards prolong a low signal crossed discontinuously by the sampling of an authoritative male filmic voice, on which twirl a feminine, contemplative mermaid singing and sequencing counterpoints that recall archaic instrumentations. Transcendence, solemnity and neo-tribalism meet the advanced technology of music.
- "Phantoms Of Tiergarten" : the nostalgic synth melodism and the meditative reverbs of the piano blend with the icy sinergy between downtempo of drum-programming and sequencer, shaping magical textures through which the listener will dream scenarios of futurism and primordiality, all this in an ambient / industrial / tribal-electro song filled with supreme grace.
The sophisticated registers orchestrated by the artist constitute the direct, explicit connection between sound and psyche; in the auditor's imagination, the artificiality of machines turns into evocative power, concretely materializing what is purely virtual, abstract. "Kelevra" goes beyond the principles of sonic cerebralism, manifesting its rare, penetrating sensitivity that immediately relates with the subconscious. Although it can be considered as a current metaphor of our age, that by Stairway Maze will be defined as an extraordinary timeless music. An indispensable album from every point of view: really an excellent release, Mr. Tverdokhleb.
back to top
Stars Crusaders - "Army Of Impostors" - single - by Maxymox 2019
All the exhaustive biographical and discographical informations about the Italian ensemble Stars Crusaders are available in the reviews section of the year 2017 of Vox Empirea, specifically in the report on their album "Welcome To Hydra". The waited return of the band takes place through this new digital-single entitled "Army Of Impostors" ( 2019 / skyQode ) , which intertwines all the exceptional stylistical specificities of the project, fully manifesting the advanced state of art reached today by the four members of the line-up. The release, precursor of the upcoming album "M.A.T.E.R." scheduled for 2020, conjugates in the six songs of the tracklist a balanced plurality of elements: catchy futurepopish melodies, danceable synthpop patterns, synthwave fragments and EBM sounds, combining the highly technological strategies played in the debut album "New Horizons" ( 2014 / WTII Records ) with the analogical experimentalism of the subsequent and aforementioned "Welcome To Hydra" ( 2017 / WTII Records ) . Deep in its anti-war meanings, "Army Of Impostors" proposes in the listener's fantasy the futuristic settings that have always represented the ideal scene for the musics of the Stars Crusaders; on this specific occasion, the themes dealt in the texts explore the mendacious justifications that lie behind the obvious cruelties of conflicts, exculpated, motivated and finally massively accepted by a society intimately false, miserable, whose faults and omissions are disguised as empty, ephemeral externalities of pleasantness, in whose nucleus the attentive observer can however perceive the immense hypocrisy contained in it. All in the eternal dualism between the true human nature characterized by its twisted falsity, against the simulated extensions of the image of oneself that we wish to show. Victory, finally, is often of the fiction, of the 'impostors', whose seductive masks fascinate more than authenticity. Mixed by Nick - B-vocalist / songwriter and keyboardist of the German electro bands Absurd Minds and Legacy Of Music - the single includes, in addition to the original version of the song and the new remake of "Convex Vision" - a track appeared in the album "New Horizons" - the great remixes formulated by the Russian futurepop / synthpop duo-act Unity One, by the Italian electro-rock band Esplosioni Controllate, by the French electro wave / coldwave / dark wave / synthwave / post-punk solo-venture Egoprisme and by the Russian dark cyberpunk / electro project c0r3 c1ty. Structurally based on danceable midtempo drumming trajectories, symmetrical sequenced counterpoints, harmonious flows of synths and melodiously resolute vocals, "Army Of Impostors" represents the document that attests eloquently and impeccably the supremacy of Stars Crusaders, a band launched at hypersonic speed in the highest dimensions of the electro Universe.
The best tracks of "Army Of Impostors", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Army Of Impostors" : the drum-programming and the sequencer outline linear midtempo sections punctuated by the cadenced voice of Yeda Furyan, while the fascinating evolutions of the keyboards embellish this futurepop / synthpop song that triumphantly surpasses even the most demanding quality standards of its genre. Technological pleasure is 100% guaranteed.
- "Army Of Impostors (Egoprisme Version)" : the original register of the track is overall transfigured through obscure bass lines of sequencing, schematic midtempo drum-machine synchronies, alienating keyboards, electric guitar riffs and by a shady chant, all this until the reaching the refrain, in which the luminous chords of the keyboards and, partially, of the voice, prevail over the previous markedly darkwaving / electrowave / synthpop sonorities.
Avveniristic soundscapes, clubby danceability, compelling melodism and highly topical lyrics, created this superb release, with which the Stars Crusaders anticipate the amazing modulations proposed in the nextcoming full-length. Execution of high sound modernism, "Army Of Impostors" will make a memorable experience the listening of its tracks, further increasing the auditor's admiration for this valid, talented band. The mirror of the present time and the concept of the future both musically interpreted: the Crusade among the stars continues.
back to top
The Violent Youth – "Distant" - by Maxymox 2019
Virtuous Russian-German power duo, born in 2014 from the 2013's primary solo act Arthur Tsymbal, which is exactly the name of both project's founding leader. During the artistic development, the band radically changed its line-up, currently presenting itself with this scheme: Arthur Tsymbal ( vox / songwriting / lyrics / synths / programming ) and Egor Ivakhnenko ( synths / guitar / musics ), who's member of this platform since 2017. The biography of The Violent Youth documents past and ephemeral cooperations with other musicians, whom for a short period were part of the ensemble, as in the making of the debut EP "Loud" (2014 / self-produced), in which credits appear the names of Maxim Mehanikov ( guitar / music ), Eugene Kukareko ( guitar / music), Daniil Shif ( keyboards / music ) and Arthur Matskevich ( drums ) . The subsequent renewal of the formation, occurred in the 2015, had completely transformed the early coalition, with Arthur Tsymbal still in his front man role, flanked by Pete Fedichev ( guitar ) and Pavel Lyakhnovich ( bass ) . The Violent Youth's discography lists thirteen creations, starting from the aforementioned digital Extended Play "Loud", then continuing with the digital singles "Universe" ( 2015 / self-released ) , "The Dead of Night - prod. By Pulse 80 / E. Delta" - ( 2015 / self-released ) , "Through the Night" ( 2016 / self-released ) ,"Pure" ( 2016 / self-released ) ,"Pure - Radiomix / Z .H. E. Remix" - ( 2016 / self released ) , "Pure - E. Delta Remix "- ( 2016 / self-released ) , the digital full-lenght "Discotheque" ( 2016 / self released ), followed by the digital singles "So They Say / Shine" ( 2017 / self-released ), "Fade Away" ( 2017 / self-released ) , "Rabota - My Life Is My Job" - ( 2018 / self-released ) and "Space" ( 2019 / Young And Cold Records ) . "Distant" ( 2019 / Young And Cold Records ) , now analyzed by Vox Empirea, is the new limited edition album by The Violent Youth; mixed by the sound engineer and producer Daniel Hallhuber ( Der Lustige Kerl / GBS / Nacht Analyze / Tränen Der Sehnsucht ) - him together with Marcel Leidenroth are the founders of the German label Young And Cold Records - this release highlights a considerable qualitative advancement of the musics, in addition to a perceptible transformation of the original cliché. Inspired by the 'big' mainstream and underground artists from the 80's, the sound of The Violent Youth was initially oriented towards synthpop / dreampop / synthwave / indie-rock elements, with lyrics conceptually intertwined with love, fun and danger; these sonorities changed almost radically their characteristics after the second album "Discotheque", gradually obscuring the instrumentality, making the vocal timbres and the lyrics more and more melancholic, until reaching the "Distant" contemporary synthpop / new wave / indie pop architectures. In the ten tracks we perceive a vibrant flow of depressed feelings, while the texts speak of pain, politics, inner conflicts, lies and, of course, love, but with a marked tendency to nostalgia and to a tormented spleen, coming from the private experiences lived by the two protagonists. The musicality of the full-lenght is built through little more than minimal electronic / waving modulations, embellished by harmonious sections of synths, punctuated by essential midtempo / downtempo lines of drum programming, decorated by atmospheric guitar grooves and by simple, expressive singing forms, as high as deep, always able to capture us through their subterranean emotional force.
The best tracks of "Distant", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Lies", shaded by a saddened vocal mood, this synthpop / new wave song predisposes fractionated midtempo cadences of drum-machine, dark pads and soft keyboard luminescences, in an enthralling combination of obscure introspection and decadent melody.
- "Rabota", available on the web also in its official video format, this track combines the tensions of post-punk, synth-waver nervousness and bitterly disillusioned, disheartened lyrics pronounced in Russian language. Exciting midtempo-uptempo drumming, regular bass pulsations and incisive keyboards support a restless chant. A sonic-realistic photography of the everyday life of a frustrated, disappointed generation.
- "Blame", vocally intense, melancholic and enchanting in its new wave / synthpop livery, the song is a succession of harmonious sequencing replications, midtempo drum-beats, symmetrical bass and romantic keyboards, among which rise the ardent and passionate intonations of the vocalist. An episode of rare sound beauty. Truly significant, memorable.
No superstructures, no exuberance, only honesty of intents and mental projections from the most sensitive recesses of the soul. The Violent Youth succeed with astonishing efficacy in transfusing their conscience directly into that of the listener, forming with him a single, indiscernible body. The interplay between the communicativeness of the chant and the evocative music register, generates an instinctive, immediate attraction that will be renewed whenever you feel the need to listen to this album again and again. "Distant" will always be near you.
back to top
Vesperal - "Wasteland" - by Maxymox 2019
French ensemble founded in 2016, Vesperal was born by the synergistic artistic coordination among a team of harpists, whose names, by the will of the same protagonists, cannot be revealed; however, among the few biographical informations concerning this project, we know that some of its members were part of the transalpine post punk / new wave / shoegaze band called Holy Machine. Inspired since the first album by the slogan 'Destruction leads to Creation', the sound of Vesperal is stylistically placeable into a transversal dark-neofolk / apocalyptic folk / post-punk / cold wave context, conceptually thought to evoke in the listener the awareness of unstoppable technological transformation that is changing the reality of human life, which systematically destroys what remains of our original purity and truthfulness, behind an ephemeral facade of advantageous progress. Extremely interesting from every point of view, the band's discography lists to date these following three releases: the debut album "Conqueror Of Emptiness" ( 2017 / Le Recours aux Forêts ) , the digital single "Conqueror Of Emptiness B - Side" ( 2018 / Le Recours aux Forêts ) and the new album "Wasteland" ( 2019 / Steelwork Maschine ) now analyzed by Vox Empirea. The musics formulated by Vesperal are characterized also in this full-length mainly by an intense, penetrating emotive component, a sound strength that infinitely surpasses the simple abstraction of "listening", a passionate, almost spiritual, powerful recall to which not we can oppose it. In the twelve songs of the tracklist you can hear sonances full of melancholic charm, composed by neofolkish classicisms tendentially oriented towards more modernist and exclusive deviations, focusing above all on atmospherical, introductory combinations of rhythmical slowness, harmonious arpeggios of acoustic guitars, keyboard fades and suggestively deep, obscure vocals, elements alternated in some episodes by euphonies completed in their developments by an electrically post-punker / shoegazing guitarism and by measured sampling dosages: each track of the album is subjected to the almost total annulment of electronic technicalities, to the advantage of emphasizing an essential, contemplative musicality, free of superstructures, concentrated exclusively in the objective of emanate all its seductive energy that always touches the sublime. Visionary modulations and significant symbolism indelibly imprint in our minds, forming a sonic diorama of incalculable value. One of the most totalizing neofolker-sensorial experiences you've ever lived.
The best tracks of "Wasteland", chosen for you by Vox Empirea:
- "Wasteland" : placid arpeggios, keyboard evanescences and an elegiac vocalism, reverberate cathartically, epically, spreading incorporeal polychromies in the space, light as air. The limpidity of the guitars and the obscure register of the chant emanate harmonious contrasts and nostalgic grooves that submerge the auditor, transporting him psychically into unexplored, supernatural dimensions. In this extraordinarily enchanting song predominates a neofolk appeal that can magnetize forever every instant with its arcane, crepuscular melodism. Quantifying so much beauty is humanly impossible.
- "Crawl And Suffocate" : the guitar chords flow fluidly, so distensive, while gloomy vocals cross the mists generated by distant shoegazing echoes and by the counterpoints of a second section of electric guitar, all this until reaching a more accelerated triumph of guitarristic textures and intangible keyboard extensions. Pure neofolker magnificence.
- "Can You Hear The Ghosts?" : dark-neofolk soundscapes surrounded by a quiet, melancholic solemnity, played by soft guitars, austere keyboard backgrounds, systematic downtempo drumming and by a shadowed chant, sounds above which an aura of mystery hovers. Yes. Now you can hear the ghosts.
Cultured, prospectively flawless and mystical, the Vesperal's sound-system represents an evolution of the traditional 'folk noir' schemes. The obscurity of the singing and the capturing instrumental strategies are molded into an uninterrupted complex of introspective sensations that will remain imprinted in the soul forever. No superlative praise, not even a thousand other expressions of exaltation will ever fully describe the intrinsic attractiveness and all the emotional force of "Wasteland". This album is more precious than a flower that suddenly appeared on the ground of a desolate territory.