Groove Junkies Feat. Alex Sky - I've Got It Bad

GROOVE JUNKIES FEAT. ALEX SKY
“I’VE GOT IT BAD”

Morehouse Records

If you haven’t planned to pick this one up – stop reading and pre-order it now! We are blessed with another kick-ass, passionate lovin’ wicked track from the kings of house. Featuring the debut of multi-talented singer/songwriter, Alexander Sky – “I’ve got it bad” (and that ain’t good; remember the Duke?) showcases the wonder the Groove Junkies duo create and continue to produce. Now up to 13 releases, the MoreHouse label continues to prove its got balls, it’s got milk and its got house. Including 3 mixes – vox, dub, instrumental. Love and Respect for Evan, Leneth and Parrish. www.morehouserecords.com

 

This review originally appeared in Headphones, October 2004, Issue 190

COMBICHRIST SEX, DROGEN UND INDUSTRIAL

COMBICHRIST
SEX, DROGEN UND INDUSTRIAL

Out of Line

Andy Lapuega (Icon of Coil) had to balance out the deliciously happy pop music at some point. With Combichrist, he takes on harsh rhythms like he would take on his worst enemy. The EP starts with “Blut Royal,” a blood bath of pounding beats sans vocals. The assault continues in the style of Aslan Faction and Suicide Commando on “Tractor” and the previously unreleased “Anatomy” and “Sex, Drogen Und Industrial.” I think there is something wrong with my CD—I have three versions of this song and there are only two listed. The first seems to be the original and it is just yummy. Excited for the remix, I am quickly disappointed by what is labeled as the “Soman Remix”—but I don’t think this is Soman. Instead of the robotic, programmed vocals chanting, “Sex, Drogen Und Industri”—a phone-sex operator says in her breathy, dirty voice, “Sex….Drugs….and Industrial.” It’s really trashy! The remix is great, but the cheesiness nearly destroys it. The following, unlisted remix (Soman?) is where it’s at. Good stuff. Once again, I faced my pet peeve of 61 four-second tracks just so they can get to track 69 for that hidden track from a live show. This EP really is killer, and is just a warm-up for Everybody Hates You—out in March.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, February 2005, Issue 194.

 Various Artists - Soundwave Assassins 2Various Artists
Soundwave Assassins 2

Backscatter
Out Now

With so many talented Salt Lake acts producing new music all over the place, it’s always welcoming to have a single disc that showcases the variety of their efforts. The second volume in the Soundwave Assassin series offers 13 compelling tracks balancing experimental, noise, harsh electronics and even some hip-hop from mostly Salt Lake artists. In’vektiv vs. P.C.P. roll out the haunting melodies and zinging that put you on the edge of your seat on “Broken on the Floor”—a perfect opener for the madness to be unleashed. Former Salt Lake resident and Modus Operandi writer Lexincrypt spreads the hate with “Some Other Way,” a glaringly ominous piece with heavily distorted vocals reminiscent of Hocico’s “Without a God.” With “Mechanos Failed,” Boundless brings out flawless aggression that begs to show up on the dance floor. Crunchy pounding crawls in with Diverje (Tommy T of DSBP) and Carphax Files, and a sampling of industrial rawness is indulged in with Roses and Exile and Twilight Transmissions. Although a bit of a misfit on this comp, Fixx & the insufferable noise machine break through the electronics with rapped lyrics and wicked beats—one of my favorites. It gets sexy with noise from Sonic Disorder and closes with Scapegoat, “The Abyss”—hypnotic ambience at its best. Circuit Surgeon, Little Sap Dungeon and Savant Garde are others who contribute to the pulsing life of our local music scene on this fantastic comp. It’s terrific that the local music scene is strong enough to represent itself with a disc like Soundwave Assassins 2. Backscatter has done it again.

 

This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, June 2005, Issue 198.

HOCICO_BORN TO BE HATED

HOCICO
BORN TO BE HATED

Out of Line
4/5

It’s hard for me to get tired of Hocico. They produce so much consistently angry, quality music and it never seems to get old. “Born to be (Hated)” is the single to the album that is rumored to be released sometime in August. Four tracks (the vinyl has six—including a Feindflug remix) give us a peek of what to expect. Raw beats and captivating melodies keep with the Hocico tradition on “Born to be (Hated)” and on “Winds of Treason.” Although some of the sounds seem recycled, it’s Hocico and it’s good. Apoptygma Berzerk remixes “Ruptura”—which isn’t even worth writing about. In fact, thinking back on Hate Never Dies (The Remix Celebration), Hocico is just that good that bands remixing them are going to have a hard time making it sound decent.

 

This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, August 2004, Issue 188. 

MAMBANA FELICIDAD

MAMBANA
“FELICIDAD”

Soulfuric Trax

Mambana is a combination of two very different personalities united by music, Isabel Fructuosos (of Afro Medusa, Afro Angel) a Spanish singer and songwriter writer with a wandering spirit full of Latin flava and Axwell (DJ/producer/mixer: Jetlag, Usher, Stonebridge, Room 5 and Soulsearcher) a young Swedish producer, with the expertise of a mature producer. First there was No Reason in 2002, then Libre in 2003 and now with Felicidad, they are once again celebrating summer’s vibe into full effect. Funky, bumpin’ and all the way Latin, this sexy groover will fill your peak-time dance-floors, even when you think they couldn’t get any fuller. Cheers to Soulfuric for continuing the release of superb house. www.soulfuric.com (Mambana pictured)

 

This review originally appeared in Headphones, October 2004, Issue 190

SEGEANT SAWTOOTH MESCALINE

SERGEANT SAWTOOTH
MESCALINE

www.negative3.com

Here is a musician who knows how to shake up industrial stereotypes and rearrange familiar electronic sounds into a fresh approach. Sergeant Sawtooth is the latest project of Rob Robinson, who is known for his work with Kevorkian Death Cycle and Bol. Mescaline skillfully bridges glitchy textures, ambient drones and clicky electronics into a cohesive work. Crackling and strings set the tone on “Psilocybin I” then melt into static sweeps on “Soma.” With each track, your mind is taken on a trip though abrasive snaps and delicate movements. The last thing I expected to hear on Mescaline was vocals, but after listening to the robotic lyrics of “Years,” I am convinced that it’s a crucial element contributing to the diversity and emotional impact he makes. “Mescaline” is a favorite with its flowing synths and stripped-down crunchy hits. A synthpop remix of “Years (SubImage flies out of Butte, MT mix)” by SubImage seems unusual, yet comes as no surprise as not one genre can be identified. Add to that two more remixes with funny titles and you have completed a journey that is fit to be a soundtrack for a beautiful film with complementary visuals.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, February 2005, Issue 194.

Various Artists - A.L.P.H.AVarious Artists
A.L.P.H.A

Geska Records
Out Now

It’s hard enough to keep up on the new music coming out, but then you pick up something like the double-disc A.L.P.H.A. compilation and suddenly there’s a plethora of new talent to discover. The Geska label provides more than a music service, but also a bank full of visual artists, a perfect combination for the range of sounds found on the Canadian label. The A.L.P.H.A. concept is to “explore the struggle between Humanity and Nature as well as the challenge between Art vs. Science.” Among the tried-and-true artists on this disc are the quirkily harsh Synapscape, pulsating rhythms of Empusae, the pummeling of Converter, the crunchy stompy sounds of Re-Agent, the breathtaking atmospheres from Mlada Fronta and some dark and beautiful soundscapes from Wai Pi Wai, Iszoloscope, Displacer, H.I.V.+ vs. C/A/T, Flint Glass and Lapsed. In addition to the cover photography by Jenny Sturgis of glass sculptures by Rik Allen, you’ll be treated to two of the sweetest in the eye-candy store of videos, one of Converter’s, “Angels drop like flies” and Flint Glass’ “Closer.” I dream of the day Geska releases a DVD. On the first disc, Modus Vivendi, inspiring IDM can be discovered through AQL, Stendeck and Lambwool and others that I would like to find more work from, including Nimp, Nos Royaumes, Koin and S:Cage. Fatum, the second disc, teases with more unfamiliar artists to me: Squale, Communication Zero, Lith, OTX and Komplex, just to name a few. This exploration of art breathes new life into the foundation of visual and aural media. The overall message of the A.L.P.H.A. compilation is optimistic of the future of electronic music and this disc gives you the experience to prove it.

 

 

This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, June 2005, Issue 198.

Punto Omega-Punto Omega

PUNTO OMEGA
Self-Title

Metropolis
3/5

The spread of industrial angst has reached Argentina and has brought with it Punto Omega (that translates to “Omega Point”). Viator and Pilgrim, the duo known as Punto Omega, only recently started this project in 2002. It took hardly any time for L’lame Immortelle’s Thomas Rainer to discover them and get them signed with Trisol Music Group. Generic industrial beats and distorted vocals are mixed with bursts of symphonic strings, piano and a backup choir. “Marcha Hacia El Punto Omega” (“March towards the Omega Point”) opens the album with a sound indicative of what’s to follow with epic power chords, marching band drums and bagpipe. “Punto Omega” is next, with some harsh beats and a melody similar to L’lame Immortelle’s “Changes.” Fast-forward to “Mundo de Robots” (“Robots World”) where guest vocals are provided by Spanish musician Cenobita—a nice touch, but hardly distinctive from Pilgrim’s vocals. The album would not have been complete without Thomas Rainer putting his hands on it. He co-wrote and donated his vocals to “La Fusion,” a track that sounds more like his own project than this one, but whatever. If you are into the big, proud epic stuff, Punto Omega is for you.

 

This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, August 2004, Issue 188.

FAIRLIGHT CHILDREN

FAIRLIGHT CHILDREN
808 BIT

SPV
5/5

I honestly was not going to review this CD because, first of all, I’m still a little shy about admitting my newfound love for Apoptygma Berzerk and coming out of the closet recently with that whole thing. And second, because Fairlight Children really don’t fit in this genre (even though they do. The same way Ladytron and Miss Kittin do). But because it IS a side-project of Apoptygma Berzerk, I have officially deemed it “OK” to give it some hype. So now we have the synth-poppy and electroclashy side of Stephan Groth. Although he is incredibly talented, my expectations were low. Then I read the interview in Side-Line with the fruity picture of Groth and two beautiful girls that apparently can sing (I seriously believed they were only models—they look too beautiful to have any talent. That sounds kinda mean, doesn’t it?) and became intrigued. After only one listen I was sold. “Electropulse,” “Before you came along” and “808 bit” made me an instant fan. Lyrics and vocals are accessible and had me singing along in a short time. Fairlight Children will appeal to people who love synthpop, electroclash and 80s cheese. 808 bit is undoubtedly on the Top 10 for the year.

 

 

This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, November 2004, Issue 191.

RA RAOUL LOVES YOU

RA
RAOUL LOVES YOU

Core Dump Records

You wanna know how much Raoul loves you? Just listen to this and you will be instantly smitten and begging to have Ra’s babies. The French artist Raoul Sinier is already known for his illustrations and movies—add to that his chopped-up, tripped-out masterpiece and you’ll be hooked. Hints of hip-hop and noisy scratchy sounds run rampant throughout the 16 tracks. Groovy bass scrapes and smashes to begin the love profession of Raoul. “Ev.Panic” takes beautifully distorted, cut-up vocals mixed with funky piano to make it a favorite. “Love to Fall Apparts [sic]” drops the tempo with a steady bassline and slowed-down male moaning for vocals, all with a bit of jazz saxophone added in. Other favorites include the chocolaty, addictive “Fudge Brownie Brain,” the brutally blended melodies of “violent badger” and the rearranged vocal treat on “Petit Gilet.” With so much new music getting buried under the clutter, Ra offers a garden-fresh sound that will continue to gain notoriety for a long time. Who would have guessed a Salt Lake-based label put this out? Core Dump Records, amongst other local talent, gives me faith that this city has got it goin’ on, yo.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, February 2005, Issue 194.