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.

HeimataerdeHeimataerde
Gotteskrieger

Metropolis
Out Now

One word: Bagpipes. As one of the latest acts to sign to Metropolis, Heimataerde is going to drop explosions with the four-on-the-floor beats and interesting choice of instruments. The chanting and whispered German in the intro, “Non Nobis,” along with sword sharpening and horses, sets the mood for Gotteskrieger—a follow-up to the 2004 EP, Ich Hab Die Nacht Getraeumet. Of all the German industrial that I listen to, this one wins the prize for being so German. If :wumpscut: were to create music solely for club abuse and saw it fitting to use bagpipes, it would sound something like Heimataerde. With 14 ready-to-dance tracks, Heimatearde will make a nice addition to the club rotation.

 

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

Apoptygma Berzerk-The Harmonizer

APOPTYGMA BERZERK
THE HARMONIZER DVD

Metropolis
5/5

With the influx of mediocre music DVDs lately, my expectations were pretty low for Apoptygma Berzerk’s latest, The Harmonizer DVD. I was absolutely blown away with the quality and content of this package that APB has unleashed. Over 90 minutes includes a legitimate live performance (mouths and words are in sync), a documentary that is better than any VH1 or E! documentary, and well-produced music videos and a few other extras—and that’s only half the package. A bonus CD features seven remixes of “Unicorn,” a new track, “114 BPM” and a cover of The Cure’s “A Strange Day.” The documentary portion was very interesting and fun to watch. Aside from interviews with band members, the clips from the recording studio and the creation of the music videos and photo shoots were fascinating. “Unicorn” was one of my least favorite tracks on Harmonizer, but once they added guitar for the “video version,” it totally worked (and yes, I normally detest guitars). Learning more about the band from watching this totally sold me on APB. The respect I have for them has reached a new level.

 

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

THIS MORN’ OMINA

THIS MORN’ OMINA
THE DRAKE EQUATION [ECF]

Ant Zen
5/5

This Morn’ Omina has elaborated on their now signature sounds. The Drake Equation (the actual equation, not the music) is an interesting concept (more information can be found hidden beneath the CD tray). It estimates the number of communicative civilizations in the Galaxy and it just happened to be the topic for the world’s first SETI meeting in 1961. The seven numbers represented in the equation are also the titles to each of the seven tracks, beginning with “R*” (the rate of formation of suitable stars). This fantastic concept fits amazingly with the tribal elements and hypnotic beats. The way “FP” (the fraction of those stars with planets) builds layers and adds chanting and even more percussion creates a tremendous amount of intensity. The same kind of build-up takes place in “NE” (the number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system). The slight slow-down then suddenly techno beat on “FL” (the fraction of those Earth-like planets where life actually develops) makes for possibly my favorite song on The Drake Equation. “FJ” and “FC” take the tempo down and constructively add significant melody that leads you on a blissful journey of euphoria. This Morn’ Omina is one act that I would recommend to anybody regardless of a musical preference. The intensity is addictive and should not be used with caution for first-time users.

 

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

Powd[e]r Pussy - Six Ways From Sunday

POWD[E]R PUSSY
SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY

Pflichtkauf

“This is a pussy blowout!” The collaborative efforts of Ah-Cama Sotz and This Morn’ Omina is as impressive as the solo work from their individual projects. Six Ways from Sunday is where Pow[d]er Pussy converts anybody reluctant to listen to rhythm noise into a devoted fan. Twelve tracks of accessible beats, minimal vocals and sampling and blistering, pounding bass makes a good alternative to coffee. “Cryogenicpussylover” has been noted on many DJs’ playlists (not just in industrial clubs, either). It starts with a man yelling out the different types of pussy cat-calls and instantly reminds me of Lords of Acid’s “Rough Sex”—but better. Mika’s (This Morn’ Omina) tribal beats stand out at some points alternating with Herman’s (Ah-Cama Sotz) rolling rhythms, but always merge back to the pussy for original explosions. Six Ways from Sunday is an album that fits every mood, from background music at work to pounding on the headphones when you want to go on a power-walk.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, February 2005, Issue 194.

Meat Beat ManifestoMeat Beat Manifesto
At the Center

Thirsty Ear
Out Now

Jack Dangers will always keep you guessing with what he is going to do next. In the two decades that he has been making music, the consistencies are exhibited in his brilliance for music writing, reinvention and really doing something that has never been done before. Only a year after In Dub, the British transplant to San Francisco has released At the Center into the potpourri of his electronic discography. This time around, unexpected instruments, including a flute, Steinway grand piano and a clavinet stand in the forefront with eclectic jazzy fusion over beats much in the vein of early Meat Beat Manifesto. For the first time in Meat Beat Manifesto history, sampling is at a minimum and when samples are being used, they are treated more like spoken-word elements, particularly on “Want Ads One” and “Want Ads Two,” where a 50s-sounding recording is completed with crackling and the muted enthusiasm of a man reciting various ads while funky lounge plays in the background. “Bohemian Grove” steps out of the jazz format into a funky Middle Eastern piece that carries the smell of incense when traveling to the ears while layers of mismatched piano dance around. With 12 tracks from this evolving act, At the Center takes electronic music to another level and drops in as the perfect backdrop to your Saturday night wine-and-cheese party or the combination of a coffeehouse and a good book. Check out Meat Beat Manifesto at The Velvet Room on June 16.

 

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

The Retrosic_God Of Hell

THE RETROSIC
GOD OF HELL

Metropolis
4.5/5

Prepare yourself for another new act storming into the U.S. industrial scene. The Retrosic has already been named #1 in the German Alternative Charts, “Album of the Month” in several music magazines and the winner of several “soundchecks.” The comparisons are obviously going to be of Wumpscut (even the grainy photos and fonts have a Rudy feel to them) and Suicide Commando with precise, militant beats. “Storm” starts soft with an Indian flute, the beat kicks in Commando-style, and vocals scratch at your ears until the break of dramatic strings comes in. A music video of “Storm” is part of the CD and captures beautiful black-and-white visuals, including a post-apocalyptic city that every rivethead should want to live in. The visuals add some points to the likeability of the song. “Maneater” is the second track and probably my favorite, or at least, most-listened-to track of the album. “Elysium” breaks out of the ordinary with some Middle Eastern beats and chanting while maintaining the militaristic beats—a low point of the album for me. Other tracks that will find their way to the dance floors are “Antichrist” and “Dragonfire.” The Retrosic is an act that is hard to ignore—I find myself coming back to God of Hell repeatedly.

 

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

Scrap.Edx - The Latitude Zero Project

SCRAP.EDX
THE LATITUDE ZERO PROJECT

DTA Records
5/5

No joke—the first time I put disc one of The Latitude Zero Project in my car stereo, I had to adjust the volume several times because I thought the vibrations and noises was my car begging me to put it out of its misery. “Multioutput pegged flanger module 082502″ starts The Latitude Zero Project with sounds that circle hawk-like from speaker to speaker, creating waves, vibrations and pulses that attack the body, inside and out. This double-disc feast is chockfull of luscious soundscapes and stabbing-to-death beats with creative samples dispersed appropriately (especially on “The fruitless search for Utopia”—is that porn? And the grand finale sample is to die for). Hailing from Connecticut, this one-man-show of Joshua Colella has passionate energy that sets the bar high for acts to follow. “C130 Terror Elimination Device” is a wonderful track sampling relevant-to-the-times war sounds with soldiers communicating through a static radio and rumblings of destruction in the background. The drum ’n’ bass of “Illusive Second Phase (Arsenal Gear Upper Colon)” is another favorite that will appeal to Metal Gear geeks. The abrasive break-core of “Thrashcode percussion module 063003″ kinda reminds me of Needle Sharing. Disc two satisfied my curiosity to hear what a remix of the scratches, grinds and percussion would sound like. Pneumatic Detach, Tarmvred, Hypnoskull, Proyecto Mirage and Liar’s Rosebush, to name a few, did not disappoint. The packaging is a beautiful digipack with gears and metal bits that accurately represent the music’s minimalist moments and hard, noisy sounds of machinery. My love of pummeling beats and delicate melodies has found a new fix.

 

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