Latest Music Reviews

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ANTIGEN SHIFT: The Way Of The North        CD                   Ad Noiseam

I am a long term fan of the works of Nick Theriault, the lad has always pleased me musically right form the word go.   Something different is afoot, Antigen has abandoned his past.   Gone is the super precise industrial and power noise, gone is the aggression.   I am a fan of all things down tempo and strange, much of which ‘The Way Of The North’ has in abundance folded in with some rather comfortable beats.   Think of a less melodic slowed down Detritus in parts and you are somewhere close.   Some odd song titles as well… ‘Toppling drunk into the river while trying to embrace the moon’ being a prime example (please tell me Nick this does have reference lol).   The way of the north is definitely night time music for me, something to play late while staring out of your bedroom window and smoking watching the city life go by.   In this sense its at its most pleasing as you need utter quiet to let this all sink in.   I have a problem though, I will be honest.   I loved AS with his old stuff and would have preferred the odd moment returning to that.   People move on, people change, and while I rant that people always have to move on and progress I falter when listening to this, I didn’t want him to move on THIS much.   Its too much of a leap for me in some respects, its an entirely different artist but I guess more power to him for that.   There is also an environmental factor involved in this release, which I fully appreciate. 7.5/10 TONY.

APHEX TWIN (AFX): Chosen Lords                                          CD                  Rephlex

Chosen Lords is a collection of tracks from the mass load of Analord vinyl LP’s released last year on Richard D James’ Rephlex label that you had to purchase all at once to obtain the entire set that came in intervals for you to place in a binder.   All created on analogue synthesizers the original format was vinyl to keep true the original sounds.   Chosen tracks have made this CD, and what a blinder it is too.   There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, and certainly nothing that could ever topple the dark ‘Windowlicker’ or Come to Daddy’.   But, the genius (insanity?)   is   still more than brutally evident as beats scatter across your speakers, glitches glue basic synth structures and spasmolytic happy nut-job bleeps and rhythms.   Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, and yet another message to everyone out there, that you can’t topple the master. 9/10 TONY.

ATRIUM CARCERI: Kapnobatai                  CD         Cold Meat

A new (ish) name on the dark ambient scene, this is the third release from the multitasking Simon Heath. Where as some dark ambient bands use a multitude of layer to generate atmospheres Atrium Carceri opts for the less is more philosophy. Simple drones and synths create a space for the mind to wander through, the unsettling noises that appear add to the menace. Not the kind of album that can produce and ‘instant’ effect on the listener, it repays the attention that it is given creating a bleak, shadow filled headspace to be immersed in. 6.5/10. SQUEAKYPETE.

C/A/T : ATF the remixes        CD       Crunch Pod

C/A/T strike again with a 6 track EP of remixes from the likes of label mates Caustic as well as Terrorfakt and 3 reworked tracks. C/A/T’s sound is somewhere between proto house and stomping noise and produces a crisp heavy sound, the whole EP is totally dancefloor and flawless in production, no ambient interludes here, pounding away like a crim on death row, C/A/T just doesn’t let up, musically I love C/A/T and I would hasten to add is the American version of Xotox having a no holes barred fight with Manufactura, with a similar buzzing style kick and metallic high pitched percussion and club friendly synth lines similar to techno/hard house synth lines which gives C/A/T some edge over other artists as well as numerous live appearances. ATF is one for the gathering before the club as well as a must for Noise floor DJs the world over as guaranteed dancefloor favourites. This is a great EP limited to 666 copies and released on the 06/06/06, this is certainly a must for your cd collection and one of the more consistent straight forward noise artists to cross the pond of late. The only thing I do not like about C/A/T is the persistent use of tacky samples, great music just let down by the sample element for me.

7.5/10 MATT.


CAUSTIC:      Unicorns, Kittens and Shit        CD          Crunch Pod

I am stuck for where to begin with this album. I mean really, how can you possibly take this seriously? It’s called ‘Unicorns, Kittens and Shit’! However that is entirely the point. Leave your clever hat at the door and just hand yourself over to stupidity and fun.Caustic is the bastard child of one Matt Fanale – a man well known on the powernoise scene, for his prodigious marketing skills (THE king of Livejournal pimping and scourge of forums everywhere!), and other such talents. Unicorns, Kittens & Shit starts off with the genius of ‘This track will get skipped a lot’ featuring many artists, among those being Tom Gold of Assemblage 23, Keef Baker and Jason Hollis from Endif, basically telling everyone not to listen to the album for a varying amount of ridiculous reasons. Caustic specialises in what can only be described as a stompy, abrasive hybrid of powernoise and industrial. This is a near enough perfect club orientated album. Simple, yet effective, rhythms. Amusing samples and an occasional melody. Stand out tracks include ‘Give Me Damage’, ‘Emanuel Lewis Handjob’, ‘Mimecaustic’ (an excellent mix by Mimetic) and ‘Grind’. ‘Grind’ features the vocals of Severina X Sol of Cylab, and she somehow manages to add a sleazy sex appeal to the track that I find lacking in powernoise.This is far from a clever release. It is powernoise at it’s stripped down best. If you like music that challenges you and makes you think, this might not be the CD for you. However if you’re up for some dumb, stupid fun – then this is the perfect soundtrack.

8/10 MISSY K8.

CHAOS AS SHELTER: Dawn Syndrome             CD         Topeth Prophet

An old release but sent to us now, so here is the review.   Hailing from Israel CAS have become somewhat underground legends with a penchant for producing decent solid slabs of dark ambient.   Dawn Syndrome is no exception.   Rich chimes pull an almost ritual feel while layers of drones rise throughout the CD. With careful attention to the overall depth, you get the feeling a story is being played out.   Almost like a pilgrimage through Tibetan mountains and hillsides, this is rich in ethnicity and is all the better for it.   Maybe some of the raw instruments are a little too high in the mix, but overall this wins hands down where artists such as Z’ev have failed.   Again Chaos as Shelter has produced a good solid release.   Underrated. 7.5/10 TONY.


CORELINE: Please Keep Moving Forward            CD           Infekted Sound

Coreline AKA Chris McCall has been hovering around the UK Industrial/Noise scene since around the turn of the millennium; and has finally landed on the Infekted Sounds label with a very big thud! Through the clutter of track no1 ‘chown’ we start to hear some brave new ideas. A combination of EBM synths, IDM breaks, Classical samples and Noise style distortions are added to some clever technical trickery and pagan ideology to create some very exciting tracks. Tracks 2 and 3 being the main grabbers here [Overdrive and Organized sound] both being tracks that should be in any self respecting DJ’s box. This LP seems to stick to fairly sound pounding noise dance floor beats all the way through the album barely letting up for breath on the way [nope no ambient filler toss in sight] sounding like a cross between Tarmvred and Converter this is a pretty quality product for the most with tracks that will grab both entry level noise fans and hardened veterans. Gripe wise there are a couple of suspect mixes and the drums could have been clearer in parts [there is such a thing as too much distortion guys.] and the remixes could have been better [take a look at the white cover (heaven likes it dirty mix by Iszoloscope) for an idea of how good a remix can be] this albums saving graces however are the fact that the songs that are good are f**king brilliant and there are more than enough to warrant buying this album immediately! I hope we hear more from Coreline, talent in the UK noise scene is starting rear its ugly head and Chris is one of its guiding stars. 8/10 RHYS.

DESIDERI MARGINIS: That which is tragic and timeless    CD     Cold Meat.

Since 1993 this one man project has been at the head of the dark ambient scene that helped establish the Cold Meat label as one of the most important around today. Johan Levin took, for this album, the thematic idea expressed in this album’s title. As can be expected this is a typically mournful and introspective musical journey. The musical stylings are classic Desiderii Marginis with layers of synths taking precedence. Coupled with slow percussion they achieve a shimmering cosmic quality as on ‘It’s a cold trail’. The occasional use of a gentle guitar adds to the ambience especially on the lead track ‘Worlds Apart’. A solid release that rewards the listener who allows themselves to be drawn in. 7/10. SQUEAKYPETE.