Album Review: IAMX – Unfall

At the heart of all revolutions is a seed of madness, a frustrated intelligence that cries for transformation. In a time when electronic music was just entering the mainstream, Chris Corner was that chaotic force that catapulted Sneaker Pimps into indelible stardom. He was the mystery ingredient in Becoming X, his influence a catalyst for a new school of daring musical experimentation for the band.

But it didn’t end there. Before Chris could proclaim IAMX, he had to come to terms with the darkest side of his genius, the fear, hatred and self-abuse that have marked his lifelong journey. The result of his soul-searching is one of the most unique musical catalogues in UK electronica history. As eclectic as IAMX albums have been, they share one common characteristic: passion. The artist bears his soul with every title and every lyric is a fearless confessional exposition. Chris Corner’s voice is absolutely unique and his style a multi-genre chimerical delight.

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This new album is yet another deliriously successful experiment. Unfall is a purely instrumental production. Filled with obscure sighs and whispers, the album is governed by distorted, clipped samples and a stochastic structure that give it a raw, underground IDM white-label feel.

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Album review: Laibach – Also Sprach Zarathustra

Let me make a confession:

I don’t like writing negative reviews. 

With the sheer volume of live shows I see, and massive quantities of music I browse, you bet I’m not like super stoked and stuff about every artist, but I try to focus on the positive aspects of what each one offers because the alternative electronic music scene matters to me and I want people to get excited and tune into it.

It simply won’t do anyone good to sling mud at every artist that fails to measure up to my ridiculous expectations for each obscure genre. Like one of my closest friends often tells me: “you’re a noisehead, what the hell do you know about actual music?”.

So rather than bash a band that’s still producing something more meaningful than 99.9% of pop culture’s swill, I pull out my thesaurus, find some gloriously euphemistic adjectives to describe their sound and send em along with a short and polite review that is my equivalent of a patronizing pat on the head.

You can thus imagine how heavy my heart is as I give this last Laibach album my lowest rating yet.

I want people to listen to Laibach. I want people to understand why Laibach is culturally relevant. I need people to read history, and art history and be aware of international politics and political art around the world. I want you to appreciate Laibach if you don’t already.

But I am pissed off at them right now. This new album really pissed me off. The Laibach of the last few years, in fact, has been systematically pissing me off.

Here’s why:

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Terminus: Impact 2017

Industrial summer camp take two: the dust is just starting to settle on Calgary after the explosive dark electronic music festival that has become a landmark of the Canadian west coast.

Hosted by the incredibly dedicated owners and operators of Dicken’s Pub power duo Chris & Ambor, Terminus: Impact delivered no less than twenty four world-class acts over the course of three days.

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Before we dive into the performers, I have to call out again what an incredibly tight ship our gracious hosts run here. Artists took to the stage back to back in perfect cadence, and each sound, each lighting cue, each projection was just perfectly coordinated.

Six years of successes culminated in this production of Terminus 2017 and we can only hope the tradition is perpetuated with the next edition: Shockwave.

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Album Review: K.Flay – Everywhere is Somewhere

I do not say this lightly – this woman is a modern heroine. 

 

She is at once combative and playful, fiesty and vulnerable – her lyrics contain such boundless multitudes. She clearly loves the music she makes, her joy of expression exudes from her work, and she pours a wealth of talent into every last bassline and verse. If this is your first encounter with her name, for the love of all that is art, go back through her catalogue of mixtapes, EPs and collaborations and consume everything!

Her new album Everywhere is Somewhere landed April 7th – read the full review on The Spill Magazine or below:

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Album Review: This Morn’ Omina – Kundalini Rising

In the obscure and bewitching realm of rhythmic noise, This Morn’ Omina is among the most celebrated catalogue entries. Nothing even begins to compare to the experience of this Belgian troupe’s acoustic production – they are visionary musicians on the cutting edge of the style.

It’s been six long years since L’Unification Des Forces Opposantes on Ant-Zen, yet This Morn’ Omina’s reputation among lovers of the genre has not faltered in the slightest. Their productions are heroic in scope and size, the Gilgamesh opus of obscure electronica.

After meeting this wonderful group at Terminus Festival two years ago, I couldn’t be more excited to hear this new album

Read the full review on The Spill Magazine or below and download Kundalini Rising from the record label dependent.de

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Album Review: Dismantled – The Hero EP

Dismantled holds a very special place in my music library. His early work contains three of my favourite tracks of all time by virtue of being my gateway into noise music.

I’ve loved many more artists since those early years, but Dismantled is the one who opened my mind towards this obscure niche of electronica and it changed my life forever.

No two Dismantled albums have been the same.

His self-titled album in 2002 had a grimy, white-label rhythmic noise vibe that was unforgettable. The distorted and compressed vocals, abrasive mechanical grinding samples, and erratic beats in “On Your Knees” made this track the epitome of dystopian music, a ballad commemorating the globally historical moment of agony and fear. The subsequent Post-Nuclear and Standard Issue albums were a clear evolutionary path for Dismantled – Zon’s vocals got cleaner, the song structure more defined, clear patterns so familiar to EBM listeners emerging from the chaos. By 2007, When I Am Dead took a danceable approach, focusing on lyrics and choral effects, while the last full album released in 2011, The War Inside Me, took a detour into fist-pumping rage-spewing Aggrotech territory akin to FGFC820 and prodigious mentors Suicide Commando.

And here we are, after a four year break, with a fresh new sound that is more polished than ever and shows how much Gary has learned in his career.

Read my full review on Spill Magazine.

And stay tuned for The Hero full release!

 

 

 

Album review: Rational Youth – Future Past Tense 

If you’re part of the Alternative Electronic music community in Canada today, know well that you owe your scene’s existence to pioneers like Tracy Howe and Bill Vorn.
Rational Youth were proudly baffling stage managers with their 808 and MS-20 setup in the early ‘80s, and telling the world to dance atop the infamous wall three years before Bowie started inciting riots in East Berlin. Howe’s relentless ambition to reclaim the synthesizer out of the hands of boring scholars and put it at the forefront of the concert stage produced a novel and visionary experience for listeners around the globe.
Read my full review on The Spill Magazine