Mstation Pop etc Commentary, Reviews Valid RSS pre Dec 04 reviews are here

Mon, 04 Jul 2005


Only this Moment, single, Wall of Sound

This six track single is off the album The Understanding which is to be released on 4 July and it will be interesting to compare it with their very successful first album which came out in 2001. As 4 July is just around the corner, I'm not quite sure why it isn't in the review pile.

This song has soft voices and floating electronica and is a pleasant pop song which then goes through several more incarnations in the various mixes amongst which are a disco-like thing, and an electro-dance model. It's nice enough but not exciting. (thunderfinger)

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Prefuse 73

Prefuse 73 Reads the Books EP, Warp

Intelligent post hip, post trip, pre question mark, musical collages of soft beats and wandering melodies -- you could eat to it, talk to it, or listen carefully to the subleties. It is, whichever the way, a pleasantly engaging set of tunes bereft of cheese or gratuitous commercial thumb-sucking.

And it's good too! (thunderfinger)

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Octavarium, Dream Theatre

LP, Warners

Manicured HM for those with clean black t-shirts. Here we have art intros and some textural experiments and, of course, lots of big riff guitar stuff banging off the walls.

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Mutts, Life in Dirt

The Mutts, Life in Dirt, LP, Fat Cat

Alright! Somewhere around here we have the raucous burning heart of the real rock -- fast paced guitar, snarling voices, attitude. Somehow, a group thrashing out honest songs with no samples or pseudo-soundscapes to be seen anywhere, seems like a nice breath of fresh air. Kids can be kids, even if they might have some dark thoughts while growing up.

Compared to the last album this seems a little, dare we say, smoother and there are a couple of nice, short guitar solos along the way. He's coming along. One nice thing with guitar solos is to let yer man go absolutely berserk for an extended period and then put it right down in a dense mix. Then it'll be discovered and worshipped by small bands of people who're looking for ... something.

So anyway, if you went absolutely apeshit over the new Coldplay and think that's the way things should be, you won't like this at all. Too bad. The Mutts aren't discounted in Tesco either.

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Moby, Spiders

2 track single, Mute

This is a second single of Moby's Hotel and you've most likely heard it already! It's in the anthemic veign without the power of some of his earlier things but is still nice nontheless. There is a "bonus" track of It's OK which is a nicely meandering, lowkey synth melody which shows Moby's occasionally very nice sense of harmony. (Dr Boots)

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DJ Tom Baker -- DJ Corner

1. Chart
2. Record Reviews
3. Unsubsribe Info
4. Review info and contact detials

1. Chart action July 2005;

1. JV + Granite - Hallucinate - cdr
2. Natural Rhythm - Robot Training Camp - Dotbleep
3. A Jackin' Phreak  Take a Love Break - MGLTD
4. Jazzy Eyewear - Come Baby - So Sound
5. Harrold Heath - Long Relationships (Asad Rizvi Mix) Urban Torque
6. Leven Vincent ft Jessica Elle - Thrill of Love - Superfreque
7. Tom Baker & Lawrence Mohammed "La Diablada" Wrong
8. Eastbound - Madou Remixes - Tango
9. Troydon - Growing Pains EP - Drop Music
10. Mastik Soul - Broncotrax - Household


Jazzy Eyewear  Come Baby EP
Artist: Jazzy Eyewear
Title: Come Baby EP
Label: So Sound
Cat no: SSR010

Argentina's finest jazz-house producer and So Sound Captain, Fabien
Giannattasio is back with a 3-tracker of highly accomplished deep,
jazzy, house grooves. Kicking things off "Milk and Donuts" is a simple
but enigmatic deep-house work out.  Warm, pulsating synths rise and
fall around a mutated vocal and filtering beats. "Don't Stop" picks
things up with filtered, jazzy, keys and a twangy guitar loop moving
in and around a snappy drum arrangement. Finally, "Come Baby" gives
the EP its title, and encompasses multi-layered vocals, tinkering
piano keys and lively drums. Those loving the Drop Music/Mobile Trax
collective will, as usual, find a place in their box and heart for
their stateside Cousin with this release. 4/5

Levon Vincent Ft Jessica Elle  Thrill of Love
Artist: Levon Vincent Ft Jessica Elle
Title: Thrill of Love
Label: Superfreq
Cat no: SFQ003

Mr C's new label marches up to its third release with what has to be
by far, the strongest of an already impressive backbone of releases in
terms of quality. Starting off with a mutant acid line, Jessica Elle's
sick, wafer thin vocals set this high above the vast majority of bland
electro house that's been oozing out of every orifice of east London
this year. The vocals are chopped, reversed, filtered and have all
manner of things done to them to keep the track sounding completely
fresh and the listener on his toes throughout the entire arrangement.
Flip it over and the same vocal track is given a slower, punkier
electro mix. A remarkable release. 5/5

Jussi-Pekka  Let it go
Artist: Let it go
Title: Let it go
Label: Audiomatique
Cat no: AM05

After more laidback stuff on labels like Dessous and Morris Audio,
Finland's Jussi-Pekka gives us a linear, punchy, yet rather
uninspiring work out in "Let it go (Don't worry)".  Pointed beats and
old school synths carry the crunched-up vocal giving the track's
title. "Distinct Only Within" is much looser limbed in feel, with
large Detroit-esque synths and a clave led percussion pattern. Finally
"The Yellow Emperor" is a slow, moody, plodder of haunting effects and
eerie soundscapes. 2/5

A Jackin' Phreak  Take a Love Break
Artist: Alex Smoke
Title: Ok (Remixes)
Label: MGLTD
Cat no: MGLTD010

Arnaud Gratigny aka A Jackin' Phreak is back doing what he does best.
Namely re-creating the best bits of old skool acid house and making
them sound so powerful and bang up to date. This time the addictive,
dripping wet acid line drops a disco vibe courtesy of an old female
vox sample, some old school drums and big-time party feel. As you've
come to expect from A Jackin Phreak the production quality is superb.
Flip it over for a bunch of acid loops for you to muck about with,
courtesy of Arnaud and Oliver Mental Groove. If that doesn't sell it
to you, there's always the yellow vinyl and smiley face you can use as
a nice wall hanging once you've worn it out. 5/5

Various Artists  Track by track Vol.1
Artist: Various Artists
Title: Track by track Vol.1
Label: Front Room
Cat no: FRM012

Front Room recordings have been releasing some devastatingly good
music of late, so it was a disappointment to hear what's on offer here
in this various artists' release package. First up there's two Jesse
Rose mixes of Jamie Anderson's "Back Then" which demonstrate the
classic scenario of using old sounds and ideas to come up with nothing
new. Fusing Adonis's "No way back" with "Jack your body" it manages to
loose the brutality and funk of both, and only really maintains the
same repetitive feel, so it's a struggle to listen to either mix for
more than a couple of minutes. Next up its Henrik Schwarz's dub mix of
Inducive's "Time to begin" which, without the ragga vocal is a pretty
box-standard slice of harmless yet dull beach music. Finally Lee
Mortimer's "Lilly" offers the most interesting track on the EP with
it's off-kilter bass line and meaningless vocals. 2/5

DJ T  Boogie Playground
Artist: DJ T
Title: Boogie Playground
Label: Get Physical
Cat no: GPM004-3
Electro House
2 x 12"

This is DJ T's debut album and only his 6th release on Get Physical,
which came as a bit of a surprise considering the impact the man has
had over the last couple of years. The vinyl release I have is only 8
out of the 13 tracks available on the CD. However, I'm happy to report
that each one of them is aimed squarely at the dance floor, drawing
from funk, Italo-disco, Chicago, and acid-house influences. Kicking
off proceedings is the excellent "Funk on you" with its
tongue-in-cheek funk and Ital-Balearic party vibe. "A Guy called Jack"
moves straight into minimal, acid house territory, "Rimini" utilises
the Ital-disco sound that T's become synonymous with to the extreme,
as does "Neon". "Marching Theme" fuses solid, jacking drums with
electro-pop pips and new wave synths. "Glitter" is perhaps the most
urgent of tracks on offer, with its stripped-down primitive funk,
ever-evolving drum alterations and psychedelic synths. Finally "The
Calling" uses heavy sub bass and shreds of melody to round things up
nicely. Not a "concept" album by any means but, depending on taste, a
good handful of tracks for DJ's to play - which is really what we want
from T anyway, isn't it? 4/5

Special Interest - Bustin Loose
Artist: Special Interest
Title: Bustin Loose
Label: Mobile Trax
Cat no: Mobile007

Tom Lathem and Damien Bailey from Smokescreen and Babble sound system
respectively, join forces for the first time as a production outfit
and deftly maintain the Label's ethos of quality, deep and chunky
house music. "Special Interest" smacks in a solid bass line and punchy
drums under gentle chords and wet, chopped up vocals. "Like This" adds
a disco flavour to a surging, sharp, drum and bass pattern. Adding a
muted sax to give a sexy, sassy party vibe. Finally "Cruzin" maintains
the clear, drums and bass marriage and fuses filtered guitars and a
distorted vox to wrap up this excellent EP of quality underground
house music. Look forward to hearing more of this from the Special
Interest guys. 4/5

Alex Smoke  Ok (Remixes)
Artist: Alex Smoke
Title: Ok (Remixes)
Label: Soma
Cat no: Soma174

I haven't heard much from Alex Smoke that I "get" or like. That was
until I heard his live set at a beach party at Sonar recently. I don't
know if it is that experience that's changed my perception but his
"Indifferent" remix of OK is right up my strata. An extremely well
executed and produced piece of minimal, machine funk is on hand, with
clean, loose, hats sprayed and reversed around the upper frequencies
whilst the bottom end warps and mutates throughout the arrangement.
"Nuance" is a short, (two minutes) but enjoyable slice of dubby
electronica and then Jay Haze steps forward to offer his "Trippin at
the p-bar dub" remix of "Ok". A twelve-minute psychedelic journey
ensues, going deep into electronica and an array of the noises and
sounds it can offer. This is not for the dance floor, however, it is
by no means boring and in the right place and time would probably work
wonders. 4/5

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Coldplay, X and Y


The clean lines of uber production values lend Coldplay a degree of antiseptic feeling that tends to reinforce whatever prejudices a listener might have. Indy rockers will mostly think it borgeois and lacking in spirit while those with more formalist pop tendencies will tend to like it.

It's certainly taken the UK popular market in a big way, helped along by deep price cutting at some big supermarkets. So one might say that it's very popular with a non-music audience, but that would be unfair.

There are some nice songs here and some nice changes. Yes, it is antiseptic and maybe that's what people want right now -- a little distance from the yelling. (thunderfinger)

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Chk Chk Chk

!!!, Get Up, 12", Warp through Vital

Two songs, Two remixes, four tracks. Spacey, driving, and melodic -- There are a lot of nice moments on these tracks which mix a little art with a little soul and a nice array of non-formulaic electronic sounds and a smattering of altered accoustic sounds.

There is also a nice array of changes anchored by a solid rythmn. There is art here and some danceable excitement as well.

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Cadillac, Magnetic City

LP, Kong Tiki (Pop Fiction UK) out 1 August 05

Big thick fuzzy guitars, wailing vocals, stomping drums: the world is still safe for this stuff thank goodness although I'm surprised there hasn't been an EU directive against it. Just say Non to loss of culture and civilization and say Oui to a furtherance of commonality and peace within the framework of Vive la Differance.

Mais non, mes amis, this is not a French band at all. They are from Norway and give us twelve tracks that vary between full-on post punk rock lo-fi metal to sparse Doors-like almost-ballads. The album was recorded in Conneticut, USA and I'm not sure what that has added to their sound. They are certainly well known in Norway where they've been in the top ten and won some awards.

Support a Minor label today! Oh yes, and there are some free downloads at the band's website. (thunderfinger)

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Black Eyed Peas

Monkey Business - Black Eyed Peas After the huge success of their last CD, Elephunk, the pop hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas hit the top. Not disappointing their fans, the new album Monkey Business is simply amazing. Mixing an wonderful hip-hop beat with great lyrics and a little pop influence, BEP can be astonishing.

But the formula can be (and is) tiring after listening to it a lot, and with a little attention you will soon find out the similarities of the hit Don't Phunk With my Heart and the hit before it, Hey Mama. Don't get me wrong: This formula is awesome, but formulas are never that incredible.

So you like to party? Buy it! You like to listen to something without really paying attention? Have no doubt about getting it. But if you plan on listening to the songs over and over again, don't be so sure about it. (Sofia)

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