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Old 04-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Looks interesting Zarko. I've never heard of any of these people. Downloading as we speak.
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25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


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Old 04-07-2009, 12:33 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I was going to suggest you do a taster comp. Great work.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:03 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I was going to suggest you do a taster comp. Great work.
Well some of the stuff is quite different, and I reviewed a lot of the best albums for said artists, so disliking a song here and there isn't indicative of the the actual albums in a fair few cases. If something intrigues someone I suggest doing a comparison to the youtube videos I put on each review. It should give a fairly good idea...

Heres another link for the best of the albums I reviewed... Most are viewable on Youtube, but I will give it anyway...

BestOfSGTN.rar

And its great getting to double digits

Last edited by Zarko; 04-07-2009 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:55 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Great review of Nils Petter Molvaer - A near perfect score here too. I'm DL'ing both these comps now, although I usually let it rot for a few days before giving them a listen.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:42 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Great review of Nils Petter Molvaer - A near perfect score here too. I'm DL'ing both these comps now, although I usually let it rot for a few days before giving them a listen.
I was probably overly generous, but I tend to give albums a few extra points here and there if they strike a chord with me, even if they aren't the most technically marvelous albums of all time . I was going to try and mix up the good albums with some average ones, but whats the point if I want to share the ones I prefer anyway...
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:25 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Volkssturm – Truart (2008)


GENRES – Martial, Industrial, Folk, Experimental

Sky over the Berlin – 4:04
Le Peuple Ouvrier – 4:03
Volkssturm I – 6:35
Volkssturm II - 4:37
Le Capitalisme – 4:21
Volkssturm III – 7:01
Sondervollmachten (Volkssturm version) – 5:02
Volkssturm IV – 4:45
Epilog – 4:00

The first review of a 2008 album and it’s a doozy… I should have a permanent disclaimer for the odd albums that, in all likelihood, I am the only one who will enjoy them, but whatever. Volkssturm is the third outing of Truart, a Ukrainian industrial folk artist. For those who don’t know, the genre ‘martial’ refers to patriotic national folk. As I mentioned, this won’t be for everyone on first listen, but it is quite interesting. I’ll even share one of the songs with you in a couple of days . However, on the whole it has some interesting depth and layering, and has become probably a favourite from 2008 for me personally. Highly recommended – Also, you should turn it up a bit. It makes the album all the better.

For a new find, ‘Sky Over The Berlin’ grabbed me unexpectedly. It was different than what I expected from the descriptions, of course in this case, it wasn’t a bad thing. The heavily distorted guitar and piano strikes, the drumming, the horns, it was all so intense. Despite the overall industrial aesthetics the martial folk comes shinning through, as the wooden military drums signal the beginning of the core. The layers of sound are marvelous, and the guitar lines are a treat, shrieking through the noise. The intensity partially dies off with the dubbed industrial ending with only the military drumming assisting. It’s a quality song throughout.

‘Le Peuple Ouvrier’ is full of the same intensity; however a fair proportion of the folksy martial sound is made by the lovely old accordion, as well as some whimsical flute work. The undertone driving bass line is also a treat. It has been a while since I have actually enjoyed a song which contained accordion work to a major degree. The combination of instruments makes it ‘lighter’ and less foreboding than the opening track, but it’s still brilliant in its own regard. Also throughout are various samples of talking, which are used to break things up a bit. The blast of sounds in the last 20 seconds is a top way to finish off the song. ‘Volkssturm I’ begins with the accordion delivering very circus-like or festival sound and structure. It just reminds me of old French movies walking down a festival street with people and clowns playing the accordion and whatnot. This carries through the song quite nicely, which introduces some electronic dulled and distorted ‘umph’ beats. It is constructed extremely well, and it carries its mood almost too well, as it turns it into a fun track to listen to, even when it isn’t meant to be at times. At about 3:25, the distorted accordion work is an absolutely ****ing amazing treat for the ears, which doesn’t last long enough in my opinion.

‘Volkssturm II’ takes a turn with its dark and aggressive tone and pitch. It is a hostile attack on the ears, as everything is turned up and made as fast as possible, without the calming instruments in between. The alarm sample should be warning enough. It does still have accordion and guitar aspects, but they are made as harsh as possible in comparison to the previous songs. It really does get the heart pumping. Here is another quality song, simply because it once again offers something different.

‘Le Capitalisme’ calms everything down again, as it is carries a happier and calmer disposition. The guitar feels lighter, a lot of the sounds are warmer than their counterparts, and it is a quality contrast to Volkssturm II. It’s the sort of song that just makes you feel like you could be lying happy in an open field. It still has the raw industrial sound, but it’s just the perfect ‘coming down’ period, and it has some excellent guitar lines in the second half the song. ‘Volkssturm III’ is the longest track on the album, and has an peculiar ‘freak show’ feeling to it. It’s not happy but it isn’t particularly dark either. It’s just a bit silly sounding overall. It’s a difficult track to describe. It also has the most vocals out of any track on the album, and old folk song from Eastern Europe, with some obscure vocalist.

‘Sondervollmachten’ is another feature song because of its different and ‘wild, jungle-y’ feeling… The deep wooden and metal drumming, the earthy bass, all build up into some untamed beast. Yet another song that defies explanation, it’s probably better to experience to dark yet un-harmful creature. I have no idea what is being used to make the driving electronic sounds, probably a keyboard or electric organ, but it’s a treat. ‘Volkssturm IV’ borrows the crowded carnival feeling again, with a sample of a crowd and what I construe as a comedic fight, however, it quickly evolves into a down tempo trip hop industrial sound, with bassy beats, with some interesting layers on top. It has the most ‘electronic’ elements of the album so far, in regards to what is used to make the core of it. However, at times, it also feels the most stripped song of the album. It doesn’t carry the intensity of the rest of the album, and many sounds are minimalist and carried in isolation in comparison to previous songs on the album.

The album ends with the aptly named ‘Epilog’ which is the most folksy in its fundamentals, carrying a nice ambient sound and beat without very many intense industrial moments at all. The accordion and instrument sounds are clean, and it’s quite the eye opening in regards to seeing just how much Truart layered the sounds. Until of course, it hits a point where he simply has to interfere, but it still does carry that hard edged industrial sound, rather a down tempo electronic distortion that comes into the song and leaves again at leisure.

Truart was my favourite discovery of 2008. Depending on the day it will fight for favourite album of 2008 as well, simply because it is an interesting album that takes many listens to digest. The rhythms, the construct, the electronics, all add up to an amazing album that should definitely be listened to. There are some clearly better tracks, and some get weighed down in themselves, but it doesn’t really diminish from the album overall. Now we just need to see if it can stand the test of time.

TOTAL SCORE

8.9/10


– Sky Over The Berlin
– Volkssturm II (No matter how many times I listen to it, it’s still awesome, and great entertainment as well)
– Le Capitalisme

I had two review choices to chuck up before my Easter weekend bender, thought I would go with this one... Always tomorrow.

Last edited by Zarko; 09-18-2009 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:36 PM   #37 (permalink)
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From your first comp Rubberoom, Nils Petter Molvær and Sylvain Chauveau are big standouts for me.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #38 (permalink)
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From your first comp Rubberoom, Nils Petter Molvær and Sylvain Chauveau are big standouts for me.
Yeah I wasn't THAT happy with the alternate song list in the end, probably because I had to pick them from another album I didn't like as much (In most cases I reviewed my favourite album from the group), ergo I decided to chuck up the best of the current albums.

Also, you want anything, you know the deal

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Old 04-09-2009, 07:03 AM   #39 (permalink)
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The Night I Met My Second Wife – Sir (2000)


GENRES – Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Film Noir, Australian

Handsome – 3:58
Washed Up – 5:12
Too Good – 4:51
Drunk On Love – 5:33
Sunny Safari – 3:26
The Night I Met My Second Wife – 5:50
The Girl Of My Dreams – 6:05
Release The Herd – 6:11
Heart Aches And Heart Breaks – 3:52

Sir is a three piece Melbourne band (Australia for you lot cross those vast pools of water) consisting of Jesse Shepard (Electric organ, analogue synth and vocals), Elizabeth Downey (Vocals and guitar) and Matt Bailey (Bass). There are a few ways to describe the natue with which Sir play their music… Slow, slow as hell, slow as ****, drug induced coma slow, laid back, and unhurried. These are but a few ways to describe Sir’s melancholic atmospheric alt. singer/songwriter style. That being said, it isn’t bad, but I can definitely imagine the pace turning quite a few people off. Add to that fact that it almost never picks up, the question begs to be asked. Why exactly do I like this as much as I do? It doesn’t offer too much, it isn’t terribly technical, it doesn’t offer amazing lyricism… It’s just appealing. Obviously it doesn’t suit every moment of the day or every mood, but in the right frame of mind and time, it is a god send.

‘Handsome’ is every indication you need to know what the album will be like. It opens with some synth and gentle guitar strumming, layering with Elizabeth’s gloomy and nonchalant vocals. Its simplicity adds to its beauty. As I suggested earlier, don’t expect to be too engaged to the music. I feel it is best to listen to on a quiet, subdued night on your lonesome. Sometimes it is difficult to decipher Elizabeth’s vocals, but that simply adds to the overall mystique of the performance. It is numinous enough to never be quite too clear, but always present.

‘Washed Up’ follows the same pace but is more minimalist and dark in its nature, rather than just sad and gloomy. The haunting horns and synth work, never complete in its performance, but adding a trudging beat to the song, is splendid in its contrast, and it nothing seems in sync, which contributes to the dark tone. Elizabeth’s vocals are also distorted quite scarily at random times. They are sometimes hard to pick up on, but it is a great twist, and a bit spine tingling in the right setting.
The monotonous ‘I’m going to bring you down’, in a murky, and sometimes childish voice also displays a fascinating level of wickedness. ‘Too Good’ is slightly lighter, and more continuous and unbroken, unlike the last piece. The backing synth and organ lift nicely at the appropriate times. Even though the pace and tone doesn’t always suggest so, it’s quite the ‘smile bringer’. It is a very solid track, probably one of my top two, maybe because its uplifting style is more appropriate for when it’s best listened to.

‘Drunk On Love’ is a more psychedelic, spacey background, as the works come out for Jesse’s vocal debut. His grainy, casual, vocals work well with the ideas being put forward by the lyrics, where a man’s life has been consumed by the alcohol that is love. That of course, doesn’t make it a joyful song, rather this is sometimes seen as a negative outcome of life and love. ‘Sunny Safari’ reintroduces Elizabeth once again, in her nonchalant form in its full glory. Every now and then she picks up her vocals, which is a nice touch. She doesn’t push herself to any wild degree, but worth checking out in contrast either way. ‘We’ll be leaving… Some day…’ are some nice repetitive lines from the lyrics, which contain both hope and fear for the future.

‘The Night I Met My Second Wife’ sets quite the foreboding tone, with Jesse initiating the vocal aspect of things, however, the two work in collaboration for quite the appealing tune. The organ creates an ethereal mood, as the clear, concise and derivative vocals by Jesse work in stark contrast to Elizabeth’s indistinct, gloomy performances. The tonal work is nice, as the layered snyth, organ and electric bass make a twister whore version of what should be construed as a positive event. This is another one of my favourites from the album.

‘The Girl of My Dreams’ starts off with the sound of a heart monitor, moving at normal pace. As Jesse begins his vocal work, with some light organ backing, it picks up as he sings about finding out about ‘the girl of his dreams’. It may have just been my interpretation, but it adds an awesome little touch that adds to the depth and meaning of the song. He sings about every detail of the girl, without actually ever having met her. He sings with depth and passion, and despite not being the best vocalist, it is a better performance than many others I have seen of people with better vocals.

‘Release The Herd’, the longest track on the album, which has some nice depth, the bassy lines, the synth and guitar strumming, as well as the constant fuzz noise works well, before the organ introduces some various increments of niceties. It is just simple, chilled, laid back glory in the right frame of mind. The final track, ‘Heart Aches And Heart Breaks’ is another collaborative place, with the two singing together, rather than in contrast, as is present elsewhere in the album. It is a simple and stunning ballad to end the album.

At only 45 minutes, it can feel like one of two things, depending on the mood. If you love it, and alert, it can feel all too short, however, if you love it and are just in a chilled mood, it feels like the perfect length. Of course, I can understand that if it isn’t your sort of thing it can drone on. Despite its similarity throughout, it doesn’t lose interest, as with each listen you uncover another nook or cranny to a song that you love. I recommend at least the youtube videos, though I don’t expect much to come out of it. Though it isn’t the type of thing you will remember forever.

TOTAL SCORE

7.0/10


– Too Good
– The Night I Met My Second Wife
– Girl Of My Dreams

My last review until after the Easter weekend... Hoping for a fun filled holiday period.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:39 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Yeah I wasn't THAT happy with the alternate song list in the end, probably because I had to pick them from another album I didn't like as much (In most cases I reviewed my favourite album from the group), ergo I decided to chuck up the best of the current albums.

Also, you want anything, you know the deal
All three yes please
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