Dark and obscure music blog/zine since 2006 [ Post-Industrial / Ambient / IDM ]
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quick Looks 1/26/12

Human Error - "Finite"
[CRL Studios]
First full length from Human Error, released via the netlabel CRL Studios. Finite is a straightforward slab of atmospheric electronica with nods to IDM, glitch, and related styles. Human Error seems to have a proclivity towards epic open pads, as they make an appearance in every track. The album has a kind of melodramatic & futuristic air to it, brought to life by the pleasant melodies and aforementioned pads. The synths on this album sound really good and are easily the highlight. The drums are very linear, but they are mixed well and mesh with the synths. The overall is production is solid, although you will have to adjust the volume knob occasionally over the album's duration. This album reminds me of the better tracks from Undermathic.  Most of the tracks are slow, atmospheric electro-y style.  The biggest flaw of "Finite" is simply that nothing about it is terribly noteworthy. There is nothing particularly negative about it, however there isn't anything that will set this apart from all the other IDM albums you own. From the straight forward beats and minor stutters of "Continue" to the almost obligatory dubstep bassline in "Puppet Show" to the plucky, airy melody of "The Re-animated Man", this album hits all the trends without excelling in any - you've heard it all before. That said, this guy certainly has potential and I'm curious to see if he is able to step up his game and evolve on future releases. I encourage fans of Tympanik, Crazy Language, Halbsicht, etc etc. to give this one a listen. While you will certainly find something here to enjoy, I doubt this will stand out much amongst your collection. 6/10

Dead Hand Projekt - "The Lost EP"
[Vendetta Music]
New EP from this industrial/ebm act on Vendetta Music. Despite this act only releasing since 2010 or so, from the music on this EP you'd swear someone handed you a demo from 1992. I am not at all familiar with this band or their material, but this EP reminds me of older industrial like Pig or NIN but without the guitars and complexity. So, basically it has all the amateur aspects of older industrial releases when there was significantly less access to technology and production equipment, but sadly without any of the notable qualities that led those records to capture people's attention. Honestly, there isn't a whole lot to say about this: it's only 4 songs long and each of them is short, extremely straightforward and unimaginative; all of them more or less consist of: a bassline, 2 synths, a steady, soporific drumbeat, a bunch of undiscernable samples, and effected vocals. Soundwise it is super amateur, gritty and muddy. Unnecessary over-compression has lead to noticeable distortion and ugly artifacts (starting to seem like a staple on vendetta releases, ugh). I imagine that this band is much more exciting to see live than hear on CD. This stuff isn't my thing as you can probably tell, but track 3 "TheTiredWillFight", easily the best on the disc, seems like something fans of Chemlab or Pig or something of that era might like - it's got that driving bassline, high energy, and vocal style straight out of that era. The final track "SuckItDry" is only noteworthy because it contains some of the most disgusting guitars I've ever heard in my life (and that certainly isn't a compliment). There are some ok atmospheric elements here and there, but they get buried within the muck and sallow tones. If you miss the grittiness and simplicity of 80s/early 90s style of industrial/rock, but don't want guitars and don't mind annoyingly squashed-to-shit, zero dynamics music, than this may be for you. Otherwise, this will only serve to remind you why the industrial scene has fallen off so much. Grab a Brain Leisure or Neon Cage Experiment album from Vendetta instead! 2/10

1 comment:

Ted said...

Please don't review music that sits well outside of your tastes... You obviously don't like this type of music and it's like someone that likes country music reviewing a punk band. Thanks.