Monday, April 28, 2008

Anthem In

Self Titled
Quiet/Loud Records

Anthem In's self titled debut release is one of those albums you can't help but fall instantly in love with. Every song

is a potential hit (not that the band wrote this for mass radio consumption) with a musical formula that is deliciously infectious. I guess you would classify them as an "indie" band, but regardless of where they fit in a category, it's just damn good music.

The vocals are soft, soothing and hypnotic. The guitar work is filled with clean to semi-distorted rhythms and superbly crafted single-note lines that carry the songs. The bass is fluid with a solid driving force that along with the catchy drum work make the songs excellent dance-floor fare. There are also some cool keyboard sounds floating within that help make each track more atmospheric without being overpowering. It's very upbeat most of the time, but somber in a lot of places with well thought out lyrics that really grab you emotionally. This five piece has simply outdone themselves with an outstanding piece of work. You will keep this rotating in your Cd/Mp3 player for a long time, I promise.

- Craig Harvey

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Secret And Lies
Candlelight Records

This UK outfit are somewhat of a hybrid act. One half summons the ghosts of that fuzzy/tuned down/heavy guitar sound that Black Sabbath pioneered in the seventies, while the vocals have a much more aggressive, growling edge, via some of the more modern metal bands of today. It's not screamo (thank god) so you can pretty much figure out what is being said lyrically. However, the two complement each other quite well and the overall end result is a massive sounding album full of pummeling riffs, odd time signatures, and doomy sludge/stoner rock grooves. There is even a progressive edge lurking about on these tunes. Just when you were feeling the vibe, the band switches gears to another (but equally cool) groove just to keep things interesting. Plus you get plenty of bang for your buck on these tracks as they like to keep their songs on the lengthy side. Taint are no frills guitar, bass and drums that aren't over produced and polished to perfection. It's just three guys that equal great riffs, great songs, and a great band.

- Craig Harvey

The Cavalera Conspiracy

Roadrunner Records

Max and Igor Cavalera. Two brothers who pioneered the legendary thrash band Sepultura, have reunited once again to make metal history in the form of The Cavalera Conspiracy. Twelve long years have passed since the two brothers have made music together, but this album more than makes up for the wait. "Inflikted" is a crushing, violent masterpiece that will have fans headbanging in gleeful ecstacy. Max's guttural vocals spit forth venom and pure rage all while laying down his trademark guitar riffs. He is joined on lead guitar (from his band Soulfly) by Marc Rizzo, whose amazing fretboard acrobatics spiral chaotic lines of intensity across Max's rhythm guitar work. Bass duties come from Joe Duplantier of Gojira (another fantastic band) who along with Igor's amazing skin pounding skills round out one of the best new metal acts of this year. From beginning to end this album is a lesson in shear brutality. No soft spots or tender moments here, just full force and in your face the entire time. Don't compare this to anything that has come before, just be amazed. This is the real fucking deal.

- Craig Harvey

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Kooks

Inside In/Inside Out

Just for dislaimer's sake, "Inside In/ Inside Out" for what it is, is a pretty okay album. For what it is. Which is overtly sugary/hooky Brit-Pop that draws equally from the "big moments" of British popular music over the last two decades in equal doses. Which is to say, the Specials, the Jam, Oasis, the Libertines. They know their way around a spiky guitar line and they've got a knack for a good chorus. But sometimes, jesus, is that really enough? Haven't we had enough of the four-five cute young blokes with super-tight jeans and elegantly mussed hair, doing that cross between Keith Richards and Pete Townshend without a bit of the danger and subversiveness of either? I'm not trying to shit on their parade or anything, they're really young and they'll hopefully develope into better songwriters, but, fuck, man. This whole thing... something's not right. Almost smells too packaged and ready for the big time. I read about them for the first time in Men's Vogue for fuck's sake. I can just imagine a bunch of exectuives sitting around bemoaning the Libertines' very unpop danger and messy demise, "Fuck, Doherty's in jail again and Barat is melting down in America! What's going to happen to our bottom line." And then this guy appears out of nowhere with a puff of brimstone in the middle of the conference room and assures them not to worry, Plan B is fully in effect. And a wall slides back to reveal the Pritchard boys and their confederates in these cloning tubes. Cut to everyone laughing in a sinister fashion. See, I said I didn't want to shit on them, and I just did.

- Matthew Moyer

A Woman's Weapon/Wet Nurse

"The Thing That Wasn't There/The Wooden Song" EP

So right before Xmas I was skulking around the Movement HQ, shaking down the couch cushions for loose change so that I could buy "Golden Compass" action figures and liquid eyeliner to drink, and I came upon this unassumimg CD-R buried under an already groaning pile, with no accompanying info beyond a hasty marker scrawl. Taking a closer peek, I see that it's a 4-song CDR split release between A Woman's Weapon and the Wet Nurse! Fucking score! They're only the two best bands in Jacksonville bar none - perfect for washing the taste of the Black Kids out of your ears, argh - both, not at all coincidentally, fronted by ace vocalist Danielle Mathieux. A Woman's Weapon is her cabaret-noir project with electro enfante-terible Jason Irvin, and the Wet Nurse is her noise-horror solo project. The Woman's Weapon "side" starts out with "The Thing That Wasn't There" and here I thought I'd heard all their songs up to this point! Not a chance loser - and it's a monstrous ditty too. A slice of gothic horror much more haunted house creepy than pretty much anything else I've encountered by them - comes off like a cross between Beat Happening at their Crampsiest, Legendary Pink Dots at their most twilit and Pil at their most nauseous. Disorienting doesn't even begin to describe it - primitive slabs of seesawing electronics crisscross like a storm-tossed boat while Mathieux and Ervin sing-talk through their lines like two late-night horror hosts. After that is one of their other high points, the melancholy and baroque "Mother's Lament," which is just... goddamn, sparse chord organ lurks quietly beneath her trilling voice. After that are two tracks from the Wet Nurse album that I previously reviewed, the "Wooden Song" and a tense cover of Queen Adreena's "Kissing My Disgrace.". Check out that for more context - but let me tell you that it's always good to revisit that. I don't know how you're going to get ahold of this album. Maybe write'em real nice and tell'em that some crank was raving about their tunes.

To my knowledge Wet Nurse have never played out, and Woman's Weapon only gigs sporadically. Time to hit the fucking road. I hate seeing genuinely good music moulder unnoticed. Enough of the hiatus nonsense, okay guys?

- Matthew Moyer

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Runnin' Wild
Roadrunner Records

This hard rockin' band from the land down under have made their way to American shores to show everyone that great rock and roll is alive and kickin'! Right from the first track you can feel the adrenaline pumping as these guys give it everything they've got. This is one of the first really "true" rock bands I have heard in a loooonnnnggg time that made me stand up and take notice. Of course (and everyone is saying it) that the comparisons to another Aussie band are absolutely undeniable. It's obvious, but what better band to draw your influence from than the legendary AC/DC. Airbourne have captured that great vibe and taken it a bit further. They are definitely not a clone, more of an evolution of the sound they (AC/DC) pioneered. It's a back to basics, meat and potatoes rock and roll. Loud guitars roaring through a turned up Marshall amp. Solid, in your face drums and bass holding the back beat and songs about women, booze, and partying round it all out. It's about as honest and raw as you can get. This is one hell of a debut album that kicks some serious ass!

- Craig Harvey

Monday, April 14, 2008

LCD Soundsystem


It's always bad form to begin a review with a conditional- listen to me, because I almost fell into this trap myself- but despite the circles they may run in and the labelmates they rub shoulders with it is completely essential that you not lump in James Murphy (DFA Records head) and his LCD Soundsystem with all of that cocaine, hipster, Last Nights Party, MSTRKRFT, dilated pupils boho bullshit that trails them like an unfortunate cloud of locusts. LCD/Murphy always seemed to have his heart and aesthetics in the right place, tirelessly honing LCD Soundsystem into a heartfelt homage to the likes of the Happy Mondays, Chic and Can. All at the same time, no less. But this album presents me with quite a problem. A big fucking problem. On the one hand, "45:33" is a wide-eyed, open-mouthed leftfield disco/house masterpiece, paying tribute to the likes of Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker while having all manner of primitive Kraftwerk robotic frugging to keep the weirdness intact - now that's a megamix. It was envisioined to be one long album length piece composed of four distinct movements. On the other fucking hand, this was commissioned by the hated iTunes and the even more hated Nike to be workout music so the entire disc can fuck off and die for all I care. And yet... the second movement is a sweetly melancholic piece of male-diva house with ringing piano chords, spry basslines and four-to-the-floor drums spurring on Murphy's hoarse, ecstatic vocals, "You can't hide... your love away from me! Hey!" and when that morphs into the autobahn racing electro naivete drone of the third movement with all manner of one-finger synth call and response. Argh, why can't you just let me hate you and be done with it! Followed up with a clutch of mutated proggy dance minuets, I'm still faced with the issue that whatever track on the album I end up liking, it's eventually going to be the soundtrack for some commerical with a dick on a treadmill sporting a lime green ipod. That, I can't quite reconcile. If you can, you're more than welcome to this record.

- Matthew Moyer


"The Plague"
Moribund Cult

Seriously, seriously dissonant and fucked up, "The Plague" is a tsunami of downtuned black metal that's granite cube dense and takes cues equally from the hypothermic majesty of early black metal legends like Immortal and Enslaved as much as it does from wrist-slitting/codeine-bleeding malcontents like Asphyx and Grief and Incantation and some gorecore greats too. Deep blacks became hazy, endless grays and angry, pulsing brown reds as windstorms of speed give way to slowly decaying stone columns of mournful ill-feeling and hopeless nausea. Pretty elephantine stuff here. Inexorable waves of hyper-dense, mournful riffing, almost lush in all the wrong ways, lashed forcefully to a truly demented vocal performance and pounding, forward march drumming - with a surfeit of "Rear Window" tension and paranoia.

Another loner/solo black metal entity fostered under the darkling wing of Moribund Cult, Greg Anderson's Necronoclast hails from the somewhat unlikely locale of Scotland (well, Absu wore kilts for awhile...) but nonetheless shows a penchant for soundtracks of self-harm which go a long way (along with Xasthur and Glorio Belli) in proving that black metal is now a decentralized, hydra-like phenomenon detached from any need for geographic authenticity. Despite a fairly evident low-fi recording quality the fucking album ends up sounding powerful and stygian as fuck just because of the intensity given in the vocal performance and the ingenuity used in arranging these songs. Seven, sprawling tracks of resonant, thorny funeral doom that has more than a few nods to early really evil death metal, and, of course, standing inside a ringing church bell. And it just feels genuinely skin-crawling and dirty and socially fucked.

As a huge bonus, Necronoclast have come up with what sounds to my wizened ears like a completely new vocal style for black metal - a really disturbing method peformance - it sounds like he's either singing through a deep gash in his throat, burbling with blood or his mouth is being split open by fanglike tusks jutting through the cheecks and displacing the jawbone. We heartily approve.

- Matthew Moyer

Corpus Christii

Moribund Cult

This Portugese black metal coven (of one, frontman/mastermind Nocturnus Horrendus - and whatever acolytes he can snare) Corpus Christii is finally getting a domestic release on this, their fifth album, courtesy of the Moribund Cult. And man, they don't fuck around when it comes to sifting through the sands of endless internnational black metal bands to find the noisiest - Dodsferd, Hacavitz and now this! "Rising" is an inspired piece of tornado-fast black metal overkill - the album gallops along at a neck-snapping pace, whilst still remaining thrashily good (despite no pandering to the pit, if you dig me), with occasional shifts in timing and tempo that only serve to solidy an underlying feeling of uneasy nauseau and tension in every black/red note. The guitars are low-fi and primal, but in contrast to other underground black metal sound fucking huge when backed up by a beefy fucking rhythm machine (check out the homicidal swagger at the beginning of "The Wanderer" for all the evidence you need). Thank god Horrendus knows that you don't just use a fucking bass guitar to double the guittar line, that shit shudders and punches you in the stomach. There's a sense of urgency and inspiration behind the performances on this album, there's no posing, no wish to be in a scene - that reminds me of Angelcorpse and Glorior Belli and Carpathian Forest - solid-state violence par excellence. And those vocals! Horrendus lets loose with a raw, almost clean shout/bellow that imparts much more conviction in i's almost human comprehensability, spouting out long freeform litanies of indignities and blasphemies like some sort of deranged cleric or a metal Mark E. Smith, before it metamorphosizes rudely into a Fenris-aping shriek - yes, we do like.

You know you're in for a fucking good throwback album when it starts with a full two-minutes worth of choral performance to set the appropriate air of solemnity. But then it's straight on to the buzzbomb surge of "Stabbed" and from there on it's pure misanthropy-o-rama. "Blank Code" is an excellent self-mutilation soundtrack, switching up surging waves of nervous guitar riffing to detuned harmonics and distant public address system vocals that devolves grandly into staticky, atavistic fury. "The Wanderer" starts out with a strutting, steroid arrogant riff that just oozes assured violence, and halfway through hits a great atmospheric guitar line and from there switches to a mournful wall of sound that just oozes resentment.

There's sickly, punching-yourself-in the mirror stemp of "Torrents of Sorrow." "Evasive Contempt" is full of cold and majestic riffery, but the sound itself warps and bows uneasily. "Untouchable Euphoria" is power-mantra metal, where long verses of are unfurled over one monolithic/monomaniacal riff but then he swtiches it up with a total rocka-rolla secion in the middle, before contemtuously discarding the while thingt. Ace! "Revealed Wounds" crests and thunders on a wave of mutilation like a Satan-enthralled Sonic Youth. Blood on the walls. Blood on your arms. Blood in your throat.

- Matthew Moyer


The Haunting Presence
Moribund Cult Records

The peculiar, and yet very satisfying trend of American black metal solo projects continues with Seattle's Krohm. Taking cues from the almighty Xasthur in terms of adding doses of space rock and not-give-a-fuck baroque melancholy to his music - although more straightforward than Xasthur, but then it's hard to plumb those depths of despair and innovation simultaneously. And "The Haunting Presence" is so much more extravagant and precisely structured - we're talking apples to orchestrated oranges in many ways.

In terms of the sonic lushness, Krohm is definitely more Celtic Frost than Hellhammer - though the feral autodestruct urge is there in spades, it's balanced by Numinas' seeming fascination with orchestrral sound and the malevolence of drone. Towards the end of "Bleak Shores" the very fabric of the song seems to warp and melt, as if exposed to a great heat. "Lifeless Serenade" owes as much to early Ride as it does to Mayhem in terms of immovable waves of architectural guitar harshness - the vocals though, ah there is the sickness, echoing down musty corridors, an unforgiving inhuman rasp. "I Respiri Delle Ombre" is a galloping war march with an underlying bed of melancholy synth, while the guitars are carefully layered and ringing and effecting like classic shoegazing fodder, just sped up to the nth degree, and to hear that merged with harsh Darkthrone-esque vocal violence.

"Relic" feels like a windstorm of spears like early Mayhemor Marduk - a steady low end tattoo guides and marshals along swails of distortion and black noise. Ditto the intentional throwback riffery of "Memories of the Flesh" - opaque slabs of meathook sharp riffs with almost ridiculously blurred percussion taking a backseat to multitracked incantations and rumbling Casio fugues. "Syndrome" ties up the album with bell-like chimes portending a far darker fate than even the razored guitar could - the lyrics are deilvered with far less affectation but far more manic eyes, like a mad monk - and then upshifts into a minimal, lo-fi thrashy run over which slowly descends an intricate lattice of ruined lead guitar before the track degrades back into its trace elements, muffled chimes and uncomfortable silences.

This is music that worships the depths but somehow strives ever upward for a total ecstatic transcendence. Do you fucking get that in Christian rock or contemporary gospel? No, you get all these cringeworthy Jesus-is-my-boyfriend mash notes. Let us prey.

- Matthew Moyer

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Hula Hoops, Hippie Skirts, Hash & Hairy Armpits

Driving down the long winding road of Big Cypress Indian Reservation I wondered if I was ever going to get to Langerado. Then I saw it - one lone Birkenstock sandal in the middle of the road, indicating I was well on my way. Being that it was quite a long drive to the event seemed tiresome enough, however I should have took the hint the worst was yet to come when I saw several rasta hippies hitching rides and the slew of warning signs that read "Please Move Broken Vehicles to the Side of the Road" on the rocky gravel street that seemed like an eternity to travel down (at a grueling 3 miles per hour which was took at least an hour to drive).
This, my friends, was just the beginning of many memorable events that were to occur at Langerado.
So you may ask: After having a monsoon flood and winds that practically blow your tent away, going several days without a shower, experiencing weather shifts from 90 degree heat to 50 degree freezing ass cold and significant tire and alignment damage from the hazardous 2 mile gravel crawl to Big Cypress Indian Reservation - was it worth it? Absofuckinglutely.
There were so many things to see and do at Langerado; that once you got past all of the hassle of getting there, it felt as if you were entering the Emerald City - just a little hippified is all.
Entering the grounds of Langerado you are welcomed with teepee like pillars of vivid color and one giant rainbow Ferris Wheel.
Psychedelic backdrops mastered by resident artist LeBo, creatively imitated a modern feel of the 1970's rock invasion period. Langarado was successful in unifying the best music, the most intriguing art and radiated a green peace vibe throughout the event. No matter what ones creative outlet was, one could find just about anything they needed at Langerado to make the experience a pleasant one.
From tie-dye dye tanks to glow in the dark hula hoops, body paint to bubbles - it didn't matter; anybody could enjoy themselves at this event.
Showcased in booths were exceptional art by Eva Ruiz, Jerry Garcia, Blotter Art and many others. A variety of eccentric clothes and jewelry of course took their place in the event and Langerado itself had many interesting attractions such as Green-A-Rado; an eco village atmosphere offering yoga classes, workshops and AFV (Alternative Fuel Vehicle) displays.
Kid-A-Rado, a kids festival within a festival, was also offered to Langerado moms & dads with kid tents of arts/crafts projects, stories, games, special demonstrations and a Kid-A-Rado house band.
What was also most exceptional about Langerado was the official artwork of Langerado by Cuban-American artist LeBo. Artist David "LeBo" Le Batard is known for his vibrant and whimsical paintings of musical metaphors and colorful characters inspired by the world of musical culture. LeBo rocked out along side the musicians with live art performances during the live musical performances of the Beastie Boys, Thievery Corporation, the Disco Biscuits, Citizen Cope, Les Claypool, among many others.
But lets face it - most of us came for the music, right? Well, what blew me away, it being my first time at Langerado, was how incredibly entertaining all of the musical acts were. Everybody at Langerado BRUNG IT with such fervor that one would think it was THE major event of the decade.
Being a 4 day event in the Everglades on an Indian Reservation; Langerado had 5 stages, almost 90 bands and so much energy you'd think it was a power plant.
The days began with the more chill bands setting the vibe for the event - such as The Wailers, 311 and so forth.
Beach balls bounced back and forth, and the smell of hash was in the air as the Wailers played their set and introduced Matisyahu as a guest singer.
Bubbles flowed in the dusk while the beautiful melody of "Amber" played from 311, then the energy picked up as the crowd jumped up and down in unison to "Down".
G-Love and Special Sauce grooved the The Sunset Stage as the Roots put on a surprising performance of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War".
The Beastie Boys mastered mixes, played old school Beastie punk and caused a major mosh pit ending the show with "Sabotage" while heckling the ravers with their glowsticks.
Thievery Corporation enchanted the crowd with their rasta-electro and Indian Princess costumes, a group of Raver Dance troop girls in fluorescent wigs and sequined tight shorts distracted Matisyahu fans on the grounds by performing choreographed dance routines with glow in the dark hula hoops to "Lord Raise Me Up" while a mysterious ballerina in a red tutu does pirouettes in the center of the girls performance.
Ghostland Observatory, located in the Chickee hut in the back of Langerado has an astonishing huge crowd migrating to see the electrifying performance. Being in competition with Matisyahu (playing at the Sunset Stage in the same time slot) Ghostland Observatory mesmerized audiences with powerful vocals and massive green rays that shot out from the stage, beyond the crowd and onto the trees.
REM put on an astounding performance, admitting it's their first time at Langerado. Wearing a white suit, with yellow X's made from electric tape on his nipples, Michael Stipe takes a moment out to identify with the audience by saying "In 2008, I am sick to death of being told by politicians what I should be afraid of and what I should fear". Stipe then plays his latest song "Houston" echoing "I'm Martin Sheen, I'm Steve McQueen, I'm Jimmy Dean" and then busts in with "Losing my Religion".
Finalizing the show is hard to do. There were so many great performances, so many attractions it's hard to review them all. If you were tired from stage hopping for live shows, you could chill out on the Ferris Wheel, or sit on a grassy knoll - if you wanted to dance you could go to the tent that had Real Radio and dance to electronica all night with a bunch of other rave happy kids, if you were hungry you could scarf down a burrito, burger or fish sandwich from one of the many food vendors. Too tired to do anything? Go to your tent and take a nap. It's that easy. A home away from home - a little break from the real world.
So what you got soaked from the major rainstorm? So what your tent blew away? So what, you stink because there's no running water? So what you have to repair a tire from the treacherous gravel road? Life goes on. You got to hear great music, see fantastic performances, meet cool people, drink lots of beer and take home some memorabilia. You got to vacate your real life and melt away in the land of Langerado. So slap on a spare tire, take a shower, quit your bitchen and plan for next years Langerado.
And if you missed Langerado this year, take my advice; plan in advance. Get some AAA, bring your galoshes, buy a sturdy tent and bring some hand sanitizer. I promise, you'll have a good time.

- Mia Carlin

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Midnight Syndicate

The Rage Soundtrack
Entity Productions

I fell in love with Midnight Syndicate several years ago and have continued to enjoy their nightmarish musical visions ever since. I kept saying that these talented lads would be naturals at movie soundtracks and I was absolutely correct. On their second film score "The Rage," Midnight Syndicate has conjured up a terrifying score that will have you hanging onto the edge of your seat, even in it's most subtle moments. All the releases that they have done before have been leading up to an album like this. I can hear an evolution in their music, but it has all the nuances that make up their unique sound. Edward and Gavin have become extremely efficient at building tension and dread in their music and it pays off here in spades.

The film itself centers around a jaded scientist who creates a bio-agent (Rage) that can turn it's victims into mutant cannibalistic monstrosities. He plans to unleash this devastating plague on society, but his plans backfire, when some of his creations escape only to die and be eaten by vultures who become infected as well. As you can imagine, the situation only becomes much, much worse. The film is gore soaked and sports a cast of familiar faces from some well known horror films of the past. Granted the plot appears to have similarities between this and the film 28 days later, but only to a small degree. I have yet to see it, but I definitely plan to, as I want to hear and see how Midnight Syndicates incredible score pairs up with the visuals on this film.

- Craig Harvey

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Live At Wacken Open Air 2007 DVD
Bodog Music

The Waken Open Air Festival is one of the biggest outdoor metal concerts in the world. From it's humble beginnings in 1990 with only six local German bands to it's now massive undertaking of over sixty bands and a crowd draw of around 60,000 fans, this is the premier metal event. So it's only fitting that American thrash legends Overkill, decided to film their newest live DVD here. Frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth let's loose his trademark high-end vocals as the band thunder their way across such classics as "Rotten To The Core" and the anthemic "In Union We Stand" to newer tracks, "Skull And Bones" and "Walk Through The Fire" from their latest album "Immortalis". "Blitz" and bassist D.D. Verni are the only members from the original line-up but the newer musicians fit right in and slay on every song. You are treated to the "Blitzcam" which is a view from Bobby's video cam mounted on a microphone pole, so if you were in the front of the crowd then, you might see yourself "throwing the horns"! There are only ten songs presented here and with the bands rather large discography (and lack of time) there are probably many favorites you won't hear, but the ones you do, I promise that the fans won't be disappointed.

- Craig Harvey

Friday, April 4, 2008

WMC 2008

Winter Music Conference has been a hedonistic retreat for electronic music lovers for years representing the pulse of what’s happening on a global scale. For some it’s a chance to represent there skills and strike a deal with a label, for others it a chance to submerge into music that the southeast rarely has a chance to enjoy. Whether you’re carrying the handbag for techno or got the need to feed your house addiction the game was on in Miami. We got a treat hearing NYC legend Francois K, while getting down to his evolving sound that has grown for over 20 years, we ran into none other the Danny Teneglia scoping out the joint. Across the hall Tampa native Three brought the minimal madness at the Hallucination party. Reverse Commuter heated things up but Canuck’s Cobblestone Jazz took the prize early on. This Mathew Johnson lead trio caused quite a stir this WMC with their innovative freestyle, on the fly techno, combined with soothing twisted piano chords and tweaked out ethereal vocals. The biggest bang for your buck was the Remix Hotel. The Beat Port sponsored pool party brought a line of WMC’s biggest and brightest stars, from Hawtin to Zabiela you had to stop dancing just long enough to check out the latest in DJ and production madness. We ran into Richard Devine rocking the noise with the Access Atomizer, and Miami’s unsung hero Stryke was rockin out in the Stanton cabana promoting his latest release the Narrowest of Path’s on Plastic City. That night we ran into UK import Sasha cooking up some info for his latest Involver2 cd. Even the Mac store was on point during WMC, Ewan Pearson dropped a genius set to satisfy any craving, we saw him later opening for minimal meets trance guru Gui Boratto at the Kompakt/Resident Advisor party. Unfortunately the Minus party was a no go at 4am, the venue was at capacity but we did make is down to Felt to get with the local Miami techno clan Dirty Gruv. Ray Nicholes from Detroit was there banging the drum. Some how or another we ended up at the Tommy Boy Records party and Bob Sinclair had people letting there hair down with diva’s singing and drummers drumming. Super star techno cohort Adam Beyer was up to the task as he brought his Drumcode label mate Par Grindvik and friends to BED for a late night cocktail that went into high gear. We even managed to stir up some dirt at Ultra Music Festival. For their 10 year anniversary Ultra brought Underworld back for another awestruck phenom performance. They brought 120% with them and even reworked some classic tunes for us old blokes. If you could still move by the end of the week Sunday School for Degenerates at the Pawnshop was the place to be. We heard Steve Bug lay down the law with some amazing minimal – chord tunes and then Ghostly poster boy Matthew Dear got dark and groovy as the sun went down on the Terrace. Once again Miami has proved the longevity of electronic dance music and it’s power to evolve, innovate, inspire and motivate. As we wind down and wish it could last a little longer we spotted a flyer for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, like a pilgrimage to a holy place we are ready to do it again, more techno, more house, more beats over and over again "till the break of dawn".

Check out photos here:

- Dr. Strangelove, MOVEMENT Magazine /

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Impact Zone
Artoffact Records

Blank releases yet again, another solid album of ebm hits with "Impact Zone." It's sure to set fire to clubs around the globe with it's high energy ebm-fuled dance floor rhythms. Their sound is definitely influenced by trance and techno, which is fine, but it's just a little too by the book and formulaic. This style has been done by so many bands that to my ears, it doesn't really stand out that much. The beats are pretty standard 4/4 and fast paced, the synths moody and emotional, and the vocals slightly processed. As I said, it's a dead on dance floor winner for sure, but it's not going to set records for originality.

- Craig Harvey

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Run Level Zero

Arctic Noise
Artoffact Records

On their fifth release, Sweden's Run Level Zero come through yet again with another menacing disc of dark electro/industrial. One thing I liked about this album, the vocals are processed but very discernable. Not so over distorted that I can't make out anything at all concerning the lyrics. The beats and basslines just captures you with a killer groove that is set at that perfect speed that just flows, pushing adrenaline, filling every fiber of your body and pulling you into it's maelstrom. Yeah, I am really digging this and I don't even dance! It's not all standard 4/4 rhythms that so many electro acts stick to like a ebm playbook either. There are lots of cool fills and noises that abound on this disc and the synths have that dark futuristic edge I just love. I was starting to give up on some of the electro acts as of late because nothing has grabbed me. Well, Run Level Zero didn't just grab me, they shook me up and spit me back out. This album just demands to heard and I am going to spread the word. Fucking brilliant!

- Craig Harvey