Sunday, August 7, 2011

CD reviews of the week

Awake the Machines Vol.7


I am starting to really love Out of Line records. Some of the stuff that I have been listening to heavily as of lately are artists signed to the label like Kirlian Camera and Javelynn. I recently acquired the seventh volume in the Awake the Machines series. This is my first Awake the Machines album and I am sure it won't be the last. I will admit that the reason I bought the album was for the Javelynn track "Wannabe", my current favorite song at the moment.

Awake the Machines vol.7 is a 3 disc collection of today's hottest acts in the underground electro scene but it also consists of metal and punk.  Most of the bands featured on the compilation I am very familiar with like Blutengel, Javelynn, God Module, and Solitary Experiments but there are plenty of bands that are new to me such as Marsheaux, F.O.D, and Silenzium. Personally I think discs 1 & 3 are the strongest. The material just stuck to me like white on rice. It isn't to say that disco 2 wasn't any good. There are some solid tracks on it like Solitary Experiment's "Rise and Fall" (P24 Remix), Ashbury Heights' "Dancer's Nocturne", and Kirlian Camera's "After Winter 2011".  I  felt the flow of the music was uneven, plus some of the songs didn't do anything for me while the tracks on disc 1 & 3 made me want to get up and dance.

Despite its flaws, Awake the Machines vol.7 is definitely a compilation I think is worth checking out. I definitely plan on checking out music by Mina Harker, Miss Construction, Chrom, Silenzium just to name a few.

DoublePlusTen: Hourglass

Last night I went out to Club Underground to check out some local live music by Kether, As\Of and DoublePlusTen. I was really looking most forward to seeing DoublePlusTen because I have been a fan of Andrew Davies' work since his days in Helisophere. Earlier this spring, I had caught the debut live performance of DoublePlusTen at Ground Zero for the Thought Thieves EP release party. I really dug what I heard from DoublePlusTen so when I was at Club Underground last night, I picked up a copy of Hourglass.

In comparison to the harsh sounds of Andrew's previous group Heliosphere, Hourglass is more techno than industrial. The cd kicks off with the epic trance tune "The Debut". This is my personal favorite song off the album. I am reminded of my college days of spending my weekend nights dancing to techno music at my favorite nightclub in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "I'm Real [You Sure Are Honey]"  moves into breakbeat territory completed with sensuous, breathey female vocals here and there. One of my first thoughts comes to my mind when I listen to this track is early Crystal Method but with beats that weren't so in your face. Track #4 "x=e" with its drum & bass beats sounded like that it would fit perfectly right into the techno soundtrack to the '90s cult film Hackers.

I really enjoy listening to Hourglass. For me, the music has a '90s retro vibe when techno ruled my stereo and life. I will say this the music sounds even better live. I definitely recommend catching DoublePlusTen live whenever Andrew has a show. 

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