Monday, December 31, 2012

Albums I am currently listening to

Syrian: Desynchronized

A few weeks ago I won the auction for Desynchronized on ebay. I found out about it from an email from A Different Drum Records. This is the one Syrian album I have been wanting to get and I finally did. I have been enjoying this album from the Italian synthpop group since I got it in the mail right before going out of town for Christmas. Music is really catchy.

Exitmusic: Passage
I first heard of this band in an earlier issue of City Pages this month. After hearing a few tracks online, I was hooked. This past Friday, I picked up their album Passage. I was automatically hooked on their music. Their music reminded me so much of Sigur Ros and Bat For Lashes.
Hanzel und Gretyl: Scheissmessiah

I was over at Cheapo Records this past weekend. I found a few gems in the used cd bins. One of them was Scheissmessiah. I have been missing that album for sometime now so finding it was a big score for me. Scheissmessiah is HuG's 2nd album on Metropolis Records, certainly one of my personal favorite HuG albums. It's loud and bombastic. Classic Hanzel und Gretyl for me.

Hanzel und Gretyl: Transmissions from Uranus

While I was at Cheapo records yesterday, I came across Hanzel und Gretyl's rare, out of print album Transmissions From Uranus. While I do have a burned copy of the album, I had to buy HuG's second album from their former label. On this album, Vas and Loopy's sound is more industrial/techno and nothing like their current sound. Still I can hear metal influences slowly creeping into the band's sound.

Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around

This is the last cd I bought yesterday at Cheapo Records. I used to have it but sold it a couple of times for much needed $$$. This is definitely my last time buying it. Of all the American recordings Cash did, the fourth volume is my personal favorite. It is just so beautiful. Cash is and always will be the man in my book.

The Crystalline Effect: Identity

Identity is one of those albums that had been sitting on my Amazon wish list for almost two years. I finally got around to buying it and so glad that I did. I just love the mix of industrial and trip hop music.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 music collection

Now that it is truly end of the year, I thought now would be a good time to post my final list of music I bought in the entire year. I recently got the idea of keeping record of all my music purchases in a journal (including the costs) and at the end of the year, I'll post the results. I know it is a huge task but I think it would make for an interesting project. is this year's list of music I had bought this year (should note that a few were given to me for helping out promote Kilted Farmer Koncerts shows).

A.wolf and Her Claws - s/t
Aesthetic Perfection - All Beauty Destroyed
Alien Skin - Ghost in the Rain
Alpha Point - High Like the Angels
And One - S.T.O.P
Assemblage 23 - Bruise

Belly - Star
Belly - King
Brute Heart - Lonely Hunter

Carved Souls - Waveform
Caustic - The Man Who Couldn't Stop
Caustic - I Can't Believe We're Re-Releasing This Crap
Celtic Woman - Believe
Cecile Corbel - The Secret World of Arrietty
Chrom - Synthetic Movement
Clan of Xymox - Kindred Spirits
Claps - Wreck
Conjure One - s/t
Curve - The Way of Curve
Cwn Annwyn - The Alpha and Omega

Das Merman - Tief in Der Nacht
Dead Can Dance - Anastasis
Delerium - Chimaera
Delerium - Karma
Delerium - Music Box Opera
Delerium- Semantic Spaces
Delta Rae - Carry the Fire
Deviant UK - Very Bad Things
Die Braut - Psychotherapy
Dido - No Angel
Discover compilation
Dual Density - Soul Ecstasy

Ego Likeness - Dragonfly
Ego Likeness - East
Ellie Goulding - Halcyon
Erasure - The Innocents
Espermachine - Dying Life
Eurythmics - Ultimate Collection
Everything But the Girl - Walking Wounded
Exitmusic - Passage

Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials
For All the Emptiness - Axioms
Future Perfect - Escape

Garbage - s/t
Garbage - Not Your Kind of People
Geodesique - 88
Geodesique - Smoke
Goldfrapp - The Singles
Grendel - Prescription Medicine
Grendel - Harsh Generation
Grendel - Timewave Zero
Grimes - Visions

Hanzel und Gretyl - Born to Be Heiled
Hanzel und Gretyl - Scheissmessiah
Hanzel und Gretyl - Transmission from Uranus
Howard Jones - The Very Best of
Hungry Lucy - Glo

Icon of Coil - Machines Are Us
Ikon - Subversion
Inertia - Universal Blood
Invisible Limits - A Conscious State
In Strict Confidence - Morpheus
In Strict Confidence - Utopia
I:Scintilla - Dying and Falling
Is/Is - This Happening
Is/Is - III

Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around

Kasey Chambers - Barricades and Brickwalls

L'Assassins - s/t
Lacuna Coil - Dark Adrenaline
Light Asylum - s/t

Madonna - Ray of Light
Mankind is Obsolete - Trapped Inside
Mari Chrome - Georgy #11811
Metric - Synthetica
Moonlight Cove - Hearts of the World
Myths - s/t
Moby - Destroyed

Nadina - In the Now
Nightwish - Imaginaerum (limited edition 2 cd)
9th Evolution - Retro Americana

Omega Lithium - Kinetik

P!nk - Truth About Love

Samsara soundtrack
Sapphire Solace - Shadow Stories
Shiny Toy Guns - III
Sigur Ros - Valturi
Silica Gel - Exodo
Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Best Of
SITD - Icon Koru
Solar Fake - Frontiers
Sound of the Underground compilation
Stoa - Zal
Stray - Letting Go (2 copies - 1 one of them was signed by Erica Dunham-Norris herself, the other being the limited edition 3 disc set)
Syrian - De-synchronized
System Syn - All Seasons Pass

10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden
Tearwave - Different Shade of Beauty
The Birthday Massacre - Hide and Seek
The Crystalline Effect - Identity
The Frozen Autumn - Chirality
The Frozen Autumn - Emotional Screening Device
The Girl w/The Dragon Tattoo soundtrack
The Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles
This Mortal Coil - Filigree and Shadow
Trampled By Turtles - Stars and Satellites
Twitch the Ripper - Colorblind

Ultraviolet - DOS
Unter Null - Moving On (couldn't resist getting an autographed copy of Moving On and free swag ;))

VNV Nation - Burning Empires

Wideband Network - Ten Thousand Words
William Control - Silentium Amoris

Zynic - Fire Walk With Me

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012: My year in review

I know it is a cliche to say that this year has been amazing, if not one of the best years in music for me but truth be told, 2012 has been simply incredible. To see this year come to an end almost makes me sad.

I saw so many excellent concerts this year with Rammstein being my top favorite live show of 2012. That show totally blew me away. On a smaller scale, I would say the Theory of Revolution 2012 tour with Carved Souls, For All the Emptiness and Deviant UK (with local band Thought Thieves) was my favorite. Got to meet some really great musicians and heard some excellent synthpop. If you haven't heard of For All the EmptinessDeviant UK, and Carved Souls, you should do it now. Other great concerts I have attended this year includes: Icon of Coil, I:Scintilla, Howard Jones, Metric,  Florence and The Machine (who by the way sounded incredible live), All Cities Destroyed tour (w/Aesthetic Perfection, X-RX, BlakOpz), and The Birthday Massacre w/Aesthetic Perfection and William Control. I hate saying this but I wasn't all that impressed with The Jesus and Mary Chain show. Not only did my friend who was supposed to go to the show with me never showed up (and somehow mysteriously vanished off my radar) but the band or the venue couldn't get their shit together. Plus the band had no chemistry whatsoever. Why tour if you can't stand each other (ahem, Reid brothers)? Still at least I can say I have seen them live once. Overall great year for live music.

2012 has been a very good year for local music. My personal new favorite local band is Scarlet Mother. Their guitarist Neil was in the band Autumn. Definitely can hear some of his old band in Scarlet Mother's music (along with Cocteau Twins). Really love what I have heard from them so far. Can't wait until they unleash some music for the public to buy. I am going to be all over that like white on rice. HAHA. My other new favorite local bands includes Wiping Out Thousands and L'Assassins. My friends in Geodesic has evolved quite a bit and became Geodesique. I really love the new direction the band has gone, starting with the addition of Lala Fairshadow. Their two recently released EPs 88 and Smoke are simply divine. You can buy the band's music here. There was a time when I once felt that the local music scene had nothing to offer for me but that attitude has changed for the better as I started attending more shows over the years. I am looking forward to seeing where the Twin Cities goth/industrial scene goes to in the coming years. As someone who has created a blog dedicated to the local (as well as national) music scene, my eyes and ears are on full alert.

2012 has turned out to be the year in synthpop for me. I have never come across so many wonderful bands in the genre as I have this year. Not to say I hadn't heard any awesome industrial albums however synthpop ruled my world this year. CHROM and Moonlight Cove put out my 2 very favorite synthpop albums of the year. I especially love Moonlight Cove's Hearts of the World. Never have I heard such heartfelt lyrics and lush melodies as I have on the band's second album. My favorite new discovery of 2012? Well it is actually two...Future Perfect and Mari Chrome.  When I first discovered those two bands either on youtube or on an Alfa Matrix compilation, I was totally blown away by these two bands. I can hardly wait to hear more music from these two bands.

Outside of synthpop, I was thrilled for the return of Garbage with Not Your Kind of People. After a seven year hiatus, the band's return was much needed. I recently picked up Passage by Exitmusic. What a fantastic debut album. My curiousity was piqued a couple of weeks ago in City Pages and I fell in love with their music after checking it out on youtube. Their music sounds like a fusion of Bat for Lashes and Sigur Ros. I also enjoyed the debut album by Nadina In the Now and Delerium's Music Box Opera. Believe it or not, I also enjoyed some pop music this year with Pink's The Truth About Love and Ellie Goulding's Halcyon. And I really dug the debut album by Delta Rae Carry the Fire. If anything 2012 has proven to me that not all mainstream music sucks ass. The aforementioned artists/bands has shown me that pop music isn't all that crappy. At least to me. LOL.

As far as industrial music goes this year wasn't that hot for me. I did love the Electronic Saviours 2 compilation from Metropolis Records. Kick ass music. Most of it anyways. Some didn't float my boat.  My top faves in the genre were In Strict Confidence's Utopia and Inertia's Universal Blood. Believe it or not, I was so unimpressed by Hanzel und Gretyl's Born to be Heiled. LOVE the new Stray album. After a four year wait, Erica Dunham finally put out a follow up to Abuse by Proxy with Letting Go. I wouldn't call Stray's music "industrial" but there certainly are elements in the music but in a more subtle manner than what one would hear in Unter Null's music.

With 2012 coming to a close soon, I am eagerly anticipating for what 2013 has to offer. I am definitely looking forward to hearing new music from Ayria, Sensuous Enemy, Icon of Coil, Blutengel, and Unter Null (duh!).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Upcoming releases for 2013

It has been awhile since I have posted a list of upcoming releases and with 2013 just right around the corner, I felt now would be a great time to share with my readers some new releases. This list is just a tip of the iceberg mind you. I'll post updated lists once I get some more releases in the coming months.

Download - Furnace (01.08.13)
Vomito Negro - Fall of an Empire (01.08.13)
Say Just Words - Scream in the Darkness (01.15.13)
V/A - Futronick Structures Volume 6 (01.15.13)
New Order - The Lost Sirens (01.15.13)
Adam Ant - AdamAnt is The Blueback Hussar Marrying the Gunnar's Daughter (01.21.13)
Army of the Universe - Until the End (01.22.13)
Klaus Schulze - Shadowlands (01.22.13)
Die Krupps - Risikofaktor (01.22.13)
God Module - Empath 2.0 (01.22.13)
Ordo Funebris - Songs From the Enchanted Garden (01.22.13)
Combichrist - No Redemption [Devil May Cry soundtrack] (01.25.13)
Wormz - Emergency Alert System (01.28.13)
Jarboe - The Sweet Meat Love and Holy Cult (01.29.13)
Rajna - Babel (01.29.13)
Slave Republic - Quest for Love (01.29.13)

Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf - Tales from the Ultratribe (02.01.13)
Mesh - Born to Lie [single] (02.05.13)
Shiv-r - Shadow Between Words (02.11.13)
Zecromancer - Bye Bye Borderline (02.12.13)
Doubting Thomas - The Infidel (02.12.13)
KMFDM - KUNST (02.26.12)
God Module - Psychic Surgery the Victims Among Friends and Perception EPs (02.26.12)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 10 Music Videos of 2012

10. Blutengel: Save Our Souls

09. Parralox: Sharper Than a Knife

08. Ellie Goulding: Anything Could Happen

07. In Strict Confidence: Morpheus

06. Metric: Breathing Underwater

05. Javelynn: Skip a Heartbeat

04. Shiny Toy Guns: Waiting Alone

03. Future Perfect: Paradise

02. Delerium: Monarch

01. CHROM: Loneliness

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My favorite concerts of 2012

Yesterday City Pages posted an article on what they considered the Best Twin Cities Concerts that the staff had seen. In response, I am posting my list of my favorite concerts that I had attended this year.

01. Rammstein

There really was no other concert this year that kicked my ass like Rammstein's show did. That was really the best concert I had seen in 2012.

02. Icon of Coil

Icon of Coil was one of those bands that I had been dying to see for many years. My dream came true earlier this fall when the band reunited for a North American tour (and in the new year new music). Too bad Sebastian was stuck in customs so he couldn't make it to the Minneapolis show. Still I was one happy camper.

03. Metric at the State Theatre
What a fantastic show this show was. Metric proved to be a highly entertaining live band to watch. Their new album Synthetic is absolutely wonderful. I certainly would go see them again...with earplugs ;).

04. Florence and the Machine at the State Theatre
Although the concert was a bit short, I enjoyed my time there immensely. Florence Welch sounds incredible live. Her cds really don't capture her powerful vocals as well as they sound when she is onstage. I felt so fortunate to have scored a ticket to the sold out show. They went fast.

05. Theory of Revolution 2012

I absolutely LOVED this show. Loved all the bands and the overall experience was truly one of the best I ever had at a show (despite the small number of people who attended the show).

06. All Cities Destroyed tour

Came to see Aesthetic Perfection for this show, left the show also loving their fellow tourmates X-RX and BlakOpz. Just an awesome live show.

07. The Birthday Massacre with William Control and Aesthetic Perfection

Second time this year I had seen Aesthetic Perfection which was awesome. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed William Control's set. Didn't care for his album Noir a couple of years ago so I really had no expectations for his set but in the end I came to love his music. I picked up the latest WC album which I absolutely adore.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My 20 favorite non- 2012 albums that I bought this year

Since yesterday I posted my  list of my favorite albums that were released this year, here are my favorite albums that are a few years old that I bought (or acquired for free)this year.

20. Star - Belly
19. The Way of Curve - Curve
18. Emotional Screening Device - The Frozen Autumn
17. Conjure One - Conjure One
16. Psychotherapy - Die Braut
15. Machines Are Us - Icon of Coil
14. Zal - Stoa
13. Destroyed - Moby
12. Frontiers - Solar Fake
11. Ray of Light - Madonna
10. All Seasons Pass - System Syn
09. Karma - Delerium
08. DOS - Ultraviolet
07. Kindred Spirits - Clan of Xymox
06. Soul Ecstasy - Dual Density
05. Axioms - For All the Emptiness
04. De-Synchronized - Syrian
03. Fire Walk With Me - Zynic
02. Identity - The Crystalline Effect
01. Burning Empires - VNV Nation

Considering the fact that Burning Empires is out of print, the fact that I found a used (but in great condition) copy of it at Cheapo Records for $8 was a massive score for this longtime fan. That was the biggest find I have ever came across in the used cd bins at Cheapo so for me that is my favorite non-2012 release that I bought this year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best albums of 2012

Initially I was planning on just putting together a top 10 list of what I consider the best albums of 2012 but over time that proved to be immensely difficult. I decided to go with 20 of my favorite albums of 2012. Even that was difficult since I had to leave out a few albums off my list (like Assemblage 23's Bruise, The Birthday Massacre's Hide and Seek, and 9th Evolution's Retro Americana, Caustic's The Man Who Couldn't Stop...sorry guys, great albums though). After numerous revisions, I finally came up with a list I was happy with. 2012 was really a spectacular year for music. I never had so much difficulty writing a best of list as much as I have with this year's best of list. There was so much excellent music that I had heard. Kudos to all the artists whose albums I have put on this list and those who I couldn't find room for :).

20. Timewave: Zero - Grendel
19. III - Shiny Toy Guns
18. Valturi - Sigur Ros
17. Silentium Amoris - William Control
16. Halcyon - Ellie Goulding
15. Universal Blood - Inertia
14. Letting Go - Stray
13. Georgy #11811 - Mari Chrome
12. Chirality - The Frozen Autumn
11. Carry the Fire - Delta Rae
10. Music Box Opera - Delerium
09. Waveform (re-release) - Carved Souls
08. Electronic Saviours 2: Recurrence - Various Artists
07. Not Your Kind of People - Garbage
06. East - Ego Likeness
05. Escape - Future Perfect
04. Utopia - In Strict Confidence
03. Synthetic Movement - CHROM
02. In the Now - Nadina
01. Hearts of the World - Moonlight Cove

2012 was the year for synthpop for me. Never have I heard so many wonderful albums in that genre  in one year. CHROM and Moonlight Cove put out my two favorite synthpop albums of 2012. I would always play them constantly at both home and at work. Their music really struck a huge chord with me. Never have I heard music that heartfelt and sincere especially Hearts of the World by Moonlight Cove.   I do hope people will check the CHROM and Moonlight Cove albums. They are two of this year's overlooked albums in the electro scene IMHO.

Two of my favorite new discoveries were the groups Future Perfect and Mari Chrome. They really lit up my enthusiasm and passion for music.  The US music scene really needs to check these two bands out which is why I love championing their music a lot. 

Industrial music was good this year but not as good as synthpop. I thought Grendel, Inertia, and In Strict Confidence put out the strongest efforts for me. Believe it or not my beloved Hanzel und Gretyl put out one of the weakest albums I have heard this year. Disappointing for me. 

As for non-industrial/synthpop albums are concerned, just loved the debut albums by Delta Rae and Nadina. Their music really took up a lot of airtime at work and at home (and still do). I especially love the Nadina album which for me was even better than the new Delerium album (which I love too). I love Nadina's fusion of traditional Middle Eastern instruments/lyrics set to modern electronic beats. I am looking forward to hearing more music from Nadina. Delta Rae's brand of folk/country/pop/gospel is excellent too. Very catchy and a lot of fun to listen to especially "Bottom of the River". Not the kind of music I usually listen to but I love what I have heard on Carry the Fire.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top 20 best songs of 2012

Now that my laptop has been fixed, I decided to start posting my best of lists tonight before I head out of town for Christmas (and will be away from the computer again but this time by choice ;)). Tonight's list is the 20 best songs I have heard this year. Some are singles and some are not.

20. Nightmusic - Grimes
19. Morpheus - In Strict Confidence
18. Deep Waters - Grendel
17. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
16. Chirality - The Frozen Autumn
15. Dance in the Graveyards - Delta Rae
14. Strange Behaviour - Twitch the Ripper
13. Bury You Alive - Caustic
12. Lies - Inertia
11. Unterstutzung 87 - Hanzel und Gretyl
10. Persona Non Grata - Ego Likeness
09. Breathing Underwater -Metric
08. Come Die With Me - William Control
07. Toxic - Mari Chrome
06. When Heart Forgives - Nadina
05. Not Your Kind of People - Garbage
04. Paradise - Future Perfect
03. Loneliness - CHROM
02. Chrysalis Heart - Delerium
01. Save - Moonlight Cove

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My favorite Twin Cities albums 2012

Today on City Pages' website, there is an article where the staff lists their favorite Twin Cities albums released this year. I decided to post my favorite local (or bands that resides in MN) albums that I bought and heard this year.

L'assassins - L'assassins
Geodesique - Smoke/88 EPs
Trampled By Turtles - Stars and Signs
Wiping Out Thousands - This Came First
Zoo Animal - Departure
A.Wolf and Her Claws - A.Wolf and Her Claws

I am particularly fond of the WOT and L'assassins' music. I strongly recommend checking both bands out.

Although I don't listen to much rock music any more, I totally dig the women in L'assassins. Love their music and their image. I still need to catch them live one of these days. One day I will damn it! lol

Monday, December 17, 2012

Delerium - Music Box Opera

Delerium - Music Box Opera

After a long wait, Delerium finally released their follow up to Nuanges Du Monde with Music Box Opera earlier this fall. I wasn't really all impressed with Nuanges Du Monde. It wasn't bad but it wasn't memorable at all, save a couple of tracks. Still has a long time fan of Delerium, I still look forward to hearing new material from the electronica group. Thankfully, I was not disappointed in Music Box Opera.

The first single "Monarch" featuring singer Nadina really sounded like it could have been perfect for either Semantic Spaces or Karma

Love the Middle Eastern flavor to this track.

My personal favorite track on the entire album is "Chrysalis Heart" which features singer Stef Lang.

This track sounded like it could have been on a Balligomingo or Sleepthief album. In fact Music Box Opera reminded me quite a bit of Balligomingo and Sleepthief's music. Very poppy and yet seductive and blissful. I know some long time fans for Delerium have expressed displeasure with the new album but I personally love it. The impression those fans gives me is that they want clones of Karma and Semantic Spaces. One has to wonder if they even heard of Delerium's music back when they were on Cleopatra Records making darkwave/ambient music. I love listening to this album after a hard day at the office. It's very relaxing.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nadina - In The Now

Nadina: In the Now

Nadina is a Canadian singer from Lebanon who recently released her debut album In The Now via Nettwerk Records, home to Delerium and Sarah McLachlan. I first became aware of the singer via the first single off Music Box Opera by Delerium called "Monarch".

She also sings on another song off the new Delerium album called "Awakening".

Nadina's contributions on the new Delerium album intrigued me and when her debut album came out,I immediately sought out a copy of In The Now.

I was immediately taken by In The Now. I can hear a lot of Delerium and Conjure One in Nadina's music. Nadina's music mixes traditional Middle Eastern melodies with modern electronica beats. One of my personal favorite tracks on the album is "When Heart Forgives". It is simply a beautiful song.

I also love the title track too. All of the songs on the album is fantastic. I look forward to hearing more music from this talented singer.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Future Perfect - Escape

Future Perfect: Escape

One of my personal favorite finds of 2012 is certainly the UK duo of Simon Owen and Rebecca Morgan aka Future Perfect. Came across the video for "Paradise" on one of the EBM pages I have liked on Facebook. I was hooked right from the word go. Unfortunately finding a CD copy of their album was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I fortunately found a German website that carried their new album (prior to A Different Drum Records). I bought it and I can honestly say it was well worth every penny. Escape is a 50 minute opus of infectious electro-pop.

One of my personal favorite songs on the album is the title track "Escape".

I know that one of my favorite websites (that shall remain nameless) wasn't crazy about this album. I  think they were looking way too much into the duo's name (and probably expecting music sounding like VNV Nation who came out with an album called "Futureperfect" a few years ago). Just my $0.02. For me, Escape is perfect and definitely one of my favorite albums that was released this year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Random shit

First of all, I want to say I am sorry for my unexpected absence. My laptop developed a nasty virus last weekend. It is currently in the shop waiting to be repaired. This is frustrating but I was no way going back to Best Buy and dealing with the morons at Geek Squad. I should be getting my laptop back next week. In the mean time, I was having trouble using my condo's computers and trying to use FB as well as post on my blog but I couldn't. Was using the wrong browser. Oops! lol

In music news:

I:Scintilla is performing at Ground Zero on 3/29, and Shiny Toy Guns at Mill City Nights on 3/3.

That is all for now. I'll try to pick up where I left off with my favorite albums of  2012 nominees as much as possible.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mari Chrome - Georgy #11811

Mari Chrome - Georgy #11811

I think it was early 2012 when I got a copy of the latest Alfa Matrix compilation. On the so-so compilation was this delightful song called "Toxic" by this new band called Mari Chrome. The group features Marion Kuchenmeister (vocalist for the '80s new wave band Invisible Limits) and Kai Otte (composer). Of all the uninteresting songs on the compilation, "Toxic" stood out like a sore thumb with me but in a very positive way.

The song was (and still is) so damn catchy. Thanks to Mari Chrome, I had to investigate Marion's other band Invisible Limits whose music I quickly became a big fan of after listening to several tracks online. Thank you youtube.

I'll let the rest of my review of Georgy #11811 speak for itself. This is definitely one of the best albums of 2012, especially in the synthpop genre. I really can't wait to hear more from this upcoming band.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Various Artists - Discover


2012 has been an excellent year for electropop/synthpop for me. I have discovered quite a few new synthpop bands that I had never heard of, a few of them on the German label Conzoom Records. Earlier this spring/summer, I had ordered a couple of cds from Popnaut, "Morpheus" single by In Strict Confidence and Escape by Future Perfect who is on Conzoom Records. As part of the package, I got a free copy of Discover, a compilation featuring a group of bands signed to the label. What a great compilation. It introduced me to a lot of excellent new bands. One of my personal faves is the American band Carved Souls (whom I saw this past October).

I just love the lead singer's vocals. He could sing the phonebook for all I care, I would still love what I would hear.

Parralox is not so new to me any more but this song "Ancient Times" is. I just love this duo.

This is just pure pop bliss. Good beats and catchy pop hooks.

My absolute favorite track on the entire album is "Fake" by Dual Density. So damn catchy. I ended up buying their album Soul Ecstasy via Amazon. It's a terrific electropop album.

The rest of the album is equally good. I really dug the tracks by Ostrich, Zynic, Vision Talk, and Neuropa. The songs are addictively catchy. I still need to get Ostrich's album. I really the distinctive vocals of their lead singer.  There is something about his vocals that sets him apart from a lot of singers I listen to nowadays. Conzoom records has some kick ass talent on their label. This compilation is a great introduction to their artists. If they put out another comp, they need to put Future Perfect on it. Just saying...;).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Moonlight Cove - Hearts of the World

Moonlight Cove: Hearts of the World

Moonlight Cove is one of those happy accidents that I had come across on my recommendations section on youtube. I think it was over the summer that I discovered the band. After hearing a few clips from their latest album Hearts of the World, I was hooked. I ordered the album online via A Different Drum Records which is the only American site I could find the album. Next to CHROM's Synthetic Movement, Hearts of the World became one of my most played cds that I bought this year. The music is such a joy to listen to with every spin in my boombox or media player on my work computer.

"This is Euphoria" really had me from the moment I heard the opening notes.

I love how bouncy and cheerful this track is. If I am ever down or in a bad mood I will listen to this song and it will quickly cheer me up. I wish I could find a video for "Save" but I can't. It is my #1 favorite song on the album. I adore the beats and Markus Landgren's vocals.

The album isn't all dance songs. The band does slow down a bit like on "New Sad Ones".

The best ballad on the album is "Lost Angel" (too bad it hasn't been uploaded on youtube). I love how that song closes out the album. Perfect way to end a perfect album.  There really isn't anything about Hearts of the World I didn't like. The heartfelt lyrics, melodies, and musicianship is top notch. One really can't ask for anything much more from Moonlight Cove (except maybe this album could have been a little longer...heheheheh ;)).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Frozen Autumn - Chirality

The Frozen Autumn: Chirality

One of the first 2012 releases that I bought was Chirality by the Italian darkwave band The Frozen Autumn. I have been a fan of their music for a couple of years, listening to their stuff via youtube.

When I heard that they signed to Metropolis Records last year, I was like "Finally! Now I can have access to their music without paying dearly for it". LOL! Chirality truly made me a huge fan of the band who has been around for two decades believe it or not. The music as a whole reminded me quite a bit of Clan of Xymox and the lead singer Diego's vocals bears a resemblence to Ronny Moorings. Love the production on the album. It has a nice moody, atmospheric quality. Oh and I adore the vocals from main frontman Diego Merletto as well as from Froxeanne. I hate admitting this but Diego's crooning simply makes me swoon. What struck me is that both Diego and Froxeanne don't sing together but rather on their own separate songs. I like that. I don't see that a lot in music nowadays.

I can sit and listen to Chirality from "Before the Storm" to "The Last Train" without skipping a single track. I think the only crack in the armour that I see with Chirality is repetition. I have to admit that there really isn't much diversity in the music but I can overlook that minor flaw. With all the albums I have bought this year, I always find time to dig out Chirality and slip it into my boombox.  I strongly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CHROM - Synthetic Movement

I have decided that with the year winding down, I have decided to try to talk about some of my favorite albums one by one before I post my list of my favorite albums of 2012. I should note this will NOT be in chronological order nor I can't guarantee anyone that the albums I mention will be in my top 10 list (just to make things interesting ;)). To start off, I decided to write about one of my personal favorite futurepop/synthpop albums...Chrom's Synthetic Movement.

Of all the synthpop albums, let alone albums in general that I have bought this year, Synthetic Movement is one of the most constantly played albums of 2012. I always find myself turning to this album at least once a week. This is my first CHROM album and I have yet to hear their other album Electroscope so I don't have anything to compare Synthetic Movement with.

What really compelled me to buy Synthetic Movement was their single "Loneliness".

The song is so damn irresistable. I love singing along to the song. It has great pop hooks and dance beats. I also love Christian Marquis's deep, warm vocals. The first time I heard "Loneliness", I was automatically seduced by his soothing vocals. It goes without saying I bought this album from Out of Line as quickly as possible.

Of course CHROM wouldn't be CHROM without me mentioning programmer Thomas Winters who has created some of the most memorable bass lines and pop-friendly melodies of 2012.  I think of him as the backbone of the group. I don't think anyone else could have created the same kind of music as he has on Synthetic Movement.

"We'll Be Alone" is another terrific track off the album that is driven by a really strong bass line.

I find the throbbing bass line rather hypnotic. When I am listening to this album at home, I always find myself dancing to this track.

The only track I wasn't too particularly keen on is "Slave". Christian's vocals loses its polished appeal and is more harsh. I like the beats but the vocals? Meh. Despite that slight misstep on that song, Synthetic Movement ranks as one of my personal favorite albums of 2012 and easily one of the top five most played albums (at home or at work). I hope more people check out this band and album ASAP. I think CHROM is grossly overlooked especially in local dark music scene. That's just my $0.02.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My 10 favorite discoveries of 2012

I would like to think that 2012 has been one of the best years for me when it came to discovering little unknown bands. A lot of the bands I have discovered online (via youtube and occasionally via Facebook). Today I decided I would share with everyone my ten favorite discoveries from this year. I am just going to post links to their Myspace/bandcamp/soundcloud page so click on them and check out their music.

01. Future Perfect

02. Moonlight Cove

03. Nadina

04. Zynic

05. Mari Chrome

06. Unitary

07. Chinese Theatre (sadly these guys are no longer together :( )


09. Carved Souls

10. Wiping out Thousands

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mix of the Week

Here's my latest mix. Looks like I am stuck with youtube. Selection on sucks and grooveshark is supposedly closing soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

10 favorite non-2012 releases that I bought this year

Now that it is officially December and we all know that means that this month will be full of best of lists on my blog. I decided to start with my ten favorite albums that I bought this year but obviously are a few years old.

10. Moby: Destroyed

09. Belly: Star

08. Die Braut: Psychotherapy

07. For All the Emptiness: Axioms

06. Madonna: Ray of Light

05. Dual Density: Soul Ecstasy

04. VNV Nation: Burning Empires

03. Conjure One: Conjure One

02. The Frozen Autumn: Emotional Screening Device

01. Curve: Way of Curve

Honorable Mentions:
Delerium - Karma
Delerium - Semantic Spaces
Garbage - Garbage
The Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles
Hungry Lucy - Glo
Icon of Coil - Machines Are Us