Category Archives: Electronica

Mater Suspiria Vision – “HOLLYWOOD NECRONOMICON” Review

Mater Suspiria Vision - Hollywood NecronomiconMater Suspiria Vision – Hollywood Necronomicon
Genre: Witch house/Electronica/Experimental

Label: Phantasma Disques

Mater Suspiria Vision, in three years of its existence, has released a consistent and dizzying slew of releases – spanning from full-length albums, EPs and many miscellaneous (and unique) packages. While the duo credited as Aura and Cosmotropia De Xam – “vox and religion” and “electronics and echo tapes” respectively – have been heavily affiliated to the witch house genre, they seem to have more disturbing and avant-garde similarities to Throbbing Gristle than the likes of Salem or oOoOO. Continue reading

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Catch-Up Reviews #2: Boards of Canada, oOoOO, Palms, Black Swan…

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Catch-Up Reviews #1: Chance The Rapper, Daft Punk, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kylesa…

So, this is going to be (yet another) segment for RichReviewz. Out of running late with time with work, gigs and other business it seems this is the best way to keep up with reviews I plan to do. In an ideal world, I would do full length reviews of each of these reviews, but now it would set me back even further as more and more are released now. So, I’d rather do something small than miss out at all, so here goes the first “Catch-Up Reviews”! Continue reading

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The Haxan Cloak – “EXCAVATION” Quick Review

The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

The Haxan Cloak – Excavation
Genre: Electronic/Drone

Label: Tri Angle Records

The Haxan Cloak is the electronic/drone project of London-based Bobby Krlic, and if the album cover doesn’t already give it away, he produces some of the most dark, haunting and atmospheric electronic music to come out of the UK for a long while. “Excavation” is his second full-length album, the first being a self-titled released in 2011. Continue reading

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Balam Acab – “CLUB WATER DISCUS” EP Review

Balam Acab - Club Water Discus

Balam Acab – Club Water Discus
Genre – Electronic/Witch house

Label: N/A

Balam Acab is a fairly mysterious American electronic artist, who concentrates on thoughtful textures rather than simple catchy beats, similar to the persuasions of Four Tet and Burial, and has been building a steady reputation for himself over recent years. On previous releases like the full-length album “Wander/Wonder” and EP “See Birds”, Balam Acab showcased his abilities of creating beautiful harmonies – so much so that a complimentary pillow wouldn’t have gone amiss – as the music just lullabies you into euphoric relaxation. Continue reading

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Crystal Castles – “(III)” Quick Review

Crystal Castles – (III)
Genre: Electronica/Experimental

Label: Polydor Records

Crystal Castles, who probably don’t need an introduction these days, is the experimental electronic duo of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass, and as the album title suggests, this is their third album in their nine years together. Their first album, self-titled, made a big impact on the indie-electro dance scene on a global scale, with its noisy Nintendo-style synths and Glass’s mixture of soft, effect-laden vocals and frustrated yells – a style that soon became adopted by myriads of male-female electronic duos. Continue reading

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Devilman – “DEVILMAN” Quick Review

Devilman – Devilman
Genre: Electronica/Dub

Label: Small But Hard Recordings

Devilman are Shigeru Ishihara (credited on the album cover for “sub-demonics” AKA bass), Gorgonn Amanita (“thunder electronics” or electronics) and Taigen Kawabe (simply “shrieks”) and they pound an aggressive and tortured sound into electronica with a big dub influence. Continue reading

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Flying Lotus – “Until The Quiet Comes” Quick Review

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
Genre: Electronic/Hip-Hop

Label: Warp

Flying Lotus, real name Steven Ellison, is perhaps one of the most renowned and talked about electronic producers of the past decade, enthusing elements of IDM, hip-hop, jazz, glitch-hop and many more styles into his music. Just as varied influences are, each of his releases are very different in his considerably short yet rapidly blooming career so far. For example, while his “Reset” EP flowers on deep, low and glitchy seductive beats while “Los Angeles” is an album that scarily concentrates on intricate textures, especially with the use of clicks and clacks in a mind bending collage of sounds. Continue reading

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HEALTH – “Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack” Quick Review

HEALTH – Max Payne 3: The Official Soundtrack
Genre: Electronica/Ambient

 Label: Rockstar Games

“Max Payne 3”, a videogame released in May, is the highly anticipated follow-up to “Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne”. Unfortunately this reviewer never got around to playing that game, but scarring memories of “Max Payne” (which I’m now replaying) has always kept me interested in Max and his story. Recently, I just finished “Max Payne 3”. Continue reading

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Squarepusher – “Ufabulum” Quick Review

Squarepusher – Ufabulum
Genre: Electronica/IDM 

Label: Warp

Squarepusher is the alias of renowned electronic/IDM artist Tom Jenkinson, known for his jazz fusion with electronica and bringing his bass guitar virtuosity into his live performances. “Ufabulum” is his 15th album release, and another change in relation to Squarepusher’s style in recent works.

First off, “Ufabulum” is a LOT different to the previous few albums he released, particularly the likes of “Shobaleader One: d’Demonstrator” and “Just A Souvenir”, which were inspired by daydreams Jenkinson had of a futuristic electronic “rock band”. This concept brought him to approaching a hybrid sound of Daft Punk and Black Moth Super Rainbow. “Ufabulum” however, seems to return to the earlier styles of his work, but with a sense of post-[something] refreshment. The energy is more vibrant and he even seems to be exploring further into new textures.

Unreal Square, for example, seems to have strong dubstep influences but his approach to the style feels fresh and different to what you might expect anything affiliated with the d-word. In the first half of the song, he keeps to a very slow and slick tempo, but then after a steady build-up with beats, the track bursts into drum’n’bass, yet keeping the same melody, sometimes twisting or snapping it into different directions.

Then tracks like The Metallurgist, are almost the opposite. Dark, brooding and screaming “no-nonsense”, almost reminiscent of the dark and faster moments of his contemporary Aphex Twin. Dark Steering is similar, but progresses through different levels of tempo and atmosphere, intertwining episodes of soft melodies and neck-snapping breakbeats.

Personally, the only faults with the album is that some sections might become too similar, and that it’s easy to lose track of when one track ends and another starts. Stadium Ice and Energy Wizard both seem to have a heavy 80’s synthwave vibe, the latter more noticeable with its trance-like atmosphere, and the two could probably be morphed into one track. This seems to be a case for a couple of the other tracks too, like 303 Scopem Hard and Ecstatic Shock.

Otherwise, “Ufabulum” is a good album in terms of its apocalyptic party feel. Its infectious melodies can lull you into a blissful nod, but can turn 180 and throw a flurry of sounds and breakbeats. Its all-round accessibility and addictiveness would be a great introduction to someone wanting to explore the world of Squarepusher. A definite for an an IDM or a long-time fan of Squarepusher.

6.4/10
Favourite tracks: Unreal Square, Dark Steering, Energy Wizard.

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