pop music

Geneviéve Pasquier * Le Cabaret Moi (cd 2009)

Le Cabaret MoiThe female half of Thorofon / The Musick Wreckers is back. It is only recently that I got to know Geneviéve Pasquier (about a year ago) and I have to admit that I pulled her three earlier releases off the internet. I like some of the songs on these albums. Pasquier has a nice mix between oldstyle industrial and electropop, but the result is less predictable than this description suggests. On “Le Cabaret Moi” Pasquier has a little bit more of a ‘cabaretesk’ sound, the lyrics are now mostly in French and Pasquier incorporated a few new sounds. Still the new album is recognisable in song structure and style. Poppy songs with strange distorted industrial sounds or simply rhythmical industrial with Pasquier’s singing, most of the time nicely catchy. Yep, an original style and I happen to like this relatively more accessible current in the extreme electronics scene and this album is a very nice one in this direction.
Links: Geneviéve Pasquier, Ant-Zen

v/a * Radio Resistencia (cd 2009)

Radio ResistenciaThere is this Dutch project called Distel that makes “angstpop”. Indeed this sounds like Haus Arafna / Galakthorrö and the few tracks that I heard are not all that bad. Supposedly there is an album on the way so every once in a while I check if it is already available. Then I noticed that the band has a few live shows, under which a “Gifgrond” party with an “Enfant Terrible” label night in Tilburg coming Saturday. Gifgrond? Enfant Terrible? The latter turns out to be a label with quite a few releases out, the last of which is this compilation cd. “With Radio Resistencia we give another overview of independent music as we see it… and this time not strictly limited to electronic music.” So: “angtpop”, “elektro chansons”, “dada synth punk”, “obscure 80’ies”, a good place to pick up new genre-names! Most of the music on this compilation sounds quite a bit like 80’ies wave and more modern electropop to me. Some tracks are completely electronic, some more rock-oriented. Most tracks are just nice, some are not my thing and a few are quite enjoyable. Different music from what I play usually, but that is a good thing, right?
Link: Enfant Terrible Productions

Der Blutharsch * Flying High! (cd 2009)

Flying High!A fortunate coincidence made that I saw Der Blutharsch live twice in the last week. They would play at a festival in Tilburg for which I bought tickets months ago. When me and my girlfriend had to book our holiday we had to mind to be back yesterday for the festival so we went the week before. Then I noticed that three of the bands in Tilburg would play in København on Wednesday and since a concert in another country is probably something different, we went there to see the alright show of Bain Wolfkind, the not too good and very short show of Deutsch Nepal and the very nice performance of Der Blutharsch in The Rock with about 50 other people. Yesterday during the Incubate festival the set of three played in the Hall Of Fame with a bit more audience and a much bigger place. Friends who expected the old style of Der Blutharsch were disappointed, one found the performance tame and save and however I liked the show, I remember the København show more lively, but that may have been because of the much more lively audience there. Der Blutharsch mostly did new versions of old tracks again and most tracks were pretty heavy but rather slow rock songs. I suppose that spelled the style on the new album, but I wonder why they did not just play new songs. “Flying High!” was announced to be more “psychedelic” and that is true. The catchy rocksongs of the last albums have been replaced by a slower sound, sometimes a bit of progrock soundscapes, sometimes the sleasy Bain Wolfkind rocksong style. “Flying High!” is not a new masterpiece. I like the fact that the band keeps developing in style and it is only a matter of time before this goes into a direction that I do not like, but the new album is a nice one for background moody poprock music. And for people who saw Der Blutharsch on stage, the music on the last albums, especially “Flying High!”, is by far not as loud as the rock-performances the band gives. There is less guitar, several different (guest) vocalists, no drumkit, but more different instruments than that are brought on stage. Indeed, Der Blutharsch does not sound the way they used to, but I personally find that a good thing. I play the rock albums more often than the martial predecessors and I may or may not get more used to “Flying High!”, but the time of “Kampf, Sieg oder Tod!” are behind us, just get used to the idea and see if you like the new direction of the band.
Link: Der Blutharsch / WKN

Ballo delle Castagne * s/t (cd 2009)

Ballo delle CastagneI do not really follow Albin Julius’ Hau Ruck! label, I guess he is a bit too progressive for me (or he just has a very different taste in music). Ballo delle Castagne is mostly a progrock album with some folky influences and Italian vocals. I cannot say much about it, just that this is again not really my thing.
Links: Ballo delle Castagne, Hau Ruck!

Dandi Wind * Yolk Of The Golden Egg (cd 2008)

Yolk Of The Golden EggRecently I have searched through the electropop/-punk scene since I kept running into interesting music from that corner. Now there is a lot of typical electropop that comes nowhere near the level of Vive la Fête, but there also appears to be a lot of very experimental and progressive material with crazy humour and weird ideas. Dandi Wind is a female vocal artist who puts together some weird and wonderfull music. The music is more electropop than a Duchess Says or Motormark, but sounds nothing like Crystal Castles or ADULT.. This is mostly caused by Dandi’s use of vocals, but the music itself is not too typical either. The music is catchy and danceable, but you have to like to crazyness. “Concrete Igloo” (2005) is a great album, “Yolk Of The Golden Egg” is even more experimental, but it is a bit tame compared to the predecessor. There are a couple of more rock-oriented tracks that are nice, but overall I like “Concrete Igloo” better.
Dandi Wind, Summer Lovers Unlimited Music

Duchess Says * Anthology Des 3 Perechoirs (cd 2008)

Anthology Des 3 PerchoirsHere we have a very interesting band. Duchess Says easily goes from typical electropop to more rock-oriented experimental tracks with (apparently) real drums (“post-rock”?), but this album opens with a magnificent experimental punk song that even the 70’ies artpunk bands would have never come up with. Weird screaming female vocals, lots of guitars, is this perhaps a rock band with electronic influences? Modern artpunk? I don’t mind. This is great and weird stuff.
Duchess Says, Alien8 Recordings

v/a * Digital Penetration vol. 2 (cd 2008)

Digital Penetration vol. 2Damn, there is so much crazy music out there! A while ago I ran into a digital compilation with 64 tracks varying from electropop to electropunk to experimental punk and all kinds of weird stuff: “Modern Mutants handbook” it seems to be a compilation of a music lover going around on P2P networks. A great pile of mostly new music. “Digital Penetration” is a real compilation from a real label, released on a real cd. The music is a crazy and varried as on the illegal compilation. You get to hear Duchess Says with a rather typical electropop song, but already the opener of Kap Bambino is weirder than some Cock Rock Disco stuff. I guess in a way most music can fall under the banner of electropop(/-punk), but this is as varried as it can get. From trance-techno-like songs, to more breakcore sounds to even digital poprock and who-knows-what. By far not all tracks are brilliant here, but some of it is worth digging through that scene more.
Alt Delete Recordings

Crystal Castles * s/t (cd 2007)

Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles supposedly are one of the earlier electropop groups, but it seems that the releases do not go back before 2006. This album with no title is the only full-length so far. I knew the name, but not the music. Crystal Castles has some of the more typical soft electropop tracks, but some tracks have weird, distorted female vocals that I hear with more electropunk oriented bands. Other tracks are completely over-the-top Atari-sounds tracks with strange rhythms. I guess I only knew the more accessible tracks (which are the most on this album) and therefor never really paid attention, but the band has a weird side too. Not my favourite from this corner, but not all that bad either.
Crystal Castles. Different…

Motormark * Chrome Tape (cd 2004)

Chrome TapeI decided to review two albums of a disbanded project. I just discovered this great band while digging through the genre and this is probably my favourite band in this vein so far. Too bad they are no longer around, but that does not prevent me from reviewing their music.
Motormark makes sleezy electropunk with guitars and electronic rhythms. The distorted female vocals and crazy male vocals remind of the B-52’s sometimes, but like other bands in this vein, there are gothic/wavey elements, too. However this is pretty poppy, Motormark goes towards a more punk-feeling that I like a lot. Even though this album was released by Digital Hardcore Recordings, the music has little to do with Atari Teenage Riot or Ec8or. Simple lyrics, simple songs, but effective and catchy. “Chrome Tape” does not have the more typical electropop tracks like the predecessor and it is the better of the two, but I like “Pop:Up” too.
Motormark @ Wikipedia, Digital Hardcore Recordings