Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thy Catafalque - "Sgùrr" [2015]

Artist: Thy Catafalque
Title: Sgùrr
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Country: Hungary/UK
Release date: 2015

Track List:
  1. Zúgó
  2. Alföldi kozmosz
  3. Oldódó formák a halál titokzatos birodalmában
  4. A hajnal kék kapuja
  5. Élő lény
  6. Jura
  7. Sgùrr eilde mòr
  8. Keringő
  9. Zúgó
Tamás Kátai is back with a new album of his most well-known project, Thy Catafalque. I don't think he needs to be introduced to any of my readers (as I've already reviewed a lot of his works), nor I think I'd be able to write a better review of "Sgùrr" than this excellent one on Metal Bandcamp. So I'll just leave the Bandcamp link here, and let the music to speak for itself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Технология - "Это война" [1996]

Artist: Технология
Title: Это война
Genre: Synthpop
Country: Russia
Release date: 1996

Track List:
  1. Телефон Небес
  2. Королева Дорог
  3. Яд
  4. Скорая Помощь
  5. Экран (Ненужный Тормоз)
  6. Не Последний Танец
  7. Это Война...
  8. Хранитель Тишины
  9. Тайга
  10. Вспоминай
  11. Ветер
After I published my previous entry, one of my readers rightfully pointed out that Технология's debut album isn't the only their release that worths attention. Their 1996 album (3rd in their discography) deserves to be checked out too, even if it doesn't contain such obvious hits as "Нажми на кнопку" or "Странные танцы".

During the mid-90s, the band has undergone serious line-up changes. Most importantly, Roman Ryabtsev (their original vocalist and songwriter) has quit the band in order to pursue a solo career in France. Despite that, the band managed to keep their "trademark" sound of their first two albums on this one (which can't be said about their 2009 reunion album, sadly). In the times when almost all the underground music in USSR has largely died due to a dire economical situation, and only the most mainstream commercial pop music has thrived, they've released possibly the most "dark" and depressive album in their discography. And just like their 1991 debut, it reflects the atmosphere of these times quite well. Even the title track, "This Is War", can be seen as a reference to the events of the 1st Chechen war (although the lyrics doesn't explicitly tell that...)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Технология - "Все, что ты хочешь" [1991]

Artist: Технология
Title: Все, что ты хочешь
Genre: Synthpop
Country: USSR
Release date: 1991

Track List:
  1. Нажми на кнопку
  2. Все, что ты хочешь
  3. Странные танцы
  4. Холодный след
  5. Cm-112
  6. Один
  7. Set Me Free
  8. Песни ни о чем
  9. Шутник
  10. Полчаса
While the first synthpop projects appeared in USSR as early as in 1983, the genre gained mainstream levels of popularity only in late 80s and very early 90s, largely because of the most successful Depeche Mode albums that were released that time. Of course there was a wave of local projects trying to imitate DM, and Технология (Technology) was the most successful among them.

The band was formed in 1990 by former members of a earlier Moscow-based synthpop band called "Bioconstructor". While the band members themselves have denied any "plagiarism" from Depeche Mode, their style was (and still is) largely viewed by critics as straight up imitation of DM. While it's hard to argue with that, I have to say that I never really liked Depeche Mode. The only their work I actually like a lot is Mike Shinoda's remix of "Enjoy The Silence", everything else just sounds 2boring4me. On the other hand, I really love this album, despite its obvious flaws (weak vocals, cheap production by modern standards, etc.), mostly because it very accurately reflects the overall atmosphere and mood of that era, similarly to the best Hungarian synthpop albums of the same time ("1984" by Bonanza Banzai and "Júlia Nem Akar A Földön Járni" by Napoleon Boulevard, to name a few). I was only 5 y.o. when it was released, and I remember these times as permanent late autumn (just like what I see out of my window right now) and the overall mood of uncertain changes finally coming after the years of 70s' "stagnation". The changes did came, but these weren't the changes we wanted, to put it very mildly...

The tape rip can be found here in MP3 and FLAC, along with the scans. Some of the photos remind me of Kraftwerk, which isn't surprising (the whole 80s' synthpop scene was influenced by Kraftwerk). The band is still active nowadays, although with a different line-up, and released 3 more albums since then (none of which is as good as their debut one, though).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

V/A - "New Eden Logs" [2014]

Artist: (various)
Title: New Eden Logs
Genre: Ambient, Downtempo, Industrial Electronic, VGM
Country: Russia
Release date: 2014

Track List:

Peace Logs
  1. RealX - Pieces Of Shrapnel
  2. Niraia - Outer Ring Excavations
  3. Egri Lorenz - The Story Begin
  4. Sergrunt - The Paths They Chose
  5. Emika Neosignal - Digital Wormhole
  6. Emika Neosignal - Salute Hallur
  7. Aegis Systems - Temporal Flux
  8. Timshishkin - Long Ride to HZFJ-M
  9. Soundtch - Вoundless Sphere
  10. Soundtch - ATMO
  11. Timshishkin - Centermass
  12. Midnight Caretakers - Guiding Light the Cyno
  13. Midnight Caretakers - Thrust
War Logs
  1. Darkelina Sia - Intro for the War Side
  2. Aegis Systems - Contaminated
  3. ...Und Null Sekunden - Firefield (feat. Sergrunt)
  4. Darkelina Sia - Fight Is Our Destiny
  5. Darkelina Sia - Capital Fleet Is Approaching
  6. Lord Lacrima - Ice
  7. Lord Lacrima - Ore
  8. Radio Envy - Warp To Null
  9. Dante deLio - Now or Never
  10. Dante deLio - Demolition
  11. Andro & Jumper - Sansha
  12. Sergrunt - Armada Shards
  13. Dante deLio - Pursuit
  14. Sergrunt - Downblast
  15. Alex Rasher - Eternity
  16. Amoebacrew - Wind Rises 
Dead Logs
  1. Flesh to Stone - Krittika
  2. Flesh to Stone - Punarvasu
  3. ...Und Null Sekunden - Drones Drift
  4. ...Und Null Sekunden - W-Space & Time Dilation
  5. Lightwarrior - Glare Crust
  6. Andro & Jumper - Mekhios Graveyard
  7. Sergrunt - State of Industry
  8. Sergrunt - First Empress Kiss
  9. Darkelina Sia - New Eden Passion
  10. Desolo Sub Humus - New Order and Old Ice
  11. Alex Rasher - So There Is Morning
  12. Quizybuck - Space Is Too Bright
  13. Sergrunt - Tribal End 
New Eden Logs is a 3-part compilation of electronic music made by EVE Online players from the EVE-RU forum, released roughly an year ago by the rem.fever label of Nazar M. (Sergrunt, A Drama Radio) in close collaboration with the Mental Excitement net label (Cracked Core, ...Und Null Sekunden). It was authorized by EVE Online developers, and it includes one track from the composer of the official EVE Online OST (Jón Hallur aka RealX). I personally have never played EVE Online, but from the description it surely looks interesting, as it's the only popular PC game developed in Iceland as well as one of the very few popular MMORPGs with a sci-fi setting.

The compilation is more than 3 hours long, consisting of 3 parts: "Peace Logs", "War Logs" and "Dead Logs". "Peace Logs" feature mostly traditional space ambient/electronica, while "War Logs" are more dynamic (going even in the dubstep territory), and "Dead Logs" are more influenced by post-industrial and drone. Mastered and mixed by Amoebacrew, cover art by MarkArt, 3D graphics by fyr. Enjoy!

Peace Logs:

War Logs:

Dead Logs:

Peace Logs:

War Logs:

Dead Logs:

Monday, October 5, 2015

V/A - "Oktyabrinovich" [2015]

Artist: (various)
Title: Oktyabrinovich
Genre: Noise, Dark Ambient
Country: Russia
Release date: 2015

Track List:
  1. Dust 60 - Look At Me Now
  2. Trauerspiel - Dedication 1
  3. Eug.Sk - Scientific Atheism
  4. Karatau - City Of The Sun II
  5. Dust 60 - Gruz200
  6. Negative Attitude - Soviet Walls
  7. Trauerspiel - Dedication 2
  8. SoldOut! - Watcher
  9. Li++ - Abandonment
  10. Negative Attitude - Repair
  11. Shine Lethargy - The Groom Arrived
  12. Karatau - City Of The Sun
  13. Dust 60 - Morphine
  14. Serg PS - The End
This compilation is a tribute to the legend of contemporary Russian "hard-boiled" cinema - Alexey Balabanov (25 February 1959 – 18 May 2013). It was compiled a few days ago at's /mu/ by several bedroom industrial/noise/ambient musicians. While it isn't easy listening by any means, and it probably won't gather much interest outside of /mu/, I do think this sort of music suits Balabanov's movies better than the more mainstream Russian rock that he typically used in OSTs (although I should mention that I was a big fan of Balabanov's "Brother 2" OST when I was a teenager...)