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November 30, 2011

The Christmas Ball Festivals 2011: Hannover, Cologne, Neu-Isenburg, Berlin

Last year the Christmas Ball Festivals ranged among the most successful Christmas events of the dark music scene. With a total audience of over 6.000 enthusiastic fans the festival series noted a new attendance record. In 2011, celebrating their 5th anniversary, the Christmas Ball Festivals are reaching for the stars again by calling the titans of the dark dancefloor. Join in and experience spectacular Christmas events, driven by heavy electronic beats and stunning live-action, including headliners Front 242, the international top-acts Combichrist, Hocico and The Klinik as well as Berlin’s electropop institution Solitary Experiments EXPERIMENTS! Christmas Ball Festivals are scheduled to visit the following cities:

26-Dec: Hannover/Capitol * 27-Dec: Cologne/Theater am Tanzbrunnen * 28-Dec: Neu-Isenburg/Hugenottenhalle * 29-Dec: Berlin/Huxley’s Neue Welt * Doors open: 5:30pm; concert start: 7:30pm.

Tickets available from Protain ticketshop, CTS/Eventim offices and booths, ADticket at Eur 32,-. More information is available from the event’s website: http://christmasball-festival.de and http://protain.de.

November 29, 2011

Sopor AEternus & the Ensemble of Shadows – “Children of the Corn”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Children of the Corn” * “Bis Zum Hahnenschrei” * “Cornflowers” * “The Curse of the Mummy” * “Night of the Scarecrow” * “To Walk Behind the Rows” * “Harvest Moon (Cornflowers II)

Sopor AEternus & the Ensembe of Shadows Children of the Corn” – Viva Music Album Review:

Out in November 2011 with Apocalyptic Records, the new album from Sopor AEternus & the Ensembe of Shadows is a baroque musical contraption with a definite style and grandeur. In the shortest of whiles after the release of late 2010 “A Strange Thing to Say” and of early 2011 “Have You Seen This Ghost?”, the third and last part of “A Triptychon of GHOSTS (or: El Sexorcismo de Anna-Varney Cantodea)” is a delight and a truly erudite excursion in the dimmed depths of music, accompanied, Charon-style, by the unequivocal, and unrepeatable voice of Anna-Varney Cantodea.

Musically speaking, the production is a unitary chorale of floating unrealities and cadenced potencies, and a firm grip on the handlebar of the darkest pool. Imaginative in a manner that is at the same time true to life and elegantly far-fetched, the album’s sound consistency and definite feel is carried on in the rhythm and measure of classical elegy. “Children of the Corn” is a cinematic experience with a voyeur camera spotted on an imaginary and exemplary childhood at the exact moment in which corruption can permeate the thick skin of sweet dreams and bring in the less sweet smell of growing up, part in nature, part in trauma. “Bis Zum Hahnenschrei” (approximate English translation: “Before  the Rooster’s Crow”), plays with the Jesus story moment and renaissance tunes in a playful but cautious manner, as if handling the minutest and most precious rough diamonds. “Cornflowers”, the song is at the same carousal and elegy and pertains to a very classical scheme, speaking in musical undertones to centuries of human existence.

Not unlike it, but at a different level of perception, “The Curse of the Mummy” indicates a displacement and a return to innocence despite the rabid, forward-moving pace of humanity. In a dance macabre pattern, this return to innocence, to maidenhood unravished and purity unsullied carries forth and above water level a torch of wisdom and of resilience. With the advent of “Night of the Scarecrow”, the imagery becomes richer, while the organ powered requiem soars and makes the experience of the album tilt between poles of tragedy and optimism. A Viva Music favorite, “To Walk Behind the Rows” unapologetically brings with its appeasing music box filled with memories a draft of stillness and motion, a certainty of the unfathomable immensity of fantasy and depicts its role in the formation of emotion in mannerisms and quirks that you simply have to adore. “Harvest Moon (Cornflowers II)”, the album coda, reenacts the beauty of the earlier “Cornflowers” in a bagpipe powered advance at the head of which walks a true maven.

Children of the Corn” (Part Three of “A Triptychon of GHOSTS (or: El Sexorcismo de Anna-Varney Cantodea)”) is an unforgettable musical experience. Responding to the taste of baroque-crazed dark music lovers, the album transports in its many intertwined fibers a grandeur and strength of imagination that are at the same time enviable and dignified. With its multifaceted, baroque compositions, it may well sit on your CD shelf next to classical music and your relevant artists from the dark scene – and that’s a feat hardly any other album manages to outdo in 2011. Hats off, Sopor AEternus & the Ensembe of Shadows!

Sopor AEternusOfficial Website | on Facebook | Discography on Discogs

November 28, 2011

David Lynch “Crazy Clown Time” – Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Pinky’s Dream” * “Good Day Today” * “So Glad” * “Noah’s Ark” * “Football Game” * “I Know” * “Strange and Unproductive Thinking” * “The Night Bell with Lightning” * “Stone’s Gone Up” * “Crazy Clown Time” * “These Are My Friends” * “Speed Roadster” * “Movin’ On” * “She Rise Up

David Lynch – “Crazy Clown Time” – Viva Music Album Review:

The debut album from world-famous director David Lynch, if we conveniently close an eye to his work in the soundtrack of his own movies, “Crazy Clown Time” has been out for two weeks already, being released on Nov-07 with Sunday Best Records/Play It Again Sam, but we think it takes at least two weeks – just to be lenient with such an important issue – of constant listening to the album in order to make sure you’re not that kind of sloppy listener who misses the right influences and tone of the album. While it is true that the jingle the name of David Lynch carries about it is sufficient to get your ears pricked from the word go, it is also true that such an album is worthy of consideration from a number of perspectives that can only enhance, and never diminish, the merits of the album.

Two of the songs from the album are not novel auditions; “Good Day Today” and “I Know”, with their sequin-harsh surface, were released just one year ago, not a real appetizer, but a good standpoint for the work that was going to be unveiled. With basically only good reviews (“it transfers something of Lynch’s uncanny cinema to the musical medium”, “everyday, avant-garde vision” are some examples of conceptual criticism of the album), “Crazy Clown Time” is set, as the title well puts it, in its own, special time. It is not unlikely that the album be less well received in the electropop, ambient-loving crowd, because it is carried through straight and long conduits of blues-y and melancholy melody, but in a firm coating of electronic, temperature resistant material.

Pinky’s Dream”, the opening track that features vocals from Karen Lee Orzolek (better known as The Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O) induces a cool that is at the same time cinematic and minimal. Verbally pertinent for an opening track (there’s vent of pathfinding and watchfulness), “Pinky’s Dream” carries on atmosphere and anticipates it its melodic knit the outburst of “Good Day Today”, which sounds like a delayed trance, not deprived of its individuality, and resorting to oracular language. On the same topic of positivity, “So Glad” sounds tongue-in-cheek in its outside makeup, but deeper veins of sensibility throb behind that. With the same slo mo tempo of previous tracks, combining the soundtrack for a funeral and a victory dance in a very unsettling manner. (more…)

November 11, 2011

Haujobb “New World March” Out Today 11.11.11 – Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Control” * “Crossfire” * “Let’s Drop Bombs” * “More than Us” * “Machine Drum” * “Dead Market” * “Lost” * “Soul Reader” * “Little World” * “Membrane” * “New World March” * “Echo

Read Viva Music’s review of Haujobb’s single “Dead Markethere | Order “New World March” from here.

Haujobb New World March” – Viva Music Album Review:

The new world march begins today 11.11.11 with the release of Haujobb’s “New World March” album with Zweieck Recordings/Basic Unit Productions,. Beside Daniel Myer and Dejan Samardzic, several other artists joined their efforts in the project: Covenant’s Joakim Montelius, Paul Kendall, Achim Faerber, Sebastian Ullmann, to the result of a very impressive album. Our expectations were already geared up with the June release of their single “Dead Market”, but listening to the album (which, as you will see, cannot happen just once) provided way deeper insight into a musical universe worth settling in, in the coziest and most empathetic manner. It flows naturally, and it is heavy with feeling. There are no extraneous things in the album, and lyrical content is impactful, though it is kept at a minimum: no fancy embedded and subordinated clauses, proof of the fact that you don’t have to be verbose to get your message across. (more…)

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