This week I have some more great albums and EPs to review, a couple may be familiar, several may not be. Please do try and listen to at least a track of each, you never know you may enjoy it! As always comments are appreciated!Atlas Plug - 2 Days Or Die
Tom Salta is a soundtrack composer behind many popular video gamee scores such as Red Steel, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. and the Ghost Recon Advance Warfighter Games. Atlas Plug is his pseudonym as a recording artist, his first album '2 Days Or Die' could be simply dismissed as a video game soundtrack album (indeed many of the tracks from it have been featured in big games since) but this would be doing the album a disservice. Salta shows of his ability to combine elements from rock, hip hop, electronica and orchestral music into a high tempo album.
The album opens with the high octane 'Halfway Till Bliss' a layered track with a catchy hook and minimalistic vocals.
'The Ace, The Only' has a rockier sound with hip-hop vocals of 'I'm The One, The Ace, The Only' over the top. This track was featured in Project Gotham Racing 3.
The title track '2 Days or Die' features a heavy drum beat laced with into metal-like guitar riffs. the preacher-like vocals add to the frantic sound of this track. The track was used in the racer 'Rallisport Challenge 2'
'Rule The World' features more big beats interlaced with fast paced synths, the vocals are very minimal hints of a super villain.
'Get rolled On' is trip-hop at it's best, probably the most vocally complex track on the album, the dark synths staying in the background for most of the track.
In 'Truth Be Known' you can really see Salta's orchestral soundtrack background. Starting off with a mellow, Eastern influenced melody, the track shifts into a fast paced action reveal with the addition of big beats and strings. Techno elements join in towards the half way point. Vocals are minimalistic chanting throughout, adding to to the Eastern feel of the track.
'Crimson Phoenix' continues the more orchestral direction of the previous track, this song would fit quite happily into any epic sci-fi movie scene.
Salta continues to show his ability to blend Electronica with an Eastern theme effortlessly with 'Winds Of Sand'. Intense synths combine with Eastern strings over a energetic beat, Arabic chanting adds to the sound.
'Steel Run' blends mellow electronica with fast-paced techno breaks, robotic vocals with the smooth female chanting.
'Infiltrate this' is the mellow closer on a frantic album, laid-back soundscapes, soft strings and minimal piano combine to form a perfect finish to the album.
Tom Salta shows off his orchestral soundtrack background but adds to it with a variety of new influences. These combine into a must-listen album for any fans of adventurous electronic music. Since this, Salta has released an EP 'Around The World' and is believed to be working on the follow-up album.
Album Highlights:2 Days or DieHalfway Till BlissTruth Be Known
For Fans Of:The Crystal MethodThe Chemical BrothersLunatic CalmSynoise - Synoise Music EP
The debut EP from Russian band Synoise is layered Industrial combined with elements of IDM and Drum'n'bass. The band consists of three friends, Synoise, the primary songwriter and programmer, keyboard player and DJ, Se Ed on bass guitar, and Andrew DM doing guitars and additional programming.
This is among the best new Electronic music I have heard this year and deserves a far greater audience. Since the EP, Synoise have started working on a full album and have made a new song 'The Desperate' available for free download from the Fixt Blog
Album Highlights:Other sightKindleIn Your Soul
For Fans Of:CyanoticDeprogrammedSebastian KomorPorcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Most people have probably heard of Porcupine Tree, but as one of my favourite albums, it deserves a review. Probably not the album that most PT fans would chose as their favourite, over time I find this the album that I come back to the most often. 1999's 'Stupid Dream' was a significant change in direction after the more progressive 'Signify' into more accessible music. Several of the songs on this album have been played live pretty regularly, including 'Even Less', 'Pure Narcotic', Slave Called Shiver' and 'Don't Hate Me' The albums closing three tracks 'A Smart Kid', 'Tinto Brass' and 'Stop Swimming' is probably the most powerful close to any album. 'A Smart Kid' deals with a sole survivor of a nuclear war being picked up by an exploring spaceship. 'Tinto Brass' is an instrumental track inspired by the director 'Tinto Brass'. The closer 'Stop Swimming' is one of Steve Wilson's favourite tracks that he has written. It's about the impulse to stop swimming and go with the flow.
Album Highlights:Even LessDon't Hate MeStop Swimming
For Fans of:Pink FloydKing CrimsonThe Pineapple ThiefPhontaine - Phontaine
I came across this album very recently but it has made a very big impression on me. Phontaine is the self titled debut album from Brighton-born Grant Baldwin. Minimal vocals and down-tempo grooves are the name of the game. Grant doesn't take a conventional approach to creating music "I don't listen to music as most people do, I've always absorbed tones and timbres before notes and arrangement. I blend instruments, ambience and sounds and maintain the sonic quality of their era. I hope this brings a sense of nostalgia to the listener." if chilled out electronica is your thing then you will love this.
Album highlights:pleasure and businessI ShouldParadise
For Fans Of:Susumu YokotaMobyMorcheebaVoicians - The Inner Frame EP
Daniel Voicians made his first marks in music as a remixer with his entries into the Celldweller and Subkulture remix competition. Daniel won 3rd place in the Celldweller-Switchback remix competition and 1st place in the Subkulture-Erasus competition. Since then he has begun producing his own music and 'The Inner Frame' EP is his first release.
The Inner Frame comprises 6 tracks that take themes from a wide variety of genres including chillout, industrial and down-tempo electro. The EP is mostly instrumental although 'Get Your Kick' features guest vocals from Joulz.
Since the EP Daniel has begun work on a full album and has launched a new website http://www.voicians.net/
and made available a pack of unreleased demos for free download there.
Album Highlights:Loyal FriendThe Die is CastGet your Kick