EBM- This one is a TIE!
Iszoloscope – the edge of certainty. Yes, technically this came out at the very end of 2010 but it kicked my as throughout 2011:) There is nothing like an Iszopunchintheface to get your blood pumping. Ranging from ambience to his trademark ‘in your face’ aggro breakbeat sound, this release grabs you buy the nuts and doesn’t let go until you’re crying for mommy.
This Morn’ Omina – l’unification des forces opposantes. These gentlemen are the masters of what they do and that is to create a rich and layered release using world sounds and grooves to make a contemporary CD that is full of soul and relevance. I also respect that they’ve done something a little different with this release. It has the ‘feel’ of a concept CD in that a number of the tracks would escape notice if not heard in the context of the rest of the release. This piece is a whole body of work that you should absorb and relish.
Genre Defying- Another TIE!
Comaduster- Slip Through. I’ve known this dude for years and he is a very talented musician. When I heard this release, my jaw hit the ground. It’s a blend of styles with production that is out of this world. It’s hard to listen to another electronic CD after hearing this one. The styles on the Slip Through range from aggressive grooves to beautiful vocal driven tracks to layers of complex ambience. GET THIS!!
Genevieve Pasquier – le cabaret moi Â Ok, technically this was released in 2010 but, whatever. It’s my review;-) If you’re not familiar with Genvieve’s stuff, she does it like NOBODY else. To be perfectly honest, it takes some getting used to. I recommend checking out the CD Virgin Pulses to get a good feel for her style. Le Cabaret Moi focuses on, as you guessed it, a more cabaret style of sound but she still keeps the odd sound sources. Like Bjork, she hears things a little differently. When figuring out a synthesizer patch, she likes the things that many other artists pass on. This is a real strength but makes her, at the same time, an acquired taste.
Left Spine Down – Caution Caution took a lot of the energy that LSD brought to the table but packed it with a matured sound and tight production. At points I miss the of the ‘rawness’ of their first release but Caution brings a newer, stronger LSD to the table.
Empusae & Shinkiro - organic.aural.ornaments Not a dark ambient CD in the strictest sense, these guys dropped a wonderful release that, for having an ambient soul, has a rhythmic and worldly heartbeat. There is dynamics, motion and emotion within these 6 tracks.
Machine Head – Unto The Locust Without a doubt my favourite Machine Head is their first one- Burn My Eyes. New Machine Head is a far cry from what they had going on earlier but this CD is astounding. They found a new sound with the release of the Blackening and they’ve refined it here. Heavy and progressive and, dare I say, rather epic at points.
Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn Of Events Yes, Mike Portnoy left the band. Yes this is a major shift in things and it shook the foundations of the bandâ€™s future. Yes, it’s a big drum throne to fill. Yes, they found Mike Mangini to replace him. Yes, Mike kicks ass. I actually met him at a drum clinic years ago and he’s a super guy. The new CD kicks a lot of major ass and retains the sound of Dream Theater. POW!