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SKINNY PUPPY ALERT!! Although they no longer exist as a group we haven't heard the last from Skinny Puppy.... Their final album of new material is scheduled to come out by early February '96 on the American Recordings label -- called "The Process", this marks the official end to the group since the departure of Nivek Ogre and the death of Dwayn Goettel. Also featuring Goettel, and fellow band member Cevin Key, is the Skinny Puppy side project Download who have recently surfaced with the album "Furnace", as well as a mini-album release of new tracks and remixes called "Microscopic". This project also includes Vancouver's DJ Philth as well as Mark Spybey (of Zoviet France and Dead Voices On Air), and three of the cuts also feature Genesis P-Orridge (of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV). Despite a strong dance music influence the overall sound is very heavily 'experimental' in nature, more so than any previous Puppy-sired releases...! Ex-vocalist Nivek Ogre is also expected to debut his new W.E.L.T. project early in the new year, although exact details are still unknown at the moment.....

Belgian techno wizard C.J. Bolland has released the long-awaited follow-up to his album "The Fourth Sign" from a couple of years ago. The new album is called "Electronic Highway" and comes to us through the R&S record label, as does his second recent 12" single release which is also out now entitled "Neural Paradox".

Richard James (aka The Aphex Twin) is back with more releases.... He has an EP of Detroit-style techno under the name Brad Stryder which is called simply "001" on his own Rephlex label. Also happening on Rephlex is an LP collaboration between Richard J and Mike Paradinas (aka U-Ziq) called "Rich And Mike" - test pressings now out.... Also, on the Warp label is the "Mashed Potatoes" EP by AFX.

Aside from his Aphex collaboration, Mike Paradinas of U-Ziq has been very busy himself. After his attention-getting remix extravaganza "U-Ziq Vs. The Auteurs" and the U-Ziq CD album reissues comes a new U-Ziq album called "In Pine Effect", and a new single called "Salsa With Mesquite". Also releasing material under other names, there's the Jake Slazenger "Makes A Racket" LP and from Kid Spatula comes the "Spatula Freak" LP.

The Front Line Assembly assembly line keeps on cranking them out...!! (See report in issue #2.) The new FLA album, released on the Metropolis label in the U.S., tones down the heavy-metal-style sampling sound from their "Millenium" album and reverts more to the aggro-electro approach that they've been well-known for doing. The album is called "Hard Wired", while the first single from it is called "Circuitry". Also new from FLA, there is a promotional video for the song "Plasticity" which is not on the album oddly enough. Another release from Front Line Assembly is the "Corroded Disorder" CD, which is a reissue of their releases "Corrosion" and "Disorder", and also includes the non-LP cut "Aggression" and two tracks that are previously unreleased. From their Delerium side project comes the album "Reflections Vol. 2", with more remixed/remastered selections from their back catalog. They also contribute material to (and also generally assemle) the "Organism 03" CD, the third in a series of ambient-oriented compilation albums. All tracks are exclusive to this collection.

Gary Numan has released a new album in collaboration with Michael Smith entitled "Human". Described as eerie instrumental ambient music, this was composed as a soundtrack for a film called "The Unborn".

Yello release a new single just in time for the Christmas season, featuring three mixes of the song "Jingle Bells". Also, Yello co-founder and ex-member Carlos Peron releases his latest solo album which is called "Triggering".

Rave-pop outfit Interactive are back with a new album (their second 'proper' album you might say....) hot on the heels of their recent "Best Of" collection. The name of the album is "Touche".

HARTHOUSE UPDATE!! The latest list of CD album releases from the U.S. branch of Harthouse/Eye Q Records:

Cygnus X - Hypermetrical CD
Earth Nation - Terra Incognita CD
Hardfloor - Da Dam Phreak Noiz Phunk? CD
Jiri.Ceiver - Headphon CD
Various - Dark Hearts 2 CD
Various - Harthouse Chapter 7 CD

For more on Harthouse see the Reviews section for reviews of the albums "Carry On Harthouse" and "Dark Hearts 2".


LFO are back at the mixing board, this time giving their treatment to electronic body music specialists Lassigue Bendthaus on their "Overflow" single for the Belgian KK label. Also on KK, Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman) and Coil provide mixes for the "Kraak" single by Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia, the release of which coincides with that of the new PWOG full-length album "Record Of Breaks". Other recent KK releases to watch for include the new Test Dept. album "Totality" (see Reviews this issue) and the double CD label sampler album "Sheen: KK Records Compilation".

The Shamen release a new single called "Transamazonia" which features LTJ Bukem, Alex Party, Deep Dish, Ziontrain, The Beatmasters, Visnadi and Watershed remixes. This is the second single from their new album "Axis Mutatis" (see Reviews this issue). Limited edition copies of the album also come with a bonus disk of ambient mixes entitled "Arbor Bona, Arbor Mala".

Industrial rock/cabaret act The Young Gods are remixed by KMFDM, Meat Beat Manifesto, Mad Professor, Technogod and Consolidated on their new single "Kissing The Sun".

Manchester indie rock legends The Stone Roses get a remix from DJ Carl Cox on their new single "Begging You". Carl Cox has recently followed up his successful "F.A.C.T." mix CD package with a new compilation of rising techno stars called "Ultimatum Vol. 1".

Traci Lords follows her Juno Reactor-produced hit "Control" with the single "Fallen Angel", also featuring remixes by Johnny Vicious and Paul Oakenfold. Besides appearing on the soundtrack of the film "Virtuosity", it was named not only Single Of The Week by Melody Maker magazine but also the best song of the decade!! Meanwhile, Juno Reactor have released the single "Guardian Angel" as well as a new album called "Beyond The Infinite" (and they also contribute their track "Samurai" to the "Virtuosity" soundtrack).

Ambient techno duo Global Communication have done remixes for a variety of other artists, and have released a compilation of these mixes on one album called "Remotion". Featured are Warp 69, Nav Katze, Reload, Jon Anderson, The Grid and Chapterhouse.

German acid-heads Hardfloor are back in the ring taking on....well, maybe not all comers but some different ones anyway. This time they tackle prog rock veteran Mike Oldfield, doing remixing duties on his single "Let There Be Light", and likewise on "Nasty Girls" by TWA..... In a more 'traditional' Hardfloor vein, watch for their remix of "Elastic" by Steve Stoll on the Sm:)e record label.

Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins releases the single "The Flow" from his Model 500 project, with a range of different remixes. Included are mixes from the following: Juan Atkins, Frank De Wulf , Alex Reese, Underworld, Howie B. and Jedi Knights.



The Shamen - Axis Mutatis (on One Little Indian /Epic) ---- U.S. release

The latest album from The Shamen goes in a dreamier and less dance-oriented direction with a combination of ethereal electropop songs and ambient-ish instrumental cuts. Many of the songs sound sort of like a cross between Erasure and Jon & Vangelis, with a dash of Thomas Dolby also tossed in there. The trademark Shamen sound is still in evidence of course, most notably on the two singles which start off the album "Destination Eschaton" and "Transamazonia". It's the 12" single remixes of these thst you'll want for any real dancefloor action, but for dreamy pop moods the "Axis Mutatis" album works extremely well, and should hit the spot like a fluffy musical marshmallow from space.....

_1 ) Destination Eschaton
_2 ) Transamazonia
_3 ) Conquistador
_4 ) MK2A
_5 ) Neptune
_6 ) Prince Of Popocatapetl
_7 ) Heal
_8 ) Persephone's Quest
_9 ) Moment
10 ) Axis Mundi
11 ) Eschaton Omega
12 ) Agua Azul
13 ) S2 Translation

Test Dept. - Totality (on KK) ---- Belgian release

If you're familiar with the older material of the U.K.'s Test Dept., then before listening to this album you should prepare yourself for something completely different....! Known as one of the leading purveyors of the metal-bashing percussive style of industrial music, with fierce tribal wardrum-like rhythms and almost gothic droning noises, they are back on the scene with a new streamlined funky dance album (really!) which also has some more atmospheric moments. They've dabbled with dance strategies before but this time it's a full-blown house and trip hop workout, with touches of world music and jazz and a pinch of industrial. They take a fairly minimal approach to it all, but it works quite well once you get used to it. So, keep an open mind and enjoy!

_1 ) Once The Red Dust Passes...(Pt. 1)
_2 ) Chillo (Sunrise)
_3 ) Hole
_4 ) Gripper (A Lifetime Of Knowledge)
_5 ) Genius
_6 ) Timebomb
_7 ) Woza Moya Woza (Come Spirit Come)
_8 ) The Point
_9 ) Gamma Ray
10 ) Rol Ihlahla (Stirring Up Trouble)
11 ) Chillo (Sunset)
12 ) Al'rabih (The Spring)
13 ) Zazen
14 ) Once The Red Dust Passes...(Pt. 2)

Various - Carry On Harthouse [Best of....]: (on Harthouse) ---- U.S. release

An introduction to the hard-trance sound of Harthouse Records -- usually dominated by solid stomping beats, often quite minimal in nature, sometimes very melodic and sometimes more strange and atonal in a catchy kind of way(!). This album makes for a fairly representative collection, although since they've released so much at this point - including quite a few other compilations - that it would be hard to call this the definitive 'best of' album. (Note: A number of the same cuts also appear on the highly recommended double CD compilation "Axis Of Vision" from Harthouse.) Compiled by Kris Needs (of Secret Knowledge), this is basically his selection of favorite tracks from the label and includes his own remix of "Soul Hunter" by Pulse, which is actually one of the highlights of the album. Other highlights include "Blue Lotus" by The Essence Of Nature, and Cybordelics' "Adventures Of Dama".

_1 ) Synthetic Progress - Acid Future
_2 ) The Essence Of Nature - Blue Lotus
_3 ) Aurin - Morphia
_4 ) Frankfurt-Tokyo Connection - Luminescent Avatar
_5 ) Hardfloor - Funalogue
_6 ) Pulse - Mikado
_7 ) Cybordelics - Adventures Of Dama
_8 ) Futurhythm - My Life In The House Of Ghost
_9 ) Pulse - Soul Hunter (Secret Knowledge Remix)

Various - Dark Hearts 2 (on Harthouse) ---- U.S. release

This is volume two in Harthouse's series of ambient-oriented compilations -- although the term 'ambient' is not really sufficient to describe the wide range of music included here.... While it does have the 'cerebral' aspect of the ambient style, it's quite a bit busier and more upbeat than one might expect through much of the album, with elements of Detroit techno, house, mutant jazz and trip hop in steady supply. All in all this is a good sampling of the lighter side of this label, nicely quirky and unusual at some points and with some snappy grooves too. Highlights include "Chamber Of Dreams" by Claude Young, "Cyax" by Alter Ego, and Hardfloor's "Pepper Penalty".

_1 ) Claude Young - Chamber Of Dreams
_2 ) Braincell - Robot Jazz Brainbag Band
_3 ) Morganistic - Time To Track
_4 ) Hardfloor - Pepper Penalty
_5 ) Alter Ego - Cyax
_6 ) Neil Landstrumm - Black Whispers
_7 ) Frank De Wulf - Drums In A Grips
_8 ) BCJ - Boulderdash
_9 ) Jiri.Ceiver - Cochlea Implan
10 ) Thor Inc. - Here Comes The Sun

Various - Swarm Of Drones (on Sombient/Asphodel) ---- U.S. release

The second part of a planned trilogy, this double CD set is the sequel to "The Throne Of Drones", again in a very sombre ambient style called 'sombient' which would also be tagged 'isolationist' by many people. The atmosphere here is generally dark and mysterious throughout but in a pleasantly calm way (on most cuts), like a fog creeping across your entire body and mind.... The first disk maintains a more relaxed and even approach while the second disk is more varied with some darker and more experimental tracks on it. The dark qualities within the music are definitely enhanced by actually listening to it in the dark, and it's effective at both loud and quiet volumes! This would make a good soundtrack for use with mind machines, or for general spacing out, as long as you program out the more dynamic tracks when you're playing the CD (CD #2 in particular) for this purpose. {Note: the indexing on CD #2 is unusual - it starts at track 11 - and may confuse some CD players!} Highlights include "Flat Earth" by Vidna Obmana, "Calming Sorrow" from Insect Funeral, "Slow Fall Inward" by Lull, and Jeff Greinke's "Below".

CD 1:

_1 ) Rhythm & Noise - Looms
_2 ) Michel Redolfi - Palm Canyon
_3 ) Robert Rich - Buoyant On Motionless Deluge
_4 ) dj Cheb i Sabbah - Hamam
_5 ) Steve Roach - Shard 1
_6 ) Vidna Obmana - Flat Earth
_7 ) Insect Funeral - Calming Sorrow
_8 ) Robert Fripp - 2000 II
_9 ) Janis Mattox - Soli Deo Gloria
10 ) Aloof Proof - The Ghost Ship

CD 2:

11 ) Ned Bouhalassa - Move 1 (Drone Mix)
12 ) Jeff Greinke - Below
13 ) X-Ray - Annul
14 ) Lull - Slow Fall Inward
15 ) KK Null /James Plotkin - Drowning In Aurora
16 ) Iso Ambient Orchestra - Melisma
17 ) Naut Humon - Deliquesce
18 ) Gregory Lenczycki - Variable State Optical Amplifier
19 ) Xopher Davidson - Lapsed Transfer
20 ) Maryanne Amacher - Sound Characters (#2)

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