Thursday, December 29, 2011

[REVIEW] The Outside Agency & Sei2ure - Undermind/Pacifists



This release I must say has probably been one of the more anticipated releases this year for me. Two of my favorite industrial artists joining forces, The Outside Agency & Sei2ure. The Outside Agency are legends in both DnB & Hardcore, having invented the Cross-breed genre, while Sei2ure is considered one of the leaders in the industrial movement.

The A side, Undermind, is a definite heavy hitter. The kick in this song is massive while it reflects the elements of both the gritty bit-crushed kicks of Sei2ure, and the clean overdrive kicks of the Outside Agency. The snare isn't reflected too much in the high-end but keeps itself at a respective level and adds to the power of the groove. The  first breakdown has a very dubstep like groove to it. The breakdown eventually disperses into a dream like atmosphere that gives me the feeling like I am stuck in the sky and there is no sight of the ground. This track is truly fitting into the cross-breed style and definitely has the energy to keep a party going. I will probably play this alot at parties and I know Ross will too. I give this track 5/5

The B side, Pacifists, is the most abrasive track on the record. The song begins building the energy with abstract drum beats and a hair raising synth pad that really sets the tone of this track, we mean business. The vocal sample is central part of why this song works so well. ("When we come back, no talk, no negotiating, no hostages. We Kill Everyone.") The song doesn't stop keeping you on the edge, this song is primal, fierce, and powerful. Only The Outside Agency & Sei2ure could have created a track like this. This track gets a 5/5

LABEL: Genosha One Seven Five
CATALOG #: GEN 175007

[REVIEW] Ruffneck - The Global Hardcore Gathering

LABEL: Rotterdam Records
PURCHASE: Hardtunes


This track is a letdown. Overall, it sounds incredibly amateur especially coming from one of the very first Hardcore DJs in history. The vocal sample is awkward, the melody is boring, the lead synth is too dry and thin. Ruffneck doesn't do the anthem format very well. With recent tracks that dominate like Reign of Chaos, this track just feels like a bad stain on Ruffneck's discography. He is much better at the atonal, industrial style that he has developed.


Tieum is also one of those producers who isn't very good at the anthem format but at least here he doesn't try too hard to be something he isn't. This is the best track on the release and it could stand on its own but it doesn't really capture the Nightmare vibe. It just feels like another Tieum track with a Nightmare related vocal sample.


I don't hear much about Shadowlands Aggressors and I now know why. The synth in the beginning is way too loud which takes away from the impact of the drop immensely. The breakdown is probably the best part of the track. It fits the Nightmare vibe perfectly but it goes on too long and doesn't flow with the second part of the track. The second drop is lackluster and the melody is boring. The bad mixdown coupled with awkward elements make for a perfectly forgetable track.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[REVIEW] Lunatic & Miss Hysteria- Double Bind EP

LABEL: Bassmachine Records

This is actually a surprisingly good release for me. I've never really payed much attention to Lunatic and/or Miss Hysteria but I just may start after this release.


I like this track because its dark but not in the miserable, violent, oppressive kind of way. Ethereal is the best way to describe it. The sound design is creative and the atmosphere is lush. It has that emotional Trancey feel to it but just enough Hardcore flavor to keep me interested and wanting to stomp around. I don't think I would drop this track at a party but I would definitely have it on repeat for a cold, dark night with headphones.


Although Lil' Jon samples are a little tired at this point, I love the energy in this track. There's no long breakdown, no melody, and barely a synth to add atmosphere. The track has a Neophyte feel to it - fast, angry, and energetic with a no bullshit attitude. A solid track made for a classic hardcore romp around the dancefloor.


The concept for this track is great but I think what really hurts it is the weak snare and the breakdowns. You can see what Miss Hysteria's vision was but it wasn't executed well enough. Lots of producers are attempting the crossbreed route but few have perfected it. It's great that this style is spreading but the production value is very hard to nail - the snare drums being the biggest hurdle. Aside from the breakdowns, this track suffers from a "well, what now?" episode towards the end - it just keeps going and its evident that Miss Hysteria ran out of ideas on how to finish the track. Codex is a good effort and I think that with a little more work Miss Hysteria could make much better crossbreed tunes. It's either that or she should stick with the normal Hardcore sound.