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Various Artists – Science Fiction Park Bundesrepublik

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Various Artists – Science Fiction Park BundesrepublikIf I ever got my hands on a time machine I’d make ‘8os Germany my first destination. The cassette culture back then was rich and varied, a future that even today seems beamed in from a different planet. Enviously, Felix Kubin was lucky enough to be right in the thick of it at the time, a teenager both consumer and participant. The self-penned liner notes to an album subtitled German Home Recording Tape Music of the 1980s lovingly describing him lighting up with possibilities after a chance watching of Der Plan on TV. This was the music he had waited years for, go the notes, music that would set off a catalytic spark for him and his brother to experiment

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Holger Hiller – Holger Hiller

Label: Mute Format: CD

Holger Hiller - album sleeveHolger Hiller‘s first album in a long time is a self-titled melange of the musical styles he developed in the Eighties and Nineties for Mute, plus a load of new tricks picked up along the way from his time as producer, remixer (including a stormer on Can‘s Sacrilege in association with this album’s producer Christoph Kaiser) and even writer of muscic for adverts in Germany. With such a lot of influences and familiar patterns to draw on, it’s not surprising that Holger Hiller is a bit of a mixed bag, one which sometimes requires a swift press of the rewind button to check out one double-take moment or another.

There’s a touch of Laibach about “Micki Mouse” – but Hiller was often in the same area with his use of orchestral brass samples and big electro

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Azúcar Letal – Azúcar Letal

Label: Sub Up Format: CD

Azucar Letal - sleeve detailWell I am supposed to listen to this CD and be amazed at what technology can bring to life in the antiquated traditional sounds of Cuban music today. While the production techniques of Holger Hiller are undoubtedly very masterful, what impresses me most is that they do nothing to water down the sumptuous vocals that obviously take their strengths from a long-earned heridity of impassioned Latino singing. All the sampling and processing does nothing to quieten those lush voices; in fact, it simply becomes part of the music and blends nicely with the superior big brass horn sounds that are the dressings underneath. It seems the purpose is to show a more contemporary side of Cuban music, perhaps where it is today, and to this end the album is subtitled The Next Generation of Afro

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