V/A Absolute Grrrls Manifesto / Chapter 1 (4CD + Bonus Download Card – Alfa-Matrix)Posted on 28/04/13
Genre/Influences: Goth-metal, synth-pop, dark-electro, EBM.
Bands: Javelyn, Ayria, The Birthday Massacre, L’Âme Immortelle, Din [A] Tod, Daybehavior, Tying Tiffany, Tristania, Helalyn Flowers, Alice In Videloand, Celluloide, Neikka RPM, Psy’Aviah, Marsheaux, I:Scintilla, The Azoic, Grendel, Soman, Xandria, Leave’s Eye, Chandeen, Glis, Unter Null, Patenbrigade: Wolff, Aiboforcen, Simi Nah, Red Industrie feat. Sara Noxx ao.
Content: Alfa-Matrix has started a new sampler series dedicated to female vocalists active in the underground scene. The concept is not that new and already explored by the Belgian label on the sampler “Venusa.XX” (2002).
The concept is comparable to the famous “Endzeit Bunkertracks”-series for featuring 4 CD’s and a download card getting you access to 40 extra bands and songs. We get a total amount of 71 bands and songs on the CD-chapter plus 40 other bands and songs on the download card. You can imagine it’s not possible mentioning the 111 bands and songs so let’s focus on the highlights.
The 1st disc probably is the most diversified one for featuring 80s and ‘wave’ influenced songs next to gothic inspired pieces, synth-pop songs and harder electro assaults. The opener by Javelyn is a remarkable and enlightening starter, but the most convincing bands are Liv Kristine and the very new-wave sounding “Paris Paris” and Xberg Baboons with a remix of “Hey Yaka Ono” by Metroland. Xberg Baboons is a real interesting and promising discovery. A few more noticeable bands are Polar Dust (which is another less familiar name), Zeitgeist Zero, Diffuzion and the sensual Daybehavior.
The style and influences from the 20 songs on the 2nd disc aren’t that different, but the selected songs are less convincing. GNY and Alice In Videoland both are the most convincing bands. GNY is a new project featuring Jan Dewulf and his wife Gwenny Cooman. The song “Beezz” is built on breakbeats while the voice has been used more like an effect, which sounds great. Alice In Videoland doesn’t need any further introduction and the song “Bender” is an irresistible piece of dance-pop driven by a fat bass line. Among the other noticeable bands left I’ll mention Aaimon for its delicacy, Krystal System and their cyber-punk sound, Helalyn Flowers for being one of the best bands in the cyber-goth and metal style, Cinderfall for a very evasive piece, Nude for its minimalism, Junksista for their creative industrial-ballad, Celluloide for the great synth-pop music, Ad:Key for one of the few and unique EBM bands and Aesthetische feat. Ava Nima for a groovy experiment.
The best disc for sure is the 3rd one. I can’t really say there’s one absolute hit here, but multiple alluring songs. Essence Of Mind feat. Benedikte W features great indie-pop. Psy’Aviah, Marsheaux and Noblesse Oblige all deal with alluring synth-pop influences. The Devices is an interesting newcomer dealing with EBM influences. Datasuchi is another noticeable band to watch out for. The song “Hide Myself From You” reminds me a bit of Björk. The Azoic is another band to watch out for. Mari Chrome is not exactly a favorite band of mine, but they’ve been featured with one of her single greatest songs. The last cuts are quite remarkable as well while moving into trance-inspired and body-tech inspiration. I’m talking about Isis Signum feat. Sara Noxx remixed by The Synthetic Dream Foundation, Soman, Dimension Flux and Uberbyte. I also have to mention Grendel (with female vocals) sounding ultra-dance like.
The last disc still is the hardest one. We here get a nice selection of bands mainly dealing with goth-metal and related genres. This also is the disc featuring the most talented singers and I’ve to mention bands like The Lovecrave, Xandria, Vita Nova and of course Leave’s Eyes as most noticeable bands. A few more bands to watch out for are Mellonta Tauta, Grausame Töchter (and her irresistible punk interpretation), the evasive style of Stray and the ‘new’ style of Unter Null, the medieval and graceful style of Arcana Obscura and the unexpected indie-pop & dance song of Glis.
The booklet included in this box is filled with extracts label owner Séba Dolimont had with some of the featured artists and the concept of female singers/artists active in the underground scene. I personally regret the rather total absence of ethereal bands and their heavenly female voices on this compilation. I think they’re part of the underground scene as well and probably stand for some of the most talented female vocalists of the scene. But over now to the download card featuring 40 more songs.
The download card is featuring a fine selection of renowned and totally unknown bands. Aiboforcen, Kari Berg feat. Jean-Marc Lederman, Implant feat. Krystal System, God’s Bow, O Quam Tristis, Red Industrie feat. Sara Noxx, Happiness Project and even Simi Nah all are quite familiar and talented bands. It’s a pity to get some of these bands featured on a download card, but at the other side it proves that a lot of women now are busy with underground music. Simi Nah and the funny, poppy and kitsh-like “r&b” sounds to me as the best song of this entire compilation. This is such a catchy and 80s inspired pop song. I also discovered an impressive number of great and less familiar names like Union Attempt, Electraset, X-Kin, Kraftkrise, Nora Below, Suburban Pervert and Sleep Thieves. I also want to mention bands like Empusa feat. Miss FD, Flux, Scandacross, Beata Beatrix and Scandacross.
The sound card is according to me the most captivating chapter of the box featuring bands that I would have personally placed on the different discs. These bands are more into electro-fields while the discs are more guitar-like.
Conclusion: This is much more than a “Grrrls Manifesto”, this is a real female orgy dedicated to all female artists –but especially the singers active in the underground scene. I’m really wondering if the ‘males’ will be open to welcome this monster-release in their CD-collection.
Best bands: Liv Kristine, Zeitgeist Zero, Xberg Baboons, GNY, Alice In Videoland, Noblesse Oblige, Datasuchi, Soman, Uberbyte, Xandria, Arcana Obscura, Simi Nah.
Rate: (Elise Din:8)ED.
Label: www.alfa-matrix.com / www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
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