CD Review

V/A – Section 44 Sampler

By Marcus Pan

A taste of Nilaihah style label Section 44 here, with numerous tracks from numerous bands. There’s a ton of music here – eighteen tracks all from different bands. Some you’ve heard of in Legends already – Provision. Ok…one you’ve heard of in Legends already, sorry, I got ahead of myself a tad. Anyway, since we have a lot of music to cover let’s get on with it.

Code 64 – Leaving Earth
Quite trancey to start out with, Leaving Earth off of Code 64’s Departure album is well made if a little stock. A lot of complication however, lots of rhythms berating eachother, caressing eachother and otherwise battling it out for your noticing. Fast moving for those with short attention spans. Ends as suddenly as it began.

Tristraum – Eyes Wide Open
Tristraum slows the pace down to a comfortable synth-pop groove. I really dig this one, it moves me. Catchy, smooth – a nice selection of keyboard work combined with beautiful female vocal harmonies. Off of Tristraum’s Grey album.

Intuition – Beside You
Strangely happy, like a candy coated mushroom trip somehow. “That every time you cry, I’m right beside you.” Somehow, this song creeps me out, because I keep thinking to myself somehow that the crying is because this somehow creepy too-happy person is causing it. It’s just so happy sounding it’s pure evil.

Rhythmic Symphony – Beauty in Dissonance
Very unlike the previous Beside You, Rhythmic Symphony’s Beauty in Dissonance uses pervasive keyboard movements to slide under the radar. This comes to us from The Mechanism Fulfilled and is quite a good track with almost subliminal synth movements that will sneak in under the skin of your mind.

Junk Circuit – Heart of Stone
At the outset, Heart of Stone from Junk Circuit’s Universal Republic struck me as nothing special after the first four well done trancey-synth tracks. But Junk Circuit began a heavy handed percussive rhythm that I really enjoy. It’s that percussion that makes this song shine.

Space March – Time Will Make a Fool Out of Me
Trippy with an Esion[1] flavor, Time Will Make a Fool Out of Me has shut down but over the top metallic-spacey vocals during some parts. On the Pac Man World game on Playstation there is a space level that this song reminds me of very much. It comes off of Space March’s Without This You Can Never Change album.

Monica Schroeder – Without You (Nevarakka Mix)
As pretty as Monica sounds, Without You is a bit unmemorable, blending into this sampler well enough to be barely noticeable. Very trancey, with techno like movements combated against bright bell-like tones. Without You (Nevarakka Mix) is from Monica Schroeder’s Move Me release. Takes way too long to finish pounding out an ending.

Eight to Infinity – Say You’ll Come
Say You’ll Come greets us with stock percussion and slides in some stock basslines. Divaesque female vocals swirl about. Chorus parts add in a funky bit of synthwork to rally the song, but I’m feeling a little bit tranced out by the others by this time – hungering for something with more meat and less same-old trippy trappy hoppiness. The sneaky guitar (synth?) melodies later on take my by surprise though, revitalizing the song’s energy.

Nevarakka – Desire
BOOM goes the opening crash of Desire as it tries to surprise its way in. Slide-up melodies build the track to a crescendo, but an otherwise nice beginning is dragged down by more stock percussive rhythms. Lots of chicky’s singing on this here sampler, it’s a plethora of sultriness. Check out Neverakka’s Soft album for more.

Provision – Someone Like You
I know these people! From their Consequence[2] release, Provision’s Someone Like You brings the d00ds back. Unfortunately, it’s a bit stock and compared to some of the earlier tracks on this compilation it pales.

Virtual Server – I Will Fly
Virtual Server’s I Will Fly starts low and moody with a deep percussion borne mostly by bass. Swirly keyboard and synthwork add definition. The male vocals are a bit boring, not really striving for that quality that would have made I Will Fly more than “just another electro track.”

Alphabet Girls – The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes
Robotic, funky, laced with barbed wire and other various metals, the techno-trippy Girl With the X-Ray Eyes is the most fun here on the sampler. Catchy with interesting lyrics and refreshing slicing synthwork, Alphabet Girls deliver this off of their Beatnik Europa album…which if I hope hard enough might actually come in the mail to me some day. That would be quite nice.

Eloquent – Colourful Rumour
Colourful Rumour has a brilliantly catchy techno keyboard melody that makes you want to get up and dance. Eloquent does a fine job of making themselves noticed on an EBM sampler with a catchy, X-Static Urge[3] like melody like this.

Pristina – World Without End
Pristina takes us off planet now with some floaty tranceyness. Other than that placing them a bit more noticeable here on the Section 44 sampler, it doesn’t really drive me too much. Kind of gets lost in itself, wandering around, doesn’t take me anywhere special.

Color Theory – Behind the Rhine
Unspecial, sighing chicky kind of annoys me more than interests me. The song’s make-up can easily make it compatible – and forgettable – amongst your typical EBM synth-pop fare.

Rename – Ex L (Edit)
Another boring EBM track that really doesn’t go anywhere. I can’t pan it really, it’s not bad, but it doesn’t do anything special that I haven’t heard before either. This one comes off of Rename’s Energize album.

Synthetik FM – Technology
An interesting Atari 2600 opening, a rumbling bassline opens up well and moves the track swiftly along. Has a video game appeal to it. A nice movement following the prior two hum-drums. Technology comes off of Synthetik FM’s E=MC2 album.

Capsize – Dissatisfaction Guaranteed
Nice alto female vocal harmonies bring this sampler to a close. One of the more darker brooding songs on the album, a nice crescendo of a chorus after a low-down deep ride through the subconscious.

And that’s it for Section 44’s sampler – everything here is pretty good. Some of it is great.

Contact Information:
Section 44
Web: www.section44.com
[1] Esion’s a favorite of mine, see the review of the En Route release in Legends #102.
[2] Reviewed in Legends #161.
[3] XSU’s Annais and X-Static Urge were reviewed in Legends #116.