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Hailing from the heart of the romantic and exotic country of Spain in Madrid, this talented group brings to light an excellent breed of dark electronic music.  The group was formed in 1997 by composer and guitar player Alex Brujas, who was later joined by singer/songwriter Susana Egea and dj Luis E. Diaz.  Each of these members bring their collective talents together to form an excellent group.  Alex was a member of The Mask, one of the premier Spanish bands out of the late 80's.  He brings this experience and talent to the table to combine with the vibrant vocals that Susana portrays combined with the thoughtful and intelligent lyrics.

After a few years of existance, they released their first EP Speed EP and would later follow with their debut album Main which would be released on their own label.  In 2002 we were presented with their second full-length album Malevich which built on their solid electronic style.  In late 2003 we were presented with the latest works in the form of the LP Electrika and the In A While EP.  With the release of these latest works the band also grew to include percussionist Pat Subaru, providing a more dynamic live touch to the music.

With this history which marks the start of a great musical career, they are already notably a premier national band which could gain international fame with the right promotion and releases.  Their music is certainly along the lines of great talent that is being accepted and enjoyed worldwide.  With a sort of Electronic Gothic twist with nice female vocals and musical talents, the music is on a level of emotional and upbeat greatness.

Be sure to check this group out, they're sure to please.

Electrika - Review

It wasn't too long ago that I was reviewing just the sophomore release from this group, and just over a year later we're presented with yet another album and EP (reviewed below). This third album simply takes leaps and bounds above and beyond what this group has already done.  Their style and talent was already solid with their second album Malevich, but now with Electrika the maturity and combination of styles is really great and fun to listen to.

I think the overall notable characteristic that describes this group and especially this particular album is the use of guitar slightly along the Gothic Rock fashion and 80's Modern Rock along with more of a techno-oriented beat much like many Synthpop groups from the 80's and 90's.  The way these styles combine are great and comparable to the latest from Girls Under Glass.

A perfect example just happens to be the introductory track to this album "In A While".  This track was also chosen for the remixes as a "single" for the EP release of the same name.  The solid edge of guitar-driven music with the techno percussion permeates the air giving further body to Egea's resonating vocals.  The perfect mixture comes in the title track, which is by far my favorite on this album.  Maybe it's the melodic nature of the native Spanish lyrics and vocals, or the siren-like guitar driven by the solid percussion.  This is definitely a highlight for me on this album.

Most of the album follows along these lines as we're taken through an onslought of dance-friendly music.  The pop edge is definitely present with tracks like "Jewel" and "Disease" which drifts slightly more towards the electro-pop even with the driving guitars that are present during the chorus.

A special treat on this album is the inclusion of a video of the excellent track "Forget Me Not".  This track sports more of a solid rock and synth-oriented drumline and music.  The video and the track are both excellent and definite treats that stand out with excellent production and style on this album.  "Wake Up" draws the album to a close with a slightly darker edge with that guitar and moodier approach to the vocals and dynamics.

Overall another great album that continues to improve on the previous works.

Rating: 4.5/5

In A While EP - Review

As a treat for fans of this dark electronic group we're presented with this EP containing 8 dynamic tracks.  "In A While" is presented as a single from the third album Electrika

Three remixes are offered along with the album version.  L.E. Diaz and Alex Brujas, both member of the band each try their hand at remixing the track with their own unique touch.  Alex takes more of a trippy electronic approach to it while Luis takes more of a minimalistic drum 'n bass approach.  The Greek industrial group Nexus is the third remixer appearing on the EP.  This remix also borders slightly on the minimalistic style, adding a slightly industrial edge to the percussion and mixing in a bit of the original guitar for a bit of spice.  It's hard to pick a favorite out of the remixes, I think the original concept fits the track the best.

The remaining for tracks are "extra" songs from the Electrika recording sessions that the band felt were good enough to present here as a treat for the fans.  Each of these could have fit very well on the album as far as quality and style.  I think they are precisely what you might expect after listening to the album.  Individually they drift through the onslaught of guitars, driving beats and Susana's vocals.

"Somersault" begins with a style of bass guitar that you might expect from The Cure out of the 80's, even when the guitars kick in that same feeling is there.  Besides the female vocals, the electronic percussion is the only other diferentiating factor.  "What are you up to" drifts slightly into the pop realm, but still very accessible for those of us that like to remain with the eclectic tastes in Gothic and Synthpop music.  As a finale we're left with the edgy track "This Puzzle" which is very heavily laiden with guitar from the old-school goth scene mixed with that same techno beat and electronic styles mixed in.

This is definitely a treat for fans and newcomers who are just getting to know the band.  Personally I think the 4 extra tracks take a step beyond the remixes and make a nice addition to any music library.

Rating: 4/5

Website: www.stereoskop.net
Label: Stereoskop Maldoror Records

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