Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dark Suites Music Reviews

DAFT PUNK and Various Artists- Tron Legacy: R3CONF1GUR3D (2011)

Review written by Steven M. Duarte

Earlier this year I reviewed the Tron Legacy OST scored by techno legends Daft Punk. I gave the album a favorable review as you pretty much cannot go wrong with Daft Punk. Now as is common in the techno/house genre of music we have a fully remixed album of various tracks from the original soundtrack. While Daft Punks work was great on its own we get different takes on various songs from the album from well known DJ’s such as Paul Oakenfold, Com Truise and The Crystal Method.

Where the original album really went hand in hand with the movie, these remixes give the tracks a much broader appeal to fans of dance/house music. I personally enjoy listening to the occasional techno album here and there and understand there are various sub genres. I found myself actually enjoying majority of the tracks on this remix album. Many of the songs are reminiscent of older DJ mixes by Oakenfold, Tiesto or even Ian Van Dahl.

Some of my personal favorites from the album include both remixes of the track Derezzed. The first one by the Glitch Mob is a nice slowed down version of the original. The track has a screwed and chopped sound to it made famous by down South rappers. Other stand out tracks on the album come from Oakenfold and The Crystal Method who subsequently end up being two of the most well known names in the industry.

Techno is definitely a “in the mood,” type of music for me and I am very picky with the actual techno albums I do end up listening to. Tron R3conf1gur3d is up there with the original Tron soundtrack in both production and variety. I personally made a playlist with a mixture of original and remixed track versions of the Tron soundtrack and set on shuffle. I recommend this mix for those looking for a decent techno fix. One last note to keep in mind, no one ever said this was supposed to replace Daft Punks original score nor was it ever said this album was intended to be better than the original, just enjoy it for what it really is which is an alternate take on some awesome tracks.

Sampler of entire album:

Track List

01. The Glitch Mob – Derezzed
02. M83 vs. Big Black Delta – Fall
03. The Crystal Method – The Grid/Game Has Changed
04. Teddybears – Adagio for Tron
05. Ki:Theory – The Son of Flynn
06. Paul Oakenfold – C.L.U.
07. Moby – The Son of Flynn
08. Boys Noize – End of Line (Boys Noize Remix)
09. Kaskade – Rinzler
10. Com Truise – Enron Part II
11. Photek – End of Line
12. The Japanese Popstars – Arena
13. Avicii – Derezzed
14. Pretty Lights – Solar Sailor
15 Sander Kleinenberg – Tron Legacy (End Titles)

--Steven M. Duarte

The Beatles- Abbey Road (1969)

review written by Nickolas Cook

Some would say this is the greatest album recorded in the 20th century (some might even argue the fact that it's gonna carry over into the 21st century, as well). I won't go so far as to say it as to say it's THE SINGLE GREATEST ALBUM EVER RECORDED, but I will say it has to be in the top 5. It is a genre expanding, perfect recording. For this music fan, it's not even an argument. What the Fab Four did for rock/pop music with this one album, not even counting what they'd done with all the previous efforts, or even counting the excellent album, LET IT BE (1970), leading up to their inevitible dissolution as the most important band to modern music. As these four disgruntled, cynical musicians went their separate ways, some going onto equally astounding solo careers. Well, mostly. Ringo appeared on several albums as a guest artist, even a few of his own albums, but he didn't get anywhere near the musical power of John, Paul and George. For all intents and purposes, ABBEY ROAD was the last great pop album the foursome were to record. The preceding albums were experiments in sound, unlike the perfect pop sound of ABBEY ROAD.
The songs on this album are classics, each and every one: SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW, MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER, SOMETHING, BECAUSE, HERE COMES THE SUN, COME TOGETHER and so many more...
These songs are some of the most perfect pop songs ever written, complex, and yet simplistic at the same time, they are songs that sing to your soul.
Any real music fan should already own this album; nif you don't get off your arse and get it. It is an album that belongs in every album collection. Even of you're not much of a Beatles fan (and shame on you, if you're not) this album is still a must for any true music fan.

1. "Come Together" 4:20
2. "Something" 3:03
3. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" 3:27
4. "Oh! Darling" 3:26
5. "Octopus's Garden" 2:51
6. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" 7:47
7. "Here Comes the Sun" 3:05
8. "Because" 2:45
9. "You Never Give Me Your Money" 4:02
10. "Sun King" 2:26
11. "Mean Mr. Mustard" 1:06
12. "Polythene Pam" 1:12
13. "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" 1:57
14. "Golden Slumbers" 1:31
15. "Carry That Weight" 1:36
16. "The End" 2:05
17. "Her Majesty" :23

--Nickolas Cook

Rush- Signals (1982)

review written by Nickolas Cook

This is one of Rush's commercially most successful albums. Signals is filled from start to finish with some of their greatest songs--songs which they still play live on every tour. Canada's greatest import Rush has been around now for going on 40 years. That's a damned long time for a rock band to hang onto the charts...and with all its original members, too.
While Signals has a great prog-rock edge to it, it has a definite attempt at being more accessible to a much larger listening audience than their previous albums, albums filled with 11 and 15 minute songs that made so many changes that only a small niche of the music buying public would know the beauty and value of their music. With Signals, Rush exploded out of that niche and suddenly they were everywhere you looked: MTV, radio, tours.
Signals isn't as musically challenging as their previous effortgs, but there's a definite edge of warning inherent to the songs on this album. As a 41 year old male, who was still in high school when this album was at its peak, I can look back on it now and take it for what's worth. And, brother, believe me: it's quite a lot. Between Neil Peart and Geddy Lee the lyrics and music come together perfectly, telling the story of an early 80s world in which we all existed with the sure knowledge that some asshole with his finger on "The Button" was going to push it one day and blow us all to Hell. Or worse still, no one would push any end-it-all buttons and we were all going to wind up living our limited and useless lives out until the end.
But there is an slice of hope for the future in the lyrics as well, for anyone who wants to hear it.
For instance, take 'New World Man', one of their most well loved songs from the 80s, says we're bound to find light at the end of the tunnel. 'The Analog Kid' has somewhat the same message. But it's 'Subdivisions' which most people will tell you means the most to them. It's a song about isolation and uselessness in the face of an uncaring and mostly feral society, in which lonely outcasts, people who wanted to keep their individualism, would be turned into scrap meat soon enough, if they didn't fall into line.
For this Horrorhead, that song still tells the truth.

1. "Subdivisions" 5:32
2. "The Analog Kid" 4:45
3. "Chemistry" 4:57
4. "Digital Man" 6:22
5. "The Weapon" (Part II of Fear) 6:24
6. "New World Man" 3:43
7. "Losing It" 4:53
8. "Countdown" 5:50

--Nickolas Cook

Rush- R30: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Collection (2005)

review written by Nickolas Cook

And speaking of Rush, this is one of the most complete band tour DVDs I've ever seen. Just the interview footage alone would have made this worth the investment, but to have all the great stuff on the limited edition CDs and the Blu-Ray disc as well, I was more than happy to pony up the bucks for this huge collection of all things Rush.
If you're a big time Rush fan, chances are you probably already own this, since it came out in 2005, following their epic world tour to promote their 30 years in music together.
If you don't have it yet, again, I repeat it's worth the price--especially now, since it's pretty easy to find used copies on and Ebay.
As for the live performances, I have to say there's a feeling of celebration when you see these three guys go through their repertoire. No matter how many times they must have played certain songs since the beginning of their career they still seem to be having a hell of a time with the audience, with the music, and with each other.

DVD Disc 1
1."R30 Overture" - ("Finding My Way", "Anthem", "Bastille Day", "A Passage to Bangkok", "Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage, Book II: Hemispheres")
2."The Spirit of Radio"
3."Force Ten"
7."Red Barchetta"
8."Roll the Bones"
9."The Seeker"
10."Tom Sawyer"
12."Between the Wheels"
13."Mystic Rhythms"
14."Der Trommler"
15."Resist" (the acoustic arrangement first heard on Rush in Rio)
16."Heart Full of Soul"
17."2112" ("Overture"/"Temples of Syrinx"/"Grand Finale")
18."Xanadu" (abbreviated version)
19."Working Man"
20."Summertime Blues"
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

DVD Disc 2
1.1979: Interview with Geddy Lee at Ivor Wynne Stadium – Tour of the Hemispheres
2.1981: Studio interview at Le Studio recording studio in Quebec featuring all three members
3.1990: Artist of the Decade interviews (1980s) featuring all three members
4.1994: CBC Television: Juno Awards news report - Rush induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame
5.2002: Interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson for the release of the album Vapor Trails
6."Fly By Night" - Church Session Video (1975)
7."Finding My Way" (MPEG1 from Rock Concert)
8."In the Mood" (MPEG1 from Rock Concert)
10."La Villa Strangiato"
11."A Farewell to Kings" - Seneca College Theatre (1977)
12."Xanadu" - Seneca College Theatre (1977)
13.Soundcheck: "The Spirit of Radio" - Ivor Wynne Stadium (1979)
14."Freewill" - Toronto Rocks / Rolling Stones Concert (2003)
15."Closer to the Heart" - Canadian Tsunami Disaster Fund charity telethon performance on CBC television, with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and Bubbles of the Trailer Park Boys (2005)
16.Rush hits St. John's (1988) (Easter egg)
17.1990: Alex's Interview for Artist of the Decade (1980s) (Easter egg)
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

CD Disc 1
1."R30 Overture" - ("Finding My Way", "Anthem", "Bastille Day", "A Passage to Bangkok", "Cygnus X-1", "Hemispheres") – 6:42
2."The Spirit of Radio" – 5:05
3."Force Ten" – 4:49
4."Animate" – 5:49
5."Subdivisions" – 6:09
6."Earthshine" – 5:41
7."Red Barchetta" – 6:49
8."Roll the Bones" – 6:22
9."The Seeker" – 3:27
10."Tom Sawyer" – 5:00
11."Dreamline" – 5:20
Running Time: 61:19

CD Disc 2
1."Between the Wheels" – 6:17
2."Mystic Rhythms" – 5:22
3."Der Trommler" – 9:01
4."Resist" – 4:33
5."Heart Full of Soul" – 2:44
6."2112" ("Overture"/"Temples of Syrinx"/"Grand Finale") – 8:23
7."Xanadu" (abbreviated version) – 6:43
8."Working Man" – 6:13
9."Summertime Blues" – 3:41
10."Crossroads" – 3:13
11."Limelight" – 4:57
Running Time: 61:11

Blu-Ray Disc
1."R30 Overture" - ("Finding My Way", "Anthem", "Bastille Day", "A Passage to Bangkok", "Cygnus X-1", "Hemispheres")
2."The Spirit of Radio"
3."Force Ten"
7."Red Barchetta"
8."Roll the Bones"
11."The Trees"
12."The Seeker"
13."One Little Victory"
14."Tom Sawyer"
16."Secret Touch"
17."Between the Wheels"
18."Mystic Rhythms"
19."Red Sector A"
20."Der Trommler"
22."Heart Full of Soul"
23."2112" ("Overture"/"Temples of Syrinx"/"Grand Finale")
24."La Villa Strangiato"
25."By-Tor and the Snow Dog"
26."Xanadu" (abbreviated version)
27."Working Man"
28."Summertime Blues"

--Nickolas Cook