Music Reviews



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Artist: Giulio Aldinucci (@)
Title: Spazio Sacro
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
The sizzling noises of the opening track "The hermit" by brilliant sound artist Giulio Aldinucci could let you think he's frantically unpacking boxes or picking the lock of a casket where he kept sonic traces of memories and sonic clues from a number of sacred places of his native land, before he discloses his "Spazio Sacro" (italian for "Sacred space"), a release where the intimate recesses of religious experience meet the architecture and the lovely landscaping of Siena (Tuscany, Italy), where the alternance of void spaces and modelled solid matter meet the empty and rich places of a soul during its spiritual quest over painful remembrance ("Ricordo"), trascendental and somehow dizzying meditations ("Sator"), stunning contemplative moments where the dialogue of mind and soul cross the blurred lines of external sonic entiies which seems to be signs of a previously unknowable truth ("Come un immenso specchio d'inverno" - meaning "Like a wide mirror in wintertime"-), ecstatic reverie ("The liquid room"), intuitive perception of universal greatness ("Mountain") and recovered piece oif mind and intimacy ("Camino" - Italian word for 'fireplace'). Many field recordings that got manipulated by Giulio have been wisely placed in this perpetual ascension towards ethereal regions of composer's feelings and memories and the summit of the sacred (both artificial and natural) places which features his personal and sensorial history.
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Artist: Dexta (@)
Title: Mini Rave (James Bless RIP)/The Bunker ft.Gaunt
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: None60
Rated: *****
Sometimes they do come back. If I had to introduce an horror movie, you would think I was referring to zombies, vampires, aliens or other kind of monsters, but even if the comparison might also be appropriate, this is clearly not the case. Those "they" was referring to some old sounds that Chris Boyle grafted in this new couple of tracks for Bristol-based label None60 by which he confirms to have a great talent in building steadfast sonic bridges between past and future of bass-driven music as it occurred on his previous release "Tempest Dub/Mukky Riddim", which included many hooks to old grime sonorities: the first track by Diffrent Music label boss, "Microrave (James Bless RIP)", rests on easily recognizable sonic pillars of old-fashioned British Acid Rave 90ies sound such as triplet hi-hats, looped pitched vocal samples, trancey chords and so on, but its crossbreed with new grime-step sonorities is pretty amazing as well as the grimey-dubbey tune "The Bunker", which features the collaboration of Finnish guitarist Mika Aalto aka Gaunt, whose pillar is old school jungle and drumfunk sonorities. A tidbit for your eardrums to check.
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Artist: Robert Normandeau (@)
Title: Dômes
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Two years after the excellent "Palimpsestes", empreintes DIGITALes offers another interesting collection of outputs for domes of directional loudspeakers, which can render the illusion of multidimensional sounds by means of stereophonic systems, by Prof.Normandeau to more demanding followers of electroacoustic music. It includes five long impressive pieces that can reasonably be considered monumental as the composer acts as a sort of architect who erects sonic cathedrals: the opening "La Part des Anges" (2011-12) sounds like a glimpse and an exploration inside a seraphic dimension, where hiccups of electricity, hazy steams and piercing frequencies are the set for angelic choirs, even if the slow sonic evaporation as well as the title refers to so-called "angels' share", the volatile part of aging alcohol that slowly evaporates through the walls of barrels; the resounding chiming bells on the following "Kuppel" (2005-6, 12) comes from the bells he recorded in the Markplaz in Karlsruhe (Germany) and the combination of its hypnotical tolls with other two recordings - the noises of urban tramways and the ones coming from a squeaking door close to the studio where he was working at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe - could let you think that Robert managed to grab the breathe of that German city. The interactions of breathe, saxophone and sinister dins, that suddenly explodes in electrical storms which manage to emphasize the sense of tragedy, on the catchy "Pluies Noires" (meaning "Obscure Rains") got inspired by the theatre play "Blasted" by Sarah Kane, for which Robert composed the music ina stage direction by Brigitte Haentjens in 2008: such an ominous title refers to the pauses in the play that he rendered by means of the four seasonal stormy "explosions" (spring rain, summer rain, fall rain and winter rain) while having the tragic events that occurred in Bosnia in his own mind, so that he didn't focus on the typical idea of abstract purification related to rain, but rather to the fact that "all these rains can hardly wash the darkness of the human soul at war". The most recent piece of this collection, "Hamlet-Machine without Actors" (2014) is another composition he made for a stage by Brigitte Haentjens of the play "Hamletmachine" (1979) by Heiner Muller: the track, a shorter version of the original score which lasted one hour and fifteen minutes that got inspired by another work by Normandeau ("Hamlet-Machine with Actors", which, as you can easily guess, incorporated the voices and the sounds of the actors of the play!), succeeds in describing the main theme of the play, that is "the oppression of man by the society, the representation of taboos - including sexual ones - through the show and the end of art". The final "Baobabs" (2012-13) is mainly base on human voices: even if I'm not a fan of this kind of art, the adaptation of the acousmatic piece "Le renard et la rose" (1995), consisting of five movements (Babbling and rhythm; Nostalgia and timber; Anger and dynamic; Lassitude and space; Serenity and texture) by Prof.Normandeau deserves to be listened.
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Artist: Klangwart
Title: Transit
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
In order to propel a hot air baloon air, Koln-based Klangwart heat this lovely release by an awesome amalamation of old-fashioned electronic music in between the balearic orbits by Manuel Gottsching, the cosmic joyrides of German kosmische knights, some waveforms by William Orbit and the hydrocarbon rhythmical chains and the delightful analogue trajectories by Terry Riley (the closest one to Klangwart's "Transit" is maybe Riley's "A Rainbow in Curved Air"), whose minimal music together with the one by legendary Steve Reich has been a source for inspiration since the times when Markus Detmer and Timo Reuber (the minds behind Klangwart's curtains) met in a seminar on electronic music in 1992 when theyr were students of musicology. The listening experience they offer on "Transit" is other than a bunch of nostalgic inserts as some unforeseen events and unexpected rising of the injecting flame at the bottom of balloon's envelope occur during the flight since the "Passage I", the first journey (remarkably shorter in time than his more-than-10-minutes lasting anthem) after the intro "Ante", where the typical analogue sequence, that could be matched to BBC news jingles or some bizarre experiments of genetic engineering, sounds like heaten by hot flushes of muffles low frequencies before getting siphoned by wide reverberations on the following "Express", which sounds like some psychedelic drifts by Chemical Brothers. The organic chirping of the beautiful "Station", which is closer to some analogue mellotronic stuff from many Swiss producers, and the gentle rhythmical blaze of "Transit" precede the ecstatic electronic secretions of "Plateau", whose injection of soothing feelings didn't get endangered by the molecular agitation of the following "Passage II" or the analogue wrapping of "Exile", whose gradual overheating sounds like the perfect track for the crossing of the space-time continuum inside a starship that seems to land over the fuzzy rippling of the final "Rendezvous". Klangwart's "Transit" could really be considered one fo the most intriguing varnishing of the so-called cosmic music.
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Artist: Cazzurillo
Title: Ghosts Are Surfing Now!
Format: CD
Label: La Solita Minestra (@)
Rated: *****
First off, I have to say that I love the album cover. It evokes the old school vinyl of the 1960s, while keeping it weird with ghosts on surfboards. This self described 'accidentally odd sounds composer and 'one girl band'' from Italy writes on her Facebook profile that 'Cazzurillo would like to resuscitate Syd Barrett and run away with him to the North Pole.' This should give us some indication of what we are in for. This disc consists of only one song that is essentially a really weird rendition of 'Surfing Safari,' as reflected through a lot of funhouse mirrors and strong hallucinogens. I see this in the same spirit of Current 93's appropriation of 'California Dreaming' in their track 'Great Black Time II.' My wife stated that it reminded her of some of the Beatles' more experimental works (e.g., 'Revolution Number 9'), although Cazzurillo seems to have a much better sense of humor. I'm looking forward to hearing more from her. This album weighs in at around 18 minutes.
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