Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Phurpa
Title: Mantras of Bön
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
This musical project aims to create meditative music with its roots in the ancient pre-buddhist tradition BON, so, it's something conceptually close to the rivers of minimalism more focused on topics like just intonation and micro tones. According to the linear notes 'the musicians themselves stress the spiritual nature of their activity' so it's not something to hear in the background while driving a car or in a noisy environment.
This album is composed by live performance's recordings and the first part, composed by the two tracks 'Live in St. Petersburg' and
'Live in Moscow', features vocalist Alissa Nicolai that impress the listener with the purity of her tones, and her spoken works, that resonates with low tones drones made by Alexey Tagin in the background. The second part features the vocals of Alexey Tagin and is composed by three tracks: 'Mu-Ye - Live at CTM Berlin', based on a didjeridoo and cymbals, 'Kuntunzangpo' and 'Mi Dud', based on vocals and cymbals. While the description of the track could describe a rather monotone release, the charm of this music lies in the ability, with the linear, intoned and moving drones, to focus on subtle movement of the sound so, if listened distractedly, could be even sound boring but, actively listening, a door to personal perception opens.
This kind of music couldn't be recommended to anyone as it requires a type of fully committed listener but, fans of Sunn O))) or Phill Niblock, will love this release. So this album has no rating as I would give a 5 star but it's an irksome listening for everyone not used to this music.
cover
Artist: Adriano Orrù (@)
Title: Palimpsest
Format: CD
Label: pan y rosas (@)
Rated: *****
The concept behind this interesting collaborative release by double-bass player Adriano Orru' is summarized by its title: "Palimpsest" doesn't refer to tv or show schedule as the word to describe it derives from the same Latin word, but to the scratches which were made on old parchment manuscripts in order to rewrite on them. Likewise that operation, this release comes the verlapping of improvisations on previously recorded improvisations on electric bass by other musicians. Besides this p2p-like compositional technique, which has already been widely used in electronic music even if it's quite orginal in the field of electroacoustic improvisation, the most remarkable aspect is the way the following inserts highlights or mutates Adriano's inputs and I suggest a proactive listening to anyone who are going to have a listen to it by trying to mntally separate the electric bass parts from the following layer before focusing on their amalgamation. The inputs I liked a lot are the ones by brilliant Portuguese musician Paulo Chagas who shows a versatility that I already appraised on a release he co-signed on Creative Sources by keying his soprano sax to the oblique slides of "Bortadie", by let his bass clarinet stressing the path Adriano traces on "Chant and by emphasizing the spiritual tension of "On Different Shores" and the final "Haze" on flute. The scrapes by composer and pianist Silvia Corda are likewise interesting, particularly the one on the slightly neurotic "Ostinato" and the narrative "The Rain Tree Under The Rain", one of those track where listener should try that "detaching" attempt in order to appreciate the magnifying lens that following musicians put between the draft and their musical hand, while many followers of Chain DLK will supposedly appreciate the duets with Mauro Sambo (samples, electronics, marimba, tibetan bell, gong) as it seems that he focused on the concept of "scraping" by means of the wider palette of simulated sounds and suggestions that electronics could provide whereas Adriano's electric bass sounds more "scraped" as well. The release is available as a free download as well here: http://www.panyrosasdiscos.net/audio/palimpsest.zip
cover
Artist: Pjusk
Title: Solstøv
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the fact they keep on orbiting around the glacial sonorities that they usually explore, the third album by Norwegian duo Pjusk on 12k and their fourth one in their discography reaches highest stylistical peaks as this masterpiece just derives from the (both natural and processed with the help of label boss Taylor Deupree) sound of Kare Nymark Jr's trumpet. Rune Sagevik and Jolstein Dahl Gjelsvik come back their icy homecountry after their previous excursions over the snowy Russian landscapes and immediately introduces a foretaste of their forthcoming collaborative release with Sleep Orchestra by the ethereal track "Streif", the only one of the album which can be properly considered a droning piece as most of the following tracks are astonishing alternation of natural and wisely processed trumpet, which becomes a sort of medium between the glacial places they manage to evoke and netherworld. The unpredictable eruptions of trumpet, which breaks Pjusk's effusions of placid frequencies on tracks like "Falmet" or "Blaff" are real emotional plunging and got often camouflaged together with other instrumental entities and field recordings in a sort of mimetic game as it happens on the astonishing "Demring" or even more dramatically on "Glod", the track which precedes the entrancing final track "Skimt", whose pulsating mantra got enhanced by Japanese sound artist Yui Onodera. Definitively one of the best electroacoustic "environ-mental" ambient album that titilated my eardrums this year.
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Divine Shell / Justin Marc Lloyd (@)
Title: Obscure Psychic Themes
Format: Tape
Label: Rainbow Bridge (@)
I was unfamiliar with either of these artists but after reviewing Justin Marc Lloyd's 'Anxiety Flood Cont.,' I was ready for some lo-fi experimental. This tape does not disappoint. First up, we have Divine Shell with 'Post-Trip Specter' and 'Trash Study' ' the two seem more like one song though (although this is not surprising considering that they weigh in at 0:43 and 4:07 respectively). 'The Bandcamp page offers this description: 'Truly awkward composition of uncomfortable synthesis and spoken word separates these DS pieces from his highly-regarded harsh noise, industrial and power electronics work.' This is a bit more stripped down than the wall of cacophony that Justin Marc Lloyd's threw down in 'Anxiety Flood Cont.,' so it makes for a good contrast. Voices fade in and out of the mix of static before unloading with a blast of harsh noise. This then drops down again making you anticipate the next assault (which doesn't actually come). Overall, Divine Shell makes very good use of dynamics here. Flipping the tape over, we get Justin Marc Lloyd with 'Hurricane Inside,' which begins with some voices and someone saying 'Here's your weather report!' The track consists of conversation about a coming storm mixed with blasts of noise. Not bad, but not quite as engaging as the other tape. This is a short tape, weighing in at just 10 minutes, so it is only enough to get a taste of the artists.
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Justin Marc Lloyd (@)
Title: Anxiety Flood Cont.
Format: Tape
Label: Rainbow Bridge (@)
Rated: *****
I was unfamiliar with this Chicago-based artist, but just looking at these tapes I had an idea of what I was in for. The cover is photocopied and lo-fi. There is a hand stapled little book of weird pictures in the case. The lyric sheet is slightly larger than a fortune cookie fortune. The tape label is hand painted with a stamp of the title on it. You can feel the texture of the paint as you put it in the tape player. And you know that the only ones putting out a C-22 tape are noisy acts. So it isn't much of a surprise when I hit play and am greeted with some noisy cut up music with lots of pitch-shifted samples and incomprehensible lyrics. But this is not just thrown together at random. The music hangs together with a kind of structure before descending completely into heavily modulated noise. But this is not just thrown together at random. The music hangs together with a kind of structure before descending completely into heavily modulated noise. On his Bandcamp site, the description includes these lines: 'Heavy garbled tape and vinyl looping as backbones, drunkenly staggered. Non-sensical contrast, as a repurposing, creating unique limits around free-associating. . . . Read the lyrics and sing along.' Yeah, good luck with that singling along part. Well played, Justin Marc Lloyd. We flip the tape over and get some chaos with moments of clarity. For example, in between snippets of voice and noise, we hear bits of a music box with varying levels of processing. In the middle of this there is some discussion about the North Pole, which made me wonder how this worked with the title of 'Approval Ratings.' Finally we hear 'Libra Tears,' which is heavy, thudding percussion with pulsing noise and heavily processed voice and music. This one also shows that we can have Lloyd's ring modulator when we pry his cold dead fingers from around it. Overall, this is pretty good experimental. If you live in the Chicago area, go see him live and buy a tape off of him. It's fun and worth listening to.
[ Next ]

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha