Music Reviews

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Artist: candlesnuffer & Lukas Simonis (@)
Title: Nature Stands Aside
Format: CD
Label: Hellosquare/Z6 (@)
Distributor: Korm Plastics
Rated: *****
Unquestionably, curiosity for the sonic expectoration by this duo made up of two eccentric and inventive guitarists and performers with a remarkable background and an intricate web of collaborations and projects in different art/punk constellations like the versatile Dutch music "activist" Lukas Simonis, also known for his tireless work in the field of organization of music festival (he recently collaborated for the setting out of WORM, a multimedia centre for experimental arts in Rottardam), and David Brown aka candlesnuffer, skilled guitarist coming from the fertile Melbourne art-punk scene with a meaningful experience in film score composition, might be aroused by the intellectualist framework they find for their bizarre experiments on prepared guitars: while being aware of cultural diktat of the so-called capitalist civilization and neoliberalism's pretensions to set a strict universal (and somewhat natural) order during an historical moment where anyone's aware of its detumescence, they build a conceptual bridge with "Special Cases", which is not the notorious song by Massive Attack, but an interesting art book by photographer and collage artist Rosamund W.Purcell about a peculiar human obsession with monstrosity which features an approach, remarkably differne tfrom the grotesque one pervading most of last century's literature, where monstrosity is not related to external aspect, but it's more something cognitive, so that a monster could just be something we don't know and we don't understand. The manifest lack of regular rhythmical and melodies structures, the abundance of jumps from one scale to another one and chaotic arrangement of cracks and nice sonic creatures (I particularly liked the moment when they jump from saturations of plinks, so that sometimes listeners could imagine guitar cases have been overfilled with marbles, to detonations and somewhat molecular sonic decay as well as those ones when disruptive scratches, cracks, rumbling thumps and other timbrical trifles look like jamming rusty mechanical cogs like in "Morph My Logic", "A Happy Life At The Expense Of Others" and "Hottentot Venus"...and the final lovely divertssment "Mermaid Giving Birth To Twins While Kissing Her Consort"...what a title!!!) could have fed this conceptual link with those natural anomalies explored in that book (even if I'm more inclined to associate it to another art-book by the same author, titled Bookworm, where there's a bizarre re-interpretation of a French economics text by imaginary termites!). Such an intellectual approach could eclipse the musical content of this release, which could sound like a frivolous oddity, but I'm pretty sure many listeners will discern in these abstract improvisational knick-knacks more marvels than monsters!



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