Music Reviews



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Artist: Donor
Title: Against All
Format: 2 x 12"
Label: Prosthetic Pressings (@)
Rated: *****
A passion for Birmingham Industrial Techno (Surgeon, Karenn and Perc Trax), early Dutch electro and Detroit style, his stay in Barcelona and Tokyo, where he assimilated some stylistical elements, and his careful dwelling on John Carpenter's movie fed the sound of Brooklyn-based producer and dj Greg Schappert, who signs his first proper album after some releases on Svreca's Semantica Recordings, Lucy (12)'s Stroboscopic Artefacts, Miniscule digital imprint that he co-founded and recently Russian label Venator, but the main source of inspiration for this awesome release is the world we live in, which offers so many sources of inspiration for any dystopian representation that I can surmise that the eerily prescient images that his sounds manage to evoke didn't really need greatest stretches of the imagination. The first half of the record spins around this dark mood by amazing rehashes of Detroit-esque techno where highest peaks got reached on the fully laden funkish electromechanical breath of "Menace Is Mine", the sci-fi smudges of "Station A15" and "IP Test", the one where some elastic declensions of that style by Jeff Mills could come to mind, but the most interesting moments of the record occur when Donor get closer to more articulated and sometimes abstract electro breaks on the second half of the record - the robotic hiccups of tracks like "Counter" and "Fault Is Found" are my favorite tracks of the whole album - before the epic end on "In Your Place", whose artificial static bliss that slowly turns into an icy symphony sounds like an insightful provocation.
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Artist: Niereich (@)
Title: Placebo Effect
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Micro.fon (@)
Rated: *****
Not to be confused with Darren Emerson, the notorious former member of Underworld, Dj Emerson, nome de guerre of Simon Emerson Kidder, is one of the most prominent representative of contemporary German techno scene as he earned his spurs not only for a pile of good releases but also as a label manager of Kiddaz.fm, whose parent label Micro.fon focuses on darker techno stuff that I actually like most. He recruited Austrian artist Peter Linsberger aka Niereich, one of the most skilled producer and dj of that crowded scene, who grinded his machines on the hard-hitting track "Placebo Effect" on the occasion of his first act on Micro.fon by means of a progression over a straight drum-kick, a loop built on the noise of the needle when slides on vynil surface which sounds like a zipper, an intensively hypnotical sequence of electronic gamelans and aerostatic polygonal shafts that stops after he breaks a clap. A remarkable control of gain also charactetises the more liquefied sonorities of "Black Sheep Scenario", while label boss Dj Emerson adds his own remix of the title-track by re-shuffling the elements of the original version that got poured into abstract steamy sonic hazes.
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Artist: Hot Four (@)
Title: Eye Of The Moose
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of the bull moose on the cover artwork whose blood-red background and the dissection in four parts of the outline of the hugest member of deer family, it's neither a leaflet for butchers nor a christmassy idea of gift, even if the debut release by this fourtet is much more interesting than the invasion of records from mainstream musicians that majors normally led in this period by means of marketing necromancers! The initiative got drawn up by talented Norwegian vocal artist Andreas Backer who grouped Stale Liavik Solberg, a brilliant drummer who was his mate at Stavanger music academy, Swedish guitarist David Stackenas - we already met his name and his skills on some collaborative releases with Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues - Canadian expat double bass player Joe Williamson together and recorded this amazing live session in Sweden, where they insert contemporary classical music, free-jazz and European improv hooks as well as a remarkable numer of sonic ideas in a blender that flushes amazing dynamics out. The opening title-track "Eye Of The Moose" manages to keep a certain poise as if they were trying to find a first cautious attunement, but things radically changes on the following tracks: "Antler Of The Moose" charges eardrums by means of twisted scratches, more dissonant interactions and swirling cracks and Backer's vocals brilliantly follows this gradual nervous breakdown and could sometimes surmise a preacher fighting against rising voltage of an electric chair; "Claw Of The Moose" digs into eardrums by the slow asphyxation that got rendered by gargling vocals, eruptive torsions and crumpled guitar strokes and the rattling final track "Tail Of The Moose", where last and almost breathless vocal runs by Andreas meet the last amazing instrumental rush of popping mute hats, thundering double-bass and tangled mess of guitar tones.
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Artist: Ernesto Rodrigues - Louis Laurain - Guilherme Rodrigues - Ricardo Guerreiro
Title: Alba
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I have lost count of the number of collaborative releases on Creative Sources where Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues got involved, but I'm often surprised about the fact I have not get bored by them yet as they maybe managed to involve many different collaborators. The two other musicians who took part to the four long-lasting improvisations they recorded on 9th June 2012 at Tch3 by Joel Conde are Louis Laurain on trumpet and Ricardo Guerreiro whose computer darned the sounds so masterfully that it's really difficult to understand when each instrument got filtered or not. The introduction of each track sounds like the awakening of an instrument after some centuries of hibernation and each musician could act like a cronics technician so that you are not going to listen to a series of abstract detained impulses, but the four parts of "Alba" sounds like the troublesome rescue of the decreased metabolism of improvisation after excessive sedation which often results in trembling tonal muttering that each instrument manages to find as if it renders an almost completely trophied muscle which begins to move again after endless seasons of idleness.
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Artist: HHY & The Macumbas (@)
Title: Throat Permission Cut
Format: 12"
Label: Silo (@)
Rated: *****
The first ring of Silo, the brand new label by Raz Mesinai aka Badawi and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha aka HHY, one of the founding member of Soopa collective and one leg of Fujako, the abstract-hop project I spoke about on the occasion of "Soul buzz EP" a couple of months ago that he leads with Nyko Esterle, comes from the collaboration of Saldanha and The Macumbas, a Porto-based underground collective whose number of people varies even if some musicians such as self-taught drummer and percussionist Joao Pais Filipe and trumpet player and vocalist Alvaro Almeida are almost permanent. The mesmerizing intro of the opening track "Isaac, The Throat" as well as the distant horns and the dub-like obsessive delays whose sound seems to be enveloped by clouds of desert sand could let you imagine that the following sonorities comes from a broadcasted nightmare where they wisely spinned dub, tribal drumming - closer to bedouin trance dances -, screaming jazz/funk, electronic fibres and occasional diffractive sonic elements that could sound like a possible crossbreed between Muslimgauze, The Master Musicians Of Joujouka and Le Sony'r Ra's mystical tangents as well as amazing hooks to 7'ies blaxploitation sonorities on tracks like "Barbaron" and "Lewopa De Kristal". A very interesting debut, even if I can surmise that one of their live exhibitions - I think some people who heard them at Sonar and Primavera Sound can confirm my assumption - could be much more engaging.
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