Music Reviews

Artist: Brigitte Roussel (@)
Title: Amber Hole
Format: CD EP
Label: Double Hallucinative (@)
Rated: *****
A leg of the underrated project Nac/Hut Report, the Polish illustrator, vocalist and performer Brigitte Roussel offes an interesting and genuine glimpe of her sonic aesthetics on this release, which features her partner-in-art LI|ese|Li on guitar and sound forging. Her sound has often been compared to some well-known industrial acts such as Cabaret Voltaire or Psychic TV, but the disturbances and the sonic landslides that got rolled over her awesome vocals displays a more personal and soemwhat hallucinatory approach: she seems to give voice to a sort of curse since the beginning of "Amber Hole" on the disquieting "Prologue", which sets the mood for further explorations inside her sound. The off-beat journey on "Golden Trains" renders a sort of nightmare, whose subtle obsessiveness is so visceral that could cause dizziness and tummy cramps; she seems to loop a deformed motif by the Hungarian composer Rezso Seress she thanks in the inlay on "Hidden Room", whose vampire parlor tricks let me think about an imaginary crossbreed between Tylervision's "The Last Human" and a track by Schlauch on the singing by a feverish Lydia Lunch, before letting her voice drowning in the psychotic gurgling of "Rain", corroding the flesh of an electro-mechanical loop on the morbid "Dance Of Butterfly", where even her voice seems to undergo drastic changes (from a sort of childish Lady Radiator - who saw Lynch's Eraserhead knows who I'm referring to - to a sadistic agitator) and collecting cerebrospinal fluid and blood on the gently ferocious "Tears Box" and the castrated melodic corruption of "Churchyard", the chapter before an epilogue which seems to echo Guy Debord's lessons and perspective.
Artist: Randal Collier-Ford
Title: The Architects
Format: CD
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
As usual for Cryo Chamber, the linear notes are spartan enough to let the listener without a clear point of view for the first listen. This attitude is a virtue as it let a reviewer free to impose his view on the release. However a phrase like 'an original take on Drone vs Sound Design' could be a start for a reflection on how drone is, perhaps improperly, considered as opposite to Sound Design in terms of apparent complexity.
A balance between drone and noise is the basic concept behind 'A New Age' and the result is closer to a band like Sunn O))) than any dark ambient band. 'Construction of a Demon' focuses, in the first part, of careful sound construction and, in the second part, in the impact of the evocative noises. 'Eye of the Watchers' is based on the development of a bunch of drones while 'The Return' return of the form of the first track using the same heavy bass sample characterizing the development of the track and revealing the unity of the composition of the album. 'Grave of the Chariots' marks the beginning of the second half of this release focusing on the juxtaposition of small sounds creating an athmosphere rather than exposing a form and 'Hellgate', as 'Cove of the Architects', further develop this plan as they are slight variation of the structure of the base track. 'Void' closes this release depicting an evocative soundscape made out of samples carefully treated.
This is an album that marks a small departure in the catalogue of this label as it's closer to doom metal's territories than the latest releases of this label. It's really worth a listen.
Artist: Big Brother On Acid
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Alrealon Musique (@)
Rated: *****
My ear response made me think the name of this project could refer to the DAW software program that was originally launched by Sonic Foundry, but it seems to have a quite different story and more relations with the "mermaid" portrayed on the cover artwork: according to the words of the man behind Big Brother, a chief surgeon - I wouldn't wonder if that surgeon told something funny about the forefather of ether anesthesia John Collins Warren, who got quoted for the title of a track, on that occasion as well - stated that the police and surveillance at the annual mermaid parade in Coney Island, NY, the notorious family-friendly celebration of the beginning of summer by Dick Zigun. The reference fits a sound, a sort of wacky sonic ode to insanity as a straegy to go over some top, which melts many styles together and turned them into a funny pulp which could tilt the clocks inside your brain: you could surmise that the nervous dubstep of the opening "Friday Night", the slapped mixture of electro-phunk, space rock metastases and acid techno sonorities of the bouncy "John Warren", which sounds other than anesthetic, the sci-fi-propelled mad breakbeat of "It Was All Very Good", the sturdy jump on dubstep tyres again on the remix by Black Beast Of Arrrghhh of "Vandalism", which could let you think some slimy monster in the act of strangling a cow, the howling theremin and the psychedelic clips on the contaminated groove of "Order-Sigil-9", the uplifting conspiracy chattering on "Illegal Space Aliens" as well as the other moments of this wonky (and occasionally old-fashioned) stuff could come from a possible crossbreed between a crazed or paranoid chaos mage and a memetic clown, but Big Brother On Acid manages to tickle body and thought at the same time. I appreciate the fact that influences (Meat Beat Manifesto, Coil, Aaron Funk/Venetian Snares, Tipper and many dubstep producers such as Bassnectar, Downlink and Datsik) have not been cripplingly hidden at all!
Artist: I.corax
Title: From gOLDem Flesh To Silverb ONE
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
I spoke about the recent reissue of the two parts of "The Cadaver Pulse" and "Kuilu", the first live performance of the obscure output by Anti Haapapuro and Jaakko Vanhala, by Aural Hypnox and in order to complete the cycle of former I.Corax stuff that appeared on very limited edition on their imprint Blue Sector, the label which is the voice of the Helixes collective re-released "From gOLDem Flesh To Silverb ONE" through the Stellar Mansion series. Entirely live recorded in studio during the preparation of the live performance with Karjalan Sissit who took place at the celebration for the fifth year of Kuollen Musiikin Yhdistys by the Dead Music Association in Turku, Finland, the album is maybe the one where some similarities with German black ambient quite known project Inade are clearer, but besides any possible stylistical matching, the hypnotical drones that I.corax usually built by means of a combination of heavily processed field recordings, analogue synths and somewhat disquieting and ghastly sounds of horns they made from animal bones, bowed instruments and occasional human whispers and words are clearly discernable. The breathtaking sonic journey where the urgency of the first untitled track, which could let you feel the fevered tension of an hopeless escape from harassing invisible entities, gradually turn paler and paler over stifling entrapping synths, natural swarming which could let you feel you're getting raped by invisible insects or birds, incomprehensible verbal warning, which sounds like whispered by likewise invisible entities behind listene's neck, sinister clinks, dazzling frequencies and a contnued mystical tension. Just 500 available copies.
Artist: Quiet Noise
Title: Audible Life
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Audiobulb (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Audiobulb is described as 'evocative' and, in fact, it's most remarkable quality of this album. While the musical result is in the more pop, a quality from a certain point of view, side of this label musical offer, the form is so carefully sharped to obtain the attention of people not so accustomed to this kind of sounds.
The gentle sound of 'Kinder' opens this release and depicts a spectrum made of small sounds, gentle glitches and quiet soundscapes. 'Frost Thaws at Sunrise' starts with drones and develops in an almost pop tunes with his carillon-like melody and, so, 'CBT' focuses more clearly in the use of that kind of sound. 'It Will Get Better' is more rhythm oriented even if it ends with the more dreamy carillon melody. 'Longing For Home' deals more with the soundscape as 'Trying to Be' is a long evocative drone while 'Hold Up Your R- ibcage' is based on a catchy beat and a stereo separation of enhancing the beat of the tune. 'You Make Being Me Less Scary' sounds like an old chill out track with the use of electric organ and the happy mood. The carillon's return in the opening part of 'I'll Work It Out' develops in an evocative track whose final noises develops in 'Wander Off The Path' where this sounds are disposed in a catchy rhythmic pattern. 'Set The Day's Pace' closes this release reassuming the quietest parts of this musical form.
It's not the kind of record to list in the end of the year playlist but it's something you often want to hear in your car and don't delete in your iPod until you notice that there's no space left on the device. Not ground-breaking but a joy to hear. For fans.
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