Music Reviews



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anymore
Artist: NOISY PIG
Title: Disaster #1
Format: CD
Label: Cochon Records
Rated: *****
Noisy Pig is the musical project of an Italian guy called Bernardo Santarelli. He was already active with the no-wave band Dada Swing and formed Noisy Pig once he moved from Rome to Berlin in 2004. His particular kind of electro-pop make me recall the same approach to music that Shonen Knife had: really joyful and childish with fluorescent colors and a different vision of life. What's different with Noisy Pig is its dadaist influence that make turn the whole atmosphere into a surrealist dream. Listening to "Hulla hulla", "Fantasma pt.2" or "Wrong time cap-su-le" it's like to imagine Teletubbies in acid (I mean... more than their usual) or it's like having all your old toys revolting and making funny sounds while coming down from the attic looking for you! The insane thing is that songs like "Disaster!" are also able to make you dance... If you want to taste a bit of Noisy Pig world, you can visit Poopsy Club in Berlin where Bernardo is resident dj (there they have the funniest queer parties, from what I read into the band bio).
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anymore
Artist: LEFT SPINE DOWN
Title: Voltage 2.3.: Remixed & Revisited
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Sounds (@)
Rated: *****
Few months after the release of their debut album "Fighting for voltage" here's the remixes album VOLTAGE 2.3.: REMIXED & REVISITED. You know that I'm always critic about remix projects, because often you get thousands versions of the same track where the new one is really similar to the original song or, on the other hand, tracks that have the basic melody and then play around the concept a bit. Well, fortunately this time we have big names (see KMFDM, Tim Skold or Revolting Cocks) and also new tracks. We have: "high voltage" covers of Joy Division's "She lost control" and Nirvana's "Territorial pissing" plus a cyber punk'n'roll new song titled "Welcome to the future" and four short experimental tunes titled "Tape 8: Worm holes", "Tape 4: Test subject phase 1", "Tape 23: Pharmaceutical analysis" and "Tape 18: Status report #3". Also the remixes are good: I especially appreciated Revolting Cocks with a slowed down dub industrial version of "Ready or not" (great distorted bass and a blasting brass section!), The Birthday Massacre version of "Last daze" (now it sounds like a goth emb nightmare but keeping also a pop attitude), Tim SKold mix of "Prozac nation" (compressed, energetic and distorted), Combichrist mix of "Last daze" (now is a techno tune with a great dancefloor potential) and also Led Manville version of the same track is a great dancefloor tune but with an e.b.m. approach. This 20 tracks CD is a good one thanks also to the new tracks and to the quality of most of the remixes.
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Artist: THISQUIETARMY (@)
Title: unconquered
Format: CD
Label: Foreshadow production (@)
Rated: *****
Hey, I’ve never been in Canada but many bands I love come from there, when I was a punk kid it meant Snfu, Nomeansno, D.o.a. and Voivod, later Godpeed You Black Emperor and Constellation and yes if you ask me I love what Aidan Baker, Nadja, Tim Haker, Alien8 and tons of other Canadian freaks are putting out these days. Thisquietarmy is no excerption and I incidentally discovered this guy’s touring with Nadja and they’re touching a place close to where I live so I’m really looking forward to tasting it all live. Beside touring together and the fact Aidan Baker is featured on this recording there’re other similarities that bring the music of Eric Quach close to Nadja and to other Baker’ solo releases, no copycat here, I simple think they’ve some similar influences and analogous stylistic approaches. Said that they’re not exactly the same thing, infact "Unconquered" has its heavy rock parts but is much more dilated and a bit less depressed, let’s say post-rock / slow core with heart, melody and muscles. If Nadja in many ways are really close to Swans (melodic-era) hybridized with Broadrick and shoegaze, Thisquietarmy is still influenced by British music but sounds more depressed-dreamy-pop (whatever it means)... am I exaggerating if I mention Slowdive, Ride and Bark Psychosis gone heavy?!. For what regards heaviness I’ve to add the term has to be taken with a grain of salt here since this cd overwhelms melody and emotion from the very first second of the cd, usually I tend to get bored quite immediately by the genre but that’s not the case (c’mon let’s say that Isis and similar bands are good, damn good... but overestimated!). Nothing exactly new if you’re looking for experimental music but the quality of the works is top notch, I’ve no doubt about it and I’ve been enjoying the music from the first listening since both the production and the recording helps the music to reach its full potential. Going back to Canada, I’m tented to comment it’s stile a fertile area and in general music coming from there a the moment is freaky, depressive/ed, post-wave/dark, classy and warm.


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anymore
Artist: LUC VAN ACKER
Title: VPRO RadioNome December 18 1981
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded for the RadioNome radioshow broadcasted by the VPRO in the early 80's, the six tracks of this 12" show the early style of Luc Van Acker, the guy who later created Revolting Cocks. Well, if you know his band don't try to find early germs of that sound on these recordings, because you'll be disappointed. On VPRO RADIONOME DECEMBER 18 1981 Luc is performing six experimental/industrial suites where electronic, violin and various other sounds melt forming a sort of experimental industrial free jazz mix where improvisation and the urge to express blast off the vinyl grooves. We start with the short "Intro Chi" where a thin, almost timid, vocal is coupled to a minimal melody, drum machine and synth waves. With the eight minutes of "Dohan Viola" we start our trip down to hell thanks to a mix of drones, bells, metal noises and violin. Try to imagine a jazz version of Lustmord and you'll have the picture. "Samadhi", instead is more based on angry vocals and percussions while the ten minutes of "Fanfaro Piano" threat your ears with guitar distortions and drum machine just to turn into a something totally different after four minutes thanks to distant piano sounds coupled to ghost like vocals.
The 12" ends with the hardcore electronic jazz of "Buharata" where disturbing sounds and vocals are free to improvise. Check some excerpts at the label's website.
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Artist: PRINCE CHARMING (@)
Title: lapis lazuli
Format: CD
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
So they call it illbient, but beyond the classificatory idea I’ll try to help you figure out this new brilliant release on Karlrecords. Prince Charming hailing from Hollywood California has several releases out on Wordsound Label and Lovecraft Technologies, he’s back with this new full-length that shows how good taste, irony and elegant music can coexist on the same cd. Judging the book by the cover when I first gave it a look at the layout I thought this could have been one of those "burn the house down" releases meant just to dance till you drop, sure it displays a danceable edge but on the other hand the atmosphere is much more oniric than that the cover may suggest. Illbient, ok, but there’s a good amount of dub, of good old remix-attitude, an ounce of the glorious Warp catalogue from back in the days and an overexposure to movie soundtracks that here and there appears in the blink of an eye to immediately disappear a second later. While as I’ve said the music has that ironic edge that may remind Plaid, Nightmare on Wax, Plone or even Black Dog, the style is not absolutely retro and presents an incredible range of influences thus you’ll find a quasi post-rock guitar floating ashore on a dub soundtrack (Pomegranate Of Vice), there’s a squared electronic rhythm on a nightly Red Snapperesque melody (Uvarovite And Demantoid Blues). You’ll be astonished by some Piazzolla alike harmonies, trumpets, simil electronic funky rhythms. While being danceable and really easy even if at the very first listening some combinations could seem hazardous, "lapis lazuli" has an overall night feel: not exactly something for the chill-out zone but without any doubt something you can relax at while still dancing. Please don’t emphasize the fact I’ve said this’ an ironic cd, there’s class and elegance overwhelming from the first to the last episode of this work: thumbs up.


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