Music Reviews



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Artist: NDE
Title: Krieg Blut Ehre Asche
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
NDE are a mysterious duo coming from Belgium. There's no information available about them, the only thing we have are the eight parts of their debut album KRIEG BLUT EHRE ASCHE (it means something like "The blood of war ashes glory"). Musically NDE blend the most extreme musical genres creating a monster who sounds now black metal/industrial noise and then noise martial industrial. Within ton of noise you'll hear epic melodies and clanging swords while the drums of hell are beating loud. NDE succeeded into creating something I wasn't waiting for and I liked that. The first time you'll listen to KRIEG BLUT EHRE ASCHE you won't really understand what the music is about and I think that this was what the duo was looking for: a destabilization of the listener in search for the de-construction of genres. They mixed the low-fi approach of black metal to the power percussion-ism of martial industrial adding feedbacks and despair. I may say that they invented a new genre, where there are no boundaries, by filtering nowadays extreme music and without, somewhat, forgetting a bit of melody.
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Artist: Kim Cascone (@)
Title: Anti-Musical Celestial Forces
Format: CD
Label: St�rung (@)
Rated: *****
The words by one of the pioneer of digital arts Hollis Frampton introducing this intriguing release enriching the ex-PGR member as well as the founder of the forerunning Silent Records and renowned sound sculptor Kim Cascone �s repertoire of field recording based CDs (among which we advise to have a listen/look to the visionary Astrum Argentum on Anechoic Media according to which the theorem of the inspirational and influential flim-maker Stan Brakhage could state that "for any finite series of shots (�film') whatsoever there exist in real time a rational narrative, such that every term in the series, together with its position, duration, partition and reference shall be perfectly and entirely accounted for" sounds quite eloquent in order to let you understand this particular form of "sound" art, especially if supplied by the author of technically innovative shorts such as the "surgical-optical" Pittsburg Trilogy or the Faustfilm series. As suggested by the Blake-like visionary alternated to a "concrete" approach spoken words interwoven with the first ambience recordings (cracklings, box-spring noises, steps, creaking doors, the mechanical background of a car engine and obviously the rain agglomerated on a base made up of ultra-low frequencies), Kim should therefore light a cigarette, sit in a dark room and listen "to the distant folds of static, a soundtrack to the shadow play of rain-streaked window panes" and the sonic journey begins after the cheeky and suggestive narration introducing to what could be considered a maquillage of modern antiques of radio art!

We didn't casually mention Astrum Argentum as it is maybe the record sharing a lot of similarities with Anti-Musical Celestial Forces in spite of its visionary and evokative power: both of them are a collection of field recordings (or it's better to say a montage of field recordings, both of them have been gathered while touring in Europe, both of them shares a certain sense of disorientation and a sort of attempt of turning sounds into a sort of compass or preferably as hidden traces of a place in order to give word to the not-listenable and the unpredictable as well, then joined together in a sort of personal patchwork by the author/listener conciliating the imaginative production of the "user" of this record '“ a sort of blind movie whose film-maker is the listener as well -, just like in a Brakhage's movie.

Having inherited a significant experience in the music-scoring (having worked as music assistant with David Lynch for his series Wild At Heart and Twin Peaks), Kim Cascone perfectly knows how to give the cur for this kind of mental makes just using some fragments, sometimes grabbed throughout a radio receiver developed by Nasa, interferences then issued by Störung, the esteemed multidisciplinary platform superbly run by Alex Gamze aka Asferico, that are going to insufflate listeners' minds by a kaleidoscope of goads, static radio noises and obscure bugging. Highly recommended!
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Artist: JACQUES FOSCHIA, MIKE GOYVAERTS, CHRISTOPHER IRMER, GEORG WISSEL
Title: canaries on the pole #2
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
A Belgium based ensemble here, a four piece which explores the different and endless (or ended?) solutions of improvising. Interesting work, infact they combine different registers, different forms of interaction and above all different dynamics thus you pass from the opening animated track to some soft compositions, you have nervous playing like in "für lotte" and contemporary quasi soundtrack theme like "Once upon". It looks like they gave a lot of importance to interaction instead of putting the accent on soloism, I think when play silently they reach the climax above all when working on those mysterious melodies. That’s a good point, sometimes it all reminded me a bit of Lounge Lizard just put in an improvisational contest, some piece they’ve been using for soundtracks are definitely not that far from this quartet. There’s a slight free jazz feel but nothing that strong to justify a classification as jazz improviser, it’s a sort of background colour I’ve perceived here and there. Another background colour is the contemporary classic music mood you have to take for granted above all when they’re playing these long silent track which as I’ve said I think it’s one of their best peculiarities.



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Artist: HC-B (@)
Title: Soundcheck for a Missing Movie
Format: CD
Label: Hidden Shoal
Rated: *****
An alternative title could have been "soundtrack for a missing movie" since that’s the style of this Italian post rock ensemble. A good work recorded by Sacha Tilotta from Three Second Kiss and son of two Uzeda members, the sound is ok and the production is overall quite good. Post-rock, the way you expect it to be and since I know some of you are looking for these cheesy comparisons to decide it it’s worth of a check or not, the genre is that chamber/well orchestrated post-rock a la Rachel’s meet late June of 44. Solid drum-beat, driving guitars bows, horns and several arrangements that reinforce the simple structure of most of the tracks. The band is not that technical as those I’ve mentioned, but with a could of good riffs, melody and these reinforcements the result is quite juicy above all if you’re a fan of the genre. Sometimes this or that passage is quite predictable but is suppose these guys are quite young so there’s enough room for improving, melodically everything is ok, maybe the next step is a further development of their personality. Maybe they’re a little bit too "loyal to the dogmas" of this musical style and even if they already have the "suggestion" by their side the expression has its importance.

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Artist: TOM HAMILTON, BRUCE EISENBEIL
Title: shadowmachine
Format: CD
Label: Pogus
Rated: *****
Another unconventional work on Pogus, this time is not exactly composed material, we’re dealing with improvised music, ok some of you may complain improvised music can be read as "extemporary composition" but I think you got the point. While I’ve recently reviewed some composed material by Tom Hamilton, I’ve never heard anything else from Bruce Eisenbeil beside a jazz quartet. The first plays modular synthesizer and the second guitar, the odd combination could bring forth comparison with Frith, "electric" Derek Bailey when playing with some electronic artist. Eisenbeil style is less aggressive that that of mighty Bailey but somehow his intentional avoiding predictable note combinations and his interaction with Hamilton has some of these influences. Hamilton if compared to his composed material moves in a different way and he’s won my deep respect for being so "cold", just listen to the end of "dryer mouth" where he revives the cadaver of Pan Sonic, or "the salt eaters". The basic formula sometimes is represented by a framework organized by Hamilton where Eisenbeil interacts or opts for an autistic rifforama and as many improvisers sometimes he’s "just ok" but sometimes he manages to be brain-striking (Walley spawn). Sometimes they barely sound melodic and emphatic like in the title-track or quasi atmospherical like in "dot dot dot".
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