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Artist: AB INTRA
Title: Aura Imaginalis
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
I already had the chance to check Radoslaw Kaminski's music on "Scontrum Act VI" where you can find the three parts of "Demiurgia". This newest album AURA IMAGINALIS has a wider sounds spectrum and with its six tracks will reach an high rate on the charts of each dark ambient lover. Ab Intra is a Latin phrase meaning "on the inside" and Radoslaw with "Wanderers", "Astral wings", "Current", "...", "Arcana" and "Essence" is building a inner sound world made of great ambient industrial sounds (metal percussions, subtle melodic lines, drones) mixed with neo classical orchestral parts. Each track has different moods that goes from tense industrial clangs mixed with drones ("...") to orchestral hymns with rhythmical parts ("Arcana") passing through a mix of both (the closing "Essence"). This album sounds inspired and has great sounds. If you are fans of Inade, Herbst9, First Law or Endvra check it.
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Artist: JILL AKA PROJECTOJIL
Title: One Small Step
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Every year I receive from Jill one of his demos and every year I notice that he improves his skills into creating smooth sounds and chill out atmospheres. This year's demo is titled ONE SMALL STEP and contains six new tunes. We start with "Landscape" a slow atmospheric tune with reverbered flutes, minimal vocals samples and a trumpet that put in evidence the bass line. "My own time" has an upfront bass line as well and has an upbeat rhythm that will make you move along with the soothing piano sounds. "One small step" remember me one of the hit singles of Phoenix if it had catchy vocals. Jill should try to collaborate with someone and try to have an hit single out. "Polyester", "Summer light" and "Blessed" are mid tempos with deal with that sound that mix Miami house and chill out sounds with jazz vocal and sound samples.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: XVI reflections on classical music
Format: CD
Label: Decca / UNiversal
As some of you probably know, usually I’m not the greatest fan of samplers but every once in a while I’ve the indisputable luck to review some collections I couldn’t but describe by using the word "outstanding". Me Raabestein from Nonine has sent us this fresh masterpiece that testifies both the fact Rabenstein (featured here with Slowcream and in the role of compiler of the tracklist) is slowly climbing the ranking of post-contemporary music and at the same time it proofs a cd full of big names doesn’t necessarily mean: "second rate quality songs from A-class composers". Hell knows how listenable and relaxing is this sampler and you have a bunch of really well-known artists like Philip Glass to Gavin Bryars, from Sylvain Chaveau to Akira Rebeldais. I will intentionally avoid to speak about some specific song, what makes this cd incredibly good besides the fact the one hundred percent of the songs are beautiful, is the fact Rabenstein has put together a smart playlist and as you know the tracklist represents the keystone of the vault in a sampler more than in the full length of a single author. The title is quite explicit, this cd brings forth the central reflection on the evidence that "classic music", above all "modern classic music" (whatever it means),is changing, and yes, you can take for granted the presence of compositions with beat plus strings a la Murcof or piano and electronics a la Alva Noto and Sakamoto. What I find really interesting about this brand new collection of "second millennium classic music" is the fact not everything is that predictable, you have many non-electronic compositions, a track with vocals (Slowcream) and the only evident "fil rouge" is neatness. Don’t expect it to be such an experimental compilation, this’ "just" a refined collection of enchanting tracks.

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Artist: BRONSTIBOCK
Title: The Horn
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
After debuting on the second volume of "Some tunes", music producers Peter Rutten and Sanne Groeneveld finally produced their first official release. THE HORN contains six tunes and is available only as digital download. The opening self titled tune sees on vocals as guest Erik Walet and his deep vocals give a mysterious touch to the song which is a curious blend of Spanish melodies/guitars and blasting distorted bass lines with different stops and go. Great song indeed. For the following two tracks, "Pinky stinky" and "Sweaty stinky", we have Aischa on vocals and on these the music is more syncopated and influenced by dub reggae atmospheres and electro. The following "Come on" is a perfect electro dance tune with 4/4 rhythms, fat synth bass lines and catchy vocals. Next we have "Timpaner" an instrumental that sounds nice but doesn't really add something more to what we already listened. The last track is "The brick is in the air", an Aux Raus song remixed by Bronstibock. I don't know the original version but this one sounds like an 8bit electro pumping tune with the add of distorted guitars here and there. Nice and funny... You can check many of these songs at Bronstibock's myspace page.
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Artist: Shadowdream (@)
Title: Part of the Infinity
Format: CD
Label: Nordsturm (@)
Rated: *****
It seems the sixth act of the whimsical ambient project Shadowdream by the eclectic black metal Serbian (from Novi Sad) musician Rastko Peri�ic aka Nocturnal has been composed during restless sessions of astronomical observations even if someone could imagine that it could derives from the musical reports of OOBEs during which Rastko's astral body wandered around the Solar System with a tape recorder to grab frequencies from objects that conventional space observers could just observe from cheap telescopes! I've to admit that when I saw the cover artwork I thought it was another psychedelic/goa/trance project and I also acknowledge my mistake when I listened to the very first seconds of the record which let me think about a contemptible restyling of Origami Galaktica-like diluted stuff... It's better not to be too simpleton as well particularly when you could easily get astonished by the accuracy of Rastko in dissecting microtonal pulses wisely interwoven with sounds (bodily bass hyper-tones, synthetic whiffs, seraphic choruses and hypnotic church organ's tonal webs as well as that mood which seems to be pervaded with deep sorrow and melancholy whirling inside every touchy moment of the record) which seems to be snuffed from necromantic black candles of the darkest side of black metal, a transition which you could imagine if you've already heard something coming from subterranean similar projects such as Vinterriket or Blut Aus Nord, but what makes this album different from the ones signed by the above-mentioned artists stands in some tricky compositional elements getting Part Of The Infinity very close to soundtracks and classical music, a sort of contemporary postlude (or arguably a nocturnal emission... ) you could listen after you watch the cosmic dances of planets and stars embellishing the darkness of a nocturnal sky. Some tracks are so impressive that you could even feel yourself enshrouded by sound; among them I've found really impressive tracks such as Planetary Rings of Saturn, Unknown Cycles of Venus and... well... I think you could agree with me that dark ambient anthems like A Trip Trough The Neptune Clouds could taste like laudanum... How many times in your lifetime could you say you've felt a Part of the Infinity?!?!? From the conceptual viewpoint, Shadowdream's last chapter (whose essence in Rastko's words could be summarized by the following adagio coined by Norman Douglas: "The sublimity of wisdom is to do those things living, which are desired when dying... ") seems to make a tribute not only to one of the most fascinating scientific branch (astronomy) but also to its historical father, the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, one of the luminous mind of all times, and this dedication turns Part of the Infinity into the right record at the right time as 2009 - as most of you know '“ is the International Year of Astronomy.
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