Music Reviews



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Artist: AIRCHAMBER3
Title: Crumble
Format: CD
Label: Amirani
Rated: *****
Airchamber3 is an expandable trio formed by Andrea Ferraris (also in Ulna, Ur, Luminance Ratio, etc.) and brothers Andrea and Luca Serrapiglio, improvising with a variety of instruments (cello, guitars, voice, pedals, sax, objects, etc.) and coming off with a fresh take on the often stale schemes of improv jazz. "In a Foreign Land" opens the disc with a rather turbulent electroacoustic storm of hisses and crackles, which could foresee a much more hostile album, loosely in the lines of the Creative Sources roster; but the following "The Jaw..." starts adding some unexpected spice, with jack noises structured in rhythmic loops (memories of Pan Sonic?), battling with Ayleresque sax contortions. "Standing by the Shell Sea mit Giacinto" (you gotta love those word plays, eh) is a liquid still life of almost Kranky-styled suspensions, highlighted in its desertic reprise, while "Silence Makes a Dangerous Sound" gives its cosmic gitar drones a backbone of kraut free-rock pushed into digital realms. The track which best shows the trio's potential is "An Unsafe Ground to Walk Upon", with its smoky jazz blurred and dissolved by electronics into a psychedelic mist. Out of a pile of clichéd "radical" improv discs, more or less interchangeable (and disposable), this is one that truly dares to experiment something new.
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Artist: DUCHESSES
Title: Estupet
Format: CD
Label: Apop Records
Rated: *****
Now, this is a truly interesting record which incidentally proves how Apop may well be today's Skin Graft in its choice of outrageous no-wave bands. Duchesses are allegedly a young all-female quartet, mentioning Art Bears, Poison Girls and Sex Gang Children as influences. Which could sound deceitful, but only to a certain degree, as this is artsy, schizophrenic and "gothic" music indeed. "The Virgin Monkey" shreds two voices, one half-reciting, the other screechy and monkey-like, in a vortex of guitar and drums reminding of Arab on Radar at their most violent. "The Fox Hunt" and "The Pit Bulimia" share a similar frenzy, but adding some morbid wave sickness like in the good old days of Gravity/GSL art-core (Antioch Arrow, VSS). "The Lazer Poney" is more AOR-styled sandstorm, while in "The Laughing Faina/Wacko Jackal" the instrumental mess is transfigured in a crazed electronic carousel. The cd also features a series of remixes which are unexpectedly well-done and creative. I'll mention Weasel Walter's take on "The Fox Hunt", where he manically pushes on the rhythmic aspect, on one hand, and on the gothic/atmospheric one on the other (almost Goblin-esque in the keyboards, and with an unstoppable guitar solo to boot), and Qulfus' black/no-wave transfiguration of "Pit Bulimia". A very promising and unpredictable record by these youngsters - let's hope they keep on playing and never lose the sickness.
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Artist: HATEWAVE
Title: Sexual Healing 2
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Apop Records
Rated: *****
If you're familiar with Hatewave's great eponymous album on Tumult (featuring Weasel Walter of Flying Luttenbachers fame), well, just partially forget its ferocious, technical math-death-grind, here we go back to the bands' early no-wave roots with a 13-minute demo of hilariously ugly music, recorded "in 1995 on bad equipment in threadbare conditions on drugs in the Midwest in winter". Featuring a trio playing drums, guitar, Casio SK-5 and vocals, "Sexual Healing 2" (or is that "Free Ringtones!"?) as a sort of demented scum-black thrash with metal-can sounding beats and "atmospheric" parts played with cheap keyboards. "Shitlist" and "Insomniac" have some gruff cookie monster vocals reminding of Spazz-ish power violence, and "Mutiny" even seems to attempt at some Crossed Out-style break. Everything falls apart, however, in "Sexual Healing 2", "An Hatewaves" and the 8th untitled track, which are pure, unadulterated no-wave garbage. Add some out-there and truly disgusting visuals and you'll come off with a much more extreme Hatewave than the later tech-death incarnation ("Fuck metal", the liner notes say).
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Artist: AXEL DÍRNER-DIEGO CHAMY
Title: What Matters to Ali
Format: CD
Label: C3R
Rated: *****
Recorded in 2006, "What Matters to Ali" features well-known trumpeter Axel Dörner in a quite unusual improvised session with Argentinian drummer Diego Chamy, who also reads a text throughout. In its best moments, the recording has an eerie, mysterious feel, with sparse, subdued sounds and the hardly discernible, rambling vocals giving it an almost ritualistic atmosphere (think of some early Osso Exótico). Dörner plays, as expected, in his usual style made of wails, hisses and gurgles, which, alas, I must say is hardly surprising by now, while I've found Chamy's work on metallic thumps and resonances much more engaging. One track, 45'39", many interesting parts popping out of a rather uneventful whole. Powerful cover photo.
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Artist: INFESTATION
Title: Bastion Intouchable
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden (@)
Rated: *****
INFESTATION is the first Quebec martial industrial act and its aim is to evoke subjects concerning the fight for subsistence of cultural heritage. Louis Carrier, the guy behind the project, stated that his aim doesn't have nothing to do with right or left wing parties as every folks, every nation has its own battle to fight and martial industrial is the perfect musical style to express and illustrate these ideological struggles. Coming from Quebec he felt the urge to express the determination of the French-speaking minority of that country. Musically the project took inspiration from Puissance, Triarii, In Slaugther Natives, The Protagonist, etc. but its mix of cried out lyrics (almost in a metal style), bombastic percussions and orchestration is really personal. The lovers of the genre will be pleased by listening to BASTION INTOUCHABLE but I think that the newcomers won't stand the vocals high volume because sometimes they cover too much the music...
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