Music Reviews



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Artist: WURT ORGANUM (@)
Title: Perception2
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
New demo (5 tracks, 21 minutes ca.) from this Italian solo project, named after Jeff Noon's novel, or so I think. The layout is quite horrible, but luckily Wurt Organum knows how to make some nice noise. "door_57l3sd69" opens the work with corrosive frequencies, but the rest of the cdr is wisely based on disquieting ambiences rather than boring all-out distortion. The harsh elements crawl in from time to time, and they DO contribute to the paranoid atmosphere without ruining it. At best, like in the glass-shards torture of "Ghost", Wurt Organum gets close to John Waterman's "Calcutta Gas Chamber" - a sort of malevolent industrial/electroacoustic. Something still needs to be focused (sounds are sometimes a bit repetitive), but this is really enjoyable and promising material.
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anymore
Artist: INCANDESCENCE (@)
Title: Chapter Two: The Replacement Phase
Format: CD
Label: Raw Nerve Promotions
Rated: *****
As I wrote in the review of Incandescence's "Chapter One...", this one is a new release featuring all new material, 12 tracks, 53 minutes. The sleeve notes state it was "written, recorded + mixed between March 29th + April 9th, 2004". What, ten days?? Alas, that's no good thing for me. All I can say is that IT SHOWS, and not in a positive sense. Basically, the main defect of these songs is that they're terribly basic and boring. They're mostly just loops, with some primitive effect thrown in. No proper programming, no proper ambiences. Some beats you just don't know why they've been put there, many many sounds are just lame. I don't mean to be rude, but this is not even tolerable as background music. If this was meant to be minimal in an Aphex Twin way, it falls short. This needs lots of work and, for God's sake, some second thought.
Artist: Dimension Zero
Title: Replica
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Dimension Zero's "Replica" is a pleasant surprise in the form of a 2-song disc. Sure, only 2 tracks, but they're good ones. DZ has managed to cram a little Smashing Pumpkins attitude into some somewhat gothy industrial that takes the electro side of the genre and adds some guitar to fill out the sound. The electro element avoids the easy-to-generate boredom of a lot of electronic industrial acts and the guitars add a thickness to the industrial sound that I like. The vocal/lyrical approach for some reason, at least on the second track, "Static Space", made me think for some reason of Billy Corgan. But that could just be me. At any rate, "Replica" is certainly a good introduction to an artist that has a good grasp of what industrial's about.
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Artist: TELEPHERIQUE + MAURIZIO BIANCHI
Title: Zehn Tage (Touka)
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
Rated: *****
The long-term friendship between Klaus Jochim/Telepherique and Maurizio Bianchi has led to this collaborative cd, the very first "regular" cd released by AFE Records alone. Telepherique has frequently collaborated with other artists over the years (see the brilliant cd-r with Ultra Milkmaids, just to pick in the AFE catalogue), but this is the very first "shared" work by Bianchi (whose importance in the fields of industrial and electronica I won't even mention... period). "Zehn Tage (Touka)" is a massive 74-minute, 10-track concept on the nature and perception of time, titled after the 10-day gap created by the shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, back in 1582. The metaphor serves as a reflection on man's attempts at artificially controlling time, and as a memento on the endless, senseless rat-race we force ourselves on. But this rather scary series of thoughts doesn't prevent the work from being fascinating and soothing rather than ominous. Pretty much like Telepherique's "Hoerspiele", it is very much based on looped sounds, but the hypnotizing rhythmical patterns have a kind of droning ambient quality. Actually, very few tracks (notably # 5 and 9) feature more recognizable (and, to my taste, less effective) technoid/electronic beats. The sound palette is rich, with some memorable mixes: guitars, synths, bagpipes, birds, water, metallic percussions, scarce vocal samples... the songs often become dizzying mantras, leaving your head light. A very personal and inspired work which embodies cosmic ambient, beat electronica, concrete music... I was often reminded of label mate Raffaele Serra, which also leads to my only query - I find it a tad too long to be listened to in a row. But hey, this probably has to do with time perception itself... and this is surely worth 74 minutes of your life.
Artist: Written in Ashes
Title: s/t
Format: CD
David Bowie meets Bauhaus with a heavy electronic element is what I wanted to say after sticking this disc in the machine. Essentially electronic goth rock with an obvious and heavy love of the indie artists of the genre's roots, Written in Ashes is a startling breath of fresh air in the electronic scene, which is riddled with boring soundalike acts, to be sure. The electronica aspect of the music is well handled andenhances the music's interest while the rock side of the songs are also executed nicely. The whole product is dark and truly gothic and with no more pretension than the genre typically boasts anyway. The beats are infectious, the melodies are emotional but not cloying and the vocals are so classic and archetypal, it's a bit surprising the band doesn't come off as any more self-conscious. In other words, here is a band that has managed to incorporate all the classic elements ofgoth rock and gothic industrial without sounding hackneyed. NO mean accomplishment.
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