Music Reviews



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Artist: Liars
Title: They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
Format: CD
Label: Mute
Rated: *****
There is quite a buzz around the Liars: the formerly artsy-fartsy-Williamsburg-based quartet, now living as a trio in New Jersey's woods, have been riding the wave of success (New York Magazine front cover, world tours with Sonic Youth and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion etc), and on February 24th, Mute released their brand new album "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned". Imagine three post-punkers jamming with Einsturzende Neubauten in the middle of the night and in the middle of the Blair Witch Project woods. With lyrics explicitly inspired by the witches of Brocken (the German location where the Walpurgisnacht legend originated) and convulsionary electro-acoustic out-rock meets art-rock meets punk-rock, they broome out the old stuff and make space for their new found experimental soul. They sweep away what people wanted them to be so badly and start with a clean slate of avantgarde/no wave constructions spiced up by hints to industrial and musique concrete. Weird, wired, odd! All in all it's all a game anyway. All they want you to do is go crazy about them and go crazy trying to file them under something, so that when semantics has been exploited and occasionally transformed enough for the occasion, they can move on to a new project and break out of the new box we've built for them... So what's our role in this game? Should we just mention every genre we know so that they are forced to create a completely new thing?
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Artist: Emulsion (@)
Title: Death of the Author EP
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
When a band mentions Coil and Boards of Canada, basically both cult bands but so different, as their main influences you know something's up, something good is cooking, and soon enough you'll know it for sure... It only took me a few seconds of the Cure's cover "Pornography" (from their upcoming FTC records tribute compilation "Strage as Angels"), revisited in a murky and melodic manner that made it sounds like a David Lynch soundtrack, to understand that these guys are good at what they do... Then they simply jump from that to a great mixture of rhythmic noise and IDM with their "is lust". Altough the two opening tracks are definitely the strongest and also the most diverse of the batch, the rest of the EP is not bad either (even though it's more anonymous and nowhere as intense as the two opening pieces). Lurking dark ambient that seeks a balance between oneiric soundscapes of uncharted territories and nightmarish atmospheres of uncertain message. I am not familiar with Emulsion's previous production, but I think if they'd manage the art of keeping the momentum at the excellent levels of the two opening tracks, and if maybe they could fuse the two genres into one unique and original magmatic sound, they would truly be one of the most interesting bands out there. Cover art work by John Bergin (Trust Obey, Tertium Non Data). Now the only problem for me remains what category to file them under.
Artist: PSI
Title: Black American Flag
Format: CD
Label: Evolving Ear (@)
Rated: *****
PSI is a trio of Brooklynites including Chris Forsyth (guitar), Jaime Fennely (electronics) and Fritz Welch (drums, objects) and they just release this two-piece CD, "Black American Flag", featuring 43 minutes of their signature electro-acoustic experimental noise-making. Comparing to their previous works this might be a little creepier and intimate, more on the low-down side of things as opposed to loud and screechy. I like their own definition of «pieces of cathartic, hermetic, meditative noise that slowly evolve into nothing while exploring delicate interplay and course, uneven stasis». I guess it is true what they say: the best knowledge of yourself is yours.
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Artist: KLANGWELT (@)
Title: The Age Of Numbers
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
Distributor: Spheric Music
Rated: *****
Sidereal journeys have always been a fascinating thing to men. Man's brain inspired philosophers and a lot of common people. Numbers and numerology could be seen also like a magic discipline and maybe this is the aspect that fascinated Gerald Arend most. THE AGE OF NUMBERS contains ten intrumental suites which take their inspiration directly from '70s space rock and from '70s electronic bands such as Tangerine Dream or from musicians like Jean Michel Jarre, Kitaro or Klaus Schulze. Since the first track you've got the sensation that the room around you it's expanding and the hissing sounds are gathering taking shape and turning into the Milk Way. At a first listening I found the tracks too similar but at a second listening I liked them more. "Topologique", "Infinity + 1" and "The Beauty Of Numbers" are the tracks that convinced me most as they have a certain halo of mistery that made me found them more interesting. Try this CD if you want to loose your senses by falling into deep space...
Artist: The Pain Machinery (@)
Title: the Venom is Going Global
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
Sweden's The Pain Machinery bring the harsh cold of their country to us with an earth shattering explosion of power electronics, rhtyhmic noise, industrial dance, ebm, dark and industrial. All of these elements, spiced up with a huge number of well-implemented samples (sci-fi movies, records by Neurosis and others) and a driving and slamming attitude. "The Venom is Going Global" is like a pneumatic hammer of sonic brutaility where distortion fights with melody and everything comes across nicely and heavily. The venom will hit you straight up, and there seems to be no antidote.
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