Music Reviews



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Artist: Logics ft.Kodin (@)
Title: Knock, Knock
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Delta9 Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
If the Croation producer Danjiel Zinic aka Logics (the source for those rocky little isles portrayed in the artwork could be Croatia...or maybe that smoke around could allusive of something else...) can make tracks like the ones he poured into this new release title "Knock, Knock" by Delta9 whenever he waits that someone open the door to him, the people on the other side of the door could be tempted to let him keep on knocking on the door in vain. Jokes aside, the title track features a knock (of course) and an amazing and somehow disquieting set of percussions and sounds that could render an enjoyable sort of siege over a likewise enjoyable carpet of halftime precise cuts (maybe Logics trying to pick the lock after repeated knocking!). The tempo remarkably rises over higher BPMs on the following "Ratio", a track that gives faster whacks with the complicity of Zagreb-based dj and producer Kodin, but my favourite moment of this 3-track bundle is "Shield", combining midtempo, crippling dub/trip-hop sledgehammers and amazing concatenations of rhythmical strings. Check it out!
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Artist: Oliver Yorke (@)
Title: Wanderer/Not Giving Up (ft.Silent Dust)
Format: 12"
Label: none60
Rated: *****
It's not the first time I introduce outputs by West-London based producer Oliver Yorke for Silent Dust's imprint none60: more or less one year ago, he signed a couple of good mid-tempo tracks ("Helion" and " Kali") by balancing digital clicks, well-forged patterns and trippy melodies. His "scientific" approach to the beat-making and the editing as well as the sonorities by which he stuffs his tracks could vaguely resemble Photek. The soft melodic dough that starts to rise at the beginning of "Wanderer" got absorbed by rhythmical lashes, mechanical gears, serpentine computational sequences and sonar-like whispers that were widely used by some 'nu jazzers' in the late 90ies (check "Moonbathing" by Amba as a possible term of comparison). Some connection with sonorities of that period of bass-driven music can be heard in "Not Giving Up", the collaborative track with Silent Dust, whose hyper-compressed snare hit was a recipe of many jungle tracks of that interesting age of music making, but the melodic stabs and some clutches in this tracks pushes it towards the stylistic territories of labels like Kode 9's Hyperdub.
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Artist: Kurt Liedwart / Andrey Popovskiy / Martin Taxt
Title: Hjem
Format: CD
Label: Mikroton
“Hjem” is a relatively short (1 track, 28 minute) collaboration between Mikroton label founder Kurt Liedwart and his analogue synths and electronics, Andrey Popovskiy’s work with “quiet and miniature” sound generated by “violin and objects” (the domestic objects ranging from baking trays to electric toothbrushes), and founder of the SOFA label Martin Text playing tuba. The tuba notes roll absurdly long and deep, while the electronics and acoustic elements gradually attack and decay over the top. The result is a slowly transmogrifying drone with a tone that’s part pure, part industrial, sometimes smooth, sometimes a touch muddy.

You wouldn’t think that a tuba would be a good bedfellow for “miniature sounds” but a careful and judicious bit of mixing balances things out fairly nicely. The tuba dominates for the first third, but the electronic hums gradually supplant it at the piece’s core as it progresses. These analogue tones slowly get a bit more pulse-driven and rapidly undulating for a while before plateauing into a steady and simple drone that draws us to a close.

It’s a succinct and tightly-arranged short work with a very crisp outlook, and worthy of addition to the collection of anyone with a penchant for rich avantgarde drone.
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Artist: PBK (@)
Title: Inscrutable Secrets ´91-96
Format: CD
Label: Haunted Exp Labs Records (@)
Rated: *****
OK, so I have to be honest, as it might be affecting my opinion on this one. I sat at home today and watched about 3 episodes of the new Twin Peaks and then put on this album. It was the second time I have listened to this one. The first time I really liked it and listened to it very intently but did not feel as if I was ready to write about it because it is a pretty deep and dark recording.

PBK lived in Puerto Rico for about 4 years in the early to mid-nineties. With an artist like PBK, I can see how being in a different environment would completely affect his recordings. These tracks were recorded at the same time as the Domineer / Asesino / Retro triple LP box set and may be separate pieces recorded in and out of those sessions. These separate tracks, at least what sounds like from the description, all fit very well together as an album even though they are spread out over a 5 year period.

I honestly don't ever have anything bad to say about the work of PBK but this is up there as one of my favorites for sure.

As for the beginning Twin Peaks reference, if David Lynch ever does another season, he doesn't need to look any further than these recordings for some of his masterful eerie visuals. I could easily see this fitting into any episode.
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Artist: Ghost Twin
Title: Plastic Heart
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Artoffact Records
The debut album from Canadian duo Ghost Twin is a bold bit of solid synthpop that is hopefully the beginning of something very big. The combination of dark-tinged stomping synthwave and guitar with a languid and lilting female vocal that’s more reminiscent of Maggie Reilly, Maddy Pryor or Kate Bush than of the normal synthpop vocal fayre works well throughout.

Tracks like “Blue Room” and “Plastic Heart” has a relentless, slightly teutonic single-chord thump to them, but this is mixed in with gentler set-ups like “The Haunt”, which beautifully holds back an uplifting chord change until halfway through in a very deft bit of songwriting. A similar trick makes “Not Our Time” a complex melting pot of different emotions.

Over the course of 11 tracks the energy level rarely drops, and as is so common on pop albums the second half isn’t quite as strong as the first, with the formula just beginning to show signs of wearing thin by “Mystic Sabbath” and “Evermore”. The male vocals on “Into Oblivion” lack the punch of their female counterparts. Considering it’s a debut album though, this tailing off effect is surprisingly minimal. The traditional ‘ballad at the end’, “Transfigured Heart”, is a strong showcase for the vocal, with the electronics edging back to good effect.

Though it’s a debut, both band members have some experience under their belts in other bands, and it shows. It’s a strong and unusual-sounding bit of dark synthpop with more than its fair share of highlights, and a remarkably strong debut album that means Ghost Twin are ones to watch.
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