Music Reviews



cover
Artist: deNeuve (@)
Title: Old Bruce
Format: 12"
Label: Blowpipe Records
Rated: *****
deNeuve is André Bach & Mark Tegefoss who have a long history of working together, most notably in the project Det Wiehl, which has been around since 1973, with 9 or so releases on cassette and CD from 1983 up til the present. They were also in Tox Modell in the 80's, a notable band of the Dutch ULTRA scene, remarkable for heavy guitar, bass and vocals, but no drums, percussion or rhythm machines of any kind. I don't think deNeuve's work on 'Old Bruce', a 4-track 12" (plays at 45rpm) is that far removed from Det Wiehl, but perhaps more steeped in the industrial. Title track "Old Bruce" has an industrial beat that could sync up well with a heavy duty washing machine, garbled vocal samples where a phrase can occasionally be made out ("and over time") repeated sample of a piano glissando, various types of noise, and incessant pulse-throb bass. "Les Grande Demis" sounds like the French pixie sisters trapped in a heavy machine shop with a lumbering monotonous beat. "Ruski" features various vocal samples (presumably Russian) in a bizarre rhythmic industrial environment. "Morningboy" begins with a manipulated, echoed vocal sample over a muted machine rhythm followed by other sonic elements, then the heavy machine rhythm kicks in accented by sharp harsh noise shots. Intelligible female vocal samples emerge ("You're a boy"...deaf and blind...I'm sorry...nowhere else to go..", etc.), a repetitive rhythmic sample of thrumming bass strings, and a number of other sonic elements. The whole of 'Old Bruce' is fairly disarming. Experimental industrial no doubt, and most certainly alienated. For me, it was a bit too much, difficult listening to the max. For those of you braver sorts, it's available in either pink or blue vinyl.
Feb 03 2015
cover
Artist: Necro Deathmort (@)
Title: EP2
Format: 12"
Label: Distraction Records (@)
Rated: *****
When I last heard anything from AJ Cookson and Matthew Rozeik's Necro Deathmort project it was back in 2012 when I reviewed 'The Colonial Script'. The boys have not been idle since then, releasing two more albums and two EPs of material, of which this is the second, obviously titled 'EP2'. I had not heard any of the aforementioned, so I checked out 'EP1' on the Distraction Records site and I must say it's quite different from 'EP2'. Compared to 'EP1', 'Ep2' is quite minimal, but neither of them are anything like 'The Colonial Script'. 'EP1' is like krautrock in hell and full of nightmarish demonic ambiences, while 'EP2' seems coldwave claustrophobic in comparison. First track, "Sundive" employs a minimal beat with noise-pop snare, dark drones, and deep chambered percussive hits. "Mirus" begins with a slow, ominous sustained bass tonal pattern, and eventually a higher drone emerges, then the doom chords and drums come in, crawling, building in intensity, then finishing with the bass pattern. "Channel Fever" begins with a minimal beat accompanied by chittering sequenced percussion (reminded me a lawn sprinkler) with heavy dark drones of various types wafting through the ambience. Beat and percussion stops for a spell, and at one point I think of Tangerine Dream in their more dark ambient moments. Chittering percussion begins again, and then the beat comes back. Dissolve to black. "Bleeding" is a classic doom metal grinder, but not much more than that. "Deadlight" is full of sustained, warped synth chords and drones, atmospheric, but very minimal. Finishing off the EP, "Aer" begins with the repeating mono-note from the tail end of "Deadlight" adding a slow bass and synth progression as well as other ambient and percussive elements, including cymbals. Imagine if the music of John Carpenter was to plunge headlong into doom and darkness and you get some idea. "Aer" is the best track on the EP and worth wading through some of the others to get to. While 'EP2' has its moments, I did like 'EP1' better. Still, somewhere down the line in the future, Necro Deathmort's 'EP2' is likely to be regarded as a minimal electronic doom classic, and there are those out there who will absolutely love it start to finish. I'm kind of a picky bastard, and in light of what I've heard from Necro Deathmort previously, I don't really consider 'EP2' one of their stronger efforts. Available on Limited Edition (333 copies, with only 17 left) vinyl which includes download options.
cover
Artist: Big Hare
Title: Evening Rites
Format: 10"
Label: Blowpipe Records (@)
Rated: *****
Big Hare is the duo of Luuk Ottenhof (vocals, korg er-1, percussion, montessori bells, acoustic guitar, window) and Tim Fraanje (korg ea-1, monotribe, electric guitar, ukelele, plant) from Ultrecht, Netherlands, and 'Evening Rites' is presumably their debut EP on Blowpipe, a six-track 10" on white vinyl. I know enough from other artists on the Blowpipe roster to expect the unexpected, so I wasn't completely caught off guard like I was when Rooie Waas threw me for a loop. Big Hare produces quirky synth-pop that isn't totally synthesizer oriented, although it's still a major component of the music. To a degree it reminds me of the Residents gone pop, but with cartoony vocals in harmony. Lyrics are pretty off the wall - "don't you look at mirrors with your disembodied eye, I would like you to be my spy in disguise, let me strangle you so we can maintain the lie, let's all get liquid and lucid and deny" (from "Liquid & Lucid"), but fortunately, they do sing in English. As far as synthop goes, it's fairly minimal, yet infectious. "Headphones" makes me think of Massive Attack gone bonkers. Sometimes things are just goofy, like on "March Hare" with a marching beat, odd harmonies, and lyrics that would have Lewis Carroll scratching his head. Backing vocals on "Evening Rites" sound like a chorus of kitties meowing the word "now". While Big Hare's peculiar brand of low-key synthpop may not appeal to everyone, there's no doubt in my mind these lads are doing something quite different, and that's something to be appreciated.
cover
Artist: Mokhov (@)
Title: Future Hope
Format: CD
Label: Sun Sea Sky Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Mokhov is Russian-born, American-raised, Las Vegas-based electronic musician-composer Oleg Mokhov, and 'Future Hope' is his fourth album, the first on Sun Sea Sky. Mokhov makes music in a similar vein to Bonobo, Röyksopp, Four Tet and Boards of Canada. I have never heard any of his other works before, so 'Future Hope' is my introduction and only frame of reference. In reviewing other Sun Sea Sky artists (Melorman, Northcape) I know them to favor the melodic-ambient, or melambient as I call it, and to that extent Mokhov fits right in, although different to a degree, which is a good thing. For one thing, his rhythms are more trip hopish. There is more of a Nu-jazz vibe here too. On many tracks, a sequenced synth riff is at the heart of it, and everything plays off that, almost improvisationally, except for the rhythm. That's symptomatic of composing from the top (melody) to bottom (bass and rhythm). The jazz element is especially noticeable in Mokhov's bass lines, which are melodic and elaborate. Compared to other arists on the Sun Sea Sky roster, Mokhov is a lot less laid back, although there are plenty of mellow moments. For a laptop composer he has a nice varied sound palette too. Compositions are generally rich and engaging, upbeat and happy too, like Boards of Canada, but without the dialogue samples so often employed by them. Melodically, nothing stands out as ultimately memorable, but the music of Mokhov seems to be more about the groove and the vibe. This is the kind of stuff that would play well at a hipster wine bar; people would really like it, but they wouldn't know why. In the future, I'd hope to hear what Mokhov would come up with if he collaborated with a vocalist (preferably female), but for now I'll take my Mokhov with another glass of Malbec please.
cover
Artist: Aeriae (@)
Title: Victris
Format: CD
Label: Clan Analogue Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Aeriae is the project name of Wade Clarke from Sydney, Australia. Wade released his first album, 'Hold RI', independently in 2007. At first, it was just a studio project but after seeing a Moldover ("The Godfather of Controllerism") video, Wade was inspired to take Aeriae live. He followed up his first album with remixes of other Sydney artists, hooked up with Clan Analogue (Australia's oldest electronic music collective) and put out an EP with them in 2013 titled 'Nurse 2 Alyssa Type'. That brings us to the present. 'Victris' is his first release to have general physical distribution in Australia, and likely, beyond.

I need to be bluntly honest here. 'Victris' was the first thing I listened to out of the humungous package I received a month ago from Chain D.L.K. central. I absolutely hated it then. Too much of everything and all over the place was my first impression. A month later, and my opinion has radically changed. However, you really need to prepare yourself for Aeriae's brand of hyper-IDM. First track of the ten on 'Victris', "Revered Daughter"is an exercise in what can be done with a fast-sequenced many-note melody line, breakbeat percussion and a steady bass keeping time on the whole note. Other synth elements come into play in both the melody and percussion, enhancing this 168 (or so) BPM runaway train. Things never get too far afield, but it does (intentionally) devolve toward the end. "Ai No Kuni" begins sounding like another happy day in the amphetamine elves' toy factory until splashes of bright but eerie synth chords are introduced. So many changes take place in this one that it takes on quite a progressive bent. It calms down toward the end with only a single synth melody line present, but what a fascinating trip!

The hyper pace is slowed down considerably (to about 105 BPM) for 'Heiress' as Wade employs previously unused sounds from Aeriae's sound palette. Although a fairly steady beat carries on, the melody is more abstract, but not random. "Sword of State" layers airy synth chords over a sharper 16th note sequence with a scattershot rhythm track and wobble bass weaving in and out. It's less hyper than the first couple of tracks (around 130 BPM) and some low synth chords fill in gaps enriching the bass parts. As with other compositions on 'Victris', the end is nowhere near as it began. Back in hyperland for "The Book of Peace" (Mono) with a very busy but light rhythm track while a many note synth sequence melody and bass counter-melody play over it with intermittent synth chords. It's a bit classical sounding, especially in the bass line, but there's no mistaking this for classical music. It went on a little too long for my liking, but still was an interesting piece. "Kathle'en" has the ambience of a demented calliope backed by a minimal beat, a real carnival of the weird. "Movement for the Brides" is radically different than anything heretofore on 'Victris'. If the previous track exuded a carnival atmosphere, then this track is Barnum's sideshow of the bizarre, and much too difficult to describe. There is an aura of the ominous on this one. "Nurse 2 Alyssa Type" you might recall the name from Aeriae's aforementioned EP) is one cool melodic percussion-driven thing. On one level it doesn't change much (especially compared to previous tracks), and on another it changes quite a bit. The melody is by far simpler than the other tracks on Victris' too. Another mono track, "Angel Team" begins a bit slow but cranks up to get its engine firing on all cylinders soon enough. The chordal melody line is slightly staggered and staccato, but even that changes down the line as sub-melodies come into play. In the end it devolves into deep ambient space. Final track, "Regina Doesn't Have the Technical Knowledge for That" is a real mindbender. Everything plays off one particular repeating synth sequence heard from the beginning, but so many elements are added that it becomes a real fantasia, or capriccio even, while still retaining its melodic theme. Things change considerably towards the end as it winds down becoming more abstract, but there is no loss of interest.

'Victris' is indeed challenging IDM. Everything on it may not immediately resonate with you, but given a chance it certainly draws you in. Compositionally rich and complex, Aeriae has taken IDM to a new place, and maybe even another level. I'm looking forward to the next step in its evolution.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461] [462] [463] [464] [465] [466] [467] [468] [469] [470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha