Music Reviews



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Artist: Kajkyt
Title: II
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: GOD Records (@)
Rated: *****
Besides the sepulchral and cryptic vocals (sounding more cryptic as I don't know a Serbian word to be honest, even if I could guess he's not singing about carefree jaunts, harvest festivals or love games...), the very first song of this album by Serbian-born, but currently living in Graz, Austria, composer Slobodan Kajkut aka Kajkyt made me thought about an obsidian variation of Radiohead's "National Anthem" or some imaginary remix of some stuff by Unkle by witch-house rising stars like AAimon or Lustmord, due to the easier structure this interesting composer applied to his sonorities. Such a gimmick doesn't alter both the elliptical halo of his stuff, which heavily draws from his past and current projects - Slobodan contributed to regroup English industrial seminal band Sleeping Dogs Wake as well as Daine Lakain's voice Alexander Veljanov's project Porta Macedonia by performing on the record and on the occasion of the album tour, which was brought all over Germany and on notorious stages such as the ones of M'era Luna and Wave Gothic Treffen - as well as from seemingly different stylistical fields by holding downtempo, illbient, drone, noise, Byzantine chant and dark ambient doors ajar all over a record which alternates hefty industrial clashes, industrial ("IV") and trip-hop ("VII") inoculations, dull thuds onto sinisterly obscure cones of silence, trepanning guitars or piercing low frequencies, which sound somewhat menacingly spooky on tracks like "I", "V" or "VI", and stifling stridencies. All these sonic entities lift nebulous dazes around Kajkyt's voice, which is maybe the most striking active ingredient of this dark-soaked mash. It's a shame I don't understand Serbian in order to appreciate lyrical content of this release, which deserves a listening anyway.
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Artist: Pennygiles/Phil Tangent
Title: Stories Untold/We Don't Talk Anymore
Format: 12"
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Rated: *****
This forthcoming lulu from French label IM:LTD, which is fertilizing the blossoming of more melodic fruits of drum'n'bass music, is going to get signed by two master chefs of this stylistical branch, the talented Welsh dj and producer Pennygiles and protean Phil Tangent, who managed to build rocket-propelled emotional trips by focusing on a theme, the breach of love relations, which marked some "sentimental" spurts of d'n'b - a possible wellknown predecessor could be "Pieces" by Chase & Status -. While Pennyglides instantly speed his "Stories Untold" up by pursuing kick drums, a simple but effective vocal line, a rambling bass line, wavy pad-synths which evoke a feeling of anguished oppression and hits on metallic bars which could belong to the cage a disgruntled lover could feel like imprisoned in, Phil Tangent's "We Don't Talk Anymore" sound like mirroring the agony of an idyll by means of the sequence of obscure bass wobbles and rolling drums which seem to ruffle the daydreaming wings of the misleading brightened introduction, whose evoked bliss sounds like vanishing into thin air. This lovely release isn't going to cicatrize some wounds on hearts of more emotional listeners, but it might anesthetize and immunize all sorrowful forgotten loves by a booster shot.
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Artist: Estroe
Title: Comfort And Closure
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: EevoNext (@)
Rated: *****
Out on mid November, 'Comfort and closure' is the new Estroe's album, which as far as I know, it's her third. Coming from Amsterdam, Esther Roozendaal, belongs to a small handful of female DJ's that played the decks at all of the major dance festivals, including the Dutch festivals Dance Valley and Lowlands as well as the Movement Festival in Detroit, where she stood alongside DJs such as Sven Vath, Derrick May and Carl Cox. She's also the EevoNext label's manager along with Stefan Robbers. 'Comfort and closure' is mainly based on techno house but it also has nice smooth moments like the main title (it's a fluctuating track based on warm pads, acoustic guitar lines and digital bells) or techno monsters like 'Comfort In Disguise' (based on 4/4 blasts, tiny melodies, many rhythm variations and relaxed pad moments here and there) which, as the title suggests, seems to be the bad brother to the previous track. Other tracks I'd like to point out are 'Happy Distraction' that is an electro influenced tune and it's a nice one you can dance or listen to which has a funky bass attitude. The atmosphere gets nightly with the following 'Out Of My Comfort Zone' and 'Patiently Waiting For A Miracle' thanks to a mixture of warm pad sounds, varied rhythms (which pass from 4/4 had beats to light hits). Another one I enjoyed is the opening 'Unconscius Suppression' which has lush sounds, nice melodies and a hypnotic atmosphere as well as "State Of Endurance", which is a middle way from Miami electro, Detroit techno and house. The track list is varied and the reason resides into the title Esther chose. As she explains: 'I named the album Comfort and Closure. Comfort as in comfortable but also as in solace. A large amount of tracks (especially the moody ones) were created in a time with difficulties in my life, maybe the most difficult time ever for me. I found a lot of comfort and distraction in producing these tracks. Closure - because this time has finally come to an end and I am ready for a new phase in my life'. Check it out'¦
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Artist: Illustration Sonore
Title: Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
After twenty-six releases of reissues from the past, Medical Records is releasing its first release played by a nowadays band and at this purpose they picked up the Paris based duo Illustration Sonore. Formed by Dash (active also with Dolina) and Christina (from Froe Char), the duo released this year two songs ('Flying Lights' and 'Violence') on the La Forme Lente compilation 'Circuit d'Actes 3' and had only a demo out. On their debut album titled 'Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions', we can find ten tracks of which five really new as 'Flying Lights' was on the compilation and 'Buried In The Hearts', 'Divinatorium', 'Vision & Prayer' plus 'Die Gefhuleduselei' were on their first self titled demo. Anyway'¦ The album opens with 'Ulysses', a really good song which sets the atmosphere for the whole set: dark ambience, catchy melodies, deep analog sounds and punching electronic drums. Mixing male and female vocals, Illustration Sonore succeed into giving their personal touch to 80s electronic wave blending it with electro industrial influences (see Cabaret Voltaire or Chris And Cosey). See tracks like 'Cannibals' or 'Blacklights' (distortion, melody arpeggios and cold vocals are their core elements) and you'll understand what I mean. There also tracks which are less aggressive like 'Divinatorium' (to my surprise a song with Italian lyrics!) and good for an alternative dance floor. This is a nice debut and you can check it at this page http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/undisciplined-strips-of-emotions-mr-027
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Artist: Snap Shot ft.Chimpo & Tonn Piper
Title: Dooms VIP/Dark Shadow VIP
Format: 12"
Label: NBAudio (@)
Rated: *****
A friend of mine with a strong passion for bass music says it's better to wait before buying some new 12" as he's fully convinced by the fact that some enhanced VIP versions could follow and they are going to play better than original tune. NB Audio, a newcomer in the overcrowded arena of alternative electronica labels from Manchester, doesn't dissuade that good folk from corroborating his argument by launching a couple of very good V.aried I.deas or V.ariations I.n P.roduction from Snap Shot, the two-headed project by Mark XTC - co-founder Da Intalex partnership with Marcus Kaye and shaker on Galaxy 102 radio by his own excellent drum and bass radio show - and Philip Lomas aka Microcosm - one of founding members of Mancunian collective North Base -. They managed to hype both the chasing "Dark Shadow" which features Tonn Piper, resident at Manchester's Warhouse Project, APE and Metropolis, on mic by stressing jungle-like inserts and the menacing dark clo(u)ds of the original track, and the gluey dark steps of "Dooms" by passing it to talented bass music styles' juggler Chimpo. Check them out!
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