Music Reviews



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Artist: The Necks (@)
Title: Open
Format: CD
Label: ReR Megacorp (@)
Rated: *****
Any stylistical or technical dissection of the one-track album by renowned Australian improv trio The Necks which cannot highlight and envision the mere emotional hook on listener's soul would be an aberration or just an avoidable understatement and even if "Open" seems to go back over the course of their first ambient-jazz elongations, such an approach sounds fit for the purpose of speaking about this brand new enthralling supplement to their abundant discography. Since the initial tuning tunes of Tony Buck's monochord, it's almost clear that the sonic river is going to flow past some rushing and definitively more corrugated crossover-jazz they recently dished out on "Mindset", as bassist Lloyd Swanton remarked: 'Mindset reached some pretty intense levels at times, and though we never overtly discussed it, I think that on Open by contrast, all three of us were taken by the idea of working in an area of great stillness. After a couple of days' recording, it was clear that the music was leading us in this direction.' In spite of temporary percussive whirlwinds and parenthetical tonal stalemates, the unleashing harmonic twinkles by Chris Abrahams' piano, where Lloyd Swanton's bass and occasional electronic gusts sound like a musical joint which got interjected between contemplation and sudden emotional outbursts, which can be considered as steps of an ascending movement or momentary drafts of a breezy catharsis, preponderantly pulls the strings by acting like the unmoved mover inside the sonic sphere they wisely clumped. Just rest your head on this new lovely slipstream by this master craftsmen of musical climaxes.
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Artist: Atrium Carceri
Title: The Untold
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber
Rated: *****
This new release from Atrium Carceri is best approached from the included book with apparently unrelated texts describing a journey to a strange place where the relics of a primordial city is discovered. This way the tracks could be appreciated as forming an almost coherent path rather than be a collection of tunes.
The evocative soundscape of 'The Expedition' opens this release setting the path for 'Unlocking the Seal' to reveal the author's sense for the cinematic palette. 'The Way Down' is a small interlude for 'Catacombs of the Forgotten', perhaps the quietest track of the album, where the disposition of noises in the auditory space is his primary quality. 'A Flickering Hope', returns to territories more ambient-oriented. 'Thorn of War' features also some voice samples while 'Comfort of the Night Mother' is an introduction to 'The Untold' an evocative soundscape that recollects almost all the musical elements of the previous track. 'The Traitor' and 'Realitatem' are filled with more descriptive elements that flow into a meditative tracks 'Great Old One' that is as bright as 'Ego Death', the last track, is dark.
Apart from the usual ability of Simon Heath in the sound construction (headphone listening is highly recommended), the great characteristic of this album is his quality to portrait a sort of narration i.e., to tell a story. One of the best Cryo Chamber releases.
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Artist: I.corax
Title: Cella Phantasma
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
Even though I.corax, the creature by Anti AIH Haapapuro and Jaakko JKV Vanhala, whose entrancing sonic secretion mainly coame out on Blue Sector, belongs to the Helixes collective since its inception, it had no signed releases on Aural Hypnox, the label which displays the artistical and "mystical" path of the collective itself and already announced its purpose of reprinting their back catalogue. In the meanwhile, Aural Hypnox decided to serve a starter by a previously unreleased album which dates back to the very first I.corax sessions in the surroundings of Oulu, Finland, in 1999 as well as the very first sparks of their esoteric path, where sound seems to flange altered states of consciousness, mystical experiences and physical realm. In their own words, "the sessions or states of Cella Phantasma were heavily influenced by numerous mystical experiences that took place during various night-time wanderings and ritual retreats, which more than often included exceedingly vigorous and intimidating encounters with the Visitors from beyond" and the element which makes such a transposition even more spellbinding is the concision as well as the drastic constraints of the sonic fleet. the initial "Hunt" immerses listener into befuddling waves, which dissolves the perception of time, rendered by almost silenced taps, before menacing dull thuds and ghostly chants burst on the scene. Metallic cavitations, a sinister whistle, mesmeric muttering and a festering atmosphere are going to strip off the listener's bark on the impressively absorbing "Kneeler", but the strongest mesmeric screwing has been reached on the following "Naos", whose title significantly refers to "Cella" (the inner chamber of a temple which hosts the worshipped idol). The seemingly allaying tones of the final "Nexion" subtlety scupper the sensorial sinter I.coirax's other-wordly sonorities may produce.
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Artist: Roladex
Title: Anthems For The Micro​-​Age
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
I talked about Roladex the last summer when I reviewed their first single "Love Surgery" out on Beko Records. In about two weeks, the duo formed by Tyler Jacobsen and Elyssa Dianne will see their debut album "Anthems For The Micro'-'Age" out on a luxurious high-quality 180gram heavyweight electric blue transparent vinyl on Medical Records. Containing ten songs in balance from synthpop and minimal electronic, the duo produced a good album fit with catchy melodies, a bit of melancholic atmospheres, lyrics influenced by the films of David Cronenberg and John Carpenter, the works of authors such as J.G Ballard as well as video artists such as Vito Acconci and Nam June Paik. Passionate about analog synthesizers, Tyler, who holds an MFA in Electronic Art, has been on a hiatus from his work as college art professor since the formation of the group. Their tracks succeed into bringing the audience into their world which is made of robotic rhythms and pop dreams. Tracks like "Empty Streets" or the opening "Anthem For The Micro-Age" will make you appreciate the songwriting of the duo as you'll realize how well balanced are the sounds and how many bleeps and little noises they have used to craft their sound and also the male/female vocal alternance create another catchy factor. While listening to the whole record you'll catch glimpses of Kraftwerk, Soft Cell as well as 90s shoegaze new wave. Singing about nuclear war, cosmology, false memories and technology as the 'opiate of the masses', the songs catch the listener on many levels and this isn't just because it's pop music... Listen to the whole record here http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/anthems-for-the-micro-age-mr-031
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Artist: Dmitry Distant
Title: Le Derive De L'Amour
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten (@)
Rated: *****
Born in Moscow and with a musical past with T.3.R, Wavefall and founder of band Virgin Fix, Dmitry has recently relocated in Marseille and he's about to release his first tape on Belaten as Dmitry Distant. "Le Derive De L'Amour" contains four original tunes and two remixes of the opening "System Control" by Ekman and The Exaltics. In fact, the opening track, along with the following "One Night In Train" are the strongest tracks of the release: they are a mix of electro and minimal synth with a bit of detroit techno. Dmitry uses a lot of melodic layers which pair really well with the synth bleeps and noises. All the tracks are instrumental and combine a certain cinematic feeling with a dark ambience. "Gates Of Aeon" and the closing "3015 (Outro)" are nice tunes but kinda short and sound a bit like intermezzos. Emkan's remix enhance the dark factor of the original track by adding pads and focusing the equalisation of bass/mid frequencies. Robert Witschakowski a.k.a. The Exaltics kept the general feeling of the song but focusing his version on hypnotic melodies/rhythms. Nice release that is working fine also because it's kinda short as I think that on the long distance the tracks listing would need a balance with a change of atmosphere, etc. Out soon...
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