Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Lietuvos Garso Menas - Lithuanian Sound Art
Format: CD
Label: compiled by Gintas K (@)
Rated: *****
As he promised in the last chat we had on the occasion of his excellent release "slow" on French indipendent label Baskaru, Gintas Kraptavicius aka Gintas K invited us to discover the surprising Lithuanian sound art scene, which is almost unknown out of Lithuanian borders, by presenting us with a compilation he cared whose importance deservedly gained the institutional recognition by the support of the Ministry of Culture of the small Baltic Republic and LATOA-A (Agency of Lithuanian Copyight Protection Association) and equipped by thorough description by Jurij Dobriakov. I acknowledge that the quality of this cluster of Lithuanian experimentalists went beyond my expectation. Most of the first tracks seem to emphasize the spacial aspect of each sonic moulding: the initial "gir gir gir gar gar gar (garsas)" by Andrius Rugys seems to trace the attention's direction of the composer/listener during a rowing boat trip in the Green lakes nearby Vilnius, from the initial focus on the sound of water and creaking wooden boards after each stroke to the traditional folk song by Agota and Dorota Zdanaviciule, whose syncopation, which is a typical element of some Lithuanian vocal styles such as the many different kinds of Sutartines, seems to be mirrored by recorded natural elements and rowing itself; the academically trained composer Vytautas V.Jurgutis builds interesting figures by curling overpressurized computational microsounds, which gradually become more and more abrasive, while Antanas Dombrovskij perverts Raminta Kurklietyte's vocal improvisations by asphyxiating clumps and spasmodic rashes from broken synthesizer and circuit bending on "NNN broken jazz". The vagarious enchanting drowsy tune "We Watch TV" by Arturas Bumsteinas is an assay of the amazing "Sleep (an attempt at trying)", a radio project commissioned by the Deutschland Radio Kultur broadcasting service, which took the form of a fictional late night show for insomniacs and precedes "blind man tales 2", the astonishing textural piece consisting of melodic bits, granular particles and indented noises by which Gintas K won the main prize of the second international sound art Broadcasting Art, held in Spain in 2010. A different and likewise entrancing way to mould melodic bits comes from audio_z, the solo project of Tautvydas Bajarkevicius, whose (lasting more than 12 minutes) excerpt "Bits Pieces and So Far Beyond" focuses on whirling punctuating melodies of frail sounds and acoustic guitars, opaque transparencies and fishbowl-like deforming spacialization. Another mouthwatering assay is the excerpt of PAR, a metamorphic soundscape which features violin, electronics and enviromental sound recordings grabbed in South Africa (PAR is the Lithuanian abbreviation for SAR) Lina Lapelyte performed at Cafe Oto in London in April 2012. Antanas Jasenka minimal abstract electronics on "prognostic@act", a piece for microphone, voice, electric organ VENTA, max/msp and graphic equalizer vaguely resembles some stuff by Pylone, Zonk't, Alva Noto or Jan Jelinek, but he manages to inject a more baffling mark by means of the words he took from the notorious Seikilos epitaph ("While you live, shine/have no grief at all/life exists only for a short while/and time demands its toll"). Another interesting declension of minimalism is the one by sound artists and architect Tomas Grunskis aka ad_OS, who translated architectural graphic information (the draft of a city and its elements) into digital sonic information, which sounds basic but totally inhuman on "Analog underWAWE". The last track of this interesting sonic miscellany cannot be but a toast or I'd better say a proper sonic toast as the electroacoustic project SALA recorded sound of the fermentation of gira, a traditional Lithuanian beverage, for their bizarre track "Fermentacija".
Jun 10 2013
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Artist: Intolerance
Title: Intolerance
Format: 12"
Label: Synthetic Shadows Records (@)
Rated: *****
Formed in September 1983, in Cuneo, Italy, Intolerance born when Luca Musso, Marco Marongiu and Paolo Chiotasso met. They were going to the conservatory, to the architecture department and to SMET (Study Of Electronic Music), place founded in 1964 by Enore Zaffiri and this helped them unite as well as creating a theoretic base for their music. With this line-up, they participated to the fist concert held in their surroundings allowed to beginners. Their musical influences were Suicide, Daf, Throbbing Gristle, the 60s/70s German electronic music, composers like Luciano Berio or Stockhausen and new wave / post punk music, but they were also influenced by architecture. After that Paolo left, the band was joined by Raffaella Risso on vocals and with this line-up they started the recordings of their first demo. Using a Roland JX-3P, a Roland Juno-106, a Roland Sh-101 and a Drumatrix TR-606, the band recorded nine tracks, which, thanks to Leonardo Borghese and to his Suoni Dal Profondo Nord label, were released on tape in 1985. Intolerance's first self named album musically was showing really well the two souls of the combo: melancholic new wave, thanks to Raffaella way of sing and cold German electronic, thanks to the robotic rhythms and cold atmospheres the guys were playing. This side was even enhanced when the guys were also singing replacing Raffaella's melodic style. About this, songs like "Noradrenalin", "Terminal State" were influenced by Suicide, while "Arwen" and the closing "Valentines" are more dreamy and melancholic. The story of the band continued with the participation to two fanzine's compilations (a split tape for Amen and a side of an LP for VM), where the band changed a bit their sound, increasing their fan base. At the end of the 80s they were starting a new life but sadly, few years later, Luca Musso died and Intolerance called it quits. After thirty years, thanks to Synthetic Shadows Records, you're able to listen to the nine tracks of the first demo and if you love 80s electronics, you won't be disappointed. You can check three tracks here http://soundcloud.com/armagideon-times
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Artist: Magnetica Ars Lab - Maurizio Bianchi / M.B.
Title: LoopKlangeNoise : Verses Without Words
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 300 copies, "LoopKlangeNoise - Verses Without Words", is the latest M.B. (a.k.a. Maurizio Bianchi, as I think you all already know) collaboration, this time he teamed up with Magnetica Ars Lab (a.k.a. Arnaldo Pontis). Inspired by the work of Vasilij Kandinskij and by his theories about necessary contamination between visual art and music, "LoopKlangeNoise" quotes two of the most important books from the author's abstract expressionist years: "Klange" (Munchen, 1912) and "Verses Without Words" (Moscow, 1903). Following the original structure of the book "Verses Without Words" the artists recorded thirteen double-titled tracks, in which the "second title" is an homage to Kandinskij's thirteen pictorial works originally included on that book. Also, for each track, there's a guest who participated. We have: Fausto Rossi / Faust'O, Simon Balestrazzi (T.A.C.), Corrado Altieri (Uncodified, Monosonik, Th26), Raimondo Gaviano (Svart1), Mauthausen Orchestra (project of Pierpaolo Zoppo, who died few months ago), Nicola Boari (SLP), Nicola Locci (Exagonal), Massimo Olla (Noisedelik), Alex Nasi (Colonel XS), Roberto Belli (Brigata Stirner), to name few. The visual part of the project is printed in a sixteen page booklet which contains photos of industrial mining areas of the Sulcis region, in Sardinia, shot by Fabrizio Tedde. About the writings, we have excerpts from writings and quotes by John Cage, Klaus Schulze, Wu Ming, William S. Burroughs, Jean Baudrillard, Luigi Russolo, etc. This is an interesting multifaceted project which musically pass from ambient industrial with granular noise inserts ("Deliberate Destruction - Roses", "Mauthausen Tube - Spectators", "Neubomio Ghiandula - The Dragon", "Burning Point - Duel"), to digital electronics with female chants ("Frastimu - Mountain Lake"), passing through industrial jazz with Italian recitative vocals ("American Blues - Old Village") or experimental percussive sounds with treated vocals and violins ("Blade's Cities - Eternity"). I really appreciated the tracks that were daring to mix vocals, electronic and other elements a bit more unusual on the industrial standard sound (three/four out of thirteen) and I appreciated the whole result that is offering a theme and other stuff which goes over simple industrial noise.