Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Bass Communion
Title: Sisters Oregon
Format: 10"
Label: Substantia Innominata (@)
Rated: *****
I was already familiar with various projects of Steven Wilson, including Bass Communion, Continuum and Porcupine Tree, but I was interested to see what he would bring to the Drone Records sublabel Substantia Innominata. As one might expect, for those familiar with Drone Records, this is a lovely slab of slowly evolving and shifting drone that one would sink into much as they would a warm bath. The occasional piano stab in Part III and the sound of seraphic voices through Part IV give this a kind of feel that goes far beyond the “someone put a brick on a synth key” style of drone. This is well crafted and quite lovely. Well worth checking out if you enjoy droning ambient music. This album is limited to 500 copies.
cover
Artist: Felipe Araya (@)
Title: Punata
Format: Tape
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
We start off with “Punata,” a 26-minute track that, according to the liner notes, was recorded to mobile phone in Bolivia. From the very beginning, there is a rawness to the piece, as you hear conversations taking place in the street, and snippets of music. Suddenly, there is hardly any sound, with bits of wind noise the only clue that the tape has not stopped. There are sparse sounds of the cajon, Araya’s signature instrument, and other bits of noise. Everything is quiet, until a parade blasts through your speakers. The parade ends, to be replaced by quiet scraping and clinking metal and a slight rumble. One can view this as the juxtaposition of quiet moments of reflection and experimentation with the vibrant noise of the street. Back and forth, never staying with one side for very long. Turning over the tape, we are greeted with a peaceful flute followed by low beating on the cajon and clinking metal. Gone are the field recordings and loops. For a while, it has the feel of incidental music, but as the track goes on, it is dominated more and more by the cajon, with a heavy bass presence. This becomes increasingly animated as Araya scrapes and vigorously pounds on the cajon. With both tracks there is a good use of quiet passages to draw attention to the rest of the composition. If you enjoy field recordings, Punata will be up your alley, and percussion aficionados will enjoy a track featuring an instrument that is not often seen in experimental music.
cover
Artist: L. Eugene Methe and Megan Siebe
Title: Revisited, Revisited, ‎Revisited
Format: Tape
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
There is no track listing, and the entire album consists of variations on “Brideshead Revisited (main theme)” by Geoffrey Burgon. OK. I was unfamiliar with Methe, Siebe, and Burgon’s work, so let’s just get right into this. This is pretty string-based music that avoids becoming typical orchestral works by tweaking the compositions ever so slightly. A bit of reverb here, some echo there, gives this a dreamlike quality. The composition ends, and the rest of the side of the tape is mastered so low that you have to crank up the sound to even hear anything. Maybe this is by design, but the liner notes provide no information and I kept worrying that there would suddenly be a blast of sound that would wake my neighbors and blow my speakers. Perhaps it’s just bleed through from the other side. Speaking of the other side, we have more of the dreamlike, processed strings, but this time with considerably more processing. Where Side A could be seen as playing the song straight, Side B is where they get a bit more experimental. Even so, the devotion to one specific theme becomes somewhat repetitive over time. It was pleasant enough, but didn’t really push the envelope enough for my tastes.
cover
Artist: Noisepoetnobody
Title: Fissure
Format: Tape
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Noisepoetnobody’s work with Vance Galloway, titled “Uranium 238,” which I enjoyed for its “subdued experimentalism,” so I was interested to see how this would be different from that collaboration. In the liner notes, we see the following credits:

Eveline Müller: bowls, bows, blades, metal objects.
Noisepoetnobody: springs, strings, boards, e-bow, looper.

This gives some sense of what we are in for, and the music does not disappoint. This consists of two tracks, one per side, titled “Part 1” and “Part 2.” On first glance, “Part 1” seems somewhat chaotic, but as you continue to listen to the compositions, one can begin to see the structure of the tracks coming together. Crashing noise, bits of pounding percussion, gonglike bowls, and just a touch of feedback thrown into the heavily processed sounds make for an interesting listen. But this is not just something that you can put on and then read. Their use of silence and quiet passages continually pull you back in, demanding your attention. “Part 2” opens much more aggressively, leaving you to think that this is going to be a relentless wall of noise, but then suddenly pulls back. The rest proceeds much like Part 1, with a lot of clanging and more resonating of the singing bowls. Overall, this was a good time and would appeal to people who like it noisy, but not to the point of harsh noise.
cover
Artist: LSJ (@)
Title: Misty Nights
Format: Tape
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
LSJ is the mane of the band, consisting of the initials of the artists involved: Lisa Cameron, Shawn David McMillen and Josh Ronsen. Like many of the artists on Public Eyesore, I was unfamiliar with these artists, but the label always ends up taking the listener on an interesting ride. The first thing to mention is the insert with an amusing story about the artists trying to capture a snake, and then eventually playing music to it. It made for fun reading while listening to the opening tracks. “Rayon Gingham” starts us off with some heavy bass and sparse improvisation that jumps around like a child on rocks in a stream. Suddenly, we hear a bit of vocals, but before we have a chance to register what happened it suddenly unloads with a ragged, droning torrent of sound. Then, as suddenly as it began, it quietly slows down, and then ends. “Video Pirate” opens up with a nice bit of dissonance and rhythmic scraping. This is a slow, methodical piece that slowly drags you along with bits of bass and guitar along with a metallic rhythm. It winds down becoming more and more quiet before ending. “SVU in SUV at SVT” opens with some clanking metal and low bass drone. This track feels less put together and more random, like field recordings at a junkyard layered over bass drone and feedback. It is pleasant listening with enough going on to make it interesting, but it does feel like it goes on a bit longer than it needs to as it dissolves into droning improvisations. Turning the tape over, we begin with “Pants with Shit-ton of Pockets.” This opens with a snippet of conversation, followed by deep woodwind that recedes into the background to make way for thudding beats, like someone pounding on a wall in an abandoned basement. There is a lot going on here, and this feels like it could make an interesting soundtrack to an art installation. “Dead Fog” lives up to its namesake, with very sparse sounds quietly seeping through your speakers. Where “Pants” was much more in your face, “Dead Fog” takes a more minimalist approach as it slowly adds layers. It envelops you over time as it surrounds you. Things take a sinister turn, however, as this moves into “Dead Fog II: The Chirping,” with its ominous bass and warbling tones. If “Dead Fog” was the peaceful fog over a beautiful meadow on a cool spring day, “Dead Fog II” is the fog that obscures your vision in the woods at dusk when you know that there is someone – or something – out there. You can’t see it, but you can feel their eyes on you as you helplessly look around you, frantically hoping to see something in the dwindling light. But all you see is fog. Nothing but fog. Overall, this is an enjoyable album, and if you like a lot of chaos in your experimental music this is one worth checking out.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71] [72] [73] [74] [75] [76] [77] [78] [79] [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...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] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110] [2111...2120]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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