Music Reviews



Dec 13 2011
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Artist: Sturqen (@)
Title: Praga
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this new effort by the Portuguese duo Sturqen made up of Cesar Rodrigues and David Arantes hasn't been titled with the name of some disease (such as Colera and Peste, being this last one the record which gave them some notoriety for the important award of two nominations of the renowned French contest Qwerz Electronic Music as Best Artist and Discovery categories ), Praga - on second thoughts, the Czech capital has a certain je ne sais quoi distinctively morbid but fascinating at the same time - preserves that viral and visceral attitude as well as its acid crumbing already shown in their past releases. The feast of saturated noises, distorsions, disturbances, martial movements and the perpetual ridding with ear-splitting shots combined with funny games on filter's knobs sometimes concocted with bizarre sounds (such as a disquieting scary cheerping in "Orto", the irritating noise of an alarm clock in "Cumando", the scary transposition of a lively farmyard into a set of scary explosions in the final track "60 73" - you can imagine a featuring by some kamikaze little chicks letting them explode to fight the oppressive cock's authority! - and some occasional field recordings...and the ones in the above-mentioned "60 73" are so realistic that you could think some objects could have fallen from the shelves) let think to an imaginary stylistical pollination of industrial technoid grounds with psychedelic seeds. Many tracks (Redima, Orto, Pertal and even Suner, which seems to wink at extreme dancefloors) amidst this cacophonic nebula, whereas these noisy scamps manage to evoke other nice and partially forgotten acts of industrial noise such as Celluloid Mata, Synapscape, Klangstabile and other noiseshapers who shared other glorious stages such as Maschinenfest, but I cannot rule out the possibility some listeners could think these oddities sound too tedious particularly when they excessively stiffen on plug-generated noises in the second part of the release by persuading them to mistrust the rewards Sturqen received for their work. Available both on Cd and as digital download, I reccomend to prefer the first format for the elegant package the appreciated Ukranian label Kvitnu made for Praga.
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Artist: Enrico Coniglio/Under The Snow (@)
Title: Dialogue One
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
I already had evidence about Enrico Coniglio's skills as a landscape musical painter since the times when he issued Topofonie on the Irish label Psychonavigation, a sort of transposition of Venice lagoon, his inspiring birthplace, whose musical "encoding" perfectly sticked to the best ambient and contemporary classical standards thankls also to some important featurers such as Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Nicola Alesini (to mention just of a few of them). In the following releases he just confirmed such an attitude as well as his preferences for wintry suggestions and glacial sonorities and his particular approach to ambient music based on a combination of concrete elements which are often wrapped up in warm or ethereal melodic blankets reoccurs in this split release co-signed by the Italian project Under The Snow for a "dialogical" series of recordings marked by Silentes label. The first of the four tracks signed by Enrico looks like something close to a field recording grabbed by a microphone placed in the middle of a winter windy night or the bugging of an electrical storm, a white noise turning solid, interrupted by occasional sounding lead's bleeps and sputters. You can enhance the listening experience by imagining that Enrico's initial above-described track, titled "Long Distance", is just the necessary musical foreword whereas all the crevices, the sonic ripples, the slight chinks on an imaginary drift ice by whom the composer violates the apparent uniformity of an arctic pack ice become the gates for the following psychedelic breezes's gushing: on "Calls of the White", Rachele's delicate trilling (some of you could think to a sort of quote of vangelis' "Rachel Song") mingles with the entrancing gusts of sonic winds, whose crystalline exhalation make that voice similar to an angelic chant while the gentle sonic melting of "Century Dome" and the harmonic flood of the final "Kingdom Of Her", whose lithe undulations could sound similar to the ones by Fennesz, properly highlights the intimate beauty of this mental journey over icy landscapes. The second half of this record signed by the Italian duo made up of Gianluca Favaron and Stefano Gentile (owner of Silentes): their explorations are equally catching, even if considerably less "enraptured" and more restless than the ones offered by Enrico Coniglio. They prefer to unify different moments of their digging into one very long track they titled "Resonant Cuts", but they choose to run on an imaginary ascending path as well so that the dim lights where they look like roaming a subterranean world under layers and layers of snow (!) rich of many fascinating and disquieting moments, gradually get radiant and radiant.
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Artist: iNsCissorS (@)
Title: Mnemosyne & the structure of time
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
INsCissorS' third full-length album from a project mainly developed by Vincent Andelmoth but with the feature of Jason Andelmoth, as composer and arranger, and Angel W. Black, as vocalist. Structurally speaking this musical output is heavily influenced by baroque and early romanticism with the use of the scales and the choice of the instrument on the synth. Even the idea behind the whole release, to describe the journey of initiates to Mnemosyne's lake to bear memories of their life, is strongly related to this tradition.
This album is opened by an atmospheric track "Entrance - The advent" while "entering the structure's hallway" begins to show one of the main actors of the whole musical structure: the piano. "Interlude I - the carnival of maggots" is an almost orchestral tune vaguely reminiscent of some old opera interlude. "Autumn sonata" use the harpsichord to evoke the particular mood of the track. "Outer circle" is a piano piece above an atmospheric soundscape. "Regina tacita (regium in umbria)" is one of the two tracks featuring the voice of Angel W. Black and marks the movement into the territory of ethereal. "Interlude II - the waltz and procession of a depraved race" is the second track in search of a modernization of some old waltz style. "Inner circle" is an ambient soundscape forged with some old chants memories. "The synopsis of pleasure" is, in fact, a small interlude to the longest track of this album "Hecate's garden & Mnemosyne's lake" that opens with a soundscape introducing Black's particular vocal lines and develops into a ritual folk track.
This release sounds as the result of a meticulous work of an old musical form depicted in a modern way resulting more a work of art than an exercise of style. Really nice.
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Artist: GIANLUCA BECUZZI
Title: eternally now
Format: CD
Label: Lisca (@)
Rated: *****
The eternal return of Gianluca Becuzzi, right after a solo tape for the Silentes Tapestry collection and a new Grey History release here we go with a new full length." Eternally now" comes out on Lisca records, this young italian label now has a catalogue with a good number of interesting releases, they produce mostly electronic and experimental music and they slowly got my attention with what they've put out so far. Somehow this new solo release by Becuzzi has brought my mind back to his Kinetix days, but this man hailing from Tuscany beside developing his own personal style has evolved considerably, I think his many collaborations with Fabio Orsi have been fruitful in terms of musical evolution. Let's say Becuzzi has rediscovered his own roots, sure he's not left his electronic contemporary style back home, but you can bet these five tracks have that same feel he has on the Silentes tape even if we're speaking about two different works. While on the tape he was working on something heavier and way more tribal, here Becuzzi opts for something more dilated, he also gives the impression this music you're listening to is coming from afar. Some reverbed metallic percussions/sounds, some electronic sounds, a "distant menace" but its slowly approaching. Becuzzi's industrial background is imbuing everything in an interesting way: "lost in an industrial forest...while somebody is coming to get ya!".
Artist: GREY HISTORY
Title: Jesus from Las Vegas
Format: CD
Label: Radical Matters
Rated: *****
As you probably already know Grey History is Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi together they've a plethora of releases under their belt, this project alone has arrived at its third chapter. After two records the sound is still the same, is it a mistake? A problem? No way! With Grey Anatomy the two italian artists intentionally follow the same power noise, industrial in your face trajectory. The project is quite clear also if you look at the 7" shaped cover and if you read the song titles: it's always bad taste and ignorance diluted with a great dose of irony and those who can't get it should better leave it, honestly it's sad how a lot of people never got the irony of some industrial folks like Bennet or Whitehouse themselves, sure they're are/have been outrageous and provocative but with a good dose of irony. The sound profile is always top class as you know it happens with two good musicians, also the tracks have the usual good structure, so soft parts, ironic parts and power blasts have been alternated to make you feel like you're jumping up and down on a roller coster with no fasten belt. The song titles are funny as always, you just have just to decide if you prefer a title like "Queers of god" or something like "the diameter of papal rectum".

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