Music Reviews



Arktau Eos: Scorpion Milk

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 30 2014
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Artist: Arktau Eos (@)
Title: Scorpion Milk
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
Finnish label Aural Hypnox disinters one of the most interesting spellbinding in the field of dark titual music, the first release together with "Mirrorion" from the underground cult act Arktau Eos by Antti Haapapuro and Antti Litmanen, who came back to the source after a couple of albums on Svart Records. All those listeners who have experienced some transmissions by these nordic entities should expect more similarities with many moments of "Ai Ma Ra", the double CD album which preceded their temporary migration to Svart, even if both the length of "Scorpion Milk", which lasts almost 50 minutes, and the skeletal structure of its sound, which could be woefully labelled as minimalist by some reviewers, massively emphasizes the esoteric entrancing exploration they fed by means of slow dull thuds and the sinister ultra-low echo, chirping bells and obscure litany which sounds like the rendering of a pending metamorphosis by an alternation of ghostly wheezes and murmured liturgies. Even if this release from Helixes Collective is the thing that gets closer than other releases to what many people tend to label as dark-ambient, it's really difficult to find other acts whose sound is likewise compelling and intrinsically arcane.

Islands of Light: Ruebke

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 29 2014
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Artist: Islands of Light (@)
Title: Ruebke
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
This delicate record by Islands of Light, the brainchilf of Vienna-based versatile artist as well as founder of Beatismurder Records and co-founder of Total Light Records Dino Spiluttini, who recently made a lovely collaborative release with Nils Quak on Umor Rex as well, could belong to those record I could suggest to all those people who often ask me something to listen which could be linked to autumn as "Ruebke" constantly evokes both the colours and even the scents of this lovely season. Its enchanting piano melodies, which embrace pedagogical piano playing whose halo mirrors both French impressionists and Satie ("Goerde"), Nova Nova-like soothing compositions ("Schlump"), clouded and somewhat saddening breaks ("Bodil", "Boris"), breathtaking tubular tonal delights ("Honung", "Heisternest", "Heimfeld") and more lively moments, got wisely antiqued by reel-to-reel recording which emphasizes its melancholic nuance by means of the noticeable hiss and the occasional flaws of old tapes as if "Ruebke", whose name is the one of a very little village nearby Hamburg, whose peripheral areas are often quoted by its title, were the sonic resolution which cme as an appendix to an old handwritten diary about moments of truth and emotional lucidity, whose gushing got eased by charmingly rustic isolation.

Akira Kosemura: grassland +

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 28 2014
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Artist: Akira Kosemura (@)
Title: grassland +
Format: CD
Label: Schole (@)
Rated: *****
Many reviewers which follow Japanese composer Akira Kosemura and the interesting musical pearls he let drizzle by means of his label Schole considered "Grassland" as the album of his artistic completeness and maturity since when the first edition got released and sold out after a while. Four years after both the limited edition, which included a DVD, and the standard edition, he decided to release it again for the aural delight of all those ones who missed the first edition and included four previously unreleased trakcs as part of the bargain: the graceful opening "Breath Of Spring", where the title perfectly describes what you are going to experience, the computational capriccio of "Pianomatic", the sweetly melancholic "Into The Blue" and the pretty "Daybreak", where he recaps some of the features of Grassland music such as slight backbeats, expanding melodies, shimmering twinkling sounds and sonic cuddling, which are just some of the elements that could explain the intimate grace of this record together with its magnetic simple beauty. Some appraising reviews of the first release could give you an idea of the already released tracks, which I could briefly depict by invitjng listeners to imagine the emotional tuning after the contemplation of bucolic countryside, the flight of butterflies or dragonflies, the waving of grass after a gush of lukewarm wind and other elements which could belong to an ordinary idyllic break or a serendipitous romance.

Aquavoice: Nocturne

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Odd / Field Recording
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Oct 26 2014
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Artist: Aquavoice (@)
Title: Nocturne
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
According to the linear notes this album is 'more dreamy, low-key and soothing ambient textures' than his predecessor 'Grey'. The musical style of this project is something between glitch and ambient as it features field recordings, noises and drones but, instead of repeating the same musical palette in all tracks, tries to change continuously the weight of the single elements.
The small noises of 'Pneumatic Sequence' opens this release evolving in a drone while 'In the Night' is focused on sparse synth notes. 'Black Silence' is a quiet soundscape and 'Fish Dreams' is a gentle evocation of a geometric movement. 'Sleep Well' features a lyric line of a violin and a female spoken word, probably a sample. 'The Secret Life of Insects' has the first part focused on insect noises and the second on layers of notes and drones. 'Lunapark' could even sound as pop track with his childish, in the evocative meaning of the word, loop. 'Endless Enigma' is an evocative track based on drones and spoken word and 'Nebulous Dawn' is a carefully constructed sounscape. 'Stargate' starts as a dark ambient track and ends in an almost dance mood with his jazz oriented charleston and sci-fi spoken samples. 'Sunday Afternoon' ends this release with a synth melody closer to certain filed of synth pop.
The key point of this album is the variety of musical solution adopted that reveals a project of great musical depth. An excellent release.

Desiderii Marginis: Thaw

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 26 2014
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Artist: Desiderii Marginis
Title: Thaw
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This release for Desiderii Marginis is a collections of tracks published in various compilations presented in a chronological order aiming to depict the evolution of this project. The tracks reveal a project starting in a style closer to the Lustmord one and evolving with more complex musical structure and a different sound palette.
The aggressive pulse of 'Chaos Undivided' opens this release and evolves in a quiet and evocative soundscape. 'Latency' is a dark track based on a bright drone and sparse noises. 'Animation' evolves around a noisy and rhythmic loop while 'Muffled', 'Forlorn' and 'Compression' are closer to a canonic dark ambient track as they are focused on carefully shaped layers of drones. Instead 'Untitled' is focused on a piano and guitar musical canvas that takes the listener in territories closer to a certain new age. 'Dead Men's Choir' starts as a prosecution of this sounds but evolves in an hypnotic drone that closes with a quiet guitar melody that act as an introduction to 'Deadbeat I Remix' based on a guitar strumming. 'Equinoxe' and 'Equinoxe II' are based on juxtapositions of drones and samples that creates an evocative soundscape. 'The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters' closes this release using the piano resonances in a dialogue with the drones.
Even if this a compilation, it sounds as cohesive work that could serve as an introduction to one of the historical names of this genre. Recommended for all fans of dark ambient.


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