Music Reviews



Oren Ambarchi: Quixotism

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 03 2015
cover
Artist: Oren Ambarchi
Title: Quixotism
Format: CD
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
A persistent, relentless and other than obtrusive pulsation, which could remind the clatter of a diesel engine, opens the first part of this lovely workout by Australian multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi and its hiccuping that gradually let resurface melodic traces or single eveanescent tones from John Tilbury's piano, Eyvind Kang's strings and Iceland Symphony Orchestra under the wise conduction by Ilan Volkov as an upwelling from the sea bed, might listener fantasize about the sudden onset of a hunch during an unexpected eureka moment. This tapping pulsation, that permeates this return to minimalism by Oren Ambarchi, comes from Thomas Brinkmann whose electronic drums has been wisely linked to an application to Hilbert's Entscheidungsproblem (German for "decision problem") that should well-known by mathematicians and computer scientists and sounds like a mighty fancy clockwork whose form got altered on the following four parts of "Quixotism", which could be perceived more as an assay of musical mechanics than just a minimal composition even if it stains different stylistical shores - smooth jazz ones on Matt Chamberlain's drums driven Part 2, progressive techno-dub on Part 3, abstract electronics on Part 4 and pure synth music on the final wonderful fifth part (featuring U-zhaan on tabla and Jim O'Rourke on synths) -. Beyond more or less poetical interpretations, this rarefied amalgamation of computational time processing, minimal flaws and phantasmagoric melodic entities provides a sort of guideline to the aesthatics of this brilliantly imaginative composer.

Edvard Graham Lewis: All Under

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 30 2014
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Artist: Edvard Graham Lewis
Title: All Under
Format: CD
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Even though the two concomitant albums by Wire bassist Edvard Graham Lewis got released in summer by Editions Mego, European winter or colder temperatures sound the best environmental setting in order to appreciate them and particularly "All Under", the most experimental one. The two long-lasting title-tracks, which have been composed as a score for the meaningful namesake short-film by Gunilla Leander, are as immersive as that movie where six naked bodies (4 men and 2 women) fight underwater: the most astonishing aspect of both "All Under (Film Score)" and "All Under (Installation Loop)" is the fact that he just winged the entrancing gurgles of the first and the glacial out-of-time drone and the icy sonic transmissions of the latter, which let you surmise an indepth panache and an almost maniacal research on sounds, in real time by means of a sampler and FX processing. While the following "The Eel Wheeled", where the grime voice by Lewis spout one of his obscure Florida-inspired spy story that could resemble radiophonic tales, dusts a certain industrial aesthetics off, the final 18-minutes lasting "No Show Godot" reprises the cinematic hook of "All Under" as it was composed as the delusional soundtrack for an imaginary sci-fi movie that got suggested by the typical noise of the film rolling inside old projectors, which feeds the entrancing ambient introduction of the track before it get blunter and blunter till wisely altered rhythmical patterns unexpectedly rise.

Oelki: Roadrunning

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 28 2014
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Artist: Oelki
Title: Roadrunning
Format: CD
Label: Uncoiled Loops (@)
Rated: *****
Some weeks ago I received a selection of very good releases from Uncoiled Loops, a small label which gained some visibility for its wide stylistical range in electronic music on some specialised forums on Internet, and even if most of them date back to 2013, their quality deserves attention. I'm not a great fan of progressive house, psytrance or tech-house, but the sound that Munich-based producer Oelki leaks on this release is so fetching and heady that I can overlook my personal scale of preference. The opening "Silver Lane" is my least favorite track as the influence of hackneyed sonic strategies that featured techno-trance and comparable styles is too emphasised, while the unpredictable change on the following "Roadrunning", whose initial playful pops slips on a diluted synth-organ which adds an ethereal charm to the track, reroutes Oelki's craft towards more interesting shores. The concise micro-tech intro of "Experimental No.1" could let listener imagine the umpteenth derivation of Detroit micro-house before he wisely inoculates other sonic elements such a wrapping padded clap and an alien tweeting that makes it more attractive, while the lubricated grooves of "Phase 320 (V2)", the precise clip-marks of "Pluto (2nd Edit)" and the numb nimbleness of the final "Quantensprung" could be the perfect soundtrack for an extra stage of some racing videogame set in an imaginary planet. In spite of its title, Oelki suggests to not listen to "Roadrunning" while driving as its hypnotic sound could let you forget how you reached the destination you could be when cd-player stops.

Rapoon: Fall of Drums

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 21 2014
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Artist: Rapoon
Title: Fall of Drums
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
In the cover this 'this album marled a return to analog and mixing outside the box' and, as this reviewer was unhappy of the latest release of this historic project, this sounds as a return to the form that Robin Storey pioneered in his long career. This is also marked by his return to Middle East's ethnic rhythms and his evoking ghosts.
When the drums of 'A gallery of crows' starts there's suddenly a flavor of all the previous release unfolding with his hypnotic and charming beauty. The drones and samples of 'beneath and beyond' creates a static, but not boring, soundscape. The loops of 'upstarts and sheep' are slowly colored and submerged by the drones. The last track 'the heat beguiles' is almost half of this release, clocking over half an hour, and start with voices' loop and the drones slowly ends with the down of the echoed samples creating an hunting but peaceful atmosphere, thanks to echo effects reminiscent of dub technics, and when the drones and the echoed samples slowly evolve in a cohesive unity this tracks emerge as the centre of this release.
From an esthetic point of view there's anything new on this release but is a charming release from one of the most important names in the field. A stunning return to form.

Donor: Against All

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 19 2014
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Artist: Donor
Title: Against All
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Prosthetic Pressings (@)
Rated: *****
A passion for Birmingham Industrial Techno (Surgeon, Karenn and Perc Trax), early Dutch electro and Detroit style, his stay in Barcelona and Tokyo, where he assimilated some stylistical elements, and his careful dwelling on John Carpenter's movie fed the sound of Brooklyn-based producer and dj Greg Schappert, who signs his first proper album after some releases on Svreca's Semantica Recordings, Lucy (12)'s Stroboscopic Artefacts, Miniscule digital imprint that he co-founded and recently Russian label Venator, but the main source of inspiration for this awesome release is the world we live in, which offers so many sources of inspiration for any dystopian representation that I can surmise that the eerily prescient images that his sounds manage to evoke didn't really need greatest stretches of the imagination. The first half of the record spins around this dark mood by amazing rehashes of Detroit-esque techno where highest peaks got reached on the fully laden funkish electromechanical breath of "Menace Is Mine", the sci-fi smudges of "Station A15" and "IP Test", the one where some elastic declensions of that style by Jeff Mills could come to mind, but the most interesting moments of the record occur when Donor get closer to more articulated and sometimes abstract electro breaks on the second half of the record - the robotic hiccups of tracks like "Counter" and "Fault Is Found" are my favorite tracks of the whole album - before the epic end on "In Your Place", whose artificial static bliss that slowly turns into an icy symphony sounds like an insightful provocation.


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