Music Reviews

Ital Tek: Nebula Dance

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 09 2012
Artist: Ital Tek (@)
Title: Nebula Dance
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
"Nebula Dance" could be considered the best way for the new course dubstep should follow, according to Planet Mu's label manager Mike Paradinas and Brighton talented beat juggler Alan Myson, known as Ital Tek, one of the jewel in the crown of this appreciated imprint at least. To be honest, all those musicians, who dealt with dubstep, a style which was gradually depleting its possible combinations by getting a little bit too schematic, are mainly following two paths: the first one crosses the overcrowded realm of techno-trance, IDM and minimal, while the second exodus moves towards that Chicago-born style, known as footwork and closely related to juke or ghetto house, which normally accompanies on a style of street dance, based on fast movements of feet as well as a number of twists and turns, who startyed to be popular thanks to producer and djs such as Kavain Space aka R.P.Boo or Dude N Nem (their notorious clip "Watch My Feet" includes some figure at your fingertips!). I could almost say that Ital Tek is trying to go beyond this fork by paving the first junctions through tracks like the amazing 8-bit driven "Pixel Haze", the glimmering synth-oriented tracks "Dusk Beat" - including the typical soft toms which normally embellishes footwork stuff in order to make their voodoo-like sound even more swinging for feet -, "Steel Sky", "Solar Sail" or "Human Version" by adding drops of atmospheric synths and technoid mutations of bass tones to his frenzy rhythmical pattern and to his percussive freaks (I particularly enjoyed the glockenspiel-driven track "Glokk", the crossbreed between a sort of gong with conga on "Gonga" and the amazing alternation of accellerations and decelerations on the initial "Nebula Dance") or by accentuating the contrast between weightless sounds and weighty ground layers of sizzling basses ("In Motion", "Yesterday Tomorrow Today"), which got blended within the notorious fizzy sound by Ital Tek, who seems to trap both percussive elements and sounds within a pinball machine. I cannot imagine how many traffic jams are going to come when all roundabouts (and no through roads...) on the above-mentioned stylistical fork will be ready.

F.ormal L.ogic D.ecay: CelebrAction

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 07 2012
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Artist: F.ormal L.ogic D.ecay (@)
Title: CelebrAction
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Label: Selenophonia (@)
Rated: *****
This box is an anthology of the first twenty years of this musical project. Apart for his collectable value, is a 2cd pack plus 1 mini cd and other gadget as poster, the track are divided with a clear criterion. The first cd is for the first experiment and the more accessible track, the second is for the more musically structured track and the third is a noise experiment. So it's not a classic best of anthology but it should be regarded as a collection of unedited tracks and weird experiments of the early period of this artist.
The first cd starts with a bunch of track based upon recognizable records cited with humor and/or honor, "Gilda" with his beats marks the passage from the first almost easy listening tracks to the experimental part of this box set. "Koji Tano Tribute" is noise experiment with the first idea that will properly be developed in the mini-cd. "Woodworms" deals with layered sound of insects.
The second cd is of a completely different construction as is based around the long tracks: "Fragment from a recycled Empternity" is 7 part reconstruction of "Emptermity" release and is an always searching for a balance experiment around dark ambient ("part 1", "part 4", "part 6") and noise ("part 2", "part 3", "part 7"). "Devocalizzi" is instead the personal visions of sound poetry of the author and is, as these are tracks for the first experimente, not completely focused in his direction but quite enjoyable. "inFORMAL" is a series of J. Cage inspired experiment around everyday sounds (220V AC, Telephone ring etc) treated with the sense of play of the most eccentrics page of the american composer.
The mini-cd is greatly noise-oriented and different from the previous cd, unfortunately these are the only survived track of a much longer track as, even if this is truly heavy music, probably also the best constructed of this release.
This release is impressive in the variety of the experimental languages explored even if there's not a true part of this release that someone could speak about a masterpiece. However, for all fans of experimental sounds, this a good introduction for the work of this artist.

Andy Moor & Anne-James Chaton: Transfer/4 Inbound/Outbound

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 07 2012
Artist: Andy Moor & Anne-James Chaton (@)
Title: Transfer/4 Inbound/Outbound
Format: 7"
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
The fourth and final release of the Transfer Series, focused on the themes of transition and transportation, which are viewed from a real (n one side of each 7" vinyl) and fictional (on the other side) perspective, opens with a sort of heartbeat so that it immediately could remind the association between rail networks and blood vessels with their complement of red and white corpuscles and coronary thrombosis (!), that some urban glamourish writers, poets and artists often retrieve, but "Inbound/Outbound", which has been dedicated to trains and underground by the talented English guitarist and composer Andy Moor (known for being member of the experimental Dutch band The Ex) and French sound artist Anne-James Chaton with the support of many guests, is far more haunting than the above-mentioned hackneyed metaphor: the dragged dub of the initial track "Metro" echoes the typical noises of a subway, whose amalgamation sounds visciously synaesthetic, Christine Abdelnoir's saxophone could be associated to an encephalic feeling during a journey on subway and the list of notorious metro stations of many metropolitan areas by voice of a number of guests (Carsten Nicolai for Berlin, John Edwards for London, Brodie West for Toronto, Dj Rupture for New York City, Mark Morse for Los Angeles, Denis Kaznachev for Moscow and Federico Bonelli for Rome), echoed by Moor like in a sort of litany, might be the reflection of a sort of daily liturgy or drama of people, who feel like trapped in this huge mesh, which appears so close to individual inescapable fate and the fictional dimension of personal realities. The fictional side of the release, "Not Guilty", got inspiration by notorious Agatha Christie's novel "Murder on the Orient Express", but the list of suspected murderers of Mr.Ratchett cannot but featured by a dreary and moody atmosphere as well as sonic clues which sound like recorded inside of a compartment of a coach.

Alex Durlak: Seconds

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 06 2012
Artist: Alex Durlak
Title: Seconds
Format: 12"
Label: Komino (@)
Rated: *****
On the "dark side" of this release on white vinyl, Canadian composer Alex Durlak decided to refer to the title of the last act of his tryptich (being the first two releases "Catalyst" on the Rural Routes series and "Lowing" on Audio Gourmet) by quoting a suggestive excerpt from the short ghost-story "A Haunted Island" by English novelist Algernon Henry Blackwood: "For the space of a hundred seconds there was silence, such as might have existed before the birth of sound.'. I'm not sure about the relation between this literary reference and Durlak's sound art, but I can conjecture it's not only related to the above-mentioned novel, whose absorbing descriptions - not so different from some masterpieces by Lovecraft, whose quality normally gets acknowledged by readers who are not lovers of that kind of prose writing - focus on aural perceptions, but also to Blackwood's poetics: even if that talented writer signed many horror stories, he belongs to that kind of storyteller whose aim doesn't seem to be frightening readers, but indeed arousing astonishment in them. Durlak's electric guitar-driven 20-minutes lasting track has similar properties: the piercing sonic curls seems to tangle on a low-frequency creepy tone, so that it seems they shape a sort of sonic corroded drone, which is going to chill and charm listeners as they're compelled to watch scary abstract shapes within darkness after a spinal anaesthesia. Even if Alex Durlak follows a quite simple compositional process ("Seconds" has been recorded in one improvised take through realtime processing of guitar, suing granular synthesis techniques), the final result really scores.

Radiomentale / Eric Pajot: I-Land

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 03 2012
Artist: Radiomentale / Eric Pajot (@)
Title: I-Land
Format: CD
Label: F4T Music (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this French duo, made up of Jean-Yves Leloup (one of the most careful follower of the electronic music scene in his country as a journalist with two books, "Global Techno" and "Digital Magma", to his credit) and Eric Pajot (active visual artist, musician and dj), began to emit electronic radiations since 1992 mainly by means of radio broadcasts (they broadcasted a very notorious program on French Radio FG, the very first indipendent electronic music station in France, rerun on Swiss station Couleur 3 and Japanese Shibuya FM) for ten years and audiovisual installations as well as within the first rave parties in paris, where they organized many chill-out zones, this release on F4T Music can be considered their real debut album. RadioMentale cannot avoid a statement of belief and a declaration of love for the crossbreed between their art and cinema on I-Land for obvious reasons related to the constant focus on these complementary arts: they've been considered as pioneers of the so-called "cinemax", a very popular performative art in France and they've already rebuilt the soundtracks of many notorious cult movies such as Antonioni's "Blow Up", Cronenberg's "Videodrome" and De Palma's "Dressed To Kill". Moreover they've borrowed their sound forging experience to a numer of movie directors and the first of the three long tracks of "I-Land" just refers to their soundtrack for the dystopian (but not so different from the one we live in) world, portrayed by Jean-Baptiste Leonetti on his sci-fi full length movie "Carre' Blanc", whereas the somewhat maniacal, impersonal and highly regimented social organization, based on a series of rewards for people which supported the "system", lies on a set of scores of electronic manipulations and natural soundscapes for public areas and collective spaces in order to influence and erase people's conscience and thought: "Smooth Operator" sounds like the sonic translation of an hidden character of "Carre' Blanc"'s script in order to let the listener embody the chore of an operator on his/her workplace, which decides tunes according to a preprogrammed set of rules, changes tapes and meddles with strange machines in order to manipulate minds. This interesting concept has been followed by the highest hypnotical peak of the album, "Sinking", a recent live recording they performed on the occasion of a radiographic event dedicated to sound art: the subtle and obscure harmonics gradually slip into listener's mind by boosting the entrancing powers of the hollow voice of a sort of hypnotist, whose instructions and countdowns could persuade you in lapsing into a state of soft trance and slacken your mental activity. Radiomentale's psycho approach which looks like an hybrid between some sonic stuff by Pole and Laurent Perrier has been embellished by the this and final track by one half of the duo, Eric Pajot, who assembled an ensemble of vocal samples and glacial field recordings during a trip on Gotland Swedish island on the occasion of the shooting of Gregory Abou's "Are You There", where he seems to build a sort of sonic postcard of the snowy and desert landscapes of that place while surfing on the imaginative mindset of two legendary filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovski and Ingmar Bergman, whose artistic production and life were deeply rooted into that kind of scenery.

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