Music Reviews



‘kirchenkampf’: Well of Souls

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 21 2011
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Artist: ‘kirchenkampf’
Title: Well of Souls
Format: CD
Label: Cohort Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of 'kirchenkampf,' but the first thing you notice is the packaging. It is a grey, stamped, folded cover that reminds me of the old school DIY noise music scene. The best part about it is that when I put in the disc, the music was likewise reminiscent of those days. The label describes the album as 'three long tracks of cavernous ambience depicting the subterranean in us all, spiritual or otherwise.' This may be ambience, but it is not exactly Robert Rich or Steve Roach. This is more along the lines of Inade or Terra Sancta, with noisy drone and walls of sound. The music shifts at a glacial pace, slowly evolving, but always shifting beneath your feet like sand on a beach. Each track is around 25 minutes long, leaving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the soundscapes. The liner card simply states that 'no radios were used.' I have to admit that this doesn't really push the envelope, but what it does it does quite well. I could easily see this at home on Cyclic Law or Malignant Records, so if those labels sound good to you, this is certainly worth picking up. This disc weighs in at around 75 minutes.
4 stars

Ambient Fabric: In Space

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 17 2011
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Artist: Ambient Fabric
Title: In Space
Format: CD
Label: Auraltone Music (@)
Rated: *****
The very first time I heard about Ambient Fabric, the ambient project by the skilled plasmatic Norwegian moulder Oystein Jorgensen, was on the occasion of the absolutely fortuitous listening of a collaborativbe project together with the delicate Austrian musician Susanne MaCu, entitled Melancholia, under Creative Common license (...one of the best invention to explore into vast and deep experimental music oceans!) and I had a good impression on it, even if you don't know the individual style of the signle collaborators, it's quite difficult to isolate the mutual supply to the sound. This new release by Ambient Fabric gave the possibility to me to appreciate more his style and it aroused my curiosity about his previous issues (most of them can be downloaded for free). In Space belongs to that kind of stuff you'd better listen with high quality headphones or (real) hi-fi system in order to grab all nuances so that swimming in the weirdy virtual sensorial pool Oystein is going to catapult the listener into. As you can easily imagine, this album has been described by its creator as a cosmic outing whose starting point cannot be but your terrestrial location. Track by track, your mental journey starting with a track called Starship (a lot of people who accidentally came into my listening room guessed it just after dwelling upon some sonic clues...) could reach some emotional and imaginative peaks throughout a gradual levitational ascension and supposedly some of you could even experience OOBE...I couldn't know if you're skilled enough into astral aural journeys! You could enjoy the dazzling echoes as well as the entrancing dilatations of sound waves of tracks such as The Outer Limit or Cosmos, the symphonic suite of Sphere II, the isolationist sense of flowing peace of Beyond (whereas you'll just hear the buzz of your Spaceship's engine together with some suspensive puffy sounds) or the mute tumbles and the intrusion of the disquieting cry of some mysterious creature living betond solar system of the final Empty Darkness (a track which reminded to me some recordings by Robert Rich oir Tylervision) just closing your eyes, but I can reccomend it's equally enjoyable if you listen to it while virtually jogging over the orbital routes traced on some Solar System "realistic" simulator. Just like I did!
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Artist: Access To Arasaka
Title: Void [];
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Welcome in the world of bits and bites, or better said, the nearly unexplainable musically outer-space-dimension of Rochester-based Rob Lioy. A new full-length album after the previous released masterpiece 'The Lesser Oppidan' for all of you hungry IDM-genre fans, and Rob continues as expected his march to explore undiscovered spaces of Electronica/IDM music. There's a track list, yes, while the titles itself are seemingly generated by computerized codes happened by chance (examples? '', 'config.syn_seq''¦). Rob could also easily avoid it to invent such a complex sounding track-list, as this album doesn't offer a recognizable pause between his compositions, as this is seemingly indented too. 'Void []; to me offers the best moments, when Rob decides not completely to trust into his terrific abilities to program tricky Glitch/IDM-like rhythm patterns ' the more atmospheric side of his work filled with precise reverberating fx and multiple synth-layers, like with euphoria listened in 'term/echo' for instance, is to me the better one ' although especially this kind always evokes those tireless comparisons to GRIDLOCK. Rob may can find some comparable elements in the works of the too early gone IDM-heroes Cadoo/Wells, but to me 'Void[];' is a step further to depart from this. 'The Lesser Oppidan' may has been a bit easier to consume, especially if the listener is relative ingenuous and unfamiliar with Rob's recordings, while with this new one he definitely grows artistically. You'll get another fine worked-out masterpiece full of abstract IDM/Electronica music worth to sink in and to be checked out under a good pair of headphones. Get it!
Mar 16 2011
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Artist: Totakeke
Title: On The First Of November
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
It has again taken longer with me to review the newest effort of Tympanik Audio's most iconic artist TOTAKEKE a.k.a. Frank Mokros ' much longer than the first of November I must admit. However, here are another 10 reasons to concentrate and to sink in completely into the sonic and fictional-driven music-outfit of this highly talented artist. This new album differs in a few aspects to the predecessors of Frank. 'On The First Of November' isn't at all that easy to consume and this album doesn't offer a track-list. 10 untitled tracks, as well as the photographic art provided by Salt mainly consisting of frozen leaves, rather remind on a conceptual release. Also musically, Frank has already offered more accessible works, although this can't be seen as flaw, at least not in the case of TOTAKEKE. All tracks are once again skillful arranged and are filled with uncountable pads, layers and massive atmospheres. The diversity in his complex arranged beat-work and drum-patterns searches another time for a constant rival still to be discovered. So it can't be generally a flaw to concentrate with TOTAKEKE on a more Experimental-minded outfit, instead to offer once again an album filled with Industrial-Dance-tunes, as here could hide a musically death valley of repetition. New is also the fact, that Frank has installed a kind of a guest 'vocalist', Mr. Redils, who offers his rather ominous sounding speech-singing on the track 1, 6, and 9. Frank Mokros shares musically formulated art with us, his listeners, and I really am unable to point out an all-time-favorite track out of these 10 tunes. Each of them has ist own attraction itself, so this album is another fine example to take some free time and to sink into this more than 70 minutes clocking sound experience, which lefts the listener breathless and endlessly fascinated. 'On The First Of November' sets the standard of modern and skill arranged IDM/Modern Ambient-Electronica music on a high, nearly unreachable level.

Biodub: Reisegefaehrte

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 11 2011
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Artist: Biodub
Title: Reisegefaehrte
Format: CD
Label: Ki Records (@)
Distributor: Dance All Day
Rated: *****
The first release of a newborn music label is always an important event as it could help to uderstand the sonic ground the label itself wants to dig and Ki's declaration of intent on this very first release is definitively a good preface on an hopefully rich volume to stock (and listen) in your audio library. The first signature on this label from Cologne is the one by the young dj and producer Biodub from Hannover, whose tracks I already listened to here and there maybe on some net label. His airy and luminous way of combining techno pulsations with dubby rhythms and chords, microbiotic and electronically scorched sounds as wel as deep basslines and sounds grabbed from environment or acoustic instruments, inspired by mental dynamics pushed by the contemplation over nature or by the appearantly utopic dream of an harmonic and peaceful coexistence between nature and technology - a sort of cultural meme of contemporary German scene as well as a supposedly desirable purpose for the whole mankind -, has many hooks with the repertory of other techno makers such as the ~scapist Kit Clayton's wavemorphing, the liquid electronic dub of Meteosound or Slownoise (the newcomer Jeremy Davies), the flowy techno-ambient by producers such as Sven Weisemann or the organic side of Sven Vath's vast armoury. Biodub's balanced music is enjoyable both for smooth and slow body oscillation and for relaxing in a full-immersive natural environment; all tracks are equally pleaseful but if I have to reccomend some for your mp3 device, I'll definitevely pick Dead Rider for its nice rhythmical dynamics as well as Massive Central, Ismic Sky and Subsistence for its half-bumpey half-relaxing power, showing off Biodub's talent with drumming and sense of rhythm (already showed off in the band Noetics)! Reisegefaehrte - which is going to be issued on CD, digital and 2 x 12" LP with the guessed graphical and photographical translation by Ki's Amelie Kai - is going to become one of your favorite travel mate, folks!


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