Music Reviews



Kenji Siratori: Soul Of The War Dead

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 05 2008
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Artist: Kenji Siratori (@)
Title: Soul Of The War Dead
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Another new album for this Japanese Cyber-Ambient/Industrial artist, who has not only continued with own new recordings, also some more guest appearances on several releases out of the Electro and Industrial genres have been arranged. "Soul Of The War Dead" consists out of 3 different music parts which combine long delayed and reverberated Ambient drones in a quite static, but clean Electronica outfit. Generally this new album doesn’t pick the abrasive kind of the predecessor "Sickness For The 21st Century", it rather turns more into the realm of his first release on SkullLine, "Death Creature". His trademark, the integrated non-stopping strange sounding voice samples are featured as well and leave at times the wish to a more clear performance and message. But dealing thematically with the tragic atomic bomb drop over Hiroshima, the mood of this album doesn’t leaves any friendlier impression. An album quite along KENJI’s alley. The strict limitation of only 33 exemplars packed in a metal movie can saves the special status for this release too.

EAST ISLAND: Near Depth

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 30 2008
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Artist: EAST ISLAND
Title: Near Depth
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Eevonext (@)
Rated: *****
Active since the mid 90s with the moniker of East Island the brothers Peter & Tonie van der Loon created their blend of lush techno with Detroit influences taking inspiration from the isolation of the Dutch eastern farmlands. NEAR DEPTH E.P. contains tracks that they produced on late 90s which were still unreleased. "Atomile", "Element X", "Follow Your Star" and "Perfect Lover" are melodic instrumental techno tracks (only "Follow your stars" and "Perfect Lover" have some vocal samples) with ambient approach. Long synth pads duet with acid bass lines and reverbered drum machine sounds. The brothers are able to create a good mixture that sounds fresh and with a bit of mystery and each track has a different ambience which goes from the Detroit techno acid of the opening "Atomile" (also presented remixed by Estroe, who kept the original structure but tweaking a little on the sound palette) to the semi slow ambient dub of the closing "Perfect Lover". This is a Nice E.P. and if you love unconventional techno music you should check it.
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Artist: DER BLAUE REITER
Title: Silencis
Format: CD
Label: Caustic Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Named after a group of Munich artists active during the first decades of 20th century (some of them were Vasilij Kandinskij, Franz Marc, August Macke, Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin), Der Blaue Reiter (meaning "the blue knight") are releasing for Caustic Records their second full length album titled SILENCIS. The Spanish duo formed by Lady Nott and Sathorys Elenorth (active also with Narsilion) with this new album are presenting twelve new tracks divided into four different chapters titled respectively: "En sentir la tristor al cor", "Enfosquits els ulls de la mort", "Ordre i caos" and "Perdicio... l'espurna d'un trist record". Mixing quotes from classical interludes by Henry Purcell, Chopin and Antonio Vivaldi with martial atmospheres/rhythms, Der Blaue Reiter succeed into painting a personal vision of the decay of the world. They pass from energetic tracks with snare drums and vocals ("Eyes of the lost") to neo-classical/dark ambient suites like the following "Death and decadence". Rich orchestrations and classical minimalism (with some industrial ambient ambience) duet with ease creating a multifaceted canvas where the duo express their melancholy and their sadness. Songs, suites, industrial influences, everything is good to obtain an atmosphere of dreamy suspension where happiness is an old dusty memory.

VV.AA.: The Clock Machine Turns You On Vol.2

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 26 2008
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The Clock Machine Turns You On Vol.2
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Malicious Damage Records (@)
Here we are with a new Malicious Damage releases. This time we have a double CD compilation which is the second volume of THE CLOCK MACHINE TURNS YOU ON series. Each CD contains 16 tracks mixed by Alex Parterson/The Orb. He got involved with the label and Killing Joke since the early years as he started as a roadie for KJ and then during the years the label released his collaborations under the name of Transit Kings, Rootmasters and High Frequency Bandwidth as well releasing the Orb stuff. For the first CD Alex followed a scheme that started with punk ("Turn to red" and "Are you receiving" from the first Killing Joke single, a Sex Pistols cover of "Bodies" he recorded with his band Bloodsport back in 1979 and never released and a track from Headcount) mixing it with the post punk ambient of Transmission then with the Orb track "Ba'albek" he started to switch to dub (but first passing from Vertical Smile's "Explode", an energetic mix of electronic and punk with a bass sequencer a la D.A.F.) with Analogue Mindfield, Beatundercontrol, Transit Kings, Teledubgnosis then ambient and acoustic guitar tracks (Canola Tenderfoot, Bob Meyer) then a cinematic Transit King track ("The last lighthouse keeper" contains samples of a documentary or a film that tells the story of a lighthouse keeper who spends everything to go back to the place he born and to die there keeping his family tradition alive). The second CD starts with the Caned & Able hip hop just to turn on the reggae machine with Analogue Mindfield and ambient dub/rock with Necessary Intergalactic Cooperation. Shriekback with "Bittersweet" are here with a nice ballad based on vocals, synth pad, piano and light drum sounds. With The Sun Paulo we have a mix of rock, ambient, house. Transmission are here with "Albion", a track from their newest release I reviewed a week ago. After that we have a range of dub, rock, ambient and ethnic sounds with Smartyr, Belka & Strelka and Rootmasters. Then The Orb presents a pop electronic ambient song with female vocals titled "Sail". Funk soul is in with High Frequency Bandwidth then we have acoustic pop with Nina Walsh. The CD ends with a mix of dub, soul, pop with Belka & Strelka, Shriekback, Caned & Able. Beatundercontrol closes the compilation with a nice melancholic orchestral instrumental titled "Departure". This is a good catalog of what the label has to offer but if you, like me, don't like that much dub, rock and pop you might end liking half of the offer.

FREDERIK KLINGWALL: The Resilience

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 24 2008
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Artist: FREDERIK KLINGWALL
Title: The Resilience
Format: CD
Label: Last Entertainment (@)
Distributor: Code 7 Distribution
Rated: *****
The first time I listened to the second Fredrik Klingwall album titled THE RESILIENCE, I though: "wow, people should file this one under chamber music for the killed ones". I know that this could be reductive for a record but it fits really well the atmospheres of the album. Fredrik is really good at creating orchestral neo-classical suites that could be perfect for movies (he's for sure inspired by Danny Elfman's style of creating decaying/melancholy/horror suites). Active with many Swedish projects (Anima Morte, Desultor, Flagellation, Loch Vostok, Machinery and Rising Shadows) during the last twelve years, Fredrik worked a lot on his style and improved his skills into the writing of piano/orchestral dissonant and dramatic pieces. THE RESILIENCE collects thirteen tracks wrote during the 2002÷2004 period and tracks like "Opening" or the following "The uninvited" recalled me Elli Riehl but without the vocals (have you tried their album released two years ago by Punch Productions?). If you love tense and dark atmospheres good for old German movies try this one. You could also check it by downloading it for free at the label's website but then if you like it, purchase a copy!


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