Music Reviews



Dronolan’s Tower : Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 28 2007
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Artist: Dronolan’s Tower (@)
Title: Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Music by gamers for gamers.

Dronolan’s Tower is the one man project of David Allen Young. His ideas for the soundtrack stile music did not sound as he wanted when making the music by himself so he hired an orchestra and a choir in Hollywood to do it for him. The result is medieval fantasy mood music with more hints of darkness than light.
If you like bands like Erdenstern you will probably drool while listening to Dronolan’s Tower.
When I saw the artwork I thought of Midnight Syndicate but oh so wrong I was. This is far beyond what Midnight Syndicate could even dream of!
It’s actually in the same league as the more experienced top dogs in this genre.
"The Battle of Shadow pass" is without a doubt the best track on the CD and I love it.

I have almost nothing bad to say about this great release. I though would like to hear something a bit more unique from time to time.
David list (on his myspace site) John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Basil Poledouris (and others) as influences and you can hear that in the music. Some might say too much.
To be honest this is a very good and ambitious project which I cannot other than applaud!

LINGUA FUNGI: Tlapallan Pantonal

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 22 2007
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Artist: LINGUA FUNGI
Title: Tlapallan Pantonal
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Started back in 2001 in Finland as a personal musical project by Jaakko Padatsu, Lingua Fungi is releasing its second album titled TLAPALLAN PANTONAL. Based on a personal interpretation of Central American mythology the album is mainly focused on the myth of Quetzalcoatl (from Wikipedia: "In Aztec religion, Quetzalcoatl was a benefactor god, considered a leader among the deities, that would come back after his departure to take back the empire") and a lot of sound used by Jaakko remind of the instruments of American ancient music tradition but they are used into an ambient industrial context which is, in this way, enriched by the contrast of synth pads and noises with flutes, guitars and percussions. The seven tracks of the album are able to involve the listener and carry him through mysterious lands. Sometimes the ambient drones take a hold on the other sounds but once the music starts being joined by percussions and stuff the magic starts again...

SLEEPRESEARCH FACILITY: Deep Frieze

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 22 2007
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Artist: SLEEPRESEARCH FACILITY
Title: Deep Frieze
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Fourth SleepResearch Facility's release and second CD for Cold Spring, DEEP FRIEZE is a sort of concept album based on the idea of creating a soundtrack for an Antarctic scenario (its catch phrase reported inside the foldout booklet is "there is a certain comforting warmth in the encroaching slumber of hypothermia"). The five tracks, which are titled after geographic coordinates (like "79ºS 83ºW" or "72ºS 49ºE"), are long cold minimal ambient suites where sometimes some subtle melodies surface. For sure the aim of creating a sense of cold isolationism has been reached but sometimes I have the feeling that the effect's research made lose the point about the sound. The sibilant sounds are overwhelming and the slow growth of the tracks' structure make you feel them a little static. I'm not telling that this is a weak point but I'd like to point this out just to warn the listener about the experience he's going to have as the tracks are like movements of a long suite which for the whole album length will make you feel stuck underwater, under the ice, struggling for your life where the only sound is created by the pressure of the water and by the moving icebergs.

ZONK'T: -trope

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2007
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Artist: ZONK'T (@)
Title: -trope
Format: CD
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Rated: *****
Less than a year ago I reviewed the previous Zonk't album "Purr" and now Laurent Perrier is back with a new work titled -TROPE. Since from the opening "Somersault" the new album presents itself as an interesting one. At a first listening I heard echoes of early Biosphere mixed with i.d.m. and techno intuitions. Laurent alternates tracks based on ambient rhythmical layers to others focused on bleeps and rhythms creating in this way a good album which is able to balance different sounds and atmospheres. Tracks like "Disruption" and the following "Look part.5" are a sort of i.d.m. music coming from outer space (along with the web of intricate rhythm there's also a certain surrounding sidereal cold feeling) while the first three tracks "Somersault", "Throb" and "Spark" are sounding more ambient techno. After those three tracks Laurent started to be carried away by a minimal approach while I was preferring his rich textures of melodies, pads and rhythms. The remaining tracks aren't bad ones but you have the same effect you have when you switch from a Chemical Brothers track (took one of their singles where there's always a catchy tune) to one by Autechre.

AMON/NIMH: Sator

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 16 2007
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Artist: AMON/NIMH
Title: Sator
Format: CD
Label: Eibon
Rated: *****
As unprofessional as it may sound, sometimes a review can almost write itself. Take two of Italy's most talented (and meticulous) ambient projects, Andrea Marutti's Amon and Giuseppe Verticchio's Nimh, let them play, edit and mix for several months, and have the end result released on a quality label like Eibon... Still, while undoubtly being what one could expect in terms of genre (i.e. dark drones), the work reveals how this has been a true, intense collaboration, not just a swapping of files or discontinuous jamming. Played with a variety of instruments (synths of course, e-bow guitars, ring modulator, field recordings, zither, tapes...), and featuring Verticchio's wife, Daniela Gherardi, as an important guest musician on three out of five tracks, "Sator" begins with the expected "smooth" cosmic drones, but later on (especially in tracks 3-5) incorporates a more varied sound palette. Listen for example to "Tenet", where a dysmal melody of bowed guitar strings strives to float above a sea cavernous drones, or to the looser noises and frequencies streaking the final piece, "Sator". A monolith in terms of quality, density and length (75'), but luckily a wisely crafted and detailed audio experience.


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