Music Reviews



LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM: Brusnika

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 20 2006
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Artist: LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM
Title: Brusnika
Format: 7"
Label: Drone Records
Rated: *****
Drone Records boss Stefan Knappe surely has a penchant for underground Russian outfits, which have dominated his catalogue in recent times. Kudos to him for this work of talent scouting (so to speak). Lunar Abyss, if I'm not wrong, is a project slightly changing its name with each release. "Veet Vecher" is an upsetting mix of concrete sounds (a crackling fire?) and deep drones, while the flipside, "Zagnuli Zeveri Vse", is slightly more light-hearted,with ethnic chants and electronic throbs giving way to a final part with just synth sounds. Hand-painted covers and coloured vinyl.

THO-SO-AA: Dying Reveal

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 20 2006
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Artist: THO-SO-AA
Title: Dying Reveal
Format: 7"
Label: Drone Records
Rated: *****
German project Tho-So-Aa is probably quite well-known to dark ambient fans thanks to their few previous recordings - I remember "Minus" was particularly nice. The title track of this Drone vinyl features some melancholic synth patterns disturbed by noisy hisses and half-buried vocal samples (voices, children cries...). The same elements basically form the flipside, "The Undefined", along with pitch-shifted vocals and an unexpected looped melody which even reminded me of Philip Jeck. All in all, this is a sturdy release, using tastefully the classic dark ambient ingredients.

HUM: Inner Navigation

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 20 2006
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Artist: HUM
Title: Inner Navigation
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
Russian dronemaker Christov Dmitry is the author of a few self-released cdrs (which I guess you can easily find via Drone Records) and a nice 7", obviously on Drone, which I reviewed some months ago. I recall a vibrant, powerful piece of minimalism on one of its sides; in this Mystery Sea release, however, things are considerably quieter, faithful to the night-ocean theme. There are 8 tracks clocking in at 56 minutes, but while each one has its own peculiar structure and development, it's easy to see them as movements of one longer track. Hum play straight isolationist ambient, the one that slowly lulls you to sleep only to guarantee some genuine bad dream afterwards. Trance-inducing, solipsistic and grey-tinged, Hum's pieces will surely please die-hard fans of Lull or Thomas Koener, and, though they're obviously not breaking any new ground, they have an emotional value that makes them heartily recommended by yours truly.
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Artist: TT
Title: Opfer : Einheit
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
This is the first official release of the specialized German mail order service SkullLine. Like so many mail order services did a comparable initiative in the past (to name the best known: Out Of Line / Crazy Horse Music), also the responsible people at SkullLine decided to enter the dangerous world of the music business by starting some efforts as a label. You have to know, that SkullLine is specialized to cover rarities mostly hailing out of the Industrial and Ritual Noise genre, but they hold also a few hard-to-get items out of Electro/EBM and the Darkwave/Goth genre in stock. Diversity musically placed between Dark Electro, EBM, Powernoise, Minimal up to Ambient – that’s also the given stuff of TT, which stands for Tronic and Triton83 and this duo presents here 14 tracks discovering all above mentioned styles more or less of quality. This release is strictly limited and available in two different versions. The first one is limited to 80 exemplars and comes in a DVD case, holds some graphically militaristic but nice done stuff on board and provides a pin. Pin but different artwork comes also in the special limited version (20 pieces only...) which is well hidden in a metal box set. What counts is the music and it takes some influences out of acts like FEINDFLUG, XOTOX, :WUMPSCUT:, NOISUF-X and related. Here and there are also included some shreds of vocals, mostly richly destroyed and placed in the mix. I adore the classic Electro tune "Automat" with some remembrances to the classic THE KLINIK, while "Gott wo bist Du?" gets my vote for being the most disruptive noisy piece here. Some obscure and experimental stuff is featured as well, just check out "Leichenliebe". Like the mail order service so is the presented music here, at times structured with known elements, at other times unconventional and chaotic. The given sound and recording quality does need an improvement for sure – but that’s the only thing I would like to criticize. Please note that this release is only available – as far as it is strictly limited – directly from SkullLine, so please join them through the given contact references here. A next production featuring Triton83 is already in the works...

ORLA WREN: butterfly wings make

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 15 2006
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Artist: ORLA WREN (@)
Title: butterfly wings make
Format: CD
Label: Expanding (@)
Rated: *****
I think I've already wrote I like Expanding: this label has a clear direction both for the melodic-electronic music (without vocals) they produce and for the artsy photographic aesthetics of their releases. I'm not afraid to say that even if lately I've received several good or at least interesting electronic oriented releases, Orla Wren got immediately my attention. Tui a.k.a. Orla Wren wears an ordinary classy electronic costume, therefore don't expect it to sound crippled like Autechre, cold as Pan Sonic or experimental as Ikeda...nay, I'd say this should be filed like easy listening electronic music to relax listeners ears. So this is "music for lovers" and not for proto-intellectual-freaks, soft electronic sketches mostly evolved around piano sounds, synths, glitches and good tempos. I've been listening this cd in heavy rotation while trying to clean my room and I've caught myself thinking it puts together an brilliant poppy attitude to a stylish decorative taste. Harp synths, guitar loops floating on the background and a repetitive but never boring structure...early Mouse on Mars and Plaid meets Nyman?. Good and never prosaic melodies that accentuate Tui's short comment at the end of the thanks list: "I am inspired".


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