Music Reviews



Adern X & Tiziano Milani: Cinema Show

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 03 2013
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Artist: Adern X & Tiziano Milani (@)
Title: Cinema Show
Format: CD
Label: Xevor Records
Rated: *****
The last time I reviewed Adern X, it was about the release "Ink spots called words", a collection of tracks recorded during the 2007/2012 time span. With "Cinema Show", Andrea Piran, is back with a new album recorded in collaboration with a well known sound tweaker called Tiziano Milani. The concept behind this album deals with the dependence of images and sounds on a movie and the way to enjoy it in different environments. They recorded their sound sources at the movies and then edited it to make it sound, as they say, like a "soundtrack of an imaginary expressionist movie or as an experimental form of synphonic poem". The release is divided into five different movements where noises we are kinda used to, morph into a disturbing sound collage that sometimes turn into a dreamy reversed orchestra, then into a pulsating signal from a distant galaxy and then into a cacophonic wall that melts into tiny melodies now and then. This isn't exactly my cup of tea but I appreciated the feeling and the concept of the release and I think that this is what these sounds were made for...

Lord Tang: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 30 2013
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Artist: Lord Tang (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 12"
Label: Alarm (@)
Rated: *****
This self-named debut release by Lord Tang, the recent brainchild from Dominic Cramp's recording studio, jacks in vintage sonic equipment, which he uses to squeeze some juicy arrangments whose aftertaste recalls old glorious dub stuff as well as some electronic declension, and some elements (pleated and singed sonorities, obscure electronic entities, seemingly aimless vocal interferences of paranoid ramblings and field recordings), which could be clasped to Cramp's other projects (in particular Borful Tang) and similar sonic mounts, which combine a taste for modern compositional strategies and aged hooks (Digital Mystikz, Zomby, Demlike Stare), but Lord Tang hushes samples up and prefers to grate delicious melodic lines from old synths and catchy rhythmic pattern from drum machines. After the initial shining "Fog", he jogs on reversed groove by the caustic "Defections", drags shell-shock atmospheres, which could resemble some stuff by Future Sound of London, towards gluey jellied sludge on "Thang" - one of my favorite track -, fries ping pong balls into boiling soup of dub pieces of meat, sinisterly gnashes claps and bleeps on the dour "Friends" (featuring Gollum on mic?), frothes narcotic suds on "Slumberer", injects entrancing organ-driven tearing melodies in the veins on the beautiful "My Dub Uncle" - another highlight of this release - before suppurating pure dub nostalgia and plangently warm heavyweight bass in order to propel mental spacewalks as a good strategy to dissolve physical and spiritual restrictions of "real" world on the final "Smalls". That's a good release to remove muck-up out of dubster's ears.

Jacob Kirkegaard: Conversion

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 29 2013
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Artist: Jacob Kirkegaard (@)
Title: Conversion
Format: 12"
Label: Touch (@)
Rated: *****
The spreading of crossbred genres like the so-called narrative ambient must not let you think about a new branch of ambient with relations to philosophers, as some people could envisage after reading the title of this release and the name of its author: it's possible that the notorious religious author, theologian, philosopher and poet Soren Aabye Kierkegaard could be an ancestor of Jacob Kierkegaard as they both come from Denamrk and Jacob's maverick sonic research could recall the definition of genius by his possible forefather, who wrote that "geniuses are like thunderstorms ­ they go against the wind, terrify people, cleanse the air", but this album has nothing to do with his conversion or any other religious theme, even if any possible hidden meaning of "Conversion" could be considered as holy to a certain extent. Jacob's aesthetics and compositional methods are quite outside the box indeed and this release with converted version of a couple of bizarre projects from his previous releases confirms his eccentricity. He decided to translate "Labyrinthitis", a piece which was the recording of oto-acoustic tones generated from Jacob's ears (...have you ever imagined to listen the ear of a musician?), into musical language with the help of Scenatet ensemble and the resulting "inverted" canon, which sounds not so different from some works by Gyorgy Ligeti such as "Lontano" or "Atmospheres") is so catchy that it could be considered a sort of enrapturing tribute to the intimate and mysterious wonder of hearing. A similar process of refurbishment has been applied to "Church", a track built on the sounds taken from an abandoned church within the contaminated area of Chernobyl: the first part of this second version is quite close to the original one, but the instrumental ensemble gradually rises and blends into the heady radioactive organ-like drone as if it were the chant of some spiritual inhabitant of that holy place after mutation.

Jim Haynes: The Wires Cracked

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 29 2013
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Artist: Jim Haynes (@)
Title: The Wires Cracked
Format: 12"
Label: Mego (@)
Rated: *****
A sudden crack of a gas-filled tube, the resulting high-pressure spurts, the gradual reaching of saturation level and the activation of the alarm system on the initial track "Oscar" introduces this release on renowned Austrian label Editions Mego by San Francisco-based versatile artist Jim Haynes, who already applied the principles of his artistic research, which he summarize by the formula "I rust things", focused on graphical experiments of "corrosion" of photographic images and investigations into rust and decay. He explains such an interesting multimedia transposition of his work, he said: "I have focused on how decay parallels and relates to the perception of time when cycles of activity dwindle toward stasis. While I still incorporate much of the visual sensibilities from those aforementioned processes, sound has emerged as a central medium for my current installations and performances. Drawing from shortwave radio static, electric field disturbances, controlled feedback manipulation, and numerous textural scrapings, I manifest a broken minimalism whose magnetic drones give the impression of timelessness, when in fact the environment is quite active. This engineering of disparate materials and media seeks to evince the unpredictability of decay, to manifest its potential for a rough hewn beauty, and to bare witness to its inevitability.". Based on some recordings he made in a couple of weeks in October 2012, the following long-lasting track, "X-Ray" and "November", could be imagined as the after-shock sonic description of the above-mentioned explosion: static cold hisses, frozen gearwheels, spectral death raffles of withering machines, asphyxiating obfuscations, mist-shrouded beeps utter the atrophy of an imaginary industrial giant in unison and implicitly forewarns listeners of the rising hope for renewal...

RM74: Two Angles of a Triangle

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 26 2013
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Artist: RM74 (@)
Title: Two Angles of a Triangle
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Utech Records (@)
Rated: *****
After the convincing release "Ride Out The Waves" by his side project Sum of R, the underestimated prolific Swiss electro-acoustic and electronic artist Reto Madler aka RM74 manages to renew his sound and reach another remarkable expressive peak by this impressively introspective/introjective release (on double cd...supposedly corresponding to the two angles mentioned on the title...), where he seems to scheme sonic strategies in order to fill his typically awfully somber atmospheres by means of different transcendental conjugations of his style as well as an intimately narrative flow. Recorded between Bern and Milwaukee, on the first of two angles Reto immediately applies a slight pressure on headphones so that he seems to evoke a descent into inner realms before reaching the cliff edge where an aural effected guitar loom on dull hits and creaks on the initial "Betwixt", which starts an intense journey whose steps are going to speak to listeners with no words: the sorrowful thuds of piano on metallic groans of "Spineless", the tiring but behooved dragging of resounding chains on the lulling "Between and Forever", the obliquely premonitory aura of "Orkas Dream", the flickering light from guitar strokes and expanding pads where the sound of chains have been turned into rattles on "A Shimmer OF Bronce", the temporary blissful levity of "May 30 2012" and the will-o-the-wisp and the cyclic melancholy of the final "Bees and Ghosts". The introduction of the second angle evokes the precipice and the vertigo before another inner exploration again, but after the initial absorbing noisy flux turns into an imaginary cusp by means of a piano-generated earworm, which acquaints listeners with the other six different stages, whose most interesting moments are the meek and somehow insane joyfulness of "We Run In Vicious Circles", the ominously sinister reminiscence of the sepulchral "Because Of The Slow Shutter Speed", the mesmerizing tension of "Laid Open" and the placidly abstract feeling of possesson of the final "Show Me The Shadow Of The Sun". I wonder if a third angle will be sketched by Reto or by some listener, who could finish the triangulation by means of an imaginative soul...


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