Music Reviews



Andreas Willers, Meinrad Knee, Christian Marien: Nulli Secundus

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 06 2013
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Artist: Andreas Willers, Meinrad Knee, Christian Marien (@)
Title: Nulli Secundus
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Another amazing master stroke of improvisational music by Portuguese label Creative Sources come from Ausland in Berlin, one of the most recommendable places in the lively German capital for lovers of this kind of music, where Andreas Willers (electric and acoustic guitars), Christian Marien (drums and percussions) and Meinrad Kneer (double bass) recorded "Nulli Secundus" (Latin expression meaning "Second to None") before mixing it one month later. The references to electromechanical engines, turbines and similar stuff both in the artwork and the titles could suggest the sound this trio manages to built should be "semantically" connected to this branch of human knowledge and technology and certainly their funny interaction could remind the functioning (or sometimes malfunction) of those contraptions, but there's a vague sense of humanity which got added by some lopsided melodies and some crescendoes in the midst and in the mist of metallic strindencies, bangs, clangors and mechanical sighs that I cannot associate it to a machine. Moreover they show a remarkable heterogeneity as you could feel that some track lean towrds jazz standards, other ones toward rock or even noise declensions, so that I think an association with a humanoid automaton could be apter to their funny outgrowth. You could imagine this being in the attempt of mimicking Jimi Hendrix ("Shoct", "ubersturz"), playing flamenco ("Triolog") or a serenade ("Froschball"), whose final outcome got inevitably influenced by some oxidizing spring or rusty gearwheels, unoiled or unfastened parts and other problems. Check it out!

Tardive Dyskinesia: The Letter

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2013
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Artist: Tardive Dyskinesia
Title: The Letter
Format: CD
Label: Audiophob (@)
Rated: *****
I was unfamiliar with Tardive Dyskinesia, but the name is drawn from a neurological disorder that makes the patient twitch and move involuntarily. There is something to be said about the connection between the name and the music, as there is at times a kind of glitchy disjointedness to the compositions. Overall this has a soundtrack feel to it, which is by design. The label describes the album thus: 'Seeing the Russian cinematic classic 'Dead Man's Letters' for the first time as a 13 year old in the then still socialistic eastern part of Germany was a significant influence for Ronny Herling (Tardive Dyskinesia): While creating an oppressive and dark world, this cineastic masterpiece manages to create a glimpse of hope nonetheless. With those impressions in mind, 'The Letter' approaches to transform everyday scenes and experiences into a musical score. The result of this transformation are nine pieces of nightmarish soundscapes.' I don't know if I would go completely along with 'nightmarish,' but there is an ominous feel to the album. The disc opens with a child's spoken word over music, but it is difficult to make out what is being said. It seems to function more as another part of the atmosphere. Mostly it is instrumental, but 'Ganymed' focuses a bit too much on samples which become repetitive and a bit annoying. The album closes with some quiet, minimalist soundscape interrupted with short blasts of noise. Overall this is OK ' not the best thing that Audiophob has put out, but not bad either. This album weighs in at around 57 minutes.

Alexei Borisov, Olga Nosova, and Dave Phillips: Borinosophil

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2013
Artist: Alexei Borisov, Olga Nosova, and Dave Phillips (@)
Title: Borinosophil
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
The inside liner notes say 'Play loud.' What is this, Controlled Bleeding? But what the heck, it's the day after Christmas as I write this and no one is in the office so I up the volume. This is pretty good noisy stuff. It isn't really noise in the way that Merzbow or Controlled Bleeding is noise, but noisy in the way that Hafler Trio or Zoviet France can be noisy. The artists do a good job of merging ambience and noise ranging from screams, animal grunts, and groans to machine noise, field recordings and guitar. This was quite enjoyable overall and pretty engaging, although the 20 minute track (no titles listed) did get a bit repetitive after a while. File under atmospheric noise. This album weighs in at around 50 minutes.

Clockwork Orchestra: Friends Without Names

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2013
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Artist: Clockwork Orchestra (@)
Title: Friends Without Names
Format: CD
Label: White Label Music
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Clockwork Orchestra, which is the project of Dublin artist Paul Mangan. The website describes it thus: 'His idiosyncratic brand of melody driven music juxtaposes hyperactive synth riffs, melancholic piano balladry and psychedelic string arrangements together to conjure up a strange land of musical toys and colourful characters. This bewildering menagerie of sound serves as a suitably absurd backdrop for Mangan's deadpan vocal stylings and nursery rhyme lyricism.' I can't believe how much this sounds like late 1980s Legendary Pink Dots. It has that whimsical sound to it and the voice is equally distinctive. However, this is just a bit weirder ' which is certainly saying something. Another obvious comparison is the Residents (think Commercial Album). This is a Tim Burton carnival soundtrack with analogue synth. Where LPD mixes up the musical styles, Clockwork Orchestra keeps the weird poppy synth style in full effect. Next time someone claims to have weird taste in music because they listen to Oingo Boingo, hand them this. Not really an everyday listen, but fun. If you're interested in this, you can listen to it on his website as well. This album weighs in at around 42 minutes.

The Sleeper Has Awakened: s/t

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2013
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Artist: The Sleeper Has Awakened (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
Label: Thisco (@)
Rated: *****
I'm not sure how to describe this disc. It's pretty short, but interesting. I really can't think of a close comparison, and that's a good thing. It's not quite dark ambient, not quite drone, not quite noise, not quite anything. There are some similarities with Nadja in feel. The music is mostly instrumental with some random samples thrown in for good measure. Overall, this is an interesting mix of what sounds like field recordings and electronic bleeps and synth that gets a bit noisy at times, but never quite makes it to noise. At times repetitive and plodding (more in a hypnotic way than boring) while melodic and relaxed at others. This album weighs in at around 15 minutes.

4 stars.


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