Music Reviews



Domenico Sciajno & Kim Cascone: Hyaline

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 23 2009
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Artist: Domenico Sciajno & Kim Cascone
Title: Hyaline
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Another great Bowindo release pairing the longtime sound artist Kim Cascone on laptop with Domenico Sciajno with his Max/Msp processing. According to the dictionary "hyaline" describes something as glassily transparent. Take that for what it’s worth. Looking in or looking out would work here. Not really sure who’s doing what. Both fit well together creating deep tones, atmospheres, ambiences, rhythms, rhymes and reasons to listen. Like listening to neurons firing. Mysterious and spacey at times. The five pieces work well in either reduced or normal volume listening environments.

Domenico Sciajno & Gene Coleman: Diospyros

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 23 2009
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Artist: Domenico Sciajno & Gene Coleman
Title: Diospyros
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Four longish tracks from this duo of Domenico Sciajno (who runs Bowindo) who processes the Bass Clarinet performance of Gene Coleman in real time with Max/Msp in real time. What we have here is not actual tunes but textures, mostly thin and agitated, but sometimes fuller and serene. At times its hard to hear where one stops and the other starts. Very modern, very abstract. A good combination of sounds demanding some attention, but a rewarding listen all the same if the above description appeals to you.

Escama Serrada : La Reine esta Mala

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 23 2009
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Artist: Escama Serrada
Title: La Reine esta Mala
Format: CD
Label: tourette records (@)
Rated: *****
The companion mini-CD to the disk by O Paradis. One can see why they were released together. They share a sensibility, while not a straight imitation: the use of found sound, sampled recordings, cut and paste; although Escama is much darker and experimental. While O Paradis uses the sampled material as a spice, the experimental side is the meat for Escama. He also sings, but his voice is usually effected. Demian of O Paradis masters this disk. A limited edition of 300 copies. Each disk in its own digipak and wrapped with an obi and hand-numbered.

Textile Orchestra: For the Boss

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 21 2009
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Artist: Textile Orchestra
Title: For the Boss
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
The first thing you notice about this album is the interesting packaging. It folds out like a child’s board book and is just as colorful. BLRR certainly has revived the art of packaging. Textile Orchestra is a quartet consisting of Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear), Alexandre Bellenge, Arnaud Rivière, and Dan Warburton. Here’s how the label describes the album: "The Textile Orchestra lays concrete like Duchamp fixes plumbing: what remains in the smoldering ruins is pure art. Like a de-horned AACM, this monster snakes around with soft scratching sounds, whirs, squeaks, yells and electronic blurts (when it is not bearing down like the free jazz cavalry)." When I listened to this album, I thought that if Luigi Russolo we alive today, he would be very interested to hear music like this. For those of you who do not know who Russolo was, he was the futurist composer who wrote the beautiful manifesto, The Art of Noises. Russolo exulted in the sounds of modernity, creating his own instruments, "Intonarumori," to reproduce these noises and create compositions such as "Awakening of a City." So when I thought of who the boss in the album title was, I would like to think that it was Luigi Russolo. This is a rather demanding album for the listener, but interesting. Some comparisons that come to mind are Nurse With Wound’s "To the Quiet Men From a Tiny Girl" and Hafler Trio’s "Redintegrate." But imagine them completely layered over the top of each other. This disc consists of two long tracks. The first is titled "The Beginning of the End" and the second, "The End of the Beginning." Stylistically, both tracks on this disc are quite similar, so I will describe the general feel. This is a wonderful sort of chaos, with pounding percussion, clanking sounds, sped up and slowed down turntables, and seemingly random noises and bursts of feedback. But this is not typical wall of noise kind of noise that is thrown together haphazardly. There are interesting moments of clarity, for example, when a man continually asks, "Who are you?" with variations in prosody and a point at which the composition becomes almost normal with a passage of violin music. I had previously reviewed the split between Volcano The Bear and La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux (La STPO) and I found the Volcano the Bear work to be at times a bit too minimal for my tastes. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to find a level of complexity in sound that I did not expect. This is, by no means, easy listening, but it is not exactly harsh either, and it is rather engaging. I have not heard much that I would classify as "fun noise," but I would say that this fits the bill. This disc weighs in at 44.55.

BENJAMIN BONDONNEAU, FABRICE CHARLES : Dordogne

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 21 2009
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Artist: BENJAMIN BONDONNEAU, FABRICE CHARLES
Title: Dordogne
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Amor Fati (@)
Rated: *****
Double cd for this duo featuring Bondonneau on clarinet and Charles on trombone and if you didn’t pay attention to the other reviews and you’re thinking this label is just focused on jazz and related, this cd shows you were completely wrong. It looks like they didn’t use additional instruments except but field-recordings and I guess they haven’t pushed so much on the post production leaving the creative use of mixer and reverbs. I’m sorry I’m not speaking French so I can’t be completely sure of it, but that’s the impression I got, surprising since here and there they’ve been working on such unusual register I could have said I was hearing a turntable or some high pitched laptop-sample. As you probably may have guessed we’re in front of a non-traditional duo working hard to combine their musician skills with the idea of assembling an interesting record, and you can bet they did it, just give a try to Castillon-la-battaile and tell me if despite its simplicity it’s not a enchanting track. Many kind of field-recordings from the most bucolic to those involving tv sets, dialogues and street march of fanfares. The first of the two cd composing this release is probably a bit more played but maybe that’s just my personal impression, as you may guess yourself we’ve long tracks and in most of the cases the two musicians play really silently but they also come out in the open when they think they’ve to therefore don’t think we’re in front of an un-played/un-sounding "modus suonandi". Interesting release that reminded me of some compositions involving field recordings (Miya Masaoka) or those lovely cdr on Alluvial recordings.





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