Music Reviews



Robert Henke: Layering Buddga

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 24 2006
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Artist: Robert Henke (@)
Title: Layering Buddga
Format: CD
Label: Imbalance Computer Music
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
Berlin-based Robert Henke is active under the Monolake moniker and makes a living as an audiovisual artist, sound designer, music software developer (Abelton) and mastering engineer. "Layering Buddha" comes out on his own label and under his own (real) name and is an exploration of the possibilities allowed by the encounter of modern technologies and vintage electronic music gear such as the FM3 Buddha Machine loop player, of which the Chinese duo has recently made a re-issue available (http://www.fm3.com.cn/buddhamachine.htm). The Buddha Machine consists of a lo-fi loop playback device with 9 low-resolution uncustomizable presets that will keep playing forever and that play slightly differently on different machines. Henke recorded these loops at 96k and has layered them to create comb filtering, phasing, flanging and what not. Using exclusively the original Buddha Machine sounds and tweaking them in pitch and frequency generated timeless and slowly moving pieces with a life of their own. The result is very entrancing, beautiful and very very cinematic at times. This CD is also available as a limited edition hand-numbered vinyl box set containing five grey 7" discs with full color label print.

William C Harrington w/ Jilli Dart (Spacekittii): Recorded Live

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 24 2006
Artist: William C Harrington w/ Jilli Dart (Spacekittii) (@)
Title: Recorded Live
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
William C. Harrington is a NY state native LA emigrant who's been wearing several hats within the music industry since he was a kid. He studied composition, performance, electronic music, music business law and management, record production with highly qualified and recognized names; he worked in the wholesale record industry; he toured as a keyboard tech with Zappa and Gentle Giant; he met with Burroughs about a spoken word electronic music recording; in other words, he's been at it for a while! Recently he released the album "Urban Electronic Music", a collection of loops, found sounds, field recordings and synth sounds recorded over a 30 years period which got him some play and some buzz and led him to release this 14 track live recording of his performance at Nova Express, in LA, in Sept 2006 with special guest Jilli Dart of SpaceKitti. This free CD features him on soprano sax and electronics and Jilli on guitar, sitar and effects and travels the corridors of improvised experimental/electronic, spacing from drones to noise, occasionally pointing in the direction of more rhythmically-defined patterns and flirting with some weird free-form of obscure guitar-impregnated idm. Keep an eye on Mr Harrington as I feel he'll have more in store for us pretty soon.

MATHEW ADKINS : mondes inconnus

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 23 2006
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Artist: MATHEW ADKINS
Title: mondes inconnus
Format: DVD
Label: Empreintes Digitales (@)
Rated: *****
From the day I've received it, I think I've been listening to this recordings many more times than those I planned to write this review, and it's been a great surprise. This cd comes in dvd format that means you're supposed to listen to this music via home theatre to recreate the same effect for which these compositions/installations have been projected. In the contemporary sound of Mathew Adkins there's a lot of electronics and while in many reviews they write about his electro-acoustic skill I think the listening of this collection of works reveal Adkins’ music deep electronic essence. Mondesin is cold, odd and leaves the potential listener wandering in a sort of trance, infact unlike many contemporary composers/musicians Adkins' music is beyond doubt expressive and emotionally charged but still cerebral. I think I'm gonna write something many of you will disagree with, but during the whole listening I got the sensation this music is really suitable with some Lynch and Carpenter's movies above all those where the locations become the main guiding line of the storyboard. This composer in some way follows the footsteps of Pierre Schaeffer and improves his ideas; I’ve read he received some international prizes for his composition and you from what I’ve heard he deserved it.

TWO DEAD BODIES: Reflect

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 21 2006
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Artist: TWO DEAD BODIES
Title: Reflect
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records/Bar La Muerte
Rated: *****
The Two Dead Bodies of this surprising release belong to Milanese musicians Luca Mauri and Andrea Reali, both active in two excellent bands named I/O (experimental improv/jazz/funk, with an eponymous cd on Ebria, see archive) and Kokoro Mayikibo (indie/white funksters, who have released their debut album in the meantime). Mauri plays guitar in the former and drums in the latter, while Reali is a remarkable vocalist for both. TDB were born as an improvised session which took place in 2005; then, Mauri, also active as a solo electronic soundmaker (hey! Now that I think of it, the review of his DIY cdr as 00 was one of my very first reviews for ChainDLK, then in its printed heydays... ages ago!), mixed and cut-up the recordings on his pc with a sort of Macero-like taste for layering and a great final result, matching the warmth of a live recording and the tricks of a skillful reconstruction. "Reflect" is also the first non-electronic record in the AFE catalogue, but if you consider this has been co-released by Bruno Dorella (OvO, Ronin, etc.)'s Bar La Muerte you can start guessing what this sounds like. Its roots are indeed in the noise-rock/no-wave cauldron: the first track, later reprised and brutalised in the fourth one, starts with a basic noise-punk blast delivered with garage intensity, but right from the second piece, based on hypnotic drum loops and sludgy guitar feedbacks, the great mixing job transfigures that initial violence in a much more subtle and oblique approach. Track 3 indulges in jazzy guitar lines and sparse cymbals, and it's possibly the closest one to the sound of I/O and their forefathers Starfuckers/Sinistri. The music becomes less noisy and dense, but the two never let the tension go. The most refined and arguably best piece is the last one, where Mauri's minimal guitar plucking and Reali's mantra-like vocals are matched with electronic drones and a train-like rhythm of looped charleston kicks. The whole record is extremely enjoyable and coherent, despite mixing so many different inputs and influences, from free jazz to Liars or Eyehategod, and given the results I truly hope this won't remain a one-off project.
Nov 19 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Decennium Sturm
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
Another label compilation for the Latvian Sturm label, created and released to celebrate their already 10th anniversary. Unbelievable, that this Sturm collective has already worked hard that long time almost without any knowledge and attention from some western audiences. And this compilation has something special to offer – NO track titles are included here. The bands of this label all give here new and unreleased stuff to the listeners, but there’s no track name. ANOCODAINE made the start here and already this track turns after an unspectacular melodic intro into a pounding Electro instrumental piece. KNAUZERS UN ZEME offer a military marching piece with several noisy samples featuring bombing and firing airplanes and war noises and vocals pending between dark and distorted. ROSEWATER offer the best work here, a hard straight-forward moving Dark Electro pearl with harsh Powernoise-inspired rhythm patterns and rough distorted vocals – their enjoying and successful formula, but this piece I would qualify as their most straightest track so far. Almost in a same vein hits the project LIVING NIGHTMARE, which I haven’t discovered before, no matter also for the Metal-like guitar riff included here. With LS TUR, STROPS, BARODARHO and KAUNA TRAIPS the music here turns more and more into the martial and experimental noisy kind this label has so much to offer. Also MARCHWITZA give a rather chaotic piece, but I’m sure that I have heard it before on their full-length "Have A Hard Day". Also an untitled act offers a track tending more into a slower Ambient-like tune, and more in silent style this CD turns off. Check also out that video file done by CYBERPUNK to conclude this valuable compilation. Interesting concept, but very unusual, too. Worth to start some investment.

Track list

1/ ANOCODAINE
2/ KNAUZERS un ZEME
3/ ROSEWATER
4/ LIVING NIGHTMARE
5/ LS TUR
6/ STROPS
7/ MARCHWITZA
8/ BARODARHO
9/ RADIO KAPUT / 3OT
10/ KAUNA TRAIPS
11/ UNTITLED BAND, 1921 vs RUDENS LAPAS
12/ GAS OF LATVIA
13/ CYBER PUNK (video)



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