Music Reviews



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Artist: OBSIL (@)
Title: Distances
Format: CD
Label: Disaster by Choice (@)
Rated: *****
Releases like this have the indisputable quality to help people like me to reconcile with soft electronic music that usually is filed under idm. This Italian musician has assembled a soft track-list that walks on the tight rope suspended between quasi-ambient and post-classic/soundtrack music, I'm sure you'll get it after a few tracks. Eighties Warp alike sounding synths, soft pianos, string sounding sections, bleeps, electronic devices field-recordings and other kind of instruments cross the aural scene and enrich every single track of a series of arrangements that soften the journey during the listening. Track after track I've been positively surprised seeing what emphasis he has put on melody and on the song structure in spite of getting lost in the useless search of some fake avant-gardist coolness. What I've just said doesn't imply Obsil is sounding like a zillion of other electronic acts, infact I think he managed to put a personal touch in the recipe, but after having experienced "Distances" I think you will agree his primary interest was not exactly working on the experimental side of song-writing. Obsil songs sometimes have been developed in a quite uniform way, sometimes present many unexpected variations, but in most of the cases it could remind a strange hybrid of Lusine with Plone and Plaid elements cut with some neo-classical Murcof alike solutions. In its apparent simplicity "Distances" offers the example of a good and well pondered release where the aesthetic profile is submitted to writing soft, easy-listening, emotionally charged electronic tracks non based on rhythms. Nice work.
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anymore
Artist: DISCORDLESS (@)
Title: 148 light years
Format: CD
Label: Asiluum
Rated: *****
Discordless is an interesting alternative to post-rock, I imagine many of you will comply the sentence is hazardous but what we mean here with post-rock is something really open to many influences and the genre intended in the broadest way not far from how the Constellation artists intend it. At last the drum, guitar and piano plus two noisemakers have a line up congenial to the rock song solution and if you also consider the maintain a quite melodic profile you won't have that many problems to understand why we speak in this terms. The production and the recording are quite good even if not outstanding, despite that the result and the atmosphere are good, the global song structure is not that far from Godspeed You Black Emperor or even from some Pink Floyd. What characterizes the most the whole sound profile is the use of reverb in which the whole recording is drowned and good use of some surface noises crossing the emotionally charged rock/chamber surface. Even if the idiom is that spoken by many bands nowadays I think the interesting thing about Discordless is that they still have their accent and that gives them personality. This tracklist present and interesting combination of different solution, infact we're not dealing with one of those record where you have the typical soft-part/crescendo/explosion alternation, that means this not even that predictable or hella boring. Those misty, post-jazzy episodes like Blue Giant, Red Giant and the piano driven track like 4.0142 Days, Accretion offer some good rock breaking pattern that give an hint about the potential of the band. Still to be molded maybe but we're dealing with an interesting combo and I repeat this a quite accessible recording.


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Artist: PETER GEISSELBRECHT
Title: Concord Sonata / Musica Callada
Format: CD
Label: Achulian Handaxe (@)
Rated: *****
It's ages I don't review a contemporary classic piano work like these and every once in a while I'm so glad to deal with such materials above all if the matter is interesting and this is the case. While I had never heard before Mampou, the composer Charles Ives is not exactly new to my ears, his Concord Sonata presents an interesting mix of melodic passage and soft breaks but don't expect it to be something barely close to late Nineteenth century composer like Cage or even Webern. Ives composition reminded me a bit of the half of the works surely influenced by serialism and this need for abstraction of academics but at the same time he's managed to keep a melodic edge. Geisselbrecht interprets wonderfully the four episodes and for what I can understand his technical skill gets really congenial to the fast passages written by the American composer. As I've said I didn't know anything about Federico Mampou, this recording collects nine short compositions that go from one to three minutes, during the first listening the melodic parts really reminded of Satie but later I started thinking something could have been comparable to some piano works for children of Bartok. Both of the comparison could also be quite misleading, thus let's say that this melodic idea of simple piano compositions is meant in a personal way, infact Mampou aesthetic-al taste is less light hearted. If you listen carefully to all of the sketches here included I'm sure you'll notice there's something mysterious rearing its enigmatic head exactly when you don't expect it to arrive in some of the scores. Mampou's style is based on less notes and and a more slowed down attitude and Geisselbrecht has no problem to put himself in this kind of shoes. Some music makes me think are more eternal than others.


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anymore
Artist: PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS
Title: A scent of garmambrosia
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Aagoo Records
Rated: *****
I still haven't reviewed a release that Petit is back with a new one, it says a lot about the prolificacy of this French guy, but on the other hand I invite you to avoid thinking this over-abundance of works get worse release after release. I think the French artist fills the rank of musician like Aidan Baker who's average production has been quite good so far. On this new work Petit keeps following the route of contemporary neoclassic music processed through a laptop, nothing close to Fennez or Sakamato plus Alva Noto or Murcof, just harps, cello, violin, horn, trumpet. All of the instrumentalists involved in the recording have not been processed heavily, the majority of the effects used are reverb, delay and what I think has been a cut and paste re-assemblage of the tracks. As you can imagine there's some soft crackling, some other soft noises to color the final shape of every single suite, but everything has been done with a really gentle touch. If compared to the previous cd of Petit and friends, this one is way more abstract and cold in a spacey way, if Roger Eno and Lanois would assemble a new sonorization for the documentary on "Apollo. Atmospheres and Soundtracks" this could be really close to the result, even if it's much colder if compared to the atmosphere create on that album. Despite its dark profile this work somehow brings in a gentle overdose-experience, according to this comment it partially reminded me of some soft Nurse With Wound hybridized with a more neoclassic aesthetic, but that "floating ashore-feel" is still present and quite strong. The global listening is quite uniform and trippy and even thought not all of the tracks are on the same level the average result undoubtedly goes from interesting to catchy.


Aug 23 2010
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anymore
Artist: Parralox
Title: Supermagic
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Conzoom Records (@)
Rated: *****
Available on MCD (only 500 copies available) and as digital download with a different track listing (the titles are the same but the remixes artists differ) SUPERMAGIC is the first single which anticipate the new Parralox album "Metropolis" due for November 2010. The Australian duo on this new single mix the sensual vocals of Amii with upbeat electropop packing a song that is ready to hit the charts. Recalling a little another Australian girl named Kylie Minogue, the music of Parralox has the same power but it sounds a bit more dark compared to the latest two album of the Aphrodite girl of pop. On the digital edition you can find five different mixes of the main tune (the two O-Phase edition take the original vocal melody and paste it into different, cool as well, music structure while Silica Gel make it turn into an emb alternative pop hit). Along with "Supermagic" you can also find three new songs: "Time (Dark Version)", "Homecoming (Edit)" and "Failure (Reproduction) (Edit)". The first one is a mid tempo winner, a sort of Madonna plays dark pop. "Homecoming" is a pop song with 90's e.b.m. sounds and "Failure" sounds like like early 90's Depeche Mode with a pop female singer as guest.
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