Music Reviews



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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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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.
Aug 22 2010
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Artist: Estate
Title: Nuclear City
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Minnesota, Josh Johnson and Dan Kram are Estate, the newest Mullet Records' signing. NUCLEAR CITY is their debut release and contains five fresh tracks of dance wave that will make your feet moonwalking in no time. Mixing funky bass lines/guitars, clear catchy vocals and synth spacey chords/solos (as on the only instrumental, "Blow J"), the duo pop out six instant classics. Years ago labels would have advertised a release like this as a double A side single, because no song is a loser. The opening "Nuclear city" and "In the red" are two song that for sure will catch immediately the attention of the listener. The info sheet names Hall & Oates to explain what kind of song writing quality the duo reached and this is their debut! Dreamy atmospheres and upbeat rhythms are the trademark of the EP and the Gilgamesh remix of "Write to make" (the sixth track of the lot) shows well how this choice is a winner one.
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Artist: K11
Title: Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D.
Format: CD
Label: Actual Noise
Rated: *****
This time Pietro Riparbelli as k11 made his transcommunication action in Assisi, more specifically in the Cathedral. He record and document signals and sounds coming through short-wave radio receivers in the oldest area of the building.
The numbers used in the songtitles are chosen with purpose, all related to the Gematria, the ancient system that assigns numbers to words and how they relate to each other. "300=Tau" opens this record with a meditative atmosphere crated by resonances dotted with metallic sinewaves. "888" start with drones that juxtapose until the noise enter as menace to silence, as holiness challenge sin, and drown in the end of the track. "18=lh" is the most solar track of the album and sounds like an hymn. "318" is a synthesis of drone and noise that close almost in peace.
This music has the power to evocate images of solitary exploration of obscure and abandoned fields, because is structured with a clear design in mind and don't try to use simple tactic to frighten the listener.
A note: in the video of this album there's a still when it appear the word silenzio (silence) wrote in a placard... well, this require careful listening to appreciate it. A really good record.
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Artist: Bfffth
Title: Four Phases of Emanation of Light
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Bfffth is a collaborative of artists who choose to remain unknown. Their website is strange, probably voluntary confusing, between the focus on the music, not on words, and prank. The idea behind this work is the four phase of light emanating using a lens, .
This album is a piece for solo amplifier, lead, samples which means, in reality, a long work constructed in movements where, starting with ambient mood goes into noise territories near Merzbow.
In detail, part 1 (the output) is an almost dark ambient introduction, while part 2 (the return) is almost static metallic noise. Part 3 (the feedback) sounds like the spectral juxtaposition of the properties of the previous parts and this work end with the part 4 (the new output) that is a real Merzbow-like noise assault. The album ends with a small coda made out of drone.
This work is followed by an obscure text in their website that suggest a parallel between this schema and the viewpoint: "Time stops. [...] because there are no disturbances [...] everything exists inside one space, all are together" and some videos on you tube (the video is a still with one of the four phase). Nice for followers of the genre.
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