Music Reviews



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Artist: Gold Panda (@)
Title: Lucky Shiner
Format: CD
Label: Ghostly Int. (@)
Distributor: K7 Partners
Rated: *****
Every reliable source foretelling glitch approach should have caught on many musical grounds keeps on being enhanced by interesting directions and paths opened by musicians such as Gold Panda, an English whimsical producer that after a plenty of remixes for the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, The Field (one of the most relevant source for inspiration in my opinion), Little Boots, Bloc Party and so on and some juicy releases, including the critically acclaimed Quitters Raga on Make Mine, whose bizarre bridging with Indian Raga tradition has been partially reprised on India Lately (one of the most brilliant mosaic embellishing Lucky Shiner!) here ' even some Indian spices give off their distinctive scent in different tracks'¦-, finally signs his first full-length album on Ghostly Int., coming after You EP, featuring remixes from Seams, Dam Mantle, Osborne and Minotaur Shock (one of the musical gardeners, which could be considered among the most adjoining to the brimful gardens where this specie of Panda healthily grows up!).

Helped by Simian Mobile Disco's James Shaw for mixing and recorded in two session in the lovely Essex countryside, where his uncle and aunt live and whose surroundings idyllically reverberates in some quiet moments of the record such as Parents ' a track featuring Gold Panda's mum whose voice introduces the guitar soft melody, playing as a golden setting into a natural soundscape, rendered by some chirping birds -, I'm With You But I'm Lonely ' whose abstract daydreaming melancholic sound setting and trembling childplay chimes have nicely been mortised with funny acoustic percussions which could remind the first drumming exercises of a child with crockery, pots and pans ' and sometimes turning into flickering psychedelic breezes such as Same Dream China (I imagined while listening to this track, reminding a little bit the reveries by Caribou aka Manitoba, Gold Panda getting inspiration from moments when he had fun with Chinese balloons'¦) or Marriage, a track that seems fitted to the glancing through a scrap book with images from a wedding celebration celebrated in the countryside!

Exploring his musical imaginary insufflated by a pastoral view of English countryside and musically pricked by Golden Panda's two years Japanese experience where he studied Japanese culture, language and history at the School of Oriental and Asian studies is like watching the sounding translation of his personal diary as suggested by the title of the album itself as Lucky Shiner is GP's grandmother's name and the pitched tear-eyed chords, the static beats and the gentle operation of bit-crushing synths propelling tracks such as Vanilla Minus, After We Talk ' showing a way of deconstructing hip-hop for the likes of Four Tet and Prefuse 73's listeners ' and above all You (the opening and the closing track of the album, whose vocal sample is more recognizable in the latter one while in the first it looks like filtered by the consciousness of a child!). Personal emotional worlds, but so well forged that it looks like Golden Panda's inviting the listener to pour it into his/her intimate dimension!

Lovely shining stuff!
Oct 29 2010
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anymore
Artist: Robert Schroeder
Title: Cream
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
Rated: *****
I already talked about Robert Schroeder's music a couple of years ago, when I reviewed his Food For Fantasy latest release. Then I didn't know how much faceted his music could be and honestly I was curious to check his purest electronic music vein he was famous for (there was a reason why Klaus Schulze decided to promote him after discovering him). With his newest album CREAM, Robert Schroeder is back to his roots ideally linking this album to his 1979 debut ""Harmonic ascendant" thanks to six long tracks of analog electronic music (the shorter one is 8 minutes long while the longest one, the double). The album opens with "Magnetics", a tune based on a funky bass line with spacey pads perfect to start the voyage. "Groove electronically" sees Robert delivering a piano sonata enriched by vocal samples, choirs and lovely analog pads. LIttle by little this track grows thanks to upbeat drum rhythms and various synth arpeggios. "The zong" starts being menacing and experimental just to turn into a samba tune for aliens. "Funky spacetrip" sounds like an house mid tempo written in the 70s with cool vocoder filtered vocals and moog like solos. "Foaming waves" is perfect for a soundtrack: try to imagine a desolated place where wind and sand corrode the lands. Based on a guitar arpeggio with the add of lovely synth effects and a light drum beat it grows slowly like a wave of lava. The closing "Simply cream" is a great 16 minutes classic electronic music tune with many synth layers, rhythm changes and warm atmospheres. Classic and also with modern intuitions, CREAM made me discover the classic Robert Schroeder's and I'm glad it did!
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Artist: Pip Williams
Title: Natural Instinct
Format: 12"
Label: Shameless Toady (@)
Rated: *****
You read recently about Phil Ventre here at Chain D.L.K. because I reviewed his Pip Williams' "Resistance is futile" EP. Back with his own label Shameless Toady, he delivers another Pip Williams release titled NATURAL INSTINCT. Released as a beautiful three tracks picture 12" and digitally (this edition has as bonus track "Rasta four eyed"), the EP finds Pip dealing with dubstep rhythms and cinematic atmospheres. Having great sounds and samples, the tracks are built using many sources and alternating them creating a sense of "incoming catastrophe". Tiny melodic patterns crashes on pulsating bass beats while echoing synth sounds form a intricate web. Upbeat, complex and also experimental NATURAL INSTINCT will lead you down dreamy stairs. Watch your step and check it if you like Legion Of Two's "Riffs" album released by Planet Mu.
P.s. You can find the digital edition here http://www.junodownload.com/products/natural-instinct/1628474-02/?ref=dlk
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Artist: Strip In Midi Side (@)
Title: Your Stripping Experience
Format: CD
Label: New Model Label (@)
Rated: *****
Eight months after my review of their debut MCD, here are again the Strip In Midi Side with their first album. They got signed to New Model Label and they just released YOUR STRIPPING EXPERIENCE. On this album you'll find the five songs of the MCD (with the same running order) plus five new tracks. Well recorded and mastered (they chose Streaky Mastering, people who worked with Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode) the album shows well the multifaceted soul of the band: goth, industrial, new wave and pop are all elements that the four Strip In Midi Side are confortable with. On different tracks (for example "Art is insanity" or "I want") the band pass from rock industrial obsessive riffs/distortions, to British pop melodies creating an effective contrast where energy and irony coexist. "Bring me down", song that we already know, starts like a Apoptygma Berzerk tune just to turn into a melodic Peter Murphy one and follows playing with these influences adding a personal touch here and there. "You don't know" mix Nin Inch Nails to the best melodic moments of Foo Fighters (some melodies recall me "The pretender"). Like a giant sponge they four Italian guys absorbed the best sounds of those genres just to digest and spit them in your face. Upbeat, irreverent, energetic, YOUR STRIPPING EXPERIENCE is only waiting four your judgement...
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Artist: Degada Saf
Title: No Inzro
Format: CD
Label: Mannequin (@)
Rated: *****
First production of the Rockgarage label and produced back in 1984, NO INZRO has been the first and only album released by Degada Saf on the last century (as you may know because of my review and my interview, they released a great new comeback album the last year), album that now is reissued by one of the most active Italian labels, Mannequin. Inspired by the dada movement, the band wrote lyrics using "phonemes and puns on words from different languages", as Fausto told us in our interview. The eight songs you can find on the album are amazing because of their mix of new wave/no wave melodies along with synth sounds inventive solutions. Using Simmons pads as well as different drum machines, guitars and keyboards, they created a wide palette of atmospheres. Tracks like "Loda loda", "Om" or the main tune, are almost industrial wave because of their saturated sounds and for the will of experimenting with sounds ("No inzro", for example is a nightmarish atmospheric electronic piece which step by step becomes more obsessive and dark). The opening "La rhumba de Shang Hai", "Tri banal" or "Zom Africa", instead, incarnate the pop soul of the band where Fausto's deep vocals are well backed by never predictable melodies. I think that for these reasons Giusto Pio (Franco Battiato long time collaborator) accepted to produce the single they released a couple of years later. Do yourself a favor and if you have the money to purchase only a CD this month, check this one first!
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