Music Reviews



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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.

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anymore
Artist: LEGION OF TWO
Title: Riffs
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu
Distributor: Good Fellas, Neuton, Import, La Baleine, Dot
Rated: *****
Slow, granitic and distorted are the adjectives that fit RIFFS the best, but this album is able to be also rhythmic and hypnotic at the same time. Born from the collaboration of Alan O'Boyle (also active as Decal with different releases on Satamile, Planet Mu and Rotters Golf Club as well as producer/remixer for Redneck Manifesto, Two Lone Swordsmen, Jape, Super Extra Bonus Party to name few) and David Lacey (Dublin based drummer and percussionist who's many collaborations at his active in the field of improvised music as well as being one of the driving forces behind the I+E Festival in Dublin), Legion Of Two, created nine cinematic tracks that blend blasting drumming, industrial/ambient sounds and fat bass lines. Tracks like "Turning point" or "Handling noise" will lead you through lands made of grinding sounds, drum improvisations and dub intuitions. You can check some clips at their myspace page www.myspace.com/thelegionoftwo
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Artist: Screen Vinyl Image (@)
Title: Interceptors
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Safranin Sound (@)
Rated: *****
In a two year span Screen Vinyl Image soaked themselves deeper in tons of analogue synthpop and neurotic disco/house basslines. Still there's a shimmering shoegaze root mostly in the use of delays and in the singing parts.The opening track is called "Synthetic Apparition" and it's an trance-inducing instrumental resembling the first Popol-Vuh records played at double speed ( or maybe Popol-Vuh on speed? ) - then we have "Cathode Ray" where you'll hear a simple catchy refrain under layers and layers of distortions. "Slipping Away" is a slow-paced track, imagine Slowdive's aesthetics produced by Adult. "Asteroid Exile" grants goosebumps to everyone into synths – a cold pop gem that will stand as the band's timeless testament. Personal favourite, as you may have noticed. Another standout here is "Until The End Of Time" with a killer postpunk guitar bass. All tracks on Interceptors are quite different but seem to morph into each other like in the most cohesive ambient albums or soundtracks ( John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream are stated among the influences ), a step further from the previous The Midnight Sun EP. Out on their own safranin-sound on a Vinyl/CD combo.
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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.
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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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