Music Reviews



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Artist: LULL
Title: Like a Slow River
Format: CD
Label: Glacial Movements
Rated: *****
After being back on the map with a great Scorn album, Mick Harris has finally unburied the Lull project with a new full length, and I feel it's only natural that it's been released by Alessandro Tedeschi (Netherworld)'s isolationist label Glacial Movements. Now, has anything changed since the heydays of the Lull sound? I'd say no, and it didn't need to AT ALL, as far as I'm concerned. Since the very first seconds of "Whiteout", you notice that the trademark Lull soundscapes are back in full shape: ultra-deep bass frequencies, floating drone tapestries, feels like being pushed underwater without oxygen AND ENJOYING IT. This is more or less in the vein of the "Cold Summer" masterpiece, and though unavoidably less groundbreaking it's still an inspired and evocative album. Welcome back, mr. Harris.
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Artist: inquiet
Title: INQ BEYONG
Format: CD
Label: Brother Sister Records (@)
Rated: *****
inquiet hails from Melbourne, Australia. I had no previous knowledge of inquiet prior to receiving the album from the band themselves. In fact, I'm not even sure if it's a band or just one person. inquiet creates layered, patchwork soundscapes. You can hear the influence of the land down under in the music from time to time, with bits and pieces of native drumming popping in and out. But overall it's virtually impossible to characterize the songs on Inq Beyong. The album is relatively mellow, but the ever shifting sonics keep the listener's attention at each moment. There are bits of electronic, choral, pop, orchestral, jazz, and a host of other styles happening on Inq Beyong. You won't find traditional song structures here, but there are some chances to sing along. That's right, you can actually sing along with some of these songs, which is unusual for experimental music of this kind. The vocals are highly processed but are very accessible. inquiet makes good use of dynamics, panning, and reverb to achieve a sense of space and depth. I don't know what the recording process was or what kind of gear was used, but Inq Beyong sounds great. It's detailed, warm, and present. There's nothing harsh or over-compressed about it. Inq Beyong is a well executed production. It's an album that lies outside of the confines of modern popular music, and that's a good thing.
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Artist: LUX INTERNA
Title: A Lantern Carried In Blood And Skin
Format: CD
Label: Projekt
Rated: *****

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Lux Interna is an American band that, at the moment, have released their music only in Europe (four albums on Eis Und Licht, the same label that released Forseti, Sonne Hagal, etc.) and this is the first time that they have a domestically available release. A LANTERN CARRIED IN BLOOD AND SKIN is a compilation of ten songs coming from the four albums "Truth and Beauty and All Their Severity", "Absence and Plenum", "Ignis Mutat Res" and "God is Not Dead for the Birds". Musically the band has been compared to Nick Cave, Backworld, etc. because of their intimate atmospheres and for their acoustic guitars driven sound which sometimes is accompanied by piano, strings and light percussions. If you want me to do a clearer comparison, well listen to the Nick Cave song "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (yes the one which had Kylie Minogue as guest vocals) and make it sound a little more minimal. This is pretty much as Lux Interna sound on this compilation. They sound more decadent rather than dark compared to Sonne Hagal or :Of The Wand & The Moon:. Only two songs coming from "Ignis Mutat Res" ("Lange Mußt Du Leiden" and "Distance") have darker atmospheres and I found them more intriguing. Anyway, this album is a good overview of the Lux Interna past releases and if you were interested into checking their music, it could be a perfect start point.
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Artist: BRANDON LABELLE
Title: Dirty Ear
Format: CD
Label: Errant bodies (@)
Rated: *****
I’m sure most of the audio-art, field recording, experimental nerds among us know both Brandon LaBelle and his cult label Errant Bodies, and hell takes me if the "cult label" status is not more than deserved: from the few Errant Bodies’ materials I’ve been listening and/or reading nothing was artsy fartsy or less than attractive. This label is there to bring the sound philosophy to the next level and you can bet they’re doing it cause of genuine interest but I suggest you to visit their website to make an idea. As the description reported by the label states: "micro-composition designed as counter-sonorities to specific locations or settings" and it says so much about the work than many other descriptions. The aforesaid process is so obtained by doing some electronic stormings that you were far from expecting right when they happen, they appear in the scene creeping like some thin sounds that move underneath at the bottom of the field-recordings and in many other way. I think some episodes will surprise the listener more than others, but with such a recording that’s both quite subjective feeling plus it would be a bit inappropriate to speak about single tracks when everything is conceived as a full-continuous audio journey. LaBelle is a wellknown name for many following this kind of "music" and if you never heard any of his works you’d better remember he’s not exactly one of those freaky "field-recording" artists leaving a never-changing field-work going on forever for the sake of boredom. These sketches are full of "tricks", of nervous constructions that put an end to this or that corridor all of a sudden, making you feel like you’re constantly changing room inside of an unknown hotel. Sometimes the rooms are filled with elements, sometimes are barely empty, sometimes these rooms are flooded by an intense light like in the fifth track where LaBelle counterpoints the other sounds with a melody like those you could sing under the shower (if you ask me this the most intense fragment of the cd, I love it). As you’ve probably imagined this work deserves a careful listening with a good pair of headphones since the stereophonic games and the superimposition of different layers bring your mind and brain right where LaBelle wants you to go. In place of a collection of pictures, LaBelle wanted to show the world a series of personal "cut and paste collages" which I’m sure Dadaists would have loved for the simple fact between cerebrality and technical skill he hasn’t forgotten irony back home. Can we define it scrapbook of real life reworked and turned into a "living composition"?.
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Artist: MIEL NOIR / B MACHINA
Title: Weiss
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
WEISS is a split release which gathers Miel Noire (side project of Svarrogh's Dimo Dimov at its first official appearance after their first demo) and B-Machina. The first six tracks are Miel Noire ones and they are titled "Miel I" to "Miel VI". They sound totally different from Svarrogh and the project sounds like being Dimo's industrial/ambient/metal outlet. The track are based on melancholic melodies played using synthesizer pads where Dimo add industrial rhythmic parts, samples, treated vocals, distorted guitar and electronics. The tracks create a nice ambience and they sounds fresh enough to listen to them with interest. B-Machina aren't newcomers of the industrial ambient genre and on this release they deliver three new proper track spaced out by 13 title less short tracks containing few seconds of silence and placed between the second and the third track. The concept behind these short silence moments I think is contained into the title of the first track titled "The colour of my innocence", because when innocence is lost there's only an overwhelming silence left. Musically the tracks sound like distant industrial ambient noises where repetition is the main scheme. The third one, "Wald aus Stein & Rost", alternate industrial reverbered percussions with acoustic guitar phrasings. An interesting unconventional solution which made them be appreciated by the experimental/industrial lovers.
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