Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Meerkat (@)
Title: Kapnos
Format: CD
Label: Afe Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is the third installment in a group of concept albums by Matteo Uggeri of Sparkle in Grey (and several other projects) and Maurizio Bianchi. Evidently, the concept (kapnos is the Greek word for "smoke") was formed by these two, but much of the musical heavy lifting was done by a collaboration by the "Meerkat Ensemble." According to the website "the Meerkat ensemble is formed by a group of musicians working in the field of experimental music, drones, microsounds and field recordings: Adriano Zanni / Punck, Matteo Uggeri / Hue, Luca Sigurtà, Luca Bergero / Fhievel, Davide Valecchi / Aal, Andrea Ferraris / Ics, Fabio Selvafiorita, Paolo Ippoliti (Logoplasm), Laura Lovreglio (Logoplasm) and Andrea Marutti / Amon / Never Known." Thus, we have an Italian supergroup of experimental musicians all under one banner. Of the ten, I was only previously familiar with Matteo Uggeri, Andrea Marutti, and Fabio Selvafiorita of Ur. With all of these artists working on the same thing, you would think that the result would be quite disjointed, especially since there are different artists working on each track. However, it is actually surprisingly coherent. Part of this likely comes from the sound of crackling fire that weaves its way through most of the tracks, keeping a sense of continuity. The tracks blend into each other, making it difficult to tell when one ends and the next begins. As for the music itself, it is subdued dark ambient that has just a touch of noisy elements that keep it engaging. Voices fade in and out, while synth drones lull you into a peaceful state. This gives way to a bit of dissonance, yet never really becomes troubling. This is really accessible experimental music – something that just about anyone could enjoy. It doesn’t demand a lot from the listener, but it is a very enjoyable listen. This album weighs in at 40.47.
cover
Artist: Ur and Craig Hilton (@)
Title: I Will Be the Light
Format: CD
Label: Afe Records (@)
Rated: *****
I think that Afe Records is becoming the new Amplexus, with the odd size, aesthetically pleasing packaging. I have reviewed two other albums from Ur and they specialize in noisy atmospheres, but I had not heard of Craig Hilton. Evidently, he has collaborated with the likes of Maurizio Bianchi and MSBR, and this shows through from the opening moments of the album. Where Ur is more restrained in their noisiness, "The Path Beneath" unloads from the very beginning, only then dropping the volume to draw the listener in. The music crackles like fire and noise bursts into the quiet, foreboding atmosphere like someone operating a grinding wheel in a cavernous factory building. Eventually, the noise builds to a deafening crescendo, only to end in spastic bursts of noise. The silence after these assaults makes you quite aware of what you have just listened to. "Essential Salt" follows a similar trajectory, with noise that the gives way to atmosphere. This track incorporates long periods of silence, but after the opening track, the listener is waiting to be assaulted by noise. However, we are met with a soothing wash of heavy drones with a bit of noise beneath the surface, rather than a outright blast of noise. Nicely done. The title of "I Will Be the Light" is taken from Timothy Leary’s description of wanting to have his remains shot into space and burn up in the atmosphere in a flash of light. This track slowly transitions from ambient noise to a more consuming wall of noise in such a way that you wonder when you began listening to a noise track and just as gradually transitions back to dark ambient soundscapes. This album uses moments of silence and quiet to draw in the listener and provide a sense of motion in the composition. Despite Ur’s self description that they are all about free improvisation, this album feels like a meticulously crafted composition. This album is limited to 100 copies and weighs in at about 57 minutes.
cover
Artist: Ur (@)
Title: Four Calls for Locusts
Format: CD
Label: Mask of the Slave Records (@)
Rated: *****
Here’s another album from the Italian duo of Federico Esposito and Mauro Sciaccaluga. From the opening track, the listener knows that he or she is not in for a peaceful dark ambient listening experience. "Silent Fever Sets the Journey" reminds me of Lustmord’s Heresy, with slow drones and noise that simmers low in the mix, building gradually until the noise eventually overpowers the drone. Next up, we have "Trespassing the Fields of Corn," which is an odd mix of high pitched test tones and improv jazz. Imagine a noisier version of Clock DVA’s "White Souls in Black Suits." "Force-Fed" has a nice cinematic feel that would be at home in a dystopian science fiction film. This one is a bit more subdued than the previous tracks, with a saxophone that sounds like it is playing in the distance as industrial machinery hums away. Like the previous tracks, this one builds in intensity, as the noise comes to the foreground. "Twilight Behind the Eyelids" brings back Theremin from the second track and industrial noises. I guess if I had to describe this, I would go with a description of cinematic noise. This is not Merzbow, but it is certainly not Raison d’être either. It’s noisy, but not in an oppressive way. Overall, this is nice experimental music that throws in a lot of different elements. The closest comparison I can give is Deutsch Nepal. If you like noisy experimental, this is one that is certainly worth checking out. The disc is limited to 60 copies with minimal packaging and weighs in at about 41 minutes.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: RAMLEH (@)
Title: Switch Hitter
Format: 10"
Label: Black Rose Recordings / Broken Flag (@)
Rated: *****
It was two decades that I didn't had the chance to check on Ramleh. I interviewed him back in 1987 and then I lost the contact few years after. I knew that he got involved also into Skullflower and also for Ramleh, what was used to be filed under power electronics turned into guitar noise. The last release he did was back in 1997 for Majora Records and then he returned back in action the last year with some gigs in London (with Whithouse and Merzbow). This new 10" sees the band's line-up formed by Gary Mundy (guitar and vocals), Martyn Watts (drums) and Anthony Di Franco (bass and vocals). The 10" single contains two tracks "Switch hitter" and "The machines of joy". Now the music sounds like guitar noise influenced also by stoner rock. Of the old distortion we have traces on the vocals of the main track while musically the band tend to perform a granitic sound where there's melody but it tends to be repeated. Both the tracks seems to come from improvisations and the if at a first listening you have the sensation to be stuck into a loop, only after a couple more you start to feel its groove...
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Kobuka (@)
Title: Dystiopia
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Kibuka is Dean Dennis (Clock DVA, TAGC, Sector, Nohno) and Snook (Nohno). 16 tracks (including two remixes by Lustmord and Spiralized with Paul A. Browse) of light electronica with prominent bass lines and lots of sampling activity that reel in ideas from London's underground and drive them home by mixing it up with dubstep, ambient, electronica. It's hard to mention specific influences in addition to the obvious ones (the duo's other projects, especially DVA) but I'd say it's safe to say that there are some Warp-ish sounds (Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada) mixed up in there with the rest of the Sherwood/On-U sound and the Skream/Burial possible influences.
I reckon this will be one of the last releases to feature W's annoying sampled voice now that there's actually a smart guy running things. The whole Bush thing was getting a little old but we won't hold this against Kibuka, after all that moron and his wrongdoings have been an inspiration to many artists.
Ant-Zen is distributing this release so if you are into these sort of sounds I would definitely give this a listen.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071] [1072] [1073] [1074] [1075] [1076] [1077] [1078] [1079] [1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha