Music Reviews



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Artist: FRACTIONAL
Title: Come Mierda
Format: CD
Label: Brume Records (@)
Rated: *****
Belgian musician Pierre Remy is active as Fractional and his latest album COME MIERDA ("Like shit") is going to be released at the end of the month by Brume Records. Fractional creates great sound sculptures where ambient, dub, break beat and industrial music is blend into a cinematic mixture that works really great. Listening to tracks like "Sibi" makes you dive into a different world and if you close your eyes you'll realize that it isn't a really comfortable one. Tension, a bit of sadness, melancholy and rage are the feelings expressed by Pierre's music and if you check the Antonin de Bemels ''Misute'' video, (you can find it into the CDrom partition of the CD) you'll check yourself what I mean. We have faceless guys walking down the streets. The main character (when the break beat part is on) turns into what it seems to be a Tibetan demon (or it is an oni) with a great visual effect (his hair spread and twist). Great sound and atmosphere...
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Artist: T.RAUMSCHMIERE
Title: E
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult (@)
Rated: *****
It's some time that T.Raumschmiere isn't releasing a proper new studio album. His latest one "Random Noize Sessions Vol. 01" contained lost studio tracks and live recordings made between the 1996/2005 period. Anyway, the wait is almost over, because "I tank U" is the next in line and E is the first single coming from it. Containing two new tracks "E" and "E 303" this single will make arise the excitement about the new album because the main track is like honey: once it gets you, you can't free yourself so quickly, but it's so sweet that you won't... It is based on minimal techno key shifts with great fat sounds and punchy rhythms. A real killer. The B-side is less immediate but it's a good hypnotic techno one with Roland 303 inserts. Can't wait for the new album...
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Artist: Bass Communion
Title: Pacific Codex
Format: CD + DVD
Label: E=mc16 (@)
Distributor: Beta Lactam Ring Records
Rated: *****
What I immediately appreciate about this album is the carefully constructed experience arranged for the listener. The modest or veiled cover of the disc tells us very little about what type of music is contained therein (at a glance it reads more like chemistry than it does music release), but I was pleasantly surprised to find a 30+ page booklet filled not with excessive writing, prose, or details about how to understand the music, but with photographs that suggest numerous aquatic environments that might enhance the listener’s perspective while spinning. This is a nice touch considering that music is not limited to just an auditory experience.

Bass Communion’s Theo Travis and Steven Wilson showcase two contrasting soundworlds, called Pacific Codex 1 and 2. Of behind-the-scenes crediting for the album is Steve Hubback, whose metal sculptures provide the source material for the disc. How BC go about creating the textures is not specified, which makes each listen of the Codexes more compelling.
Perhaps it’s a power of suggestion in the booklet but the unfolding of the symbiotic relationship between metal, air, and water is a constant through the course of the album. Careful attention is given to the interaction of the electronics with Hubback’s instruments -the illuminating of partials, complete control of fluctuating densities, large sound masses adjacent to immersive microsounds, and an overall volume-centric approach to form. The color of the music drifts between dark greys and whites to the furthest ends of the color spectrum in other moments. The performances themselves are decidedly organic, which gives a solid foundation for the electronic manipulations. In closing, I am also impressed with the cohesion of the disc, as the overall experience leaves the listener feeling whole, as though the high tide has just receded after a pensive day.

Pacific Codex is a fine project that will provide hours of return listens, be they focused or environmental. Inside the case one will find a standard cd of the album, as well as a DVD containing surround mixes, additional photography and credits for the release. Cheers to Bass Communion for going the extra few miles at the service of the musical experience for the listener. Highly recommended album, particularly the physical release.

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anymore
Artist: RECONDITA STIRPE (@)
Title: Nessuna Letargia
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck! SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
With a title that sounds like a calling to action NESSUNA LETARGIA ("Any lethargy") is the debut album by Recondita Stirpe. The band coming from Genova is also active as Egida Aurea (I think they differ of only one or two band members) but the sound of Recondita Stirpe is a little more folk than neo-folk ("La malia dei sensi" sounds like an Italian tango). Some of their songs recalled me the atmosphere of the partisan's songs as well the traditional Italian communist songs. Acoustic guitars, accordion, percussions and choruses are the main characteristics of the band's sound which succeed into blending melancholy and strength. Lyrics, in my opinion, have a lot of importance because by reading them while listening to the music you have a different experience: is like they enhance the whole atmosphere. Musically I prefer Egida Aurea but I can't deny the force and the honesty that you feel by listening to NESSUNA LETARGIA.
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Artist: FHIEVEL, SIGURTA’ (@)
Title: the wheel
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This duo from Biella joins a couple of complementary musicians involved in sound art and experimental music, as you can easily guess from the inside notes of this cd, they’re also involved in sonorizations. You may remember them for their past participation to the Pocket Progressive experience where Claudio Rocchetti was the third part of the triumvirate, you will find some similarities but in general the project is a little bit different. While generally Sigurtà tends to be more rough and Fhievel is probably the one of the few purest "minimal electronics" exponents hailing from Italy, during the composition of this work they converged trying to resuscitate the voice of the old machines they found inside the factory "Fabbrica della ruota" of Prey and simultaneously they accomplished the result to give it all an oniric dimension. The target has been hit and the outcome is brilliant since for the whole recording you’ve the impression the audio work is part of a soundtrack and in some way their modus operandi related to the process of sonirization is quite classic. The sound definition is wonderful and natural reverbs paint the audio trip of a spectral atmosphere, the sharpness of some sounds (Fhievel?) ties the knot with some grey, dronical cluds (Sigurtà?), they didn’t pierce silence but they’ve been flirting with it constantly which means there’s no "tension building" or "waiting game", but it’s enveloped all around most of the sounds "happening" during the trip. Considering this whole recording concerns "the factory and its voice – sounds and textures of the textile industry" it’s not heavy at all, it has been probably designed to be accessible to a big range of people therefore forget those hyper-intellectualized works by this or that "sound artist wonna be". "Simple" doesn’t mean "naïve" and I’m still quite surprised by the great sound effect they managed to create for what concerns sound definition, sure you’ve to considered you won’t hear all the machine "speaking" at the same time as an Orchestra (Russolo can feel safe wherever he rests) but every ghost is there to remember when the worker will die we’ll hear his voice thru that of the machine he’s been working with for a whole life... "part animal, part machine" for the last time..forever.
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