Music Reviews



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Artist: BLEEDING HEART NARRATIVE
Title: Tongue Tangled Hair
Format: CD
Label: Tartaruga Records (@)
Rated: *****
TONGUE TANGLED HAIR is the second Bleeding Heart Narrative full length album and for this one Olivier Barret (sometimes helped by other seven people who played violin, cello, saxophone, drums and guitar here and there) mixed the cards a little bit if you paragon this album with his first one. If "All that was missing we never had in the world" was tense and dark, TONGUE TANGLED HAIR is a multifaceted album where you find all the distinctive elements of the previous one (strings, piano, guitars and the atmosphere that was switching from the relaxed melancholy of "Blueskywards" - only available on the Cold Spring reissue - to the throbbing wall of sound of the opening "Bhn") plus an expanded song attitude (many of the twelve tracks have vocals and melody) that will please all the post rock lovers. If part of the tension is gone, the gloominess and the thick sound effect is still there. Strings build a kind of droney sound (only on "Tilted the wall" we have a sort of chamber quartet with pizzicato cellos and all) while piano and vocals paint a tormented melancholic picture. Personally I prefer tension but I have to admit that also TONGUE TANGLED HAIR is capable to build a great atmosphere. You can download "Colours Turn Colours" mp3 from Tartaruga Records website.
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Artist: Jennifer Choi (@)
Title: Violectrica (Music for Violin and Electronics)
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****

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Jennifer Choi is one of the most active and talented violinists in both New York's classical and downtown music scene. Her style is adventurous and grounded at the same time and her knowledge and understanding of the music and of the instrument position her as one of the leading virtuoso violinists on the scene, but also as one of the most open minded and daring players out there. She has played in countless places and on numerous records by improvised and classical music composers and luminaries such as Susie Ibarra, John Zorn (check her out in Zorn's latest master[card-]piece "Femina") and many others... Her latest work is a solo CD featuring interpretations of pieces by Alexandra Gardener, Randall Woolf, Padma Newsome, Susie Ibarra, Annie Gosfield and Ikue Mori, who also appears on the record as a guest and with whom Jennifer recorded three improvisations. As you might except from the sub-title, there is plenty of electronics (from ambient textures, to industrial-ish sounds, from soundscapes and layers to glitches and buzzes, from field-type background noises to sampled material). Her eclectic playing complements such eccentricity with passion and innovation, moving well beyond the standard bowing and the pizzicatos and experimenting with a whole new slew of sounds and noises that the instrument is capable of generating when in her hands. Highly recommended to those who want to hear some masterfully executed solo violin pieces but who aren't afraid to find out that there might be more than just violin after all.
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Artist: Rammstein
Title: Liebe is für Alle Da
Format: CD
Label: Pilgrim
Distributor: Universal
Rated: *****
This is quite the controversial album. Rammstein's sixth studio album in 15 years came out a few weeks ago in the middle of heavy promotional buzz and censorship. The first single from it is called "Pussy" (chorus goes "you've got a pussy, I have a dick-e, so what's the problem, let's do it quick"...) so it's obvious that they are trying to shake people up a bit by making this become their new anthem (and, maybe I am wrong but I am pretty sure it's also their first single in English). Germany marked the album as inappropriate for minors due to some of its lyrics and some graphic violence and nudity in the amazing cover art work of the 11-track version I have (a cleverly made 5-panel digipack that creates different scenes based on how it is folded and depicts some S/M scenes involving the band members with a style and colors that aim to look like an antique still life painting). Allegedly the band also promoted this album with a music video clip showing them engaging in sexual intercourse and made the video available on an x-rated site. The cherry on top of the pie is an overpriced limited edition collector's edition, which packages six dildos, a pair of handcuffs, some lube along with the CD in a sizable road case type metal box.
Obviously "Liebe is für Alle Da" (which means "love is there for everyone") is part of a well thought out marketing plan that probably left the only german band to ever reach stardom singing in German AND doing metal exactly where they wanted to be.
Strictly musically speaking the album packages powerful industrial metal although the band is increasingly less industrial and increasingly more metal (probably only the sounds of the drums and some keys are left as a testament of the more specifically industrial origins of the band). The band seems to have been acquiring a taste for faster beats and doesn't necessarily go for the big anthemic teutonic choirs any longer.
There are actually two versions of the album. The one I am reviewing contains 11 songs but there is an another version with the same title that contains 17 pieces, so if you are a fan I'd recommend going for that.
One last thing I have report about this CD is that it is one of these new CD types that will ONLY play in CD players and not in computers so you can't rip it, so if you want to put it on your iPod you better buy the digital version.
Artist: Mesh
Title: A Perfect Solution
Format: CD
Label: Dependent
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
Everybody who thinks that synthpop is all about perky prancing on the dance floor is given a chance by Mesh to reconsider their opinions. The album is telling a story of two people that formerly loved each other while now they just live together. It is redundant to explain that the album is oozing with pain. Every song copes with the topic from a different angle. And, honestly, every adult person knows what Mark is singing about here.
The opener "If We Stay Here, we’re dying" tells of an urgent necessity to make a change in the present situation and change the life, otherwise there is no real life. There is no real life without love. Just existence. The most overt way, if not the only one would be to break up the relationship. People who have nothing to tell to another, but the dreams are not impossible to come true if one makes the painful move while a brand new start is needed.
The cables on the CD-cover represent the support a relationship can grant the sides involved, but also the fetters every relationship brings with it.
"Only Better" was already released as a single and it tells about the bitterness of a separation and its necessity in the same time.
"Everything I made" reminds us that nobody starts a relationship with an intention to hurt a partner, but this is how things often unintentionally turn out.
"It’s so hard" tells of pointing blaming fingers at each other, while "everything we’re living for is gone." The situation will ruin both sides.
"Who says" is about the constant conflicts between the sides in the relation-shit.
"It’s Gone" is a monolog in front of the shatters of love while an acoustic guitar is played to add some emotionality to the electronic sound.
"Hope. Dream"and The Bitter End" are two prime class Mesh tracks to dance your behinds off. My legs move under the table already! "Want You" is about the gradual agonizing comprehension that the partner is not interested in you anymore and how one has to live and cope with this knowledge.
Mark is a talented vocalist. This is no news, but if you listen to the album closer, numerous further strengths on this British duo will become audible for you.
Some Greek sage... Or was he an Indian, or perhaps Chinese?... said centuries ago that it is easier to tell when the love starts than to tell when it ends. Would you disagree?
The title of the album is A Perfect Solution". I’m afraid Mesh mean a separation by that.
This is a very emotional album. The music is predominantly danceable, but the lyrics offer way more thought food than a traditional chorus by Scooter.
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Artist: The Orb
Title: Baghdad Batteries
Format: CD
Label: Malicious Damange records (@)
Distributor: Cargo
Rated: *****
The Orb need no introduction, they've been at it for longer than I can remember. "Baghdad Batteries" is the third installment in the Orbsession series and, differently from the first two volumes, is comprised of newly composed material written in their Berlin studio. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann give us eleven slow burning atmospheric floaters that gracefully flirt with occasional minimal techno beats and shades of world music (do I hear a kalimba?). If their different approaches to music are indeed divergent to certain extents (allegedly Paterson is said to be more about the hooks and sports a pronounced pop sensibility, while Fehlmann is more into his sounds) then I'd say the latter seems to have had the final say (especially in the first half of the record), but I think they both play nice on this record (no pun intended). The key element is the mood and the sonic palette is only an extension, a tool, to achieve the ambient nirvana the two have settled on. They are after all amongst the original masters of the ambient genre.
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