Music Reviews



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Artist: Darkoustix (@)
Title: Fatal Underworld Crazy Kink
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This is a tiresome business to be a solo artist. It demands a whole bunch of energy and time from the musician, especially if the artist is unsigned and receives no support from any label. Darkoustix is such a one man project by Fabrice, a former frontman of the Swiss act Trom that haven’t shown much sings of life after 1999 when its unreleased album "L’appel de la folie" was recorded. Fabrice seems to be an all around talent since he is responsible not only for music, lyrics and playing the instruments, but also for the design, production and recording of the album.
For his solo enterprise Fabrice chose a sound different from the one his former band had. There is less metal and more melody and personal lyrics. Songs under titles like "Bang bang bang" or "You Look Beautiful When You’re mad" could be featured on an Alice Cooper’s album sleeve thus it was little surprising that Darkoustix’ sound bears a certain mark of glam. The lyrics are in English and French with some pieces in German, which makes the songs sound more mysterious if you don’t understand this unmelodic but sort of erotic language. It is imaginable that Fabrice’s deep voice may appear attractive for those who are into men. There are no fast songs at all on "Fatal Underworld Crazy Kink", which is a pity in my opinion. The compositions are mid-tempo and slower, with a lot of atmosphere, but perhaps more diversity in instruments would be welcomed. The songs tell often stories that involve women, which is more adult and personal than songs about cyborgs and devils which we get to hear from way to many artists in our scene. "Bitch in Bondage... " is a song that criticizes religious prescriptions of behavior and "In the Name" discusses the killing and destruction orchestrated by believers in their gods’ names.
To my taste the songs sound too much alike, however this can be said about any album in a genre you are not really into. This is no driving music or accompaniment for jogging but it should be great for a Bat Cave party in a foggy club.
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anymore
Artist: UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN (@)
Title: Leuchtfische
Format: CD
Label: Valve records (@)
I don't think that many materials for flute and accordion and I'm sorry it took me a while to write about this duo, but this one is somehow unconventional and takes a lot of attention and several listenings. Honestly, the only well-known duo that comes to my mind when thinking of accordion plus horns is Trovesi and Rava (but Trovesi plays mainly clarinet and not flute), but it's more jazzy/traditional music oriented, way more melodic and even if I love their "In cerca di cibo"cd on ECM, Volker/Sheridan have more guts ("balls", if we wonna adopt that old stupid third-rate macho sentence) and seem less scared by the profundity of darkness. As many can easily guess this release not exactly "easy", it features mainly short sketches of the average length of three minutes, the atmosphere is dead serious and these two ladies explore the intensity of team-working for a duo. Contemporary classic scenarios where this couple of musicians cross different registers, different timbers and above all different dynamics, thus you have short sentences, nervous dialogues and soft breaks, I've the impression these two musicians have an incredible control and its surprising, since every sentence is expressed as loud as it requires, no aborted notes, no sign of indecision, these tracks betray the firm voice of the duo. I think sometimes they've this quasi dramatic feel, but the sentence quoted inside the booklet underlines that's probably what they wonna express: "in the depth of the ocean a phosphorescent flash vanishes into unfathomable darkness". Tracks like Corytheola leave no room to interpretation, they reach the bed of the ocean and there light and sound have a different meanning, but that could be said also for other tracks, Andriashevi instead shows how the aftertaste of some of the instant compositions is sadness. Inspired work: tip of hat.



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anymore
Artist: UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN (@)
Title: Leuchtfische
Format: CD
Label: Valve records (@)
I don't think that many materials for flute and accordion and I'm sorry it took me a while to write about this duo, but this one is somehow unconventional and takes a lot of attention and several listenings. Honestly, the only well-known duo that comes to my mind when thinking of accordion plus horns is Trovesi and Rava (but Trovesi plays mainly clarinet and not flute), but it's more jazzy/traditional music oriented, way more melodic and even if I love their "In cerca di cibo"cd on ECM, Volker/Sheridan have more guts ("balls", if we wonna adopt that old stupid third-rate macho sentence) and seem less scared by the profundity of darkness. As many can easily guess this release not exactly "easy", it features mainly short sketches of the average length of three minutes, the atmosphere is dead serious and these two ladies explore the intensity of team-working for a duo. Contemporary classic scenarios where this couple of musicians cross different registers, different timbers and above all different dynamics, thus you have short sentences, nervous dialogues and soft breaks, I've the impression these two musicians have an incredible control and its surprising, since every sentence is expressed as loud as it requires, no aborted notes, no sign of indecision, these tracks betray the firm voice of the duo. I think sometimes they've this quasi dramatic feel, but the sentence quoted inside the booklet underlines that's probably what they wonna express: "in the depth of the ocean a phosphorescent flash vanishes into unfathomable darkness". Tracks like Corytheola leave no room to interpretation, they reach the bed of the ocean and there light and sound have a different meanning, but that could be said also for other tracks, Andriashevi instead shows how the aftertaste of some of the instant compositions is sadness. Inspired work: tip of hat.



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Artist: ZONK'T
Title: Beat Wins You And Me
Format: 12"
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Rated: *****
Out on September like the newest Heal album and, as well as the other one, available only on vinyl, BEAT WINS YOU AND ME is the latest Zonk't album. Mixing dub, electronic experimentations and focusing its structure on minimal variations of rhythms and sounds, Laurent Perrier is releasing a good album where each track is able to create its own peculiar musical atmosphere. The five tracks of the album pulse and throb trying to find a way out through your speakers using sounds that change frequently. Filters and distortion is used to make the sounds change and to give the impression that they are kinda living on their own. In this way the track change, evolving and convincing the listener. Only the fifth tune "Glaire" didn't convinced me in full because it's less rich sound-vise but this don't affect the whole result of the album. Watch out for it...
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anymore
Artist: S.E.T.I.
Title: Corona
Format: CD
Label: Power And Steel (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 1992 with the S.E.T.I. moniker Andrew Lagowski (who's active with many other projects since 1982) is releasing for Power & Steel division of Loki Foundation his fifth album CORONA. Based on the sounds and emotions of deep space explorations CORONA with its mix of drones, hisses, bleeps and N.A.S.A. samples is able to awaken primordial memories. The seven tracks of the album alternate light melodic lines, cosmic like sounds and noises creating the effect of being back to your mother's womb. The rhythms are uniquely created using clashing electronic noises (see the opening track"Senior crown") that like lasers break the magmatic fluctuating synth waves with a blast. Another great track is the third one "Jece (Mix 1=4)" where the magnificence of cosmos is greeted by a sort of suite where synth long pads are coupled to orchestral organ like sounding crescendo. Mind that this is an album that needs to grow into your ears and needs you to take some time off from your frenetic activities just to join the flux...
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