Music Reviews



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Artist: MENACE RUINE
Title: The Die Is Cast
Format: CD
Label: Alien 8 (@)
Rated: *****
Eight months after their debut album "Cult of ruins" the Montreal duo is back with a new astonishing new album. Their debut was a good album that mixed drones, black metal and noise but with THE DIE IS CAST the duo decided to change a lot their style and to pleasantly surprise their audience. The seven tracks of the album are always based on guitar drones but this time there isn't no black metal influence, instead you'll find medieval melodies and percussions duetting with the charming vocals of Geneviève. Try to imagine the Dead Can Dance album "Aion" and switch the traditional instruments with drones, chants and traditional percussions as well drum blasts. Menace Ruine succeeded into surprising giving to their music originality without losing their powerful sound. Power that finds its consecration on the 16 minutes of the closing "The bosom of the earth". Great album!
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Artist: THOLLEM MCDONAS (@)
Title: THOLLEM MCDONAS Racing The Sun Chasing The Sun
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
"This album consists of live recordings of the first halves of two solo piano concerts layed side by side, woven in and out of each other", one concert in Italy and one in the US, but the whole recording is clean and so well produced you’ll have an hard time distinguishing different reverberation or anything like that, the sound’s so good and this could be the result of two different studio session. Ages ago I’ve reviewed the solo record of McDonas on Pax recording and in the meanwhile this guy has been sailing the world as if he were the "flying dutch of piano" and you can bet he’s enriched his style so much I’ve been loving this collection of live tracks enough to regret I was not there. McDonas’ fingers move fast on ebony and ivroy but while I’m tented to comment his style as "nervous", I think it’s not exactly true, and maybe that’s just an impression but I see the approach of this american pianist has become mature, that’s why these eleven tracks show he can be sucked into a whirlpool of notes but with an incredible elegance in a split second he’s slowing down to change dierction focalizing on a small sequence of keys. I think Thollem’ style betrays some past infatuation for jazz piano, but also a great number of classical influences like in that melancholic progression of chords at the end of the ninth track. I love piano but I’m also quite aware this’ one of those instruments so inflactioned by many heartless performers it can be deadly boring, but believe me when piano is well played you believe it’s a "single instrument armada" and holy shit... this guy is so talented!. Even if their style is considerably different it reminded me of a solo performance of Martial Solal to which I’ve attended some years ago... sure he was more "jazzy", MacDonas is younger more abstract and less idiomatic in his playing (improvising?) but I remember so well when Solal destructurated and rarefied a weird medley of Sinatra’s arias shocking a good part of the audience and showing jazz sometimes can still be alive instead of a mummy!. Maybe MacDonas won’t have the same luck of Solal and perhaps his syle won’t keep progressing this way, but this’ the second time I’m listening one of his solo recordings and I’m thinking piano is a great intrument if touched by the right fingers.





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Artist: DYM
Title: The Invilid
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova
Rated: *****
DYM stands for Death to Your Modern and THE INVILID is their debut album. Containing ten tracks, the album shows a band that has something new to offer other than harsh sounds and aggressive attitude. DYM mix e.b.m. tunes with harsh/treated vocals, breakbeat rhythms and electro industrial sounds. Most of the tracks offer good moments and fortunately few of them are focused only on distorted assaults that tend to arise only chaos rather than my attention. Good for a dancefloor use as well as an home listening, THE INVILID is a nice album which stands out for its mix of genres even if innovation isn't the key for the whole track list as some tracks are quite "normal" for an e.b.m. album but the ones where they blend genres and don't push too much on the harshness are really interesting.
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: The Jeopardy Maze
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Distributor: Voice Print
Rated: *****
Reissued at the same time of "Smiling, At The Hypogonder Club", THE JEOPARDY MAZE hasn't nothing to do with the sound you can find on their 1985 release. Issued originally in 1999 on Projekt in the U.S. and by Trisol in Europe that album had Attrition line-up consisting of Martin Bowes, Julia Waller and Frank Dematteis on viola (basically the same people who released ETUDE two years before). THE JEOPARDY MAZE mix dark obsessive atmospheres, female opera style/whispered male vocals with electronics that can recall Die Form of the nineties. The album is kinda balanced proposing classical music influenced tunes (see "A virtual angel", "A virtual reprise" or semi classical/experimental "Have a nice time") and obsessive dark electronics. The original album was closed by a strange early 70's synth version of "God save the Queen": a track that sounds like a joke. Instead this reissue is closing by an unreleased track of the same period: "Infant joy" a dark ambient/classical spoken word with lyrics taken from a poem by William Blake.
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Artist: Lingouf
Title: Area Keloza
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The talent of the German Ant-Zen-label to hire some unexpected and hardly heard before is still unbreakable. The French act LINGOUF can look back on some releases out on the small Ark-Aik underground label, which mostly draw their musically ground based on Hardcore/Techno music. "Area Keloza" of course turns the music into a much wider dimension. It starts dark with several strange voice samples thrown into the Industrial soundscapes of the opener "Bioless Game", the collaboration with the Japanese Cyberpunk-artist KENJI SIRATORI takes some obvious fruits. While drowning into this obscure Industrial ambience, the abrasive rhythm work joins in and offers some satisfying results on a straight 4/4-basis. The straight orientation continues on "Harpman", which may can grow to a club favorite. The longer this album runs, the faster and more percussive-oriented the tracks mutate. The attached info sheet refers on names like CONVERTER, IMMINENT or SOMATIC RESPONSES as possible comparisons. Some elements of each mentioned acts can be surely discovered in LINGOUF, while an obviously obscurity hides behind it too. This may belongs on the fact that LINGOUF is more than a usual Industrial/Powernoise act, this project and its anonymous mastermind is also active as a visual artist. Some excerpts of the work can be discovered on the projects’ website mentioned above. "Area Keloza" features only 6 tracks, but all of them are clocking up to 10 minutes and more, so the term of a full-length album is nice fulfilled. As usual for Ant-Zen, also LINGOUF is a save candidate for 4 stars. Well deserved!
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