Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Kali Malone
Title: Cast Of Mind
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Hallow Ground
“Cast Of Mind” is pitched as an electronic experimental album to which acoustic woodwind and brass are an added detail, but in fact the emphasis is somewhat different, especially to begin. It’s the brass in particular, the woodwind close behind it, that really drives this collection of four long dominantly-acoustic drone pieces and glacially slow chord works, and the electronics- all sourced from a Buchla 200 synthesizer- are sometimes reduced to just providing the atmospherics and the decorative sprinkles on top.

After the slightly harsh-edged sparseness of “Cast Of Mind”, it’s in the somewhat mellower “Bondage To Formula” that the synergy between brass and synthesis begins to solidify in mesmeric and pleasant ways. The harmony is broken from the first gutpunching opening moment of “Arched In Hysteria” with its pulsing bass synthesis, still droning but with decidedly more abrasive attitude, before final piece “Empty The Belief” feels like a culmination of all the above, playing both smooth brass drone and harsher synth drone simultaneously into a fairly brash wall of sound.

It’s bold, stark and immersive material with a very clear vision, and a very pleasant way to mentally transplant yourself for 36 minutes.
cover
Artist: Splashgirl
Title: Sixth Sense
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Hubro
Splashgirl’s sixth album in just over ten years is the sound of a confident post-jazz trio (piano, bass, and drums) willing to both stick to what they know and experiment a little further in equal measure.

After relatively conventional openers “Carrier” and “Broken”, joining the melée of rolling piano key arrays, deep bass plucking and dynamic impulsive drum work comes banks of synth sounds, glittering over the top like a kind of aggressive re-take on Tangerine Dream. Bold and broad-sounding synth atmospherics give a wide, quite soundtrack-y feel, most notably in the title track.

There’s overt melodrama in tracks like “Monsoon”, and exercises in emptier space such as “Half Self”.

It’s a confident bit of experimental jazz that adopts synthetic layers with great ease. I might say it’s more proficient than it is powerful but it exudes a cool quality that’s hard to match.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Dronny Darko (@)
Title: Black Hive
Format: CD
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
Even if "Black Hive" is presented as the final release of trilogy with "Outer Tehom" and "Spira Igneus", it sounds more as the next evolution from last year's "Abduction". The movement of quiet moments and large masses of drones is further expanded using a sort of field recordings which takes the drone in a real world environment.
The strings that open "Lurkers" create immediately a sense of tension which asks only a visual counterpart that appears in the listener's subconscious. The crescendo of a high frequency drone upon a bass soundscape in "Numinous" is abrupty ended for a resonant ending that introduces "Devourer" based on noises which borders field recordings while "Pale Shadows" is a return to a dark ambient form based on carefully crafted drones, even in his fast movements, after all there deviations from the canon. Initial bells of "The Knot of Time" are partially masked by noises introducing a second part based on drones and "Olympus" mirrors these form as his first part is based on sparse noises while the second is developed by the progressive juxtaposition of drones. "Rivers of Glass" is a framed by an introduction based on field recordings of water and an ending based on bells. "Distorted Reflections" closes this release with a juxtaposition of drones noisy and clear which create a sense of movement difficult to realize with a so static form.
Another progress from this project that it's raising the bar with each release with a development from a canonical form of dark ambient to a truly personal one. Among the best releases of the genre. Truly recommended.
cover
Artist: Reanimation (@)
Title: The Ghost of the Muse
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
You may recall Reanimation from the 'Under The Last Tree On Earth' album a few years back. It was a unclassifiable eclectic ear (rock) candy, and 'The Ghost of the Muse' is apparently set to eclipse it. While 'UTLTOE' was a moody, melancholic strange brew, 'The Ghost of the Muse' has a harder edge with more definition and less self-conscious introspection. Not to say the prior album didn't have its moments of punchiness (it certainly did), but there were a lot of aimless, passages that although atmospherically nice, seemed to lack focus. Some other things were just too repetitive. 'The Ghost of the Muse' opens strong with the rousingly psychedelic "Everything Is Not A Happy Ending," taking its time to build but by the time it gets to the chorus, it's smokin'. For some odd reason I'm reminded of Steve Hillage's work outside of Gong. The followup, "Tears Do Not Burn," is more straight-ahead, less obscured in purple-hazy guitar with a folksy harmonica sound on the riff and a post rock sensibility. Good track. "Silently Screaming" comes off like one of Brian Eno's softer (non-ambient) tracks, in a mellow melange of perfection, yet picks up steam as it goes along. Speaking of Eno, Michael Shanahan's (he who is Reanimation) vocals have never sounded more Enoesque than on this album. "Without You (Close Your Eyes)" has a repetitious chord backing throughout but never seems to get annoying. Shanahan seems to be becoming quite adept at writing these easygoing yet foreceful psychedelic numbers that in a fair and just world would be getting an awful lot of attention by now. But we all know we don't live in that kind of world, do we? "Plane Crash Smiles" is a frenetic psych trip that just soars over and above it all. Repetitive staccato piano chords are the backbone of "The Point of Collapse," and while not the best track on the album it has enough psychedelic fireworks to keep all but the most jaded interested. "Silently Screaming (Reprise)" ends the album, with acoustic guitar, and is a bit reminiscent of Pink Floyd. At 43 minutes this is kind of short for an album, but thankfully it's devoid of filler that many artists put in just to get an hours+ worth of material. The release is on (Limited Edition) vinyl, so maybe that has something to do with it. CD as well, for those of you lacking turntables. While the music (and vocals) on 'The Ghost of the Muse' is absolutely marvelous, there are some inherent problems; it sounds a bit too compressed and the vocals aren't as up-front as I'd prefer. According to the liner notes, "This album was recorded on a 16-track Korg MKII digital recorder. Each composition was improvised and layered one instrument at a time, often changing direction, until desired temperature and results were obtained." Maybe that had something to do with it, or perhaps the mastering, I don't know. An album like this really ought to POP in your ears. Still, it's a worthy purchase I'd recommend because I haven't heard a new psych album this good in a long time.

cover
Artist: Greenvision
Title: Rambutan
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ESP Institute
Minimal in some ways but not in others, the three tracks on “Rambutan” are built on understated house grooves with more than a slight late 80’s flavour, but layered up quite thickly with abstract sounds, ethnic tones and ebbing and flowing effects into pieces that have real character and a relaxed, fairly playful attitude.

Lead track “Banana Paradiso” is the most feel-good, with bright chords and plinky noises, though it’s not as cheesy as the title makes it sound. But it’s B2 “The Color Of Maracuja” that’s probably my favourite of the three, with extra use of jazzy slightly Rhodes-style chords playing rolling over the most determined-sounding of the three grooves, the only one with a notable hint of edge.

All three are perfect for gentle afternoon beach dancing, mellow and toe-tapping- it’s a leisurely, Summery 12” with broad appeal.
[ 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] [122] [123] [124] [125] [126] [127] [128] [129] [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...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] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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