Music Reviews



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Artist: MIMMO-CUSA-SERRAPILIO
Title: A Watched Pot (Never Boils)
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
Probably the most free-jazz junkies among you have already identified some of the musicians involved in this recording, but for the rest of the readers is important to know Francesco Cusa is one of the most appreciated italian avant-jazz drummers, Gianni Mimmo beside being the headchief at Amirani is a refined saxophonist (and I’ll add lately he’s an "hyperactive musician") and Andrea Serrapilio is a young and promising cellist paying his duty in Samsingen with jazzist Luigi Bonafede and somewhere else. This combined effort is the result of a fruitful improvising session and shows how three jazzy/learned musicians can combine their respective skills and instruments without sounding as the average "free-jazz-impro" cliché. It’s funny cause I think the tracklist can be misleading, above all during the very first listenings, in this sense, given that the most "idiomatic" and somehow ordinary (which doesn’t imply banal) tracks have been used as openers, some of the most unconventional and groundbreaking blasts come just after a few episodes. As many impro sessions the recording in first instance is probably meant as the "portrait of a moment", but having been a fruitful meeting, they’ve been able to reach that synergy that makes the difference from an interesting session and an anonymous one. First off they’ve managed to keep it short in every take, that’s why the average length of each song is about two or three minutes. As said the trio leaves from a jazz harbour (Submerged singer, Crusty) but most of the times arrives somewhere else (Possible Endings#1, Pot Head pixies). The physiognomy of the release is the sum of Mimmo’s clean/neat playing duelling and teaming up with the unclean/playful rhythms created by Cusa and Serrapilio, the final result is singular. Sometimes I’ve had the impression I was listening to Prokopfief put in a shaker with some slices of Art Ensemble of Chicago, Dolphy, Frith and a spruce of Tom Cora... take it with a grain of salt but that was my impression, but by some means it can be helpful to get the picture of what’s "not boiling" in this "A Watched Pot", otherwise shame on me!.
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Artist: GENETIC TRANSMISSION (@)
Title: Ascetic
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 1996, Genetic Transmission produced tons of releases also as Ladne Kwiatki, Godzilla and Hated Bruit Kollectiv. Embracing the concept of art bruitism, Tomasz present on his latest release titled ASCETIC three industrial suites based on collages of industrial sounds created recording by hitting or scrubbing metal objects (you can the set here http://www.tochnit-aleph.com/gt/instruments.html) or by "playing" instruments created with such objects. The result is a similar to the early Vivenza stuff (also he embraced the same artistic concept) whit the alternation of percussive moments and relatively calm ones where subtle noises surfaces from the factories of hell. The suites are about twenty two minutes of length and the sound is like a continuous movement of clanging sounds and while I was listening to it, it gave me the image of a huge metal serpent trying to escape.
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Artist: VANLANGEN
Title: Alte Zeyten
Format: CD
Label: Curzweyhl
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Presented as a modern minstrel master of medieval rock Vanlangen mix rock ballads a la Pogues (see the first two songs "Celtic princess - remake 2006" and "A tribute to the viking gods") with references to German folk music with semi emb metal tunes and rock metal ballads. The whole CD sounds like a destabilizing mishmash of genres where acoustic medieval ballads clash with ebm pumping songs. I don't understand if this album is a compilation or not but definitely this is not for me!
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Artist: The Infant Cycle / Antmanuv (@)
Title: Periodical lll
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Ceiling (@)
Rated: *****
Periodical lll, as titled, is the third from a series of split releases between Jim Dejong of The Infant Cycle and fellow artists in the nearby Ontario, Canada region. Here, Dejong collaborates with Tomane Vinagreiro, better known as Antmanuv, a Portuguese expat now living in Ontario.
The Infant Cycle's 'Unrelated Work Tapes 11/25/06' opens with minimal pulse-like beats that morph into textured rhythms by employing cookery, shortwave, guitar, carved vinyl playout groove, feedback generators, and birds. It adds a nice touch knowing the careful detail behind the instrumentation used here. Antmanuv's 'Beyond the Garden,' strays towards field recordings of birds, trains, and urban movements with an aim to emphasize daily environmental surroundings.
This release is not other than what you'd expect to hear but certainly not anything less, both artists offer promising tracks that leave much curiosity for what's next to come.
Published on Dejong's own label, The Ceiling, this 2 track 15 minute release is only a brief tasting of each artist's somewhat contrasting styles, albeit a pleasant listen, indeed.
Artist: Kluster Cold
Title: The Third Secret
Format: CD
Label: AFE
Rated: *****
The usage of vintage 80's synthesizer sounds has been making a come back by well known and new and up-coming underground artists who are inspire by legend 80's bands such as Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, New Order, Gary Numan, Thompson Twins, Visage, Ultravox, Prince, OMD, Kraftwerk, A-Ha, Eurythmics, Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Heaven 17, Erasure, Thomas Dolby, Soft Cell, Howard Jones, Naked Eyes and hundreds of others. Italy based Kluster Cold (aka Carlo Ponte) plays from his heart, but also from his soul by using the cold machines that appeals and identify a true composition art form of synth-pop and electronic. This third release also have the impression of being catchy by both ear and imagination, but most of the tracks are instrumental. A reminisce of absolute old school 80's music. An album that's twenty-eight minutes long that delivers and provides such an effective sense lowering the lights that you can feel the thump of the beat from the speakers while
sitting at the table or dancing on the dancefloor. "Remember" and "Dystonia Flower" is a very nice romantic piece. The potential in "The Romance Of Tar" have a tradition of a vocoder sounded like a robot. And "As Fear Comes Back" feature a female on vocals. Classic synths haunts from the shadows, but incredible to express one's innermost feelings and thoughts.
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