Music Reviews



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Artist: Penjaga Insaf & Vestigial (@)
Title: Of Earth And Of Fire
Format: 12"
Label: Loki Foundation / Power And Steel (@)
Rated: *****
OF EARTH AND OF FIRE is the fist official release for both the projects involved. Penjaga Insaf is a German duo who previously released a CD-r titled "To Whom It May Concern" on Shortwave Transmission. Vestigial comes from Italy and already released a self produced 3" CD-r with track which reminded of the best Lustmord moments. On this new 12" you can find Penjaga Insaf bringing to your attention "Tenangan", a twelve minutes track really involving which, like a serpent, slowly crawls between effected field recordings (voices, rhythms and noises recorded in Indonesia by the band) and spatial synth pads. During the track's length you are like suspended in time and you'll be carried away by its semi ritualistic structure. Vestigial present here two tracks which sound like two parts of the same movement. "Summoned by panopticonian flames" and "The architect of ashes" are more hypnotizing compared to the Penjaga Insaf track and it confound the listener's senses with blasts and humming loops. Imagine to be underwater and to being listening to a sinking ship during an earthquake and you'll have pretty much the sensation these tracks give. A must...
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Artist: ALPHA
Title: The Sky Is Mine
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Cat'n Roof Records (@)
First of all I'd like to point out that Alpha's music isn't my cup of tea at all. I'm not into lushy electronic music with soul components (I can't find a better way to explain it, even if sometimes it remembers me a sort of mellow version of Portishead) and I'm not into Massive Attack either (Alpha released something on their label). This double CD contains twenty four tracks where the sensual whispered voice of Wendy Stubbs enrich the electronic soul melodies performed by Corin Dingley. Fortunately for me there are also tracks I liked where the duo showed a little of their dark side (like on "Brood", "Push" or "Burn me again") and I also dug some instrumental experiments which were mixing jazz and electronics and some of the six remixes but they are too classy. If you are into these sounds I must admit that they are good...
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Artist: CRIA CUERVOS (@)
Title: CRIA CUERVOS Ilauna
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Locus of (@)
Rated: *****
Poor and simple packaging for what I consider the one of the best Cria Cuervos solo releases so far. Maggi’s last release on Afe records was ok, but I was not completely convinced of the final result above all if compared with the good collaboration with Bradley recently repressed on Small Voices. This simple 3" mcd Cria Cuervos works minimally, and according to my personal opinion pays homage to some of the early heavy weights in his category. With that I obviously mean people like Z’ev, Organum, Tietchens, Zoviet France, Watermann and so on. Given the fact I consider that to be one of the most interesting bunch in experimentalists for many reasons one of which is the fact those "heroes" were not limiting themselves to just use the industrial label since they probably couldn’t care less to be labeled this or that way a damn good example. About nineteen minutes of spectral sounds in which I perceive what I think it’s a chain (?) or a metallic thing that clinks looped like somebody is dragging it around like one of those prisoners in the Medieval castles (don’t ask me why I’ve wrote this bullshit?!?). This’ probably the darkest work this Italian has done, at the same time as I’ve told it’s damn old school but it gets you where he want to for it’s scary or even better it’s "spectrally" obsessive.

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Artist: KUSH ARORA (@)
Title: Bhang Ragga : Dancehall, Bhangra, In Future Dub
Format: CD
Label: Recordlabelrecords (@)
Rated: *****
Weird to review this cd here, not cause it’s bad, it’s just weird, I mean Chindlk covers a big ranges of genre but I’d never thought I would have reviewed a cd like that here. Kush Arora play something you may like if you’re into Panjabi MC or something in the likes, but not just that, infact with the minutes running on the display the best songs start approaching, too bad they’ve left the most quiet and interesting part of the release at the end of the recording. Being dub and being modern I couldn’t avoid to think to the most solar material by Laswell or to the lest in your face songs by Kevin Martin The Bug version, but sincerely the two styles are considerably far one from each other. Indian influences, Islamic singing some electronic beats, tablas and some strange instrument from Asia as you could have guessed by yourself. Honestly this not exactly my cup o’ tea and funny to say that for an experimentalist wonnabe like me, when talking about ethnic influenced music I’m quite reactionary, but some melodies are quite catchy and the song structure is generally good. Sometimes it also brought to my mind the most "normal" songs of Trevor Dunn’s Secret Chiefs 3, but if you heard this band you know they’re never that normal and it could be the a deceptive comparison. As I’ve said it’s weird to review this record but we’re a bunch of "freaks" somehow (never forget that "somehow" makes the difference) so why not?. When soft Kush Arora, according to my opinion, are more interesting... but you know we live and die with our own opinions.

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Artist: MARY'S COMIC (@)
Title: Perfect Vacation
Format: CD
Label: Syborg Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Personal project of Ralf Jesek of In My Rosary/Derriere Le Mirroir fame, Mary's Comic has been defrosted after been put on hold on late 80's soon after its creation (the project has been resumed on late 90's only to release a couple of tracks on "The Blisz Compilation"). PERFECT VACATION presents thirteen songs which have been composed in 2005, two written in 1987 and re-recorded in 1993 ("French hotel rooms" and "Like home") plus a 1994 home demo ("I'm a lie"). The album's songs are influenced by new wave, synth-pop and goth (see "Pernille" or "Welcome to"), everything permeated by a light melancholic touch mixed with personal introspection. PERFECT VACATION is like a personal diary transposed into music and if some tunes sound like an electronic transposition of The Jesus And Mary Chain's ballads, others like "Swimming" or "So sad" have an upbeat touch that make of them a nice example of danceable electro wave. Maybe the album needed a better production but I feel that, because of its nature, this is the way it had to sound...
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