Music Reviews



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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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Artist: THE ANTIPODEAN COLLECTIVE
Title: funcall
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
Second and long awaited chapter from the "almighty" Antipodean Collective, this time it features Scott Tinkler (trumpet), Mark Hannaford (piano), Ken Edie (drums), John Rodgers (violin) which means half of the old line up (I wrote it just to show you Kandinsky was not the only one into math and numbers!). Different proportions but the result doesn’t change in terms of quality, infact this’ a good record again, the only thing that has partially changed is the number of interceptions and corners. With a reduced line up, the single players tend to surface a bit more, hence if the last was "The massacre of the egoes" this one could be: "a choir is nothing but the sum of the single soloists", with that consider you don’t’ have a bunch of soloists emerging after a brawl (... Coltrane/Davis anyone?...), I just think on this recording the individuals and their backgrounds tend to come out more often so the shape of this or that image is more clearly discernible which doesn’t necessarily cheapen the power of this collective. Jazz and its noblesse are haunting the whole release and in all probability much more than it happened on the previous release thus if you’re a diehard fan of the genre, this new Antipodean effort is maybe more suitable for your taste. My impression is that on the other cd you had more and more contemporary abstractionism pulsing underneath but maybe that’s just my personal feeling. I imagine the fact Hannaford is behind the keys of piano in place of Grabowsky gives a different accent to the quartet, but it is said that "the whole is the sum of its parts", my conclusion is probably obvious. Hannaford’ style and the absence of the double bass leaves more room for Tinkler to roam undisturbed while Rodgers "solves problems" like Mr Wolf in "Pulp Fiction". What about Edie?...mm... mm...interesting drummer, differently from many jazz and rock drummers he’s not constantly obsessed by beating anything around him and his style is quite personal too for while most of the patient drummers use soft dynamics or some really silent sounds coming from the drums, Edie’s drumming sounds really clean both when using soft and strong dynamics but maybe that’s just a side-effect of the crystalline recording. I think there’s some continuity from first episode to this second work but also some significant variations above all if you’re among those who love recognizing the character of single player also in collective improvisational works like this.
Artist: The Spiritual Bat
Title: Through The Shadiws
Format: CD
Label: Alchemisti Music
Rated: *****
The name of the band is The Spiritual Bat and the CD is " Through the Shadows." This is a band I really like and have patiently waited for but the wait is long over. " Through the Shadows is here to stay and is better than ever. The band hail from Italy and is a quartet consist of Rosetta Garri vocals & drums, Alessio Santoni drums , Bruno Paolo flute. and Dario Passamonti guitar, bass and synths. A very creative mix of instruments that make up this unique band that has the drive to become a big success. We open with " Through the Shadows " which is a dark and brooding track that contains haunting flute and heavy guitar that creeps out of the shadows to an deathrock frenzy and surprises us all to raise the zombies from their slumber to danse. Rosetta sings to us, " as we fall to the ground through the shadows ." A tale of dark tales and darkness taking over and claiming itself true leader. We move on to Track 2, which is called, " Wandering on Cobble Hills." which is a dark folky journey into the unknown. I really liked this track in particular, it reminded me of early Scarlet Remains, AntiWorld and a little bit of Siouxsie all mixed up in one big concoction of deathrock antics. As I saw myself climbing the catacomb walls pushing way spider webs and others creatures that go bump in the night, I found myself loving the darkness and the beautiful instrumentation of it all. No lyrics were needed in this track it stood alone on it's own spinning the web of creativity and taking us far away from the land of doldrums that we find in stagnant music. Moving still ahead we come to Track 3, " Silver Lakes." which Rosetta sings to us, " it skips away from my fingers." Rosetta sounds like Monica Richards from Faith in the Muse, truly beautiful haunting vocals that pierce your dark hearts and pulls at our heart strings not letting go, reeling us in to listen and learn the essence of pure beauty as we know it. I personally could find myself dancing the night away to just about every track on this disc and found myself doing so as I typed this review out. This track seemed like a ode to the dark elements calling them into sync fora ceremony one most not forget. Moving deeper into this album the more I listen the more it is getting under my skin,this is it's purpose and I am finding myself serenading the repeat button on my stereo, this band is addicting , alluring and to my astonishment lives up to it's standards to the letter with nothing missing. We come to track 5, " Wish Power." where Rosetta sings, " we are waiting for the moment." "wish power."she sings with much anticipation and grace about power, knowledge and truth and just how it can come to you if you wish for it and make it happen by believing in the highest power and state of mind. This track is awesome in it's own right and should be played with lots of candles and paying homage to the power of wishing and the craft itself, it is a song I will hold dear to my dark heart and will make other join in on it's dark delight it offers to the creatures of the night that will lend an ear to listen and follow it's magickal path that it leaves open to us to take, but let us progress on to Track 10, " Newdance" which is a very Trad Goth song that takes us back to the old classic dark roots we long for and miss. Another dark instrumental that takes us away to that dark special place and opens our minds and envelops us and consumes our being through song, melody and interpretation, do what thou will with this one, it is left to you to decide. The rest of the tracks bring more surprise on the dark horizon and carry it's own originality through art and it's surrealism. This album overall tricks you as well as it treats you. ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo
Artist: LES VOYEURS
Title: THE ABC'S OF WALKING WISELY
Format: CD
Label: RottenStinkoRecords
Rated: *****
The name of the band is Les Voyeurs and they hail from Good ol' Chicago and put on one hell of a show. They played with long time punk rock legends, The Effigies. at Club Damaged and they put on what I call a high energy show that was unforgettable Hard driving guitars, no flash just pure punk ready and willing to kick your butt into giving a listen and leaving home happy and satisfied.. Rotten Finko is the vocalist of the band and is the stronghold and brains behind the band. We open with Track one, " No Balls which is an all around punk rock song that kicks some butt and and is in your face hard and loud. Lead singer Willie sings, " You've got no balls, no balls for you and me." This track takes you back to the old punk rock days where life was easier and fun and less commercialized, i'm grateful for a band like this band. It bring me hope that punk has not died. As I listened to more tracks on this album I started reminiiscing about all the old shows I used to attend. This band left me with old memories that were of my youth. Proceeding on with Track 7, " Double Shot ' is a danceable fun loving track that rocks from the start to the finish and keep you wanting more. Wilie sings, " I got a double shot of my baby's love." This track really talks about the life of a rock star and what he all long for. Lots of fun, sex and debauchery all packed into one. The rest of this albums flows nicely and should be in every punk rockers collection. So raise a toast to Les Voyeurs and go back in time when punk was really punk. ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo
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Artist: reFLEXible (@)
Title: realgar
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
First non-Italian band on Amirani and from what I’ve heard it’s part of natural process of internationalization/expansion of their catalogue, I don’t think it’s up to an intentional choice, it probably just happened naturally plus from what I’ve seen Gianni Mimmo (label owner and musician) has been playing quite often up there in Belgium (reFLEXIble home country) so if I it has to be consider it a logical step. "Times are changing" and it’s interesting how beside this new release, the global atmosphere of the label has gone darker and more abstract lately, if you had any suspicion about the fact the jazz background of many musicians of the roster could restrict the range of the label, you’ll probably change your mind about it. This trio combines an alto saxophone, a trumpet/fluegelhorn and a guy on live electronics, they sail a quite calm but misty "contemporary sea". I think they combine acoustic sound and electronics in an intelligent manner flirting with electro-acoustic music, but I’m glad this recording doesn’t present the same interchangeable variety of sounds where you hardly distinguish a guitar a piano and the nature of every sound, infact even when "lost in sound" reFLEXible develop every sentence for the sake of what ends resulting a coherent dialogue, that’s why besides playing those oddly strangulated notes they follow some logical progression or they look for stops leaving epiclesis back home. "Realgar" belongs to the category of recordings where silence has a central function, let’s say a real role as the forth band member, silence is not just the fourth element with which the other members have to confront but weights on the whole recordings giving it its character it has. Also natural live reverb of the location in which it all had been played/recorded paints the music with a strong color and considering reFLEXible is a really measured trio, it may give a big hints of the sound of the whole work. When saying they’re measured I meant this trio belongs to that category of bands that have no rush to push every sound straight in your face and while going for sobriety you won’t have any doubt that every firm or soft sound they play is well pondered. Last and most important: if you’re looking for any traditional form of melody you’ll be disappointed since in these four long tracks they didn’t surrender to any form of traditional music... mittle european abstraction to the bone.
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