Music Reviews



Artist: Fixture For Toxins (@)
Title: Threnodies of Labor
Format: CD EP
Label: pure volume
Rated: *****
The sound of sonic decay. No beats, no drum machines, just the sound of machines grinding away at the fabric of existence accompanied by the sound of far away voices almost drowned out by the din. The relentless, abrasive etching of sandpaper on glass obscuring and refracting the dim light of hope.
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Artist: ALIEN SKIN (@)
Title: Don't Open Till Doomsday
Format: CD
Label: A Different Drum (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
George Pappas is the keyboard player or the renewed Real Life incarnation. The Australian band had a huge success in the 80's with "Send me an angel". Alien Skin born in 2004 when George felt the urge to free his personal musical vision that couldn't be fulfilled with Real Life. Lover of the 80's electronic wave genre George made a beautiful album. A CD that the first time I listened to it made me file these ten songs under "night music". As admitted by George himself Martin Gore's songwriting affected really much his musical taste and songs like "It doesn't matter (I want you)" or the following "Gloomy Sunday" are proving this influence. Even if a certain influence is evident I'd like to say that this doesn't affect the value of Alien Skin's songwriting or his way of choosing sounds and arrangements. It's more like George is sharing with Martin the same music path. Let's go back to DON'T OPEN TILL DOOMSDAY songs then... Night music. What do I mean whit this term? Well, you know, listening to these tracks you have the sensation of being surrounded and culled by sounds but at the same time there's a certain dark mood that permeate the whole atmosphere. Melancholy isn't the only main thing on this album as on tracks like "Dust to ashes 1945" or "The spirit is willing" there's a driving upbeat rhythm that make them ready to be remixed and used on dance clubs. I'm glad that George sent me his album because I found it melodically catchy and musically reach. We'll discover something more about it into the upcoming interview with Alien Skin. Always here at CHAIN D.L.K.
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: At The Fiftieth Gate
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Distributor: Voice Print
Rated: *****
After releasing "Smiling, At The Hypogonder Club" back in 1985 change was around the corner for Attrition as they switched record label passing from Third Mind Records to Antler and they also temporarily lose Julia Waller, who briefly joined the Legendary Pink Dots. Martin then collaborated with an old friend and veteran punk guitarist Garry Cox. The tracks of the album are a blend of synth wave with guitars and dance 4/4 rhythms. At a first listening this is one of the less charismatic album by the band as with this one seems to team up with the sound of bands like Balaam And The Angel or the Mission. Fortunately Attrition had always their dark twist to save them from a total commercial attitude. Thing that, strangely enough, is more balanced on the 12"s B-sides of the period (see "Lady look now"). You'll be able to judge by yourself as all the tracks from "Hadyn (or mine)" 12" and "Turn to gold" 12" are included into this new edition.
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Artist: THE ANTRIPODEAN COLLECTIVE
Title: the Massacre of the Egos
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
"It all started with a contemporary-classic piano intro... " this could have been the incipit of a book, but it’s the intro of the first track instead and it’s the debut of what we can without doubt define as an all star band featuring Paul Grabowsky (piano), Scott Tinkler (trupet), John Rodgers (violin), Philip Rex (double bass) and Ken Edie (drums). The opening song of this release is good but I think it’s nothing but a morsel if compared to the richer banquet following: in the middle of the tracklist they’re gonna cook such a delicious dinner you will hardly forget the taste. After the fourth or fifth listening I’ve to admit this’ probably of the few real "free" releases I’ve heard in ages, with this I mean this’ far from the last and useless reinterpretation of Ornette Coleman with all those prepackaged intersections, in "the Massacre of the Egos" the Collective took that original idea and turned it into something else. While the opening "scrawl" still presents some physical jazz splinters in-between dissonance and abstraction, the crew crosses the border with the second episode and never makes it back home. After the initial display of muscular power The Antripodean Collective gets rarefied and in some episodes embraces what in painting would be pointillism, differently from the average electro-acoustic combo they don’t stop at the door of technical dogmas of a genre and the instrumental dialogue at some point becomes really intense ("The need to have the last say"). Don’t worry if you think you’ve already seen all of the colors you’re wrong, that’s why in "Conference of the Baboons" they can compete fearlessly with the best team-works of Painkiller, despite the different global background, the Collective is only more relaxed, less distorted but in someway they’re not that far. If according to Ken Vandermark when speaking about Marsalis, it’s true that someone has institutionalized jazz turning it into wallpaper music, I guess this ship flies the jolly roger.

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Artist: SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY (@)
Title: Nostromo
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Alien has been released in 1979 after years of work and different times Ridley Scott was about to quit because production didn't care about his vision and for them the movie was beginning to be too expensive because of the director's maniacal precision. That movie had also the merit to introduce to a wider audience a master of the visionary art: Giger. He created the monster and he painted different sets. If you know the movie and you also checked the interviews included into the DVD editions you can understand why Sleep Research Facility on 2001, for their debut release, decided to take inspiration from the Nostromo crew story. Especially inspired by the first eight minutes of the movie, NOSTROMO, tries to reproduce the tension and the atmosphere of that great movie. This new edition of the album allow to the dark ambient lovers to rediscover a good CD where Kevin Doherty gave his best by creating five different movements able to scare the hell out of you. Dark ambient isolationism and drones will make you revive the first time you saw the dark corridors of the Nostromo space ship. This reissue include also a bonus track titled "Narcissus": an eight minute suite with fluctuating loops, light hisses and different other hypnotic sound layers.
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