Music Reviews



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Artist: Thick Wisps (@)
Title: (self-titled)
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Earnest cut-up noise collage artistes Thick Wisps' debut CD has a lot going for it in terms of texture and stylistic range, although a bit undefined around the edges as to both composition and performance. The music itself is an all-instrumental, arrhythmic atonal wash of static drones, hums, random clicks and pops, and arcs of flanger and phaser sweeps that bespeak the infrastructural howls and rumblings of the innards of New York, and particularly Brooklyn, where this duo, made up of Giancarlo Bracchi and Juan Matos, is based.

The first and last of the seven tracks, the long "Organ Acumulator" [sic] and "Deluvio," were recorded "live" in-studio, without editing, which is a virtue any way you slice it in this ProTooled day and age. Overall a good first effort not yet up to the kind of gritty, witty electronic nihilism that the Wisps' New York predecessors Suicide were first known for, but then again why should everyone be required to even keep a beat (or have a "singer") in the first place? Put this on to hear the roar of a thousand long-gone Manhattan basement furnaces, or feel the inter-borough subway trains cut across your mind's eye.
Artist: Accessory
Title: More of the Machinery
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Out of Line
Distributor: Out of Line
Accessory played in Chicago on Thursday April 3rd, 2008 at the Kinetic Playground for their first US. Chicago appearance ever! It was amazing! Dirk came out energetic and lively as ever and told us all to move our feet and show that we represent our Chicago Indeadstrial scene. He raised his fists and said ' C'mon Chicago show me how Hardcore you are! This band was and professional as ever! More than Machinery is the album and it is ever so amazing! We open with Track two "If this isn't a Dream" that is pure genuis and dancy as ever! Truely a dance fl;oor masterpiece and a track that really sticks in the mind and releases pure energy. The next track is " Acsy Girl" Dirk sings, " You are the Acsy girl, come dance with me." This track got me to move in my seat and bop up and down in my seatl. Dirk also sings, " the beauty queen likes this shit." Which was witty and a pure trip to electrohell. Robotic overtones overdub the lyrics into a vortex lost in space then prounounced as ever. We skip to Track Six " Hearattack" which is my personal favourite on this whole album. Synthbeat, breakbeats and pure agression meets the dance craze as we know it. This track tears it up and spits it out and is hard pure adrenaline times three. Dirk sings, " Heartattack" over horror samples and sings it with blood, sweat and tears looking for no frills, but chills. Track Eight is Tanzlaechenmann is a well know hit all over the world and got the audience live to raise their fists and sing the anthem right back at Accessory. The rest of the album proved to be just as good as the begnning and I had to stop writing this review just to dance my arse off to it, without hesitation that's for sure! This album has 20 tracjs that all are dancy and unique in their own way. Another track that stuck out on this album was Track thirteen which is " Fuck the Terrorism" which went beyond and above the call of duty. It is refreshing to see a pure Indeadstrial album that rises above the trenches and lashes out to make itself known. Buy it will grow on up and take over you and you may see more of the machinery~ do you dare? 4 stars ~ Michelle Russo
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Artist: Suspicion Breeds Confidence (@)
Title: The Fauna and Flora of the Vatican City
Format: CD
Label: Gruenrekorder (@)
Rated: *****
First, a bit of self-disclosure. I have been familiar with Suspicion Breeds Confidence since he sent me a track for the Zaftig Research Christmas Compilation "Let it Snow!" back in 1999. I have followed his project ever since. Thus, I came at this disc with some anticipation and Schmitt does not disappoint. First, the obligatory comparisons. The card that came with the disc compares Suspicion Breeds Confidence to "Aphex Twin meets Mouse on Mars." The main ones that come to my mind are a more electronic version of Zoviet France’s "Loh Land," Rothkamm’s "Astronaut of Inner Space," and some of Coil’s older glitchier work.

This is a glitch-tastic album. Cut up field recordings meld with analogue bleeps and slightly broken beats with everything layered on top of a barely perceptible wash of drone. But this is not simply cut up music along the lines of Hafler Trio’s "Bang! An Open Letter." Rather, this disc seems intricately crafted and carefully constructed to get just the right bit in the right place like a sonic jigsaw puzzle. Plus, you have to love song titles like "Her Delicacy Shivered At The Absent Summer," "While Admiring The Quality Of Other People’s Lives They Probably Do Not Deserve," and "A Million Birds Should Know Something About Modesty." Of course, like most experimental albums, the song titles seem to have little to do with the content of the track itself.

This disc has a definite sense of unity. The only track that didn’t really work for me was "El Hipopótamo Crujiente." It became a bit too repetitive in tone, seeming to work mainly as an exercise in rhythm. Perhaps the standout track for me is "Willkommen Im Schachclub Plankton 2 (Kleiderordnung)" with its distorted voices and overall weirdness that sounds like circuit bending in your dreams.

If you have ever thought that there needs to be an experimental disc for beginners, this may be exactly what you are looking for. This is one of the more accessible experimental discs that I have heard in a while. That does not mean that it lacks in complexity, only that it is a bit less in your face in its weirdness. This disc weighs in at 75 minutes and is limited to 500 copies.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The Best Of Polish Smooth Jazz... Ever!
Format: CD
Label: Recycling Records (@)
Rated: *****
Recycling Records with THE BEST OF POLISH SMOOTH JAZZ... EVER! succeed into making a fresh hoax which actually doesn't sound like a joke. Presented as the best of Polish music (you can see different bands and singers on the CD cover) the album contains experimental electronic cut-ups of Polish music performed by unknown people. This sort of operation remember me what Negativland did (do you remember the sue they received by U2 for using one of their songs?): the original tunes are raped, reduced to the bone and like a phoenix they are able to born to a new life. Probably a better one judging by the photos of the original performers. Musically the tracks have a structure and a sense, for sure they do sound experimental but not too much compared to id.m. music. Maybe they are more accessible and fresh compared to some i.d.m. release. Loops and samples are creatively irreverent but they do sound great! If you want to try it, the album is also available as free download directly from the label's website thanks to their choice to embrace the Creative Commons rights. Unfortunately you won't be able to see the video of the AjB.M. track (which is only available on its integrity there) which has been created following the same technique used for the tracks: cut-ups of the video of the original song re-worked with porn inserts of what I think could be a "stolen video" of the female singer of the original band.
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Artist: METALYCEE
Title: Metalycee
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar Records (@)
Rated: *****
Initially formed by Thilges 3's Armin Steiner and Nik Hummer, Metalycée saw their line-up grew in 2007 when singer Melita Jurisic, drummer Bernhard Breuer and bass player Matija Schellander joined. METALYCEE 12" is their debut release and contains three peculiar tracks. "Mad tom song" is in balance from glitch electronica and industrial rock with female spoken word, similar to the "quiet" Diamanda Galas moments. "Mirek" is more ambient and plays a lot with silence at its beginning just to turn into a dub rock track with noises which give to it a spatial ambience. "Ghostpriest" with its ten minutes length has a first ambient experimental part which after about three minutes is joined by the spoken word and the dub rhythm/effects. Things change suddenly at minute five when the track increase its tempo and the tension raise. During the remaining minutes we have an alternation of these two structures where noises and guitars build a thick background. Not bad for a first release, isn't it?
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