Music Reviews



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Artist: NOVOTONO (@)
Title: wanderung
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
While the cover is really classy and the fact many of the musicians on this label have a jazz/learned/contemporary background might bring forth the idea it’s soft-new age-jazz you can listen while having your macrobiotic meal, the music sails in much trouble waters. The fact all the music is played with clarinets, saxophones and trombone makes the listening not so comfortable above all if you consider this’ not "wallpaper jazz" and as you may suspect by yourself to avoid falling in the sad "innocuous jazz" category they needed ideas. Yes, they have ideas and they probably put it on paper while filling the blacks of the pentagram since the majority of the tracks are composed and by some means quite geometrically that makes it all interesting but on the other hand the side effect is that sometimes it’s really tortuous. As you can guess the recording is quite bright-clean like the majority of the other materials on Amirani but it gets rough just with some low registers and I say cause beside under the decisional profile it means in their compositions Novotono tried to explore every possible sound solution (according to their initial intentions, of course!). It would be easy and above all wrong to compare "wanderung" to the mighty Rova Quartet but let’s do it just to help you (and above all me) to describe further on this release. If compared to the historical releases of the Californians this one is forcedly less choral, more absorbed in abstraction but just here and there when they go for improvisational break in between written solutions. I’m tented to add Novotono sounds also sharper and colder that make me think to a lot of avant white jazzists like Time Berne (he’s not always cold I know shame on me!), Kyle Bruckmann or Scott Rosemberg just to mention some names you may know. I know "mr. know it all" is there complaining Braxton is whiter than the snow said that dear mr. "know it all" you will agree if you’re into horns dueling with contemporary music and above all into jazz trying not to be wall paper music, you’d better give a listen.



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Artist: Colloquio (@)
Title: Si Muove E Ride
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Si muove e ride" is the new album on Eibon records by Colloquio - the musical alter ego of singer Gianni Pedretti - with 2 guest musicians from Act Noir, Sergio Calzoni at guitars and Stefano Nieri with a great sound design. Gianni Pedretti gained a cult status in Italy with his first
works and his collaboration with Canaan with whom he plays in the project called Neronoia. The album's 10 tracks are soaked in a pitch-black atmosphere with some introspective lyrics in Italian language dealing mostly with the author's ghosts and unsolved problems. Musically I found some similarities with Andy Wilder's Recoil - they share the same new wave background, they deal with introspective music with a slightly experimental edge (the term post-wave sucks but it isn't wrong in this case). Another good record from Eibon.
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Artist: GOTTERDAMMERUNG
Title: Of Whores And Culture
Format: CD
Label: Strobelight (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
OF WHORES AND CULTURE for Gotterdammerung is the album of the comeback, because since their 1996 E.P. "Purge" they released only the best of CD titled "Kin-Burst 9104" in 2004 (always for Strobelight). On this album the Dutch band surprise the lovers of classic goth/post punk sounds by gathering ten new songs (plus an hidden one) which are in balance between Bauhaus, Danse Society, Sex Gang Children, Sisters Of Mercy and Big Black (I know that Big Black ain't no goth or post punk, but the way Gotterdammerung use the drum machine, as well as its sounds, remember the first band of Steve Albini) thanks to their particular way of mixing styles. The opening track is a perfect example of this blend, because if the vocals can remember Peter Murphy, the semi Middle-Eastern melodies make you think about early European new wave bands and the final part of the song is arranged as the Danse Society version of "20000 light years from home". Gotterdammerung are good at the alternation of styles/arrangements and already on the second track "First-in-man" change the sound using a sequenced synth bass line creating a fresh song which finds its roots into the '80s post punk but with a modern arrangement. The trio is good at creating interesting tunes which gathers energy, melody and I appreciated their way of refreshing sounds I was used to listen to when I was a kid.
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anymore
Artist: PHANATOS (@)
Title: Opus 2
Format: CD
Label: Phanatos Production
Rated: *****

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Coming from Sweden, Phanatos started its activity in 1999 when a guy whose name remain a mystery decided to give form to his melancholic but still romantic side. During the years he composed nine tracks of what he call his first "Opus", releasing three CD-Rs. After this effort he started to work to OPUS 2. This brought him to the composition of eight new tracks which are in balance from goth metal melancholic ambience (because of the kind of composition and because for the drum sounds chosen) but with no use of guitar sounds and classical compositions. The tracks of OPUS 2 are based on piano, orchestrations and Phanatos vocals on four of them (with some help of Karin Ljunberg for the female vocal parts) and listening to them you have the sensation they have been created as a movie score (see also "Phantasm of reality" which sounds like a ""The girl in the mirror" reprise as well as "Goddess" of "Life elusive, death intrusive"). In our case, instead of a movie, we have a booklet titled "Tales of Love and Mystery" which is the poetic counterpart of OPUS 2. Epic, romantic but not much dark as I wished...
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anymore
Artist: TALVEKOIDIK
Title: Silent Reflections
Format: CD
Label: Brume Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Talvekoidik is the side-project of Kai, who is a founding member of S.K.E.T. SILENT REFLECTIONS is his first release as Talvekoidik (which is an Estonian word meaning a foggy, winter like atmosphere) and there Kai offerers to the lovers of the Ant Zen / Hands Productions sound a new mixture made of industrial, orchestral and break-beat intuitions. Influenced by Gridlock and Beefcake as well as Scandinavian, Baltic, Arabic and African musical traditions, Talvekoidik is capable of creating a convincing blend of industrial cinematic music. If we want to analyze his musical compositions, we can focus on three main elements: the rhythmic complex structure which is based on percussive sounds (not only drums) , the orchestrations (strings or piano are present on each track and they are the main thing that help raising the phatos) and the overall dark, almost melancholic, atmosphere. I really liked the first five tracks ("Eismeer" has great moments where industrial break-beat is well integrated with epic orchestral sounds) and generally all the tracks which have a good mixture of these elements. "Goodbye of the certainty" is one of the few ones that didn't convince me, because it was too melancholic and relaxed and paragoned to the epic mayhem of the following one (the main title) it sounds a little weak. With the ten original titles you can also find three remixes ("Eismeer" by Heimstatt Yipotash and 16pad Noiseterrorist and "Atlas" by Fragment King) which are nice but don't succeed into creating the same effect but if I have to tell which one I appreciated most, I'd go for the "Synthetic coldness" mix of "Eismeer" by 16pad Noiseterrorist. I pick up this one because it is true to the original version but it sounds like an analog lysergic version.
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