Music Reviews



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Artist: CYCLOTIMIA (@)
Title: Deja Vu
Format: CD
Label: Shadowplay (@)
Distributor: Small Voices
Rated: *****
Re-pressing two sold out 10" released back in 2002 ("Same Time Same Place" and "Metamorphosis") and adding a new version of "Miserere MMI" which was included into New Death Order" CD EP, DEJA VU is the latest release by Cyclotimia. The CD opens with the digital ambient sounds and chants of "Miserere MMI", a short track which introduce us to the first lot of tracks coming from "Same Time Same Place". You read right, I said lot. Cyclotimia didn't want to reproduce the releases as they were but tried to mix the track list just to give a new structure to the album as it was a whole. The tracks coming for the first 10" are sounding more focused on the digital ambient psychedelic effect made of hisses, synth loops, light rhythms and vocal samples (there are also some exceptions like the semi industrial ambient "Same place" and the electronic gently tension of "Paradise X / Dub"). The tracks from "Metamorphosis", instead are a little more ambient and tend to create a different ambience, maybe more "spatial" with less digital grinding noises. Sometime when I listen to Cyclotimia I have the sensation of something of impalpable which tend to be distant. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I like it less because I'd prefer them to sound also passionate...
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Artist: ANDREA MARUTTI
Title: The subliminal relation between planets (live in Archiaro)
Format: CD
Label: Nextera
Rated: *****
We've already interviewed Andrea Marutti for Chaindl, but for those who don't know him, this' the man behind Afe label, but also a recording artist who's put out material in different format and on several labels using both his birth name and also monikers like Amon, Never Known, etc. Having been active for ages Marutti has developed his own approach to ambient music but differently from several of his past dark ambient releases, with his own name this guy works mainly in the area on the edge between experimental music and ambient works. Despite what the title may suggest, this live recording has the usual top notch sound quality (he's a good sound engineer) even if beside some post production I don't think he reworked the whole matter. You pass from heavy atmospheres to ethereal moods, from thick layering of sounds to quasi-silent "landings", as usual Marutti drags every sound around bringing it to its extreme consequences (that's one of his main peculiarities) but differently from some past works it's not just an heavy trip, but take for granted that it will slow down your heartbeat, above all with the more than twenty minutes of the final track. I've no doubt this is probably on of the best releases he did so far and that's due to the fact even if living patiently the suspension builds through repetitions, it doesn't get boring and those depressed melodies he inserted here and there helps a lot like in that small gem of "Wonderful Ostentation". This track quiets down everything preparing for the narcoleptic grand-finale of "In the fish Trove" where Marutti switches the light while increasingly making his way to the depth of the darkest sea. We're not dealing just with dark ambient but it's magmatic music that makes you feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

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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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