Music Reviews



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Artist: JOHN LUTHER ADAMS (@)
Title: Red Arc / Blue Veil
Format: CD
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Rated: *****
Generally I’m not a fan of piano works probably cause I’ve been listening too many bad or at least insipid piano works, anyhow some of my favorite contemporary music is written for piano, has been conceived in front of it or evolves around the idea of the instrument and that’s also the case of the oddest pair of all: Cage and Feldman. While as I’ve said many piano works tend to bore me to death, when that kind of releases is expressive I happen to get completely absorbed during the listening and John Luther Adams has captured my attention from the very first listening. I can’t say if "Alaska created the music or if the music created Alaska" as Mr. Adams is wondering in the lines of his biography, but be it suggestion or not, there’s probably a small portion of Alaska frozen in the music of this musician. While I’ve put the emphasis on piano, this cd features some other guest appearances of percussion and vibraphone and they’re not secondary at all above all the percussion infact in the economy of the third track percussion become the corpus of the whole composition. There’s a big ambient feel in the music of this composer but differently from other piano composers flirting with ambient music (for example David Cunningham) there’s no trace of keyboards, piano treatment or post-productive treatments of these recordings. Adams’ music is ambient under a really Satiesque perspective and not just due to the instrument, but also for the fact this composer is not anxious to demonstrate anything, the center of this music is just inspiration and like Carver’s writings surplus has been removed from these compositions. At the same time, despite having no thrills, this music has not much of the american minimalists’ influence, sure their shadow is there but nothing more than that (but which American –an not just them- contemporary composer can say he’s immune from that kind of influence?). "Red arc/blue veils" is simple but vibrant, melodic and intense, differently from what you may think of its simplicity this cd is far from wallpaper-music, it goes deep. If the snow of Alaska creates a quiet atmosphere, this music probably is able to re-create Alaska wherever you are.



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Artist: SEVEN MILE JOURNEY (@)
Title: The Metamorphosis Project
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Fonogram-Agency (@)
Rated: *****
There’s no doubt Isis (or I’d rather say Neurosis) and Mogwai have become independent standards there days and I dare you to deny that. This Danish band demonstrates once again this thing makes sense and being really melodic oriented belong to the category of bands following the route of the Scottish heroes. Just Mogwai then? No, they’ve melted also a bunch of other ethereal influences and being from the north of Europe they’ve some reminiscences of that all Nordic taste you can detect in Sigur Ros thought they’ve no vocals differently from the island ethereal masters. Atmospherical evocative post-rock with a strong European accent infact while they’ve same evocative inspiration of bands like Gospeed You Black Emperor, they keep far from that coral/orchestral explosions which are one of the main qualities of the canadians. Soft glacial depressive melodies played really well so if they stick a bit too much to their influences, it’s also true they’re undoubtly developing a good songwriting ability. Like in the case of many of the bands I’ve mentioned during the review this music pays an heavy debt to Morricone’s soundtrack or at least to some of the most evocative soundtrack composers fo the last thirty years. Good recording, good technical skill, some catchy melodies... the only possible remark is that concerning the personality, they just need to develop little bit their language to fully become themselves but over all an ok release.


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Artist: Black Mold Phallanx/Lacerated Tissue (@)
Title: Pustules of the Putrifact
Format: CD
Label: Mental Abuse Records (@)
Distributor: defektiv_component@yahoo.com
Rated: *****
Black Mold Phallanx is a project from Steve Pekari, proprietor of Mental Abuse Records and Splatterfuck Tapes, two DIY labels accessible through Myspace. Pakari also heads numerous other underground Death-Crust-Grind-Metal-Noise projects. Regretfully, I don’t know anything about Lacerated Tissue, except that they are from Italy.

I think the best way to adequately describe the sound of both of these projects is by an over-generalized analogy, so here it goes: Imagine an engine that was created by sewing multiple collapsed, tar-blackened, puss-filled, rotting lungs together. The fuel: Adrenaline and old milk. The difference between Black Mold Phallanx and Lacerated Tissue, to my ears, is that someone poured too much milk into the Lacerated half.

This split release is a collection of heavy guitar, rapid drums, and organic sputtering noises, peppered with smatterings of synthesizer. The songs are all very short and are just as different as they are the same. What this release lacks in dynamics it makes up for in novelty and originality. I’ll admit, metal has never been my forte. I’m not well-advised on the current accepted modes of sound, but this is the most unique perspective I’ve ever heard.
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Artist: THREE CHEERS FOR DIRTY / LUCKY GOAT
Title: Split 2
Format: 12"
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
SPLIT 2 is the second 12" of the Basserk Netherlands/French split series. This series want to introduce you new exiting bands which characteristic is to deal with the electro sound in a special way. May it with punk influence or may it with techno impetuosity, the bands are picked up by Basserk and treated like number ones. Printed on deluxe heavy vinyl 12" each band has a side and three cuts to prove their greatness. This time, for this second release, we have the French Three Cheers For Dirty and Netherlands Lucky Goat (formed by two ex 3-1 members, which already released a 12" on Basserk). Three Cheers For Dirty are presenting on their side three techno punk grooves where techno fat bass lines duet with electro bleeps and raw distorted vocals creating a distorted mixture which sound like Miss Kittin meet Peaches. The French guys aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and shoot out three hypnotic punk upbeat tempos. Lucky Goat are less raw sounding and propose three of what the label calls "electronic music with a tropical breeze". "Ooh yeah (Lionfish rmx)", "Midnight sour" and "Salad" are a mixture of electro reggae and low bit-rate dub with bass frequencies and echoed vocals: particular and funny. If you have the opportunity check for first "Salad", a good example of funky electro with jazzy inserts. Bounce it baby!
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Artist: NERONOIA (@)
Title: Il Rumore Delle Cose
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Distributor: Aural Music
Rated: *****
I listened few tracks of the first Neronoia debut album which has been released three years ago always by Eibon Records and I had mixed emotions about that one. Maybe I found it a little too nihilistic into his depression mood. Anyway, this second album born always as a Canaan/Colloquio collaboration and titled IL RUMORE DELLE COSE in my opinion succeeds into focusing in a better way the sound and the atmospheres of the project. The ten untitled tracks are capable of creating a sort of doom/new wave crossover passing through post noise rock. The treated drums and guitars are able to create a functional soundtrack to the Italian spoken word performed by Gianni. While you listen to tracks like "VII" is like you are falling into a well made of melodies and mud. It's a particular sensation where you seem cuddled by your own fears while distantly there's a band who slowly plays a nice tune. Despite the fact that the tracks play with the same atmospheres and rhythms the band is able to keep your attention awaken using sometimes a catchy refrain or a particular mix of sounds (as the use of reversed guitars along with synths) which make sound the whole album fresh and interesting. Also the choice of avoiding titles is somehow coherent with the whole concept where IL RUMORE DELLE COSE ("Things' noise") is the recording of a moment which you won't live again. Everything is making a sound but you could not be capable of listening to it...
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