Music Reviews



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Artist: CLARA CLARA
Title: AA
Format: CD
Label: S.K. (@)
Rated: *****
French rock is healthy these days or at least that an obvious impression since I see so many rock oriented bands coming from over there. This Clara Clara is another indie punk-rockish outfit that put it all on melody and sure on distorted fat indie rock, I say this since differently from many other french combos they’re not into the post/math-rock thing, infact while playing instrumental they’re closer to some weird mix of basic Trans AM but way less technical plus juvenile and more solar in playing their funny melodies. They use the voices but just to add more color to the canvas because it’s not real vocals, the first obvious reference to identify their style is instrumental punk-rock that reminds some indie band of the Matador roster from back in the days and I’ll name one band for all since they’re/have been really underrated but they were so damn good and their name was 18th dye. I dunno if you’re able to remember that wonder trio but this french band is so unclean in playing some punk-pop tunes they’re really close to that german trio. They use a keyboard or something with a strong organ sound but distorted bass is the driving force in most of the tracks therefore while the skeleton of the song is represented by an energetic rhythmic session many of the melodies are depicted by the keyboardist. At time it sound childish, it’s meant without any doubt, this a party band indie poppers may enjoy it.





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Artist: ENVENOMIST (@)
Title: abyssal siege
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip records (@)
Rated: *****
I could haven’t find any better title for this release and if mighty Jules Verne only could have the chance to choose a soundtrack for "20000 Leagues Under the Sea" I’m sure this release would have some serious chance to win the first prize as official soundtrack for that masterpiece. Envenomist is David Reed you may know for a bunch of releases he’s signed during the last three years, honestly I didn’t know that much about it till a couple of months ago but the while surfing the infamous myspace net I’ve been captured by a couple of tracks. For the simple the sound is, after having listened just a couple of recording I’m not afraid to write in a world overcrowded of noise and neo-industrial artists this guy has something that makes the difference and that I really appreciate. Abyssal siege is mainly based on distant drones, echoes and noises so that’s it all sounds like you were listening to the sonorization of the abyss while in the womb of a submergible. From what I can guess the majority of the material composing this cd is borne out of superimposition of layers, but the work has been done in a really soft way and you always have a dominant sound which usually corresponds to the darkest one. That said despite the odd and grey atmosphere resulting from that stratification you don’t have that never-ending drone effect many newjacks coming out from black metal use with no moderation dragging it around for the whole recording. As you’ve probably understood we’re really far from one of those Sunn o))),Wolf eyes replicants the world never asked for, David Reed works in a really discrete manner and with a really light dark ambient touch that displays he really knows how to reach the climax and when it’s time to do it.


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Artist: YOSHIO MACHIDA (@)
Title: Hypernatural #3
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
While first approaching Machida's release on Baskaru I was quite sure what I was going to review was a good japanese ambient cd but in someway that's a restrictive definition for Hypernatural #3. Infact while working with ambient sound and not betraying her being japanese, Machida joins the aforementioned characteristic with a strong contemporary attitude that's why this work by some means reminded me some of the early ambient composers coming from a learned background like David Cunningham who's 1991’s "water" on Made to Measure label remains a real masterpiece. Hypernatural #3 also reminded me of David Toop and again I think there a thread between the two artist I’ve mentioned so far in this review. On the other hand as I've said he's from the land of the raising sun and you can bet those ambient-japanese electronic sounds you either love or hate are probably part of the DNA and sure I'm in the ranks of those who love them. It's a soft work that despite some electronic aesthetic is much closer to classic ambient than to Minamo, Neina or names like those we've encountered so far. Simplicity and refined gentleness as you probably expect a release like that to be and you won't be disappointed since Hypernatural #3 won't betray those simple but basic rules. What I found quite characteristic of this release and that makes the difference between Machida and many young japanese composers is the fact he has this old school ambient approach that makes it in some way heavier but in a positive way, for example just take the closing tracks of the cd, the music is so low it's even hard to get what's happening you have this really distant sound fading in the background while on the surface you hear a soft and silent field recording of birds singing I'm not surprised he gave this closing track the same title of this release, the fact is it probably embodies the spirit of the whole concept thought It really sounds hyper-natural. Another reason for which I’ve been comparing Machida and Cunningham, despite the fact their music is considerably different, is that they’re both musicians before using electronics, infact Yoshio is a steel pan player, believe it or not from this work is really hard to get this thing and to me that’s another point of interest to give a listen to his last work.

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Artist: DIFFERENT STATE & SIGILL (@)
Title: Spazmatic[k] Spell
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum Records (@)
Rated: *****
SPAZMATIC[K] SPELL is a Different State/Sigill (www.myspace.com/sigill) split CD album dedicated to the memory and work of painter and magician Austin Osman Spare (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Osman_Spare). DIfferent State is a Polish project active since early 90's which released different albums since then. At their beginnings the music was mostly focused on noisy experimentation but slightly it moved on the use of electronic gear. The four tracks of this split ("I hate the eyes", "Ear", "Nose" and "Formal experimentation") see Marek X Marchoff (the man guy behind the project) helped by Laura Marchoff (angelic[k] voice, custom made generator A-23), Tom Westbum (clarinet, sax, alto sax, trumpet) and Janusz Sokolnicki (tube AMP, lead guitar). The combo for each track used a different solution, approaching them from a particular angle. If "I hate the eyes" is a really good spoken word with experimental electronic background, the following "Ear" recalled me a sort of mix between Foetus and Mark Stewart & The Maffia. "Nose", instead, is more melancholic and cinematic, proposing a nostalgic guitar solo overwhelmed by distant and reverbered orchestral sounds. "Formal experimentation" is an electronic/wave experimental track which creates a sort of spatial effect with sax inserts. Sigill approach to sound is a total different one. The Polish duo formed by Brat Salo and Nantur love to create obscure drones with echoed sounds where vocal parts seem to be taken from rituals. "Sunever", "Io Pan'i", "Ashtoreth" and "Moon lore" remember to me some old Endura tracks with that sort of throbbing electronic humming mixed with samples and noises: a sort of ritual dark ambient kind of sound. They sound less varied compared to Different State but their sound is kinda "thick".
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Artist: AD OMBRA
Title: Rites of Genesis (equinox tremendum)
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden (@)
Rated: *****
RITES OF GENESIS is the first Ad Ombra album and if you are a new-classical/dark music lover you'll love the first album of this Romanian band. The CD is contained into a three panel digipack showing paintings (by Luna) which introduce you to the atmosphere of the work. In balance from opera with female vocals and dark orchestral pieces (do you remember Devil Doll?), Ad Ombra are able to create a whole world made of tormented souls. Musically we have frequent ambience changes which seems to follow a plot: the fifteen movements seem to be steps of a story. Trying to figuring it out, it feels like something (an homunculus maybe?) born and this "thing" provoked gods' anger. At this point starts a sort of inner battle where the magician is tormented by the remorse but he also wants to win his fears by imposing his will. Here are the track-list, try to imagine your own story and be sure to check some of their tracks at their Myspace page:
01. Descort (upon the face of the Deep)
02. Tempting the Insolence of Vision
03. Heart Sermons
04. Spermognosis
05. Thanatomia (litania mierae)
06. A pearled Remorse
07. Rituals of the Dormant
08. Exequies
09. Sycomore made Senses
10. Once upon Desire
11. Dusk Vanity
12. Sideranoia
13. Consolatio (Nachtlied der Reinheit)
14. Quarted Divine
15. Verigoplay : Genesis
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