Music Reviews



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Artist: Uglyhead (@)
Title: From Time to Time...
Format: CD
Label: Automation records (@)
Rated: *****
Jake Alejo plus four live musicians, a.k.a. Uglyhead, play a mean fast-paced electro-core. After their debut full-length CD entitled "EP", Uglyhead is back with a live album on Automation records, fruit of three night of live recordings in a Burlesque club heavily mixed and post-produced in the studio afterwards. The sound is a little marshy and not all the instruments breath as openly as they could/should have, but that might also be a conscious choice in the studio or the result of the unavoidable leakage on a stage.
If you consider that this is supposed to be a live band, Uglyhead does a pretty good job at sounding like a machine-derived electronic creature. The drums in particular are processed in a way (or triggered) that they sound like a re-worked drum machine. Under a cloud of guitars, analog synth lines, bass and distorted vocals (consistently mixed in too low), transpires a lean and in your face mixture of electronic music, metal, rhythm-noise, industrial, breakcore and power-noise.
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Artist: HANS TAMMEN, CHRISTOPHER IRMER
Title: oxide
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Differently from some recent electroacoustic releases like Tripwire where you’ve the "physical" line up (drums, bass and sax) but the sound is completely embroided around silence, "Oxide" though being far from loudness is not silent all. Instead I’m tented to say there’s a bit of "rock" above if considered the context of this well known portuguese label and it has not to do with the music or with the guitar, but with the alchemy of the duo. A violin and a guitar that quite often get caught up in an intense "lovers’ quarrel" and I used the term lovers for even when Tammen and Irmer are going one against the other, you perceive they "share a mutual improvisational feeling". The violin sound is dry and natural while the guitarist most of the times filters the instrument through pedals and/or a computer, beside obtaining some interesting results, this altered guitar sound plus violin also represents the characteristical sound of these musicians. At some points it all was like listening some cold experimental electronic music and if you add the pitch sometimes got altered, you get the picture perfectly. Despite being a free/electroacoustic recording, as I’ve said I’ve found there’s a "rock" element in it all, be it the fact they’re really dynamic and noisy as some rock bands, or maybe it’s just they’re from the States and they’ve it in their DNA who knows. The tracks are mostly based on dissonance, but it all sounds almost organized, I think it has to do with the fact their work is synergic that means even when the scenario gets chaotic there’s some sort of interaction. While many releases on the label floats toward contemporary classic music, this’ more free oriented and "alternative-experimental" for the way in which they’ve combined filters, instruments and for the way they play. The last probably is the most interesting aspect and the main thing on which the duo has to evolve/work for the next future to avoid repetitions which could be behind the corner if they’ll keep concentrating exclusively on sound (not they did it on this release, it’s just a possible danger). But that’s the future, time is now and they did a good job so far.