Music Reviews



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Artist: Wagoon Cookin (@)
Title: 2Faces
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Compost Records (@)
Rated: *****
Javier and Luis Garayalde are two brothers from Madrid, Spain, who allegedly enjoy good cusine but live in a railway wagon of the once Trans-Europe-Express at the foothills of Sierra De Gredos. It's hard to believe that you can live Christopher McCandless-style while being into delicious foods and having the equipment (and the electricity to run it) to make a fine record like this, but on the other hand it is Spain after all, so everything is possible! Regardless of whether the story is the fruit of the imagination of their publicist or not, nevertheless, the tangible result at hand is real and real good indeed! It's electronic music with jazzy influences and a latin twist. The two have already played with the likes of Eddie Palmieri, Chic Korea, Gilles Peterson and Rainer Truby, to mention a just a few and this double CD has a lot of other artists lending their talents to the Wagon Cookin sound. Through "2Faces" you can live and breath the sensual and hot swinging beats of the Southern American continent and the Iberian peninsula as seen through the kaleidoscopic eyes of two jazz students on electronica steroids. It is a very interesting blend of bossa, samba, funk, acid-jazz, electronics, jazz, dance music and comes off as the perfect hot weather white sand beach DJ-ing soundtrack.
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Artist: ERIK LEVANDER (@)
Title: Kodens
Format: CD
Label: Rumraket (@)
Rated: *****
Active since late nineties with different projects and at the second solo full length album, Erik Levander is a Danish guy who is presenting to the lovers of minimal sounds his newest album titled KODENS. The new album took almost four years in the making and different compared to its first version (the hard disk of Erik's pc crashed and he lost almost everything), KODENS is a mix of melancholic atmospheres, glitch mayhem and ambient intuitions where also acoustic instruments are used (see the main clarinet part on "Manen viskar" or the piano track "Tribut"). Creating a thick web of sounds where light noises and bleeps crashes and die just to find a new form/life, Eric gave form to a complex structure which sometimes is difficult to enjoy at a first listening and it's difficult that it would be enjoyed by people who don't love i.d.m. or experimental stuff. Anyway there are tracks like "Kvad" that immediately are able to catch your attention thanks to the little melodic lines which give more power to the intricate sound structure while others like the opening "Sekund" sound too intimate.
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Artist: MESSIAH COMPLEX
Title: above the floods
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Industrial Culture (@)
Rated: *****
Best surprise of the whole new lot of 3" cdr on Industrial Culture records, this duo gives us a twenty-one minutes track with a good song progression. The fact is that this combo hailing from Scotland had the taste and the guts to move slowly to the core of the suite avoiding the abused (and sometimes predictable) framework where noise gets pushed at the maximum level from the fist to the last second of the composition. Messiah Complex deal with a magmatic wave really dense and in which both the buzz of the bass frequencies and the high frequencies drown in a poll of apparently distant white noise. The gradual progression gives an old skull industrial taste which brings to mind some early Maurizio Bianchi, some early Deutsch Nepal, some post-krautesque feel that many freaks of the first mighty industrial wave were really proud of. If you remember old sampler like the "Melt" compilation you know what I'm talking about. The question is: being old school means being old fashioned? Not always, sometimes it's a good way to evelv naturally (and differently from the rest) into something new.


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Artist: Humour Malade (@)
Title: Humour Malade
Format: 12"
Label: Brouillard Définitif (@)
Rated: *****
Another great release from the Brouillard Définitif label after the new album by Guerre Froide and the Leitmotiv collection (a must for everyone into coldwave or darkwave). Humour Malade are an obscure French act hailing from Aix-en-Provence. They were active between 1988 and disbanded in 1992 - they recorded more than 100 songs and covers but no records, singles or even demos were put out - this lp is a selection of their finest moments plus a cover of Joy Divison's "Exercise One" and let me say it... the result is a monster of an album. Musically they are close to the coldwave bands and the overall sound of the album is soaked in a lo-fi reverb, so it's all a little abstract (Cabs are stated among their influences). The LP is on clear vinyl and comes with an amazing artwork. A major recommendation for this one and I strongly hope to hear something else from their archives.
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Artist: Moth Electret
Title: lil
Format: CD
Label: mystery sea (@)
Rated: *****
Stig Berg is famous for having created one of the most beautiful and inspiring ambient albums of the last few years, "The Nacrasti", released under the name R|A|A|N, sadly overlooked but with a strong cult status in the dark ambient scene. This new release as Moth Electret keeps its obscure roots but deals with different sounds - the compositions here on "Lil" are made by field recordings collected in areas with fishing activities like Eureka in California or Barcellona's Harbour. The result is slightly different from the usual droney works out on the Mystery Sea label - there's a lot of movements here, best enjoyed with your headphones on.
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