Music Reviews



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Artist: Flutwacht / The Sounds Of Earth (@)
Title: Poltergeist
Format: CD
Label: The Tourette Tapes (@)
Distributor: Theremin Noise Club
Rated: *****
What we have here is a split album capturing live performances (without audience as specified on the booklet) of Flutwacht and The Sounds Of Earth (both with 33:33 minutes of music). Fluchtwacht's gray ambiences are significantly harshened by sudden rhythmic noise moments often accompanied by a diabolical panning - the result is not far from the less chaotic moments of his album "Creta" (see review). The Sounds Of Earth, which I haven't heard before, offer a long straightforward journey to bleak and icy landscapes topping the composition with disquieting vocal loops (probably taken from horror movies I couldn't recognize). Somehow, it seems that the tracks of both artists work fine togheter creating a sort of continuity.
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Artist: KORBER/WEBER/YAMAUCHI
Title: Signal to Noise vol. 2
Format: CD
Label: For 4 Ears
Rated: *****
Here's the story around this cd: in 2006, a group of renowned Switzerland-based improvisers (Jason Kahn, Tomas Korber, the ex-Voice Crack Norbert Möslang, Günter Müller and Christian Weber) toured Japan, playing in different combinations and sometimes interacting with local musicians. The starting point was the creation of the Signal Quintet by Jason Kahn in 2004, to record his graphical score "Timelines" (later released on Cut); the ensemble then continued living on its own. Out of the Japanese tour, you can now listen to the "Yamaguchi" album by the Quintet, on Cut (review soon), the "Signal to Noise vol. 3" on For 4 Ears (by Kahn/Möslang/Müller), and this very "vol. 2". If you're familiar with Korber's and Weber's production, especially in the Mersault trio with Christian Wolfarth (get their 2005 release on Quakebasket), you can start guessing what this sounds like. In the first track, Weber's contrabass thumps a slow cadence, while Korber's guitar+electronics set blends with Yamauchi's sax strains, to the point that it's actually hard to distinguish which is which. Track 2 increases the tension with a faster plucking of the strings, with a rolling effect, while the other two players erupt a flow of white noise frequencies and hisses. As in all recordings involving Korber, this is a fine piece of intense and subtly menacing improvisation, where sounds are stretched and then held just before they could finally explode.
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Artist: Artesia (@)
Title: Chants D'Automne
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
After one year from their debut Artesia, a young French female duo, go back with their melancholy and suffered chant. They produce a sort of neo-classical sound, sad and arioso. On one hand the lesson of Dark Sanctuary, but less ponderous, on the other sound like Arcana, Trobar de Morte, The Moon And The Nightspirit, and sound tracks inspired by films like "The Lord of The Rings" or "The Last of the Mohicans", in which you’re surrounded by very impressive landscape and live epic adventures. Their music is a mixture of neo-classicism, gothic and fairy atmospheres, and obviously over the entire work hangs the shadow of the stainless Dead Can Dance. Compared to the debut this work is mature and less repetitive, and all seems more satisfactory. Maybe some songs lack of personality, but the final result is quite good.
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Artist: RAJAPINTA (@)
Title: Bootleg Epiphanies
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Limited to 123 copies on CD-r, BOOTLEG EPIPHANIES is a collection of noises and cut-ups recorded by Ibrahim Terzic and Niko Skorpio and assembled by the latter. The thirteen tracks contain recordings collected in various locations during the 2001÷2006 period and treated in different ways. Niko Skorpio decided to release them also if the tracks (not all of them frankly and fortunately) could sound unfinished or unsatisfactory. For sure some of them sound as sound experiments in the vein of the Boyd Rice/Frank Tovey collaborations, but they haven't the rhythmical construction of "Easy listening for the hard of hearing" and for this reason they could sound as "sounds on the wild". Tracks like "Ion flux" or "Streched qi" do have some kind of structure even if they are experimental tunes but most of them sounds like rolling sound pebbles which form a torrent of sound. Due the particular nature of the CD it hasn't been released under Someplace Else as usual...
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Artist: UBEBOET
Title: Spectra
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
Madrid-based soundmaker Miguel Ángel Tolosa, aka Ubeboet, has surely found a perfect home for this 9-track, 39-minute work. While the previous releases of his I listened to were more field recording-oriented, "Spectra" is definitely a drone thing, and a kind of natural twin to Twenty Hertz owner Paul Bradley's more melodic production. As the opening track "Premia Lucis" suggests from its very title, the album, unlike most drone releases, seems to be bathed in sunlight - possibly the kind of light you get from a stained glass window in a cathedral, with some occasional meridian demon as well. But as a whole, this is an ecstatic and peaceful soundscape, full of expanding high-end tones, occasionally streaked by some discrete field recording (footsteps, the ubiquitous rain...) - the liner notes inform us that "fm radio, tape recorder, lap steel guitar and laptop" were used, but I doubt you can recognize those, except for some string bowing in "Corridor". The ethereal feeling reminded me of Bradley's "Sketches from Dust", "Liquid Sunset" or "Anamnesis", and, staying in the Twenty Hertz catalogue, of Keith Berry's "A Strange Feather"... all of which are good examples of serene, no-new age ambient music.
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