Music Reviews



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Artist: MIRIAM (@)
Title: When Beauty Is Invisible
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Miriam is an Italian band formed back in 1998. They took their name from the Italian title of the 1983 movie "The hunger" (it was "Miriam si sveglia a mezzanotte"). After a demo CD and a member line up change (Massimo Bandiera joined them) the band released their first official album for Decadance Records in 2002. After five years of work they are releasing this month their second album titled WHEN BEAUTY IS INVISIBLE. Since the first songs of the album you can realize how much care they put into production. Their style, which I'll call "shoegaze electronics" due to their electronic instrumentation and to their lushious atmospheres which recalled me Breathless and Cranes, is able to create an good ambience made of fluctuating eletronic layers and reverbered guitars. For sure you have to be in the right mood to listen to this CD because most of the the tracks are mellow melancholic mid tempo songs with whispered female vocals. After five tracks I must admit that even if the band is able to create a good encharmed atmosphere I had to take a break. Sometimes some upbeat rhythms surfaces like on "Endless", a track which remembered me the old Clan Of Xymox atmosphere with updated sounds. A cover of "Nightporter" closes the album: the band did a difficult choice because Daniela vocals can't recreate the emotions I felt with David Sylvian but I must admit that the instrumental part is good. If electronic wave is your style check this out...
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Artist: MONTAG
Title: going places
Format: CD
Label: Carpark (@)
Rated: *****
Carpark keeps supporting "modern pop" (whatever it means) and I dare you to deny Montag is not the most poppy release of these last months. Ok, there's good pop music and bad pop music but Montag is without any doubt one of those who gives "easy listening" a good meaning. The fact is not simply that this record is well produced and well written, this guy reactualizes Beach Boys and that psychedelic pop from the period by sewing a sort of new tissue, the funny thing is that Montag comes from cold Canada and not from a sunny California beach. Acoustic guitars plus electronics, vocals, choruses, trumpets and everything you expect from a pop record. Probably it's due to the fact just recently I've been listening to "Pet sound" (that's no so similar anyway) but it reminded me so much of Beach Boys 2007-version, alas if you are into the surf masters I'd suggest you to give a listen to their "natural" successor. Probably many of you will be wondering if that's close to Panda Bear and somehow I'd se so, but this much more poppy and according to my personal taste more arranged. There are some guest vocals but Antoine Bédard did such a uniform collage it's hard to distinguish every single host without the inner notes. If you're looking for a good cd for the summer this will go perfectly with you cocktail down in Copacabana.

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Artist: PARANOIA INDUCTA (@)
Title: Gloria Laus (Lux mundi act I)
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Headed by Anthony Armageddon Destroyer, Paranoia Inducta releases for Beast Of Prey his latest work titled GLORIA LAUS. Being the first part of the Lux Mundi trilogy, the album sees Robert Marciniak of Rukkanor and War Office Propaganda fame and eLL (Sui Generis Umbra), helping on some tracks at keyboards and voice respectively. Like stated the trilogy is "a tribute to all those people who died, were killed, deceived, humiliated or stalked by the Catholic Church. It's an homage for all those victims, to whom, instead of love, hope and brotherhood, blood, tortures and death was brought". The release is limited to 444 copies and has a special package as usual for Beast Of Prey. The eight tracks sound like dark ambient tracks with some industrial sounds and Gregorian chants here and there but generally Anthony focused his efforts into creating sonic wounds where magmatic layers of synth pads are ripped by metallic feedbacks, clanging sounds and various noises, like the music would reproduce the sound of inquisition's torture chambers and I must admit that he succeeded.
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Artist: CONVEXTION
Title: Romantic Interface
Format: 12"
Label: Arne Weinberg (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
After his previous releases on Frantic Flowers, Gerard Hanson a.k.a. Convexion lands on Arne Weinberg with four tracks of ambient techno. The first track "Translucent blue display" is driven by bass drum and a classic vintage drum machine sound, here ambient layers spread their waves like lasers while additional bleeps give an acid touch to the whole. "Laconic" is more "Detroit techno" with its looped structure and its dark atmosphere. "Salmo" sounds like a mysterious ambient oriental track but with a bass line coming from an electro funk song. The closing "Consumer identity" starts with an ambient layer with a bleeping background and soon after a cool bass line and a 4/4 rhythm join in making it sound like techno dark ambient track. Try it...
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Artist: KEVIN DRUMM
Title: sheer hellish miasma
Format: CD
Label: Mego (@)
Rated: *****
I think there's no need to introduce mr. Drumm, but recently I've found he appears on Wikipedia alas if you never heard his name that's a good opportunity to learn something more about this geat experimental artist. In the past I bought a couple of good records featuring this Chicago based musician, but this repress will help me and you to understand why he has become such a popular name for what concern experimental (and electronic) music. Being a Mego release realized in 2002 you know it's both top notch, smart, but at the same time muscular infact get ready because when Kevin is in for the explosion he’s gonna do it hard. This five legs journey begins with a buzzing drone that grows progressively screwing your ears even if you can’t but notice there a gloomy melody that drives the trip. "Turning point" moves the ground you walk upon by presenting a distorted noisy and altered electronical sound which gets deformed as if it was from Merzbow. This "deformed" digital sensation remains unaltered also in the next episode, this time it’s mostly based on high frequencies thus take for granted the listening is even more "painful" (for those who remember Massimo’s work on Mego, you know what I mean). What can you expect from a track titled "the inferno"? I can’t say if that’s the sound you’re gonna hear while crossing the doors down at "south of heaven", but to quote Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers: "Well, what about anarchy? Please don't ask it no more cos’ we're already living in it". It’s funny for I can imagine Kevin Drumm when choosing the closing track of the album probably felt fter all this "controlled digital violence" melted in "distortion" it was time for a break. Well, "Cloudy" closes this cd with a soft and odd dronical misty... hem... cloudy journey heading nowhere. Ladies and gentleman that’s Kevin Drumm: love him or leave him.

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