Music Reviews



Artist: Unit21 (@)
Title: November
Format: CD
Label: Lagunamuch (@)
Rated: *****
Unit21 is Stanislav Vdovin and November is an extension of previous releases on net label Thinner entitled "September-October." According to the info included on the insert "the tracks are built on looped micro samples from soviet vinyl records, home microphone recording, drum patterns and processed white noise". As you might expect this has a scratchy lo-fi feel about it in places, but it isn’t all about that. There are tracks that have little or no crackle to them at all. This is post-everything. Droney, noisy (but not overbearing), and, as you would expect from all the loops, very hypnotic. The pieces build layer upon layer creating a sense of expectation, or even creepy dread at times. I particularly like his use of white noise. There are beats here but they do not dominate. Maybe I should change the word beat to rhythm instead. You can hardly dance to it. Maybe twitch a little, but definitely not dance. The feeling here is cold, but not lifeless, like the difference between a winter day in November on Earth rather than on Mars.
Artist: Loren Dent (@)
Title: Empires and Milk
Format: CD
Label: Contract Killers Records (@)
American sound artist (Austin, TX) Loren Dent uses guitar, strings, sampling, vinyl manipulations, and field recordings to create places to live in. We are presented with 77 plus minutes of sound and light. The only way I can describe all this sound is that it is alive! No weak preset synth tones and aimless doodling. We are in the presence of a major voice in the ambient field here. There are so many layers going on at once and playing it loudly or softly will change the effect, like all good ambient pieces. I recommend this unhesitatingly even though there are a few tracks I would have left out simply because they weren't at the level of the rest.
Artist: Damien Olsen (@)
Title: Elecktronische
Format: CD
Label: the burgundy chamber
Rated: *****
Damien makes a big deal about being a Buddhist. Most musicians who make a big deal about their religious affiliation seem to be making the statement that their spiritual depth results in better music. Or maybe he just wants to sell his music to other Buddhists. I don’t know. I just don’t see any evidence of any spiritual depth at all. Or maybe I just don’t get it because I’m not an insider. This starts with an attempted marriage of experimental electronics and piano, and like many marriages, these two don’t always get along. There doesn’t always seem to be a good pairing sonically, as if one was simply put on the top of the other (if you’ll excuse the visual suggestion). At times the piano work is more interesting than the electronics and vice versa. In some pieces they don’t seem to live in the same space acoustically, making this a forced juxtaposition (which I have to admit may be the point since I’m not privy to the composer’s intentions). If that was the case, score one for the composer. Much of the electronics work harkens back to pre-digital synthesis or very early digital (or is this just the lazy use of presets?). There are some interesting electronic soundscapes here so its not an altogether waste of time.
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Artist: TRANSISTOR6 (@)
Title: Demo
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Formed by Claus Collstrup and Kira Li, Transistor6 sent me their new demo which contains five new tracks. Their style combine both smooth atmosphere and harsh sounds thanks to the warm vocals provided by Kira and to the ambient industrial e.b.m. atmosphere created by Claus. On Transistor6 you can find ambient electronic elements as well as some e.b.m. sound, everything blend to form a cinematic and dramatic soundtrack. If you check the closing instrumental version of "Resonator" it will be easier for you to understand what I mean. Kira is a good performer (she also teach vocal technique) and she enrich the interesting textures of the tracks. They are looking for a label, meanwhile check them at www.myspace.com/transistor6
Jun 06 2007
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Artist: SPINEFLESH (@)
Title: The Sense Of Flesh
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Newcomers of the industrial e.b.m. scene Spineflesh present to the lovers of the genre their debut four tracks E.P. titled THE SENSE OF FLESH. Formed by Noras and Phemtis the band took all the distinctive stuff of the genre just to make their own version of it. Their horror tense sound is convincing but the vocals, which are a middle way from early Hocico and a black metal band, sometimes make them sound like one among the many but I'm sure they'll be able to do some tuning and doing good things. The four tracks are mid tempo tunes which don't lose time with intros and since from the opening "Lusting greed" the duo kick hard the beat of out their gear. Listening to the songs a couple of times their distinctive melodic sense starts to reveal itself popping out through the raw sounds. The four tracks work well on a limited length of an E.P., I hope that they'll be able to diversify their tracks on a forthcoming full length. They are looking for a serious label. You can check their tunes at www.myspace.com/spineflesh.
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