Music Reviews



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Artist: PSYCHIC SPACE INVASION
Title: All God's Children Got Space
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee
Rated: *****
Ok, ignore the bad layout, first because this cdr is available for postage costs only, second (and most of all) because this is a dramatic improvement from PSI's previous releases, which by the way were not bad at all. Ian Holloway hasn't changed the nature of his project (i.e. synth-driven cosmic ambient), but has surely created a more daring and focused piece of minimal music. The single 43' 30'' track starts begins with a huge organ sound which will float in the air for some 20 minutes, when a synth sweep and then a pitch-shifted melody are slowly added. Then the organ returns, closing the piece in a circular way. While I'm still not a fan of overtly audible synth sounds, PSI has written a great composition, with a skillful use of timing and sequences; and the organ-like sound is splendid (think of jliat's "The Nature of Nature"). Well worth the few pennies to cover postage.
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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Sketches from Dust
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
A new full length from Bradley and you know he's always great and I'm a fan of his, right? This time he collaborates with Current 93 pianist Maja Elliott (whose recent CDep "1000 Water Craters on the Sea" features in turn Bradley's contribution, along with Steven Stapleton's and Aranos'). "Sketches from Dust" is a one-track work in the wake of Paul's more abstract, ethereal and melodic works, like "Anamnesis" and "Liquid Sunset". The drone ebbs and flows along in a peaceful, brain-healing way, though the last section, when Elliott's piano dirge crawl in, is quite sombre, even reminding of NWW's "Soliloquy for Lilith". Seems you simply can't go wrong with this guy.
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Artist: THE DARK UNSPOKEN (@)
Title: Die By Echoes
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
This is another newcomer hailing from Lemgo/Germany and musically globally based in kind of Dark Electro. THE DARK UNSPOKEN present her their debut which is a self-produced one released on their Rat Records, which also got picked up for some promotion through Codeline Records (www.codeline-records.de) and SX Promotion, and so the distribution help through SX Distribution. The main member calls himself Darkun, but lately he got some additional help on the synth work by Kaiser, who hasn’t anything to do with the famous German chief organizer of the soccer world championship. Lately this band also could produce some music for two horror b-movies "The Butcher 2 and 3". Dark Electro, at times danceable ("Seed Of Time" or the most angriest piece "Visions Deceased", from which here’s also a video file available...), at times slowly ("Sehen"), but it sounds a bit dated and old-fashioned. It’s surely not the newest water which is in use here regarding the sounds and the production – also regarding for the changing vocals depending between melodious to rough and distorted (decent example: the title track "Die By Echoes"...) there’s still room for some development. A track like "Gothics Never Go Sick" caused a smile in my face, ha-ha! But musically spoken the band offers some solid work and with a well recognized background through some instrumental tracks "Hexen" and "Kinderschreie". In all it is an average debut, but some refreshing is required for the next release. Until then – keep on and develop.
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Artist: ARC
Title: The Circle Is Not Round
Format: CD
Label: A Silent Place
Rated: *****
As Canadian soundmaker Aidan Baker is gaining more and more recognition thanks to his quite impressive solo curriculum and his doom-drone project Nadja, it was about time that his trio Arc got to an official release, after a series of limited cdrs. The honour of releasing it goes to Italian A Silent Place, a Small Voices sub-label devoted to drone/folk/psychedelic sounds... which is exactly what Arc play. Baker (guitars, flutes, loops and edrumkit), his brother Richard (percussion, chimes, drums) and Christopher Kukiel (djembe and tabla) play lengthy, expanded but always melodic jams, where Aidan's trademark drones and loops are given a more, ahem, rock form. The comparisons with Popul Vuh I've read are definitely fitting, though the trio plays in a more electric and energetic form, which could find appreciative ears among fans of Vibracathedral Orchestra, Pelt, My Cat Is An Alien and the likes. The work opens with "The Endless Sequence of Life & Death", immediately summing up Arc's characteristics: a slow crescendo of looped melodies and sparse percussion leads to an ecstatic, distorted solo and a climax of feedback and drumming. Apparently inspired by Buddhist spirituality, "The Circle Is Not Round" luckily avoids any trippy new age indulgence to focus on a free-flowing epic sound which never loses an edge, not even in its quietest moments.
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Artist: Ether (@)
Title: Intimo Personelles
Format: CD
Label: MousikeLab (@)
Distributor: MDM Mutialism Distribution
Rated: *****
Ether is an all italian job: a Dj and two electronic musicians wheeling and dealing in the midst of electronic music, IDM, breakbeats and instrumental hip hop. They formed back in 2001 in Florence and have brought some attention upon themselves with the inclusion of a couple of tracks on random compilations. Although there's been an EP ("Quasi Quasar"), "Intimo Personelles" is really their debut album and comes out on a Neapolitan label that's been releasing a slew of good electronic discs. Well produced and put together, this disc interweaves unsaturated minimal electronics with breakbeat-influenced idm in a way that you might find familiar if you like the label Hive, for example. A noteworthy effort from the three-colored boot.
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