Music Reviews



Artist: Sun Rushing In
Title: Sound Collage for Live Performance
Format: CD
Label: Postdawn Nurseries Music (@)
Rated: *****
This has been classified as ambient psychfolk by the label and I guess I can see why. There are quite definitely elements of ambient soundscapes, attempts at perceptual expansion by means of altered location recordings and electronic tones, and folk, in the form of vocal stylings. The project is the collaboration between Susan DeLeo and Lauri des Marais, who work mainly in a live performance mode. "Sun Rushing In is a hybrid of Lauri's musique concrête sound design and Susan's acoustic guitar and vocals, creating an atmospheric melancholy and joy. Along with Susan's almost post-rock folk/country stylings on the six-string goes Lauri's progressively textured soundscapes, a haze of quiet low frequency aura projecting the listener into a state of neither/nor Zen. Lauri has also integrated a form of slow movement which she terms Movement So Still With Sound (similar in many respects to Butoh dance), fleshing the act out as an avant performance art session. While Sun Rushing In is mainly performance-based, Postdawn Nurseries Music also has the honor of offering the backing tracks to their performance as an exclusive CD, Sound Collage for Live Performance, making for a perfect listen for homesick or distant memory moods." (from the label site) I think this works best used on the level of background music, not in the sense of being ignored but just under the aural radar, quietly but still audible. Just loud enough to fill the silence with slight vibration.
Artist: Ladera Verdi
Title: the subliminal laceration
Format: CD
Label: Postdawn Nurseries Music (@)
Rated: *****
Social scientists say that our attention spans are getting smaller with each successive generation. TV and the male obsession with the controller constantly flipping through stations trying to find something interesting to watch on 200 plus channels is the prime example of this behavior. So is Ladera Verdi which is the project of one Daniel Covert. This disc contains 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes. With a track to time ratio like that you would expect lots of short bits of sonic detritus and you’d be right in that assumption. Guitar seems to be instrument of choice for most the tracks although we get snippets of location recording, electronic ambience, and manipulated vocal experiments. On the whole most of tracks are interesting in themselves and make us wish for more development, and that may be the point. This disk would be a good choice for a remix album with artists taking the short tracks and making a whole new disk full of music out of all the little bits and pieces.
May 18 2007
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Artist: READJUST (@)
Title: Statement
Format: CD
Label: Telegrammetry/Hypervoxx (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Another new signing for the Miami-based Telegrammetry/Hypervoxx label, and with READJUST another German act which has been active for years, but mostly very underground-based and out of sight of a wider audience. Against to their rhythmically Powernoise-presenting label comrades of STAHLSCHLAG, the music of READJUST follows rather the known path of EBM/Dark Electro and Industrial. I had the impression to listen to one of the uncountable debut releases of a Celtic Circle band – which may gives you an idea of the provided music style here. The opener "Hard To Die" provides convincing synth textures near to the Futurepop genre, while the vocals are too "unfriendly" performed that they would allow a relation to this genre. Also the track "Mein Hass", featuring useful German lyrics, can convince with some well integrated guitar riffs. Unfortunately the good quality of both opening tracks disappears with the following Goth-ballad "Queen Of Beauty", a track which really stumbles over all thinkable scene-related cliches. A weak female vocalists (Gundula Schikora/ARCANA MOON) horrific mixed in the foreground providing all that foreseeable lyrically nonsense which the title likes to announce – definitively a piece I would be ashamed to play it to anyone in 10 years – let’s call it a youth sin. Also "Born To Die (Club Mix)" isn’t at all the golden egg, the parrot-like male co-vocals are totally unnecessary and are causing toothache – same destroying judgement therefore also on the track "Locked In Silence". These tracks are luckily rather exceptions and READJUST are able to improve - "Break The Silence" and "My Star" are the better and more satisfying works of the band. The slow and creepy track "Nackte Angst" also isn’t free of cliches (...haven’t we heard lyrics about the happenings on the operation table before?) and services the average, but the also included killer remix of CENTHRON pushes the speed and offers the missed dancefloor attitude. Also the remix of CROWNICK on the track "Schwarze Seele" is up-to-date arranged and a marvelous work. This READJUST release would do a lot better if the band could decide to replace 4 – 5 tracks into new and more refreshing compositions. This "Statement" seems to be incomplete and sounds rather like a kind of collection of several tracks arranged and composed throughout years. That most of tracks are obviously driven by the "death-hate-disease" vocabulary in use for the lyrics isn’t the point here, also there’s nothing to say against the try to include musically diversity with the addition of several guest musicians and composers. But for READJUST and their debut this is rather poisonous. Some more improvement and practice would help to create a more floating and coherent album.
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Artist: BLEIBURG
Title: Musique Grotesque
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine Mailorder (@)
Distributor: SkullLine Mailorder
Rated: *****
The German Experimental project BLEIBURG surprises once with a new release, this time S. Rukavina has decided to expand his newest musically output on a 2CD set. With the limitation of only 50 exemplars this should be another collector’s item in the roster of the Bavarian-based SkullLine mail order specialist. Unfortunately after the highly accepted Ambient/Experimental-minded last BLEIBURG release "Occidentem Appello!", this DCD breaks completely down the discovered paths into an unspectacular mixture of plain synth textures, cheesy kick and snare work combined with the integration of voice samples taken out of all possible situations between movies, entertainment and historically documentation. I have to admit that I don’t have any info on the idea of this "music" – but I expect to hear some experimental tunes generated by very early computer-based tracker programs. A dedication on some early 80ies/Minimal-inspired works is recognizable. I don’t like to reject this tracker community and its effort, since I know very well, that some pieces are featuring excellent sound quells and well done arrangements – but unfortunately BLEIBURG acts here like the elephant in a porcelain shop. Sorry, but this efforts seem to have a strictly conceptual background on which I haven’t looked through so far. Out of range of my personal demand...
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Artist: DIORAMA (@)
Title: A Different Life
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
A new full-length release for the German act DIORAMA – that’s indeed another very fine item. Connoisseurs of the scene are digging their artistic being since years, maybe and thanks to the fact that their musically output has a special and very own signature which drifts away of the known formula. The music is electronic-minded and plays easily in between scene-related boundaries of Future/Synthpop to Dark Electro and Dark Wave. The band around mastermind Torben Wendt has traveled to some places between Austria and the North Sea coast of the Netherlands to pick up different moods and impression. They’ve recorded these influences in their mobile studio, simply to hold and save that moment. Also this new full-length release offers again the social-critically content the band is known for, again authentic and introverted intoned by Torben Wendt. To get DIORAMA known and heard in the clubs, they’ve also produced an EP of the track "Synthesize Me" – a straight Future-/Electro-Pop inspired track. In the same vain hits "Exit The Grey", a catchy tune aptly designed to be a possible second EP release out of this album. Also worth to mention are the rather strange constructed tracks like the opener "Screenface" and "Sands", featuring both more experimental percussion elements and effected vocals. Nevertheless I think that this band deals better with the rather subtle and melancholic arranged tracks like "Blessed" or "Burning Out" (excellent vocal performance!!!) – the favorites on this album. Please note also a hidden track starting shortly after the listed last track, "Colder". DIORAMA are still standing faithful to their own authentic kind and offer again a quality and not-to-be-missed album. Thumbs up also for the fine photo art in the booklet.
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