Music Reviews



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Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 Vs FRAGMENT KING (@)
Title: Good Morning W.
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
Divided into three parts "Midnight", "Afternoon" and "Morning", GOOD MORNING W. is an Ambassador 21 / Fragment King collaboration. The album is the proud son of its parents, because it gathers the musical styles of the two bands: the industrial raging guitars of Fragment King and the anarchic industrial break core of Ambassador 21. Recorded during an improvised session, GOOD MORNING W. is an album that sounds thick, if you know what I mean: tense, distorted and experimental. The perfect example is the final 16 minutes track which gives the title to the album is a sort of bomb that is about to explode. On this one Natasha free all her rage crying her lungs out while on the background the tension builds a wall of noise that seems to fall down on the last minute where only a feedback lasts. Intense...
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Artist: CRUISE [CTRL] (@)
Title: Garmonbozia!
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The newest Cruise Control (now Cruise [Ctrl]) is a CDs titled GARMONBOZIA!. On this one John Cult and DJ Gore are giving to the audience a taste of what’s next on their first full length release (which will see Jean-Luc Demeyer from Front 242 on vocals on one track and C-Drik remixing "Eat my fear", track that you can find on their previous MCD "No Hay Banda") with three new tracks of their granitic mixture of industrial noise, techno and drones. The first track "Black lodge" seems to be a techno remix of a Godflesh track where the remixer took off the guitar parts replacing them with guitar drones. The following "Smoke and nude I" is more minimal with its hisses and dark ambient noises while the closing "Crow’s nest" introduce again some rhythm and also a bit of melody creating a sort of electro industrial loop. The tracks sounds great on the short distance and I’m curious to see how the duo will deal the whole album length.
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Artist: BEATRICE ANTOLINI
Title: big saloon
Format: CD
Label: Madcap collective (@)
Rated: *****
"Sweets are my opium..." sung Shawn Brown (ex Dag Nasty-Swiz) in my fave Sweet Belly Freakdown (3/4 of Swiz) song and here we got some poppy sugar for you honey. Ok, with the coming of age and of cynism I've to admit I'm hesitant when approaching to many of these female musicians glorified for a second hand "petty romance" desire hidden in the backyard, but that's not the case, so go on reading if you’re into tiny and lovely tunes. If you're not familiar with Madcap consider they've an hi-profile lo-fi-poppy-folk-label with an eye open on american music. Beatrice Antolini is a good surprise, definitely able to write refined structured and well arranged songs without throwing it all on the average girl singer a la Cat Power like many nowadays, she went for soft psichedelia (post-Beatlesian) with an ironic feel. Piano, vocals and keyboards are the dominant tools to forge this minimal pop parade, thanks to her brilliant folk attitude she reminded me of Lisa Germano coloured in a definite post sixties salsa, that could also be a fishy coincidence considered one of the two label involved in the production of this debut is run by some Jennifer Gentle's folk (the "master of Sixties" landed on Sub Pop). This "big saloon" could have been influenced (or indirectly remind) some other 4AD female artist like Kristine Hersh or Belly but you know this "saloon"-singer thing is much more close to miss Germano and that's why I’ve put the accent there. A funny, light hearted portrait in a funny lo-fi formula.
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Artist: ASHER
Title: Directions
Format: CD
Label: Leerraum
Rated: *****
First of all, let me spend some words on the new Leerraum design: a white cardboard sleeve opening in a frame, with a printed insert showing a picture of moving ants. The number and position of the ants vary from one release to the other. This is a good show of how a minimal concept can offer a visually remarkable presentation... good job! I reviewed Asher's "Beautiful Degradation" cdr on CONV some time ago, which was roughly based on piano recordings via tape hiss and decay. This 3-track, 51' release is quite different and much more obscure, but no less hypnotic, based as it is on crackles, bass drones and slowly uncoiling high-end sine tones. If it's based on synth sounds, or on a digital treatment of field recordings, I really can't tell, but it's algid and blurred like a November mist. My only quibble is that the three tracks sound basically the same, with very minimal variations, so if you're not in the mood this could eventually sound monotonous.
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Artist: PETER REHBERG
Title: Kapotte Muziek by
Format: CD EP
Label: Korm Plastics
Rated: *****
As usual in the "Kapotte Muziek by..." series, the artist uses a live performance (here, a concert/workshop given in The Netherlands in 1997) by the Dutch collective to create a new piece of his own. Rehberg (aka Pita) reworks the raw sound sources in a way that is much more similar to his recent, and brilliant, solo disc on Mosz than to his diginoise releases under his alias. The 17' 30" track starts with a low rumble, to which he adds metallic scrapings, looped noise bursts and a cyclic rolling sound... The piece eventually caves in in a more subdued set of sounds, where even string plucking seems to be recognizable. A nice microsound track, only a bit dispersive construction-wise, but maybe that was the point.
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