Music Reviews



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Artist: END OF SUMMER
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: AME (@)
Rated: *****
AME records is the new label created by Mattia Coletti from Sedia fame and here's one of the 2 episodes with which he says hi to the world. End of Summer is an improvisative ensemble (what else can you expect from him!?) including the label owner together with Xabier (his mate in Polvere) Paolo from Uncode Duello and Alessandro (from somewhere I can recall at the moment). The result is close to some Uncode Duello tracks on their debut release and less psychedelic if compared to Polvere. Music from the Seventies and above all kraut rock is an heavy influence for all those involved in this project and if you're into the style I'm sure you won't dislike it. Odd, crippled and angular and above all well recorded and tip of hat to Iriondo for his sound technician skill. While some rock oriented track are a frontal attack the third episode makes me think to Madrigali Magri's depressive/depressed deserted lullabies: it means a repetitive riff floats on barely audible vocals and drums. Right after this quiet episode the improvisors leave us another sonic blast that tributes honour to their rock attitude. If you're into Coletti and Iriondo you probably their sound.
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Artist: NARKOLEPTIK (@)
Title: impuls dominant
Format: CD
Label: FIR (@)
Rated: *****
Too bad I can't speak romanian or else I'd looking forward to read the inner notes of this cd from Bucharest’s own Narkoleptik. It should deal with some historical event happened during the cold war era but I can get nothing more. Beside the concept, "impulse dominant" is a quite generical but well done industrial release. It starts with harsh noises kept in the background as everything in this release, I mean Narkoleptik is more into harsh trance than power-noise-in-your-face style and also the feedbacks lay in the back. Another recording where you can sense there's a surplus of echo-reverb to mix the elements in your drink. While the constant large ambience reverb gives an heavy psychedelic feel there's no dark ambiental drone as you can expect and let me say that's a positive thing. Still naïve but as I’ve said well done.
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Artist: MICHAEL RENKEL (@)
Title: errorkoerper III
Format: CD
Label: Absinth (@)
Rated: *****
Tonight I've tried so hard to sleep but it's just so hot that I've been rolling in my bed looking for something to do. Right after the very first listening I was thinking "errorkoerper III" was one of those ghostly records people should definitely listen to at night. I know you may think it could mean it induce to sleep but it has nothing to do with boredoms. Sure this Michael Renkel release is one of those "performance" where barely nothing is happening but in a really Satie-sque manner. Well, if only the french composer could have had the chance to listen to records like this I'm sure he would be touched by the fact "inexpressivity" is finally embodied in modern music and in many living musicians. Ok, let's make a list: this record is inexpressive and "nearly" nothing is happening...yes, but this series of compositions mainly based on a guitar processed through different effects and a laptop is really intense. Renkel minimal embroidery is so accurately prepared that I'm not afraid to say he probably did it with the serenity of a Zen monk immersed in his meditations exercises. Exercises, exercises... is all what this cd is about? I don't think so, while its primary essence is experimental-cold-electronic-music its root is electro-acoustic but for God’ sake not disconnected like many releases of the kind. Bravo, bravo Renkel and give a try to the resto of Absinth catalogue 'cause the label is damn interesting!.
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Artist: Akiko Grace (Bill Laswell)
Title: Illume
Format: CD
Label: J room Jazz
Distributor: Columbia Japan
Rated: *****

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Among other things and other great musicians, Japan offers a long list of outstanding young female jazz and clasically-trained piano players that enjoy a pretty big following in their own country but often also come to New York to soak in and breath in that unique mixture of air made of ambitious sky-is-the-limit entrepreneurial attitude, yellow-cab gas emissions, great musicianship and awesome collaborations. A good example of that is Akiko Grace, who continues to collect praise and kudos from fans mostly in Japan but also overseas and who therefore can afford to collaborate with ground-breaking and genre-defying pioneer musicians and composers such as Bill Laswell, who takes these piano-only recording to a whole new level with his expertise and taste.
"illume"'s ten pieces are enriched by textured layers of rapturing electronics and electric bass parts that sneak into these sophisticated arrangements as if they were part of a greater scheme of things, with the same grace and unobtrusive elegance of all the other ethereal and floating soundscapes constructed around her performances.
With the exception of one track where Akiko Grace sings a whispery part, "Illume" is an instrumental record featuring gorgeous piano ballads who fly on the wings of Laswell's ubiquitous electronic approach.
A truly beautiful record.
Artist: L'EFFECT C'EST MOI (@)
Title: Tomber en heroes
Format: CD
Label: Forart
Rated: *****
I think that's the the debut for L'Effect C'est Moi (shame on me if I'm wrong). This should be filed under gothic/epic music mainly based on keyboards as you expect it too be. This definitely well played and well recorded and it reminds me of early Ain Soph during their Staalplaat days, but less esoteric and definitley more epic. As I've said that's a "keyboard is the key-word" release therefore if you're not into layers of old fashioned sound and fake classic piano sounds thi' not your cup of tea. Epical "march-alike" drum parts on war "apocalictic folk" rhythmical framework. As I've said that's probably a debut and sure there's a lot to be imrpoved above ll in the song writing but if your into the style I think you will dig it esily. the second part of the cd is he most apocalictic one and probably the darkest one but still homogeneous. I think they should add some vocals here and there above all when playing more melodic orinted tunes.
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