Music Reviews



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Artist: Masonic Youth (@)
Title: Going Down
Format: 7"
Label: Smittekilde Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this band, but the name is clever. The first thing you notice is the DIY artwork, but the best part about the artwork is the defaced Chick tract about Masonry. I especially liked the way they replaced the Baphomet sigil with the McDonalds golden arches and added Mickey Mouse ears to the hat. On to the music. Because the sides are not labeled, I’ll just call them "Male" and "Female" because of the pictures on the album but the tracks are called "Mind Control" and "Going Down." The Male side begins with a slow scraping sound that goes throughout the piece. There is a repetitive melody/theme that goes through the music. Toward the end, there is feedback that becomes increasingly more intense, then suddenly stops. It is oddly soothing. The Female side features processed samples of what sounds like a talk radio show blended with a piano theme and random crackling and tapping that takes place just beneath the surface. The track suddenly switches gears to thudding beats and slightly distorted music. I wouldn’t call it noise – more like lo-fi. Slows down and suddenly stops. I don’t quite know what to make of this album. It was fine to listen to, and enjoyable, but not something that will spend a lot of time on my turntablenot because of any problems with the music, but a matter of taste. I’m reminded Abraham Lincoln’s statement, "For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like." But this is something to take a chance on if you’re looking for something that doesn’t fit into a specific mold.
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Artist: Daniel Smutny
Title: Telehors
Format: CD
Label: Normoton
Rated: *****
Daniel Smutny's "Telehors" is the first electronic effort for this avantgarde composer and rivals with the best glitch-ambient releases in 2006 along with Machinefabriek's "Marijn", Tim Hecker's "Harmony in Ultraviolet" and Mathieu & Schaefer's "Hidden Name". Smutny works with piano fragments and heavily processed field recs and all these loops are then repeated and layered after they are given their place in the track giving a sense of motion that resembles the work that Taylor Deupree did for the unrivalled "Still". I do not agree with the microscopic sticker on the cover that mentions Gas and Fennesz as references, a good reference point other than Deupree would be
Philip Jeck's more "melodic" stuff. Truly an exquisite record with a nice foggy mitteleuropean artwork.
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anymore
Artist: MARKUS REUTER
Title: Trepanation
Format: CD
Label: Lotuspike
Rated: *****
When somebody thinks of good ambient music he should figure out something like this release by Markus Reuter. Following the notes of his profile this guy should have done a lot of works and honestly it's easy to believe it since the production is great in every sense, not to say perfect. Sure, you've keyboards, synths and laptop like many other release of the genre, but in a work like the one we're talking about the difference stands in the work to give an interesting silhouette and colour to the sounds. As you probably have argued the sounds and the melodies generate the basic framework of this apparently (and I underline the word: "apparently") simple music, infact there's no real rhythmical skeleton (apart from a couple of episodes) and everything gets ethereal as it should be. There's a strong melancholy coming out from the music of Reuter but it’s still far from being depression. "Trepanation" can be unquestionably filed under ambient music but on the edge of electronica, for example just give a listen to tracks like "beat". For those aficionados of the "dear 'ol’ school" of soft electronic music, someway "Trepanation" could pay an inspired homage to some Afx "Selected Ambient Works" while dressing a brand new expansive suit. Tip of hat to the tailor then!.

Artist: FHIEVEL
Title: Preghiera per una stella
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Afe (@)
Rated: *****
I’m so late in reviewing this small gem but while I'm late in my duty scout’s honour that I've been listening to it many time since I've it. Fhievel is not a newcomer at all since I think you probably heard him with some previous solo releases or with the Pocket Progressive trio (a cd out on Creative Sources) which besides him includes Claudio Rocchetti and Luca Sigurtà. Ok, forget the electro-acoustic skill of Bergero and leave space for a drone oriented 3" mcd where Fhievel shows an incredible talent. The basic sound reminds of an organ keyboard, but it’s well mixed with some other sounds in a really soft manner so that you'll probably simply swim into it. The funny thing is that Bergero probably likes making the drones/sounds fade right after he thinks the natural climax of the single sound it's reached alas don't expect the typical ambiental, neverending psychedelic sound going on forever and ever. The only thing materializing underneath from the pool of sound is a soft foam made out of barely audible noises. Somebody in the past has compared Bergero to Eliane Radigue probably that’s true by the way for the boring I may sound keep in mind minimalism is not "poor" at all and above all it implies strength and self control, Fhievel is another good example of what I’ve just wrote.
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anymore
Artist: THE BOXING LESSON (@)
Title: The Boxing Lesson
Format: CD EP
Label: Diamond Records
Rated: *****
After releasing an EP and their first album "Radiation", The Boxing Lesson changed line-up after that Paul Waclawsky moved from California to Texas. There he recruited Jake and Jaylinn and he started to work to their homonymous CD. The new one define a new style for the band and by listening the opening track"Back from the dead" or "Crooked" you'll hear echoes of Pixies, Foo Fighters and sometimes a little bit of Dinosaur Jr plus particular arrangements dear to '60s psychedelia thanks to the use of organ or theremin sounds. The songs are pretty immediate and they are capable to make the listener feeling a sudden rush of energy. Probably you'll find their sound too poppy but you can't never tell if you don't give them a chance. I enjoyed them...
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