Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Tom Blip
Title: Rez / Crazy Arps
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Paradise Palms
Tom Blip offers up a couple of warm slow house music instrumentals, nicely stripped back.

Toddling along at something like 110bpm, both tracks use SH101 acid noises as a jazzy centrepiece, bouncing quite drolly over a crisp steady walking beat, with a few subtle pads (and, unsurprisingly, a few arpeggios in “Crazy Arps”). “Rez” has the slightly squelchy sound of the two but otherwise they’re a solid pair.

It’s mild, feel-good and inoffensive, potentially a little wallpapery and very Spotify-friendly but well baked for what they are.
cover
Artist: Sandro Mussida
Title: Ventuno Costellazioni Invisibili
Format: Blu Ray disc (BD)
It’s worth pointing out from the offset that I’m reviewing the 2-track stereo version here of a 25-minute work which was originally conceived for and performed in a surround-sound six-point-star arrangement with the audience in the middle of a circle of performers. So the high-quality-studio-recorded, surround-sound Blu-ray edition may bring a whole dimension to this work that a stereo mixdown can’t capture.

Even with only two speakers, what we get there is an elegant bit of avantgarde modern classical music featuring prominent piano decorated with some tense long violin notes, equivalent but softer offering from a flute and clarinet, sparingly-plucked electric guitar, super-light percussion (most prominently high-pitched xylophone sounds often used in films to indicate where nightmares and lullabies collide), “and computers” which manifest mainly as occasional synth-like key sounds and some distant odd loops.

Across the two parts, we circle around arrangements of mood, players responding to each other’s gradual changes of tone that sways us between tension and mild discontent on one side, and mellow melancholy on the other. There’s always a degree of space, never chaos, with an admirable sense of moderation and mutual respect- whilst not overall particularly minimal, each musical element exhibits minimalism most of the time. The result is broad and expansive tone that wallows in reverb with a degree of suspense.

A high-end product from the world of Italian modern classical.
Mar 28 2018
cover
Artist: Moon Gangs
Title: Earth Loop
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Village Green Recordings
Though pitched as the work of a classically trained pianist toying with analogue synths, “Earth Loop” is a fully fledged soundtrack-like instrumental electronica album that owes a lot to Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, and sounds like what TD could have sounded like in this century if their releases had had a bit more vigour and enthusiasm behind them. Bright analogue bleep patterns dance over bold, bright, super-keen synth and string-synth pads, while sparse dramatic percussive hits give everything a sense of importance and wonder.

“Second Run” has a slightly synthwave edge to it, like the opening overture to an 80’s sci-fi movie, but not in a kitsch way which is to its credit. “The Start” and “The End”, a deliberate musical book-ending, add hints of a male vocal sample that add a little extra nuance as well.

At points it could be accused of being a one-trick pony- every track feels a little like an attempt to synthesize the feeling of a bright new sunset, with tracks like “The Terminal” and “Tempel 1” not adding quite as much variety as they might. But with a running time of only 37 minutes, attention never gets over-stretched.

Overall it’s lovely synth-electronica with a hint of retro that leaves you with a genuinely warm feeling.
cover
Artist: Bawrut
Title: 4x4
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Ransom Note Records
Madrid-based Bawrut offers up a 4-pack of quirky, bouncy techno, where simple one-note synth basslines and 4/4 drum patterns are the DJ-friendly vanilla base for a variety of playful electronic wibbles that dance over the top.

Lead track “Three Sounds”’s bleepy riff borders on novelty but it’s the kind of hook that should keep it coming back for repeat plays. “More Cowbell”, referencing but not sampling the apparently quite litigious Saturday Night Live’s Christopher Walken sketch, predictably adds a cowbell layer to the fairly tribal rhythm pattern, over which a quite synthwavey bassline slowly grows.

“I Hear Voices” takes sampled vocal ooohs of different lengths and plays a catchy melody with them over mellow house groove of long lush pads and the occasional spoken-word sample of somebody who sounds like Björk saying “I hear voices”.

“Ghettoscar” is something of an odd one out, eschewing the usual DJ-friendly building intro in favour of showcasing a folksy sample of African chanting with its own inbuilt rhythm, which is treated quite reverentially and not cut up very much while the drums and acid bassline slowly get added.

A really enjoyable set of four melodic, positive techno tracks with a nice sense of fun.
cover
Artist: Kalbata
Title: Yamaha Acid
Format: 12" vinyl + Download
Label: Brush & Broom
The press shot for this release puts a TB-303 centre-stage in the image, and this is a solid indicator of what you’ll hear. Here are four acid workout instrumentals, with the bass tones centre stage, slowly tweaking and evolving over steady house beats that drop layers in and out with measured composure and DJ-friendly timing. Cold sparse synth notes and some longer meandering pad sounds decorate the top end.

Think Hardfloor, but with less emphasis on the ‘hard’. There’s a timelessness to it all, or a datedness to it depending on how you look at it. Sonically there’s very little to distinguish the four tracks- “Suzuki” has slightly harder percussion, “Toyota” is a bit less clubby in tone, but there’s very little in it.

The tracks may be named after motorbike manufacturers- or, as I prefer to look at it, three manufacturers of sensible small city cars and one manufacturer of good pianos- but there’s no roaring sounds or racing urgency here- this is all steady foot-tapping fayre.

I’m fond of the classic 303 sound so this release can’t really go wrong, and while it has to be scored as well below average for originality, it’s still a set of lovely warm grooves that will put a smile on your face.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151] [152] [153] [154] [155] [156] [157] [158] [159] [160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha