Music Reviews



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Artist: FRANCISCO LÓPEZ/SCOTT ARFORD
Title: Solid State Flesh/Solid State Sex
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Low Impedance Recordings
Rated: *****
Low Impedance Recordings is a Greek label which has previously been focusing on IDM and rhythmic electronica, but is now expanding to more experimental territories. A great release to start with is this double disc by well-known Spanish composer Francisco López and US soundmaker Scott Arford, with a few releases on Ground Fault (as Radiosonde), Auscultare and a very recent one on Antifrost. Unlike other double split works by López's (the ones with Duncan and Behrens, for example), this is not a collaborative one, but the two cds, though quite different, match very well. "Solid State Flesh" is a massive 73-minute track where López covers all the nuances of his more abstract droning works, from hissing billows of sonic mass to barely audible debris. The strength of the composition, besides the sheer beauty of its various passages, lies in the sense of continuous flow that López masters so well - building a world of its own out of the audio matter he manipulates. Arford's disc is probably not as enthralling, but is an excellent radio waves-based work which could be easily associated to the research of John Duncan or Joe Colley - noisy and gritty, physical and abstract at the same time. Tracks range from subdued ambiences ("Strange attractor") to roaring outbursts of frequiencies ("Dirty power", "Aluminium airway"), but the urgency and the sense of menace are constant throughout. A very relevant and powerful release for both artists.
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Artist: PARADIN
Title: Coma Digenean
Format: CD
Label: Gears of Sand
Rated: *****
Ben Fleury Steiner's dark ambient project Paradin comes back shortly after the excellent "Flesh of Caverns" disc on Mystery Sea, and continuing the oceanic theme this work is "a tribute to the ancient deep-sea parasites, their engorged hosts, and the haunting songs of the ocean's darkest depths". Played with synths, singing bowls, bowed metal and treated guitar, "Coma Digenean" is consistently more physical and upfront than the previous release, which was more based on spacious guitar-generated drones. On the contrary, in these five movements, assembled in one 50-minute track, everything is metallic and seething, with many skillfully blent layers of sound, and a dazing effect on the listener. While I'm not exactly a fan of recognizable synth sounds in ambient music, Paradin's use of them is original and varied; moreover, the atmosphere is dark and menacing, and I would easily recommend this disc to fans of post-industrial drones and power electronics rather than, say, to aficionados of Steve Roach.
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anymore
Artist: THE ACTOR
Title: Cover Girl
Format: 10"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from the dark corners of the '80s the dutch act, The Actor did a really good eletro wave song called "Covergirl" back in 1982. Thanks to Enfant Terrible, now, we've got the opportunity of check it out in four different versions: the original 1982 version, a 2005 version (the track has been entirely re-played nowadays and it sounds appealing as the old version!) and two cover versions. The first one thanks to Porn.Darsteller (who make it sounds just like early Die Form) and the latter thanks to It & My Computer (he did a raw semi acoustic version that sounds like early Matt Johnson). This 10" is a limited edition of 516 copies and it is worth it, so you've got to hurry to get your copy!
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Artist: JANOSCH MOLDAU (@)
Title: Bleed On
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Janosch Moldau Records
Rated: *****
BLEED ON is the new Janosch Moldau single and it contains three tracks: "Bleed on - The masterlamb single mix", "Passionately" and "Reloved - deconstruct mix" (the original versions of "Bleed on" and "Reloved" have been released on "Redeemer" the first Janosch Moldau's album). The remixed tracks sound really passionate. The first two minutes of "Reloved" with its melancholic ambient atmosphere are really convincing, for example. The new track, "Passionately" is similar to Depeche Mode's "Little 15", a different kind of melancholy but the atmosphere is similar. The b/w video of the main track is nice and it is an important step for Janosch Moldau Records. You can find it also for download at finetunes.net
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Artist: Tape (@)
Title: Rideau
Format: CD
Label: Hapna (@)
Rated: *****
Jesus! Hapna is getting bigger and better release after release and I can't even wait for the new 3/4 Had Been Eliminated, but in the meanwhile Tape is here and that's pure pleasure for your/my ears. If you're new to the band, this combo hailing from Scandinavia is the last metamorphosis of "intelligent-pop", it simultaneously combine originality, pop lullabyes, acoustic instruments and electronic music. What do you think about Mum? They've been one of the pop sensations of the last years, honestly I think they were ok, but I've never been so much into their records...well forge it, "Rideau" strikes right where Mùm was failing. These Scandinavians build endless landscapes harmonized with an organ or a keyboard like Labradford, the melody is embroided with a trumpet, an acoustic guitar as well as many other instruments, and arrangements are so good that the length (about 46 minutes) end to be "just too short". They wait patiently to sort out every ornament, each single piece of the puzzle is put at the right place and at the right moment, everything is well developed around some simple melodies that will breaks into your heart like cupid's arrows. The vibraphone and the acoustic guitar sometimes move in unison creating the magic. I'm sure the small noises crossing these melancholic images will drive many of you to a comfortable landing. What to say about "Sand dunes"? It makes you feel like sucking from your lovers' nipples...it makes you wish it never ends.
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