Music Reviews



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Artist: THE DRONES
Title: Gala Mill
Format: CD
Label: ATP records (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the name suggested the last of zillions bands playing ambient music or Kranky influenced drone music, The Drones should be filed under "rock-blues, depressed-folk". Their sound infact pays homage to the family tree of american music like many other acclaimed artists did before them, therefore if I say "Gala Mill" is full of reminiscences near to some old episodes signed by Tim Rutili and friends, and of course I speak about Red Red Meat in particular but also to Loftus, Califone, Giant Sand, Rein Sanction (for those who know them). But if you wonna go back to the real root of the sound of these australians you probably should look for the lowest common denominator and the answer is probably Rolling Stones. There's a sick bluesy atmosphere and you know considered they’re coming from the land of kangaroos mentioning the Bed Seeds is quite obvious but probably realistic. Some of the slowest ballad ("Alexander Pierce" for example) reminded me of the great Reiner Ptacek that's great. Professional recording, a good writing skill, a good look and a chart climber refinement, but if you ask me I think this release is a bit too heavily absorbed in its influences and that's probably its biggest limit. If you're into modern classicism you'll probably love it over all it’s a good record, just a bit to "conservative".
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Artist: ZONK'T (@)
Title: Purr
Format: CD
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Rated: *****
Of the different CDs I recently received from Laurent Terrier, the one of his Zonk’t project is the one I appreciated the most. Why? Well, because Zonk’t start from the same elements of the others Laurent’s projects (digital noises, glitch sounds and generally processed sources) but the process work is different: the tracks are shorter and there’s also space for a rhythm structure and also some melody lines are used. These elements make of PURR an album more accessible to the people used to electronic suites or ambient based works. Containing tracks born from re-worked recordings he used for some theatrical choreographies, PURR is divided into nine different parts. As for the other releases the tracklist doesn’t explain that much but this time the tracks are based on a cyclic structure deeply based on rhythm which is enriched by layers of sounds that come and go and by subtle melodies that built a web of sound where alternating bleeps and pulsating waves paint an isolationist landscape that musically is linked to modern ambient music as well to old 70s pioneers like Klaus Schulze or Popul Vuh. Intense and disturbing...
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Artist: GREIFENKEIL (@)
Title: Moog EP - A New Generation Of Sounds
Format: CD EP
Label: GrenTzwert (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
We have already discovered the self-titled full-length release of this mysterious German project, but this EP is the official released debut, also for the fine and hard working GrenTzwert label. Without doubt, this one is a special and conceptual release, it represents the strong dedication of A. von Greifenkeil to one of the pioneers and inventors of the machinery we all like and use, the synthesizer. Without the work of Bob Moog almost everything what is related to the evolution, creation and kind of synthesizers wouldn’t be – an unthinkable scenario! So three of the seven presented tracks here use only original Moog sounds, the further four pieces are leaded by them. The included voice samples of Bob Moog are taken out of a documentary film done by Hans Fjellestad, www.hansfjellestad.com. That the use of some typical Moog sounds also causes into a limitation of the wide range of multiple styles which A. von Greifenkeil and his project is able to handle, has my understanding. It tries to show some different ways to create arrangements with the given sounds with the very own GREIFENKEIL monikers "Greifenpop" or "Industrialkeil", but it all ends a bit into repetition. Although it tries, this release can’t give you a deeper insight of the dark and scary music efforts this project is able to offer – on the other hand, a musically combination and so the use of different sounds than taken from the original wouldn’t be a fair tribute. This release is not designed to give entrance into the mystic GREIFENKEIL empire – it is a tribute and a presentation of Bob Moog. The fine written and praising words to honor this great inventor are a fine proof of this. Designed for fans and collectors – GREIFENKEIL meanwhile works hard on a new output and can be discovered soon here with an interview...
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Artist: Marvin Ayres (@)
Title: Scape
Format: CD
Label: Burning Shed (@)
Rated: *****
This is a CD release of a British Avant-garde performer providing deep layered Ambient-inspired tunes, mainly inspired and dedicated out of a Classic music background. "Ambient orchestral surround sound dub" – so the self-chosen description of the sound works of Marvin, but behind this stands one of the most renowned Ambient producers worldwide. He has made himself a good name by being a contributor to some well-known acts like Culture Club, Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Simply Red. With his signing to the Avant-garde label Mille Plateaux in 1999 and the release of two highly acclaimed albums he could reach his current status. This "Scape" release therefor features 9 different "Scape" tunes and 11 different "Clusters" tunes providing string-based experimental-minded soundscapes created through Marvin’s fabulous violins performance. This experimental layers get penetrated through the use of reverberation and FX effects into a new kind and never-heard before of sound. Marvin is by the way a classical trained musician who could develop by merging his instruments into electronic-based treatments – a pioneering kind of work indeed. "Scape" was designed to underlay the same-titled DVD film, well – and so it sounds. It’s a very cinematic sounding output which breaks through the known scores and conventions – music, which definitively can cause an effect on you under a good pair of headphones.
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Artist: PYLONE (@)
Title: Black Grains
Format: CD
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Created using processed natural sounds, BLACK GRAINS is the first album by Laurent Perrier’s Pylóne. The album is divided into five movements: "Equation Part 1", "Look Part 3", "Transmission" (the longest one, during 25’), "Line 4" and "Echo". The intangible meaning of the different parts let us concentrate on sound and if I think about BLACK GRAINS’ tracks, the first word that comes up into my mind is: disturbing. The minimal approach makes of this album an industrial experiment based on the process of adding and subtracting sound. "Transmission" for example sounds like a raw digitalization of a collapsing mountain while "Line 4" seems a re-process of the tone of a phone line but filtered, de-constructed and echoed. The closing "Echo" is digital chaos it seems the sum of the other track with further processing. Only for fans of extreme industrial experimentations.
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