Music Reviews



Mar 06 2018
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Artist: Creta
Title: Creta
Format: LP
Label: Karl
Creta is a collaboration between established musicians Massimo Pupillo, Luciano Lamanna and Roberto Zanisi, who approach this from different backgrounds and unsurprisingly have concocted a release that is very hard to pigeonhole.

Four minutes into opening track “...And Everything That Shines” it’s easy to think you already have the measure of it- dark drones, distant processed string noises, and a barren soundscape. But suddenly we meet a superslow bouncing techno kick sound, and moments later, a Spanish-influenced bit of acoustic guitar noodling. After a while this opens up and the beat fades away into something calmer, almost jazzy with vibe sounds, but never losing the deep rumbling experimental undercurrent.

“Babe In The Egg Of Blue” opens with a slightly increased sense of urgency, with a constantly ebbing bass note that threatens something explosive for several minutes before the slightly playful guitar playing settles us into accepting that this strange arrangement is our new normal, like getting used to a choppy ferry ride.

Final track “Future Humans In Form Of Aur” again opens quite cinematically before settling into another plaintive but complex atmosphere, this time highlighting the violin work alongside the plucked, this time faintly Americana guitar. Of the three tracks, this is perhaps the one that sounds somewhat dragged out, fading away in the midpoint very slowly without surprises once its initial arrangement has been established, with a solo guitar section tacked on somewhat awkwardly to finish.

At 31 minutes it’s a mini album in which the collaborators behind Creta have built something that sounds fresh and distinctive. It’s sonically self-indulgent in some ways, but intriguing and full of character.
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anymore
Artist: Palcolor (@)
Title: Wróg
Format: CD
Label: Kosmodrone (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
Palcolor is the project of Emil Macherzyski, based on cheap analogue and FM synth so, with his use of old hardware but tied to a particular moment of electronic music which is the rise of ambient house (or techno ambient). Altrough the release features no political messages, the press notes states that t
the title of the album, the Enemy (translated from Polish), is inspired by the feeling that a sort of McCarthyism is present today in Poland.
The first track of this release, "1987", introduces the listener into a sonic framework so declaratively reminiscent of certain 90s techno ambient to create a certain sense of nostalgia. "Bias Trap" introduces the rhythmic part to the recipe and "Prima Terra" even a structural sense of writing as it's based upon dancey moments and quieter ones. "Kush Komfort" moves into more aggressive territories as it's completely based upon an heavy rhythmic part while "Pyongyang" return to more dreamy atmosphere with his use of synth. Oddly enough, "Retkinia Pónoc", closes this release bordering IDM territories with the most experimental and abstract track of this release.
While completely adhering to the canon to be dangerously closer to be a cover band, their ability on writing and the sense of nostalgia provoke the monolithic presence of this release on the stereo so, when it ends, the first idea is to press again the play button. Perhaps only for fans of the period but it's really recommended.
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Artist: Braconidae
Title: Magnetic Reel
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Swiss Dark Nights EXP
This is a discombobulating four-track electronica EP from Emiliana Voltarel, twisting and warping synth noises and deep found sounds into a bizarre and sometimes uncomfortable eulogy of insects.

The title track, pitched as a manifesto, sets dark beat poetry (cut, mushed and retriggered) over a thick wall of wrangled noises- rattles, rumbles and scrapes, both digital and real (if you see what I mean). Glass-ish organ arpeggios run low in the mix to give a distinct feel of suspense.

“Deathwatch Beetle” offers something thinner and more cavernous, glitching a short spoken word snippet over slow ominous percussive sounds that gradually meld into a dark techno that stops abruptly just as it feels like a structure has been accomplished.

“Bullet Ant” focuses on deep and distorted long synth bass notes, that again attract an increasing array of percussive sounds that are forming a proto-techno that stops before it has truly begun. Final tracks “Scrapes”, the odd one out in that it’s not dedicated to insects, is named rather literally after the collage of scraping sounds that are compiled here- most prominently what sounds like metal across piano strings. A light rhythm formed of coin-like noises and a low bass rumble keep things in keeping with the rest of the EP.

The title track is the most fully fleshed-out track on this release, making it feel more like an old-fashioned single with 3 instrumental B-sides. It’s thick and feels very personal and is certainly an attention-drawing statement of intent.
Mar 04 2018
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Artist: Warsnare
Title: Warchestra
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Infinite Machine
Described as having grown out of a personal grieving process from a death in his family, Daniel Potter has channeled his energy into a rich, cinematic and thickly emotionally-infused 45-minute album of epic electronica, putting strong and well-arranged string ensemble work alongside heavy EDM sounds and some cutting-edge production. Guest vocalists on most tracks extend the variety of flavours even further.

Opener “Intro” is true action-thriller-film-score material, while “Syndrome” flirts with a sort of dark broken-beat pop structure around Charlie Stark’s vocal that has hints of Coldcut’s “Sound Mirrors” about it.

Victoria Shilling contributes vocals to “Live Life”, in some ways a more conventional and lighter piece that initially sounds like it’s going to be house-pop, before taking a twist into post-dubstep heavy subbass tones when things really kick in. Her second appearance on “Beautiful Day” is less deceptive, building to a genuinely beautiful breakdown of semi-operatic vocal and strings. “Quanto Tempo”, with Laura Lopes, has an equally idyllic and more laidback feel.

Fans of Kate Tempest- of whom there’s a growing number- will appreciate her appearance on “Kairos”, although some may find it just a little bit too much of a conventional bit of introspective grime that could maybe have had a few more surprises up its sleeve than it actually has.

With the vocal-less tracks, “Cronos” is an opportunity taken to move things a little deeper, while “Tuner” is a slightly more regular bit of ornate melodic-versus-complex drum-and-bass with shades of old jungle.

The sheer ambition of it is properly fantastic and it’s remarkable how high-budget this all sounds. A really exemplary production that could well be one of the album highlights of the year. Although attention will probably be drawn to the Kate Tempest track, it’s probably the weakest track here- the whole thing is worth checking out.
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Artist: This Is Where
Title: This Is Where
Format: LP
Label: Hallow Ground
Despite the suburban-looking artwork, This Is Where are a New York City-based collaboration of Algis Kizys, Swans guitarist Norman Westberg, and Lynn Wright. Mixing up guitar, bass, feedback, reverb and decay, they’ve dished up forty minutes of spacious, slightly murky drone. It ebbs and flows vigorously, sometimes with a slightly aggressive edge, sometimes with a more sinister and alien rumbling tone, with some exceptionally low and immersive bass sounds.

While each track flows with smooth fluidity, the transitions between tracks is more abrasive, with the segue from “2:2-7” into “4:5” a particular wake-up call for anyone beginning to suspect this work could be described as ambient throughout. “1-6:0” is the mellowest piece and perhaps a little generic, but is made up for by “3-4:5”’s unusual welding of low industrial-like tones into something bordering on synth-symphonic while ghostly upper end noises inject a note of tension.

Fans of acts like Resonance Association should enjoy wallowing in the spaced-out drones of this (is where).
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