Music Reviews



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Artist: Genetic Transmission / Moan (@)
Title: Dedicated to Luigi Russolo
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
This release is a proper split album of Moan and Genetic Transmission which pays a tribute to Luigi Russolo. The Sadej's piece is the recording of a sound installation for an exhibition called "Man at work" while the Twardawa's piece is a reconstruction of piece whose master tape was lost. Properly enough both pieces were developed using metal objects as sound sources and not traditional instruments.
The track by Moan, Men at Work (Ludzie Przy Pracy), is a reference to the influence on the Futurists of the working environment so it's full, if not of the sound sources itself, of elements which seems taken from a factory and have that sense of unstoppable movement which fascinated Russolo more than a century ago. The track by Genetic Transmission, Przebudzenie Miasta, sounds instead more influenced by the Intonarumori as it's a long juxtaposition of noises; by the way, distant enough by the thick masses of the genre and closer to the subtle juxtapositions of musique concrète. The quiet crescendo ends in a play for the two stereo channels which takes the listener towards a car factory.
While it could sound as a little too adherent to the ideas exposed in "the Art of Noise" then the question is if they could have done otherwise as this album is a tribute to that book. A small classic.
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Artist: Sisto Palombella
Title: Small pieces of accordion on a broken table
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Unexplained Sounds Group (@)
Rated: *****
While he's sometimes defined as minimalist, Sisto Palombella has a personal identity: first of all he use an instrument, the accordion, which is closer to the traditional, or folk, approach to music than to the avant-garde one; then, his music a sort of tie to the song form or the accompaniment to silent film so it's something that, even in his complexity, sounds familiar.
As the first track, "L'Airone", starts, the listener is immediately introduced in the typical minimalistic environment where small melodic cells are repeated until their phases created a sort of inner melody during the loop. While "El spacolo" continues in the same vein, "Natureverse" is able to create a rhythmic pattern from an instrument which is not a percussion. "Flop" is a catchy song while "The second subversive trip" denotes an impressive control for the timbre. While "Cervo Zoppo" and "Entrapped in a pop blues" are returns of the minimalist patterns, "Sartascn' sfrasciat'" uses a series of tricks to subverts his own from from the inside. "Il Condor", "L'Aquila" and "Bloody Christmas" close this release as variation around a form that is as multifaceted as apparently identical to itself.
In his commitment to form and his writing ability is able to let the listener forget, at least for a moment, to his evident and almost calligraphic reference to Terry Riley and, perhaps, this is the best compliment someone could write about his music. Truly recommended for fans of classic minimalism.
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Artist: Lemna (@)
Title: Urge Theory EP
Format: 12"
Label: Horo
Rated: *****
The live set by which she introduced her sound in Europe, called Sediment, through the stage of Berlin Atonal (the edition of last year), was really impressive and many lucky listeners, who attended that gig, said that her performance could be defined as a milestone to initiate a new sound and a new identity for contemporary techno. After the ecstatic reaction and the long-lasting applause as well as the collaborative output as Ourea with Sam KDC, Japanese performer and sound maker Maiko Okimoto aka Lemna dropped four tracks that will delight those listeners and all those ones, who will approach her sound after coming fashionably late. In order to have an idea of her sound, you could imagine a possible hybrid between Japanese industrial techno of the first 00ies/late 90ies (a name for all...Riou Tomita) and the darker side of minimal abstract German techno, blended in repetitive and hyper-compressed ritual-like beats, but in order to have a better idea, just listen what she made on this "Urge Theory". The hypnotic polyrhythms that Maiko builds got alternatively enhanced by unexpectedly hammering stresses on bungee patterns ("Metamorphosis", "Dice"), amazing viscously worming low frequencies ("Blot"), mincing of mechanical cogs ("DLPFC"). Have a check!
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Artist: Nuaru (@)
Title: Like In A Dream EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Free Love Digi (@)
Rated: *****
The incipit of this digital tidbit that Nuaru, a Dutch - from Eindhoven - producer grown in the nest (or I'd say in the greenhouse, given Nuaru's love and interest for botany) of Basserk, could vaguely resemble the sonorities of a lot of stuff by Burial or Fanu, but the ethereal breathe, the sound of tapping raindrops, the crystalline melody and the puffed claps soon become gears of a pleasant rhythmical engine, whose fuel is what he called "nature bass" in "Like In A Dream", the first half of this sonic drop. The engine rolling beats in the second half "She Blends In With The Ocean" is even more energetic, but in spite of the fact the (h)earthbeat-like bass is more thunderous and concentration levels of percussive elements is higher, Nuaru keeps that breathe-like effect alive by a wise dosage of "organic" elements and playing on gain levels. Just nicely liquid!
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Artist: Hidden Reverse (@)
Title: Six Cases of Sleep Disorder
Format: CD
Label: Azoth
Rated: *****
Hidden Reverse, the name of this bicephalous project by Simon Balestrazzi (mostly known for his forerunning industrial project T.A.C., as most of our readers maybe know) and Massimo Olla - another appreciated artist of the experimental Italian scene -, could let you think of something related or referred to subliminal messages un-hidden by the reverse playing of some recordings. Well, it has nothing to do with this marketing gimmick by some bands, but it could somehow hit your subconscious. The source of inspiration, as you can easily guess, is the phenomenon of sleep disorders, but don't expect some therapy music or seemingly infinite bundles of narcoleptic ambient by these guys. Maybe fostered by the growingly notorious sleep concerts (Steve Stapleton's ones are a must), by a vast literature related to this interesting subject (eg.Jonathan Coe's "The House of Sleep") or by the narcolepsy or the sleeplessness (depending on individual reaction) often induced/inspired by sluggish cultural debates or by the the demeaning political and economic situation, the sleep, its deprivation or its disorders could be considered parts of a hot topic. More than narcolepsy or insomnia, Hidden Reverse creatures could inspire or induce nightmares, considering the matter Simon and Massimo focused on. A title like "Fatal Familial Insomnia" for the opening song, but above all its rising psychotic torsions, could let you think of some dreadful familiar dreadful crimes about parents, turned into killers by traumatic events reawakened by an infant's wailing or by stress. The slightly distorted barking and the siren-like crying are just some nightmarish entities resurfacing from the dumb drone-like movement of the following "Night Terrors", preceding the claustrophobic stealthy steps of "In That Liminal Space" and the scary "Obstructive Sleep Apnea", the track where Simon and Massimo get closer to that branch of industrial music, drawing inspiration from soundtracks of horror movies of the 70ies. The two raving minutes of "One More White Night" in between effete and hectic emotionality as well as the final "Entering The Empire of The Sleepless" let you guess they tried to follow a sort of plot in the sequence of tracks, that testify the amazing (and thrilling) chances of interaction between Simon's freaky entities and Massimo's creatures on his [d]Ronin tools.
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