Music Reviews



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Artist: AntiQuark (@)
Title: SkyDancer
Format: CD
Label: Pet Set Records
Rated: *****
This is the first time I've the opportunity to listen to Antiquark. The female duo formed by Ant (she's coming from the same city of mine,, Torino and she moved years ago to USA to study sharks) and Maren. Maren is also the singer of the Peppermints (see my review of their latest CD), she performed on several musical videos and she also have a job as a model. We have a different perception of what a model can be and it's so good to see one having good tastes about music :). Anyway... SkyDancer is their latest CD and it is a mini album containing seven new tracks along with four remixes of old tracks. The new tracks are a sort of electro extravaganza where dance beats meet experimental solutions under a punk attitute. I think that an important part of the the band's experimental attitude derive from the presence of Raul, their performer / postmodern dancer. He's the role model of the cover of the CD and he's the band's incarnation of the SkyDancer. The main track, in fact, is titled "SkyDancer (Raul our lady of love)". The four remixes see "Planet X" reworked by Marc Urselli (the other side of Chain D.L.K.), "Nulear suicide" (thanks to Tleilaxu Music Machine), "Loopoff effect" (remixed by Seven Lies About Girls) and "Chain mail" (remixed by Geoffro). The remixers tend to dilate the original track giving to them an industrial e.b.m. touch (Marc's one), a techno dancey mood (Tleilaxu's), an experimental gabber version (Seven Lies About Girls) and a electronic experimental version (thanks to Geoffro). Musically I can't compare Antiquark music to any other band, because of their attitude of being open to different form of music/art. I can only tell you that I really enjoyed this release and I can suggest you to give it a try.
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anymore
Artist: AGATHA (@)
Title: Greetings from S.sg
Format: CD
Label: Wallace/Vurt (@)
Rated: *****
Somebody once said: "Chicks up front!"...these ladies pushed even forward by putting "these chicks" on the stage. I've never been that much into "riot grrrls" and I've never supported female bands for the mere fact they were women, I think this kind of behavior is cheesy and also deeply discriminating underneath. After this unwanted and useless lesson of "hows and whys" (mercy upon me please!), let's talk about the real matter of this recording, the music. That's noise a la Amphetamine Reptile, Php or early Touch and Go, I'm not afraid to say the trio is in to make your ears bleed, a really good thing if you play music like that. The production is great (Fabio Magistrali sometimes is simply excellent), everything is hard as a band like that should be and they really know how to play. As I've already said "Greeting from S.sg" is a "de-ja vu" of noise music in the likes of Janitor Joe, Unsane, early Jesus Lizard, Hammerhead, Helmet and Big Black, although it may sound old fashioned that's the special of the day. "Greeting" is as "delicate" as a truck-driver could be, look at the shit they put on the front cover, isn't it lovely?!. I don't know if you care about their sexual gender, I imagine some people will talk about it, I'm sorry I did it too much myself. This' hard "Noise" well done and arranged in the way they did it back in the nineties.
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anymore
Artist: CHABZ/KRIZO
Title: Growgrow/Test lies
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Sonic360
Rated: *****
Double mcd put together into a single release, strange since probably the whole music could have been put on a cd, but apart for the major cost (for the label) the format is interesting: everything remains related to its own round tiny piece of plastic. Chabz right after the intro starts pushing with a dark and groovy electronic beat, heavy pounding bass lines and hip hop drum beats. The tracks on Chabz cd reminded me of some great classics by Dj Krush, same relaxed rhythm, dark melodies, smoke in the face and a bit of rapping. The jazz style is great and here and there you have trumpet and pianos, but the "black groove sensation" and the mystque atmosphere it's quite close to the most visceral period of Massive Attack (Mezzanine). I've read somewhere that both Chabz and Krizo are coming from an alternative rock background, hard to believe it after you hear the "Growgrow" (that's the title of Chabz mcd), and the same could be said for Krizo's "Test lies". Same "dark at night" effects and same heavyweight bass as his split mate, but Krizo's drum beat is less "hip-hoppish" and more complex, but still far from being a "jungle". The style of the two cd is pretty similar despite some peculiarities, but the groovy jazz influenced flavor is almost the same. "Trip hop" and Ninja Tune lovers, here's some bread for the dinner.
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anymore
Artist: THE MOSCOW COUP ATTEMPT (@)
Title: The Failure Of Shortwave Radio
Format: CD
Label: Capitalist Records
Rated: *****
Is strange how The Moscow Coup Attempt music recalled me a sort of electronic / orchestral version of the last Slint record but Derek's capacity of writing tracks that are always in balance between the song structure and the soundtrack composition made me thought about Slint's way of building guitar layers. Derek doesn't use guitars but his orchestrations build a subtle musical structure full of tension and pathos. The pizzicato violin parts seems joyful but if you mix them with the viola and the syncopate tempos of the acoustic drums the effect changes radically. The ten tracks are beautifully recorded and even if they are full of melodies, the effect is also similar to the one created by the guitar suites of the Glenn Branca orchestra where the dissonant melodies form a complex web of sounds. THE FAILURE OF SHORTWAVE RADIO is an album that convinced me immediately and for sure it will satisfy a wide audience because of its different influences of ambient, acoustic and electronic sounds.
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anymore
Artist: 1919 (@)
Title: Dark Temple
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: We Must Mutate
Rated: *****
Disbanded more than twenty years ago, 1919 come back with a new line-up where only Mark Tighe (guitar) is the only member of the original one. 1919 were active in the early eighties in the goth rock / post punk scene and they produced two 7", an album a 12" and a MLP titled "Earth Song". To check their old style you can check the CD compiled by Cherry Red / Anagram where you can find every track produced by the band. Anyway... I mentioned an old style and this would make you think that there is a new style. Well, that is right, Sherlock! By listening to the new 1919 it could be like listening the first Killing Joke album and then directly passing to "Millennium". The sound thickens and it is updated into a solid version of goth metal: a sort of levigated goth version of Fear Factory with a varied tracklist. The first three song of the MCD, "Headpain", "Savage Messiah" and "Killing the alien" are an high concentrate of power with guitars and drums in evidence. "Wolf" is a sort of melancholic dark ballad. With "Skin" the energy is revived but the guitars are a little bit in the background along with synths. The sound is always energetic but the effect is less "wall of sound" respect the first three. The closing track "Fall of babylon" is influenced by dub, here Richard Green's vocals are clean (on the other tracks he had a more cry out loud style) and this create a good contrast giving the right balance between angry and dilated tracks. 1919's come back is a good one and for sure this isn't a revival of old days because they have much more to give to the audience. Check it! P.s. This is also the first We Must Mutate release. The label is a band's project which will release all their new stuff but other bands' music will be also considered...
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