Music Reviews



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Artist: JERRY COLBURN (@)
Title: Smell The Love
Format: CD
Label: A Strip Mall Of Sound (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
After beating the drums into a garage punk bands in Arkansas, Jerry Colburn decided to try something different but without forgetting his rock roots. Having this in his mind, he composed twentry three tracks influenced by different kind of music: latino, rock, i.d.m., '60s soundtracks, hip hop, electro, etc. Each influence has been blended into short tracks which, even if the longest one is about three minutes, are capable of painting a personal picture that works. Not each of the twenty three are memorable ones but most of them succeed into entertain the listener and I appreciated the attitude of the whole project.
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Artist: CYCLOTIMIA (@)
Title: Eschaton
Format: CD
Label: Stateart (@)
Rated: *****
After their previous MCD released in 2003 Cyclotimia just released, always for Stateart, their second full lenght titled ESCHATON. Referring to their music as "L'electronique mondial" the Russian duo perform eleven new tracks which define at the best their apocalyptic experimental / ambient music. They have always been against the modern business world and the ESCHATON's cover, which represents a sort of mix between Wall Street meet the Hieronymus Bosch inferno, show really well this concept. The music "paints" a tense scenario where samples (news report, Pope Giovanni Paolo II, etc) help defining the players of the imaginary movie that see Cyclotimia playing its soundtrack. Most of the tracks use rhymths to underline the dramatic issue of titles like "Leviathan", "Shelter", "Crusade" or "Gloria" while synth pads are like death whistles of crushing planes. Along with the music tracks you can also find the beautiful video of "Some place" (track coming from their 2002 E.P. "Same time same place")where you can check how well Cyclotimia music works as a soundtrack of our modern sad times.
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Artist: LUKE VIBERT
Title: Lover's Acid
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Active since the early nineties also as Plug and Wagon Christ, Luke Vibert is at his first CD for Planet Mu. LOVER'S ACID is a collection of three 12" released by the label ("Luke Vibert", "Homewerk" and "Lover's Acid") and it gathers twelve tracks of acid electronic lounge music. Drum'n'bass, jungle and techno are the ground where the Luke's patterns are looped and if tracks like "Come on chaos" or "Dirty fucker" are a good example of electronic soul and acid house other tracks don't succeed into giving the same energy. It's like they lose themselves into the research of an excessive technism and for this reason they result less immediate. I want to clear out that they aren't rubbish but sometimes some tracks risk to work like background music into modern launge bar.
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Artist: ENCOMIAST
Title: Mers de Sommeil
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
I was not familiar with Encomiast, which, started as a trio, is now the solo project of Colorado musician Ross Hagen - and, by the way, US label Absolute Zero Media has just released his brand new full-length, which is his fourth one, I think. I'll surely want to dig deeper in Encomiast's discography, since this limited cdr, aptly titled "Seas of sleep", features some beautiful, trance-inducing drones. I venture Hagen's starting instrument is a guitar, or a string instrument, then streched and manipulated into slowly changing waves of sounds - mostly lulling and subdued, but with some well-controlled moments of billowing noise ("Somnebula"). Everything sounds carefully conceived and assembled (a big plus in times of instant records), shifting from darker metallic rumblings to passages of rarefied melancholy. Encomiast's approach to ambient minimalism reminds of Troum's, True Colour of Blood's or Moljebka Pvlse's best moments, and invites to frequent listenings.
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Artist: MATHIEU RUHLMANN
Title: Broken Vessels
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Distributor: Drone, Self Abuse
Rated: *****
Third release from Canadian soundmaker Mathieu Ruhlmann (after a cdr on S'Agita and a 3" ep on Ta'lem), "Broken Vessels" is a sombre, nocturnal soundscape which manages to achieve what many electroacoustic or ambient works lack, i.e. an emotional/psychic grasp on the listener. Based on the manipulation of a flow of natural recordings (possibly only water), the three tracks gurgle, scrape and echo throughout, depicting barren underwater territories and conveying the distressing feel of being stuck in the belly of an adrift submarine. What lacks in terms of variation - as all tracks are quite similar in their strategies - is easily made up for by the genuinely nightmarish listening experience. This is one of those (actually few) ambient records that you have to resist and eventually surrender to to fully appreciate them - and surely one of the darkest interpretations of Mystery Sea's night-drone concept.
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