Music Reviews



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Artist: ROSOLINA MAR (@)
Title: Before and after dinner
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
The new full-length realized by Rosolina Mar celebrates another joint venture between Wallace records and Robotradio after Hell Demonio's debut cd. While paying tribute to the roots of rock, Rosolina Mar differently from many post-rockers are much more into the sound of the 70ies but differently from bands such as Dead Meadows this' just a light influence. If you ever happened to see them live you know how together with Red Warms Farm they're one of best and most active live act around. For what concerns "Before and after dinner" the formula they used for their self tilted second record has remained almost untouched. What we have here is post-rock music well mixed with a seventies' flavor that sounds a lot like Phil Manley's band Golden (less mathematical and much more listenable...oh yes, Manley is the genius of Trans Am). Rosolina's sound is still the same even if this cd is less uniformed than before and apart from the first odd intro it's possible the trio decided to experiment a bit more with song structures and guitar effects. This time the Fabio Magistrali's recording helps to recreate the solid live skill of the group, therefore if you love rock music that moves listeners' feet: this' probably addressed to you. "Before and after dinner" (that looks like a inside joke referred to "Before and after science") has its own alternate moments since not all of the tracks are groundbreaking, but you can bet all of the tracks have been played with an hell of a groove. The cover song of "Flesh dance" deserves a special mention not just for the funny idea to cover the theme of Irene Cara's masterpiece, infact that's also the highest peak touched by Rosolina Mar: trash turned into gold.
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Artist: L'ENFANCE ROUGE (@)
Title: Krsko - Valencia
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
Francois Cambuzat and Chiara Locardi are back and if you're european and you're thinking they're "new jacks", probably you have been living isolated on a mountain top. With such a name I'm sure there's people thinking that what we have here is some "classy plastic project from France", I'm sorry for you but while the band is of course refined and, yes, can also be said labeled as "classy", nothing is so far from being "fake" or "plastic". L'Enfance Rouge this time is pictured in the maturity of its aging process, they got back to violence and to the full vigor of their "fisique". The power trio (including Jacopo Andreini) is back with a depressed, dramatic full-length. "Krsko - Valencia" is "hard", not just for the fact most of the songs have been manufactured with that rock/noise-rock touch french bands had back in the days, but its hardness stands in the lyrics. "Killer-rock-ballads for desperate times", nothing is light hearted in here and that's the first impression you get from listening the cd or from giving a glance to the layout. A good record as always, I'm sure the fans of L'Enfance Rouge can go and break their money pigs since it's not deluding at all. "Hurricane Lily" with the islamic singing at the end deserve a special mention as "THE" real masterpiece. There're some interesting "highs" even if not all the tracks are equally as impressive/intense as the last one, that's the main point: some catchy episodes and some good, but not outstanding tracks. Depressed-rock maniacs and noise-rock lovers if you remember nostalgically how "independent" meant something during the early nineties...Cambuzant and Le Enfance won't disappoint you.
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Artist: TOSHIAKI TAKAYASU
Title: Nagare
Format: CD
Label: Authorised Version
Rated: *****
Toshiaki Takayasu is a Japanese visual/sound artist, here releasing a cdr on UK Authorised Version, coming in the typical clam-shell packaging of the label. Except track 3, a mind-halting improvisation on metal chimes, and the strummed strings of track 8, I think that the main instrument played here is an organ. Track 1 introduces the cd with a gentle and subdued (shall I say "lowercase"?) tonal playing; track 4 fragments the sound into tiny loops and frequencies; tracks 5 and 6 seem to record both the inside mechanism and the output of the instrument; and track 9 is a sustained drone. Track 2 is the most electroacoustic sounding, with microscopic recordings of unidentified rattles and hisses. This is an arid description of its contents, but what makes Takayasu's work stand above many other similar ones is his capability to create an intimist ambiance out of minimal sounds and gestures. "Nagare" is indeed quite a delicate work, but luckily one where fragility is a redeeming quality rather than a defect.
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Artist: TATE AND LILES
Title: Without Season
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
Two teddy bears on the cover and a surreal statue of a fox-headed boy on a wheelchair on the back: what else could you expect from the collaboration of these two drone masters? Judging from the liner notes, Darren Tate has handed his sounds to Andrew Liles who has then structured and mixed the five untitled tracks. Some acoustic guitar plucking and a few accordion improvisations (by guest musician Kathleen Vance) are recognizable here and there (track 2 and 5), but most of the work is the perfect mix of sustained drones and natural field recordings you'd expect - which necessarily reminds of Monos' tradition, especially the finest moments of "Sunny day...". Brighter and almost bucolic moments alternate with powerful, awe-inspiring atmospheres - but all is graced by that sense of mystery and magic which is common ground between the two artists.
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Artist: PAWEL GRABOWSKI
Title: Cirr's Songs
Format: 7"
Label: Drone Records
Rated: *****
Grabowski is a young Polish soundmaker now relocated in Dublin, with a couple of releases under his belt, on Laub and his own Silence Is Not Empty label. Grabowski may be young but he surely doesn't lack talent and a refined style. Both "songs" are based on subdued, far-away drones and concrete elements (dripping water, a creaking door...), and the artist knows well how to weave captivating and emotionally engaging soundscapes with those minimal elements only. Grabowski's approach to minimal music reminds of great artists like Mirror, Coleclough or Monos - my favourite ep of the new Drone batch. This 7" comes in a black cover with a photo and, oddly enough, on black vinyl.
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