Music Reviews



image not
available
anymore
Artist: LACK OF KNOWLEDGE (@)
Title: Grey
Format: CD
Label: Southern
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
Southern Records have reissued for the first time LoK’s "Grey" 4-track Ep (1983) and "Sirens are back" Lp (1984). More than 20 years have passed and LoK’s anarcho-post-punk may sound to some nostalgically dated, but it is also a timely reminder of a fiercely independent ethics and a desperately lucid commitment to the underground’s struggle against militarism, law and order values and the tyranny of economic oppression. LoK issued their handful of records for Crass Records and Corpus Christi Records and were one of the music underground voices against Thatcherite Britain. Their music is an impassionate mirror of those times, teeming with apocalyptic images, not just of nuclear weapons but of last-ditch stands, rebels and teenage proletariat. At the same time, their songs can still move, their melodies may not cover too wide a ground but they are insistent, sincere and creative, within the parameters of the genre. The basslines approach a Gang of Four style and LoK entirely deserve to be listened to even after such a long a time. Indeed, today’s political scenario was in a way foreseen by committed prophets of doom and rebellion such as LoK. Their imagery is always concrete, rooted in the material conditions of life in post-industrial Britain, which is the saving grace of most LoK’s lyrics. There’s cinematic poetry in scenes like this one, from "Another sunset": "Leaning over the balcony gazing at the illuminated seascape, now devoid of its once teeming life, you wonder why you decided to stay. Returning to the interior your cassette groans at its slow death, a dreadful parody of what was once music fills the room and your mind, reminding you of its former melody". The abstract language of apocalypse is always matched by references to individual choices, places and things, so that LoK speak to us as finally committed to humanness, despite everything. I confess that I am one of those who bought the original "Sirens are back" Lp at the time. I, too, am a child of those times, and of the times that have elapsed since. I am happy that LoK haven’t been entirely forgotten.
cover
Artist: TIED AND TICKLED TRIO
Title: A.r.c.
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Morr (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
This Bavarian ensemble (not a trio at all!) is by now an established presence in Europe, and this is the latest multimedia offering, on Morr Records. On the CD there is one long track, "a.r.c. - studio version" (nearly 20 minutes), while the DVD is the main reason to consider buying the package, as it presents one full live concert of the band (8 tracks, among which "a.r.c" itself) recorded in 2004 in Munich, plus 3 videos spanning 1997 to 2003, and three other bonus live tracks, with variable video quality. All in all, therefore, an excellent chance to get to know Tied and Tickled Trio, who have fused contemporary jazz with rock elements and electronics since 1994. Samplers and specially-built instruments vie with tenor sax, upright bass and trumpet in an effort to bring jazz into the digital age. Listening to the CD track might leave one thinking that jazz is a hard beast to tame, but the live concert at the Registratur in Munich shows a far less traditional approach, as well as the groovy dub rhythms and club feel that the Trio manages to inject. The video recording is especially worthwhile for the excellent sound quality, making it a really nice listening experience. Don’t expect the club roof to fall down or the crowd to tear down the place, by all means. In Munich they behave themselves, apparently. The video footage tries its best to bring movement by switching cameras, showing the musicians playing while being recorded on LCD screens, or cutting to the bar and the crowd. A certain rough edge is preserved and the video is definitely subservient to the music. This means you can put your DVD on, turn the volume up and enjoy the music without being glued to the video all the time. You can relax, find your own inner groove and be enticed by this "non-purist" jazz, as they define it on their website. Two videoclips, "Tusovska Dub" and "Revolution", are worth mentioning, too. The first video track is an odd space adventure where two bands of men fight over the possession of two Earth females; the home-recording feel is actually well suited to this strange, eery fable. "Revolution" is an animation film, in which a miniature busload of blue blob-like creatures is shown round the supermarket alleys to find that every revolutionary hero has given his or her name to a brand product. Cute ideas for an ensemble who obviously stays away from jazz clichés and embraces pop irony and postmodernity...
image not
available
anymore
Artist: TAKASHI WADA
Title: Araki
Format: CD
Label: Onitor (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****
At the time of "Meguro", his first album, Wada was a 21-year-old student of jazz guitar and classical piano who elegantly mingled electronics and acoustic instruments to create pastoral landscapes with an ambient feel.Nothing much seems to have changed in "Araki", unfortunately. This is an easy-listening so smooth that fails to stir any emotion other than placidness, and boredom. Sure, it is dreamlike, but in a way that is too cool, glossy and ultimately defeating. In "Lost land" we even are treated to the sound of lapping water and singing birds. Averaging longer than 6 minutes each, the 11 tracks are recommended only for the die-hard fans of assuaging muzak and clichéd, feel-good ambient.
cover
Artist: SHINTO (@)
Title: Sekai
Format: CD
Label: Echokammer (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****
"Sekai" is the fourth album by Hans Platzgumer and CaMi Tokujiro under the moniker Shinto. After meeting in Munich in 1998 the two set off for a joint Euro-Asian venture that has undoubtedly its own quirky originality. The electro-pop sound provided by Platzgumer is tempered by the melancholic disillusionment of Tokujiro’s lyrics – in Japanese – who casts himself as the storyteller/singer of dark tales of love and destruction. His voice is what contributes most to the feeling of "Sekai",which despite its poppy undertones leaves the listener with a sense of quiet despair. I find Tokujiro’s voice a double-edged blessing: on the one hand his bass, raspy rendition certainly gives a definite character to Shinto; on the other, it is far from the accomplished singing styles that Europeans are used to appreciate.
In "Sekai" Shinto have been aided by an additional drummer and percussionist, and the electropop texture is partly given an Oriental feel, for instance in the opening track featuring meditative flutes. But to tell you the truth I didn’t know what to make of this project at a first listening. Only after getting to know more of the lyrics and the stories they refer to, I started to develop a certain interest in Shinto. I learnt that "Hagoromo" alludes to a traditional Noh play of a fisherman and a dancing fairy. By browsing their site, complete with lyrics’ translation into English, I was able to delve into the political side of Tokujiro’s lyrics, tackling Chechen massacres, Guantanamo’s hidden tortures, as well as references to Japanese events, such as the 1923 earthquake, the plight of famous Japanese terrorists, the radical Aum sect and so on. Some of the lyrics and titles, moreover, are taken from the radical left-wing and anarchist tradition of Japan (Sakae Osugi... ). This is though what points to the CD’s weakness to my ears: I was more taken by the cultural and political stance of Shinto than by their music. Maybe it’s less a struggle for Japanese listeners who can relate immediately to the lyrical content... For me the listening experience has been alternately odd and bland.
cover
Artist: SIDRA
Title: A swampadelic blessing of downtown SF, the official bootleg
Format: CD
Label: Afe (@)
Rated: *****
While rumours are that Sigillum S are going to put out some new material, P. NG5361 Bandanera (Sshe Retina Stimulants, Komplet) is out with a new project and with a new mate, guitarist Tiberio Longoni. Sidra is really different from every previous project of Bandera, but nobody will be astonished by the fact the style is not that far from other melodic projects with a post-industrial background like those in which Eraldo Bernocchi was involved. Do I mean that's Bernocchi influenced music? No way! I just signify there's a "trait d'union" that joins some melodical/musical solutions you you’ll find here with some you could find in the releases of Teardo, Phyler Coleman and Bernocchi, but at last it’s true that "nobody comes from nowhere". Be it I love this kind of style or that "file rouge" I was talking about, I'm really into this release, I'm sure there's people who can whine about the fact it's not "trendy", but it's not even "old fashioned" in the strict sense of the word, I think Sidra's debut has its own identity. Late night music, weird but yet suggestive loops on which the skeleton of the majority of the songs takes shape. Sometimes it sounds like a less melodical and instrumental version of Phyler minus the drum and bass influence, sometimes a melancholic guitar loop moves on a 4/4 hip hop rhythm. Loop based electronic music with a big human feel, "old fashioned" but in a really interesting way, listen to "Heat reversal via volume exchange" and "Windows from shattered stairs (nude)". Honestly that's one of my favourite releases of the new Afe lot.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591] [1592] [1593] [1594] [1595] [1596] [1597] [1598] [1599] [1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha