Music Reviews



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Artist: Non (directed by Richard Wolstencroft)
Title: Pearls Before Swine
Format: DVD
Label: Caciocavallo
Distributor: Soleilmoon
Rated: *****
There used to be a trend in time when musical celebrities decided they'd venture into the film industry, and so even the ones you'd least expect it from, took a stab at it: Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, JJ Cool J, Will Smith, Madonna and so many more, you name it... What all these people have in common is that they all, to different degrees, did a decent job... That is unfortunately not the case of Boyd Rice. Pretty much every other person in this movie (except for maybe the terrible actress that played his girlfriend in the movie) did a much greater job at it than he did. He should definitely stick to making music, where at least he achieves decent results, instead of trying to act, which is a depressing sight to say the least!The movie itself, which was welcomed by Australian and international critics as "a 'Clockwork Orange' for the new Millennium", has some vaguely interesting aspects to it. I believe it originally came out in 1999 but on January 9th 2006 it was re-released on DVD in the US. It is the tale of a group of three for-hire assassins that increment their body count for money and some type of right-winged political agenda referred to as the coming of the "new dawn". Eventually they are contracted to kill a controversial book author who Rice's character actually ends up admiring. I won't give away the end (for those who are masochistic enough to spend the money for this movie). I will say that of course I don't sympahtize with right-winged bullshit and gratuit violence, nor do I care much for people who think they can still shock modern day audiences by employing cheap make up and quoting Pasolini's "Sodom & Gomorrah". That just doens't work like it used to, and today it comes through as a cheap attempt at trying to distress and outrage audiences that are used to much worse in movies and real life anyway. Politically-based provocation has seen its times, and I sure hope that this is meant to be a provocation, because if by any chance director Richard Wolstencroft actually endorses going around executing homeless punks, then we have bigger problems at hand.The movie is low-budget, but I am not going to let people's financial means and limitations influence my opinions of course, I am just mentioning it to let you know that you can't expect Hollywood color correction and photography, just so you know...The question remains: if casted differntly, would this movie have a chance? That's hard to say. Like I said, it has some interesting insights and makes some points, but in the end it seems like it was made just to test people's boundaries (hopefully it wasn't filmed to send a specific political message).The only thing that I thought was interesting about this movie were the cameos (special appearances): you can have fun spotting Douglas P. (Death In June), Ross Wilson (Daddy Cool), David Thrussell (Snog, Soma, Black Lung), author Phil Motherwell, Kristen Condon (Teknikust), George Huxley and James Young (Bloodlust) and many other actors, the film director himself.Let's just hope that Non fans won't assume that Rice's acting is as good as his music production (the music features a soundtrack mostly by Non). Unfortunately people (and especially fans!) are usually blinded by these artist's reputation and forget to be objective letting their love for other things the artist has done take over and influence their ability to judge... Initially that was my reaction: "wow, Boyd Rice made a movie! Let's check it out right now, it must be wild!". Yeah it was wild alright, it was wildly bad!!! It was hard to go through, I can only say that, but I watched the entire movie AND all of its extras in an attempt to give an objective review. If you love Boyd Rice and his music with Non, do yourself a favour and stay away from this movie, at least you'll be able to keep loving Boyd Rice for what he has accomplished before "Pearls Before Swine".
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Artist: Rapoon
Title: Alien Glyph Morphology
Format: DVD
Label: Caciocavallo
Distributor: Soleilmoon
Rated: *****
Rapoon, a.k.a. Robin Storey, has been releasing records after records for over a decade, but until now he has kept his film-making pretty much to himself and the only visual contribution he has shared with us was in the form of paintings on the covers of some of his releases.This DVD seems to be the perfect medium to showcase all his talents, because of how they all come together: "Alien Glyph Morphology" features six of his short movies made with montage, slides and slow-motion techniques and of course musically supported by his haunting and droning dark-ambient compositions. The movies don't really have a storyline per say, they are much rather a show of ancient (or alien) looking geoglyphic shapes and colors, slowly morphing into each other, hence the perfect title. In addition to that, Storey also included 20 tarot cards featuring his paintings and finally the DVD extras feature two slide shows and a very short film, all, again, an offspring of Storey's infinitely creative mind.A complete artist with a complete vision that thanks to modern mediums can finally be shared as one.Region Free NTSC. Enjoy.
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Artist: ROBERT NEITELER
Title: ihbaiklhikö
Format: CD
Label: Einzeleinheit (@)
Rated: *****
Damn, the world is not always round as it looks, this cd is not definitely the kind of music I would have expected from Einzeleinheit, but it's good to see you don’t have to take anything for granted. Robert Neitheler plays electronic music with a rhythmical edge and with a crippled feeling for abstract melodies, I think if it would get improved a bit and with an addiction of more rhythmical asymmetries "ihbaiklhikö" wouldn't be that far from some releases on Planet Mu. The most of the sound made me think to analogic sources processed through a laptop, Neitheler keeps the beat going on and rhythm is the main thing on which these six tracks are fixed (but some acid melodies appear every once in while). The beat in many case gets even hypnotical or acid (track 4 and 5), therefore take the "Rave is on!" as a direct consequence of this mixture, at last I think also Afx wouldn't dislike this idea. Even if that's not properly 80's influenced electronic music there are some reminiscences of those sounds, but at the same time this product probably owes much more to the rave culture than to Warp records' back catalogue. I don't say the melody is completely absent from this record but I'm sure this electronic musician is much more into "dance till you drop", at the same time he likes to move the rhythmical ground that you walk upon. Not always incisive but interesting.
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Artist: MODERN INSTITUTE
Title: excellent swimmer
Format: CD
Label: Expanding Records (@)
Rated: *****
That's definitely a blast from the past, but from the most recent past since Teho Teardo after Meathead, Matera and Here kept playing and putting out records like his new solo cd (out on Nail records), like Operator and he’s worked with many other projects. As you will discover by reading a forthcoming interview for Chaindlk this musician has also earned a living by composing soundtracks for movie directors such as Gabriele Salvadores or Guido Chiesa and if you ask me I'd say this cd is deeply influenced by his job. The personal touch and the melodic taste of Teardo are kinda similar to Here's masterpiece "Brooklin bank" and that's truly recommended to those who loved that project with Phyler Coleman because this could be the natural evolution of those ideas. The spine of this record is rapresented by some texture elaborated mainly with electronics and/or on the classical-chamber cello playing of Martina Bertoni, the marriage is enchanting and really soft as you can guess. A soft and dreamy listening: "stairs", "not a word manni", "munibabe" are just some of the potential hits included in "excellent swimmer" (and it also comes with a nice clip for "munibabe"). Take it with the usual grain of salt, but I think this cd stands in between the Bermuda triangle the angles of which are Album Leaf, Rachel's and latest and most manipulated Hood without vocals. There's a whole list of adjectives suitable for "excellent swimmer" like elegant, easy listening and refined; if that's what you looking for get it.
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Artist: ERAST
Title: Cyberpunk
Format: CD
Label: Laboratory Instinct (@)
Rated: *****

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After the release of two EPs on Laboratory Instinct, Erast release his first album titled CYBERPUNK for the same label. Behind a title that isn't that original there's something more than a mere exercise of technologic sounds/subjects. Nika Machaidze thought the different tracks as steps of a game. The rules/explanations are described into the opening track "Cyberpunk" where the guest narrator George Dzodzuashvili (aka Gogi.Ge.Org and Post Industrial Boys) explains how the game has been conceived while in the background there's a sort of main theme. "Het" opens the dances with its mixture of breakbeat and electro lounge where piano chords duet with vocal cut ups and frenetic rhythms. The following "Raindrops on my window" see strings that duet with synths and rhythms. "NLQ" is more relaxed and it creates a soft ambience. "Dimpiatauri" sounds jazzy and lounge blinking an eye to i.d.m. "Influtusa" mix gentle pizzicato strings with rhymths. The different tracks creatively mix orchestrations with multi layered rhythmic sections creating particular moments of intelligent electronic. Listening to the tracks there's a certain cinematic sensation: it's like they are part of an aural slide show that dynamically represent different moments of a common theme. A CD that deserve your attention and that needs your attention to be fully appreciated.
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