Music Reviews



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Artist: DOUG THERIAULT/BRYAN EUBANKS
Title: Big Clouds in the Sky Today
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
Two tracks recorded live in Portland this April, improvised by Theriault at "sensor guitar controlling" and live electronics and Eubanks at "open circuit electronics", which I have honestly no clue about - maybe it's a kind of synth, or some self-built effect. The two pieces, "don't worry about the future" and "a majestic", are quite massive in length (21 and 41 minutes respectively), and unfortunately quite similar in the sound amalgamation: harsh and granular guitar noise and equally noisy electronic interventions. "Big Clouds in the Sky Today" suffers the risk of many improvised and unedited recordings: the listening experience is fascinating dunring the very first minutes, only to become stale afterwards. The duo's performance is not as varied and graceful as improvisation has to be, and not as brutally pregnant as a good harsh noise recording.
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Artist: FHIEVEL
Title: Le baptÍme de la solitude
Format: CD
Label: petite sono]
Rated: *****
I remember a harsh and intense live set by Luca Bergero/Fhievel which I had the chance to see a couple of years ago; the sounds he used were sharp and grey-tinged, making for a very claustrophobic and solipsistic performance. This limited edition cdr on the Canadian label petite sono], coming in a minimal but elegant and very well conceived b/w design, shows how Bergero's experimentation in the lowercase/microsounds field has improved and reached a remarkable level of aesthetic purity. "Le baptême de la solitude" features three untitled compositions where natural field recordings, high-end crackles, hisses and sometimes melodic drones are carefully blent and structured. Everything is subdued and understated, yet emotionally moving; Bergero knows how to hit the right spot where many, using the same ingredients, would fail to impress. This work often reminded me of Keith Berry's similar approach: not overtly lowercase, yet not tipically ambient, but rather a successful bridge between the two.
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Artist: COIL / THE NEW BLOCAKDERS / VORTEX CAMPAIGN
Title: Dolbied
Format: CD
Label: Black Rose (@)
Rated: *****
Released twenty years ago on a limited edition tape of only 50 copies, DOLBIED is a noise project that gathers the sonic experimentations of early Coil, The New Blockaders and Vortex Campaign. If you know the early Coil material such as the track "S is for sleep" or their Zos Kia / Coil tape, well, this one has got nothing to do with those sounds. Here the two long tracks of that tape make you release what the sound experimentation was back in the '80s. The sound collage, son of the cut-ups experiments of Burroughs, find the three bands performing a magmatic performance made of clanging sounds, feedbacks (on the first part) and treated guitars (mostly beaten ones, it seems), metallic feedbacks, echoed percussive sounds and whatever could sound like hell on earth on the second part. The release as a bonus, contains also three Vortex Campaign tracks (the last two are unreleased tracks titled "The melancholy mad tenant pt.1 and pt.2") which present a sound less caothic, respect the DOLBIED tape, based on primordial loops made out of feedbacks and percussive sounds: the result is hypnotic and alienating at the same time. This is your chance to discover the roots of industrial music and even if sometimes it could sound naive, remember: that is history. The release is limited to 500 copies (100 of them are into a cloth bag) and the CD is contained into an hand made three painted panel package.
Check also: www.thresholdhouse.com and www.thenewblockaders.org.uk
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Artist: FORETASTE (@)
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Format: CD
Label: Boredom Product (@)
Rated: *****
Announced about a year ago, finally BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the debut Fretaste's album is out. A year ago I postponed my judgement about the band, waiting for the release of this CD. Well, I must say that the duo formed by Sylvie and Pierre refined their style and they produced twelve tracks of electro wave that really convinced me. I didn't remember their music to be that seductive, so just to give a good judgement I checked the MCD that already was containing four tracks that have been re-released on BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and I was right, because now they sound amazingly better: I think that the production of the album helped so much giving a new life to "Discordance", "Victim's heart", "For your own good" and to "Re-love". The vocals are better mixed with the instruments and the music sounds well balanced. In this way the band's skills are better shown and you'll will appreciate the catchy melodies and the electro wave style they deal so well with. The album doesn't sound retro even if you can hear the '80s influences. Melancholy is well balanced with the energetic arrangement and, in this way, the calm and mysterious Sylvie's voice find completion into the beating drum and the synthesizers programmed by Pierre. Tracks like "That smiling man" or the main title "Beatiful creatures" sum really well the new band's style and the whole album is a convincing one that prove that in one year the band did a wonderful job.
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Artist: SUICIDE COMMANDO (@)
Title: Godsend/Menschenfresser
Format: CD EP
Label: NTP/Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
The genre leader is back with two new tracks, "Godsend" and "Menschenfresser", available on Johan van Roy’s very own NTP label, a new sublabel of the rising German Dependent. This release is also available through Metropolis-Records for North America. Both two tracks receive here each two remix works done by currently rising names like GOD MODULE, REAPER, AMDUSCIA and AGONOIZE, so we have a 6-track SiCD with a nice digi-pack artwork. Both original versions are of course the outstanding pieces here, and especially "Godsend" features that "hard-in-your-face" attitude in this typically SUCIDE COMMANDO kind and will give for sure the coming club hit for the next months. I have noticed also a slight dedication from the poppy-like structures richly present on his last full length release "Axis of Evil" back to a more harder sound, maybe taken from his masterpiece "Mindstrip". Lets say that this new tracks feature the best of the both mentioned past full length albums, also the nice and still unreleased track on the "Advanced Electronics Vol. 4" compilation proves this. The here featured remix works can only follow the intense aggression of the originals. AMDUSCIA made the best one here and could well incorporate their vision of electronic music in combination with the given material. REAPER, lately often asked and booked for remixes, totally disappoint here by offering repetitive bass lines without any idea or inspiration. Although this SiCD doesn’t offer anything which could be described as new, I am rather impressed, how Johan van Roy is still able to integrate his vision of EBM/Electro music. All bands of the currently hyped Hellektro/Harsh EBM genre can only follow him and so the original. There is no real rival in the field, and this also doesn’t change with the risky remix appearances of a well known and similar act like AGONOIZE here. Worldwide limited to only 4000 exemplars and I am pretty sure that they will be all sold out. So act up soon and get this piece!
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