Music Reviews



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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Sophia Drifts
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
Hell, reviewing Bradley's works is seriously beginning to be embarassing. This single-track, forty-minute work was especially composed for Mystery Sea's cult series, while Bradley also self-released on his own Twenty Hertz a limited edition including a bonus 3" cdr. As expected, it's another excellent work for this English dronemaker, much in the style of recent cds of his like "Liquid Sunset" or the latest Droneworks contribution. "Sophia Drifts" is a slowly uncoiling spiral of time-stretched drones, at first barely punctuated by what sounds like heavily filtered recordings of dripping water and crashing waves. After a first half of mind-numbing stasis, the piece undergoes a crescendo of metallic frequencies and an accumulation of unidentified audio debris, eventually leading to the final minutes of troubled rest, where ghosts of melodies surface for a while before disappearing altogether.
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Artist: PENITENT
Title: A Shapeless Beauty
Format: CD
Label: Trinity Records
Rated: *****
I'm not familiar at all with Penitent's discography, which I believe is now quite extensive (including a cd on Cold Meat Industry), so I'm afraid I can't make any comparison with their previous works. Recorded in 2004 and released by Hong Kong's Trinity Records, "A Shapeless Beauty", composed by Lucian Olteanu and Karsten Hamre (also responsible for Dense Vision Shrine, Arcane Art and a theory of other projects), features seven tracks of gloomy and occasionally pompous atmospheric music. I would call it "dark ambient", but bear in mind this is less drone-oriented and more "symphonical" in a keyboard/synth-driven way, actually reminding of many soundtracks for low-budget horror movies from the 80's... the kind of movies you don't necessarily recognize as masterpieces, but that you always watch with a sort of twisted pleasure. For me, Penitent's music works more or less in the same way: while it's not scary or moving at all, and has many artistic flaws (a muffled sound, some predictable and redundant compositions, monotonous drum machine patterns etc.), it is a decent job, with a few standout tracks like "Born Bound", "Regret" or "The Longing".
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Artist: INFERNOSOUNDS (@)
Title: I Feel
Format: CD
Label: Ionium-Records / A + F Music (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
The German male/female duo INFERNOSOUNDS presents with "I Feel" already its second full-length after their debut "Eiszeit" in 2004. Consisting of Cornelia (vocals) and Marko Kupfer (sounds), they go further to create and present us their vision of - I would say - Dark Electro Pop... or something like this. The formula is simple: female vocals in both English and German spreading stories and happenings of lucky/unlucky relationships, Goth-infiltrated themes of angels, darkness, or vampire stories mixed to some trendy Electropop sounds. BLUTENGEL or TRISTE DE LA LUNA somehow come to mind, and... - hell, this duo really hits the cliche pot in all variations ("Creature Of The Night"). That’s for sure not new or something what can be called innovative - but it still seems to have its audience, I may think on some 13-years-old Goth greenhorns discovering a really "hard and dark Electro CD...". Okay, enough sarcasm here, this duo finally has also some well worked out pieces, and here can be named "Das Land Der Schwarzen Rosen". Also "Funkel Funkel" has to named, it is inspired by German children fairytale, and I find the musically conversion quite convincing. Some special remix works are also included here, among others MASSIV IN MENSCH and SPIRITUAL CRAMP have to be named, both remixing one of the best tracks here, "Endlose Wege". As I said - the result here will still get some attention by the audience and this act will may grow to a higher level of recognition. My issues moreover belong to some personal preferences. So for what this album seems to be, it is decent. Another important point to know: 1,-- Euro out of the sales of this release will be donated to a foundation against child molestation. A nice form of charity which hopefully will get more imitators.

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Artist: MYK JUNG
Title: Zenith Is Decline
Format: CD
Label: Endless Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Myk Jung is for sure a Goth/Industrial Rock legend alive not only in Europe, thanks to his well known projects like THE FAIR SEX or TESTIFY. I should admit in advance that his music caught never really my attention - and then this new release... First off, forget almost all Rock elements you know from his both main bands. The second title of this CD, "The Nine Lost Ballads" simply describes what this is. No heavy guitar attacks, no acoustic speed drums - no, Myk presents a very personal and emotional side of his music. Already with the chose to release this CD under his very own name shows already his dedication to the tracks. Also that he could include his 10-years-old daughter doing some beautiful vocals on two tracks is just another proving fact. Piano sounds, calm acoustic guitars, several orchestrated string ensembles and a lot of deep dark male vocals at times with some female help - this is the right soundtrack for some gray and rainy November days in front of a fire side. Six special tracks in between the nine ballads called "Flight I to VI" are included as well and here shows Myk his understanding also for the more electronic side of his music. And also that this music can and will never count to my preferences, I have to speak out my deepest respect for this release in all its kind and how it comes out. Check also out the excellent styled CD itself - it looks like a 7 inch vinyl single...

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Artist: JARROD FOWLER (@)
Title: translation as rhythm
Format: CD
Label: Errant Bodies (@)
Rated: *****
Remember, when we deal with Errant Bodies' releases you've always to take for granted we're dealing with unconventional objects in the most noble sense of its meaning. Right lately I've read that great book + cd they did on Christof Migone's works, but Labelle gives another audio exhibit confirming the initial statement I've written makes sense. Jarrod Fowler's work is "rhythmical", yes, that's something you can ear with your own hear as you will play these rhythm borne out of digital skip like in the first and in the fifth tracks, after that this audio "experience" features parts of synthesized vocals dealing with the subjects of the tracks the composer has performed (tracks two and four). Oh sure, there's also your beloved white noise and you can also find the "dear old" field recordings, but the fact is that's a real pain in the ass to review the "music" of a record where the booklet and the concept are indivisible from the "musical" (in the most abstract but at the same time most "real" sense) content. For those who have not understood it yet: this cd is based on studies, thus I think you/we've to view it as a performance or sorry for the repetition: a study. Being the mind-tripper-frigid-nerd I'm, I've found it a pleasant listening/reading since I've happened a few times to read/hear text files translated into audio files, and with references like Cage, Satie, Platone it's easy to be saduced by the concept, you know...The fact is this cd like many other listenings like it goes beyond simple criticism and apart from the performative judgment every other aesthetical consideration becomes useless and above al subjective.
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