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Artist: MATTIA COLETTI (@)
Title: Zeno
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
Shangai surprise!! Here comes the debut solo of Mattia Coletti from Sedia fame, I've never been so much into that band even thought they're a good combo, but this solo album is completely different and above all damn good. To avoid any misunderstanding consider, differently from his mother band band, "Zeno" is an acoustic record borne out of psych-folk/weird-folk, the most of the song are guitar driven and this cd features outer space ballads coming from the seventies, neo-freaksters keep reading!. While playing this psychedelic-melodies many names came to my mind, basically: Red Krayola, John Fahey, Syd Barret, Devendra Banhart and obviously his mentor, mr. Marc Boland (no glam trip please, it's just for some vocal parts). I was also tented to mention Nick Drake, but Coletti is not so easy listening even if his music is relaxing. I think the fusion of every single musician I've mentioned gives the proper picture of the resulting whole, but for the youngster reading Chain dlk let's say this could recall Tim Kinsella during his weird acoustic trips relative to Joan of Arc. An high quality recording helps the songwriting to reach its full potential and some interesting arrangements define each particular of this album. Acoustic, freak and relaxing, good work.
Artist: Nouvelle Culture (@)
Title: Fading Pictures
Format: CD
Label: Le Cabaret Electronique
Distributor: Intrapop
Rated: *****
French band Nouvelle Culture deliver a powerful brand of synth-pop dance music that have retro 80's and today's 21st Century sound. A fantastic beautiful synth melodies and vocals work. Their debut "Fading Pictures" is a serious invincible music that is full of fun, energy, and ethereal style. The vocal chemistry between Jacky and Ladybionic is exquisite and crystal clear in French and English. This album contains two discs; 15 tracks on the first disc and 16 remixes on the second. It have been in rotation heavily in my cd players (stereo, portable, and boombox) and I just can't stop listen to it. An emotional strong dramatic theme describes this brilliant superb release is GLAMOUR, GLITTER, MUSIC, FASHION, LOVE, SEX, PAIN, DESIRE, SEDUCTION, and PASSION. A beauty of elegance and emotion that sets the standard of its interesting lyrical tapestry. All 15 tracks sum up the feel of the album. Favorites include "Turn Me On", "Desire Mistress", "La Fille", "Shadows (Holy Love Long Mix)", "Mathilde (Etre Enfin Aimee)", "I Dream", and "Heaven".

As for the 2nd cd that contains remixes, my favorites are "Heaven (Remix by Millimetric)", "I Dream (Jesus Rock The Beat Mix by Code Machine)", "La Fille (Madchen Remix by Equatronic)", "Heaven (Reworked Dynamic Master vs Marysa (10ve10m)", "a beautiful track with female vocal sung in French combined with vocoder, "Shadows (Epic Club Mix by People Theatre)", "Mannequin (Remix by Chinese Theatre)", a track that's on the line of Kraftwerk "Man Machine" era using vocoder, "Steel City (Glasgow's Remix by Hoboken)", a lovely dance track with guitar melody, even a visual feel of imagination depicting Metropolis, "The Perfect Way (Italo Remix by Project Alpha Style)", an outstanding heavy club disco track, "Mathilde (Twisted Nerve RE-Cut by ELLEcTRIKa)" and "Mathilde (Mister Karpe Remix by Foretaste)".

This double album shows alot of promise for further creative of synth-pop music. Certainly my best favorite.
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Artist: Yuko Nexus6 (@)
Title: Nexus6 Song Book
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I sit here frustrated at my work desk and looking for some form of escape I reach into my pile of releases waiting for review and my hands found this: Yuko Nexus6 "Nexuss Song Book". The CD is professionally pressed and the artwork has a nice vibe to it. Kind of aloof and casual. Original lyrics and English translations are included in the booklet which allow non-Japanese listeners to appreciate more than just the textural nature of the works thereby giving some insight into her actual intentions. Yuko Nexus6 should appeal immediately to fans of Michael Patton's self-titled solo works looking for extreme vocal experimentation and manipulation with a slightly less caustic edge to it... sometimes even a downright peaceful vibe. Drifting the edges of noise to lullaby, this release will not likely appeal to the casual listener of experimental music but more to those who've taken the time to appreciate the silence between the edits. While I appreciate the collage work on the release I find myself wanting to hear the material originally used for the collage instead of the collage itself... but maybe that's the point. It certainly has me focusing more on the music than I would more accessible releases. All in all it's a fine release with interesting material that comes across relatively pure and not too conceited. Stand out tracks are "Lazy Bones", "He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and "Tetsudoh Shoka"
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Artist: BIRGIT ULHER-GINO ROBAIR
Title: Sputter
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Differently from the recording with Zerang and Malozzi this performance is more relaxed and ambiental, but please take what I've said with a grain of salt. This piece is gently proportioned, both for the trumpet of Birgit Ulher and also thanks to the "electricism" of Gino Robair. Every improvisation is a voyage and this one is definitely a relaxed one if compared to the troubled trip with Zerang and Malozzi. Softness is the driving force and no one of the players, despite some fast eruption, has the need to rush to go anywhere. "Timoger's formula" for example is reduced to some long singular "blow"/noise, that's the good thing, it emphasizes the strength thru self-discipline, nothing scratches the surface and the "piece" flows slowly like a quiet river. The central part of the record is soft and elusive (Burble), but even where Ulher and Robair go for some tension (Loarchfillet) it's completely in control. I imagine many could get bored to death by such a record, but the idea to keep improvisation and solos controlled to me is a demonstration of "wisdom". This duo passes from odd tracks (The downy monsters) to performance well pierced with silence, by the way the typical abstractism of Creative Sources remains the dominant therefore take your pillow and have a comfortable sleep. Bushido for improvisational-performers?.
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Artist: BIRGIT ULHER-LOU MALLOZZI-MICHAEL ZERANG
Title: Lanscape: recognizable
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
First things first: this gonna be the first review in a serie of three of cd came out on Creative Sources the lowest common denominator of which is the fact they all feature the mighty miss Ulher on trumpet. "Landscape: recognizable" is much more acoustic than electro-acoustic (whatever it means), while Birgit holds back the voice of her instrument, rumorism marries the non-intrusive percussionism-rumorism of Michael Zerang, Lou Malozzi follows perfectly, it's hard to get who's doing what except for the noises/notes "tricks" emitted by the one-lady-horn section. It may sound contradictory but for those who are new to Creative Sources, imagine this "electro-acoustic" music sometimes gives the idea "concretism" reaches its point of ebullition thru improvisation. This cd in particular sounds like it's impro-jazz played without its traditional "dress", what do I mean? Simple, the basic idea evolves around some of the most avantgardist thoughts of Beefheart and Ornette Coleman but don't think the comparison explains it all. Improvisation without emitting classical "notes", but at the same time think of this cd as a "free jazz" ensamble with the antenna oriented toward the action/reaction rail. Impro after impro that "no-jazz" thing arives slowly at its climax (Taming the nobility, Blame Pericles) and the fact the songs become barely structured is nothing but an illusion. Her we've music where something is happening, music without music, somebody will define it "acoustic rumorism" but it would be just too easy.
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