Music Reviews



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Artist: CORNUCOPIA
Title: .C. Works
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: The Locus of Assemblage/Zeromoon/Sonora
Rated: *****
The lengthy track ".C." was recorded by Puerto Rican duo Cornucopia (Jorge Castro and Claudio Chea) in 2001, released in a cdr edition by The Locus of Assemblage and then remastered for this rerelease & remix project, which took a while in the making. It was surely worth it, though, as ".C." is probably Cornucopia's most mature and refined work to date, and we're talking of an A-quality project. The piece reveals the duo's more ambient side, but without losing the cutting edge of their noise background. A rarefied beginning, with subdued drones, paves the way for a more aggressive development, with mechanical guitar noises and swirling synths; then there's the core (and possibly best) movement, with field recordings of dripping water and sharp looped electronics. By layering and morphing this matter, the sound mass slowly rises to a maximum of power and intensity, then suddenly collapses in the quieter final part, where the seashore and the rain sound like a welcome shelter after the previous storm. Flawlessy merging different layers and styles, Cornucopia have assembled a hypnotizing work which I'd recommend both to those into the environmental soundscapes of López, mnortham or Dauby and to the fans of power-dronemarkes like Menche or Hive Mind. The second disc features fourteen artists re-working Cornucopia's piece, and, logically since there were so many inputs in it, the results are quite varied, from harsh noise to ambient to lowercase. No track is obviously as mind-blowing as the original, but on the other hand none is less than well done; each listener will then pick his/her favourites (mine were Needle & Sony Mao, TV Pow, RGV and López, by the way). The two discs are housed in a slim DVD case with a gorgeous layout. Pick this one fast, as I guess there are few copies still around.
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Artist: Black Ice (@)
Title: Terrible Birds
Format: CD
Label: Hungry Eye Records (@)
Rated: *****
Black Ice "Terrible Birds" has a predominantly older goth-rock/punk vibe going on with vocals reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux crossed with one Dale Bozzio (Missing Persons). On a number of tracks they try to dive into a more experimental sound with less contemporary song structures and I say try because, ultimately, I feel like the results are often a little boring and redundant. This is a frustrating release because I hear the potential for a more than competent band creating interesting songs but these songs lack any strong characteristics or hook to separate themselves from one another. Usually about a minute into each track I was ready to hit the forward button on my player. The tracks on their own are OK but when drawn together into a cohesive package, things just get sloggish. All of this is only worsened due to sub-par engineering. The CD just isn't recorded well. Most of the sounds are flat and lack luster. Again, aggravating because a good engineer and producer would have been able to get these guys and gals over the hump of mediocrity and been able to push them into a truly interesting direction. Is it bad? No. Not by any means and it's often interesting. Is it good? Well... it could have been great. As it stands, it's OK. I do look forward to the next release from Black Ice... hopefully it'll be tweaked *just* a little more than "Terrible Birds". Stand out tracks: "The Stillness" and "In Winter".
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Artist: AGF.3 + SUE.C (@)
Title: Mini Movies
Format: CD
Label: Asphodel (@)
Rated: *****
Agf.3 and Sue.C are two girls, the first one coming from Germany and the latter from USA: AGF aka Antye Greie calls herself e-poetess or powerful poemproducer. She works mainly as a vocalist, musician, producer. Since 1996 permanently based in Berlin she was born and raised in East Germany. She developed an early interest for music and poetry and philosophy and recently she is been exploring speech and spoken word into electronic music. Sue Costabile is a video artist/photographer and she works mainly in live improvisational settings. In the past she collaborated with Joshua Kit Clayton, Wobbly, Sutekh, Luc Ferrari, Morton Subotnick, Vladislav Delay, Naut Humon and many other people. MINI MOVIES is their latest project that is divided in two parts: visual (with the release of a DVD) and audio (with the release of the CD I'm reviewing). The DVD contains a collection of shorts, alternate soundtracks, subtitles, an interview and making of. Filmed in New York, Long Island, Berlin, London, San Francisco and elsewhere, it is a travel diary that explore connections, within humans and within facts. The CD contains nineteen electro poems which represent a little story of two people. Each track is a little moment that describe the feelings of the characters. See for example an excerpt of the writing that tells their story: "he continues traveling and departing and the optimistic dreaming of white marzipan and then as soon as he steps off the train starts to feel suddenly unconfident (disaster) expecting the worst and scary things to happen (presentiment) and when he arrives in geneva and his girl friend doesn't hang out with him and is real mean...". The tracks linked to the writing excerpt are "Everybody is a disaster" and the following, "Presentiment". Musically the duo take inspiration from ambient, jazz and experimental minimal electronic. In this way the nineteen tracks sound like little personal moments where the ambience sound take form and tell a story. It's like the walls of a room would be capable of talking about everything they saw: about all the human desperation and about all the human weaknesses. The recitative vocals duet with complex sound structures song shaped, creating sound sculptures that sometimes need a visual counterpart to be fully appreciated.
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Artist: ROOM WITH A VIEW
Title: Collecting Shells At A Lighthouse Hill
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Basically the new Room With A View album titled COLLECTING SHELLS AT A LIGHTHOUSE HILL doesn't fit that much the musical genres that we talk about at Chain D.L.K. because it mostly remember me a certain kind of Italian emotional punk/HC of the last decade mixed with metal and grunge (but there's also space for acustic ballads a la King Of Convenience with "Remembering our goodbyes"). The new album is produced by Jens Borgren (Katatonia and Opeth) and is well performed, melancholic and powerful at the same time. Unfortunately for my tastes it sound all the same even if it can sell well worldwide so if you are into this kind of genre, please check out the band or the label's website and listen to some songs to make yourself an opinion. On the interactive section you can also find a video for "Friction" and a pdf file with the lyrics.
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Artist: FEU FOLLET
Title: toi et le son
Format: CD
Label: Einzeleinheit (@)
Rated: *****
Tobias Fischer (that's the man behind the moniker Feu Follet) put out a two suite cd that should be interesting for all those who love projects out on Taalem or Mystery Sea. "Toi et le son" makes me think to musician like Amon, Cria Cuervos and above all Asmus Tietchens even if Feu Follet is more melodic and...can i say "new age"? (and above all less dark than the the musician I've mentioned), but that's the picture. the front cover describes perfectly what you're gonna experience during the half an hour listening of this: sit down, relax your muscles and close your eyes. The music of Tobias Fisher is really crepuscolar but not yet dark, it evokes icy landscape beaten by the weak light of the northern sun. I imagine that many of you will be complaining about the "new age" definition, but it's mainly referred to the biological evolution of the sounds and to the fact it's a relaxing listning but don't take it too litterally. Feu Follet is a good cd that probably sticks to tight to the sound you would expect from a record like that, but after all that's the problem of many artist of the genre. I've listened to this record while working and while reding and the effect is damn relazing, everything becomes slow and you sink in it turns into an amniotic bath. Softest Nurse With Wund are behind the door.
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