Music Reviews



Artist: Arctic Beard (@)
Title: The Circus of Shit Contributions+
Format: CD
Morose beats, ambient tunes and textures, odd bits and pieces from left field, sci-fi weirdmusic and quirkily altered vocals (from time to time) squiggle against your ears as you listen to Arctic Beard's, uh, distinctive audio compositions. AB's experimental personality reaches out like a sad child exploring this and that, picking things up, looking at them, putting them back down, moving on to something else, and sometimes coming back for a second look at a sound or odd bit of music. Without giving you a technical blow-by-blow of what each track sounds like from start to finish, peculiar segue to peculiar segue, I can only provide you the sketchiest of descriptions for this music/audio construction. For said description, see above. For reaction, keep reading. "The Circus of Shit Contributions+" is capable of being both meditative and unsettling. Meditative because it does provide for a unique metaphysical listening experience. Unsettling because ... well ... just because. It isn't that it goes from quiet to some really loud bit of strychnine audio strafing across your ears (like Pink Floyd did to me on "Ummagumma", the bastards ... I was trying to drift off to sleep to that CD). It's just that there's a certain sense of mental oddity that takes you to really strange places. Of course, some of us like to go to really strange places ...
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Artist: GENITOR LVMINIS
Title: Virgae
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Stateart (@)
Rated: *****
VIRGAE is the newest release by the Swedish project Genitor Lvminis. It is a 5" MCD and it brings to the audience two beautiful instrumental track. Without titles the two tracks enchant the listener with their slow growing of musical layers. The first one is based on acustic cyclic sounds which like a mantra hypnotize adding violins to the bass sounds which function as a metronome for the track. The 13 minutes seem to pass in an instant and at the end you are speechless and you don't know if playing the second one or skipping back the CD. "Virgae Pt.2" is shorten and ideally continue the ending of the first one as it has a darker sound. This time the main part is played by a louder rhythmical sample while the background textures (sounds of treated acustic guitars) thiken the sound adding new layers to the main one. A beatiful postcard package and a good new release thanks to Stateart, make it worth checking it out!
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Artist: L.E.T.O. (@)
Title: Underwater Circus
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
We already met L.E.T.O. months ago when I reviewed the "Noizzze.just do it" double compilation. This time I've got a whole demo, with four tracks, to review. UNDERWATER CIRCUS opens with "Nonsenseland", a track full of jazzy electronic sperimentations which turns into a cool movie soundtrack at the end. Since the first track L.E.T.O. is convincing me but with "Iridescent" atmospheres thickens a little bit bringing us a track based on dark ambient solutions which turns its experimental side with light noises and free improvisation moments, soon. "Underwater circus" is more focused on rhythms and melodic improvisations with some moments of calmness while "Strange ways to say goodbye" is a sort of melancholic track with weird sounds and melodies. It is a really way to say goodbye, indeed. Listening to L.E.T.O. seems to listen to a version of Jean Michel Jarre on acid and that's so cool. Watch out for his "Burn all the bridges down" album which will be released at the end of 2004 by DTA Records.
Oct 12 2004
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Artist: ZEFA (@)
Title: God's Lonely Man
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Zefa is a French project which released recently the CD "God's lonely man". The demo I received contains eight audio tracks and two videos: "Depths" and "Slaughter" (the first one is also present here as audio track). The whole CD is focused on electronic ambience which seems really influenced by 80s bands like Clock DVA (the "Buried dreams" period) and Die Form. The rhythms sometimes are out of synch (like on "Anima" and on "Neron" but I figure it's kinda wanted as they are the only case) but the whole effect is convincing me as the CD has got a certain appeal because of the atmospheres created. The album isn't that long and Zefa is good at mixing the experimental side of electronic music with the emotional side, so even if the CD is based on similar atmospheres the result is nice to listen. The visual part is entertaining and functional as well, so that's another good point for Zefa!
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Artist: OTTO VON SCHIRACH (@)
Title: Global Speaker Fisting
Format: CD
Label: Asphodel (@)
Rated: *****
Listening to this record is a real challenge for your senses. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about something awful. Otto Von Schirach music is melodically and rhythmically deranged and chaos seems to have control on the whole process. Only if you wait a little more you can find that from chaos new stuff can take form. Mixing electro hard core with grind (like on "Goat sperm"), dub ("G4 serablin"), folk (listen the accordion used on the initial part of "Le sangre del dedo intelecto"), concrete music ("Fractal nut vinegerette" or "The inventor of milf ed decibel"), hip hop ("Flexibole neck static"), etc could sound too much for the casual listener but it gives to music an incredible range of colors. Von Schirach’s fourth album is difficult but if you let it work on you, you'll discover that insanity isn't that bad sometimes...
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