Music Reviews



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Artist: CORDELL KLIER
Title: Traces
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Distributor: Drone Records, Self Abuse
Rated: *****
A prolific and eclectic electronic musician, Cordell Klier now contributes to Mystery Sea's always remarkable night/ocean drones series with this 3-track, 40-minute work. A scary and brooding album to say the least, "Traces" features Klier in a definite dark ambient mood, assembling layers and layers of metallic frequencies and subdued, disquieting noises. Klier's ocean seems to be plagued by unkown monsters and upsetting memories, and he certainly delivers no shelter to rest by. The underlying oppressive force of the work reaches a peak in the third and final track, "...right?, I'm still here!", with an epic climax and possibly a sort of final purge of inner demons.
Artist: S. Sturgis
Title: In A Haze
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Rated: *****
Another Positron! Records release. This time they present us a new artist signee named S. Sturgis who released 13 albums and a dozen of eps in his previous years. The new six instrumental electronic tracks is cross between different genres; from ambient to abstract to dub and weird. Morelikely , Sturgis is exploring electronics and samples. The tracks can draw you in and alleviate your mind. "At The End" is an ambient piece with a funky and dub feel. Somewhat I consider "Tomorrow" a very strange track. It's a mixture of tribal rhythm, weird and abstract. I'm going to have to say that "Euphondisson" is my best favorite. The atmospheric vibe it gives sets the mind at ease and the music is ambient and very more laidback without the weird and crazy things going on in the track. Don't get me wrong, "In A Haze" is a good electronic album. I find the music very relaxing and soothing, especially when you're just getting off from work within all that stress and tension that's been building up and working your nerves.
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Artist: BUNKUR/MOSS
Title: Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments/Cop
Format: CD
Label: Foreshadow Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Both Bunkur (Holland) and Moss (UK) have reached a sort of cult status in the ultra-underground niche of extreme drone-doom, in spite of their relatively limited discography. This anticipated split release is a sort of tribute to two major influences of theirs, i.e., respectively, Burzum and Swans. Bunkur's cover of "Erblicket..." (originally from the gloomy masterpiece "Filosofem") begins with a mess of spacey, disjointed feedbacks, gradually evolving into a recognizable remake - Burzum's trademark riffs are there, though played by Bunkur's peculiar line up (two basses, a synth, screams and drums). Less recognizable is Moss' "Cop", though their desperate, obtuse sludge-doom (reminiscent of Eyehategod, early Cavity, Corrupted, etc.) is a good tribute to the tortured sounds of early Swans. A nice ep thing, though I was honestly expecting something more - I'm now looking forward to Bunkur's anticipated studio full-length (due out next year on Deserted Factory) and for something more consistent from Moss.
Artist: Naevus (@)
Title: Perfection Is A Process
Format: CD
Distributor: Old Europa Cafe
Rated: *****
London-based neo-folk band Naevus fourth release "Perfection Is A Process" is their best cd recorded up-to-date. They decided to experiment with electronics, but the cd is more the natural by playing guitar, bass, accordion, and live drums. The track "Obvious" sets off by using electronics that's more noise like, while Lloyd talks like he's narrating a poem. "Retreat" sounds like more of a slavery march song, which is one of my favorite off the disc. The new version of "Don't Boil (version two)" have a beautiful piano accompaniment feeling with the accordion playing along, but when the music breaks down to the middle segment, the guitar and electronics that's noise like takes over then back to the piano and accordion again. The soft mellow "South Bank" is a laidback track you can get into , especially when you're taking a walk in the park while looking at the river/pond. Another favorite track I like is "Look To The State", reminds me some of the rock bands from the 80's. Somehow I manage to feel what Lloyd was saying in the melancholic acoustic track "New Featureless List" with the shanai going on that gives it a more emotional feeling. Lloyd's voice is enthusiatic by speaking from what he's feeling at the moment like he's reading poetry. Naevus lyrics still have that sense of humor, whether the songs sad or happy, but the band knows how to mix different feelings by being creative in their own unique way and to entertain the listeners. A sublime album this is.
Dec 27 2004
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Artist: Aural Planet (@)
Title: re.work.ed
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Vivo records (@)
Rated: *****
Polish trio Aural Planet are at their sixth release already and they keep rocking my world with their warpish melange of organic electronica... "Reworked" walks the fine line between atmospheric ambient, glitch electronics, idm and pure electronica... Strongly influenced by the like of Richard James, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Future Sound of London, Displacer, Mimetic, Dither (you'll know by now that if you are into the sound labels such as of Warp, M-Tronic, OM-Lounge or Unschooled, you pretty much can't escape your moral obligation to purchase this one also!), this album is fantastic in its entirety, and there is no easier way to put it. It's fantastic because it comes from Eastern Europe and sounds like something British, or even vaguely American sometimes (even though I wouldn't have minded some local influences, for example like the Hungarian Gabor Csupo masterfully achieves). What does stand out is the quality of the sounds and of the programming, definitely above average and easily comparable to the great minds of the genres. Awesome.
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