Music Reviews



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Artist: BLOWN PAPER BAGS (@)
Title: Arm your cameras
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Suiteside (@)
Rated: *****
These last two year's celebration of "4/4 disco beat" is not gonna stop and if that's the rank you prefer watch out for this mini. I've seen Blown Paper Bags during their early days and I've also dropped in during the recording of this mini but the result has gone much further than my expectations. This band leaving from the harbor of Genoa sails in the see of "electro-punk-funk-dance-video-game", read: "danceable tunes that will throw you straight into the dimension of your old Sega Master System". Reminiscences of El Guapo, funny dementia "a-la-Experimental Dental School", those glittering beat in the style of Lcd Sound System, a bit of "dance floor justice" in the vein of Daft Punk, the eighties' flavor and the game is done. The production has glued together their punky style and their party attitude, and the right sound was probably what these ladies and gentlemen were looking for. I don't think it has been that easy to keep together and give a sense to such a big number of instruments (drums, drum-machine, synth, guitars, keyboards, vocals, bass, effects, etc..) and patterns. Not unlike El Guapo, or even better Super System, the keyword is "no Blown Paper Bags...no party!", but as you can guess the trashy sounds and other demented things are planned meticulusly for the sake of irony that I'm sure they have. Songs like "double dragon on the dancefloor" bring back to those college movies with Molly Ringwald...I wish you get what I mean. "Arm your cameras" is a good debut ep, give it the airplay!.
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Artist: O.V.N.I. (@)
Title: Object Volant Non Indentifiť
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
This is the side-project of the already discovered Electropop act SEIZE, which is also signed to the Belgium label Alfa Matrix. I haven’t discovered too much Science Fiction or Alien influenced themes on this CD (OVNI means UFO in French...), but it is obvious already after the first listening, that this project deals with some of the newest and modern musically influences. Contrary to the main project, O.V.N.I. features mainly with an emotional male singer and the music is globally in a darker mood, while the included breakbeats tend at times to spread in nervousness and confusion. The mixture between the classic and typical Synthpop-influenced vocals with uncountable breakbeats are the remarkable points on this production. Tracks like the very Futurepop-like "What Have I Done" show a surprising amount of great melodic lines which is seldom to get heard in this genre. "Slave" offers a darker realm and it is the only track on which are female vocals present. On the other hand here are also some tracks which provide uncountable sinewy beats ("G.S. Pet" or "The Vision"), until it starts to hurt. Some of these pieces try hard not to be called adapted, but at times this band tends to exaggerate this a bit. The references which I could read in the info sheet to this release, like COVENANT or HAUJOBB and a few more, are well chosen – I personally would like to add NEUROACTIVE at their "Fiber-Optic Rhythm" phase to this. This release dwells well into the Futurepop-, Synthpop-, or Electronica genre, however you would like to name it. My favs are the mentioned calm and conventional pieces, but hey – that’s just me! Give it a listen and judge for yourself.
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Spring estuary
Format: CD
Label: Asano productions (@)
Rated: *****
As I said before (what a boring man I've become!), when Asano sits behind his laptop the result's always top notch. While following the footsteps of Merzbow in the amount o releases consecutively put out by the same composer, this Anglo-Japanese musician fuses again his laptop skills with a classical background. He did it in an interesting way since the equilibrium between the different elements is better and better after every release. I can't say this "furious" japanese is the first one to cross the thin border dividing the two musical worlds, at last the success of Alva Noto and Sakamoto proves there already is a receptive audience for that kind of cross-over, but honestly in some of Asano's compositions the point of ebullition is reached perfectly, nothing more nothing less. Differently from many else Asano manipulates classical works with a digital restyling but at the same time he processes computer music with the same patience of a contemporary composer. Here it's an odd cello, there a piano...whatever it is, it all disappears into a "hall reverb" as acid as those you can hear in many shoegaze recordings (Kevin Shields would approve it). The treated pattern are repeated or evolved with the same patience of Riley or Reich when they're not obsessed with serialism. Differently from his previous works this one is divided in four movements and is much better elaborated thinking to ambience and digital noises. This' a compact recording which gives homogeneity to compositions not so similar one to each other. To me that's the best listening together with his "Sanctuary on reclaimed land".
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Artist: Pneumatic Detach (@)
Title: [vis-cer-a]
Format: CD
Label: Hive records (@)
Distributor: Ad Noisem & Ant Zen
Rated: *****
By a quick look at the art work, Justin Brink, a.k.a. Pneumatic Detach appears to be ready to perform some intestinal perforation, gut mutilation or liver ago-puncture on whoever won't appreciate his music... But that probably won't matter because after you listen and dance to this, your liver and your stomach will be so blood-pumped and so contorted from the restless and spastic beats and by the neurotic and aggressive sonics of "[vis-cer-a]" that you'll need to see a doctor anyway... I've listened to it for over 6 times and love the raw and visceral industrial-idm mixture of twisted and saturated hard electronica and scratchy irreverent minimalism that comes accompanied by so much surrounding power and movement. In the continued battle between minimalism of intents and employed waveforms and its complex nevrotic audio assault, is the key to this great recording. Let's see if you dare to stick your hand in the bloody flesh of this sound to look for it and unlock its deepest secrets.
The CD also features a remix by C2 and one by O2 (Mike Wells of Gridlock).