Music Reviews



Artist: INITIAL PRAYER
Title: The last man in Europe
Format: CD
Label: Corrosive Growth Industries (@)
Rated: *****
I know the title "The last man in Europe" comes from the famous book by George Orwell, but it also bring my mind straight to that old movie titled "The Omega Man". Charlton Eston (the protagonist) is the last human being alive (later in the plot he will discover he's not the only one) in a world populated by white eyed mutants (sort of...and not to be confounded with Black Eyed Peas...ha,ha). By the way, the movie was pretty sad and very sick: Initial Prayer is probably less desolated but twice as "sick". There's a consistent abundance of keyboards in the nine tracks and despite they have post-goth/neo-dark guitars the atmosphere remains really krautesque. Rhythmically Initial Prayer are pretty "martial" and their use of obsessive vocals betrays a clear industrial/dark background be it Death in June, Current 93 or Throbbing Gristle. I'd also add every once in a while they have also some little sparks of doom mixed with kraut influence by the way, I'm sure their best possible audience should be into post-industrial music. During some tracks it's possible to hear some old fashioned esoteric ambient feelings but don't expect anything like Steve Roach or Amon. "The last man in Europe" is much more post-industrial oriented.
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anymore
Artist: WEISBLAT/ COSTA MONTEIRO/RODRIGUES
Title: Diafon
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
If I Treni Inerti's "Aérea" shows glimpses of Costa Mointeiro's quieter side, "Diafon" plunges us back in the sonic maelstrom that the Portuguese improviser is used to create in his solo turntable performances, with the duo Cremaster or in collective recordings like "Octante" on L'Innomable (search the archive for my review). Here he uses "pick-ups on turntable" in a trio with Barry Weisblat (electronics) and Creative Sources owner Ernesto Rodrigues (violin, pick-ups and objects). The result is honestly closer to harsh noise than to even radical improvisation: frequencies collide and crumble, the violin is brutally ill-treated, everything is loud and distorted. Probably one of the most violent records in the catalogue of the Portuguese label, but also one of the logical extremes of its stylistic identity.
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anymore
Artist: I TRENI INERTI
Title: Aérea
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
I'm not sure if I was influenced by the title and the windmills in the layout, but I feel that this new work by Barcelona-based improvisers Ruth Barberán (trumpet) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion) features some differences from "Ura" (2003), one of the very first Creative Sources releases. This is obviously due to the lack of Matt Davis at trumpet, but it's not only that: while "Ici" and "Era mala mare" present Barberán's and Costa Monteiro's trademark approach, with sharp and scattered sound-particles, the initial "Luz azul" is as open and bright as the title suggests: both the trumpet and the accordion stay on droning, sustained patterns, making for one of their least violent and most nostalgic pieces.
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anymore
Artist: PETER BAUMGARTNER/CHRISTOPH SCHILLER
Title: Savagnières
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
Titled after the Swiss city it was recorded in one year ago, "Savagnières" features Baumgartner at powerbook and Schiller at spinett, quite an unusual instrument especially in the improvised field. Electronics are mostly kept at a quiet and very minimal level, consisting in modulated sinewaves and drones; quite the opposite for the spinett playing, which is hectic and energetic, while avoiding the noise peaks which are often present in the Creative Sources catalogue. Nonetheless, Schiller knows how to dose the plucking and picking of his instrument, so that the two elements (electronic and acoustic) actually merge very well, creating a suspended and mysteryous dialogue. As always, top-notch design by Carlos Santos.
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Artist: Anaphylaxis (@)
Title: Noise for Lovers
Format: CD
Label: Parasomnic (@)
Rated: *****
Anaphylaxis is the atmospheric noise/noisecore project of Jason Coffman (programming) and Teresa Santoski (vocals). Apparently this couple has had a slew of releases, though this is the first I’ve heard of them. I’ve got to say, though, they’ve definitely made an impression. From the moment this album started playing I loved it. Anaphylaxis' Noise for Lovers is exactly what it says it is... At least at first.

Distorted radio frequencies serve as the introduction to this gem of a release, contrasted by the nostalgic orchestration that perseveres for almost three minutes before being replaced by a seductively creepy, all-too short sample of a beautiful female voice. The entire album follows this suitor a suit like it. Nothing stays for long, the atmospheres, environments and beats flow in and out, corroding from one to another with ghostly voices and sounds manipulating and being equally manipulated. Everything about this release sounds like it is foreshadowing a terrible, ghastly event; beautiful in the most foreboding of ways.

I’m not sure what more I can say about Anaphylaxis’ Noise for Lovers. This release is absolutely worth the time, money, and effort of online purchasing. Noise for Lovers is beautiful, noisy, nostalgic, and altogether creepy. This album will not be easily forgotten.
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