Music Reviews



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Artist: MOON FAR AWAY (@)
Title: Belovodie
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Forming ten years ago in Russia, Moon Far Away released their first album "Lado World" in 1997 and it has been recognized as the first gothic Russian release. "Belovodie" is their first album since the "Sator" album, released back in 2000. Their music is deeply influenced by the classic Russian folk music (the band also use some traditional instruments) but the band decided to blend the traditional sounds with electronic moments and with a darker atmosphere. In this way tracks like the opening "Na zore", "Zhito zhala" or "Volna shumit" are more influenced by new wave and gothic music while "Sobiraetse liubeznoy", "Iz-za gor", "Ekoy vania" or the following "Zvetiki" sound more folk and traditional. The effect created by this alternance of modern and traditional melodies is interesting and evidence that mixing different ideas is always a good thing. The forty six minutes of the album create a sort of ritualistic atmosphere that blend tension and calmness at the same time. The album has been released also by Shadowplay for the Soviet countries and it contains an extra track.
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Artist: NON TOXIQUE LOST (@)
Title: Siga Siga
Format: CD
Label: Dossier (@)
Rated: *****
On the digipack of this release you'll get just the basic infos like, name of the band, title of the records and the tracklist on the back, if communication means something this decision says it all. I'm almost sure I've recognized the voice of Sea Warton and the sound it's almost the same but there's something different in this release. I dunno if the band has suffered any line up changes but the songs are more skeletal, everything on this record goes straight to bone, the music gets even more visceral, the most o the songs lyrics are in german language. The vocals are more controlled or I'd better say that everything on this record is more in control, more tempered. "Siga siga" is less heterogeneous than "/bin/med/usa" but in a positive way, since for the whole length of the cd it will be like being thrown into the band's dimension. If the previous release was obsessive, "Siga Siga" is confidentially/visceral obsessive, these berliners are working on your skull with a screwdriver it clear from the beginning (Kein stern). If I were psychoanalist I'd say these people have finally arrived to meet their own "self" or well, maybe it all is nothing but a trip that has gone bad. If you're not confidential with the band my suggestion is to start from "Siga Siga", nothing could be Worse/better.
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Artist: NON TOXIQUE LOST (@)
Title: /bin/med/usa
Format: CD
Label: Dossier (@)
Rated: *****
Never heard of a band called Non Toxique Lost? If you're into industrial music you should, they put out their first record during the eighties, then 20 compact cassettes, 3 lps and a couple of cds. "/bin/med/usa" cuts it short showing these three "guys" from Ger-money are not newjacks: industrial music in the way it was meant to be...but not just that. The deutsche style you can hear while listening the "early" (not so early) Einstruerzende Neubauten is evident, but as you can read in the few lines they left at the beginning of their website: "style is irrelevant". Obsessive patterns "industrial-style", old-fashioned-drum machines, analogue synth, filters and guitars, the vocals is both martial (...deutsche speakers' emphasis, how could we live without it!!) and visceral up to the different song, I think if you're into this style of music well you'll love it 'cause it's sexy or violent as it should be. Musicwise Non Toxique Lost moves from "industrial-psychic-warfare" to "fetish-electronica" (hey they're on the same label of Front Line Assembly should I add something more?), a flavor of "eighties" and let's say it looks like they'd like to play with the listeners' secret fears. Also the recording somehow sounds old-fashioned and don't come to easy conclusions, when I say "old-fashioned" I don't mean the Berlin combo is completely "surpassed", I just mean it all sounds "retrò" and in a good way, at last on this release. "Dark landscapes and modern obsessions" if you love things like these and the way the industrial-electronica used them, I'm sure you're ready for Non Toxique Lost.
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Artist: RICK COX
Title: Fade
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cold Blue
Rated: *****
US multi-instrumentalist and composer Rick Cox has focused over the years on prepared electric guitar tecniques, and worked with the likes of Jon Hassell and Ry Cooder (on the soundtracks of "Last Man Standing" and "End of Violence"). "Fade" is a 25-minute piece where Cox, at electric guitar, is teamed by acclaimed score composer Thomas Newman (piano) and bassist/producer/engineer Peter Freeman (bass and signal processors). Melancholic and drifting in the most pure Cold Blue tradition, "Fade" is probably also one of the titles of the influential Californian label where electronics play a prominent role. The sparse, delicate playing of the three instruments is blurred and diluted by the processors in a drifting soundscape, reminding at times of Eno's masterpiece "Music for Airports". Music for bright afternoons with lots of clouds.
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Artist: KYLE GANN
Title: Long Night
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cold Blue
Rated: *****
Coming with a particularly beautiful cover, showing two wooden huts burning in a barren field, "Long Night" is a 25-minute piece for three pianos, composed by renowned musician and journalist Gann in 1980-81, and here executed by Sarah Cahill, who has previously worked with the likes of Terry Riley, George Lewis and Pauline Oliveros. The composer regards this as "the most successful piece from [his] early, Brian Eno-influenced, ambient period, a variable-length piece for three non-synchronized pianos at different tempos". Far from being jarring or chaotic, the piece is indeed very "discreet" music, with clusters of notes and recurring patterns layering and going adrift - much as when you try to remember a beautiful and long-lost melody, its contours and details blurred and faded.
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