Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sick Twisted Individual Vol.1
Format: CD
Label: Pure Power Darkside
Distributor: Nightbreed Music
Rated: *****

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Energy is the key and this compilation, coming from Pure Power Darkside productions in association with Nightbreed, is full of it. The fifteen bands of the compilation sharpened their claws to present to the audience fifteen tracks really involving. From the opening "Enter The Dagon" by Killing Miranda to arrive to The Realm's "Pray" you'll meet Midnight Configuration (with their catchy "Adrenalin high"), Pro Jekt (with a remastered version of "Alien Reflection"), The Last Cry (their "Cry" remembered me a little Motorhead), Brother Orchid ("Crucified" is a electro goth track with metal guitars), Libitina ("Mea Culpa - Flagellent mix"), Jesus Fix (their "Cast a shadow" didn't convince me as it's based on two chords and the atmosphere doesn't never change), Zietgeist Zero ("Tombstone tourist" sounds like a electro goth metal version of Siouxsie & The Bansheees mixed with Silverfish), Uninvited Guest ("Cross My Heart - And Hope You Die" seems like a cool electro version of Dead Or Alive), Voices of Masada ("Flight" is a classic up tempo melancholic goth ballad), Cauda Pavonis (present the exclusive "Love Like Broken Glass" which recalled me a litte In Excelsis if you don't count the pompous refrain), Lupine ("Egyptian Paradise" sometimes recalled me the latest Play Dead), Nothing Sacred ("Girl Inside" it's too melacholic for my tastes and even if suddenly it turns into a goth glam tune it doens't catch my attention) and just before the closing band you'll meet Arkam Asylum with "Gundam High". To be honest I didn't like three or four tracks but most of the bands are worth your attention and some tracks are really cool. This is a good result if you think that most of the bands are relatively newcomers.
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Artist: PURE / DEKAM (@)
Title: Reqoil / Displaced /Peaceoff
Format: DVD
Label: Doc (@)
Rated: *****
The REQOIL/DISPLACED/PEACEOFF project born from the collaboration of the long time active industrial project called Pure and Johnny Dekam (video performer and creator of the video software VDMX). They created this DVD with the help of the Rennes' College of Art, the Visual Arts department of Rennes and the Collectif Jardin Modeme, which hosted a residency for the artists in summer 2003. The first time I watched "Reqoil" I found it very disturbing. I was sitting on my couch in the dark and suddenly white flashes were hitting my eye while a sense of pain grew out of my chest and I had to turn off the DVD player. At a second time the pain was gone but I wans't comfortable: the images run fast and the hiss of the first track made me almost loose my senses. It was like a neural blackout. The three tracks could be seen as audio/video installations as they are a sonic and visual experience. Talking about the musical aspect, "Reqoil" is a fifteen minutes long suite made out of treated noises of oil drillers (they are also the subject of the video which is shot taking inspiration from the early Russian cinema) and starts slowly, almost in silence, just to end into a sonic tornado after about thirteen minutes. "Displaced" is
more rhythmical and makes your heart throb with its loud bassline that runs free making its way through digital thunders. "Peaceoff" is the last one and it seems to be a digital cut up made out from distorted percussions which sometimes lose the synchronization just to turn into a digital and powerful version of the early Test Department. The visual part consist of b/w flashes for the first two tracks and a color collage of images shot inside a water purification plant for the latter. If I had to judge the three works as proper videos, I'd go for the third but, since they haven't be made like musical videos, you should live the experience of watching them without judging.
P.s. The DVD will be released on May the seventeen
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anymore
Artist: Kozo Inada
Title: Mort Aux Vaches - i[]
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
Limited hand-numbered edition of 500 copies housed in an outstanding, most likely hand-made, folded piece of what looks like some curtain fabric or table cover material or something, with many artistic holes in it... That's how Kozo Inada's new "i[]" (part of VPRO's series of live on the air recordings entitled "Mort Aux Vaches") presents itself to the buyer. Inada, pretty much a discovery of Staalplaat, considering that his debut came out on the Dutch label, is a drone noister, but in "i[]" he gets pretty gentle and you'll be able to appreciate his calmer and more meditational side, with occasional glitchy incursions and playful parts of silence to contrast the rumbling lows. The layers of sounds are kept to the bare bone and occasionally move forward towards you, like a distant approaching wave or a storm or an army of thousands, you name it, but then they sweep away with the same subtle brutality they came at you. For almost 50 minutes you get to deal with different intensities of sounds, mostly in the low and mid-low sound pressure level range, before he cuts the power and goes from drones and rushing hisses to absolutely nothingness... It's a game of perception, interpretations and expectations... go play if you dare...
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anymore
Artist: Main
Title: Mort Aux Vaches - Exosphere
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
Another release out of the VPRO "Mort Aux Vaches" series is "Exosphere", by Main, aka Robert Hampson (ex-Loop). Main evolved his style from layered guitar noises to aural sci-fi minimalism. This CD contains spacial field recordings and offers expansive and meditative atmospheric voyages. The artist taped the ambience of small journeys, usually not considered significant (such as from a hotel to the airport, as opposed to from one city to the next). The nice thing about this CD is that it is so out there that you loose yourself in the visionary soundscapes and the image-provoking sonics, you think you are in a parallel dimension of this world, detatched from it, floating, until you hear something (like a voice) that reminds you of where you are and where these sounds come from. In other words the artist is able to make you loose touch with reality but occasionally, he lets slip through just about enough sounds from the real world to remind you that these are nothing but treated, beautifully treated (I might add), location recordings. The packaging is pretty sleek as well. The disc itself (which, if it wasn't for the printed title, would make you think double-sided CDs finally arrived) is placed inside a 3-face folding carboard that is basically a print of an orange juice and red grape juice cardboard container.
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anymore
Artist: Pimmon
Title: Mort Aux Vaches
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
After his widely acclaimed 2003 Tigerbeat CD "Snaps Crackles Pop" (so much for surprising the unaware listener!), Pimmon is back with a live recording, part of the VPRO series "Mort Aux Vaches", endorsed by Staalplaat and recorded at VPRO Studio in Amsterdam. This particular recording dates back to October 2002 and, even though it is a live recording, it portrays Pimmon's signature style of thought-out minimal glitch-ambient music. He is one of the few laptop artists out there that focus strongly on composition. He leaves little to improvisation and always sticks to his chart, with occasional drifts, of course. This method makes him stand out of the crowd but musically there probably isn't enough of a structure to actually think of these compositions as conventional "songs". The CD is limited and hand numbered to 700 copies.
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