Music Reviews



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Artist: STEVE PETERS
Title: From shelter
Format: CD EP
Label: Cold Blue Music
Rated: *****
Though I'm awfully late at reviewing it, this excellent work was the final one in the first series of eps from Cold Blue, and possibly it was not a casual choice - if Jim Fox's "The city the wind swept away" evoked departure and long goodbyes, Peters' four-track cd is like an embrace - like finding a shelter, indeed, or being warmed by recollections. Originally written in 1997 for Lane Lucas' dance and theater work "Shelter", it features "Three short stories" where Alicia Ultan's multiple violas recordings create slowly drifting textures, while in "My burning skin to sleep" Peters' sparse piano touches and Marghreta Cordero's painfully beautiful vocals lull you to a state of suspension and wonder. In his long career, the composer has used very different idioms and means (from Gamelan to field recordings to found objects to installations), but maybe this represents his art at its most intimate.
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Artist: DRONAEMENT with ANDREA MARUTTI & AIDAN BAKER
Title: Fields 1
Format: CD
Label: Field Muzick
Rated: *****
New release from Marcus Obst on his own Field Muzick, open and closed by two tracks using basic sounds by Andrea Marutti (Amon, Never Known, AFE Records etc.) and Aidan Baker. Unlike previous recordings by Dronaement, I'm afraid I can't really get into this, though. It has a lot of analogue synth sounds and, much like his track on "Muzick out of open windows", electronic beats show up here and there as well. "The deepest point on the moon" even sounds like a kraut-rock outtake of sorts, with minimal but upbeat "motorik" rhythm. Mind it, these elements are generally used well, but I'd just stick to the droning side of the project, well represented by tracks like "It's the same as the last year - great". This is just too spacey for my taste.
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Artist: MIMETIC TALE
Title: Personal plot
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Thisco
Rated: *****
A pretty nice 3" ep from Swiss project Mimetic, here with his n-th alias Mimetic Tale. Except for the ambient drone of the initial "Smooth feeling", the three tracks (two bein remixes of - or by? - Zonk'p and Mimetic Kino) fit with the more rhythmic side of the Thisco roster, like Sci-Fi Industries: a hyper-kinetic, and quite paranoid, mix of d'n'b breakbeat and technoid beats, with just some slower dubbish influences ("Le Spectre"). I'm definitely not a fan, and much less and expert, of the genre, but I think this is a solid production, and the 3"-length prevents it from becoming redundant.
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE/CRUEL HARVEST
Title: Shadows over humanity
Format: CD
Label: God is Myth
Rated: *****
A new split release from Italy's New Risen Throne, this time with God is Myth in-house project Cruel Harvest. The title and the bleak pictures of ruins clearly convey what's this all about: dark, desolate soundscapes. New Risen Throne basically follows the style of his previous cdr, "Chants for the cold and dying sun" (on God Is Myth as well): ultra-cold dark ambient, never too aggressive but with a distinct industrial feel, with creepy low-pitched vocal samples floating over (or beneath) low-end electronic drones. A special mention goes to the remarkable metallic dirge of "At the shadow of the gates", but as a whole New Risen Throne has apparently found his favourite style, and the constant quality of his releases show how he's very good at it. Cruel Harvest is pretty good as well, but he still has to develop his dark ambient pieces into something more mature. His tracks are generally more musically-/melodically-oriented (so to speak) than New Risen Throne's, with some more humane synth patterns, but I think the best results come from the underwater minimalism of "Haunted by the same dream". Promising, but possibly still a bit uncertain.
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Artist: RASAL.ASAD
Title: Lahva
Format: CD EP
Label: Thisco
Rated: *****
Third release from Fernando Cerqueira's solo project Rasal.Asad, one lengthy 20-minute track, curiously called "Anomia", not "Lahva". While surely being no dramatic departure from the previous records, Cerqueira's cosmic ambient has apparently become more minimal, and I think this change works fine. The electronic element, with ethereal synth sounds, is still prevailing, but merged with deeper, less recognizable frequencies (field recordings of a seashore, perhaps). The whole track has a dreamy and nostalgic feel, and evokes blurred images of deserted, yet not hostile places.
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