Music Reviews



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Artist: Chirleison (@)
Title: A Whisper
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Distributor: Metropolis, Dark Vinyl Records, PHD Canada, Audioglobe (Italy) and many more
Rated: *****
Everything about this CD is pretty. Pretty cover on the CD. Pretty tri-fold digipack design. Pretty band name. Pretty music too. Kind of sad, melancholy, rather. Haunting, maybe. Goth? Definitely. Consciously "goth". Candle lit rooms of people dressed in black, sipping absinthe or some kind of exotic caffinated beverage. These things come to mind when I listen to "A Whisper".Chirleison is a trio from Sardinia, off the coast of Italy. There is Alessia Cicala (voice, flute), Mara Lasi (keyboard, drum machine) and Daniele Serra (guitar, drum machine). Pretty names all. Personally, I don’t think anybody should ever take credit for a "drum machine", but we’ll let it go for now. So exactly what kind of pretty (but melancholy, has to be melancholy) goth music does Chirleison make? Pseudo-medieval neo-folk. On first listen, this CD "sounds" like everything a band in this genre should sound like. Heavenly voices, rich, atmospheric musical backing, simply gorgeous... BUT ... (and you knew there had to be a but) nothing stands out compositionally even after three or four listenings. And truth be told, an hour or two later, I can’t even remember what they sound like. Remember the "Heavenly Voices" compilations from the mid 90s? Remember the track somewhere in the middle of the CD that somehow just seemed to float by? It’s something like that.Actually, this is better than I’m making it out to be. I think I just want this to be more than just a passing diversion. Everything is very well executed. And it doesn’t matter that Alessia sings in Italian, in fact, it makes the music sound even more exotic. I just wish there was something I could hold on to, some remarkable song (like Ordo Equitum Solis’ "Our Lady Of The Wild Flowers", though I’m not wild over Leithana’s voice) make me want to tout this CD as the next big thing in the genre. I guess I will just have to accept it for what it is; a tasty dark musical dessert to savor occasionally ... but probably not too often.
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anymore
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Revelation
Format: CD
Label: Bugs crawling out of people
Distributor: Ad Noiseam, Malignant
Debut sampler cd from Bugs Crawling Out of People (great name, and great logo!), "Revelation" features 75 minutes of music from Prospero, Dead Man's Hill, Casual Coincidence, Nörv, Pneumatic Detach, Legion Ultra, Sedarka, bETON bARRAGE, Scrap.edx, Iszoloscope, Asphalt Leash and Nitrous Flesh. Unfortunately for my taste, except a few droning ambient tracks, it is mostly heavy beat-driven industrial stuff I'm definitely not fond of, and honestly can't judge. I suppose if you're into these projects and/or the labels they're on (Hive, DTA, Mechanoise Labs, Steinklang...), or, say, the Ad Noiseam and Ant-Zen roster, you'll find A LOT to sink your teeth into, so go for it. The cd comes with creepy apocalyptic writings and bad drawings.
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anymore
Artist: POLA
Title: MÍme
Format: CD
Label: Plop
Rated: *****
Debut cd from a young Japanese composer who is admittedly strongly influenced by SND and Oval. Well, there is surely an Oval-esque feel in these 13 tracks, but at the same time Pola is much smoother and ultimately less interesting. His kind of electronica, halfway between glitch and IDM, is just too nice and clean to grab my attention - plus, the use of loops often lacks dynamism, and in general I craved for more structured and daring sounds. As it is, "Même" is an alright minor album of digital beats, but it suffers from the "wallpaper electronica" effect more than it should.
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Artist: ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI
Title: Worn Copy
Format: CD
Label: Paw Tracks (@)
Rated: *****
If I think about Ariel Pink, I think he's a particular guy and his work reflects his multifaceted personality. It's strange to say so, because I don't know him but by listening to his second album WORN COPY, which has been recorded in 2002/2003 on his eight track recorder, is like listening thirty years of rock music ('60s, '70s and '80s) and the result it's fresh like a milkshake. Listening to the seventeen tracks made me think about the attitude that Nick Saloman had by playing as Bevis Frond. The lo-fi production make the album sound like a Pink Floyd bootleg and the music is light like the first Creation label pop bands or the pop bands that were active in the UK in the early '80s: bands like Talulah Gosh or the Postcard label related bands. Sometimes the anarchy takes an hold (like on "Bloody! (Bagonia's)") but the melody that permates the whole recordings make of WORN COPY a strange blend of pop experimentation which is really functional if you don't mind about the recording quality. For sure the people at Paw Tracks have been convinced enough to reissue this album that have been released first by Rhystop in 2003. If creativity doesn't afraid you Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is a project to follow!
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Artist: AUTO AGGRESSION
Title: Geršuschinformatik
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
After having heard a few compilation appearances of this German Electro/Industrial formation I expected to get a full-length debut album filled with Dark Electro music combined with some Powernoise elements plus a huge amount of German voice samples. Well, it is all here – but there is more – much more! AUTO AGGRESSION is the solo effort by Lukas Schneider, a student at the Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media in Essen/Germany (WOW, to study there must be an unfilled dream for a lot artists...) and this "Geräuschinformatik" can be described as a kind of exam. True, this album differs a lot in kind and idea from comparable releases and expectations. The mentioned dancefloor oriented stuff a lot of you have already heard on three parts of the well-recognized "Septic" compilation series is not the only kind how Lukas is able to squeeze out of his machinery. I have noticed a lot of strange ideas in sounds, arrangements and kind of composing which break with all conventions of this music genre. Take some pieces like "Aufwärtsrosten", the strange rhythmic works on "Kubus" or his masterpiece "City of I.C.E.", which features some nice female vocals, and you have the strongest pieces here which try to break out from the death valley in which this music genre drowns. I am sure that Lukas did create and program every single sound here on his very own – nothing sounds here like heard before. Also the whole kind of this release breaks with expectations, here are no "Pain-Sick-Worlds end" - rambles, and here are no cheap effects on stolen drum loops – everything sounds clear and very well thought out. "Intellectual Industrial" is a catchword in the info sheet – well, this release is not far away from this. What you have to investigate to enter this music is a fair amount of a some more rotations than usually. You will be rewarded with a well produced Electro/Industrial album which is able to show hints and ways to avoid the lack of new ideas. It is also a brave release for the rising German label Dependent and it will be very interesting to see, how the audience will react on this. Give it a try – you won’t regret it!
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