Music Reviews



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Artist: INCANDESCENCE (@)
Title: Chapter One: The Second Phase. Songs and remixes
Format: CD
Label: Raw Nerve Promotions
Rated: *****
Incandescence is the solo project of UK artist Paul, former member of extreme metal/hardcore bands Tangaroa, Narcosis and Canvas, and half of the dark ambient outfit Eye of Phetkanha. This release is a collection of sorts of early material, meant as an opener for the first proper release, "Chapter Two, The Replacement Phase", which by the way is already out and will be reviewed anytime soon. Hum, I don't know if putting all the early works in this cd was a good idea. I suppose this could be a logical documentation for the artist, but it's not a particularly captivating experience for the listener. Incandescence play (here, at least) a mix of looped electronica, sparse rhythms and droning ambiences, but the final result is too static (in a negative sense) to engage me. The main problem is that the more promising tracks - the ambient ones - are just based on looped sounds, without much variations, and the loops themselves are not that strong to stand on their own for 10+ minutes. I craved for some change that never came. "Walking the corridors in the building that houses the final obstacle in life" is probably the best track here, though. The pieces that mix rhythmic parts and minimal electronics are equally unresolved: the opening "Day one, the wanderer returns", for example, has some interesting looped live drumming, but the accompanying electronics are quite anonymous. Oddly enough, the best conducted song is probably the dub remix of The Gathering's "These good people". We'll see how this project has, or hasn't, progressed with the more recent release.
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Artist: 3/4 Had Been Eliminated
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo
Distributor: Fringes
Rated: *****
3/4 HadBeenEliminated is a trio formed by Stefano Pilia (a solo cd on Last Visible Dog), Claudio Rocchetti (two releases on Bar La Muerte - see archive - and S'Agita) and Valerio Tricoli (a cd on Bowindo, plus collaborations and productions with Dean Roberts etc.). Not sure about who plays what, but listed sources are "guitars, harmonium, double bass, percussion, glass harmonica, resonant pipes, objects, turntables, synthesizer, tapes, electronics, field recordings", with help from Antonio Albanese (percussion and glass harmonica) and Tony Arrabito (drums). I regret not having seen 3/4... in one of their recent tour dates, because they must be pretty explosive live. This eponymous cd has its better moments when the electroacoustic scrabblings, the gigantic harmonium drones and some serene, almost bucolic guitar strumming converge: tracks like "Getsemany Fields under impossible rain", "The soul of their suits" and "Bedrock" are nothing short of moving. Strangely enough, I always get the impression that this is a quiet cd - on the contrary, 3/4...'s intimism also has its psychic black holes, like the ominous, monumental drone of "My smallest ego" and the electronic hoarfrost of "Bench/Frozen". But the trio has a somehow more humane, "folk" approach to minimalism and microsounds - there's often a feel of open spaces here. Great stuff indeed, also because it doesn't fossilize on a pre-digested set of sounds, but rather dares to fuck around and sweat on them. Along with the Dielectric Minimalist All Stars (with whom they share at least a similar approach to playing/recording), this is one of the best experimental releases that I've come across recently. A new cd is due out on S'Agita, and Logoplasm are definitely another valid "spiritual comparison" to 3/4...'s romantic electroacoustics.
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Artist: DEATH BY VISITATION OF GOD (@)
Title: Bossasupernova
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Gloria Mundi Records
Rated: *****
About one year ago I already reviewed a demo MCD from this band. Respect that release this new BOSSASUPERNOVA see the band widen up their influences including to their early goth/punk sound also some echoes of Fugazi (on the opening "Slaves of their minds"), Alarm (on the semi ballad "Strangeways"), Play Dead (on "Am I my brother's keeper?"), Furyo / Uk Decay and Killing Joke (on "Person (or persons) unknown"). "Twitch" instead is really personal and it is a sort of acid voyage with Brazilian spoken word parts really intriguing. On the previous review I told that Death By Visitation Of God had good ideas and this new MCD (their first official release) prove that. These five tracks are well balanced, inspired and catchy. You can't ask for more! P.s. Even if I mentioned al those '80s bands, don't wait for a nostalgic goth combo with no ideas, as everything has been personalised by the band ;-)
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Noizzze, Just Do It. Invasion & Friends 2k4
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Invasion Wreckchords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
Opening with the acid poem recited by David Thrussel (you can find it also into the booklet) and titled ""The fettid funghi" NOIZZZE JUST DO IT is a mammoth compilation full of new bands (or new for me) and new ideas. The thrirty six tracks of the 2 CDs deal with distorted industrial music but for sure the bands have a sort of oblique approach to the genre (see for example the Ambassador 21 remix of Song's "This is capitalism" where the melodic part of the acoustic guitar sample and the sung duet with distorted rhythms and various samples) which is always a good thing in my opinion. Bands like Gacky (his "Henrettelse" is a sort of metal press mixed with a organ melody coming from an '80s hard rock song), Noize Creator ("F*** face" is a sort of hip hop mixed with gabber and punk), Ctrler ("Noize superstar" is a cyclic metallic melody grinder which turns into an extreme e.b.m. track), Skeft ("Learn to smile" remembered me the Crass. Dunno why, but their use of classical samples, shouts of anthems and noise recalled to me the approach that the Crass had to music), D.J. Christ (Alexey from Ambassador 21 condenses into two minutes and half techno, gabber and punk with no problem at all), L.e.t.o. ("Ready to disturb" is a digital track which seems improvised but instead it is a sort of crazy opera shrunk to less that three minutes. Really inspired...), Uziloop ("I no longer exist" is a sort of Residents meets the digital noise. Fast and intriguing with its two minutes lenght!), Nick Lebeat (his "Solution available" seemed to me a early The Fall track carried to the extreme, where only a distorted bass line and various distorted rhythms duet with the spoken part) will lead you toward a new way of doing noise. A way which deals with inspiration, freshness and will to surprise. This is another good release coming from Invasion Wreckchords people!
Artist: Autumn's Grey Solace
Title: Over the Ocean
Format: CD
Label: Projekt
On "Over the Ocean" Autumn's Grey Solace delivers an alluring and encompassing piece of shoegazer darkwave. Chilling ambient melodies, ripe with seductive power, mingle with ghostly effect with the female vocals. The vox are svelte and create strange and addictive harmonies with the instrumental soundscape. The blend is seamless. Like two fireflies dancing slow-motion in a river of amber, the vocals and the music with which they waltz entwine with each other in a sad mating ritual whose progeny is this flow of tears, this call of a disembodied and lonely voice crying from over the horizon. A hardened heart indeed it would be that would find none of Autumn's grey solace in these songs, for their power of captivation is formidable and force the listener to transcend his personal genres in the face of sheer musical power. And it's a power that comes from quiet, for never does this group deviate from its practice of music that is restrained and, perhaps, meek, but never weak and always electric within its soul.
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