Music Reviews



Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sleep
Format: CD
Label: Domo
The Domo label once again proves itself a master purveyor of new age and ambient music, etc., with the issue of the "Sleep" compilation, whose absorbing tunes will lure you into the mist and elevate you to a place of mist in the soul. Be it flutes, soft string instruments or whatever, backed by soft ambient melodies, you will find yourself immersed in an enchanted forest where, for a few fleeting moments, you will be freed from the metal bullets of screaming cars, the towering shadows of steel buildings, the brain wracking noise of a violent and ominous world. The soft, pleasant chill of "Sleep's" beautiful dreams is irresistable. I sometimes think this must be a hard genre to create, given its minimalist, without sounding too spartan or lacking in lush personality. Obviously, Domo has no problem finding artists who can rise to the occasion and bring you up into the clouds with them.
Artist: Akasau
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Domo
Akasau's music is not vocals accompanied by music. OK, well, it is, but not in the conventional sense. This almost has the feel of a capella music, even though there is minimalist instrumental accompaniment behind the soft, lulling vocals (in what I think is Japanese). The instruments are mere, slight backdrop to the compelling vocalizing of Akasau. The music is minimal, true, but that only adds to its ability to bring you in and take you to a place of peace and relaxation. One can easily imagine himself drawn away to mountains inhabitated only by the most spiritually devout. You will find yourself a witness to sainthood deep in the far reaches of nature when immersed in this music that has as much to do with spiritual chanting, perhaps, as "conventional" songwriting. Intriguing ...
Artist: Sean Valant (@)
Title: The Electronic Symphony Project
Format: CDS (CD Single)
There's almost a certain playfulness, in a quiet avant-garde way, to this dish of serious electronica. Roughly speaking, you could call this jazz run through experimental Muzak with a dab of mild industrial. Quiet and non-aggressive but strong in personality, this music finds different little elements vying with each other, much like the different instrumental elements in classical music, which this also resembles in its own strange way. Essentially containing the flavor of classic instrumental compositions (with a touch of exotic world, now that I think about it) but spiced and altered by the outside-the-box electronic experimentation of the artist, The Electronic Symphony Project is one man replacing an entire orchestra and doing so in an engaging and understated way.
Artist: Imperfect
Title: A Book of Many Pages Chapter One
Format: CD
Imperfect is definitely industrial but what the term industrial usually conjures is not what this is. Downtempo, very mechanical in personality beats plug forward while subdued bassy melodies lethargically pursue their ends. This is one of those industrial acts that truly touches on the idea of industrial in some primitive way. Machine-y beats chugged through distortion march ahead like a slow, deliberate but determined army. Such slow-groove electronically generated music may not be immediately hooking but once you've sunk into it you will find that it moves along to the beat of its own drummer, so to speak, and that it has all the capability to carry the discerning listener along with it. This is contemplative, if dark, industrial, not aggro-industrial. Open-minded listeners are encouraged to experience this instrumental escapade.
cover
Artist: MARK LANE
Title: Creepy Weepy
Format: CD
Label: Metawave Classix (@)
Rated: *****
It's the first time I listen to Mark Lane's music and I've got to say that I'm pleasant surprised. Even if he was active in early eighties I never had the occasion of trying his music and this is strange, because his tunes sometimes remember me of early John Foxx stuff (see the vocal use and the melodies on "Creepy a la weepy"). I know that I should give you more references but listening to CREEPY WEEPY I realize that even if you can hear here and there echoes of Residents (because of the oblique approach Mark has with melodies and sounds) and early Thomas Leer, Mark has got his own style. Also listening to his version of Gary Numan's "Praying to the aliens" his personal music made of few synthetic sounds and his voice which sounds as he's an alien in a foreign land make it sound like the song isn't a cover. The album as the old vinyl records lasts only thirty seven minutes but the listener has got all the time he needs to appreciate this particular musician who's able of experimenting with melodies keeping the song structure personal and fresh.
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