Music Reviews



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Artist: TELEPHERIQUE + ULTRA-MILKMAIDS
Title: A-C symbiose
Format: CD
Label: AFE records (@)
Recorded in 2000-2001 as a collaboration between Y (Ultra Milkmaids) and Klaus Jochim (Telepherique), "A-C [which stands for "Analogic-Computer"] symbiose", released this year by AFE, is a great example of intelligent, unpredictable non-standard electronica. Analogic bleeps, fat rhythms, drones, noises and interferences collide and are re-composed with the grace and geometrical precision of snowflakes. At times etheral and wisp-like ("Kw feat. computer welt"), at times rumbling like the breath of some gigantic machinery ("Jeux 1.2"), they overcome the capital sin of prefabricated sounds (which, alas, is so frequent both in digital and in analogic works) to really build something of their own. Listen to the alien beauty of 22'-long "Computer 3" to have a clue. Perfect abstract layout on semi-transparent matte paper to top off an excellent release. AFE is really setting some standards in the field of quality cd-r releases. This is limited to 222 copies, so hurry up.
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Artist: ONE INCH OF SHADOW
Title: Birthday of Angels and Mannequins
Format: CD
Label: Perun (@)
Second Perun release after The Blue Hour, and this is even better. One Inch of Shadow are a Polish quartet author of several DIY cd-r's and a single published by Polish label Nefryt; they've also contributed to the Cynfeirdd compilation "Songs of Landeric". No neo-folk here, though. Try and think of a fragile, intimistic song structure dissolved and dilated into an original form of psychedelic ambience. If I had to make a comparison, I'd say this sounds like the repertoire of a new wave band played by Sigur Ros, Labradford or some other Kranky artist, but this might be misleading too. There's an Italian project called Noosfera which is not that different from OIOS. Perun rightly writes: "Perfect, autumnal soundtrack to the picture of falling leaves and seething, rainy clouds". Chrysalids of songs which stretch their time in iterations and suspensions, sometimes magically building themselves around a single loop ("Things to change"), some others held in a slightly menacing wait ("Salt"). "Naked Gallows" has a dark dub cadence not that far from Pan American, while "Mannequin song" drifts away on piano and trumpet notes in a seemingly endless, half-voiced lament. An individual and extremely satisfactory release, coming in a nice layout, with separate panels featuring paintings and postcard-like layout with lyrics.
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Artist: RUNES ORDER
Title: The dark side of brain
Format: CD
Label: Anaemic Waves Factory (@)
While Beyond... Prod. has released a while ago Runes Order's new cd, "The art of scare and sorrow" (which should be in a more electro vein), Anaemic Waves Factory reprints these 1995 recordings, originally issued on a limited tape format. The AWF reprint comes in the usual stylish A5 packaging with screen-printed CD-R. Runes Order's discography is huge, so a lot of readers will be familiar with this Italian project, centered on Claudio Dondo (also in Helden Rune, Invisible Empire, Atom Infant Incubator and more) with occasional collaborators (here, Daniele and Paola Magarelli). "The dark side of brain" belongs to Runes Order's darker and more experimental vein, with a kind of suite (1 track, 47') featuring abstract and environmental parts and more definite melodic moments. I'd say that (at least here) Runes Order is musically closer -rather than to industrial- to kraut/cosmic music (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze) and, even more, to soundtrack scores - later Goblin or John Carpenter for example. I even thought the third movement of this cd was the melody from "Halloween" but no, it wasn't - but this way you know it's good stuff!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 74 x 13
Format: CD
Label: DTA records (@)
An excellent dark ambient sampler - as the title suggests, 13 projects for 74' of bleak atmospheres. I can honestly say I liked every single track, which is rare for a compilation; moreover, each one has a sound of its own, thus you can sink deep in the listening flux without being bored at the same time. Styles vary from cosmic (Emulsion, similar to some Runes Order stuff) to quasi-rhythmic (15 degress below 0) to pure isolationism (Narc); Lux Mammoth have an interesting played approach, with droning riffs of bass, guitar and possibly some electronics - on the other side of the spectrum, Nihil Est Excellence only uses simple sine waves. Both Wilt and Chaos as Shelter prove to be brilliant, as always; the former with the clankings and drones of "Metal rimming the low ridge", the latter with "Ultima Thule", merging hypnotic metallic sounds with a melancholic accordeon drone. Definitely two of the best names in the field! Other remarkable tracks are offered by Bloodflowers (with buried vocals becoming scary noises, or vice versa) and Manherringbone (crushing ambiences à la Bastard Noise, but with a soothing melody underneath). Layout is nice, too, with b/w photos of industrial buildings by David Balogh.
Artist: Virgin Black (@)
Title: Sombre Romantic
Format: CD
Label: The End
Virgin Black"Sombre Romantic"The End RecordsThis is one pure unique beautiful album by Australia's band, Virgin Black. Their music is goth/metal mixed with classical, gregorian chant, choir and opera. So brilliant, it's also sad, a feeling of sorrow and death. The cello that's playing on some of the tracks brings out the sadness and darkening gloom. There's an industrial track called "Walk Without Limbs" that's great for a club play. Also included a second cd of the band's three song ep "Trance." "Sombre Romantic" is an outstand-ing incredible album to get your hands on, only if you're an goth and metal fan.
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