Music Reviews



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Artist: Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet (@)
Title: Wisconsin Mining State
Format: Tape
Label: Forwind Press (@)
Rated: *****
Thet Liturgiske Owasendet are a duo from Sweden which uses mainly guitars, field recordings and modular synths; the name of this release and of the tracks are centered around the mining activity in an American state. Structurally it sounds as a release conceived for a tape as the two sides are musically separated in the construction of the tracks even if the main sonic elements are the same, but music is sound contained in a structure.
The first side of this tape is mostly quiet and dreaming; it's opened by "Platteville", a drone track where the movement is obtained by the dynamics as the sound masses have ebb and flow. "Hazel Green" oscillates between quiet sound tones and noisy interlude. While at first sight "Klar Piquett" sound static, it's only because it's components emerge and drawn as in a loop creating a sort of discernible rhythmic structure.
The B side is more oriented towards industrial territories; it's opened by "Iron Ridge" where the noisy main loop ties the soundscape in the background that emerges when the the loop is off. "Mineral Point" revolves around its metallic rhythm which creates a contrast with a quiet high pitch drone that result in an hypnotic track. "Rajah" closes this release with a drone with thick masses of sound which creates a link with the first track of the first side of the tape.
It couldn't be ground breaking or it couldn't be an album of the year but it's something really well written and it doesn't let the impression of something put on tape only to have something to release; the cure in the development of this opus, included the stunning artwork, reveals a search for art. Truly recommended.
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Artist: ELEH + Richard Chartier
Title: LINELEH II
Format: CD
Label: LINE (@)
Rated: *****
The temptation to check the second part after I enjoyed the first one of this collaborative release by Richard Chartier and ELEH (have a read on the words about the first part to see who are these guys) was too strong. Compared to the first half (or I'd better say to the first third, considering the fact that the length of LINELEH II is nearly twice the one of LINELEH I), there are some elements of variation. In order to reprise the medical comparison I adopted for the previous review, the first minutes of this second part could sound like the screening of heart pulsations of someone under a drug-induced coma. A slow drop-like pulsation is audible during them, but the set slowly changes. The surrounding drone seems to rise little by little and that pulsation seems to have been turned into a muted hiss as if it comes from an empty large space. The listening experience is seemingly static as you'll find different slow transitions and mutations of the intangible substance they manipulated till the moment when the audible elements become so thin that they could evoke a journey into a sort of a metaphysical nothingness. Like the first part, it's a matter of (physical and mental) space and time again and, as I already said on that occasion, a pair of headphones or an excellent set for a quiet amplification is recommended.
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Artist: ELEH + Richard Chartier (@)
Title: LINELEH I
Format: CD
Label: LINE (@)
Rated: *****
This is the shortest (just 73 minutes lasting...a pittance in relation to the 128 minutes of the second part) and the first of a two parts collaborative release by two masters of so-called 'muted drones' like Richard Chartier, the co-founder of 12k's auxiliary label LINE and the man behind Pinkcourtesyphone, and ELEH, an unidentified (having no real or shown registered identity) flying project that already landed on labels like John Brien Jr's imprint Important Records, Touch and Taiga, following the reciprocal knowledge and appreciation of personal outputs. It belongs to that kind of projects where the setting where you decide to use it could have an important role, a matter of time (due to its remarkable length) and space then, whose enjoyment could provide somehow surprising mental journeys. Whether you reach some satori-like enlightenment or you travel through the observation of dust particulates flowing in your room when hit by a sun ray filtered through a window, these guys know how to set parameters for an entrancing listening experience. I could compare this first part of LINELEH to a long-lasting CAT scan, where the sound makers control the rotation of electromagnetic scan as well as the scan and the medical liquids that will stream through your body to remove any formation to clean tumours pressing on the cognitive processing centres of your brain. Well, this entrancing intersection of sinewaves and very low frequencies (created and revised between 2015 and 2016) won't maybe have such a therapeutical effect, but lovers of drones will be surely delighted by the listening experience they provided in this set. A pair of very good headphones is warmly recommended.
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Artist: Mun Sing
Title: Witness EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Infinite Machine
“Witness” is a pack of four short, dark, frenetic techno pounders rounded off with an extra remix. Focussed almost entirely around clipped and frantic drum patterns, adding surprisingly sporadic acid basslines, and with broad use of stereo and light smatterings of melodic percussion, it’s a very focussed and determined sonic attitude.

After the hammering broken-techno plateau of “Revenge”, “Eye” is a darker and growlier beast awash with distortion- post-dubstep angrily mangled. “An Illusion” dives into the sub-bass with robotic gut-punch sounds and sporadic reverberant clangs. “Emerald” takes some more organic-sounding tom and kick sounds and pitch-shifts them into quirkiness in a way that’s more of a cerebral exercise in musical moiré patterns than it is dance music.

The sole remix from Urquieta adds extra melodic elements to “Revenge”, not changing the drum arrangements particularly but softening it up via a re-EQ that makes it feel like it’s been re-performed in a new environment.

Every track is succinct, generally around the four minute mark, making its point and never overstaying a welcome.

Infinite Machine deliver the goods again with another pack of dark techno to confuse and delight.
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Artist: Ivvy
Title: Safe Within
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
“Safe Within” is a very focussed 4-track 12” EP of US techno with an above-average tempo and a relentless, no-frills drive.

After a moody intro, “Big Rat” breaks into a thick kick drum pattern over which metallic patterns clang and reverb. “Safe Within” initially feels like just a re-run of the first track with a hihat added, but does eventually pitch off in a different direction with a twangier higher-end pattern.

“See Something” has the same slightly Underworld-ish rapid-fire kick but substantially softened, allowing more space for an almost didgeridoo-like drone and more advanced other percussion patterns. “SK One” (which to me means central Stockport but that’s probably not what they meant) follows similar patterns but with a slightly more industrial tone which is gradually joined by ravey alarm tones that feel like they ought to be building to something, but don’t.

A very purposeful and direct collection of kick-thump techno, distinctly lacking in variety within the EP but definitely a strong DJ weapon.
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