Music Reviews



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Artist: Bone (@)
Title: Radiation EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Faded Music (@)
Rated: *****
Recently landed on Poland-based imprint Faded Music owned by Ukrainian producer Fade, the first solo release of this year by Estonian producer Marek Ratassepp aka Bone could easily meets the likes of the followers of producers like Fanu, Klute, Commix and The Upbeats, as you can easily understand since the listening of the opening tune "Brawl", where his machines seem to channel ghostly howls and stealthy draughts over noise disturbances on well-greased percussive gears. The air got even more rarefied in the very first seconds of "Form And Void", where only a precisely cut groove shakes the elastic structure of its rhythmical body before the sudden raid of laser beams and mechanical forms fill the void! Skirting junk sonorities by finely twinkling melodic pins and hovering pads on the title track "Radiation", Marek gives the very best of his art of filling spacey sonic spheres by flowing particles of amen breaks in the excellent "Pulsate", the best moment of this release. Check it out.
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Artist: Ticklish (@)
Title: Swinging Flavors #3
Format: 7"
Label: Beat Machine Records (@)
Rated: *****
The 7" vinyl series Swinging Flavors on the Italian label Beat Machine Records, hosting some impressive underground (and sometimes unjustly unknown) bass-driven electronic music makers, got started by Simon/off's Sun People juke-oriented "Flowers", spiced by "Wild Obsession" - a collaborative output by Lynch Kingsley and Block Mameli - and now fostered by this lovely tidbit by Berlin-based producer Ticklish. The original version "Lost" focuses on the repetition of a vocal sample (saying "I've been loved" or maybe "I've been lost") over brushes of bulbous synth-driven hops, junk-style beats, awesome digital drums fill-ins that unpredictable flow into that kind of diamond wheeling piano, which got widely used in chic house, garage and new age before it gets electrified by an enveloping slightly distorted bass and crispy percussions. Antony Williams aka Addison Groove reroutes the energy of the original version along a likewise catchy junk-electro directrix, while listeners opting for the digital release will be delighted by "Redshift", a bonus track where Ticklish dived into a computational pool that he embellished by means of hisses and supposedly masked field recordings (audible when beating got stopped). Keep an ear on this guy.
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Artist: Tape Loop Orchestra
Title: Go Straight To The Light Of All That You Love
Format: CD + 12"
Label: Facture (@)
Rated: *****
Just like his previous outputs, Andrew Hargreaves' one-man band Tape Loop Orchestra managed to focus on a very particular emotional state or, I'd rather say, a somehow mystical path as a framework for his orchestral well-forged ambient drones, that he presumably squeezed by a massive usage of reel-to-reel tape recorder, which could have "antiquated" the samples. The reflection about life-in-art and art-in-life eternal correspondence has a well-defined cultural sparkle and feeders, related to 'In Search Of The Miraculous', an old book by Russian philosopher and thinker Ouspensky, reporting his meeting and the subsequent involvement in his teachings with George Gurdjieff. The narrative self-biographical plot is also an interesting explanation of Gurdjieff's discipline ("The Work" or "The Method" in his own words) for the awakening of self-consciousness, the so-called "Fourth Way", joining together the methods of fakir, monk and yogi or, in the other words, the methods to develop body, emotions and mind to reach a balanced inner development, that has many fans in Western hyper-stressed communities. If you are interested in this kind of subjects, I invite you to deepen them - some aspects of these teachings could look like those platitudes that are so banal that are difficult to implement in everyday life -. What matters to us is the way by which the Tape Loop Orchestra turned it into sound, despite the fact that set of beliefs is just a sparkle, and this release cannot be considered an authentic tribute to that workout. The first of the two long-lasting track on Side A of the vinyl edition (transparent strictly-limited one by Fluid Audio sister label Facture) has been titled "Go Straight Towards The Light..." and doesn't disappoint expectations by such a descriptive title. The slow blurred and over-stretched melodies will bear listeners across the tides of time using gently distorted diluted guitars, slightly modified strings and peaceful sonic entities including a siren-like singing and fluffy violins that seem to resurface from the depths of a lake covered in fog. This wise combination of sound, bordering on typically ethereal music, manages to render the emotional and spiritual dimension of the above-mentioned book likewise the second track "...of All That You Love" (just join the two titles to build what the Tape Loop Orchestra - or maybe Ouspensky? - tries to teach), where the drone becomes even more amniotic and psychotropic because of the lukewarm caresses of some whispers and a breathe that sound like the guide to sync listener's breathe in order to reach some ecstatic state of mind, that the Tape Loop Orchestra could inspire. The contrast between the calm mood of the sound and the sentence you'll find in the artwork (“Death isn’t about judgment, it collects us all.”) reprises that contrasting correspondence that Andrew summarized in some simple questions... If life is art, can the artist decide where art ends and art life begins? Can they co-exist in one form? Do we celebrate the art or the artist?
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Artist: Aidan Casserly
Title: Amityville Legacy OST
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: House Of Analogue
Rated: *****
The saga of the Amityville movies started back in 1977 and is based on the book "The Amityville Horror" by Jay Anson, which was published in 1977. As stated by Wikipedia, the story of The Amityville Horror can be traced back to a real life murder case in Amityville in November 1974, when Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot all six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue. In December 1975 George and Kathy Lutz and Kathy's three children moved into the house, but left after twenty-eight days, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena produced by the house. Jay Anson's novel is said to be based on these events but has been the subject of much controversy. The latest chapter of the saga is titled "Amityville Legacy" and its directed by Dustin Ferguson. Its soundtrack has been composed and played by a guy well know for you CHAIN D.L.K. readers, because I'm talking about Aidan Casserly, already singer with Empire State Human, Kubo, Figaro, Garland Cult, etc. Available on digital format for House Of Analogue, Aidan's soundtrack brings in fiftween original tracks deeply influenced by dark electronic film scores of the 70’s and 80’s, and especially for films such as "Phantasm", "The Terminator" and "Halloween". We have a main tune which returns different times under many forms, as well as dark pop moments like "Who's there", where the atmosphere is apparently quiet but underneath there's a certain twisted tension going on. Aidan is able to mix really well tense atmopsheres and catchy melodies as well as using sounds that are fitting the aim of recreating the classic 70's, 80's atmospheres giving to them a modern feeling. I enjoyed that, even without watching the movie! Check it in the major digital retail stores.
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Artist: Umpio (@)
Title: Opium Electronix Vol. IV
Format: CD
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Distributor: radionoise
An existentialist listen in an increasingly existential world, Russia-based Umpio's meditative Opium Electronix Vol IV edition renders the meaning of life, meaningless. A cursory visit to the Umpio website proclaims, “There's no scene like no scene!”, now how existential is that? Or let us take the project name, Umpio, which means 'Vacuum' in Finnish, we are constantly directed to The Emptiness. Listening to this album is probably what being a part of the SETI Institute must be like, scanning the vast, endless heavens for an echo of a signal from some sentient civilization. Sure, you get the odd, random burst of radiation fluctuations, the flutter from a distant quasar, or probe signals bouncing off natural satellites. However, if you listen to deep space ambience long enough , you eventually get struck with the realization that whether there are other sentient beings or not is moot, we are all pulsing along with the Universe in unison, regardless of cognizance, a blip in the infinite. Opium Electronix IV is a live recording (in Finland) of a noise session by Pentti Dassum, the front man behind Umpio, culled from improvised feedback noise, electrical contacts, radio static, and tape loops, among other equipment. The results straddle the line between noise and ambient and what at first listen seems like empty static yields microcosms of life during deeper listens. These noises ebb and flow like tides against a cosmic shore with chirps and hums not different from crickets and other insects on a beach at night. A case where art unwittingly reflects nature, we are all a part of the void and the void is within us. A not unpleasant listen that facilitates meditative thought and deep insights.
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