Music Reviews



Artist: VV.AA.
Title: 15id
Format: CD
Label: Raving Records (@)
Distributor: Wide
"15id" stands for "15 Italian dishes", an appropriate name for this quality 15-track/78-minute sampler; its main characteristic is the fact that it mostly gathers groups from the Tuscanian cities of Livorno and Pisa (for non-Italian readers: the two cities are sorts of "historical enemies"), with a few "external guests" like Vonneumann, One Dimensional Man and Zero Tolerance for Silence. The standard is absolutely high throughout the whole cd, instrumental post-rock/indie noise being a sort of trait d'union of the various projects. Caboto open the cd with an incredible song which reminded me of Italian groups like Perigeo or Goblin in a modernized version... jazz-rock with a few prog hints and a peculiar cinematic dimension. Brilliant! A perfect incipit, but the following tracks are remarkable as well. To name but a few, Vonneumann, Zero Tolerance for Silence and Comfort (see review of their excellent cdr), in their own personal ways, mix free form experimentation and electric structures; Autobam and 8brr are fine examples of electronica (more structured the former, the latter reminding of Noto or Ikeda); Abarthjour Floreale have a softer melancholic approach in between My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, while One Dimensional Man close the cd with a blast of Jesus Lizard/Shellac styled noise rock. But again, the strength of the cd is its sense of coherence and high quality within different approaches and influences. Absolutely recommended, and courageous in its choice of collaborative DIY release and distribution.
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Artist: XERO G
Title: Are You Weightless?
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
Xero G are a duo from N.Y. formed by Victoria Angell (vocals) and Seth Questor (synths, programming and vocals). ARE YOU WEIGHTLESS is the first album of the duo and contains eleven original tunes along with a cover of Who's "Baba O' Reiley" and a Sigma 7's remix of the opening song "Run". The first thing I noticed is that the album seems to miss a real hit single even if "Carry On" with its "Pet Shop Boys goes goth" atmospheres can be a possible one. This has been a particular CD for me because the songs started to catch me only after the second listening and this isn't a usual thing. The album has got dark and light atmospheres with energetic tracks and good tunes (like "Too Much" or the instrumental "Uranium"). The tracks I preferred were the ones from fifth to eleventh, because they have got a certain dark vein which make them more interesting for my tastes. Only sometimes I lost my concentration but this is because on the first tracks Victoria's singing is a little more melancholic and mellow. It takes time to appreciate this one but it's worth it.
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Artist: Testify
Title: Triviality Beyond Acceptance
Format: CD
Label: Van Richter
Distributor: Van Richter
Good old fashioned aggro metal in the trash vein as usual here, kind of along the lines of Ministry, but not as heavy. They could have stepped up the electronics a bit, but the mix between the electronics and the guitars is purposely the scope of miniamlism, so it works out fine. For those more into the pure electronic sound go for The Fair Sex,their side project. My favorite track on this one is "White Skinned Heroin" the opening track to the CD. Good CD for those longing for the days of old school aggro-industrial before the onslaught of NIN clones took over the scene. Rating: 8.
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Artist: THE BLUE HOUR (@)
Title: Evensong
Format: CD
Label: Perun (@)
This is the debut of the Polish label Perun, issuing a 51' collection of tracks from '96-'99 by US songwriter Brian Hodges, here at vocals, guitards, flutes, loops, keyboards and programming, helped by a couple guest musicians. The Blue Hour alternates acoustic folk ballads with more atmospheric instrumental tracks. The former are brilliant examples of (apocalyptic) folk in the vein of In Gowan Ring or the more intimistic Current 93 (let's say "Earth Covers Earth"/"Thunder Perfect Mind"/"Of ruine..."), i.e. melancholic, oneiric songs often leaning on psychedelia. "A tree stands alone", "I am the wind", "My lady upon silvery pool" and "Temple of ice" stand out as the best ones, while there's a welcome detour with a well-done cover of Sol Invictus' classic "Lex Talionis" (I guess this was included in "Sol Lucet Omnibus" as well). The latter vary from quasi-neoclassical symphonies ("The navigator", "Procession of the sun") to more abstract ambient pieces. When vocals are added, the result can be quite ominous and menacing, like in the closing track "Red Sands". This is a well-assembled, peculiar work showing lots of talent; it should be listened to in the right mood, as in some autumnal late afternoon - it takes time to be absorbed in its sad, dreamlike atmosphere, perfectly portrayed in the landscape photos featured in the artwork, but the result is rewarding.
Oct 21 2002
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anymore
Artist: MURNAU (@)
Title: Misanthropy
Format: 7"
Label: 220N
Distributor: Audioglobe
Great single and third release by this Belgian band called Murnau. It's difficult to judge their project only by listening the two tracks of this 7" (which is a limited edition of four houndred) but the title says it all. "Null" and "Void" are MISANTHROPY's two tracks and in eight minutes they can annihilate your thoughts for an hour. It's hard to describe what treated noise can create but these two along with the drawings of this picture disc are capable of creating a picture into your head. Eight minutes of sound sculptures which make me ask for more. This is the first Murnau's release I'm listening but I'd like to know how they deal with the lenght of a whole album. Meanwhile, I recommend to you this one...
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