Music Reviews



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Artist: Edwin Van Der Heide
Title: Wavescape
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Forced Exposure & Solielmoon (US), These Records (UK), Metamkine (FR), Demos (IT), Rotor (SP), Coldlands (RU), Digital Narcis (JAP), De Konkurrent (NL), Lowlands (BE), Target (D)
One of the greatest issues in accurately presenting sound installations that have taken place somewhere sometime, especially when it comes to specific multi-speaker installation, is the translation from the original acoustical environment to the mere two channels of the traditional stereo CDs. "Wavescape" for example uses two microphone's sources, when the original concept behind the project was to actually use a linear array of 24 hydrophones so to give a physical dimension to the movement and the sound taking place underwater. After Moby's "Underwater" record, 33 year old Dutch Sonologie-graduated Edwin van der Heide took it up on himself to try to define the sonics of Rotterdam's Nieuwe Maas river's depths on the waterside, not by simply amplifying what the hydrophones were picking up, but by also representing it linearly. To be considered is that sound in water travels faster than in air, but still the underwater sound space and the spatial shape of the waves can be re-created quite faithfully with this method. In one 20 minute long track you'll be able to hear slow and cumbersome container ships, speedy ferries, cab boats from the New York hotel and other water taxies. If you like what you hear the talented and creative Van Der Heide is also to be seen in the Sensorband line up (together with Karkowski), and in a trio with Boddedijk and Welmer.
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Artist: Rob Mullender (@)
Title: Metro Magnetics
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Forced Exposure & Solielmoon (US), These Records (UK), Metamkine (FR), Demos (IT), Rotor (SP), Coldlands (RU), Digital Narcis (JAP), De Konkurrent (NL), Lowlands (BE), Target (D)
This is the kind of record that makes you start looking at the connections of your stereo system, scratching your head and worrying that you need a new one. Then you realize you got scared for no reason, it's just another crazy Staalplaat extravaganza, but like they used to say on one of their calendars "you don't have to call it music if the term shocks you" ;-) This time it's magnetic field recordings of Moscow's Metro, Vancouver's Skytrain and the London Underground (three cities, three pieces of layered electro-magnetic recordings; Vancouver sounds like the fastest public transportation system;-)). This is a debut for the British sound sculptor Rob Mullender, who is very actively interested in working with normally inaudible sources and who has performed his revealing sets in a number of places throughout Western and Eastern Europe. When he doesn't do any of the above he co-organizes improvised events and he Djs around London. Future works will include collaborations with Russian Electroshock artist Stanislav Kreichi. So keep your ears open and your subway system clean for his arrival.
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Artist: Nordvargr (@)
Title: Awaken
Format: CD
Label: Eibon & Code 666 (@)
Co-produced by Eibon and Code 666, "Awaken" is the latest fatigue by Swedish MZ412's mastermind under the Nordvargr moniker. He explores the darkest realms of ambient music, mostly by ringing long notes and obscuring your vision with rumbling deep drones, subsonic material, occasional doom guitars, ritualistic noises, thick ambience, deep unholy processed voices, screams from the dead, ultra slow and down pitched mechanic industrial hammering, windy and Nordic soundscapes, catacomb-like reverbs, grand deep sounds and slow or un-existing pace, church bells and other blaspheme stuff like that. With this release he continues his long legacy of dark death industrial (which some also called black goat ritual noise, in reference to his black metal roots and his anti-Christian attitude and philosophy).
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Artist: While Heaven Wept
Title: Of Empires Forlorn
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
While Heaven Wept are definitely a little to extreme for what Chain D.L.K. is devoted to. Eibon stepped out of their dark pathways to pick up some epic metal with orchestral and progressive influences. Power metal vocals, double kick, up-tempo drumming as well as doom tempos, huge strings and somewhat of a celtic/pagan influence. I haven't been listening to a lot of metal lately so there's probably better references, but you can probably get at least a vague idea if I tell you it's somewhere between Manowar (but way less cheasy), Meat Loaf (but less romantic), Bathory, The Soil Bleeds Black (but way more guitar oriented), Dream Theater (but less technical and less prog/fusion), November, Candlemass, Opeth and more bands like that. If it wasn't for the male vocals you could probably mention 3rd and the Mortal and the bands from that scene as well. Not too bad but not our cup of tea either.
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Artist: Canaan (@)
Title: A Calling to Weakness
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Eibon records' Mauro Berchi's own band Canaan get darker and more melancholic with every release and the most gorgeous moments of "A Calling to Weakness" are probably actually the most mournful pages of the book. The record starts out (and ends, for that matter) like a dark mystical world music work with hovering lyrics in what sounds like a middle eastern language (in the opening track) and a east European language (in the closing track), but by track two they go back to the formula consisting of grand drums, effected guitar arpeggios and intertwined harmonies, slow passages and chord progressions, deep minimalist vocals in Italian and English with poetic words of ancient wisdom, string pads and long ceremonial distorted guitars. From time to time they gladly depart from that core of songwriting to engage in various offshoots that are noisy, haunting, rumbling, morbid in nature and that pause the record's pace here and there, bringing the track count to seventeen, among other things. Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Lycia, Nephilim, Mission could be thought of, but Canaan has been working on their own personal definition of style and with "A Calling to Weakness" their signature is defined as one with smooth traces, ritualistic shapes, thick lines, harmonious curves and dark, very dark, shades. Of a higher nature as we are used to.
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