Music Reviews



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Artist: Teleform
Title: Cosine f
Format: CD
Label: Domizil (@)
Distributor: Dense
And the swiss folks are back ladies and gentlemen, with an even more radical experimental record. Teleform, aka Bernd Schurer, releases his second CD on Domizil and takes one step further in the un-linear explotation of noise, the un-establishment of traditional song composition and the most uncompromising deconstructivism. Balancing on the thin line between soft experimental and harsh noise, "cosine f" runs over you for 37 sharp minutes with 35 anonymous tracks (playable in shuffle mode, if you please) made up of buzzes, digital distortion, jitter, crackles and other random hardcore noise. And talk about being true to continuing experimentalism, check out their flickering website, if you dare!
Artist: NATIHO TOYOTA/KOUHEI (@)
Title: Split
Format: CD
Label: Deserted Factory (@)
Are you ready for thirty eight minutes of noise anarchy? Natiho Toyota and Kouhei deconstruct improvised noises(hisses and various electrical noises for the first and various percussing objects mixed with tones and drones for the second) just to give sound to what seems to be their own personal hell. The two Toyota's tracks "Phantasmagoreal #1" and "Phantasmagoreal #2" are really disturbing and evocative and during their fourteen minutes you'll be attacked by hordes of ectoplasmatic non beings. The three Kouhei's tracks, instead, are more noise loops based: three growing beasts that seem to live a life of their own. For the lovers of the genre...
Jun 02 2002
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Artist: IN STRICT CONFIDENCE
Title: Herzattacke
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Sony
Anticipating the fifth In Strict Confidence's CD (which will be released on June the tenth) titled "Mistrust The Angels", HERZATTACKE bring us a band which in the years gathered increasing interest and which with this mini CD sees a major company taking them under its wing and a deal with Sony for sure can help the band getting much more exposure (let's say so, even if I've got some example that demonstrate the contrary. Anyway...). The fifty minutes of the CD show a different band respect old CDs like "Face The Fear" or "Angels Anger Overkill" but this isn't shockig, as for the band it has been a continuing evolution. The tracks are well produced, dancey and all but I feel a lack of energy. I don't know, but it could be that five remixes of the same track plus three new ones (but "Kaleidoskop" is an instrumental track) could be attractive for a fan of the band but honestly I prefer the old sound, really. Let's wait for the album...
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Artist: The Caretaker
Title: A Stairway to the Stars
Format: CD
Label: V/Vm Test (@)
Distributor: Dense
Second The Caretaker release after critically acclaimed "The Haunted Ballroom" (evoking Kubrick's ballroom scene from "The Shining"), "A Stairway to the Stars" has been in the making for over two years and is built around forgotten ballroom classics from the 30es and the 40es. Comparisons to Richard James' "Selected Ambient Works II" (whom elegedly they collaborated with) are not way off, but you rather have to think of this in terms of original recordings restored, edited, processed and re-processed. The result is an awesome timeless soundtrack of memories where a predominant reverb wash helps amplifying the sensation of distance (in time). A true beauty, a record where time becomes a ghost, nostalgia becomes evocation and past becomes present. Old crackling tunes that become so real that if you close your eyes you can probably see ghosts from a past life dancing in front and around you with light waving moves and transparent faded blue and gray colors... Like memory loosing focus and detail, this aural record brings you back a dreamy history letting you fill in the blanks, while the lush ambient wash wraps you...
The record is released on V/Vm's label V/Vm Test, and if you aren't familiar with them and their controversial, silly, funny and provoking releases you should do some ressearch and find out what they're capable of! ;-)
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Artist: Weltschmerz (@)
Title: Capitale de la Douleur
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Weltschmerz (the world's pain, in German) are an Italian gothic band who started out around '94 on initiative of Monumentum's bass player Anthony Duman (I remember reviewing one of their earlier works on L'Alternative Dramatique once) but apparently they've been going a long way from there and are now signed to Italy's quality dark label Eibon (whose owner Mauro Berchi, mastermind of Canaan, also plays guitars with this band). "Capitale de la Douleur" comes as a beautifully packaged jewel case inside a cardboard box, with a nice smelling booklet containing the lyrics (in English, French and Italian; if you ask me gothic in italian sounds a little cheesy, but I guess it's a language like any other). Their music has evolved into a slow and grand gothic-dark mixture with layers of orchestral strings, slow but driving and huge doom metal sounding drumming (phat reverberated snare and lots of cymbals), melodic distorted guitars, many chorused arpeggios, piano, pushing bass lines, deep vocals (also a female vocalist is to be found on a bunch of tracks). It all evokes a little the Nephilim, Beyond Dawn and sometimes I even thought about the Spanish Heroes del Silencio, but it was probably just the Latin-ish language that brought that up in my mind, 'cause the Weltschmerz are a lot darker than that. In fact, the melancholy expressed by these eight tracks goes way beyond what dark-goth bands usually pull together: Weltschmerz is so grande that it's almost epic, and the powerful negativity that comes across is almost disturbing. This was such an intense and oppressive listening experience that you are gonna be begging for some sun after it.
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