Music Reviews



Artist: m/n/m/l (@)
Title: Perpendicular Twist
Format: CD
Perpendicular Twist by m/n/m/l presents a pretty captivating and very eclectic collage of sounds. Creating an atmosphere that is sometimes dark and sometimes almost playful in a fantasy way, PT's minimalist experimental compositions exist in a different world and are more than happy to transport you there if you so desire. As they fade in and out of your consciousness, the sounds range from a sharp edged blade of dark electronica to seemingly random bursts of soft air mixed with the call to attention of a small ringing bell; from subterranean smooth rumblings to slow but spritely synths. The overall effect is homogenous but varied, a contradiction of sounds that lull you in and leave you floating. A nice piece of underground experimental musical musings.
Artist: Invisible Asps (@)
Title: "Songs from the Pandemic"
Format: CD
Eclectic. Now there's a word to stick to Invisible Asps and their deliriously strange but understated "Songs from the Pandemic." A warning right off. This ain't for everyone. Now, if you have esoteric tastes and enjoy musical experimentation, then Invisible Asps may be an artist for you to consider. In a round-about way, this is subdued industrial but that comes nowhere near giving your mind a mental taste of the music herein. Heavy on the ethno elements, the music of Invisible Asp is a place where so many bits and pieces coalesce that it's surprising that the end result is so organic and seamless. The listener will find himself running the gamut from soft but dark beat and synth driven music calling to mind the early work of Trent Reznor to experimental acid jazz to crunching industrial guitars (but not really of the metal variety). A wide span of styles, wrapped around an industrial center, fuse in subtle ways to create an intelligent and challenging listen for the music fan with ... with eclectic tastes.
Artist: Hmmm...
Title: I Only Want Love
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: IS Productions
Let me start off with an example of what to expect (or why you should drop all expectations) when you listen to Hmmm...'s CD "I Only Want Love". The example I'll use is the song "TrainedMonkey". This little ditty starts out as almost weirdo indie political rock then drifts in a rather non sequitur way into some industrial sounds (not industrial music so much as industrial sound, mind you). From there you find yourself in some blaring brass that calls to mind the soundtrack to "The Matrix." Following that is a stretch of quiet doings that sound like experimental sound samplings. Then Hmmm..., non sequitur lovers that they are, throw at you for the song's final stretch a bit of happy, smarmy kiddies singing "La la la la la". You get the idea. If you're not watching the track number display, you're apt to think you've changed tracks more than once when you're still in the same song. Hmmm... also seems fond of pieces of unusual music enhanced with semi-spoken word ramblings over the top. And, they like .... Jesus, it's hard to get into it all, you know? It's obvious Hmmm... set out to be as experimental as possible in terms of the styles they blend together. They can be downright poppy or they can be downright weird. And it's all in the name of social commentary (and fun, weird music, of course) as the listener can detect an edge to the attitude. These guys have something to say and they're gonna say it ... strangely. This is one of those bands that will either click with you or it won't. It weaves from one style to another and sometimes the weirdness comes from hearing a relatively "normal" style in a strange context. But it can also be very dark and odd. For open-minded ears only.
Artist: Postmortem Past (@)
Title: Injesting the Jacket
Format: CD
Postmortem Past's "Injesting the Jacket" is a pretty unique dose of what is essentially very subdued but at the same time very aggro (in attitude if not technical sound) and very ominous. The artist's intent was to blend goth rock and industrial and revitalize what Postmortem Past sees as a limp genre whose best sound was on hiatus. The band here presents its take on the end of the hiatus. Like other dark industrial acts, the vocals are very distorted and this makes them a little hard to understand (coupled with the overall deepness musically - you'll have to turn this CD up a little), however, this is typical of the genre (one of the few things typical about this band, I imagine) and you can't really complain about that. It's a staple of the sound. Deep bass and synth creep along at a deliberate pace that only enhances the darkness. The beats are fairly industrial in the purest sense of the word, featuring a semi-klankiness that enhances the grim ambience of the proceedings. This CD is very dark and very goth and therefore Postmortem Past has achieved what it set out to achieve. Comparison wise, the closest band I could think of in terms of what this reminds me of is Pig on his slow, non-loud, dark and gothed out days (think his remake of Smashing Pumpkins' "God"). Postmortem Past is as industrial as hell but is definitely a dark Stygian molasses river of goth forbodings. The production could stand to be a little crisper but a well done release nonetheless.
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Artist: SANDBOX TRIO (@)
Title: Urubamba
Format: CD
Label: Frank Mark Arts (@)
Rated: *****

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After releasing improvised sound recordings (on the collaborative recordings of Martin Birke , Daniel Panasenko and Roman Leykam) Soundbox Trio found themselves dealing with a particular subject: URUBAMBA. URUBAMBA is the title of their latest release and it's also the name of an Amazonian river. They took the river as a catalyzer of their inspirations and around this theme they recorded thirteen movements which form a sort of voyage. The title of the tracks seems to paint a sort of path that starts from "Urubamba" passing through people ("Headhunters"), sensations ("El sol ardiente", "The serpent's view", "Ghost waves" and "Scent of vermillion"), places ("Black currents" and "River's end"), etc. Even if thinking about a river makes me think about luxuriant nature, multi colored animals and about the relaxing sensation of the water waves, Soundbox Trio prefer giving form to the wild and scary aspect of those places. In this way the tracks paint moments that could seem quiet at a first listening but that are tense and dark most of the time. A lot of tracks are based on drone collages where only percussive instruments (drums or metal objects) and acoustic guitars break the tension created. Should we call it tribal industrialism? Maybe, but the main point is that on this new release the trio succeeded into creating something different and hypnotizing. Something that won't make you ask yourself what kind of music you're listening to and this is good. If you want to have a hint, well, if you love David Sylvian instrumental tracks, is highly probable that you'll love this one.
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