Music Reviews



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Artist: EXIT (@)
Title: Tonacy brzytwy sie chwyta
Format: CD
Label: Furia Musica (@)
This is Exit's second album, once again released by Furia Musica, a parallel label to Perun (I do hope you've checked out the BRILLIANT cd by One Inch of Shadow, by the way). Tomasz wrote me that their debut was "new wavey, in the vein of Crime & the City Solution and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds". On the contrary, this is an acoustic cd of nostalgic dark folk (not in the apocalyptic folk vein, though!) played with guitars, keyboards, bass and accordeon. Yess! I love accordeon. The playing style is quite minimal, with guitar strumming and singing in the forefront and the rest as a sort of back layer. I think the best possible comparison is Angels of Light, though Exit are generally less bombastic in their approach. They sing in their mother language, which is a plus as it fits their sound really well - a shame I can't understand a thing of their lyrics, though. Exceptions are "Sick Rose", from William Blake (thus, English), and "Ecce Ego", from Malachi (thus, Latin), which could suggest something about the band's inspiration. This is an enjoyable and sincere cd, not a masterpiece since I think Exit still have to develop their sound to reach tighter interaction and a more powerful output. But they certainly do have talent, the singing in Polish works perfectly well for me and the voice is powerful and theatrical without being gaudy. Give this a try, it's better than most cliche European "noir folk" around these days.
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Artist: ORCHESTRA VUOTA (@)
Title: Ethnological electronic research volume I
Format: CD
Salvatore Pecoraro has been releasing some very interesting cdr's of experimental electronica over the last few years. While constantly using beats and loops, he manages to avoid cliches of over-used rhythmic electronica, having developed an eerie, surrealist approach of his own. This "Ethnological electronic research volume I" follows "The recorder's dream" (which I'll review in a short while) and pretty much sticks to the title: all tracks are based on samples of ethnic music (from Buddhist chants to aboriginal songs), but looped, filtered and mangled, often beyond recognition. The result is, like all Orchestra Vuota's stuff by the way, pretty disturbing and uncanny - you do recognize something familiar, but it seems out of focus, or out of place. Kind of losing yourself in a known quarter at night, and only hearing fuckin' dogs barking.
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Artist: PETER PERCEPT
Title: Pilgrimini
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
First of all, a great psychedelic layout featuring artwork by Mathieu Desjardins - the front cover shows two wicked children on their way to amputate the leg of an oozing frog - and I suspect it's a bufo alvarius, judging from the content of this cd. Sure Andreas Marchal/Peter Percept (he's also been active as Frog Pocket, see the AFE back catalogue) has some lysergic plug in stuck somewhere. "Pilgrimini" sounds, to desperately try a description, like Residents recorded by Stock, Hausen & Walkman or People Like Us - then Aphex Twin shows up with his tank and throws some goofy rhythm here and there. This is some very out there, surrealistic collage of beats & bleeps, cheesy vintage key sounds and found voices scattered all over. Sometimes it's as subtle as a nursery rhyme, sometimes it's hangover-heavy. This is the typical cd I end up liking though I don't really like it, mostly because I boast of good taste. But come on, how can you lose with titles like "I got the prolapsus", "Christ me baby" or, better still, "Mon amour de mierda" (best track, by the way)? Be prepared for indigestion and foul breath after listening, though.
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Artist: CICERONE (@)
Title: Diaphane
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Maybe you remember the intevirew I did some years ago with Laine Gebel about his main project Ex Nihilo. Well, since june 2000, Laine decided to split the project in three parts: Ex Nihilo for the industrial music, Cogito for the dark-ambient stuff and Cicérone for the dark-trip hop tracks. The album I received this time is by Cicérone and it's titled DIAPHANE. Laine classified this project as dark trip hop, but by listening to the CD, I haven't got the same feeling: the tracks seem more electro goth with melancholic tunes than trip hop ones. Five out of fifteen tracks are remixed versions of tracks already released on the previous album "The Fragments Of Humanity" but I can't tell if they are different or not as this is the first time I listen to a Cicérone's album. To tell the truth while listening to the CD I found some tracks too naive which deserved a better production. Knowing what Laine did with Ex Nihilo I was waiting for something with fresher ideas instead I found hard listening to the first five tracks in a row. Fortunately track six is bringing some fresh air (having someway early Christian Death influences) but the sounds on some parts don't match this much. Maybe I'm listening really few goth bands and all of them are from the 80's and for this reason this album doesn't excite me. Probably those of you who are die hard goth fan will dig this work which has got, for sure, passion and some good intuitions.
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Artist: KILLING OPHELIA (@)
Title: Last vision
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
This could easily be the best Black Rain release in a long time. UK act Killing Ophelia (Karen King and Lee Lauer) manage to play a kind of electro which is not overtly predictable in programmings and arrangements (something which sadly affects 90% of current electro-EBM projects) and actually try to write songs that you can tell from one another. Emphasys in on layers and overall structure rather than just on beats, and the voice DOES sing - no distorted filters or tricks like that. It has a warm, melancholic slant which sometimes even reminded me of Martina's on Tricky's "Maxinquaye". And it luckily avoids gaudy gothic extravaganzas. Not an album I'm overtly interested in, but a decent effort which stands out in an ocean of mediocre releases.
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