Music Reviews



Apr 18 2003
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Artist: RESURRECTION EVE (@)
Title: Rapture
Format: CD
Label: Ground Under Prods (@)


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Australia for us is kind a mistery. We think about it like a sort of mixture of Asia and USA with an unknown history and with misterious people and animals who reside there. Personally I know few bands coming from that land. I know also an Australian goth website (Aether Sanctum http://www.goth.org.au) and that's a sign that goth and electronic music have a following there too. From Melbourne (what a coincidence, it's where my uncle lives) arrives Resurrection Eve, an electro goth duo which to my ears sounds like a mixture of the last Covenant and O.M.D. with a goth touch here and there. A thing is for sure, their second CD RAPTURE will be a pleasant surprise for a lot of people. Well produced with good melodies and a training dance background: these are the highlights of this CD which musically isn't innovative but will appassionate the lovers of melodic e.b.m.
Apr 11 2003
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Artist: ELEPHANT ZYCLUS
Title: Tripod
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: AFE Records (@)
A little 3" bastard featuring three remixes of "Tripod" and one of "Promis", showing AFE's good taste for underground electronica and allegedly starting a remix mania which will give birth to more releases of this kind in the future. I don't know the originals, but anyway, roughly, the 3" edit version of "Tripod" is a good track of obsessive techno-electronica, halfway between Aphex and Autechre; the DJ Lips' (aka Andrea Marutti, Amon/Never Known/AFE mastermind) "Sweep the Pod" mix adds layers of beats and melodies, while a034 (jeez, his debut cd may well have been my first review for Chain!) mercilessly delivers an amphetamine-soaked, hyper-cinematic version, with a fat bass to increase hysteria. Very good, very close to his style too. Finally, "Promis" is processed by the mysterious Spiral in a broken glitch version - sounds like a vinyl massacred by too many playings.
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Artist: HOLLYDRIFT
Title: This way to escape
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Hollydrift is Mathias Anderson from Middleton, WI, and "This way to escape" comes after two self-released ep's and a full-length cd. This Public Eyesore release is an intriguing cut-up of played parts (string programmings, synths, keys, etc., all quite ambient-sounding anyway), samples, found sounds, voices collages... Eerie and at times upsetting, yet maintaining an inner coherence and showing good taste and able hands in the juxtapositions and final mixdown. The PE website talks of "modern concrete music" and mentions the Hafler Trio; I'd add, on my part, Nurse With Wound and especially Coil in their Black Light District incarnation. Certainly experimental but not overtly solipsistic, with a heavy quasi-darkwave track ("Amphenol") and healthy doses of industrial ambient bruitism ("Distant safety of winter"), as if the cover roses hid glass thorns. Let's say this stands to music the way Max Ernst's surrealistic forests stand to realistic landscape paintings.
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Artist: NIMH (@)
Title: Frozen
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
Nimh/Giuseppe Verticchio has already been featured on these pages with some remarkable do-it-yourself releases like "Line of Fire" or the awesome "Distant skylines", works that really deserve a wider diffusion. "Frozen" was recorded in 2000 and self-released, and is now luckily available again thanks to this accurate reprint by the ever better AFE. One long track (close to 60', but with several "movements" within) which is perfectly depicted by the title and the cover image: an indefinite figure disappearing in an icy cold landscape. Somebody has defined it "terminal ambient", which could definitely fit, though not in a medical/pathological sense - I like to think it as a synonim of "liminal", to indicate a boundary where nature permanently excludes men. Glacial drones and frequencies which reminded me of Thomas Koener (also close in the permafrost inspiration), Amon or even, in some particularly obsessive parts, MB's mind-devouring loops. A truly great release, extreme and demanding but conveying a sense of final purity from the stain of mankind.
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Artist: RENSEK (@)
Title: ep
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: AFE Records (@)
Rensek is a new manifestation of Eric Kesner, better known for his excellent guitar-based dark ambient under the name of True Colour of Blood (two cd-r's on Soulworm and AFE, and an upcoming cd co-released by AFE and Eibon). The two projects actually merge on the first track of this 3" ep, "Aorist (TCOB remix)", a brilliant fusion of obscure drones and digital glitches. Yep, this is Rensek's nature: skipping discs, digital errors etc. - the sort of things happening all too often when you use an electronic device or a digital support. "Acies" and "Verum" are little more than skip noises minimally organized in rhythmic patterns (unless they're not recorded as they are, à la Disc), while "Dialectic" is a longer, shifting track with more elaborate sounds and a kind of menacing feel within its abstract, inorganic coils. Very good in its brevity, could give brilliant results in more elaborate works.
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