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Artist: MASON JONES
Title: The crystalline world of memory
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
A solo release for Mason Jones, member of Subarachnoid Space and Culper Ring, based on live guitar solos later edited and reconstructed. Strangely enough, it could be one of the "least weird" releases in the crazy Public Eyesore catalogue. Jones seems to draw his influences from '70's psychedelia with some roots in blues and rock as well - so these live improvisations are somehow "recognizable" even in their more spacey and abstract moments. At times ("...It’s all final?") it's like listening to a freak version of Ry Cooder, at others ("What if...", "The difficult life of the interstellar loner"), as the opposite end of the spectrum, the sound matter gets more obscure and paranoid, with noisy passages and psych delays. Still, a kind of "retro" aftertaste creeps in.
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Artist: DAVANTAGE
Title: Broken influences/Remnant
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Black Rain (@)
A double cd reissue of Davantage’s first cd (1999-2000) and earlier demo cdrs (1996-1999), back by popular demand. "Broken influences" still sounds quite good (ok, only 3 years have passed, after all), with its minimal but catchy electro-EBM in the typical Davantage gloomy style - medium to fast beats, cold keys programmings, and a dark, soulful voice which sometimes reminded me of good ole Clock DVA. I actually think some of these tracks are better than more recent stuff of theirs... whatever. The demo tracks are along the same lines, some of them were remixed or re-recorded in the vocals department for this rerelease - let’s say they’re logically rawer and less focused, but will probably please their die-hard fans. Horrible layout all the way.
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Artist: POLYSPACE
Title: Tactual Sense
Format: CD
Label: Funkwelten (@)
Decent pseudo-Warp electronica from a collaboration between Polygon and For a Space. "Somewhere inside" inserts some Buddhist chants sample, "Latenz" has some breakbeat hint, "Grown out" and "Heaven" add some simple piano melody – but the core of it all is the usual, over-used rhythmic wallpaper electronica: nothing too jarring to the ear, but nothing memorable either. Anyway, better than other even more static Funkwelten releases. Boring layout.
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Artist: RAPOON/DESACCORD MAJEUR
Title: Salmo Salar
Format: CD
Label: Fario (@)
A nice add-on to the series of collaborative/split cds realeased by Fario (label of the Fear Drop mag staff), this 2003 release features two projects from the realms of ambient and experimental trance-electronica which complement very well each other. Veteran Robin Storey/Rapoon displays his usual top-notch quality array of mesmerizing loops and drones, melting ethnic acoustic instruments into currents of digital lava. His two solo tracks are further proofs of excellence and inspiration within an already impressive discography. Désaccord Majeur, with a remarkable list of releases on his side, proceeds along similar guidelines, but with a more definite rhythmical side, patent in the technoid "L'ogre éthérique" and a bit more subdued in the others - reminded me, at times, of Muslimgauze. The core of the cd, i.e. the eponymous collaborative track between the two, shows how the coupling was well-thought and effective, mixing Rapoon's trance ambiences with Désaccord Majeur's more prominent pulses.
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Artist: LABORINTUS (@)
Title: Stratilico/12riveroll9
Format: CD EP
Claudio Sichel is a young visual and digital sound artist who has frequently worked, over the last few years, on multimedia projects, and is a member of the Italian experimental music collective Ixem (www.ixem.it). This two-track mini cdr is a nice exhibition of Sichel's personal sound lingo. It could definitely appeal to those interested in microsounds, glitches and experimental laptop stuff, but has a kind of warm and bizarre impro slant which gives it a peculiar taste. The two long tracks are improvised sessions assembled using a self built instrument (made with rubber bands, springs, a Jew's harp and an electric motor) filtered through a Reaktor patch with a laptop. The result is a kind of free jazz concert played by moody objects and toys - warm, unpredictable and still very physical and "granulous", thanks to the interaction between the concrete source and the digital filter. Very well done, and definitely keeping faith to the "trade name" Sichel has chosen.
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