Music Reviews



image not
available
anymore
Artist: MOON ROCK (@)
Title: Charming Gravity
Format: CD
Label: Lunar Entertainment
Rated: *****
CHARMING GRAVITY is the third Moon Rock album and someway we can say that this is the album of their maturity. "Power To People" was their fresh debut, while on "Eclipse of the Mood" and this new one the band is defining their songwriting. The album is divided between dreamy ballads sung mainly by Jemma and catchy synthpop/electro tunes sung by Jack. Their pop music has always got a touch of melancholy but they also know how to add a certain dark vein to their sounds like on "Brother, Sister, Lover" or on "Charming Gravity", where the filtered vocals duet with the bells and the strings while they paint a dark atmosphere for the following lyrics (this is an excerpt): "Dancing past your demons, screaming, Straight into the heart of what I own This won’t ever happen again". Their pop isn't poppish, if you know what I mean. Melody isn't symptom of stupidity and this album is the evidence of the fact that there could be an intelligent way to do music. Sometimes I hear echoes of the latest Everything But The Girl (like on "Goodbye, I Love You" or on "Brother, Sister, Lover") but this time if we say synthpop we don't think immediately to Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode and this is good for a band. "Everyday Superstar - Glis Mix" and "I Think It's Over - Jemma Mix" were already included into their MCD released a couple of months before the album (it included also other two band mixes of the main title) and they anticipated the sound of the album, giving to the audience a juicy apple to bite. Of the ten songs I prefer the less melancholy ones, but in this case we can say that there are only a couple of them and when you'll arrive to "Angel In You" you'll question yourself if you put into your CD deck a T.O.Y. album. Anyway, CHARMING GRAVITY is a good album and you should give it a try.
cover
Artist: XIU XIU
Title: Fabulous muscles
Format: CD
Label: Tomlab (@)
Rated: *****
It's bizarre to put Xiu Xiu in the "synth-pop" category, for lack of better definitions, and realizing that it'd be hard anyway to try and stick them somewhere. There's actually quite a lot of electro-pop here ("Crank Heart", "Brian the Vampire", "Bunny Gamer"), but in a Xiu Xiu way, just like every possible influence they may draw upon: (no/new) wave, acoustic folk (the title track, "Nieces Pieces (Boat knife version)"), art-pop ("I luv the Valley OH!", "Clowne towne"), electroacoustic improv ("Support our troops OH! (Black Angels)"). It's not an easy record, but at the same time it has an impressive number of perfect pop songs and melodies. Almost every songs is memorable in itself, and arrangements are bizarre, complex and minimal at the same time: a sort of art-punk version of Antony and the Johnsons. I've also seen them in a superb live set as a duo, with just guitar, harmonium, synth, percussions and some pre-recorded beat, and Jamie Stewart is just an incredible performer, even in a more intimistic context. But what makes Xiu Xiu a world apart is probably their poetics, something sadly lacking in most indie bands. Their lyrics and imagery deal with abusive power/sexual relationships, fucked up personal (and political) situations, depression and dissatisfaction, but more often than not in an ambiguous, challenging way. Abusive, or horny photos are packed in a glossy pink layout, just as shockingly intense lyrics are sugar-coated into pop singalongs and la-la-la's.
cover
Artist: BEYOND (@)
Title: Shadeworld
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Nulll Records
Rated: *****
Debut cdr release for this new-born German dark ambient project. I'd label it "funeral doom ambient" as it sounds like the ambient equivalent of bands like Until Death Overtakes Me, plus a healthy dose of classic dark drones (Lustmord, Amon, Svartsinn...). Exactly like funeral doom, you can find it, from time to time or during the same listening session, extremely fascinating or quite boring after a while, also because of its mammoth length. But this release is mostly good, and well balanced. The low, bass-heavy drones are mixed with depressive key symphonies, very funeral doom-sounding, and these are probably the characteristic I liked less. But as the cd progresses, the pure droning atmosphere prevails, and it's nice to tune out and drift along. A new release and a couple of sampler appearances are in the works.
cover
Artist: MIHA CIGLAR (@)
Title: A piece for two instruments and a saxophone player
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Young Slovenian composer, musician and sound engineer Miha Ciglar studied saxophone, musical pedagogics and sound engineering in Maribor (Slovenia, his native town too) and Graz (Austria). "A piece for two instruments and a saxophone player" (a contribution to the "Open Cube series", Cube, Institute of electronic music, Graz) is a 26' improvised piece recorded live to two tracks, and is an interesting real-time interaction between the wind instrument and digital manipulation. It begins with a kind of swarming drone, similar to Hafler Trio's use of string samples - then it breaks into a mess of digital crackles, pitch-shifting, loops and (barely recognizable for the most part) sax roars and sputterings. If you wondered how a Peter Broetzmann recording could sound in an glitch-electroacoustic mix, this could be an answer, and this work definitely could appeal to those into radical Japan improv or Nmperign. There are a lot of interesting passages, but at times the performance suffers from repetitiveness or let-down moments: "no overdubs, no mixing" is not always the best choice, especially if we're to hear an improvised session. I still feel this kind of material should be HEAVILY overdubbed. Still, an interesting experiment.
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sensitive Sampler #1
Format: CD
Label: Sensitive Records (@)
Rated: *****
SENSITIVE RECORDS is a new label with a real open-minded attitude: from rock to avant-garde, to classical music. This sampler shows 14 tracks taken from four forthcoming albums, whose red line is the high quality of music and the capacity of mixing different styles in a charming way.
About NICK GREY & THE RANDOM ORCHESTRA, the ensemble is an international music collective leaded by the Rumanian artist Nick Grey. In these tracks, taken from "Regal Daylight" album, they continuously combine different influences, using soft drum machine, distorted guitars and classical instruments. I'm totally shocked by the first track "thievesamongthorns": starting with a classical intro, with the collaboration of the famous tenor Vasile Moldoveanu, soon shows a soft, sweet and melancholic atmosphere, with a wonderful clarinet leading to a land of memories. "Intruders" reveals a more strong attitude, alternating a powerful electric guitar with piano and violin, while "Parachutes Drops" is a darker song, gloomy with its strings and glockenspiel-like carillon.
EMPI (L’Eglise du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé – The Church of Reversed Peristaltic Movement) is another project which involves Nick Grey, a French speaking ensemble now releasing the second album, a totally mad and distorted mix of romantic landscapes and visions of pain. While listening to their "V" I’m submerged by an atmosphere a la Debussy, with a moving and desperate duo piano-violin. "Pression", instead, with a pulsing beat and a repetitive clarinet is like being closed in an asylum, with people whispering everywhere, knocking at the walls and far machinery noise. "Haiku" is a long walk between moist walls and "Pédagogie du tremblement" is your final arrival to Hell, a nightmare on Earth. PINKERTON & GREY is a collaboration between the Nick Grey and the Armenian pianist and soprano Jasmine Pinkerton. The tracks, taken from forthcoming album "Dress Rehearsal" show melodic and really listenable compositions with piano and voice. "Wheelchair lovesong" is a sad song with some Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" echoes, while the wonderful "Song 6" brings you to a sunny and drowsy Spring afternoon, in the last decades of 800, lay down on the grass reading Verlaine’s verses. "Israël" starts softly, bringing me to memory the best songs of Ashram, to increase in a crescendo that involves the listener in a vortex of emotions and passion.
At last, unusual for CHAIN DLK’s readers, are two tracks from VASILE MOLDOVEANU’s "Arias": this is the reissue of an opera arias album by the great Rumanian tenor. Surely I cannot review the music: the two tracks in the sampler are the wonderful Puccini’s "E lucevan le stelle" and Bizet’s "Agnus Dei" and they need no additional words by me. What I can say is that Moldoveanu is a really great interpreter, with a deep and powerful voice, revealing that classical music has not yet lost its charm and that you can find it only in real artists, far from TV-business "Three Tenors" or "Pavarotti and Friends".
It was really a long time I hadn’t listened to a so touching compilation. Every artist is a must and I’ll wait anxiously the release of their albums.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891] [1892] [1893] [1894] [1895] [1896] [1897] [1898] [1899] [1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110] [2111...2120]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha