Music Reviews



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Artist: TRUE COLOUR OF BLOOD (@)
Title: [absence]
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records/Eibon (@)
First official cd release for both True Colour of Blood (after two acclaimed cdrs on AFE and Soulworm) and AFE Records, here co-releasing Eric Kesner's new effort - an excellent step for both for sure. Kesner maintains processed guitar sounds as the only source for his rich droning textures, and while certainly obscure - often pitch black, actually - in nature, "[absence]" manages to avoid dark-ambient clichés - I do think that TCOB is often closer to minimalists like Main, Stars of the Lid and the Kranky-kin, or post-shoegazers like Aaarktika, than to the typical Lustmord clones. This is especially evident in the melodic drifts of "Anamorphoris", "[absence]" and "My favourite streetlight", but also in the strummed ghost track, which really sounds like an outtake from Slowdive's "Pygmalion". Though perfectly fitting in the ambient category, this album has its roots deeply immersed in indie/post-rock. Also considering Kesner's brilliant debut in the glitch/microsounds field as Rensek (see archive), I'm looking forward to hearing TCOB's further evolutions. Excellent layout, as expected from Eibon.
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Artist: ANTANAS JASENKA (@)
Title: An Artist And A Plane
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Rated: *****
Antanas Jasenka is a composer coming from Lithuania. He's not only a musician, he also teaches composition in M. K. Ciurlionis Art School since 2002. His work comprehend a wide spectrum of music: contermporary, experimental, avant garde, electronic and chamber music. His latest work is titled AN ARTIST AND A PLANE and it represents his experimental / industrial side. The CD is divided in two long hypnotic suites "Artac" (which is divided into five different movements) and "Electronic Suartines". The first part sees Antanas experimenting with digital sounds where he creates a complicated but intriguing web of sounds and cyclic rhythms / loops. Sometimes it reminds me of some Boyd Rice and Coil compositions (do you remember the MLP as Sickness Of Snakes?) where long sounds hypnotize the audience while hissing sounds come and go creating disturbing moments. The second part of the CD takes its inspiration from the Lithuanian art of polyphonic singing. Some parts of the suite are made by the folk ensemble Trys Keturiose but Antanas mixed and treated them with electronic sounds and digital bleeps. As result you get a twenty minutes long suite which little by little encrease its pathos giving to the audience a growing sense of tension. An interesting work which will fulfill your experimental needs.
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Artist: Chance's End (@)
Title: Set Me Free
Format: CD
Label: Definite Plus Music
Rated: *****
Colorado-based violinist and producer Ryan Avery's second release "Set Me Free" (after his "Skyway") re-confirms him as a pioneer of the combination of violin and electronic music, even though in my opinion he should work and exploit that very combination more, to really make it his unique signature style, as opposed to use his classical instrument just on half or less of the songs as an accessory. When I initially read his press-release I was expecting something different, I am not saying that this is not good, on the contrary, it's ok, but considering the hype on the strings vs electronica concept, I was ready to receive a lot more of that and I was ready for some ground-breaking album that takes electronica to a new level, beyond stylistic barriers. "Set Me Free" can't claim to do that, but can still reasonably make a case for a good eclectic electronic music piece. The songwriting is quite ethereogeneous and guest musicians (vocalists) make it an even more dynamic and multifaceted album, that explores corners as wide apart as hip hop and classical music. The female vocals here and there give it that lush vibe of lounge-pop-electronica, but the instrumentals keep it pretty straight-forward. If you're into electronic music and appreciate somebody who experiments with non-electronic instruments and concepts definitely give this a try. Personally I am a lover of strings on electronic music and would love to see that concept taken to the next level by this talented musician sometimes in the future. I'll be on standby, right here.
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Artist: Decomposure (@)
Title: Taking Things Apart
Format: CD
Label: Unschooled records (@)
Rated: *****
Whoa! I am starting to think we have all overlooked an extremely valuable and remarkable record label for far too long, an outlet that obviously knows quality when it sees (ehhm... hears) it! Among new findings proving this is the release of Decomposure's "Taking Things Apart", a full lenght CD that probably shines the brightest light with the piece "Speech", that is basically just a cool and dynamic beat with Georgy's post 9/11 speech... While others overdo what's been done a million times already (I haven't taken my best shot at it yet, because of that), Decomposure just exploits the obvious idea to its full extent taking it to the next level. W is extremely well treated and edited and becomes one with the track, so rhythmical and groovy that I "almost" liked him for a minute there... Thankfully I came back to my senses with the rest of the album which never refers back to the ugly Texan voice but still very often refers back to similarly excellent rhythm-noise. Decomposure's theme revolves around repetition, and specifically its antithesis, the relationship of percussion to music and to silence and the deconstruction and re-arrangement of every day sounds into fragments of metropolitan-paced breakcore, outdoors ambient anti-muzak, indoor ambiences and more sonic transitions between space and time, or more like, location and its environmental pace. "Taking Things Apart" is a bold and exceptionally gifted attempt at taking the background and turning it into the foreground, at taking the un-important sounds of you ever day life and process them into music you can focus on. The album has definitely some really outstanding highlights but it doesn't seem to always be able to keep up with that level of quality, nonetheless it is a great friggin' piece of music that you should explore at your earliest convenience.
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Artist: PILOT BALLOON (@)
Title: Ghastly Good Cheer
Format: CD
Label: 2nd Rec (@)
Rated: *****
GHASTLY GOOD CHEER is the first album for Pilot Ballon, creature of Jud and KaeoFLUX, members of the Komadose film & audio post production crew (www.komadose.com). The album brings to the attention of the audience twelve songs deeply infuenced by various genres: hip hop, jazz, electronica and post rock. The structure of the tracks is multi layered and it seems that for each layer they chose a different genre. Most of the rhythmical structures come from hip hop, vocals are from post rock or rap, electronic bleeps and analog effects take their inspiration from I.D.M., guitars comes from post rock or jazz, etc. The resulting effect creates an atmosphere of suspended tension that never reaches its critical point. In this way tracks like "Testimonial Match", "Hug Dusty" or "Throe Stasis" seems fragile because of their structure where sounds play little parts (the multi layered structure I metioned) but, in reality, they are like sharpened knives,shiny and dangerous, for how much they are intense. The first time I listened to this record I thought about Pilot Baloon like a Codeine and Portished conjunction but there's much more to discover into these twelve particular tracks. You know, it's like taking part to a multi ethnic menu where each dish has got a different history and a different taste. You've got to eat them slowly to discover the different flavors and for this GHASTLY GOOD CHEER it's the same. A hint: if you want to fall in love with a track at a first listening, try with "Vampire Tonic".
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