Music Reviews



Sep 05 2003
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Artist: Aghast View
Title: Drifter
Format: CD
Label: www.DSBP.cx
Distributor: www.DSBP.cx
Newest CD single from Brazil’s finest, who’s made also for one of the hardest hitting industrial acts in the last decade. With this one, the hard industrial elements of old are pretty much gone, giving this group some more room to grow and progress with newfound elements of trance, electro and hard electronica. And gone also are the vocal distortions, given way to some light vocal treatments here and there. But the key difference between this dance floor filler and the thousands of backwater acts trying to do nothing more than fill dance floors is the complex amount of layering in the sequences and the complexity of the song in general, with the general layout of the sequences and synth lines changing in a rather fluctuating manner from note to note in a very trance manner. It’s kinda classical sounding when you sit and analyze the key usage and the fingering on the synth lines, actually. It’s not too unlike the kind of manner Deine Lakaien uses their synth patterns as well. The Funker Vogt dance remix is well, dancey, as is to be expected with Funker Vogt, but not straying too far from the original at all, just adding that signature Funker Vogt bass-kick pattern to the mix. A lot fo the CD is based pretty much around the dance floor, but does have a good deal of depth to it versus a lot of what you hear on the dancefloor these days. I’m more into the industrial stuff like "Carcinopest" (one of the CDs I hold up to any industrial band as a major standard) myself, but this is a pretty welcome intro into their electro-dance phase, and a great stage in their growth. Rating: 10.
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Artist: THE MEMBRANE CONSPIRACY (@)
Title: Mutual Hallucination Project
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Mathbat (@)
The Membrane Conspiracy is a project conducted by Sean M. Hopp who sometimes is helped by some collaborators. This MCD has been released by his own Mathbat Records and it seems that it will be also released as a proper silver CD anytime soon. The eight tracks, during the twenty minutes of length of the disc, span through different styles of experimental music. Tracks like "All My Demon Lovers" make me remember of some old Clint Ruin/Foetus tracks, with their characteristic crawling sound and the guttural whispered vocals. Also the lyrics are interesting and a phrase like: "You are all the destiny of consciousness lost amongst the insects gently fucking in the breeze" makes of that, one to remember. The following track "Dream Death" is like a sort of cut up of a deranged acoustic ballad while "Byzantium And America" is a mix between a cut up of devilish origin and a Virgin Prunes sick song. Sean in twenty four minutes is capable of catch your attention by creating sick moments full of tension and the mixture of particular sounds and treated/whispered vocals makes you forget the lack of melodies or everything else. If you're into experimental stuff, MUTUAL HALLUCINATION PROJECT could be the soundtracks of your hidden thoughts.
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Artist: TELEPHERIQUE (@)
Title: Hörspiele
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
Shame on me, I'm really not that familiar with Telepherique's extensive discography, so I don't know if he's released more works in this style or if this is a one-of-a-kind experiment. But anyway, this is great stuff. In his own words: "The background of the music contained in this cd is the sensibility of hearing. The chance of dreaming, meditating and travelling by the means of well known noises that we can hardly hear because they always surround us". As you can expect, the very pulp of this cd is field recordings and concrete sound manipulation - a very structured one, actually. Telepherique's looped mantras of familiar and less familiar sounds (from bells to found voices, from birds and frogs to mechanical rumblings) have reminded me a lot of Murmer's strategies of repetition; but Telepherique is generally less minimal and adds several layers and changes to his compositions, plus some fragments of played/programmed music as well (with some actual beats in "Fernweh", which I found a bit out of place here). The result is incredibly fascinating, vivid and moving; there's no trace of sterile academic masturbation here, but a rich, detailed sonic mass which crushes you to earth with tyrannical gravity just to lift you up to extasy the next moment, with soothing, fragile sounds. A work showing a remarkable tecnique and a taste for balanced, mathematical compositions, but most of all, big ears and a big heart to re-discuss and reactivate everyday sounds into new forms. Brilliant layout too, courtesy of Hue/Sparkle in Grey, with stylish electric blue photos perfectly accompanying the cd concept.
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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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