Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Forest Management (@)
Title: The Elevated Quiet
Format: Tape
Label: Constellation Tatsu (@)
Rated: *****
Another lovely roll of magnetic tape in the catalog of Constellation Tatsu, belonging to the spring/summer bunch, got signed by American producer John Daniel aka Forest Management. As you can easily guess by looking the detail of a white and supposedly warming jumper standing over a snowy field (I guess it's snow at least), there's something in this release that is somehow out of seasonal (considering it came out in April) and that vague sense of detachment, sometimes pushed into some people's mind by wintertime low temperatures, maybe influenced the forging of the sound, which occurred close to the end of last year. According to John's words and memories, he composed "The Elevated Quiet" in the very last days of 2016 and finished before joining his friends to celebrate New Year's Eve. These are some eloquent words attached by him to introduce the emotional framework of this stream of "ambientness": "Residing in a high place of luxury, above everyone else. You look down at thousands of people every night, but they become increasingly distant. A hustle and bustle that’s always present, but up here it’s quiet - your environment is your own. There are countless opportunities to do countless things every year, but as the New Year approaches you reflect on who you’ve been, rather than what you’ve done. Midnight arrives, but it mostly feels the same. You finish the bottle, and come to a resolve in your mind to finally pursue what’s in your heart.". As he currently resides in Hemet, California, I guess he decided to spend this moment of the year in the cozy atmosphere of some detached cottage on the mountains behind that area or close to Los Angeles. By the way, the sound of the entire album is really ethereal and evokes the above-mentioned feeling - something in between that kind of escapism, which gets rising claimed as a human right in many over-crowded urban jungle, and strong need of brooding on a self, that goes out of personal focus, blurred by more or less wanted active social life. Best tracks according to my ear response: "Until Midnight" (...where John managed to render a sense of constant ascension by playing on the volume pitch of some frequencies), "The Girl of My Dream" (you'll think John dreamt of engaging with a woman from outer space, maybe!) and "I'm Just Going to Lay Down" (I hope it's not what he thought some minutes after joining his friends for New Year's Eve celebration!).
cover
Artist: Olivier Alary (@)
Title: Pieces for Sine Waves Oscillators
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: LINE (@)
Rated: *****
On the occasion of Olivier's output "Fiction/Non-Fiction" on Fat Cat's sister label 130701, the Toulouse-born producer told us something about his forthcoming projects (including an attempt of intersecting Lachenmann-like "concrete instrumental music" and post-tonal language developed by many American minimalist composer), but he didn't tell anything about this release. That's the reason why I can say it's a sort of unexpected sonic gift. There's nothing but sine waves (obviously squeezed by oscillators) as you can easily guess by the title, but the imprint and the sensitivity by Olivier Alary is the really important recipe. You can imagine he took a break, lighted a cigarette up, but just to observe the wreaths of smoke to turn them into sound instead of inhaling them. The way by which he blows the smoky impalpable sine waves out of his oscillators sounds remarkably influenced by the somehow cinematic imprint of Olivier's sound. The six entrancing pieces placidly enclose listeners into amniotic whispers, that get detached by underlying pure tones to dissolve into the sonic sphere, and fine tonal mists, that could be thought as a minimalist derivation of organ-driven sacred music. Besides a good pair of headphones or a good set of amplifiers, I recommend to enjoy it in the dim lights just before nightfall.
cover
Artist: Peter Zirbs
Title: Firmament
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Fabrique Records
“Firmament” is a compact EP of 3 tracks from the moodier side of piano-pop.

The instrumental title track sets slightly Glass-like repeating piano arpeggios with a steady basslines and triphop-ish beats. “Ritual Vitality” starts with the same structure but with far more pace and energy, with an slightly acid bassline that eventually unfolds into an unusual 12/8 sort of lightweight, glam rock/techno hybrid.

Tom Walkden’s vocal on “You Don’t Feel Like This” makes it the centerpiece of the EP, but while it’s a strong and sorrowful song, the musical arrangement falls into some slightly flat, pop ballad clichés.

The result is reminiscent of a late 1990’s era CD single- a main vocal track (a touch flat) and two interesting and slightly more experimental B-sides, all intended to draw your attention to an album (which in the case of Peter Zirbs I have no information about), but not a complete mini-work in its own right.
cover
Artist: Kalbata
Title: Obskuur
Format: 12"
Label: Brush & Broom
African drum loops meet deep acid basslines in these two unusual slices of minimal instrumental techno. While the DJ-challenging time signature of “Obskuur” makes it more of a home headphone listen, the more conventionally structured “Rumoured” is more set-friendly and strongly reminiscent of mid-set tunes from Josh Wink.

While I’ll never reconcile myself to the fact that a 2-track 12” is now called an “EP” when there’s nothing extended about it at all, this is a solid pack of two multi-purpose tracks that are quite bold in their simplicity but very well executed.
cover
Artist: Sweet William (@)
Title: Organic Shades
Format: CD
Label: Datakill Records (@)
Rated: *****
Although Sweet William's 'Organic Shades' is touted as their "acoustic album," it isn't entirely acoustic. There are electronic keyboards for string sounds, and some electronic processing on the acoustic guitar here and there. That should be of little consequence though as the songs on 'Organic Shades' have a gentler and milder tone overall. The album is collection of tracks of which some are covers of other bands and the remainder Sweet William tunes that have been reworked to a more acoustic format. Beginning with "A Face Without a Name" from their 'Time' album, the song is a semi-stripped-down version of the original, and if you never heard the original, you might actually like this one better. Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" is virtually unrecognizable from the original...Whitesnake unplugged? Nah, not really. Although Heuer injects some soul into this '80s hair band classic, this version makes you realize what a weak tune it was in the first place. "My Ignorance" (from 'Time') seems a bit more poignant in this quieter version than it did in the original. A definite misstep was doing a low-key version of Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades". I get it; you really, really like the song. It lacks the teeth it really needs though to get the point across. I think a better choice might have been Duran Duran's "Come Undone," but that's just my opinion. Covering Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" is kind of a calculated risk. Sweet William's version has neither the angst of the original, nor the pathos of Johnny Cash's version, but it still manages to have an impact. "Ocean" (from their 'Ocean' album) is well done, but superfluous. It just sounds like an alt-take. Why Oliver and company chose to cover ELO's drowsy "Big Wheels" is absolutely beyond me. It's one of those songs that heavily relies on ELO's patently overblown sound, and try as they may, it still sounds lame. "Kind" was a great song on their 'Time' album and one of the few songs on this album that really deserves a mellower, simpler version to put it in a different perspective. Final track, "The End of the West" is a moody instrumental with ostinato acoustic guitar and moody synth strings....with bombs at the end!?! Overall, 'Organic Shades' is okay but not great, owing more to the choice of material than its execution. There are many great songs out there aching for a (acoustic) remake, and likely some from Sweet William's earlier repertoire. Maybe next time...
[ 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] [192] [193] [194] [195] [196] [197] [198] [199] [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...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]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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