Music Reviews



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Artist: DAEDELUS
Title: Invention
Format: CD
Label: Plug Research
Distributor: Audioglobe
It could be that I'm wrong but I haven't appreciated this record that much. I'll try to explain. All the compositions are made assembling samples of old jazz or lounge pre 70's records (or presumably this has been the main way) and sometimes there's also some trip hop rhythm. The idea is original but there's a general lack of energy during the fortyfive minutes of the CD and this makes of INVENTION a potential good record. For sure there are tracks that are catchy and all (like "Loded" and "Perchance A Bit"), but at the end of the listening I don't know if I enjoyed it or not and this isn't that good. It could be that you'll instantly fall in love with this record or it could be that I'd need to listen to it more than twice but what the heck, a record should have something to catch my attention instantly. This isn't a bad review because I enjoy the rhythmic tracks and the idea but there's something missing and this is disturbing for me...
p.s. Nice the sung versions of "Quiet Now" and "Pursed Lips Reply" thanks to the collaboration with Busdriver and Sach.
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Artist: The Flying Dutchman (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
First time I've heard The Flying Dutchman it was through Staalplaat I think, in fact, as the name might imply, The Flying Dutchman is a project by a Dutch producer, Mr Hanyo Van Oosterom. When a producer makes an album on his own, you know it outta be good (or at least it should sound good), and I wasn't disappointed throughout the twelve trip-hop and ambient songs. In association indie rock group Spot members Ciska Ruitenber (whose voice reminded me of Jane Siberry, maybe with more vibrato) and Edwin de Herder (guitar), the collective co-wrote many of the songs on this record and performed a well worth blend of ambient and trip-hop. They've been compared to mastermind Bill Laswell as well as to Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack and Lamb. This record sounds great, I really enjoyed listening to it and you should definitely check it out as soon as you get a chance.
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Artist: Laurent Brondel
Title: Weld
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
Here's some really cool shit for the intelligent dancing masses... Originally (and still) a talented Holdsworth-style guitar player, Laurent Brondel will now utilize, warp, meld and weld any available instrument to achieve the aural satisfaction he's after. He says he likes it dark and long and even though the songs rarely go over six minutes, working towards that hypnotic musical recurrence seems to be doing the trick. In this album his Dj skills mixed with a couple of occasional special guests on trumpets (Cuong Vu, whose last album Brondel has produced) and guitars (Fred Consavela), and with the addition of lots of sampling, splicing, (re-)arranging, improvisation etc, give it a nice urban feel but also sort of a global Chemical Bros vibe and sometimes the beautiful trip-hop even reminds you of Massive Attack or Portishead (listen to "21st Century Lounge" and its fire organ samples). When the beat gains speed though, he really dives into the drum 'n' bass territories but seems to be feeling right at home and not just visiting... The tracks are powerful and well programmed, they flow and glow like gems in a crowded dancefloor. Alternating really well done d'n'b with more atmospheric chill-out lounge stuff, the album is complete with so much you'll have your hands full for a while... I've gone through the 13 pieces several times and could discover some new things every time. Turned out to be and exciting listening experience. Personally I really like the album and I think he's got great skills and his break drum'n'bass material is extremely valid! Not everything's about breakbeats only! The sounds are truly nice and punching. The stuff's really dope and reminded me of the times when I was mixing that other super cool live d'n'b human-machine drummer that is Jojo Mayer and his Prohibited Beatz band, who I am mentioning because the most beat-intensive songs on this record are really close to what those NY guys were improvising during their legendary shows. I can't imagine what Jojo and Laurent wouldn't put on fire if they'd team up for a gig!
By the way, look out for three more records by this artist on Statra records.
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Artist: 6-North (@)
Title: I'm here in my Heart
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Debut album by this Japanese combo whose offering consists of a beautiful blend of soft electronica, experimental avantgarde music, jazzy fusion and zeuhl music... Robert Fripp, Weather Report, Lyle Mays, Jeff Back's latest, John Zorn, the Legendary Pink Dots, Klimperei and a lot of other musicians could be their references. It's hard to categorize and even to describe this because there are so many influences involved. If you know the label you might have a pretty good idea, if you don't you have to try to image the above and a lot more, all interacting together as it really goes from almost plain jazz Mays-like piano ballads ("Inner Crystal", "Circular Pinx"), to more experimental quasi slow no-wave (the title track), to progressive rock mixed with free-jazz, fusion and small bits of funk ("Silence, Darkness") and beautiful acoustic ballads ("Where No One Has Gone") with Enya-style female choirs. This album has female pop/jazz vocals (in Japanese) in some tracks.
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Artist: Priority (@)
Title: Life is Decomposed in Fragments
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Six North member Takumi Seino's side project Priority is a beautiful and enchanting mixture of electronics and fusion... The guitar playing reminds a lot of Pat Metheny or Allan Holdsworth (mostly clean or slightly treated, but also lightly or heavily distorted, obviously with lots of pedalling, fade ins and fade outs, like in fusion's best tradition!) coupled with a beautifully deep fretless bass and an intense and pretty much cymbals-only drumming create a relaxing environment. Samples and layers of soft synthetic sounds help the electronic side create an ethereal and heavenly blend with melodic, meditative and melancholic jazzy vibes, awesome atmospheres and a terrific dreamlike overall experience... A unique album, so intense, so beautiful and so powerful. One of my favorite electronic/fusion records!
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