Music Reviews



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Artist: FL╦UR (@)
Title: Priskosnovenie
Format: CD
Label: PrikosnovÚnie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
I'm not sure the title is actually this one, but the cover features "Prikosnovenie" written in cyrillic characters, so here it is. Flëur are a Russian ensemble formed by Olga Pulatova (piano/vocal), Elena Voynaroskaya (guitar/vocal), Julia Zemlyanaya (flute), Katherina Serbina (cello), Alexey Tkachevsky (percussion) and Vitaly Didyk (double-bass). Just by reading the line-up, and noticing it's on Prikosnovénie, you should be able to guess what this cd sounds like: excellent ethereal folk with an emphasis on quasi-chamber arrangements, a great care for details and an emphasys of fairy-tale atmospheres. All vocals are in their mother-tongue (though titles are reported in English), adding a touch of ethnic flavour, especially in more up-tempo tracks like "On the dark side of the moon", which sound more rooted in Eastern music. Definitely recommended if you like this style, as Flëur are for sure one of the most outstanding projects in the field I've come across. 13 tracks, 56'30".
Artist: ECHORAUSCH (@)
Title: Different.Waves
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain/Funkwelten (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
This is a reprint of EchoRausch's double lp released by Jetlag records in 2000, with three unreleased tracks, for a total of 17 songs and 71' worth of music. EchoRausch is the personnel who owns the eponymous studios responsible for many productions and masterings of the Black Rain/Noi Tekk rooster, so it seems appropriate that they get re-released by Funkwelten, a new Black Rain sub-label devoted to "Space, Chillout, Ambient and experimental sounds". The press sheet quotes Boards of Canada and Future Sound of London as akin' projects, which I'd surely subscribe, maybe even adding Autechre, though EchoRausch are definitely less obsessive and skeletal. Educated, refined Warp-sounding electronica with equal space for fat beat patterns and ethereal melodies - part ground, part sky. This will certainly appeal to fans of the above mentioned style, I'd say it's a pleasant and above average production.
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Artist: DENSE VISION SHRINE
Title: Magic & Mistery
Format: CD
Label: Iris Light (@)


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Born when Karsten Hamre decided to pause his main project, Penitent, Dense Vision Shrine explore even more the visions of the man bringing us six dense dark ambient suites and two videos of "Snowsand" and "The Stronghold". If with Penitent, Karsten, paid his tribute to classical music and to poetry, with MAGIC AND MISTERY he seems to stop time giving to all the sounds more space and calm. The dilated pads of the tracks are like floating water that little by little runs though lands, covering everything. Listening to this album I feel a general sensation of apparent calm which passing from track to track mutates into a nightmare. You know, it's like into the Lovecraft novels, where everything seems going fine since suddenly you discover that pain took an hold of your heart. Also the two videos present images of nature, you know: woods, caves, mountains. But those images change their meanings if associated to this music. Creepy...
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Artist: Roman Stolyar
Title: Credo
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Eurock
Roman Stolyar's "Credo" CD is probably one of the most free-jazz releases to have seen the light on Electroshock records. Progressive, jazz, fusion, electronics, experimental, ambient, traditional and world music all find a way to be heard on this release, with compositions spanning from '93 to 2000 that prove Stolyar's eclecticism and talent. The Jethro Tullish flute along with the marked seventies' progressive art-rock structures, the freeform jazz improvisations of piano, flute and other instruments, the unusual mixing of the standard ensamble's voices, the nice electronics that lays the grounds for acoustic instruments' improvisation, the occasional quasi middle-age/new-wave/celtic tunes, reverberated lush atmospheres, the almost Zornish nowave bursts of energy, the cheap found fake sounds (bells, brasses, strings, drums), the cymbal-generous fusion drumming, the experimental overall veil, the female vocals and lyrics of William Blake are but some of the pieces of this intricate and sophisticated puzzle. As always the art work is simply superb but this time probably even superior to the contents it represents. I am not going to argue with the choice of the sounds if indeed it was a choice, but I personally wasn't to enthusiast about those above-mentioned fake sounds (maybe live musicians would fix that) and some of the prog-jazz-rock passages of this CD. I am into and around a lot of jazz so it's not a matter of genres. There obviously are several good ideas and nice parts in this CD (for example the first and third of the three-part vocal suite "Songs of the Seasons"), I just didn't seem to find the key to understand it completely. This is the Russian composer's first solo CD but I am sure he's got an extensive background in jazz improvisation so I will look forward to see where this new direction will bring him and how he will develop his newly found electro-acoustic soul.
Artist: INTELLEGENT ELECTROPOP
Title: VV.AA
Format: CD
Label: Intellegent Communications
Distributor: Intellegent Communications
Though given my rule of fururistic electropop only", this one seems pretty interesting. The tracks remind me of some of the music played in gay nightclubs around my street (no I’m not by the way), very dancefloor oriented and overly happy, in true pop style. Altough the bands on here remind me a lot of Erasure, Psyche and Depeche Mode though, yet not too much. I am a rather untrained ear though in the basic synthpop and electropop fields though, so I may be wrong. A nice little trip back into basic synthpop, pure and simple, away from some of the boom-chukka synthpop so prevailent nowadays. And chock full of bouncing ballads as well, though they are rather peppy! Rating: 8.Anything from Anything Box is also recommended when you’re in that guilty sugary electropop mood. I’m hiding right now and listening to both back to back, then I’m back to my hardass rivethead self by morning, promise! :-)
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