Music Reviews



Sep 18 2003
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Daruma
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Ant Zen (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Nicely packaged and stuffed of sounds, DARUMA represents the 150th Ant Zen's release. I haven't checked but since it contains thirty two tracks played by thirty two different bands on a twoCD set which on the fist pressing comes along with two posters, stickers, cards, etc. It seemsto me that almost each band who released an album is here greeting the label for its tenth yearbirthday, but I can't tell for sure. Anyway... The fist CD seems to be more concentrated on noise and rhythm bringing us new or remixed tracks by Orphx, Roger Rotor, Iszoloscope, Synapscape,Asche, Axiome, Cell Auto Mata,Contagious Orgasm, This Morn' Omina, P·a·l, Morgenstern, Individual, Mental Destruction, Converter, Monokrom,Hypnoskull, and Ars Moriendi. The second one has got Noosa Hedz, M2, Veruschka, L'Ombre, Ah Cama-Sotz, Ambre, Ultra Milkmaids, Rob(u)nent, Black Lung, Telerotor, Vromb, Imminent, Silk Saw, Templegarden's and Klangstabil.If you already know Ant Zen, you know what is expecting you: tons of rhythmical, noisy and ambient experimentationwhich made of the label a reference point for the genre.Now, since we kinda cleared what this compilation represents, let's try to understand behind the DARUMA concept which ispart of the Japanese culture. By visiting www.darumaonline.com first of all we're impressed by the different kind of darumasand by the expression of the faces painted on those objects (I don't know if they are made out of clay or what else) butthe concept of daruma could be more interesting. On the website you can read: " Everybody Knows DARUMA, If they are Japanese . DARUMA is so popular and connected withJapanese tradition and culture.Many people in Japan buy DARUMA for elections,success of business, weddings, and other happy events more....[ DARUMA BRINGS HAPPINESS TO EVERYBODY ! ]DARUMA was a person who lived a long time ago.DARUMA was a prince in India.DARUMA went to China with the idea of Buddhism.DARUMA started Chinese Zen.DARUMA was 28 generations from BUDDHA.There is a very famous story about DARUMA.DARUMA sat facing a wall for 8 years meditatingand..[became a saint] .... "A DARUMA is presented as a sort of stone with elliptical shape which never falls.When you received a DARUMA you've got to: first,please draw the right eye when you see in front of daruma in black, if your eye's color is blue,you should use blue it, doesn't matter. (*^_^*)Then, you make a wish, anything's OK ,wish to make a boy or girl friend, succeed in your business,win in the big election, win the game, pass the examination,[WISHES OF HUMAN BEING NEVER STOP], usually........ (*^_^*)Anyway, when your wish comes true, please draw in the other eye.It will become a complete DARUMA, in front of you".
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Artist: Thy Veils (@)
Title: The Diaphanous Depression
Format: CD
Label: NonNut Muzik (@)


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Thy Veils' fourth studio album "The Diaphanous Depression" has just been released and features 19 tracks of minimal ambient music. After their dark-goth-influenced debut "Prologue", their second orchestral "Against an Oblivion of the Forgotten Abyss" and the third best seller "Immemorable", Romanian composer Daniel Dorobantu surprises his fans with a step back in terms of aesthetic grandness and a step forward in his search for intimacy and depth of the myserious atmospheres he works out. You will still hear some orchestrations, some even quite big (mostly in a neo-classical interpretation) but they won't be pompous or majestic, rather symphonically complementary to the darkly solar and warmly cold sonic ambience that pervades all of these new compositions. Think of it like a more mystical version of Zoar or a more minimal version of Penitent.
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Artist: Muslimgauze
Title: Iranair Inflight Magazine
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
I would like to be able to say that Muslimgauze is back with his latest fatigue (he would sure have some lucid insights about what is going on in the world if he still was alive...), but at least we can enjoy some more of his previously unreleased music that is seeing the light through Staalplaat, where obviously there are plenty of tapes (I am assuming it's tapes these things are stored on because there's plenty of hiss) that are still in the dark ready to be dusted off. "Iranair Inflight Magazine" continues the tradition of semi-distorted and saturated percussions with the addition of some sparse electronics. With this formula it almost sounds more like an idm/electro record than a world music record. The tracks are long, similar to each other, and go by with little changes. You can hear very distant things but you pretty much have to wait for the third song and its middle eastern flute-like breath instrument to find something else besides the percussive track. Half way through the record you start hearing some stereo field experimentation with un-distorted percussive tracks on the left, a distant sitar and some electronic bass on the right, the whole thing glued together by movements across the stereo field and dub-like delays. Later on, around track six, the atmosphere gets a little quieter and samples of middle-eastern language spoken female vocals are introduced. Each of the tracks is named after a page in the Iranair Inflight Magazine and the CD is limited and hand-numbered to 700 copies.
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Artist: 87 Central (@)
Title: Formation
Format: CD
Label: ERS / Staalplaat (@)
Merging glitch electronics and drones with field recordings, 87 Central go the distance with these seven tracks recorded with a no-input mixer, computer models of feedback systems, field recordings and samples of dan armstrong playing guitar... If that sounds weird to you, don't be surprised, nothing is out of the ordinary for the people at Staalplaat and for people like 87 Central. The nice thing about "Formation" is that it's never overwhelming and aids relaxation and meditation as opposed to interrupt or obstruct it. The strong visionary contents it carries along is filtered through the key of interpreation of every single listener, who will then locate the soft noises and the layers of subtle distortion, electronic feedbacks and other grainy detailed textures of sounds from within the sound space to draw the picture he most likes in his mind.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: O Superman Remix CD
Format: CD
Label: ERS / Staalplaat (@)
"O Superman Remix CD" is a remix CD (duuh!) featuring nine experimental artists busy re-working the Laurie Anderson sky-rocketing hit and pop anthem "O Superman (For Massenet)" (the original was paraphrasing Jules Massenet's song "O Souverain"). Anderson's version was first released on One Ten records and later re-released and distributed on her debut LP "Big Science" by Warner Bros (we all know how that went, when these fucking majors are after profits and don't respect the artists...). It was an outsider track, something alien to what the rest of the music industry was putting out. Her vocoded voice and all the electronics were painting a picture of an ill society becoming greedy and loosing touch with the importance of human relationships (she sings "this is the hand, the hand that takes", which incidentally is also one of the sentences printed on the beautiful hand crafted cardboard box case that Staalplaat specifically created for this release). Now nine names did go over all of that and came up with their own versions, some where the electronic aspect is emphasized, some where noises are added, some somewhat close to the original, others totally re-worked into newly crafter creations of digital sonics, glitch electronica and drones (Frans De Waard's new project Freiband, Origin of Sound), noise (Dutch Danny De Graan, Italian Massimo), beautiful IDM arrangements that would fit into the Warp catalogue (Com.a, Radbound Mens, Team Doyobi), synthetic Kraftwerkian sounds (Electric Company), experimental concrete weirdnesses (Staalplaat founder's project Staalplaat SoundSystem), vocal samples and so on... Few stones are left unturned when it comes to sonic experimentation. Definitely an interesting re-interpretation of a classic of avantgarde pop-electronica of the early eighties.
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