Music Reviews



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Artist: PERNELL DISNEY (@)
Title: Severn Way
Format: CD
Label: Disney Whirl
Pernell Disney is a duo formed by Pernell Disney (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Chris Sciurba (syths, drum loops and samples) and SEVERN WAY is their first CD which for me represented forty minutes of relax into a busy day. Their music has its roots into the sound of many 80's bands and if you want me to name few, I can name Lloyd Cole & The Commotions or Lotus Eaters. Most of their songs are ballads which paint light pictures where acoustic guitar duet with synthetic pads. Songs like "Drive"l, "Alone" or "I'm From Hollywood" won't satisfy your will of powerful sounds, for that you've got to listen to other bands, but Pernell Disney are powerful into creating a sense of positiveness which will help you making your day and this is a good thing, believe me!
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Artist: Centrozoon (@)
Title: The Scent of Crash and Burn
Format: CD
Label: Burning Shed (@)
Centrozoon seem to have parted, at least momentarily, from the free-form stringing ambient of their predecessor "The Cult of: Bibbiboo" to embrace a newly shaped figure of electronica with a full diaphragm focus on emotional displays of lyric poetry and a flirt with electro-pop retrospectives that fortunately fades away after the initial handful of minutes (although the most impressive lyrics are on the very first track of this CD) and then turns into a more intimate and less obvious, thus far more appreciable, blend of hypnotic glamour. While smelling the harmonious clash of vocal melody that maybe wishes to pick up the pace with the burning sensation of lush electro-ambient coagulated by guitar improv, occasionally the former even pushes it far enough to turn Centrozoon's new found emo-escapism into a well constructed downtempo mixture of synth-pop tunes and experimental electro-trance. The eclectic rhythmical structures the group makes use of show the taste for the fine arts of adapting to foreign territories and the throughout similarly effected soft breathed vocals remind you at any given moment of the strong soulful beauty of the song that is passing through you. Intense and deep.
Jun 26 2003
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Artist: Fictional
Title: Fiction
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
From the crew that gave us Funker Vogt and Ravenous (no not the black metal band!), comes their third side-project and it’s second release. The first one from Fictional to me wasn’t all that great, nor really showed off any of Ravenous’ or Funker Vogt’s mastery of the digital keyboard (though I think F.V. for the most part is rather redundant, they do have some definite high points).But this CD combines their recently found love of synthpop with their trademark techno/EBM sound, all topped with a very strange sort of futuristic pop. One of the ones that really got me to scratching my head was "The Weatherman", which is a great song, but rather... ... ... ... ... .bizarre. It’s basically about a intergalactic figure who controls weather, crossing that element with that of a debonair character in love. "Dorian Grey" is another one that kinda confuses me on the storyline idea, but the music is as interesting and melodic as it is bizarre. The opening part starts with a (yet again) futuristic Transylvanian style organ line, and a steady bass line carrying it on the way through. "IntenCity" sounds like a sort of, well... ... ... Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the 30th Century floating around on a space station (well, minus the gay connotation), with some of the best digital keyboard work seen in some time. The crew behind all this makes fine art of out of one of the biggest musical taboos of our time: Digital keyboards and digital sequencing. I doubt this would sound nearly the same if it were done on analog equipment at all. "Voyager" is another high point on the CD (overall, it has no apparent weak spots), with it’s stomping bass-drum line and thick vocoder use, set on the choir boy voice of Jason Bainbridge (who I believe also does the vocals for Ravenous). If I were to make any comparison of this group to another, I’d have to say "Silvertears" era Evil’s Toy, a little bit of Ravenous, Cleen, and SPOCK. If you’re into the whole futuristic pop/electro-pop thing like me, this one should be right up your alley. But do expect a little something more than ballads and ditty little pop songs, as there is a strong story and theme to this whole CD, as well as some great musical oddities. Anyone who sings about causing literally a thunderstorm in someone’s brain and love at the same time has definitely got something strange and captivating going on. Rating: 10. Also recommended are Cleen’s "Second Path", Ravenous’ "Phoenix" and Evil’s Toy’s "Silvertears".
Artist: Little Tin Box (@)
Title: Object~Subject
Format: CD
Label: Self Release (@)
Distributor: Pay Pal
Out of St. Paul, Minneapolis, comes a innovative band that combines electro-pop with piano classical elements. Little Tin Box is the name that features Charles and Kelly Sadler, who was once just bandmates, now a husband and wife and both have that common vibe connection by being on the same musical page. Charles handles all the music while Kelly does all the vocals. This male and female duo have impressed me with their hard work on the debut release "Object~Subject." I am totally astonished because of ORIGINALITY. They sound like no other. My wife and nine year old daughter likes it. And have asked me who are they. LTB music has an unique melancholic formal sound that could go extremely well to a movie or television drama soundtrack. Every song on the disc is not disappointing. Consider the cd, hmmm, laidback electro-pop classical feel. Numerous of times I fell asleep while it was playing in my boombox in my bedroom at night, I certainly found peace and slept like a baby. Kelly's voice really had me hynotized to a trance stage. She was told she sound like Madonna. And that I do agree on. I'm not kidding you readers either. Songs she sings are about the past, love, being hurt by the one you love, suffering and pain, and to manage by coping with the lost feelings and move forward to find a man who will cherish and comfort her with real love. Definitely an album a woman needs who's in pain and have a broken heart. This can be played over and over and over again and again and again. There are three tracks on the disc that's appropriate for the dance clubs "Mend", "Sacred", and "DLN". There's an untitle hidden dance track after the last one song "Pinwheel." If you've been in a bad relationship or just getting out of one, "Object~Subject" will lift your spirit and MEND your broken bleeding heart.
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Artist: William Basinski (@)
Title: The Disintegration Loops II
Format: CD
Label: MMLXII(2062) (@)
One can't do without some historical data on THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS II. Two acts of destruction are merged in one creative idea. Two "minuses" have turned into "pluses" with mathematical precision: the falling of NY twins and the once and for all flaking magnetic tape that has been storing William's records for ages. There are no transformations in sight within the cyclical movement of loops. No contrasts, just one big, amorphous cloud, kaleidoscopically lighted from without. Its compositions, once smooth and flexible, have not been reborn, but rather taken another stance, thanks to a magnetic tape. The dynamic reincarnation has hidden the past beyond the silent memory, leaving to us only what's on show here. The curious thing in this album's idea is the intersection of attitudes - the parting with the past in order to create in the present and the saving of the present in order not to forget in the future.

The opportunity to see William's video-installation, which emphasizes the roots of this work, will bring immeasurable rewards. Let us just say that the video is nothing else than the fixing of day-long fading of American emblem - the skyscrapers of World Trade Center. Rolling clouds of smoke and dust, sucked in by the clear sky in an attempt to hide its inappropriate smoothness, the shifts of lighting and the dark silhouettes of city domes and roofs, watching the agonized convulsions of their gaudy neighbors from a distance.

A clarinetist with a classical background, expressive jazz saxophonist and stylish composer William Basinski doesn't live any space for boredom and indifference. His trademark technique - mixing and overdubbing several melodic loops - sounds quite simple, but from this simplicity his delicate and abrasive ambient aquarelles are born.

The first of a couple of long compositions is "D|P 2.2". The crunching and whooshing surround snatches of sound that stir the calm smoothness of light and blurry melodic line. The crackling and droning sounds seem like they're trapped in the cabin of a roller coaster. The slow ascending to the next peak and the shivers of impatience are running through the body as the heart ceases to beat and in the middle of a sigh we are thrown down again to the abyss which is instantaneous, strangely attractive and inescapable. The next round, deceptively similar to the previous one, will find us in completely another, excited state. On the next peak the throw down will not be so sharply felt, we will feel the desire to retain the regular breath in order to be able to see everything that's visible from the point of the beginning of falling. The irrepressible oblivion will turn into the heat of a hunter.

The music of William is not a landscape, it's the air filled with ozone, made sparser by the wind and colored by sun blisters. The stamp of beauty is found on every bit of it, the beauty as the only constant force which is visible even during the saddest moments. The gentle melancholy, which is especially felt in the second composition on the disc "D|P 3", does not break the inner harmony. It is changing the balance of moods, but doesn't bring any mess of feelings. The sound flows freely in our veins, it seems, instead of being limited by space enclosed within the walls. The crystal flow of sound penetrates each living cell, enveloping the insides, filling us with unexplainable freshness, relaxing, giving strength, unobtrusively healing and remaining after it's gone. Hypnotized, we leave the headphones lying on the table after completing this journey together with the music, taking this calm, ever-staying beauty with us. The pulsating atmosphere becomes part of us. It's out of reach for unconsciousness because it's not a phenomenon, but a natural, universal rhythm.
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