Music Reviews



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anymore
Funny coincidence, I am in Italy while reviewing this 74 minute long CD by an Italian sound sculptor/manipulator (whose name is Gianluigi Gasparetti), released on the Russian label Electroshock; not only that, but in a shameless display of my ignorance I will admit you that I had never before heard about this man and his project, even though I lived in Italy for over 15 years and I started Chain D.L.K. in Italy, in the mid nineties. Oophoi is the first non-Russian project to see the light (in this case maybe the blue light) on Electroshock records. Anyway, once I got over my shame, I dove into the deep surrounding drones of "Bardo", a concept album about the six states of Bardo, which, from what I understand from the liner notes of the inside cover, is related to the Tibetan meditation and the Buddhist beliefs about transitory states of body and mind. The four tracks illustrate the first four of these intermediate states (Meditation, Course of Death, After-Death and Rebirth within Samsara) and original language was used to name the tracks as well. "Bardo"'s long masterpieces of rapturing spirituality can easily get you really close to meditation with its deep roaring sounds and the sombre yet peaceful soundscapes made of low-end choruses sounding like Tibetan choirs one or two octave down, eternal electronics, infinite synth pads, treated percussions, sporadic calm gongs and more. Tibetan singing bowls and flutes are to be heard, but everything, like Bardo itself, is in a state of passage, like not delineated, airy, far, slightly but never fully perceivable. The essence of the beauty of the things that are by you, around you, in you, but you can never see or touch until you reach that point in time and space where everything receives new meaning under a different light. Oophoi's "Bardo" is a first-rate soundtrack for this, a fully deserving and remarkable plate of truly inspiring and immersive experiences, where the incantation of a sacred temple in the middle of the mountains is right in front of your closed eyes, and where the senses receive new food for the soul. Beautiful and charming may not be the most appropriate terms when describing a record of intimate relaxation, but this distant trance-ambient ritualistic outer-body experience really is. «Bardo ends where illumination begins».
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anymore
Artist: Anatanas Jasenka
Title: Deusexmachina
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Gamma-Shop, Groove.nl (NL), Cue (D), Eurock.com (US), DWMmusic.com (US), Marquee (JP)
«Deusexmachina - a denouement which occurs as a consequence of unexpected situation. Sometimes in a scope of antique tragedy the denouement happens after interferation of a god, which appears on stage as mechanical figure (with help of machine)»: this is the definition of the famous latin words that Lithuanian Anatanas Jasenka provides on his first CD on ElectroShock records: 55 minutes that for some weird unexplainable reason are divided into 10 tracks on the cover but only into 3 tracks on the actual CD - 55 minutes of noise ranging from ambient noise to industrial noise. As a matter of fact, if you think about what Electroshock roster of artist is like, it's not easy to file Jasenka in their catalogue. A record like this would probably look better on the shelves of Ant Zen, Staalplaat, Multimood, Drone or other similar labels. But regardless of that, if you are vaccinated for harsh noise but that's not all your are looking for, don't miss out, listen to this as you may find a number of new dimensions usually left unexplored by those who perform the most extreme arts of sound. In fact, even though occasional bursts of violence are part of the wide range of moods to be found, this CD represents much more than just another Masonna album. It's a complete composition of compositions, composed by blasting decomposed sounds and very quite composite noise. For example, beautiful ambience with manipulated and reversed vocals on soft ethereal string-like grounds are to be found at the other end of the spectrum as well. My only discontent is about the length of the tracks, even though the evolution takes place slowly, it is a little too slow at times, in my humble opinion. In other words, dynamism is key here, so be patient and let yourself in on some multifaceted noise art.
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anymore
Artist: Anatoly Pereslegin
Title: Fastgood: E-Psalms_
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Gamma-Shop, Groove.nl (NL), Cue (D), Eurock.com (US), DWMmusic.com (US), Marquee (JP)
As if we didn't have enough pseudo-priests trying to evangelize us in this world oppressed by Christianity (and other religions), Anatoly Pereslegin's second release (composed, arranged and performed in Jerusalem, Israel; while edited, recorded and mixed in Moscow, Russia) brings you some more words from the Book, precisely from David's psalms (Anatoly even thanks David, for the inspiration I guess). If I try real hard to put aside my bias against Christianity and the lies of the beautiful tales that the bible tells, I will tell you that we are dealing with an interesting electronic neo-classical album with somewhat medieval influences and an experimental approach to the blend of the ingredients. Looped sequences, churchy synthesized sounds, soft string pads holding long chords, organs playing lines, harpsi-chord-like sounds playing fast sequences repeating forever, heavenly bells punctuating high chords or creating intertwined textures in the background and ghostly synth voices are the main sounds you will hear, but this record is made unique by the addition of a cello (Alexander Zagorinskiy) playing sad but lovely melodies and by the tenor and baritone vocal performances by Ivan Jmaev and Yuriy Valenkov, respectively... The nine tracks (with awfully long titles, taken from the bible itself) will take you into a decadent vortex of claustrophobic and dark atmospheres that, if anything, will make you think about hell rather than paradise, which gives it a weird twist, considering the used lyrics's origin. Very discomforting, sombre and nightmarish, tonal dark paranoia, rather than solar, this is not church music or anything like that, to me it's more like the soundtrack for a trip through eastern Europe's regions forgotten by god or, alternatively, a Roman Polanski or a William Friedkin movie.
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Artist: Rotting Christ
Title: Genesis
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
Gothic metal is kind of a vague term once you see into the metal underground,as alot of bands like to use it in the same way bands like Slipknot use it: to market themselves and nothing more. This band,Rotting Christ, I heard quite a while ago when I had their first CD "Triarchy of The Lost Lovers" and I can safely say this band fits the goth-metal mold. Nice dark imagery devoid of the Dio-esque cliches,and most of all mixing mood with melody and heaviness, not allowing the powerchords and riffing to choke the emotion. Not too far from Paradise Lost, whom I still have a thing for.The opening track "Daemons" starts off with a nice little opera atmospherics before jumping into the sludgy speed section. Track 2,"Lex Talionis" which is sung in Greek I believe,does stumble a little bit on the drumming but clears up easily by the chorus. The speed these guys play at it amazing as well,but again not forsaking the emotion involved. Track 4,"Nightmare" is a good slow one that catches me,and probably strikes me as my favorite for it's slow drawling vocals laced in with the snarling vocal lines. Overall,good slow gothic (black) metal with an intellegence and good use of sampling with the Delerium-like opera vocals. Some good atmoshperics here overall, and should please both black metal fans and goth fans alike. Beats Cradle of Filth,that god awful excuse for music. Rating: 10Also recommended are Septic Flesh,also from the great land of Greece,though at times they are more death metal.
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Artist: Nachzehrer
Title: Teen Taken From Tent By Aliens
Format: CD
Label: Nanopop
Distributor: Nova
Dunno,this is a little too 80's to me,like they are trying to live up this whole 80's revival thing. Not too much my style actually,but if you're into that give this a try. It has a little bit of goth element to set it apart too. Not really my thing but not bad at the same time,just a matter of taste. RAting:6. Recommended for Apop fans (except these guys are better. Apop now sucks so fucking bad you wouldn't believe it!)
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