Music Reviews



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Artist: Banabila (@)
Title: Spherics
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: FAB
You would expect a Dutch like Michael Banabila to release an album such as this one on the national label Staalplaat, instead he chose Tone Casualities, one of California's most interesting labels for experimental and avant ambient music. This CD, which follows the two Tone Casualities releases VoizNoiz I and II, contains seven tracks of pure textural work, soundscapes that reinvent turntablism through the use of pops and clicks. You feel like you are listening to an old and worn-out vinyl and you are possibly touched by the warmth that those little noises transmit, but instead you are being hypnotized by seven smooth and beautiful compositions whose title, "Spherics", fits right on (maybe 'cause it recalls the very shape of those old records you used to dislike when CDs overtook). Created with editing, splicing and sampling and enriched by Jorien Muste's violin and Piet Lichtveld's guitars (I really like what the guitar does!) "Spherics" achieves some amazing and soft ambience (with occasional cute percussion samples) and goes well beyond the concept of a plain ambient album when it reaches into minimal rhythmical structures and makes it huge with cool deep droning sounds (by some mysterious guy/band/machine called Bobby - there was a Japanese noise band once called Billy, maybe it's a relative) that actually give it a quite a push sometimes. The evolution of a song is real slow, the peace is layed back and small bits of sounds make it cooler every 16 bars or so, but as you all know good things come to those who wait ;-) In conclusion it's a great piece of sounds, I really enjoyed listening to it and I think you will too, especially cause you know you are listening to a CD and so you won't be cursing and getting crazy cleaning the needle, which you would do if this was an LP, trust me! ;-)
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Artist: Rain Fell Within (@)
Title: Refuge
Format: CD
Label: Dark Symphonies (@)
Distributor: FAB
Following up to their critically acclaimed 2000 debut "Believe", which sold over 7000 copies worldwide, Rain Feel Within released their second Dark Symphonies album, entitled "Refuge" during February March 2002. "Refuge" features ten dark-wave-metal-new age songs with female vocals and lots of guitars. Atmospheres range from heavy and powerful to soft and ethereal. As you know this is not exactly Chain D.L.K.'s cup of tea, but we enjoy every now and then giving exposure to bands like these, who certainly deserve credit for what they do and how they do it. The music is well-played, well-recorded and well written. Even though I haven't listened to dark-wave-metal x-overs in a while, they kind of reminded me of bands such as Opeth and maybe 3rd and the Mortal. Engineered and co-produced by Ron Vento. The cover design is by Mike Riddick frem the band The Soil Bleeds Black).
Apr 09 2002
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Artist: GANYMEDE (@)
Title: Euromantique
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave (@)
At last, thanks to the two Daves (one from Ganymede and the other one from Ninthwave), I finally get my hands on the second Ganymede's album: EUROMANTIQUE.
I've got to thank them both because this is a great one for every Telex and 80's lover as I am. Starting from the main song which recalled me the Telex (which are remembered unfortunately only for their hit "Moskow Diskow") you can listen to a good sequence of potential hits like "It Not Enough", "Are You Falling In Love Again?" or "This Wasn't The First Time". Songs that will light your day with their melodies and analogue sounds. The band improved their songwriting since their first album and EUROMANTIQUE is here to prove that they are a great band. Along with the ten tracks you can also find two remixed versions of "Neon Rain" and "Only Pictures Cry" did by Electroquad and Cruxshadows. They did a rhythmic and kinda dreamy version of the first song and a more electro one of the second, but they respected the songs' structure. Anyway...do I need to suggest you to get this one???
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Artist: Monolith
Title: Labyrinth
Format: CD
Label: Daft (@)
Absolute Body Control, The Klinik, Insekt, Sonar and Monolith are all projects either formed by or joined by Eric van Wonterghem, long time partner of Dirk "Dive" Ivens and mastering engineer of many Ant-Zen, Daft, Discordia and KK records. Four releases between 1997 and this one (released October 2001). Eric's impressive resume is as impressive and busy as his music, a machine-based, hard-beat-driven, trance-sucking, industrial techno experience that concert goers won't forget, especially when coupled with his self-made images flashing the crowd from the videoscreen. As an example of what this could sound like, think about it as a possibly less furious Dive playing in Detroit while thinking about the most acid Richard James tunes and humming a Jeff Mills. The harsh beatz and the throbbing pulse and the acid rave mood are the keys here.
Artist: GOR (@)
Title: Ialdabaoth
Format: CD
Label: Iris (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
The new album by italian Ataraxia percussionist Francesco Banchini, aka Gor, comes out on Iris recordings (which is french Prikosnovenie's subdivision for medieval music) as the second part of two years ago's "Bellum Gnosticorum". Other magazine are raving about this as a mixture of Rosa Crux, Virgin Prunes and Dead Can Dance, and I think I would like to add that his mono-tone linear and deep singing reminds of Italy-based C.S.I.'s singer Ferretti or italian underground folk singer-songwriter Leonardo Palmisano, aka Vania. Lyrics are mainly italian or latin. Musically dark and sombre, dominated by martial drumming, huge percussions (obviously!), ethnic influences, tribal vibes, gregorian chants and grand medieval music, this devil-goth CD will appeal to the darkest of you out there, those who like the most evil and deep material, those who like medieval music and maybe even those whose cup of tea is Cold Meat Industries' stuff.
Also distributed by Lowlands (Belgium), Target (Germany), YTT and Monitor (Japan).
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