Music Reviews



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Artist: Aidan Baker
Title: Pretending to Be Fearless
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
Completely ambient journey of sound from yet another Flesh Made Word artist, this time focusing on atmosphere. The atmosphere through this whole CD is very laid back, focusing on just reverbs and a rather melancholy atmosphere, all washing over you after the first few listens through a comfortable set of repetition and drones. I’d advise waiting until sundown before you put this in and relax a bit. Track 3 would have to be my favorite, with it’s game of watch the little blip run through these different atmospheres". It reminds me of the cloud sequence in the anime Robot Carnival. Rating: 8.
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Artist: Starving Cell
Title: Starving Cell
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
Yet another (I got 5 CD’s at once to review from these guys) strange excursion into ambent and industrial territory from Flesh Made Word, this time by Starving Cell. After the onslaught by the Antigen Shift/Detrirus CD, the opening calm is a weird shift of mood, but it switches over to an odd paced breakbeat rhythm ala Hexer (Haujobb side project), with a strange echoed reverb through the back mixing in with it. The sound kinda reminds me of a heavier version of Autechre’s "Confield" both having an odd time signature and rhythm pattern. The whole CD has a weird cross between from drum n bass striahgt and true to rhythmic noise, sometimes crossing and crashing into one another within seconds. That is one thing I learned to love about Haujobb, and now in the Flesh Made Word sound: that these artists have the same rhythm and drum lines for no ore than 20 seconds. Rating: 9.
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Artist: Antigen Shift/Detritus
Title: Conjugate
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
DETRITUS/ANTIGEN SHIFT-"Conjugate" Split CDFrom the ever creative ambient minds of Flesh Made World comes this pairing of two unique artists, which makes for a great sampler of the two bands.Detritus’ side opens up with a stream of heavy bass beats and snares, over a nearly muted wall of sound effects in the back and a even more quiet keyboard line in the back. Track 2 is another beat driven work with the sound effects and samples being brought more to the front, and the keyboard lines being brought more to the front. The keyboard line is very skillfully layered over the beats as to give an emotional and ambient mood, bringing to mind Delerium’s "Spheres" CD, but more driven by beat and dance ability. Track 3 is where the neo classical pieces mentioned on the FMW site are talking about (I was scratching my head on that one thus far), mostly driven by a violin line (I have no idea whether it’s sampled or not) and a very quiet beat for the first couple pf minutes, and again the beats take control, but not enough to overpower the violins and synths in the back, plus the gentle plinking of the synths, sounding much like chimes. Track 4,"Penitence" I like the best thus far, because of it’s lack of beats. It shows that Detritus’ strength lies in composing more so than making drum-oriented tracks. It has a very Cold Meat Industries type feel to it, very dark and again reminding me of an empty monastery at night, or something from a horror film (i.e., Suspiria or City Of The Lost Children). Track 5 is the nightmarish remix by Antigen Shift, which turns the first track "Equilibrium" into a DJ’s nightmare mix of distorted beats and such.Antigen Shift is a much more dense story, one more fixed on dark sounds as opposed to Detritus’ more ying/yang sound. The first track "Bio-Imperative" is a sharp cacophony of sounds blistering and chaotic, with a drum pattern that must have came out of the head of a tweaker at a rave stomping it all out. The sound reminds me of latter day Whitehouse at times, but even more disturbing at times. "Esbat" sounds like another soundtrack to a Lovecraftian dream, with it’s slithering, distorted beats snaking about the dense mix of multiple drum patterns and haunting ambience. The heading drum lines on here sounds like fucking gunshots on the second verse, then just get louder from there and even more distorted! I love the quality in this one that it never stays the same for more than 30 seconds and is always sifting around. Weirdly enough I could picture this being played at an industrial club, as it does have danciness to it, but it’s the chaotic rhythms and haunting sounds that may make that difficult. The same chaotic shift continues throughout the CD, even with the remix by their lighter counterpart, Detritus. I like both, but it’s Antigen Shift’s strange charms that won me over on this one. It’s like the bastard child of Gridlock’s "Further". Rating:10. Very good CD from two bands and a label that specialize in the avante garde in both ambient and industrial. Also recommended is Gridlock’s "Further" and "Trace".
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Words Becoming Vol. 1/2
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
With song titles like "What is this Dimension Where I am Encased Within A Mile Deep Pit of Feces?" this can only be interesting, even if on the titles alone. That one brought up some images I could have easily done without though! The sound runs the gamut of Flesh Becomes Word as well as some artists from labels like Frozen Empire Media (new home of Gridlock), spanning a large roster of industrial and ambient artists, some combining the two. My favorite is by Cdatakill on Volume one, with it’s classicly analogue keyboard lines plinking over tricky time signatures and sound effects sounding like they came from the game Guardian Legend (my fave game, and my first intro to electronic music ever back when I was 7. It’s still an analogue MIDI masterpiece), definitely something to get tranced out to. Overall both discs back to back have a pretty flowing mood about them, though I prefer Volume 1 and it’s more analogue, ambient sounds to the more quiet sounds of Volume 2.Rating 1: 9Rating 2: 7
Artist: Contra
Title: social darwinism
Format: CD
Label: d trash records
Distributor: d trash records
Psychotic style drum n bass along the lines of a distorted Photek or Squarepusher, very harsh, very industrialized and aggressive. Also planted underneath are very skillfully executed and trickily timed synth patterns laying under the noise, whereas that is lacking in the world of noise-techno. At times this reminds me of a cross between prior day Evil’s Toy minus the vocals and a more upbeat version of Gridlock’s dark drum n bass masterpiece "Further". Rating: 9.
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