Music Reviews



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Artist: Ernesto Diaz-Infante (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Pax recordings (@)
Distributor: Verge Music
I usually don't like to copy the description given by the artist/label/promoter, but in this case it's almost a must, not only because it is a correct and fair as opposed to an artsy-fartsy, exaggerated and hyped description, but also because the description is at least as creative as the music itself: «experimental, lowercase improv, noise, electronic, out-rock, 21st century compositions, sonic art, found sounds, gritty-clicky scratches, tense filmic passages, unnerving silence, avant folk-like outsider songs, audio errata»! ;-) Ernesto Diaz-Infante, California-born San Fran resident and very active in the local as well as the international experimental music scene (awarded residencies at Nice's, France, Centre International de Recherche Musicale and Villa Arson and at the Millay Colony for Arts, Centrum, Villa Montalvo, the New York Mills Arts Retreat, the Ucross Foundation and the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony) is one of those trained experimenting and challenging music freaks/scientists with cultural and academic background including degrees at the Santa Barbara University College of Creative Studies and the Institute of the Arts. Reading all of this on his bio, came as no surprise to me after listening to his record for a couple of times. The music he proposes is fragmented and radical but is wrapped by a certain intellectual veil. Over 15 CDs populate his discography, sporting various collaborations and contributions, but this self-titled CD is his 5th solo work and I read that it is his most diverse yet. Inspired by, presumingly, the musique concrete school as well as by the uncompromising Mittle-European experimental scene of labels such as Staalplaat and by the noise-collage movement that has been steadily growing in North-America and Canada, Ernesto Diaz-Infante picks his brains to shape the record in a uniquely eclectic way. His instrumentation includes an array of found sounds, field recordings, string instruments, percussive instruments, electronic and electric instruments and, as outcast as it may seem, a quite heavy use of vocals. If experimental music isn't your cup of tea stay away from this 'cause you might get bored or nervous easily but if you don't mind to be challenged and if you can take the heat dive into a world of new sonic concepts and gentle cross-breeding audio mutations. Just be open-minded when you do.
Mar 20 2003
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Artist: Dither
Title: Summit
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Lately the french have all my support and love either way, so I can only warmly welcome an all French product! Paris-based label M-Tronic confirms their firm grip on new and more melodic ambient electro-experimental music with French one man band Dither's (aka Mart Titolo) fifth album "Summit". A departure from his last year's critically acclaimed "Urei" and a revelation of new uncharted musical territories that embrace a certain type of IDM attitude and welcome contamination of more dance-friendly and accessible structures. It all is spiced up with a touch of thoughtful experimental sonics and loungey substance. The album is thick and cold and preserves its ties with the true origins by dynamically and occasionally breaking them with overall restyling and changeful antithesis. His (and your) idiosyncratic re-action to the music making process and the strong imagery provoking synaesthesia have a dreadful impact on the unprepared individual and an utterly enveloping one on the challenging and challengeable soul. I recommend you give it a try whether you previously knew, appreciated or disliked Dither's production.All songs are named after their length in minutes and seconds and the CD comes in a Staalplaat-Brombron-series-look-alike wine red colored cardboard folding package. Nice.
Mar 20 2003
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Artist: Displacer (@)
Title: Moon_Phase
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
M-Tronic is know for the quality of their releases and with Mlada Fronta and Mimetic it accustomed us to a certain signature sound made of great electro-industrial music. That signature can be found in this record as well but along with a new element and powerful that I had never before heard in a M-Tronic release and that I warmly welcome as a great addition to the roster of sonorities the label deals with. Basically there is a whole lotta more ambient to it, pumping with a definite UK heartbeat. If you like Warp stuff in the vein of great artists such as Autechre or Aphex Twin you'll be very pleased with this, I know I am, and it won't come as no surprise to know that Mute actually licensed one of their titles. Therefore expect dense atmospheres made of harsh ambient-electro rhythmical patterns, layers of dark-industrial soundscapes, fast pace sequences of hi tech sounds, fast and slow beats. It's a real shame that my CD was fucked half way through and I couldn't really enjoy it all because it is a stunning work."Moon_Phase" was mastered (and in part even re-mixed) by Mike Wells (Gridlock) in San Fran and also contains remixes of Beefcake and Polish Ch District.Displacer is yet another Canadian project (these Canadians!!! ...not only do they have politicians who are not afraid to speak up, which is great, but they also have plenty of electronic musicians, mostly in the cities of Montreal and Toronto, where this guy's from), by young web-designer, visual artist and musician Mike Morton. Definitely keep an eye on him because his first steps in the musical world sure are very promising.
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Artist: VEHEMENCE 6.2 (@)
Title: Skleros (fourth edition)
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Vehemence 6.2 is a particular project. If you visit their website you won't find news about the guy behind that name, maybe the music is the most important thing. Words are useless and listening to SKLEROS 4th edition you can feel different sensations. Most of the tracks are short and by the way they are composed you don't have time to understand them and at the same time you're fashinated by them all. It's like is a living sequence that grows constantly and changes every minute. Here industrial music meets experimentation alternating noises, hisses, piano, slowed samples and various rhythms. All the tracks play with rough sounds being capable of finding their warmth. Another peculiar thing is that tracks from eighteen to sixty six are composed by ten seconds of silence, tracks sixty six is a minute and half obscure track and angain, silence, until the last track numbered eighty three. While listening to this "empty" tracks, you'll release that silence ins't meaningless. Vehemence 6.2 is the personal project of Kevin Schlueter a guy coming from O' Fallon, Mo, USA I haven't got any other news about him, I only know that he formed his own label called Leukos Industries and if you are curious enough to listen his music, he's sending out his CD for free. Write him to know how. P.s. Kevin also sent me a demo with five new tracks and I assure you that if you love any type of dark sound, he's the man for you. The tracks are different from his previous ones, there's a different approach to sound or maybe he used only different sounds and rhythms but the result is always good... :)
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anymore
Artist: Sing Sing
Title: Joy Of Sing Sing
Format: CD
Label: Manifesto Records
Distributor: Manifesto Records
Ok forget about Lush... .ummmmmm ok don’t forget about Lush, as they were the first ethereal band for me, and their music still wraps spells on me. But just keep it out of mind when listening to this. Never mind the ads and big neon signs in the store pointing at the CD "This has Emma Anderson From Lush!!", as this is something a good deal different, carrying Emma’s vision to somewhere completely different and divine. For one, Emma is on the sidelines on this one, orchestrating the music more instead of singing, leaving that to the sweet vocals of Lisa O’Niel, whose vocals remind me a bit of a better produced and versed Cranes or even the long missed and underrated Shallow. Even hardened non-pop fans will find her vocals as guiltily pleasurable as fat free feta cheese! And both work together divinely. Rather than the often driven music of Lush, this one is far more structured, offering Moog lines and even trumpets on the track "Far Away From Love". This CD also dabbles in hip hop beats on "I’ll Be" and back to pure ethereal pop goodness of yore with "Feels Like Summer". The video for it included with the domestic CD is quite nice, showing a myriad of scenes from what would seem like Cadeques, Spain or something like that. Also, on a side note, from the video Emma has gotten both more talented and beautiful with age, showing a torch in the world of often fading ethereal pop artists who come and go. And Lisa is quite beautiful herself, as well as very, very talented at the same time. Definitely recommended for fans of The Cranes, Chandeen and ethereal pop altogether, and for just sheerly gorgeous music in general. If you buy it expecting another Lush, you may just find that you’ve bumped into something different and in ways better. Away from Emma’s more bouncy energy with Lush comes a project that shows the even more mature side from one of music’s finest talents, as well as a welcome newcomer who is sure to grow and glow as time goes on. Rating: 10
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