Music Reviews



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Artist: LYS
Title: Roi-lune
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie/Lytch (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Lys is Prikosnovenie's producer Frédéric's creature, here issuing its first full-length work (after the Nang-Faa project) on the subdivision Lytch, devoted to electronic, trip-hop, ambient and ethnica. Fred takes care of voice, samples, percussions, composition and engineering, with a tribe of guest musicians including Von Magnet's Phil Von, GOR's Francesco Bianchini and Christian Wolz. I must say I was a bit skeptical when I read the "ethnic-trip-hop" definition on the press-sheet, but the cd is definitely a nice surprise. While it actually has an electronic component, the ethnic characteristic (Northern African and Arabian music mainly, I'd say) is prevalent, and it's played with evident passion and good taste. Think of the non-medieval Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, or Von Magnet – it's remarkable how the acoustic played parts perfectly merge with the programmed ones, and the latter don't sound like an alien element. A good record.
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Artist: RASAL.A'SAD
Title: Space.Scape
Format: CD
Label: This.Co (@)
I'm really not sure if Rasal.a'sad are a Ras.Al.Ghul side-project, or if someone else is involved, but besides being issued by their label This.Co, I think this cd does have some link with the typical Ras.Al.Ghul sound. Strangely enough, because along the years RAG have mainly worked with rhythms, skillfully blending kraut-electronica, dub, d'n'b and IDM, while this pleasant cd has no beats at all. What it does have is a true feeling of "cosmic music", in this case stripped of any rhythm and expanded in 4 long tracks reaching 50' of length. "Space.Scape" is a beautiful voyage through gulfs of time-erasing sound movements. Only synthetic layers are used, with slow changes and progressions; no external melody or element comes to break the surface. A really accomplished cd of abstract ambient, in the vein of some '70's cosmic courier or even late Coil.
Artist: CYBORG ATTACK
Title: Blutgeld
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
First full-length cd by this German trio, after a self-released mcd and a few compilation appearances on Black Rain and Nightingale samplers. Cyborg Attack cross electro with low-pitched, quasi black/death metal vocals. My main problem with this kind of crossover is that, besides being not that attractive per se, it seems very, very hard to do it well without being kitsch (while there are examples of good taste and sobriety both in electro and metal, of course). And, moreover, I think this cd gets really repetitive after a couple of tracks, which is not a good sign. Ok, electro is almost always like that, tun-tun-tun etc., but maybe coupling monotonous gruffy vocals is not the best way to make it more varied. Sorry, this was really not my thing.
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Artist: DAEDELUS
Title: Invention
Format: CD
Label: Plug Research
Distributor: Audioglobe
It could be that I'm wrong but I haven't appreciated this record that much. I'll try to explain. All the compositions are made assembling samples of old jazz or lounge pre 70's records (or presumably this has been the main way) and sometimes there's also some trip hop rhythm. The idea is original but there's a general lack of energy during the fortyfive minutes of the CD and this makes of INVENTION a potential good record. For sure there are tracks that are catchy and all (like "Loded" and "Perchance A Bit"), but at the end of the listening I don't know if I enjoyed it or not and this isn't that good. It could be that you'll instantly fall in love with this record or it could be that I'd need to listen to it more than twice but what the heck, a record should have something to catch my attention instantly. This isn't a bad review because I enjoy the rhythmic tracks and the idea but there's something missing and this is disturbing for me...
p.s. Nice the sung versions of "Quiet Now" and "Pursed Lips Reply" thanks to the collaboration with Busdriver and Sach.
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Artist: The Flying Dutchman (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
First time I've heard The Flying Dutchman it was through Staalplaat I think, in fact, as the name might imply, The Flying Dutchman is a project by a Dutch producer, Mr Hanyo Van Oosterom. When a producer makes an album on his own, you know it outta be good (or at least it should sound good), and I wasn't disappointed throughout the twelve trip-hop and ambient songs. In association indie rock group Spot members Ciska Ruitenber (whose voice reminded me of Jane Siberry, maybe with more vibrato) and Edwin de Herder (guitar), the collective co-wrote many of the songs on this record and performed a well worth blend of ambient and trip-hop. They've been compared to mastermind Bill Laswell as well as to Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack and Lamb. This record sounds great, I really enjoyed listening to it and you should definitely check it out as soon as you get a chance.
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