Music Reviews



image not
available
anymore
Artist: Jos Smolders (@)
Title: Music for Kalx.com
Format: CD
Label: ERS
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
When you are listening at one third of the full volume of your system and your subwoofer starts violently and drastically vibrating one inch in and out of its normal position with a never before seen intensity so that you can actually hear the physical sound of the vibration much more than anything else in the room and the music itself, it's pretty scary! It happen to me with this record and I must say it never happened before... I don't know if he finds pleasure in experiment with inaudible sub sub sub frequencies that nobody will hear or if it was just something was missed when mixing or mastering the record, but it sure got me worried for a second (especially because at the beginning I wasn't sure why I was hearing sound form under my desk rather than from my speakers). But considering that Jos Smolders is an internationally acclaimed artist with a huge experience in sound manipulation and experimentation, I'd assume he knew what he was doing and is probably amusing himself knowing that he got me worried about my brand new sound system ;-)Presented in a ingenious, beautiful and classy hand-shaped cardboard wallet sleeve, Jos Smolders's new record "Music for Kalx.com" is entirely based on sine waves and therefore inevitably sounds like a collection of minimal drone electronics. So expect long experimental pieces with deep rumbling sounds, layers of harmonics fading in and out and subtle changes... Even though there is no sound in space this is a perfect soundtrack for one of those almost silent classic space movies from the seventies and eighties (I am thinking "2001: Odyssey in Space" now...). Jos Smolders has been doing his thing since the early eighties alone (as IOSS) and with Kapotte Muziex and Goem members Roel Meelkop and Peter Duimelinks (as THU20). I am not sure what exactly Kalx.com is and if it is related to Smolders. The website has lots of modern art and computer graphics with a political soul that sometimes is more explicit than other times.
image not
available
anymore
After a few experiments in the seventies not many artists have carried on the interesting practice of uniquely using their body or mouth to create music. Dutch vocal artist Jaap Blonk is one of these and his releases always appealed to me as having that particular edge of real, true and pure experimentation. In this release Jaap Blonk teams up with Dutch techno musician/engineer/visual artist Radbound Mens and the results are even better than usually. The synergy between the two is so great that you almost can't say that all the used audio sources are actually Blonk's voice. After extensive sampling, chopping, arranging, programming, assembling, treating and processing of these audio snippets you have five fluent tracks of techno music in flavors ranging from straight and minimal techno to drum'n'bass and gabber techno... if we only could get some goa too! ;-)"Bek" (dutch for 'mouth') is the fifth chapter in the Brombron series (read more about it in the Heimir Bjorgulfsson & Jonas Ohlsson review on these pages) and is probably also my favourite so far.Be on the lookout for Blonk's and Mens' old and new releases on Staalplaat (the latter also has a 12" coming out on Audio.NL records).
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Lisa Walker (@)
Title: Grooved Whale
Format: CD
Label: Earth Ear (@)
Filled with piercing whale screams, their invisible proximity, the album «Grooved Whales» by Canadian violinist and composer Lisa Walker is an esthetically complete picture of primordial being, realized via animal world. There are no misty images or thickened colours in Lisa’s creative work. Instead it’s filled with universal and expressive perception of the world. The key to understanding Lisa’s philosophy lies in the correlation of herself with the natural world, because she’s not placing herself above nature. In the album «Grooved Whales» nature doesn’t appear as something individual and subjectively perceivable, it’s the element inspiring pieces of art created by the violinist’s talent. Lisa Walker is a sympathetic observer and an active participant in the ecological processes, hence the true love and respect towards the environment and it’s inhabitants. Lisa doesn’t exploit natural sonic environment during composing to give her music an exotic flair and freshness. After working for many years in the research centre in Alaska she is very drawn to the objects of her love - the Humpback Whales, the theme of this relationship is running through all compositions of the album. Nobleness and natural sensitiveness are the main qualities of «Grooved Whales». The violin parts by Lisa performed underwater combine the refinement and aristocracy of the classical instrument with the softness and virginity of oceanic environment. The relationship «nature - civilization» is viewed from a different angle in the music of Lisa, where man is not the king of nature, but one of its numerable atoms. «Grooved Whales» provides you with valuable psychological experience, akin to the experience of Gulliver’s transformation of conscience after he left the land of Lilliputians and found himself on the Island of Giants.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Studio Pagol (@)
Title: Serendipity
Format: CD
Label: Igloo/Sowarex (@)
This is not the soundtrack to John Cusack's movie, like the title might trick you into thinking, but rather a great record by a collective of Brussels-based musicians who really understood the potential of crossover and adopted it to make it their very own language. Finally a band whose influences are so disparate that you can't really not like the entire album. As for me, I like it all! I first saw Studio Pagol (Pagol is Bengali for "insane") performing live in Southern Italy and immediately enjoyed their mixture of sounds and cultures: established in 1994 by eclectic multi-instrumentalists Marc Van Eyck and Philippe Boulon (also founding members of acclaimed Beglian marocca'n'roll group Largo) and later joined by guitarrist Pierre Vervloesem (producer of Deus, member of X-Legged Sally and A Group among others), engineer & machine man Renaud Houben, a Bengali singer, an Arab singer, a Maroccan singer/dancer, an African percussionist and a number of other musicians and special guests performing a great visionary blend of electronica, world music and rock on instrumentation that ranges from the classic electronic/electric/rock set-up to unusual and even unheard things such as medival computer, waliha, short scaled bass guitar, five strings guitar, Hamelrijk accordion, pillar, bombarde, bendir, spanish claps and many others.And if so far it sounds more like a world music record I should probably mention that it is heavily backed by electronic textures, programmed beats and sequences, keyboard floors, samples and a digital recording/editing/mixing job that is very well done (I belive it was entirely done on Steinberg's Cubasis or Nuendo). Speaking of which, praise also goes to Studio Pagol for what is an entirely do-it-yourself release. They did everything, from performing, to recording, from editing to mixing (great snare drum sounds among other things!), from mastering to funding (with some help from the local city hall's department of culture and arts), from releasing to promoting the record. My hat always goes off to bands who take the necessary steps to total independence, and Studio Pagol deserves all the support you can give them. I also like the fact that they are taking somewhat of a political stand with the final sentence printed on the inside of the nice folding digipack: fuck cannon merchants! That's the way to go, let the world know you disagree!"Serendipity" could be the new sound of a globalized world where different cultures live together in peace, as opposed to the globalization they wanna sell us, where rich people get richer and poor people get poorer and where racism and war is an every day constant. Chants of distant places hovering over intricate textures of rhythm and electronica, rock drums alternating with pounding simil techno beats and programmed drum patterns, the accordion that gives it that romantic quasi-French touch, the rhythmic guitar that enriches the fabric of the sound, the keyboards and the bass lines that introduce new sonics into the mix, the many layers of percussions that take the grooves to a whole new level and so much more... The 70 minute-long album also has an unlisted percussions-only bonus track, a Beatles remake of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and a couple of other songs that aren't remakes but really remind of famous tunes ("Tane Tane" sounds like 007's new theme song and "Kali" starts out just like a famous Bach piece).So while you count the money in your pocket to make sure you have enough to order this record, let me go over what we have here, one more time: great musicianship, great performance, great music, great cultural blend, great melting pot, great sound, great fucking CD! Don't miss out, do the right thing! Given all these variables the final equation's result is absolutely amazing, genre-bending, challenging, innovating and fresh! "Serendipity" (Happy Meeting) is an ideal title to represent the successful outcome of the encounter of all these musicians and their instruments and if you have an open mind and you like open-minded music, it should definitely be the next CD to go in your record collection.
cover
Artist: THE MOURNING AFTER (@)
Title: Never The Same
Format: 7"
Label: Pulsewave Records (@)
Maybe you remember the review I did of Mourning After's MCD (they were a cool synthpop bands coming from Sweden). This release is a posthumous limited to four hundred 7" which contains two remixes of "Never The Same", a track coming from that MCD. The first one "Club Mix By Thomas Skyldeberg" is a melodic techno remix which contains all the elements of that genre (you know, the changing LFOs, the speeding up snare drum, and the 4/4 bass drum) and for this reason is nice but it isn't my cup of tea. The second version, "Never Remixed by Notch", is always club friendly but it's more intriguing with its distorted pauses which break the rhythm, creating in this way a crawling tension. This single seems to be the first one of a serie of The Mourning After's remixes. Strange operation for a band that did a good job but only a four tracks single...
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011] [2012] [2013] [2014] [2015] [2016] [2017] [2018] [2019] [2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha