Music Reviews



Artist: davaNtage
Title: No Candle Light
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain (@)
A cd-ep (5 tracks, 22') featuring exclusive songs and remixes as an advance of the forthcoming new album "Global badlands". I recall listening to davaNtage's previous work, but I can't trace the review right now, so I hope my memory doesn't betray me... I think davaNtage's electro/EBM has become a bit lighter – while "The Warming" has that slow, darker groove, "No candle light" (remixed by Future Trail) and "Defense" (normal version and remix by Future Trail) opt for a relatively fast-paced rhythm and ear-catching refrains, while maintaining a kind of sullen mood. Ok, then there's "Switch Off", a track featuring Cyborg Attack's Sandro F. on vocals – I haven't liked C.A.'s cd and I don't like this one, I think the gruffy death-metal vocals are really dull and over-the-top.
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Artist: AZOIKUM (@)
Title: Gossenfotze
Format: CD
Label: Spatter (@)
Some brutal and sick stuff goin' on here. Azoikum is the other project of the German unit Narbenerde, who has just released a full-length cd on Art Konkret and a limited cdr on Spatter as well. While Narbenerde should be more into harsh noise, Azoikum is a letal mix of power electronics, harsh noise (see track 4) and some rare atmospheric parts (not quiet at all, anyway). Tracks are fairly long (10 x 64') but manage to be BOTH obsessive AND well structured, so torture fortunately doesn't become a bore. Heavy doses of repetitive synth patterns, feedback galore and low-pitched filtered vocals. The best parts alternate static death-like drones with full-on noise explosions. Lyrics are not included, but judging from titles and samples there's an anorexia/bulimia concept behind most of them. The cd-r comes, like all Spatter releases till now, in a DVD box, and is limited to a mere 100, probably already selling out. Cover features a female cadaver, back a cunt full of worms. Again, sick and brutal are key-words here.
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Artist: AAL (@)
Title: 13
Format: CD
Label: S'agitarecordings (@)
First of all, this cd-r has a brilliant packaging: a cloth (hemp?) bag with hand-printed titles, containing the cd-r with a photocopied cover and an A4 sheet with poems and information. Quite simple but elegant and effective. S'agitarecordings is run by Logoplasm, who have some interesting releases out, check out their site for more information. AAL is the solo project of Davide Valecchi, a young musician cultivating both abstract ambient with a Cosmic/Kraut slant (he self-released two cdr's I'll review soon) and electroacoustic compositions. This cd-r belongs to the latter, with really sporadic incursions in the former (see the long final track "Il giorno non è ancora spento"). While it actually features tracks with instruments like synths, guitar and piano, they're used in an expressionistic, unorthodox way (mainly through minimal repetitions and interactions), and perfectly merge with the field recordings. Sounds come from a country environment, but the general feeling – now I talk about personal impressions, but the poems sort of back me up – is not exactly bucolic tranquility. There's a shifting mood between melancholy and a kind of abstract suspension. Possibly some latent anguish, some sense of decay or transformation (ashes, dead leaves, organic combustion). Living in the country, I feel these sounds and atmospheres very close. The work is fairly long (65') and not all the tracks manage to create that mood, but again, it's more something you have to experience and relate to rather than simply "enjoy". After all, this is "cosmic ambient" too – just more bound to the earth than to the sky.
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