Music Reviews



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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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Artist: LUSTMORD (@)
Title: Zoetrope
Format: CD
Label: Nextera (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
The music Brian Williams is releasing since "Paradise Disowned" has always been related to images in general and to soundtracks specifically and the fact that he collaborated for the realisation of forty soundtracks is proving that. ZOETROPE is an extended and revised version of the soundtrack of the same short movie. Directed by Charles Deaux, and produced by Matchgirl Pictures, and based in part on Kafka's "The Penal Colony".
Consisting of both the music and extensive sound design of the movie, melded and mutated to recapture the atmospheric nightmare of the world that is Zoetrope: a haunting examination of a man imprisoned in the inner depths of his own mind, only to discover the truth about himself and the world of oppression which has driven him to this inescapable fate. The short media file included into the CD made me remember another movie inspired by the novel "The Castle", a movie directed by Steve Soderbergh and well played by Jeremy Irons titled "Kafka". Musically, the tracks have got different moments which goes to the magmatic drones kinda ones to the mix of sounds coming from the motion picture along with treated percussions. If you loved "Paradise Disowned" or "Monstrous Soul" this one is for you!
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Artist: DISMANTLED (@)
Title: Dismantled
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Here is the year's newcomer Dismantled. There's been a lot of talking about American immigrated Russian Gary Zon, and after I first heard of him from TG Mondalf at RhythmUS Network, I interviewed him (please read interview in the appropriate section for more info and background). He's only been doing electronic music for a little over a year and yet after an mp3 demo and a couple of compilations, his powerful blend of electro-industrial music has convinced even the talent scouts at Metropolis. Nine blasting songs where strong bombastic industrial beats are the common ground for atmospheric long-chord layers and jumpy ebm textures and an intricate web of sounds, media samples and bass lines. Filtered and vocoded vocals singing lyrics about life, annihilation, extermination and so forth (including a 9/11 tribute). An outstanding balance between robust rawness and melody. Perfect for all lovers of FLA (primary influence), but also :W: (who he remixed), Velvet Acid Christ, Haujobb, F242. Album will hit the streets on June 4th in US and June 17th in Europe. Look out for his first single "Dystopia" also!
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Artist: Teleform
Title: Cosine f
Format: CD
Label: Domizil (@)
Distributor: Dense
And the swiss folks are back ladies and gentlemen, with an even more radical experimental record. Teleform, aka Bernd Schurer, releases his second CD on Domizil and takes one step further in the un-linear explotation of noise, the un-establishment of traditional song composition and the most uncompromising deconstructivism. Balancing on the thin line between soft experimental and harsh noise, "cosine f" runs over you for 37 sharp minutes with 35 anonymous tracks (playable in shuffle mode, if you please) made up of buzzes, digital distortion, jitter, crackles and other random hardcore noise. And talk about being true to continuing experimentalism, check out their flickering website, if you dare!
Artist: NATIHO TOYOTA/KOUHEI (@)
Title: Split
Format: CD
Label: Deserted Factory (@)
Are you ready for thirty eight minutes of noise anarchy? Natiho Toyota and Kouhei deconstruct improvised noises(hisses and various electrical noises for the first and various percussing objects mixed with tones and drones for the second) just to give sound to what seems to be their own personal hell. The two Toyota's tracks "Phantasmagoreal #1" and "Phantasmagoreal #2" are really disturbing and evocative and during their fourteen minutes you'll be attacked by hordes of ectoplasmatic non beings. The three Kouhei's tracks, instead, are more noise loops based: three growing beasts that seem to live a life of their own. For the lovers of the genre...
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