Music Reviews



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Artist: Hexentanz (@)
Title: The Sabbat Comes Softly
Format: 7"
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Distributor: Middle Pillar (US), Dark Vinyl (Europe)
The Soil Bleeds Black's side project (together with Psychonaut 75) called Hexentanz (the dance of the witches, in german) is an evil sounding collaboration that aims at «expressing the mythic image of sorcery and witchcraft as it stood in the Middle Ages». For all you vinyl-hungries out there, here is a 7" with silver and black art work. The opening track is an occult and almost tribal chant (I keep thinking of witches dancing around the fire) with blasphemic voices that really seem to come from ancient rites. The second track could well be a more shadowy TSBB composition. Side B opens with scary processed voices and droning dark ambient sounds, and continues with more percussive marching peace and flutes. Again very close to what TSBB's last record sounds like, except this is a lot darker and devilish, and the vocal parts (not TSBB's vocalist) are more like recited. This EP wouldn't look bad in the Cold Meat Industry catalogue and if it came out at the time of the Blairwitch Project these guys would have probably got the gig.
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Artist: DDKERN
Title: Gern
Format: 12"
Label: Mego (@)
Distributor: Dense
Austrian label Mego just released the debut 12" of ddkern, drummer and Dj also collaborating with Fuckhead, BulBul and Angelika Koehlermann's Wipeout. This vinyl (achieved with the help of Reverend Crook on keys/gear) delivers some quite cool minimal techno with non-aggressive kick tracks and delay-processed layers of sounds, samples and some noises. They attempted the terms "old-school" and "fusion techno" to describe it, but it really is dubby ambient-mini(mal)-techno. So "fusion techno" will work only if by fusion you understand "mix of different things", but not if you're thinking about Pat Metheny. I enjoyed this record, especially the last of the six tracks (that is if side A is what I thought was side A ;-) where a little more experimental sounds (smooth, almost static-like noises) step in and make the whole thing even more interesting, rhythmical and cryptic...
PS The guy loves cats and there's a cat on the round sticker ;-)
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Artist: MURMER (@)
Title: murmer
Format: CD
Label: Bake Records
Distributor: Staalplaat
Murmer uses as sound sources different field recordings which are manipulated, processed and assembled with strategies that resemble some kind of ambient orchestration rather than stricter concrete music. There's a lot of composition behind these tracks. Take my favourite one, ".errum": sources are "air vent on a 73 bus, malfunctioning gas heater, feedback, escalator at Pimlico tube station" – the result is a massive work with tribal metal clattering, a tranquil droning passage, and a crescendo of tweaks becoming an ear-numbing noise storm. A similar pattern is used in ".mmeru", which is "air vent in a red austin mini, wind whistling through a 3rd storey window, air vent on a 73 bus" turning into a hypnotic series of loops. At times the feel is almost ritual, like in the percussive sounds and echoes in ".rumme". There are some minor defects (like a cut&paste feel in some passages, where one can sense the gaps between loops) and some arguable choices (I think the 1st track is a tad too long – 25' -, though the loop is pleasant in itself), but this is a truly great work which shows creative genius and good taste in composition.
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Artist: REGAN
Title: Sellisternia
Format: CD
Label: High Priestess (@)
Distributor: Projekt, CD Baby, CD Street, etc.
SELLISTERNIA ("Feast for the Goddess") is the first release of a girl who fell in love with techno rhythms, gothic atmospheres and medieval singing style: this girl is called Regan. The reasons of this musical blend is because the past musical experiences Regan had: she studied classical music since the early ages but in 1993 when she left Boston to move to L.A. she started to link with people of the DJing and goth scene. This brought her to strengthen her interest about electronic, industrial and gothic music. SELLISTERNIA is like divided into two different parts: the first five tracks (along with the last one "Airetaina") are more influenced by classical music, medieval melodies and fairy voices (part which is boring for my tastes). The following six are more intestesting as they mix jazz, ambient, techno and goth with 50's style vocals. Even if this music isn't my cup of tea I found this CD interesting because of the variety of musical ideas but if you love these kind of sounds for sure you'll find it more than interesting.
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Artist: I ME MINE
Title: Politisch Verdachtig
Format: CD
Label: DAC Productions (@)
Distributor: DEAF American / EU '91 / Napalmed / Deliria / etc.
If you like sick sounds this I Me Mine's CD is your occasion to feel insanity, because it gathers extreme noise industrial sounds and Belorussian folk elements. The seven tracks contained into POLITISCH VERDACHTIG are collages of random industrial sounds with some distorted rhythms here and there: something which could prove your senses, expecially the twenty one minutes of "Moving Away" with its sounds deconstruction which really proved my listening. I don't mean that this Dreaming About Cannibalism release is a bad one but for sure it isn't easy to enjoy. If you like noisy anarchic extravaganzas try this...
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