Music Reviews



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Artist: Konstruktivists (@)
Title: Destiny Drive
Format: 3 x 12" vinyl
Label: Bleak (@)
Written and recorded between 2013 and 2014 and deemed to be the first album to be released on vinyl since their 1985's "Glennascaul", Konstruktivists' (Glenn M Wallis - Samples, Vocals, Words and Mahk Rumbae - Synths, FX, Arrangements) latest musical endeavor, "Destiny Drive", is nothing short of a sonic immersion in darkness. Thick with conceptual electronics and heavy on lyrics that do not allow your attention to roam free between the tracks, the A side ("Is This You", "Lone Groover", "Persona Non Grata") is both structured and relentless. It manages to keep a fine yet rather delicate balance between rhythmic seriousness and peculiar bits that are industrial to their very core. Each of these three tracks features its own arsenal of loose but purposeful sounds that may resist categorization, all mixed with Glenn's slow-paced and laconic vocals bulldozing the air. In fact, it becomes quite easy to end up picturing yourself while listening to this A side performed live and accompanied by video works that are just as subjugating as the tracks themselves. And then there comes the B side with "In Orange", "Static Automatic", "Psykho Politics" and "All That You Are", all four of them grinding on your eardrums as they play. It's a quivering and galvanizing B side that may not make for an easy listen, wrapped as it is with feverish, haunted vocals and angsty strings and beats. But nevertheless, these four tracks seem to unfurl at their own singular pace with no hints of what is to come. They converge toward a more integrating whole only to fade away in the end, leaving behind a trail of sounds reminiscent of a machine that occasionally leaps into inertia and malfunctions. Released on Bleak, a Vienna-based label focusing mainly on releasing experimental electronic music, "Destiny Drive" comes on red vinyl limited to 300 copies. Also available as a digital download on the band's Bandcamp site.
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Artist: Am.Eise
Title: Untitled
Format: CD
Label: attenuation circuit (@)
Rated: *****
It's hard to find any information from this project whose release on Attenuation Circuit is something which could be described as an abstract radio drama. As based on filed recordings, instead on relying on the cinematic effect with the development of a narrative, An.Eise extracts resonances and noises blurring the perception of recognizable sounds.
The track starts with a sort of radio recordings of a voice introducing the listener into a meditative track constructed upon a quiet ground noise acting as a canvas where metallic samples, or percussions, emerge. The development of the track is driven by the ground noise that quietly develops in a soundscape when there's the introduction of some samples until the return of the metallic sounds closes the first part of the track. The second part is based on filed recordings, most notably a child's voice, vaguely resembling a kindergarten memory. The third part is focused on samples from the first two part played until they collapse in a sort of noisy drone from whose the metallic noises emerge introducing the quiet last minutes based on a quiet drone dissolving the noises on the voices of some adults at the bus stop or so it sounds.
Close to a form of radio drama and adventurous in the sound construction, it's a demanding listening from a project able to extract small bits of inquietude from a large picture of quietness. Truly recommended.
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Artist: Aquavoice (@)
Title: Early Recordings
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
This release collects one of the first albums from this project, "Water Music" and some recordings from other releases, "Soundchaser" and "Dreamdesigner". All this works has been releases as CDr so they are out of print. This release documents a phase where the influence, most notably Tangerine Dream, could be easily recognized however, 20 years ago, this was a trend of the whole genre. It sounds strange how this synth sound while it was the sign of the times now it sounds as a sort of ruined photograph.
The first cd, "water music", is opened by 'Osiris", a long track based on a synth line whose development is as hypnotic as stratified even if based on a simple loop. 'Dagobah System" is a quiet track based on a sort of field recordings of a river.
'Lothlorien" is quiet descriptive while 'Underwater Flight" is based on a clear rhythmic structure. 'I Opened the Door and..." and 'Melancholy" close this first cd reworking the same musical structure.
The other cd, "other early works", is open by 'Emptiness" based on an evocative soundscape. 'Others" juxtaposes layers of small noisy lines. 'Welcome to the Space Station' is cinematic as it features vocal samples. 'Soundchaser - part 6" and 'Soundchaser - part 8" are minimal track based on clear synth lines . 'The End" is a gentle synth melody upon a soundscape and 'Tam na Åemkowynie" sounds like a folk song, as it's sung by Julia Doszna, based on synth rather than on guitar.
While "water music" could expose the sign of his aging as it's closer to some new age territories, "other early works" reveals the line upon which this project has created some remarkable works. A must for fans and collectors of this project.
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Artist: Sylvain Chauveau & Ensemble Nocturne (@)
Title: Down To The Bone [An Acoustic Tribute to Depeche Mode]
Format: CD
Label: Ici d'ailleurs
Rated: *****
I'm not a lover of cover bands or cover projects, as they are often not so original or fitting to the mood of the original song, but this one by Sylvain Chauveau could be an exception and I'm not really sure that speaking of cover could be really pertaining to this collection of eleven really inspired reinterpretations of well-known songs by Depeche Mode that got released ten years ago by Les Disques du Soleil et de L'Acier and recently re-released (on vynil as well) by Ici d'ailleurs. Nothwithstanding the score, Sylvain and the Nocturne ensemble highlighted the melancholic nuance of songs like "Home", "Policy of Truth", "The Things You Said", "In Your Room" or "Never Let Me Down Again" by means of a somber acoustic and poignant suit, which delighted both more inveterated fans of Depeche Mode and the fans of more minimalist outputs by Chauveau, who recorded this profound and devotional declaration of love to these matinee idols by means of his likewise deeply emotional voice, even if I think that some songs ("Death's Door", "Freelove" or the above-mentioned "Policy Of Truth") were not so really suited to his kind of vocal timbre, but his rapture, a certain inventiveness - I particularly enjoyed the ones on the glitchy clots and the lo-fi experiments on "Enjoy The Silence" - and the elegance that got provided by Nocturnal ensemble often balance some supposed imperfections out, but I won't label them imperfections as the aim of Chauveau's reinterpretations - thank goodness! - is not emulative at all!
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Artist: Dekad
Title: A Perfect Picture
Format: CD
Label: Boredom Product (@)
Rated: *****
Four years after the release of the album "Monophonic" JB Lacassagne is back with his project Dekad with a new album titled "A Perfect Picture" and, to me, it is perfect indeed. Already with the previous album, always released by Boredom Product, JB started a redefinition of his sound since the band reduced the line-up from three to one and with "A Perfect Picture", I think that he found the right balance from melodic catchiness and cool electronic sounds. Helped out by Foretaste's members XY and Member U-0176 for production, plus XY and Celluloide's Darkleti on vocals on the single "Poladroid" and "Tied Up" respectively, the album's tracklist contains ten potential hits. Tracks like "Poladroid", "Tied Up", "Slowmotion" or "Beautiful Inside" with their upbeat rhythms or the intimate atmospheres of "Not Really There" and "Hate", to name a few, have the power to convince the listener immediately. If some of them make me think of the latest Depeche Mode B-sides (which are the tracks I prefer, by the way), others, just sound like perfect synthpop songs with great sounds and arrangements. Lyrics wise, JB deals with the love relationships under different sides but what is coming out is an overall feeling of uneasiness where extreme passions take a hold, in a negative or in a positive way. To check the whole album, just use Spotify or your preferred app and be sure to check also the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ung2TCEDFCI
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