Music Reviews



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Artist: Nazoranai - なぞらない
Title: The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already... ? 一番痛い時は一度だけそれは もう 訪れているのかな...
Format: 2 x 12"
Label: Ideologic Organ (@)
Rated: *****
The sound of this trio of giants of contemporary music - Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi (hitting on drums on this chapter) and Stephen O'Malley (from Sunn O)))...if you never heard them while braggin on your musical culture till now, you can reasonably scrape off the bottom of your shoe! - is majestically apocalyptic and intense on this second output that I imagined Maldoror, the notorious fictional character by Isidore.Lucian Ducasse aka Comte de Lautrement, the true literary paladin of iconoclasts, misanthropists and flagellants, in the act of taking part to a live session of Nazoranai with a view to a possible collaboration for the purpose of giving a score to his notorious chants. "You Should Look Closely Those Shattered Spells Never Attaining Embodiment As Prayer They Are Born Here Again" - it's the title of the 19-minutes lasting first epic track, not a personal recommendation! - stirs up huge dust clouds by a harrowing wind that blows from eerily metallic scraping, riven distortions, sinister howling voids and pressing drums. Their sonic world turns more and more grey on the following "Will Not Follow Your Hoax Called History", whose oppressive tightness, that got emphasized by Ambarchi's sticks that sound like saying the time has come, could let you imagine the above-mentioned Maldoror sharing some crack with Jesus while observing the retrograde stepping of mankind. The whirligig of chaos keeps on spinning on "Who Is Making The Time Rot", whose rock body in advanced stages of decomposition seems to clinging on life on the final title-track "The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already..?". Take a ride.
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Artist: Maninkari (@)
Title: Continuum Sonore Part 7>14
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This band is a duo from France rather obscure even if they already released a bunch of albums. Their music lies in the current of almost neo classical projects lying in the interstice between chamber music, with the use of string, and experimental, with the use of drones and subtle variations. This release is the sequel to another release based on the first six part of a longer piece.
'Part 7' opens this release and exposes a musical palette made out of drones but with some lines that reveal a process of musical development rather to depict a static musical surface. 'Part 8' features some static noises upon the underlying drone. 'Part 9' is a slowly evolving drone mottled by a cello while 'Part 10' is based on the juxtaposition of spatialized drones. 'Part 11' features a violin loop upon a soundscape while 'Part 12' is based upon synth and field recording in the first part and evolves in a sort of neo classical tunes for strings. 'Part 13' is an evocative gothic drones for synthesized voices and 'Part 14' closes this release with gentle and sustained notes of synths.
Almost canonical in his form, this release is so carefully constructed that let the listener a taste for hearing the first part as it seems to have lost something. It's really worth a listen.
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Artist: Expo 70 (@)
Title: Frozen Living Elements
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Instead of being presented as sort of obscure concept album this band simply 'plays their extended acid jams' and so the 70s, evoked in the band name, are the north star of this outfit that has a place in a tradition that starts with bands like Guru Guru with their jam sessions focused on guitar.
'Frozen Living Elements' starts quietly and develops slowly focusing on the guitar line while the rhythmic section marks the passing of time; so this track evolves as a sort of psychedelic, or krautrock, track. 'Curiosities of Levitation' is based, instead, upon guitar drones and synth in the first part and develops in a sort of sci-fi track typical of those years. 'Thunderbird Mound' closes this release focusing on the rhythmic section and the looping phrases of the guitar seldom developing in a melodic line in the first part but, slowly, the guitar starts to fully develop the melodic loop and ends this track submerging the musical spectrum.
This release is a strange one, compared to other Zoharum release, as it marks a departure to the usual dark ambient or experimental territories but, however, it's a sure pick for everyone accustomed to psychedelic or kraut music. Not for everyone but remarkable.
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Artist: Scott Haggart/Lary Seven/Felix Kubin
Title: 1:17 (live at ISSUE project room, NYC)
Format: 12"
Label: Gagarin (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this release could be thought as the resumption of a meiotic telophase of 0.7 milliseconds taken from a concert of anonymous Scottish collective Diskono, whose almost maniacal and pernickety work of superimposition and expansion into a track of 1 minute and 17 seconds by Scott Haggart, and in spite of the fact that Scott himself plays and manipulates its original output (it seems he needed years to complete it) on common decks and customized turntables, the sonorities of this reprise are quite different from what Scott himself described as "a bombardment of fractal concrete sound", particularly with regard to playing time. The non-music suite that got splitted into two parts (the first one sound like the rendering of undefined human activity in a zone where radioactive contamination levels and the presence of disquieting cries from possibly contaminated animals are remarkably high, whereas the second one rolls a plenty of sparse noises over a more hissing stream) and features the dadaist bizarre contributions by Lary Seven, who forged sonic freaks from a modified leathe glove, a wine bottle a reel-to-reel tape machine, and Felix Kubin, who directs the sonic traffic and pours other sonic stuff into the cauldron, is going to delight more demanding eardrums for more than half an hour. The record was cut at 45 rpm by Rashad Becker.
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Artist: Fred Bigot (@)
Title: La Voix de la Route
Format: 10"
Label: Les Disques En Rotin Réunis/No School Today (@)
Rated: *****
There has always been a nuance in the sound of his notorious moniker Electronicat which could evoke the myth of the journey without destination, the prosaic and somehow angsty euphoric emptiness of road movies as well as some shadows of Neu! and other krautrockers that sound dipped into a sour electro acid cream and "Bon Voyage", the opening track of this release, seems to revisit that sound, but the whole release, the fourth manifestation of a project that followed a two-month lasting road trip across the USA
granted by Instut Francais's research 'Hors-les-murs' and Gayte Lyrique in Paris which included an amazing online sound report, an installation and a performance with Werner Hirsch, who simulated noises of engines and road trips by means of his voice and lungs. The most interesting and somewhat original part of the release comes after "Roule", the short track that closes A side and seems to mirror the unhinging of thoughts after too much time behind the wheels, comes on B side, whose three tracks - "The Last Wav", "Lost America", "Sample Trip" - have been placed on three parallel grooves, according to a technique that was firstly used by Jimmy Rogers in 1930, so that you won't really know which one will play when the needle will drive on the vinyl carriageway, which almost renders the idea of dreamy hermitage that got evoked by some notorious words by Jack Kerouac or Harry Crews. The release features the immaculate packaging by Arnaud Maguet's label as well as personal notes, sketches and snapshots by Bigot and his companions over the trip... Don't turn the headlights off!
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