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Artist: Red Asphalt
Title: Red Asphalt
Format: 12"
Label: Synthetic Shadows (@)
Rated: *****
Formed in San Francisco in 1979, Red Asphalt lasted only for years and officially released a four track 7", in 1981 participated to the compilation LP "Live at Le Disque" (Jump Records), and more recently they were featured on the cd compilations "High Road to Obscurity Vol.1" (Grand Theft Audio), and "Homework #2'²'² (Hyped to Death). The original line-up didn't include a singer nor a keyboard player but their line-up that lasted longer was including: Ron Hanik (guitar), Ted Johnson (drums), Scott Davey (synthesizers), Trina James (vocals), Bruno De Martis (bass). Besides the above, Megan Mitchell sang with the band (she's heard on the EP) and Andy Anders and LX Rudis played bass. Synthetic Shadows with this album collected all the band's songs, including the ones of their unreleased album which surfaced in 2008 on CDR. The fifteen songs of the album shows a multifaceted band that pass from post punk to proto hard core (on "Nuclear Judas" I hear musical intuitions that Dead Kennedys developed on there same period), passing through no-wave (like on "White Meat, Dark Meat"). They were able to be dissonant and melodic at the same time and this album finally give them justice as not only contains most of all their songs ("Humungulous" from "Live At Le Disque" isn't included) but also they were all recorded in a studio and it isn't like listening to a crappy bootleg recorded in hell!
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Artist: Edvard Graham Lewis
Title: All Over
Format: CD
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
The second album by brilliant Wire bassist Edvard Graham Lewis that got simultaneously released with the just introduced "All Under" is a collection of songs which has been composed over ten years (from 2003 to 2013) in Uppsala, the lively Swedish city where he lives at the moment. In spite of the song form and the deviant pop core, Mr.Lewis unleashed his willingnenss to experiment by awesome bastardization of that form by means of more or less melodic trips over dark, industrial, synth-pop and electronica territories and meaningful lyrics where Edvard, to paraphrase the lyrics of the song "We've Lost Your Mind", lubricated his flicking tongue and occasional entrancing loops by means of delayed pale blue songs like "It's Hard" or "Straight Into The Corner" where he got closer to John Foxx's style or some stylistical refinement on "Bluebird" (the Twitter's one?), whose melody could remind the bassline of Wire's "Being Sucked In Again", the molten post-industrial raving of "Quick Skin" or the dark-ambient drifting on "Prism Buzzard, the one which has more similarities with the style that Edvard explored on "All Under". Contributions by many different artists such as Jan Lundquist, Andreas Karperyd, Howardamb, Linda Dahl, Jim Ascoft, Fabrizio Clemenza, Giovanni Romano and P.T.Kirk, maybe gave a certain heterogeneity to the album without puckering the delightful mood which sounds like a bridge between the past and the present of this musician.
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Artist: Edvard Graham Lewis
Title: All Under
Format: CD
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Even though the two concomitant albums by Wire bassist Edvard Graham Lewis got released in summer by Editions Mego, European winter or colder temperatures sound the best environmental setting in order to appreciate them and particularly "All Under", the most experimental one. The two long-lasting title-tracks, which have been composed as a score for the meaningful namesake short-film by Gunilla Leander, are as immersive as that movie where six naked bodies (4 men and 2 women) fight underwater: the most astonishing aspect of both "All Under (Film Score)" and "All Under (Installation Loop)" is the fact that he just winged the entrancing gurgles of the first and the glacial out-of-time drone and the icy sonic transmissions of the latter, which let you surmise an indepth panache and an almost maniacal research on sounds, in real time by means of a sampler and FX processing. While the following "The Eel Wheeled", where the grime voice by Lewis spout one of his obscure Florida-inspired spy story that could resemble radiophonic tales, dusts a certain industrial aesthetics off, the final 18-minutes lasting "No Show Godot" reprises the cinematic hook of "All Under" as it was composed as the delusional soundtrack for an imaginary sci-fi movie that got suggested by the typical noise of the film rolling inside old projectors, which feeds the entrancing ambient introduction of the track before it get blunter and blunter till wisely altered rhythmical patterns unexpectedly rise.
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Artist: Sawf
Title: Masif
Format: 12"
Label: Prosthetic Pressings (@)
Distributor: DBH
Rated: *****
The sonic rendering of apocalypse according to Saint Sawf that portrayed the pale horse of Death on B side and picked some words from St.John's Revelations to introduce his release reminded a bizarre attempt of proselytism by a priest in Berlin during an edition - I don't remember which one - of Love Parade, who decided to play techno while saying mass in order to attract some young people and older youngsters. The deranged and somehow obsessive apocalyptic techno of the opening "Stepa", the blazing break of "Masifia", which combines a venomous loop to industrial sonorities, the reversed snare drum on the almost humdrum "Kaseta" and the seemingly flat grim drill on "Kekra"by this Greek producer could be an appropriate musical accompaniment for an overexcited priest during a sermon where he spouts some religious nonsense as long as that pale horse keeps on neighing in his realm of fancy! Anyway this is quite good assay of really dark and ominuous techno!
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Artist: Brighter Death Now
Title: With Promises of Death
Format: CD
Label: Familjegraven
Rated: *****
Time has finally come. Roger Karmanik is back. Many years have passed since the last fresh meat from Mister CMI. From Kamikaze Kabaret (2005) Brighter Death Now have published several releases but there were just unpublished tracks, live, or re-edition of historical records. Then last year CMI passed away, and we all thought that time for burying BDN too was arrived. We were wrong. The new album is called 'With Promises of Death' and it is produced by Roger's brand new label called Familjegraven. The album begins with a song ('With promises of death') that sounds more like a slogan: 'This is not over', with Roger keeps on singing this for the rest of the song, with reverberated and distorted voices, in the best death industrial tradition. Many years have passed since last Roger's composition, so our guy is a little bit rusty, but the result is nonetheless amazing. I hasten to add that this album reminds me somehow 'Necrose Evangelicum' although 'With Promises of Death' is a little bit more - how to say - 'agitated'. Rhythmic typical BDN bass are more prominent and invasive than 'Necrose Evangelicum', but the philosophies behind the atmospheres in my opinion are similar. Gross and slow bass, with a touch of rhythm, articulates Roger's lament. As usual, Roger Karmanik tugs the listener deep in the ground floor of human's soul, where conflicting feelings melt within each other. Here everything is allowed, and we pass from sarcasm to anger passing through sadness. A special mention goes to 'In The Shadows of Death', where a sort of cheap pipe organ draw a sinister melody, and Roger sings over it. I was waiting for this album since many years, and now that it is here, I can only say that this is a great album, and now we expect a lot of more from Mr Karmanik, reborn like a phoenix from the flames of hell.
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