Music Reviews



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Artist: Core Shift
Title: Far Beyond The Stars
Format: 3" MiniCD
Rated: *****
Core Shift is a project started by Mike Kramer, based in the Netherlands. He's the initiator of the (h)ear foundation, an organization that support electronic music artists by putting up events such as lectures, workshops and exhibitions. Mike Kramer's founded Core Shift in early 2013 as an output for his electronic and ambient music production. His latest offering under this pseudonym is reminiscent of the ambient techno of the nineties. Think Basic Channel, Aphex Twin (Selected Ambient Works), Fuse, The Orb and B12. There is only one track on this mini album, called 'Far Beyond The Stars'. The track features all the ingredients of ambient techno music: lush pads, pulsating 808 rhythms, flickering synthetic riffs and the occasional sampled dialogues. Mike Kramer describe Core Shift's music as 'Dance for the mind' and rightly so, as his music is both beat based and has enough layers of sound textures to keep your interested all the way through. The track ends with a more twisted, noisier and darker tone. I have the feeling that it could have lasted way longer and it's almost a shame that the track ended so abruptly. It sounded like a live improvisation that had to cut short, which is really sad. However, it's still a good piece and it's well done electronic music. 'Far Beyond The Stars' is certainly not the most original music out there, but it's a real pleasure to listen to. This mini album is limited to 50 copies and is self released.
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Artist: ImiAFan + Dario Seraval
Title: Against The Walls
Format: 12"
Label: Seja Records (@)
Rated: *****
Imi Vegh lately is kinda busy collaborating and releasing music under his moniker ImiAFan and "Against The Walls" is his latest one which has been released recently by the Dutch label Seja Records. For this new MLP Imi collaborated, again, as for the "Neurozone" LP, with a legend of 80s electronic music: Dario Seraval, singer of Borghesia. I'm sure that if you are acquainted with e.b.m., you know at least their album "Ljubav Je Hladnija Od Smrti". On this new ImiAFan MLP, you can find four new tracks ("Možgani Na Asfaltu", "Crne Rukavice", "Poker" and "Words Strong As Blood - Original Instrumental Version") with music composed by Imi Vegh, Miki Bernath and Dario Seraval and vocals by the latter. For the lyrics they did a particular thing, because they wrote them taking inspiration from eastern Europe punk bands GRC, Berlinski Zid and the Slovenian poet Tomaz Salamun. Musically, the tracks are based on a minimal atmosphere where upbeat tempos and synth sequences create a strong structure where Dario is able to sing his vocals giving life to a convincing performance full of pathos. You can call it minimal e.b.m. or else but it really doesn't matter, because Imi has his own style which you'll appreciate, thanks to the use of analog synths sounds and catchy tiny melodies. Closing the vinyl, you can find a Damolh33 remix of "Poker" and a so called gothic version of "Crne Rukavice". I found this record really good but you can check by yourselves following this link: http://sejarecords.bandcamp.com/album/seja-10-imiafan-dario-seraval-against-the-walls
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Artist: A Sacred Cloud & Anarchist Mountains
Title: Ep Cosmique
Format: CD
Label: Jeunesse Cosmique (@)
Rated: *****
This great split ep by A Sacred Cloud and Anarchist Mountains has been released by the Jeunesse Cosmique & Howl! Arts Collective labels. Both record labels are based in Montreal, Canada. Apparently, the A Sacred Cloud contribution is a live recording of a concert that took place at the Sala Rossa in January 2014. It was a concert organized to support a Pakistan family who couldn't get the refugee status by the Canadian government. The music is very cosmic and abstract (in a good way) and the variety of sound sources used for this recording makes their part of the album an enjoyable ride. Personally, I preferred their second track called ' Run, Run Shaw' because of the heavy use of analog synthesizers in it (it sounds like the Korg Monotron Delay) and also because of the beautiful synthetic arpeggiator that comes in about half way through the piece. I also have a soft spot for improvised flute playing and the two tracks by A Sacred Cloud feature plenty if it! Not all improvised music is good, but in this case the talent is there and the listening experience is good.

Anarchist Mountains side was recorded in an apartment in Montreal (dubbed L'Apartement Cosmique). Their pieces are much more ethereal and ambient, we're almost in new age territory here, and the production is clearer than A Sacred Cloud. The aptly named piece 'Glacier' is indeed reminiscent of the great North while 'Estuary' noisier take on ambient music is different in tones but similar in vibe. The minimal silk screened artwork is beautiful and it comes with a nice cardboard insert. If you're a fan of experimental ambient music, in the same vein as Celer, you'll be pleased by this ep. Note that the album is available for a pay-what-you-want price on Bandcamp.
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Artist: Of Earth And Sun (@)
Title: Uncoiled
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
There's something inherently creepy about Of Earth And Sun's music. The sound of the bone trumpets offered on most of the tracks are spooky to say the least! They are the main ingredient of Matthew Hunzeker's music (the guy behind this project) as you can hear them buzzing throughout all the tracks of Uncoiled. Of Earth And Sun's artistic expression is a cross between well recorded harsh noise (and I stress on 'well recorded'), dark drone and ritualistic music. All the tracks on the album have been recorded live, which is an accomplishment in itself, especially when you consider all the computer based music that is released nowadays. Maintaining that kind of intensity throughout the nine tracks is impressive, it gives a sens of authenticity to a kind of music that can easily sound generic when produced on computers. Furthermore, the use of acoustic elements really ads texture and depth to the album. Also at play here are oscillators, vocals and a drum machine. While I can clearly distinguish the vocals in the music, the oscillators play a much more subtle role as it seems to be used to reinforced the buzzing tone of the bones trumpets by adding a much needed sub bass to the tracks (as heard on 'Antahkarana' and 'Consuming Of The Illusory Body'). On other pieces, the oscillators are used in both the low and high frequency range as it is the case in the sublime 'Veil Of Illumination' track. Of Earth And Sun's music could easily be the soundtrack of an horror film featuring cannibal rites. This is deep music that will certainly please drone fans as well as anyone interested in hearing something different and well constructed. If I had one complaint to do, is the similarity between the tracks, which makes a very coherent album but at the same time it lacks a bit of variety. That being said, I think it wasn't the point, the idea here was to create a chilling and intense sonic experience, something that transcend the body to bring you to another place and another state of mind. From this point of view, Of Earth And Sun's Uncoiled is an outstanding success. I can easily picture myself listening to this music while reading 19th century occult books about ghosts and witchcraft. Highly recommend!
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Artist: Digital
Title: Catch A Fire
Format: 12"
Label: Function Records (@)
Rated: *****
After a five years lasting period of inactivity, the appreciated producer Digital keeps on feedng his own imprint Function Records by a couple of his release. The first one "Respek Da Foundation", which includes a collaborative track with Macunian dnb producer N Owen aka Response and a remix of Digital's "Deadline" by George Ovens aka Dub Phizix, was a celebrative release for 20 years of activity of Digital. "Catch A Fire" is the second ring of the hopefully long chain of Function and includes many stylistical hooks to older rings by Digital. Such a welcomed connection with the past, which could be considered more as an act of devotion than a fit of nostalgia, is clear since the igniting track of this release, "Rejection", whose alarming sound, the solid clustered bassline and the double gangways where Digital lets amen break spin (a subterranean one, which is clearly audible on the beginnign of the track, before the one on a higher ground begins) are typical hooks of 90ies junglists, and a certain old school nuance seems to float around the more atmospheric sonorities of "Light Years", the new bicephalous tune he co-signed together with the above-mentioned Response. Digital reduces the spped, but not the effectiveness of his music, on the title-track "Catch A Fire", a really astonishing assay of likewise old-fashioned heavyweight dub. Unmissable release for all those listeners who miss those kind of vibes, which used to shake dancehalls in between the second half of 90ies and first part of new millenium.
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