Music Reviews



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Artist: Opjk_3
Title: Algebrica
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Another amazing release that the excellent Portuguese hyperproductive label Creative Sources recently sent to us comes from Opjk_3, a brilliant Italian electroacoustic threesome of musicians whose musical background is quite different: some listeners could have already meet the name of vocalist Andrea Reali in the notes of a record by the under-rated project I/O, a stylistical meatloaf where tinges of Can, while the first and only time I've seen the ones of Fabio Martini (clarinet, electronics) and Danilo Sala (drums, percussions, objects) was on a release from the huge catalogue of Leo Feigin's improv jazz label Leo Records. In spite of some edgy moments such as "PHW", "Bad Manners" or the weirdly sad final "Lamar", most of tracks churn an awesome whirlgig of computational cave-in over tonal scribbles on clarinet, vocals that sounds like coming from mythical creatures of Celtic folklore, rhythmical overlaps and limping melodic struts that merrily tickle listener's imagination: you could therefore imagine they managed to render the imitation of abird by a sleeping chimp on "Dada", the lonely walk of a misunderstood childlike pixie on the same-named track, the adventures of a saltpetre inside a water filtering system on "Monomorph" or the resounding nightmare of a young mathematician on the title-track "Algebrica". Opjk_3's one is very weirdy declension of free-jazz spotted improvisation.
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Artist: Corrado Altieri | Gianluca Favaron
Title: Decomposed Days
Format: CD
Label: 13 (@)
Rated: *****
One year after "The System Of Objects", their first collaborative release inspired by French sociologist and cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard, Corrado Altieri (synthesizers, electronics, tapes) and Gianluca Favaron (microphones, loops. effects, computer), two of the most brilliant electronic sound-artists from Italian scene joined their sonic arts again on Silentes' sister-label 13's "private sounds series", even if I could say that this release features a possible special guest, Tulse Luper, the fictional ornithologist whose 92 suitcases told his "story from 1928 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, sketching not so much the biography of one man as the story of a century related through some of its key events" according to the words of his own inventor, the brilliant film director Peter Greenaway. The opening "Time And Space" looks like a fusion of the mentioned two dimensions by means of a sequence of aural elements which render a train journey, distant radio transmissions, an otherworldly ticking and a binaural amalgam that sound like the sonic equivalent of Kuleshov effect in film editing, while the numbering to 121 is the first clear hook to "Vertical Features Remake", the absurd fake documentary/movie that inspired this album. Even if listeners who know or deepen that movie could understang some possible references to that movie, it's not an essential condition for enjoying the drift between abstract noise and pure sound as well as between matter and vacuum of sound, whose dual nature got permanently switched in the five explorations by these wise producers.
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Artist: Tundra
Title: Tajnie i Głębie
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This is the first full-length release from an electroacoustic project present as in balance between improvisation and composed works. In fact, their style lies in the intersection between EAI and ambient as, even if carefully constructed, is more adventurous in nature than the average of this genre's releases.
The deep drone of 'half moon' opens this release and slowly develops in bright one that introduces the listener to 'werdrujace kamienie' a track focused on the contraposition between the drone and the rattles creating an almost religious athmosphere. 'Powtot CZ.1' is based on a peaceful and solar drone, sparse noises and a voice sample of stunning evocation that ends with the drone loops of 'wrzosowiska' and 'krill lasu' that acts as an introduction to 'Powtot CZ.2', the longest track of this release, based on a menacing drone whose resonance are colored by a female voice chanting, instead of the spoken word of the first part.
This is an impressive debut album that, using a well known form, is able to develop his most evocative properties and to provoke an emotive reaction. Truly recommended.
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Artist: Rapoon
Title: Fall of Drums
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
In the cover this 'this album marled a return to analog and mixing outside the box' and, as this reviewer was unhappy of the latest release of this historic project, this sounds as a return to the form that Robin Storey pioneered in his long career. This is also marked by his return to Middle East's ethnic rhythms and his evoking ghosts.
When the drums of 'A gallery of crows' starts there's suddenly a flavor of all the previous release unfolding with his hypnotic and charming beauty. The drones and samples of 'beneath and beyond' creates a static, but not boring, soundscape. The loops of 'upstarts and sheep' are slowly colored and submerged by the drones. The last track 'the heat beguiles' is almost half of this release, clocking over half an hour, and start with voices' loop and the drones slowly ends with the down of the echoed samples creating an hunting but peaceful atmosphere, thanks to echo effects reminiscent of dub technics, and when the drones and the echoed samples slowly evolve in a cohesive unity this tracks emerge as the centre of this release.
From an esthetic point of view there's anything new on this release but is a charming release from one of the most important names in the field. A stunning return to form.
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Artist: Donor
Title: Against All
Format: 2 x 12"
Label: Prosthetic Pressings (@)
Rated: *****
A passion for Birmingham Industrial Techno (Surgeon, Karenn and Perc Trax), early Dutch electro and Detroit style, his stay in Barcelona and Tokyo, where he assimilated some stylistical elements, and his careful dwelling on John Carpenter's movie fed the sound of Brooklyn-based producer and dj Greg Schappert, who signs his first proper album after some releases on Svreca's Semantica Recordings, Lucy (12)'s Stroboscopic Artefacts, Miniscule digital imprint that he co-founded and recently Russian label Venator, but the main source of inspiration for this awesome release is the world we live in, which offers so many sources of inspiration for any dystopian representation that I can surmise that the eerily prescient images that his sounds manage to evoke didn't really need greatest stretches of the imagination. The first half of the record spins around this dark mood by amazing rehashes of Detroit-esque techno where highest peaks got reached on the fully laden funkish electromechanical breath of "Menace Is Mine", the sci-fi smudges of "Station A15" and "IP Test", the one where some elastic declensions of that style by Jeff Mills could come to mind, but the most interesting moments of the record occur when Donor get closer to more articulated and sometimes abstract electro breaks on the second half of the record - the robotic hiccups of tracks like "Counter" and "Fault Is Found" are my favorite tracks of the whole album - before the epic end on "In Your Place", whose artificial static bliss that slowly turns into an icy symphony sounds like an insightful provocation.
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