Music Reviews



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Artist: Kotra (@)
Title: Freyr Hologram
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
Dmytro Fedorenko aka Kotra is the founder and the main mastermind behind the excellent Ukrainian label Kvitnu, which is keeping on spreading interesting specimen of experimental electronics by meansof a selection of stuff and superbly crafted pieces of music, which, according to label's own description, "concetrates on sound and ideas with a high blood pressure in it" and could withstand selection of more consolidated labels. The interesting sonic discoveries they manage to find inside and outside Ukraine benefits listeners, but I guess they benefit the creative vein of Dmytro and Kateryna Zavoloka, the other artistic column of the label, as we can testify by this tidbit that got recently released by Kvitnu. The elegant artwork by Zavoloka, who wrapped the package by means of those bright white/silver silk wallpaper, that I remember I saw on many walls in the 90ies, enclose a CD-r where Kotra put three abrasive tracks, which could be described as the rawest side of some outputs of artists like Kangding Ray or Senking, that I wouldn't really match to the soso-called rhythmik noise. in spite of a certain syncopated step by which Dmytro organized - so to say - a bunch of hisses, interferences and concrete noises on the opening "Spiv Zolota" and the closing title track "Freyr Hologram" - my fav -. A good appetizer for the other recent outputs from Kvitnu that I'll introduce in the days to come.
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Artist: Kenneth Kirschner (@)
Title: Compressions & Rarefactions
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
The reading of some reviews or meditations, where more or less famous music writers describe the experiencing of Kenneth Kirschner's music as if they were in the guise of Burroughs writing a page of literature under the effect of some hallucinogenic substance, as well as the way by which graphic artist Kysa Johnson, who cared the artwork of this release and matches Kenneth's extreme dilutions of sound in time to subatomic decay patterns, are an interesting explanation of the mission and the vision of this Ney York-based sound artist. You could read them on the booklet of this release, which managed to include of a couple of shorter recordings (shorter if compared to the average length of Kenneth's psychotropic epopees into sound) in a cd and added a code that could be redeemed to download three other recordings (lasting 5 hours in total...), but I'd like to extract some parts of them in order to give you an idea of what you could expect or you could skip, if you are a lover of concision in music. For instance, Marc Waidenbaum (disquiet.com), after an extremely detailed description of the (both emotional and spacial)set and the setting as a preface, reasonably claify that Kirschner "embraces a sense of periodicity that challenges the listener's comprehension" before turning back on his meditative path and stating that "if time is Kirschner's most self-evident compositional tool, then memory is his most active one. As we find our way - that is, find a way - through the immersive, percepting-consuming, periphery-spanning territory of his work, as time passes, as life passes, our sole guide is the work itself". While Simon Cummings (5against4.com) sees "paradoxes everywhere" in Kirschner's output and run through some of them on his interesting track-by-track commentary, I find the conclusion by Mike Lazarev (headphonecommune.com) particularly guessed to set the emotional fences where Kirschener's sonic particles or electrons draw their seemingly chaotic circles and microtonal twists: "while listening to the music of Kenneth Kirschner, one can become lost in time, ceasing to be in its prison of binding. As the shackles of time fall away through the sounds, I am brought back into this very moment, where the vois is the present, and the silence is noise". What could I say more to these fine words? I might say my very first impression, as I maybe felt the some fascination that a baby could experience inside a big and hidden lab of clock repairer, where variation of single geears or teps gradually mutate the "scansion" and the perception of time. Check it out!
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Artist: A.Karperyd
Title: Woodwork
Format: 12"
Label: Novoton (@)
Rated: *****
Even if that flame on the cover artwork could look like the one by Massive Attack, Swedish musician Andreas Karperyd doesn't come Bristol, but he gave a likewise precious contribution to the experimental and electronic scene of his native country since late 80ies, when he used to be a leg of quite known ambient/industrial act Omala, but he kept on providing interesting stuff in Sweden together with his long-lasting friend Mattias Tegnér, such as the more dancefloor-oriented project Obconic and He Said Omala, the temporary fusion between Omala and Wire bassist Graham Lewis. This first solo album has many unavoidable similarities to the above-mentioned projects, but Karperyd's outputs on "Woodwork" sounds much less claustrophobic and gloomy than some stuff from Omala and manages to sounds somehow jazzy and improvised due to the fact that all the tracks got recorded on live stage before getting slightly edited in recording studio, which was a wooden cabin in the countryside - that's why the album was titled "Woodwork"! -: the foggy low tones by which he ignites the opening "Natural Nature" and the ecstatic female chant jut helps his sound to breach listeners' walls by means of a sonic strategy, which was widely used by trip-hop or downbeat makers before rhythmical engines got fully warmed up; the following "Public Transport", which sounds like the melting of melodic bubbles and noises he took from public transportations, and "Rejected and Awarded", a glitchy heartbeat-like agglomeration of abstract sonic entities, are maybe the most experimental moments of the whole album, which, after the gently lethargic "Winter Tone", opens up to more melodic moments on the title-track - my favourite moment of the whole release -, whose warming drone, laying upon a looped piano, electonic soft knocks and delicate buzzing noises, paved the emotional path towards the last part of the record, where the interplay of tenderly distorted guitars on "Correlation and Dependance", which could surmise some moments of stickly-sweet romanticism by many post-rock bands, as well as the dynamics of "Villovagar" and "Low Light Conditions" vaguely get closer to the sonorities of some abstractly melodic and sweetened electronics that featured the first half of last decade (Milosh, Dntel, Ammoncontact, Chessie, Methamatics, Plumbline, Metamatics and so on).
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Artist: Container (@)
Title: LP
Format: 12"
Label: Spectrum Spools
Rated: *****
A wise mover must take both the lubricants that facilitate the movement and possible friction into account and an experienced agitator like Ren Schofield aka Container certainly does. The seven movements on this "LP" sound like a perpetual challenge by frictionless and immediate rhythmical pre-sets (the rhythmical ignition of some tracks like "Remover" or "Peripheral" sound like slightly distorted pre-sets of cheap electronic devices) against a series of factors which rises attrition to levels that could broke hig engines: the opening "Eject" features that kind of trance-inducing grip of some folk dances, while most of the other engines drew lubricants, dust and stones from the most obsessive extrusions of Detroit techno and Japanese noisy industrial techno. The highly abrasive gears, that he sounds like putting under ferocious and controlled strain, manage to be enjoyable as their course is realy unpredictable and thrilling, even when his way of layering polyrhithms and mechanical grasps gets closer to saturation ("Peripheral", "Appliance" and other moments when listener could imagine that these outputs could come from a sadistic love of machines by their author). Nice and no/icy way of morphing and "grooving" noises.
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Artist: Roman Leykam
Title: Realm of the Shades
Format: CD
Label: Frank Mark Arts (@)
Rated: *****
Long-lasting collaborator of Frank Meyer Arts both on solo-releases and collaborative ones, experimental guitar player Roman Leykam recently signed this new output, where the shades of the title don't really refer to places where there is no light, but it should be meant as a synonum of hues. It's better clarify that if you are not a lover of effected guitars or synth-mnipulated guitars, you could find the listening experience that Roman provides dreadfully boring, as the excessively abstract and old-fashioned sonic mantle by which he wrapped and blurred his brilliantly effected guitars - a trained ear will easily recognize that he's quite good in manoeuvring effects - could even severely test the resistence to the synthesis of sleep-inducing agents of listeners, who can understand what he wisely does. My attention was kept high by some interesting insertions of e-bow guitars as well as by some meaningful ideas such as the humongous growl he lets rise in "The Aftermath" or the club-induced claustrophobic feelings that got rendered in "Bleak Place", but I can't really stop yawning when the above-mentioned mantles made some interesting guitar-driven experiments sound like demo songs of cheap electronic keyboard.
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