Music Reviews



cover
Artist: The Smiling Buddhas
Title: Latium
Format: CD
Label: base (@)
Rated: *****
Named after some places that a couple of Smiling Buddhas, the name of the bicephalous project by Fadi "Hun Fa-di" Dorninger and John Fitzpatrick which was born as a mail-art project between Austria and Hong Kong, visited all over Latium, the Latin name of the region surrounding Rome, in 2013, "Latium" is the fourth sonic travelogue (after the ones over Austrian Alps, Atacama desert and the hidden kingdom of Lo in Nepal) by these guys. If you expected to listen some crossbreeding between field recordings and unconventional styles or some assa of audiotourism, your expectations could get bitterly disappointed as it's really difficult to link the sonorities The Smiling Buddhas forged to the places they mention with no explanations about their source for inspiration, but it doesn't mean their aural translations are not interesting at all. For example, the opening "Fast Bikeride Down to Trevi Nel Latio" could paint a pretty picture of a fast and furious bike ride from the uphills of the place they quote by means of their bouncy and somehwhat breezy techno, but there are no elements which vaguely cross-refers to the town of Trevi nel Lazio and I can't find any sonic hook to Italian 50ies movies The Smiling Buddhas were chatting about during a high-speed motor drive - it came to my mind a sequence from a car cabin showing the placard of "Fior d'Alpe" in Rossellini's "Journey to Italy" as a possible link to their previous release - in "Cruising To Terracina". The quality of tracks is a little bit higher on the second part of the release - the final "Altipiani" is maybe the best moment of this travelogue together with the amazing Aphex Twin-like dripping detonation on "Palestrina" -, but despite some interesting ideas I think that these guys could improve upon their sound.
cover
Artist: Martin Kay (@)
Title: All Things Metal
Format: CD
Label: 3Leaves (@)
Rated: *****
According to Martin's own words, the intention of the artist on "All Things Metal" is the highlighting of "the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape" as well as "propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments". The metallic diaphragm which often becomes a sort of proper filtering by re-rendering the perception of surrounding ordinary aural inputs come from a series of installations of different kinds of microphones (contact, omni-directional air and cardioid air ones) on metallic objects or places that Martin carefully describes in the cover booklet: for instance, two contact microphones that Martin placed on a street light in Sapporo Downtown can turn footsteps, advertisements from different speakers and the buzzing noise of internal electronis of the streetlight itself into a sort of alien transmission on "Street Light in Male Entertainment Distr." or the ones he placed on the protective railing of a stairwell ("Tokyo Crows") or beneath an iron gutter ("Rain On Iron Gutter") in Futako Tamagawa or the omni-directional microphones hanging inside an abandoned Soviet oil tank in Yerevan could convey unpredictable aural experiences which can skim over psychedelia. The above-mentioned ability of metals is so abstractly extrinsic and mind-blowing in many moments of the release coming from excellent Hungarian label 3Leaves that it could be considered a proper manifestation of a false-positively hidden hyperreality.
cover
Artist: Russ Young (@)
Title: Common Pond
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Audiobulb (@)
Rated: *****
I've recently read on an essay by a philosopher who tried to analyze the consequences on personal life of somehow dramatic changes of labour market that one of the few positive aspects should be the corroboration of the so-called sense of community. Even if some cantankerous people taking part to rooftop garden committee or council meetings could invalidate such an idea, it's partially true. The reason of my premise comes from the sonic strategy that Russ Young followed on this nice release, which could be filed in that branch of ambient music that focuses on the attempt of dunking field recordings into a pool of smoothed frequencies as the source of Young's field recordings are mainly familiar sounds that he grabbed from daily events, objects and places, which could be considered as the closest elements of Young's sonic community that he amalgamates and coagulates in his pond. He seems to take them back and "ennobling" by means of the sounds that he manages to extract from them in order "to create a kind of holographic image with sound", according to his own words, so that listeners could stand entranced by the remote and somewhat emotional rendering of Hewson Road in Lincoln, Russ' hometown, on the track of the same name, or by the hypnotical reverie inspired by the radiation from the nearby Belmont transmitting station on "Belmont Transmitter" as well as by some of Russ' neighbours such as John, whose bike he uses to go to workplace every day gave inputs for "John's Bike", or Phil, whose 8 upright pianos he kept in his house are the main "voice" of the amazing "Phil's House" where Russ imagined they got played by driving rain. The mastering by Taylor Deupree is a sort of guarantee quality as usual.
cover
Artist: John Kannenberg (@)
Title: A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago
Format: CD
Label: 3Leaves (@)
Rated: *****
While I was having a tour with a friend inside Museum Fur Modern Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, after getting hell-bented on visiting temporary exhibition by outside glacial winds more than its introduction, I noticed a dust-up nearby a sort of tube with no description of exhibiting artist so that I apprised security that someone could have left some rubbish. You can imagine my amused astonishment when the well-built woman in a faded grey suit haughtily replied "Das ist Kunst!" (That's art!)... That sketch was so fun to me that I thought that it could be recorded to share the fun with friends. I don't think this release came froma similar experience, but it's really interesting anyway. Following a conceptually similar sound mapping of Egyptian Museum in Cairo, John Kannenberg assembled an interesting sound map of the Art Institute of Chicago, which become the largest museum in the United States after the addition of Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, by means of an Olympus LS-10. The idea behind its field recording is what John refers to s "the active sounds of history", where contemproary visitors interact with "authentic historical objects to create new sonic contexts", but its path follows a concept which is completely different by interactive digital as it's not linear, but rather chaotic. The 52 sketches that John assembled to render his personal tour inside Chicago Art Institue could be considered a proper memory map as it doesn't really follows a prearranged route, even if it departs from the recording of bucket drummers outside the museum on Michigan Avenue and ends with the sounds he grabbed while walking from Modern Wing Ground Floor bookstore to street exit and such a personal cut can be easily grasped by the inclusion of "ordinary" moments such as alarm sounds, crowd disembarking from elevators, maintenance workers, conversations as well as personal clues such as footsteps or slap on the wrist by security guards which could sound peculiar or somehow bizarre in that specific context.
cover
Artist: Neel
Title: Phobos
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Spectrum Spools (@)
Rated: *****
The synth-driven chiselling of sonic space wanderings by Pete Namlook, some isolationist ambient masterpieces by Robert Rich and other knights of so-called space-ambient as well as the nuances of other electronic musicians such as Lagowski or Biosphere whose imagination cruised over distant galaxies and constellations could come to mind while listening to this interesting release by Giuseppe "Neel" Tillieci, Rome-based producer as well as one half of experimental techno bicephalous project Voices From The Lake together with Donato Scaramuzzi (Dj Dozzy). Neel seems to have drawn inspiration from Phobos, the almost invisible Mars satellite which got named after the Greek word for fear and quite notorious for the dramatically irregular surface, which sounds mirrored by the "shape" of the sonorities of "Phobos" inasmuch you focus on finely detailed layers which are not just overstretched frequencies due to the disturbances and the notched blurs that Giuseppe moulded. Besides facts, legends and interesting references to this mysterious Martian satellite in literrature and mythology, you could even envisage metaphorical meanings due to the almost narrative trend of this record from the opening "Post Landing", the most desolate moment of the album which could render the momentanoeously nonplussed feeling that could follow the first moments of a completely desolate and wild environment, to the final "The Secret Revealed", the "brightest" moment of the album after a series of interstitial explorations such as the slightly disquieting oscillations of "Storm In Stickney" and "Crater Chain Observations", the claustrophobic thrilled compressions on "The Gravity of Litmoc" as well as the tracks - "Travelling on Kepler Dorsum" and "Life on Laputa Regio" - when Neel seems to get out of spaceship's cabin to provide more soothing auricular stimulations as if that solitude on Mars' moon and the feelings that its sole name instills turned into pure bliss.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381] [382] [383] [384] [385] [386] [387] [388] [389] [390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha