Music Reviews



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Artist: F.S. Blummbastic feat.hey
Title: Riddims and Biscuits
Format: 7"
Label: Pingipung (@)
Rated: *****
Eleven nice untoasted dub movements, which often glean sonorities from the fertile grounds of rock-a-steady and mento as well as from the deep well of echoes, delays and dynamic reverb, and nine biscuits - amazing interplays that got inserted in between riddims - mark the mutation of the introverted, but brilliant Berlin-based guitarist Frank Schultge aka F.S.Blumm into a proper Dub master, who changed his name into F.S.Blummbastic for this special occasion, even if he already treaded on dub grounds by means of the collective project Quasi Dub Development, whose last output - the album "Little-Twister vs Stiff-Neck" - featured the contribution of eminent voices of Zion's realm like Lady Ann and the legendary Lee 'Scratch' Perry. Most of those riddims, who were initially composed in order to be played at Quasi Dub Development's live performances, are almost raw and extremely concise, as dub unwritten precepts state before electronic heavily altered the original form of the genre, and the genuinity of dub sound has not really mutated by measured electronic inoculations from custom built amplified sound box by F.S.Blummbastic, who also made all the instrumental parts (organ, rhythm guitar and bass) by himself, but the final result, which featured the precious collaboration by Helmut Erler aka hey on drums, was so effective in his nitty-gritty guise that producers thought that those riddims and biscuits didn't really need any further tweak. Check what I said by yourself as the release is available for free on F.S.Blummbastic's bandcamp with the exception of four riddims and two biscuits as locked grooves, that Pingipung printed on 7" vinyl. Swing-a-ling.
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Artist: Dystopian Society (@)
Title: Overtuned Reality
Format: CD
Label: Danse Macabre
Rated: *****
Three years after their debut album "Cages" and last year's 7" EP "Violations", Dystopian Society are releasing their second album "Overtuned Reality" for Danse Macabre. With a "shrunken" line-up, the two members of the band (Max Skam - vocals, bass and Sara Hexe - guitar, drums), are delivering a thirty minutes album which is better recorded compared to the first one (also because that one was an expanded version of their first demo), but it's losing the fast songs that maybe where making me feeling better their urge to communicate their idea of a in control and repressive society. Anyway, on this new album they still worked on the same themes with passion and dedication, because that feeling of not being part of this society is still burning in their chest. The eight new tracks (plus an intro) are upbeat mid tempos with tribal drumming, fat bass lines, granitic riffs and razor like guitar arpeggios. Vocals are functional to the songs but, in my humble opinion, they should try to make them more expressive, just to have a stronger and in your face sound. I'm sure that they are already working on perfecting themselves but on the meantime, you can check "Overtuned Reality" here https://dystopiansociety.bandcamp.com/album/overturned-reality
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Artist: The Danse Society (@)
Title: VI
Format: CD
Label: Society Records
Rated: *****
New album and new line up (Paul Nash ' Guitars, Jack Cooper ' Bass, Iain Hunter ' Drums, Maethelyiah - Vocals and Sam Bollands - Keyboards) for the third The Danse Society's album after the reformation. "VI" contains ten new songs that confirm the band as one of the most powerful of the old scene, along with Killing Joke. The album, after a quick synth intro, starts with a blast, as "In The Red" sets the bar to a high level and if the mid tempo of "Star Whisperer", "Awesome" or "Ain't Gonna Happen" keep the tension high, "Bloodstream", for a moment, seems to offer a pause to the listener but then, its raging guitar awaits for you and its crescendo is taking no hostages. The real blast is the following one: "Freak Show" is a powerful one that recalls me Siouxsie & The Banshees of the "Hyena" period mixed with the Killing Joke of songs like "Money Is Not Our God"... yeah, that good... The new line-up is giving to the band a new energy as this album is more direct, tribal and for sure you won't miss tracks like "Doodlebug". The Danse Society's sound is now fat, powerful, grinding but still able to create mysterious atmospheres. Maethelyiah confirms herself the lioness who was roaring on the past albums and she's able to lead the band through new musical scenarios. Check the band's website, as they are still giving two tracks for free and they have opened the pre-orders as "VI" will be available on vinyl, CD and digital formats.
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Artist: Lyke Wake (@)
Title: Fall Of The Corrupt
Format: CD
Label: Aseptic Noise
Rated: *****
After its come back Lyke Wake, the Stefano Di Serio's musical project, has been busy producing new music and this year, after the tape "The Hatred Of A Thousand Years", is back with a sixty nine dark electronic cosmic suite. "The Fall Of The Corrupt" is a magmatic ever changing piece that is giving me the idea of a nebula. Try to think about that interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases and imagine the tension that make them collapse until a new temporary balance has reached. Some nebulae are formed as the result of supernova explosions, the death throes of massive, short-lived stars but try to apply this image to what the album's title suggest and you'll be projected into a mental supernova made of fast thoughts and sticky obsessions which have to find a new balance and have to fall... to stop. By listening to "Fall Of The Corrupt" you'll decide to embrace a voyage into your self conscience guided by Lyke Wake's sound and it won't be an easy listening. Catch your headphones and "bonne voyage"!
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Artist: Sharawaji
Title: s/t
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Clang (@)
Rated: *****
The somehow enigmatic word "sharawadgi" was firstly introduced by well-known English statesman and essayist Sir William Temple; even if he thought it was Chinese, he used this Japanese word in order to debate about an aesthetical concept, which didn't really belong to European culture in those days. According to Temple's own words in his famous essay "Upon The Gardens of Epicurus", Chineses' "greatest Reach of Imagination, is employed in contriving Figures, where the Beauty shall be great, and strik the Eye, but without any order or disposition of parts, that shall be commonly or easily observ'd. And though we have hardly any Notion of this sort of Beauty, yet they have a particular Word to express it; and where they find it hit their Eye at first sight, they say the Sharawadgi is fine or is admirable, or any such expression of Esteem". Later the word became almost fashioned - it was widely used to describe Japanese paintings or even kimonoes - and nowadays it's the word that Ney York-based musicians Satoshu Takeishi - quite known drummer, percussionist and arranger in the improvisational NY scene - and Hans Tammen, who have been played together in a number of formations for a decade, have chosen for this amazing electroacoustic project. Their sound could sound exotic for the followers of the releases by clang, but it makes sense in the explorative aesthaetical path the label is following since its very first release by including seven amazing improvisations that the duo recorded in New York in 2012 by wrapping a bunch of fine and sometimes hiccuping percussive phrases into likewise amazingly bizarre weird entities, which got synthesized by a software for sound processing by Tammen, ranging from lenghtwise miniatures such as "Shaman" or "Athetize" and the longlasting exploration "Sateen", which reaches the intensity of a proper sonic rite.
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