Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Eigenidyll
Title: Kurmaßnahmen
Format: CD
Label: attenuation circuit (@)
Rated: *****
Eigenidyll is the project by Tobias Schmitt and Sascha Stadlmeier using guitar as sound source. As the guitar is heavily processed, it's not a virtuoso duo but the result is something closer to EAI as it try to let the guitar escape the cliché of rock to create an aural landscape where the listener has to find some sounds instead of having all notes fight to impose themselves.
The track start quietly as an interplay between a sort of drone and some sparse guitar notes, then it starts to evolve into a dialogue between notes and noises upon a silence which let emerge every nuance of sound. This part is the central part of this release and result in a meditative framework owing sometimes to some reductionism an, sometimes to certain form of noise. The introduction of bass, played by Stadlmeier, is the start of the final part of this release which ends with a sort of guitar strumming, heavily processed, sounding almost as a percussion as his metallic formant is exalted and it's ended by the sound of the bass.
It's not a ground breaking release as it rework an already codified language but it tries to escape the obvious trap of it i.e., boredom. For all fans of EAI it's something truly enjoyable and for the other could be an exercise for listening.
cover
Artist: Moving Units (@)
Title: Damage With Care
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****
One of the funniest item coming out from the recent baking in the oven of Metropolis Records is the new album by Los Angeles-based former trio Moving Units, which seems to have come through the dispute occurred in late 2012 related to the fact that their singer and guitarist Blake Miller performed some solo shows by using the name of the band without the approval of other members by the simplest way possible: he left the band, but this output seems to be coming from a sort of temporary armistice! Licensed by Mark Blumenthal's label Kitty Play, "Damage With Care" is nothing revolutionary from the stylistic viewpoint, but it's nice the way he overlaps and interlaces funky-disco rhythmical patterns, guitar riffs and that "glamouresque" lewdness evoked by slapped bass together with a nonchalant attitude. I wouldn't label disco-punk, as lyrics don't really sound belonging to a rebel yell, as the way by which Blake inject a certain irreverence looks like pink spots on a leopard-skin upholstery than a spit on a radiant marble floor of a luxury hotel, so that I would rather say it's close to a rejuvenating declension of electronic rock, but it doesn't mean it's so close to banality. The best moments are maybe the ones when the band coast along some surf sonorities such as it happens on "Teacher " or "Wishful Thinking" (really cheeky and somehow baffling the repetition of "I wanna be alone inside" in a disco-tinged song as well as the strange mutation of Miller's voice, which sounds like Miki Berenyi of Lovelife-era Lush) and the ones where frenzy guitar riffs seem to reprise the brightest moments of dark and synth-pop ("American Infantile" - including a sample of Duran Duran's "Girls on Film"? -, "I Don't Mind", "Fragile Magic"). I would introduce this record as a possible musical translation of the chemical process to turn excess fat and cellulite into soap.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: Giovanni Lami (@)
Title: Bias
Format: CD
Label: consumer waste (@)
Rated: *****
Bias is something that could be called as "documentary release" as, instead of being a traditionally composed music, it's a sonic document of a physical artifact. The basic material of this release are tapes buried to alter their chemical composition so, in a certain perspective, were ruined or degraded. When the role of the tape is the recording a sonic source that has to be faithfully reproduced, how has to sound if tape is the source in itself? GIovanni Lami answers this question using tape players as projectors without a visible film.
The original recording of "KRR5" could be a gentle soundscape but it now a representation of bits of music buried upon hisses and noises and a vague background noise. "BHHH" became a deconstructed piece of music, "INZZ" a dark interlude based on a drone able to let the noises act the sudden noise of an horror film which alarm the listener. "PPK1" is a piece based on a sort of foreground noise above which there's the phantom of the recording. "PPK4" starts with a quiet background noise and ends with an high pitch noise. "PPK2" sounds almost as an avant dark ambient track as it's the clearer recording of this release. "LRR3" closes this release with a dialectic between quieter moments and noisier ones where the degradation of the tape is more evident.
An evidently courageous release where there's the search of a personal sound dealing with the concept of legacy and degradation as an inevitable aspect of time, and life. The audible result of this process questions how a culture based on progress could deal with his past and shows the paradox that the medium with the higher fidelity is perfect to reproduce noise as it was music. An excellent release and a work of art.
cover
Artist: Rafał Kołacki (@)
Title: Hijra. Noise from the Jungle
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
This release is based upon recording of music events and everyday life made in a temporary refugee camp called The Jungle in Calais, France. This field recordings document the result of the interactions of various nations in a relatively small area. Apart for the political relevance of a work around a theme, immigration, so present in public debate, is shows how music is present in everyday life; while music is almost a background in modern times, traditionally it was a part of specific moments of human interaction e.g., religious rites, and this recordings shows how this element remains present in african based ethnic groups.
But the sense of this release is not on the role of music but, as the liner notes printed on the cd clearly states, it's on the role of the document as a political act. As the refugees closed in the jungle, and called inhabitants by the author, are not citizen but are in a sort of limbo without a precise role, these recordings show them in a first place as humans and this is a political statement in a period when they are seen are a political problem. So, the role of the field recording is to capture the sound of their life without the indulgence of the sad representation of the trapped refugee but, in some recordings, as people which could even celebrate the fact that they are alive.
As the inner cover shows a plate where three hands are taking their food depicting how they can share the few they have, the recordings show how "they lost their homes and families but still retain what is the most precious: human dignity" as the author writes. Talking about music on this release would mean miss the point of this release: documents show what thought cannot. A remarkable release.
cover
Artist: James Freeman
Title: Echoes of Nature III
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records (@)
Distributor: The Orchard
Rated: *****
The third installment of James Freeman's "Echoes of Nature" is generally interchangeable with the first two albums, though it is easily the most disjointed, and thus perhaps the most adventurous. Composer, conceptualist, and performer Freeman (synthesizer, bass, and guitar), once again marries his 'field recordings' (equally natural and unpredictable sounds of turkeys, birds, thunder, wolves, etc.) with authoritative soloing by live musicians. In addition to "Echoes" regulars Yehudit and Mad Tolling on violin/viola and Nika Rejto on flute/winds, Sheldon Brown returns on saxophone along with newcomer Lisa Wellhausen on flute.

The album begins rather ominously with fragmented low-end flourishes, which sets the tone for the first two tracks 'August Birds' and 'Wolves'. Both tracks, especially 'August Birds', can be surprisingly ominous-sounding. The pair had interesting moments, but more than once I felt like I needed a sonic breath to empty the mind space saturated by Freeman's conceptions.

'Canadian Geese' had more spaciousness and was a very interesting listen. Clean electric guitar comping coupled with the sounds of geese! I digress, but wonder if Canadian Geese sound different then geese of other nationalities? Proficient string improvisation by either Yehudit or Mad Tolling throughout leads to the subsequent 'Thunder Turkeys', which is similar in tonality and the longest track on the album (17:38). The comical, unpredictable sound of turkeys is highly amusing at times, and in this instance Freeman conjoins everything with an electric bass. Again, nearly ten minutes in, I found myself yearning for a long, deep breath as opposed to gasps.

I enjoyed the last three tracks the most, notably 'Amazon Dance', which was framed in the 'jazz idiom' and heavy on the winds and reeds. 'Tweety Birds' utilizes Rhodes piano-type sounds panned quickly back-and-forth to great effect. All in all, "Echoes of Nature III" was my least favorite of the bunch, but also the most audacious. It may fare better with a different track order. A remarkable sonic undertaking, regardless.

The math formula used to create the music, as defined in the press sheet:

1. Translate notes into numbers: C= 1, C#=2, etc.
2. Compose a theme, such as 1 3 4 6 2 9 11 3
3. Create derivative lines using the math formulas
4. Repeat this process to yield a matrix of numbers (notes) as a foundation for composing ideas
[ 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] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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