Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Fallen (@)
Title: No Love is Sorrow
Format: CD
Label: AOsmosis (@)
A rather sombre follow-up to the dreamy-wistful Secrets of the Moon, No Love Is Sorrow tackles weightier emotional themes with its double-meaning laden title. With some exceptions, No Love... comes off as gloomy, but has more interesting electronic textures artfully merged with well-crafted guitar, oboe, keyboards, and percussion among other instruments. The opening, “Echoes and Sin” rolls in like a thick fog to then recede to keyboard and guitar melodies while oboe notes float gracefully above as the piece then builds into a dramatic finish. For some reason, the haunting oboe keeps evoking The Dream Academy debut album to this listener. “Eyes like Windows” has a lovely electronic textured opening that would do Tangerine Dream proud before it is overwhelmed by anxious guitar and string instrument note progressions which then collapse into wind-note melancholy. Title track, “No Love is Sorrow” is decidedly a more electronic work, punctuated with piano notes and cowbell clangs while overshadowed with gloomy overtones but somehow an oboe pierces through the overcast like sunbeams break through clouds, offering hope. “Soft Skin, Eternal Verses” is among the more intense pieces here with its fuzzier electro-textures and more dogmatic cowbell, more complex interplay of keyboard and organ almost Steve Reich-ian for their near geometric patterns that in turn give way to guitar and gun-shot like percussion. “Shimmering” seems to pick up where Brian Eno left off in Music for Films with piano and atmospherics, but carried along with restrained percussion. To wrap up, the optimistically titled, “A New Beginning” sounds like Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream until the piano notes sober the piece from the acid trip and an almost orchestral-like finish overwhelms with guitar, wind-instrument, percussion, string and atmospheric tempest delivered onto the calmer shores of organ and vibes. Perhaps Fallen is exorcising some emotional demons, but he does so in an mellifluous way. No Love is Sorrow is cloudy with sunny breaks and a well crafted expression of raw emotion wherein you can feel the artist put ‘his all’ into this lovely work.
cover
Artist: Svarte Greiner
Title: Apart
Format: LP + Download
Label: Miasmah
It’s rare to find an audio work that is so precisely mirrored by its artwork as Svarte Greiner’s 20-minute collection of cello improvisations “Apart”. It’s curt, scratchy, deceptively simple, and it feels rushed (Greiner describes the difficult recording conditions in the press release). It has a limited palette and is difficult to interpret.

Between rumbling low pieces like “Second”, the strangely bluesy “Floor” and the more open “Barren”, the shorter pieces feel like single performance ideas explored to their short natural conclusion. In the middle of the mini-album there’s “Passage”, the longest and most evolving piece carefully tracing envelopes of pushing sound and letting silence breath between, before evolving into a more constant expression of sharp scratchy pain that will make classical cello purists wince.

It’s a brief and odd collection of improvised ideas with a decidedly sharp and angsty edge.
Nov 09 2017
cover
Artist: Sourin (@)
Title: Kakyou
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Sourin is one of many pseudonyms for Tomoya Shiono, a musician, composer, sound/visual artist, and producer based in Japan. Shiono has worked with mainstream artists and labels, but under the Sourin moniker cobbles together a self-produced mélange that sparkles. If pushed to compare, I might describe KAKYOU as an IDM version of Magic Arrows, combining as it does the latter’s lo-fi genius with the former genre’s penchant for digital detail. The result is a flash of pure joy in a time of musical shadows.

Immediately striking are the track names, drawn from the vocabulary of classical Japanese poetry. Whether you know their linguistic meanings, their evocations are abundantly clear in the listening. “Rikka,” for example, denotes the first day of summer, and sets the album on a path so sunlit that your ears will squint. As with all that follows, it weaves samples of voice and guitar with tasteful sequencers behind a clear-and-present drum machine. The rhythms are unrelenting throughout, but become eerily relaxing the more one seeps into them. Even the gentle beginnings of “Hikkyou” (After All) are but a prelude to an onslaught of kicks and cymbals, as Sourin populates the background with a painterly cross-section of signals.

The last three of the KAKYOU’s five tracks are difficult to render succinctly in English. “Kochi” refers to an easterly wind that blows along the Sea of Japan coast in spring and summer. Musically, it feels like its namesake, rushing with an almost video game-like quality over meticulously rendered topographies. “Sayakesa” refers to the brightness of the moon, and here takes that shine to deepest levels, while “Kusaikire” describes the strong smell of grass on a summer day. This one is indeed a vetiver bomb, fragrant and potent, and confirms KAKYOU as a warm body to snuggle up with in the coming winter.

Incidentally, the title of the album itself means “climax.” True to that concept, Sourin’s creations sit atop the precipice of their underlying narrative. Their energetic meditations reveal an organic, artisanal quality that feels handmade and tactile, and speak of a phenomenal touch behind it all. Throw this on with the confidence that no blizzard can make you shiver.
cover
Artist: Romani Organic Crossover Group
Title: As Serious As My Life
Format: CD
Label: Revenge Records
Rated: *****
This new release by Bruno Romani is performed by band formed with Giuseppe Nannini on Saxophone, Michele Menchini on Bass and Edoardo Vannozzi on Drums and the result is a relatively canonical release whose root is on the tradition of jazz. Instead of working on the form, the writing of this release is tied to an idea of jazz as a variation of the core element of music (melody) discarding the traditional idea of structure.
From the form based on musical lines of "Bàrtoklike" to the parallel lines of "Descending" and the quiet accelerations of "Retrò March". From the quiet meditations of "Ombre" to the almost droning "Climate Change" and the nostalgia of "Twelve Tone Tune". From the rhythmic structure of "Quicksands" to the resonance of "Love Song" and the accumulations of "Afropunk". The final organ of "Serious As My Life" closes a release composed with an ear on the last century.
The overall result is a release of difficult rating for a basic reason: if there's a listener searching for a quiet and really well performed academic version of jazz, this is truly something for their ears; if there's someone searching for a leap forward from a language that is perhaps the most equipped to be considered the real successor of classic music, it would be disappointed. Prior to the choice, anyway it's worth a listen.
cover
Artist: Molecular
Title: Warmest Regards
Format: LP + Download
Label: Hiddenseer
Pete Simonelli and Lynn Wright’s open-ended ensemble Molecular offer up a live studio recording that jams together beat poetry, dark prog jazz and suspenseful drone into something

Opener “Berlinesque” is a slow burner, opening with gentle drone which gradually, element by element, gets busier as it unfolds. Other pieces, like “Broque”, are more relentless from beginning to end, while “Late August” and the sweary “Center St Monologue” have a broader dynamic between space and noise. There’s a dirty analogue feel throughout that at points make it sound like a remastered 1970’s wig-out, complete with some raw-edged distortion. The slightly rockier final track “Correspondent” is a relative highlight.

Simonelli’s vocal renditions are like a stoned Henry Rollins reading Jack Kerouac’s holiday postcards, and if I’m being honest, the acting performance has shades of William Shatner about at times. Despite clearly being a cornerstone of the band, his involvement ends up being the one element that you begin to wish you could hear this release without, as the experimental musicianship going on behind him deserves more of a pedestal than it gets.

The short title track is a genuinely irritating diatribe about the awkwardness of ending an email with “warmest regards” that, to me personally, comes across as particularly crass and unrelatable. Things don’t get any better on the following track with Simonelli turns his attention to joggers… not really attacking the heart of the human condition here, are we?

Somewhat falling into the clichés of edgy American tobacco-infused anger-poetry, “Warmest Regards” is not nearly as welcoming as the title suggests, nor are Molecular as musically scientific as their name may suggest, but neither do they manage to offer something as rich or striking as it would need to be to make it recommendable.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [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...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]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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