Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Bardoseneticcube (@)
Title: Ambiwax
Format: CD
Label: Senile Dementia Production
Rated: *****
Bardoseneticcube is the brainchild of Russian artist Igor Bardo. I first heard Bardoseneticcube when I was putting together the Zaftig Research Christmas compilation 'Season of Snow and Ice.' He sent an amazing track called 'Toyzmass,' which was a fun, playful collage of sound, like a toy store running amok. On 'Ambiwax,' he displays this playful side of his work for an entire album. If you are looking for ambient music that is soothing, this is not the disc that you are looking for. This is ambient music reflected in a funhouse mirror where everything is oddly familiar, but still disconcertingly twisted and reconfigured. Drones and pulsating bass blend in with alarm bells and random clangs, squalls, and distorted voices as you are transported through dreamlike soundscapes. This is well done and engaging material. Plus, if you want to check it out, the price is right ' you can download it for free at the label's website. I would highly recommend doing so. This album weighs in at around 60 minutes.
cover
Artist: Chester Hawkins (@)
Title: Semisolids
Format: CD
Label: Intangible Arts
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed some of Chester Hawkins' work under the moniker Blue Sausage Infant ('Manitou' and 'Negative Space') and enjoyed his work. Evidently, he has retired that project to record under his own name. For those who are unfamiliar with his work, his website describes it thus: 'Using an arsenal of electronics, tapes, acoustics, handmade objects, and modified instruments, the goal has always been to create deep and elegant trance states with a glaze of paranoid tension.' Sounds about right. Let's see what happens when the names change but the players remain the same. 'Iodine' kicks it off with some noisy experimental ' well within the BSI constellation of music. Then 'Nematodes' drops us down the rabbit hole of repetition by degrees, which yields a hypnotic effect. 'Malattia del Sonno' keeps the repetition theme going but has a weird vibe to it that is powerful. Every so often a song kind of burrows into your soul; this is one of those songs. Haunting, dark, and beautiful. By the time we get to 'Plasmid,' it is clear to see that the entire album is an exercise in repetition, but not the stock ABABAB kind of repetition. Rather, this is the kind of repetition that folds in on itself in incrementally changing degrees, shifting ever so slightly on each pass. Sometimes this repetition is comforting because it provides grounding and a sense of direction ('Isle of Dogs'). Other times, this repetition is claustrophobic and disorienting, making you wonder where, exactly, it all went so horribly wrong ('The Brood,' 'Proximity Fuze'). Overall, this is well crafted and engaging. Finally, the review would not be complete without at least a mention of the liner notes. The text makes little sense combined, but has sentences like 'Mad eunuch choirs gone feral in the orchestra pit wielding the dead as bludgeons against the living. Molten sinewaves keeping bacteria down a massive Iron Age trachea, blurting out gospels like blood in the water to summon the final lizards pilot pilot pilot he's not responding pilot pilot something moved behind the eyelids I swear it....' These are not lyrics, but it gives you some sense of what you're in for. A solid offering from this prolific artist. This album weighs in at around 67 minutes.
cover
Artist: Paulo J Ferreira Lopes
Title: Feeze
Format: CD
Label: atrito-afeito (@)
Rated: *****
I was unfamiliar with this Montreal-based Portuguese artist, but he has worked with a host of choreographers, multimedia artists, filmmakers, sound and visual artists, vocalists, and musicians. The label, which is run by Lopes and longtime collaborator pianist Karoline Leblanc, had little commentary on this disc, so let's dive in to the music. This is some interesting electronic music that is difficult to classify. At times it is noisy ('Recept', Destino'), other times it relies on heavy, pulsating drone ('Eventualidade', 'Norte'), and still other times it has a kind of glitchiness that is endearing ('Premonition', 'Capsule', 'Post'). However, at other times it just went on a bit too long without really going anywhere ('Transeunt'). Still, if you like your music with a lot of noisy electronic blips and bleeps, this is made just for you. I didn't find this album to be something that would be too far out there for more mainstream listeners who are just getting into edgier music. It's challenging, of course, but this isn't an Ant-Zen release from Merzbow. Not a bad introduction to the artist or the label. This album weighs in at around 39 minutes and limited to 150 copies.
cover
Artist: Tetuzi Akiyama & Anla Courtis (@)
Title: Naranja Songs
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Tetuzi Akiyama is a Japanese guitarist and Anla Courtis is an Argentinean musician and co-founder of experimental outfit Reynols. I was unfamiliar with Akiyama, but somewhat familiar with Reynols. If you're wondering, this is a far cry from 10,000 Chicken Symphony. I've reviewed enough albums by duos to not underestimate what can be accomplished with only two musicians and guitars. However, in this case, I found myself wanting more. I've listened to the album several times now to see if I was missing something, but still found it to be a bit too minimal. We begin with 'Mind Mochileros,' which is a peaceful - if sparse - guitar duet that only seemed to get interesting halfway through. I found it to be a bit on the dull side, but then again maybe I'm just jaded. We shift gears with 'Springs & Strings,' which tries to push the envelope a bit with some feedback, distortion, and non-traditional playing on guitar. 'The Cítrico Vibe' combines these approaches to some extent but still gets a bit repetitive. 'Los Frets Nómades' finally shows us what they are capable of about halfway through as they lay down a droning, grinding segment to finish off the song. If the whole album would have been like this, I would have definitely been on board. If you like sparse guitar improvisation, this may be up your alley. This album weighs in at around 39 minutes.
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Philippe Lauzier (@)
Title: Transparence
Format: CD
Label: Schraum (@)
Rated: *****
Philippe Lauzier is based in Montréal and specializes in bass clarinet and saxophone, although this album also features half-bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, and motorized bells. That said, tracks crediting 'feedback with alto saxophone' clue the listener in that this is not a Kenny G style album. This is some minimal improv that uses a lot of silence to make the parts in which he is playing stand out that much more. That said, after a few listens, I found this to be a bit too minimal for my tastes. Some tracks work well, like 'Gisement,' with its deep, rattling bass drone punctuated by more traditional tones and 'Au-Dessus,' which features trills and warbles that become almost maddening (in a good way). Others, however, like 'Empoigner,' are so sparse as to leave you wondering if it was more a warm up session for the next track. I appreciate the judicious use of silence, but some tracks here are very sparse. I found this to be a mixed bag. When Lauzier is on, he's on, but the minimal tracks didn't seem to go anywhere. This album weighs in at around 43 minutes.
[ 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...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411] [412] [413] [414] [415] [416] [417] [418] [419] [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]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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