Music Reviews



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Artist: Fields
Title: Colours/On Your Own
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
It's the third time that one of Wilson brothers, Ben aka Fields, hoses Utopia's big flying tree down by a couple of tracks on vinyl, which shows again that this Bristol-based young producer, whose passion for drum'n'bass gushed from the listening of Roni Size Reprazent, prefers to focus on quality than quantity, a winning strategy which drew the attention and the support by legendary producers of the scene such as Break, Andy C, Teebee, Goldie, Calyx, DLR, Doc Scott and Utopia's label manager and owner Stephen Mako, who made the launch pad of Utopia available for his good stuff, together with larger and larger appreciation by dnb lovers. The epic and vaguely sci-fi-scented introduction of "On Your Own" could let you imagine the breaking of an eggshell which precedes the birth of a cruel monster at the service of repression, foreasmuch as the menacing repeated sentence and the following bumping percussive machine-gun whose dodging could mean dancing (!), while on the flipside-placed "Colours", Fields seems to suit his dark neurotech-oriented entries (think about the previous entry BTC or Behind The Curtain on Mako's catalogue) to the jerkiest movements of 2-steppers by means of an amazing plashing of bass and mid tones. Fields hit the triple and mouthwatered listeners for an upcoming poker by this forthcoming release.
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Artist: L.A.S.'S Crime
Title: Mutatio (Modified)
Format: 12"
Label: J.A.M. Traxx
Rated: *****
Formed by Sandro Marchetti and Maria Elena Brogi and active during the second half of the 80s, L.A.S.'s Crime are named after Oscar Wilde's tale "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime",a short semi-comic mystery story that was published in 1891 along with "The Canterville Ghost", "The Sphinx Without a Secret" and "The Model Millionaire". This particular name reflected Sandro's way of conceiving the lyrics. Take, for example tracks like "Land Of Nothing" "Silent Words" or "Infect Dawn" coming from the "Inanitas" tape, they are written in a style that remembers poems or late nineteenth literature. Check this excerpt from "Silent Words": "Gelsomina wants to right her life and she dreams of fables every night and she sees herself as fresh as rain". They produced six demo tapes during those years ("Five Lies", "Anomaly", "Inanitas", "Electa" and "Korobi") plus "Abyss 43", an unreleased album, and during the last twenty years they music was hard to find. The last year the label Mannequin released the track "Ill Merry Go Round" on the second volume of "Danza Meccanica" compilation and after few months issued a band compilation containing thirteen tracks coming from their 1985/89 demos. This releases revamped the audience's interest into the band and convinced Sandro to remaster most of their demos (you can purchase them at their Bandcamp page http://lasscrime.bandcamp.com), to play a concert in Venice the last April on the Reality Manipulation event created by Gabriele Longega and Ilaria Zanella. After that experience it was time to try something new and Sandro started to work on the old tracks just to give them a new life. Thanks to J.A.M. Traxx we have "Mutatio (Modified)", a limited to 300 copies vinyl album containing seven reworked versions of old songs remixed by L.A.S.'s Crime themselves, FerDJ Dms (Ferdinando Maggio remixed "Epode" along with the band) and DMKD (Canadian band formed by David Kristian and Mary Davidson that remixed "Flax Girl Room"). Using always the original synthesizers (if you check the details of the releases you can see that he has a huge number of Roland, Korg, Yamaha stuff), Sandro added and substituted some sounds succeeding into giving to the songs more strength and energy keeping also the original atmosphere. If with the compilation "Disphoria 1985-1989" you discovered the music of a good electronic cold wave band, on "Mutatio (Modified)", you'll be carried away by the final result, as they sound powerful compared to some of the nowadays bands that are in love with those sounds but they are part of the original scene... You can check all the tracks on the band's and the label's Bandcamp pages. Ah, I was almost forgetting... check out the beautiful painting titled "Death Of A Cyborg" made by Shorra Digital Arts. It's just beautiful!
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Artist: Mammoth Ulthana (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This project from Jacek Doroszenko and Rafal Kolacki is based on a combination of traditional acoustic instruments and sounds generated by computer software. This way the overall result is a blend of world music and ambient with interesting moments continuing in the tradition of projects that looks to oriental ethnic instruments, known in theatre for the construction of sound effects, often used in ambient projects by various artists.
The rattles of "Prelude" open this release and suddenly the electronics tries to dialogue rather than simply juxtapose. "Ballade" starts focusing on beats and then it begin to create a quiet soundscape as a bridge for the return of the drums. "Impromptu" deals with dark ambient territories while "Mine" depicts a quiet musical picture of a peaceful moment. "Interludium" is a long track that starts with a drone until in the second part the animal horns are used to reconstruct almost a field recordings of a forest. "Hybrid" is a real interlude to the last two tracks: "Path", a track that juxtapose a development focused on ritualistic mood and a more cinematic one, and "Nocturne" a quiet and dreamy soundscape with a noisier central section.
This is not a ground breaking album but is really well written and is full of subtle details that are revealed by repeated and curious listenings. Recommended.
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Artist: Guns of Brixton
Title: Inlandsis
Format: CD
Label: ├ćNTITAINMENT (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from ÃNTITAINMENT is the fourth, and perhaps final, release from this band that disbanded those days. The linear notes describe this album as focused on "post rock tinged with punk and noise" influenced with dub influences. The listening reveals an album whose musical direction ebbs between post rock instrumental tracks and rock songs.
The sharp guitar line of "Hibakusha" opens this release and evolves in a noisy way until some seconds of silence introduce the listener in the second slow part of this track. "Du bist mir vollkommen egal" starts as a post rock track and ends in a dreamy way. "Il ne restera que des silhouettes" features an almost screamed vocals and "Tephrás" is coloured by a piano line. "Retour du Japon" is a slowly evolving tune based upon a small melodic cell. "Porte close" is another vocal track and more song oriented in his structure. "1104" is perhaps the rock oriented tune with his crescendo and the sample of police siren. "Alger" start as in instrumental track, has a spoken words interlude and end as a song with the double registro vocals similar to bands as Lacuna Coil. "Terraform" closes this release with an almost classic post rock instrumental track.
The variety of the musical development reveals the search for some new directions and even if not all ideas are well focused, is an enjoyable listening. Nice.
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Artist: Chris Gavin (@)
Title: Nice View
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: L-System (@)
Rated: *****
The third delivery from L-System records got the signature of French dj and producer Chris Gavin, whose "Nice View" overlooks on techno scene by a possible attempt of sonic translation of the inner vascular motion of a metropolis: a sort of electronic marimba, which gradually becomes more and more audible, reversed woodblocks, an unceasing percussive pump, a subtle metallic whistle, harmonic chips, sudden catalytic ripples sound like everchanging tiles of a gigantic urban organism and the following track "The Present M" sounds likewise ripped from dynamic urbanscapes so that that M of the title could mean both "Music" and "Metro" due to the interconnection between garnered urban audible inputs like the noise from an underground rail, which got swallowed by rhythmic pattern, or the indistinct clamor by passengers, which sounds like a grave collective chorale, entwines with the glimmering concatenations which sonically mirrors the coloured reticulum of a subway map and overfill the sonic sphere by a sort of growing clew. The release include a couple of remixes by German producer Martin Roth, who pan-fried many percussive elements by adding monotonic chords and a mellow teeter-totter-like movement which gradually turns into a catchy deep-techno progression, and Anglo-Persian dj Omid Nourizadeh aka Omid 16b, who sublimates the urban particles of the original track into a lukewarm pad-synth cloud in the two awesome parts of the remix he signed.
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