Music Reviews



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Artist: Ugasanie
Title: Call of the North
Format: CD
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Cryo Chamber is presented as a release aiming to 'explore the concept of the unusual and mysterious phenomenon known as arctic hysteria'. This is a sort of reaction to the 'polar night' i.e., the extreme absence of light at this latitude. This result is searched with the careful exploration of the evocative properties of the drones that are the basic element of this genre.
'Without the Sun' opens this release with a couple of drones juxtaposed and sparse filed recording creating an atmosphere of hunting darkness. 'Pulsation' is, instead, a quiet track that evokes a search for light and 'Aurora' sounds likes a reach for a reason to hope that is negated in 'Call of the North' where the sense of obscurity of the first track is recalled to be even amplified by 'Arctic Hysteria' opened by a voice recorded during an attack of polar hysteria. The last three tracks, 'In the Waves of Light', 'Freezing' and 'Cold Wasteland', bring this mood to his unavoidable consequence end as a resignation to the movement of nature.
This release recalls me that aesthetic beauty relies, not only on achievement of form, but also in the ability to evoke a state of mind or in the search of expressiveness of sound. A stunning expression of the possibilities of dark ambient genre.
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Artist: Mario BJM Bajardi (@)
Title: Inverse EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ONDE
Rated: *****
Just over a year ago, I spoke about his "Glass Orchestra EP", named after the title of the song that a Sicilian wine company commissioned for an original advert, a taste of the musical wit by Italian composer Mario Bajardi, who recently signed the third release for ONDE Electronic Contents, the sister label of Paolo Bigazzi'Iter Research. The title track "Inverse" opens the release by means of sizzling beats and metallic hits that got combed by airy layers of violin that flow into a carillon-like melody, a sort of robotic cardiac resuscitation whose style could surmise a combination between the ones by Funckarma and Apparat. The following track "Crusty" follows a similar strategy, but he inoculates spelling bees and a floating piano melody in the lively rhythmical patterns. The only vocal track "Rest" is the one which I enjoyed less, but I could assume that its very simple structure could act like a transparent veil in order to let listener appreciate the voice of Eleza, the singer of Teardrop-Glory Box cover (2008). Mario inoculates harmony within harshness in the central track "Interlude" before steering further more chilling and cinematic sonorities ("Standing", "Missing"). The remix of "Crusty" by talnted Italian sound-artist Carlo Ascrizzi doesn't upset the delicate balance of "Inverse".
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Artist: Tumido
Title: Nomads
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar (@)
Rated: *****
An electronic melted blob, which seems to articulate words in an uncodified language, and fast percussions that give rise to an enterancing Berber drumming session and Tres pinching before the race gets inflamed by a trumpet, which sounds like a furious elephant, ignite this brilliant stylistical crossover on "Gubat", the first incendiary track of Tumido's new album. Over five tracks, mainly named from remote places on our planet, Gigi Gratt (tres, trumpet), Bernard Breuer (drums and sticks of Elektro Guzzi and Metalycee) and the new member Mario Stadler (synth), exhibit their striking sound, whose melting of dub, electronics and rock could stuck listeners up: the rough tribal patterns of "Nuuk" got embossed by tilting synths and swirling clots of drums and distorted guitars; the sneaking narcosis that mesmerizes listeners in the first part of "Isny" by means of a Massive Attack-like trip hop movement got stopped by a sort of tenderly adulterated spinet and abruptly smashed by an overpowering wall of sound, which gets dissolved into an electric suffocated cloud; obliquely delayed hits and crackly strokes got clotted by a piercing high-pitched frequency and a gargling noise on the blood-chilling "Tommot"; the tribalistic dance of the lenghty final track "Xaxim" unexpectedly turns into a distillate of a mangled dub, whose agonizing bad trip-like sound likewise unexpectedly expands in an overwhelming manner and flows into muffling metallic squeals. An excellent boxed cake mix for catching live concerts.
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Artist: FELL & the Incubate Kidsorchestra (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Hula Honeys (@)
Rated: *****
This amazing release by Fell, the bicephalous project by brilliant Dutch sound artist toktek, discerning collector of samples from many different found objects to update his rich sound palette, and skilled Swiss drummer Simon berz, got carefully assembled together with an improvised temporary orchestra of kids, who took their enthusiastic creativity out by rhythmical speaking, developing sounds from improvised patterns and found objects and enjoyed different sonic technology on the occasion of Incubate Festival in 2013, where Fell just inoculated melodies and additional beats. The outputs is really astonishing and vibrant: seemingly random chopping and chewing of sounds gradually took mind-blowing nuances as it happens on the initial "Monday", whose funnily crispy percussive elements got amalgamated by a warm bass sound before the atmosphere got turned into something which could surmise the elgant complexity of Autechre layering, the mottled groove on "Tuesday" spurts amazing computational gurgling, which precedes the almost jazzy sophistication of "Wednesday" and the blurred emotional warmth of the gentle downtempo sizzles on "Thursday". Adult eardrums can only praise these kids!
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Artist: Embers
Title: Kout
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible
Rated: *****
Described as containing "New Flemish folklore" by the label Enfant Terrible, "Kout" is the second MLP by a Belgian band called Embers. The only information I found on the net is their Facebook page which reported as members Steve Desmadrijl and Pieter Nolf, their city (Oudenbrugge) and a page on the Hospital Food Records website. Their music is described as post industrial and their influences include Coil, Swans, Sigmund Und Sein Freund, Calva Y Nada, Novy Svet, Faith No More, Pixies, Primus and Lhasa De Sela. Their newest MLP is available as a 12"+CD package and has six new tracks which mix acoustic/electric guitar, heavy drumming, a bit of analog synth rawness (check "Kwaad Bloed") and clanging noises. Their songs sound like a chant coming from an old haunted factory where demons are forging their weapons. Combining guitar riffs to noises, treated or shouted vocals and everything their imagination could suggest them to play after they hit the record button, Embers are able to mesmerize you with their music and you can check it here http://enfant-terrible.nl/ET038.html
If you are into Einsturzende Neubauten and aren't afraid to check something that has no rules but it's all instinct and pure energy, Embers are a band you have to try.
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