Music Reviews



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Artist: Strom Noir
Title: Glaciology
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
As last year I praised "Urban Blues", I was curious to hear this new release dubbed on the cover as "music for headphone" that usually means that the sound palette is well curated. As the subtitle is "Four Songs about Snow and Ice", the cover feature an arctic landscape that is evoked in the first track "névé" based on the juxtaposition of slowly evolving drone evoking the slowly changing light reflections on ice; this track starts quietly and slowly his presence emerges to slowly fading in the end. "Firm" starts as a dark soundscape but develops with loops of string sounds whose resonances and reverbs are colored by the claps of the middle part and ends with the guitar of the final part. "Penitentes" is a quiet juxtaposition of drones whose subtleties are best percept using headphones. "Moréna" closes this release using the same structure of the previous track but with even more care for details.
"Niekedy sa vracaju" is a bonus track, the full edition of track published in a shorter form, and is a gentle piece for synth closer to a classic form of ambient at the border of the best pages of new age music.
This release is another statement of art from one of the most talented soundscape constructor in this field. Listening with headphone is essential. Almost excellent.
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Artist: Hybryds
Title: The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
These new reissue from this project is an expanded version of a 1991's EP that contained the first track of this CD. The rest was not published perhaps at it sounded very different from the other issue of this project as starting form "The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive pt.1", a track focused on the intersection between a vocal (?) drone, a loop of some water falling as some sparse noises, it sounds as a recording of an oriental ritual. When the clock marks the half of the track, a drum emerge and the track evolves in the evolution of rhythmic patterns. The rhythmic pattern is the base of "The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive pt.2" sparsely mottled by the samples and a female voice. "The Ritual Should Be Kept Alive pt.3" evolves these pattern in a faster way while the previous track was more hypnotic. This is a form of ritual music so rigorous to stand as a monolith indiscernible by the profane.
The first part is "Wailing for the fallen angels" is completely focused on drones that are slowly substituted by a calm beat that act as a base for the latin spoken word of the final part.
While undoubtedly charming and evocative, this release is so particular that could only be recommended to fans of the genre. All fans of the previous Hybryds' reissues will love this release but "the other" has to approach it with careful listening.
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Artist: Mathias Delplanque (@)
Title: Transmissions
Format: CD
Label: Crónica (@)
Rated: *****
The mechanical syntagms and the cycles where the transformation of potential energy into kinetic ones by old looms that Mathias Delplanque recorded at the museum of textile in Cholet, France, in 2008 for the first half of this release and by many different tools and machines that some students who took part to his workshop at Livet Technical Lyceum in Nantes in 2009 and 2010, are the driving force of this interesting album, where the plain and simple electromechanical transmissions go beyond the concept of field recordings or soundscape. Mathias managed to render the alienation of industrial working by means of sonic canvas, where the seemingly oppressive dominance of the perceptual space by machines gradually leads to the paradox of its "humanization" (particularly on the 40 minutes lasting mechanical symphony of "Part 4", where those mechanical transmissions sound like beating like human hearts, breathe and puff like human lungs or even show a sort of sequence of emotional feedback propagations...), as if the evocative sounds of a factory could be a possible archetype of human activity as they arise like austere and somehow organic architectural elements.
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Artist: Imiafan, Martin Burlas, Ivan Strpka
Title: Krv Ciernobielych Fotografii
Format: 12"
Label: 4mg Records
Rated: *****
In the last years I reviewed different releases by Imiafan, Slovakian electronic musical project of Imrich Vegh and each time I listen to his music, I hear early Die Form influences and generally the atmosphere and attitude of early industrial/electronic wave bands. For this new release titled "Krv Ciernobielych Fotografii" ("Blood Of Black And White Photographs"), Imi used the lyrics of the Slovakian poet Ivan Strpka and asked to Martin Burlas to join him by adding some synth lines. The 12" contains seven new tracks of which one is a mix made by JBK. The LP opens with "Zaciatok (Vyssie)" ("The Beginning (Higher)"), a raw electronic industrial tune which mix detached vocals and a rich background made of synth analog sounds. "Neviditelna Vec"("Invisible Thing") is a bit more upbeat but the vocals are even more alienated and this effect is enhanced by the contrast with the rhythmic synthetic patterns. "Zamlka" ("Silent") is kinda minimal and mix a bass line loop with an upfront recitative vocal. Slowly the song thickens its atmosphere thanks to a distorted delayed guitar and dry drum machine sounds. "Frontalny Utok" ("Frontal Assault") is one of the most direct and melodic tracks along with the opening and mix catchy distorted lines to upbeat rhythms, alternating spontaneous improvised guitar "solos" to drum rolls. "Nocna Alchymia"remixed by the Slovakian guy Jan Boleslav Kladivo is a great minimal industrial synth tune. "Krv Ciernobielych Fotografii" ("Blood Of Black And White Photographs"), has upfront vocals with subtle synth sounds which create a particular effect that sounds like a spaced out Asian melody on dope. "Zaciatok (Nizsie)" ("The Beginning (Lower)" is the following of the opening track: a sort of second part. The album is pretty short and lasts about 22' but it's worth your attention as it has a fashion of its own but you can check it here https://4mgrecords.bandcamp.com/album/krv-iernobielych-fotografi
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Artist: Bill & Murray
Title: Rabbit Hole E.P.
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Other Voices
Rated: *****
Based in Tel-Aviv, Bill & Murray is a trio formed in 2013 by David Blau (guitar, vocals), Stella Gotshtein (keyboard, vocals) and Ran Jacobovitz (drums). In two years they already have on their back participations at international music festivals in North America and Europe, an East European tour and they opened for Gary Numan. "Rabbit Hole" is their first single from their forthcoming album 'A New Kind of High' that will be released this fall, as far as I understood. On this three tracks single the band is only formed by Stella and David and present a minimal approach to new wave and pop. The main song is a melancholic yet energetic tune that sometimes recall me Slowdive mixed with Kylie Minogue because of the dreamy and catchy approach. "What's There To Fear (live)" is a bit less pop but still dreamy and sees the band playing a minimal set with tribal drums, a basic synth line and a guitar. "Rabbit Hole (Sketch)" closes the single with a demo version of the main track which now sounds more intimate and minimal thanks to the use of two bass lines and male / female choruses. The single is downloadable for free here https://othervoicesrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rabbit-hole-ep and the package includes a nice video for "Rabbit Hole".
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