Music Reviews



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Artist: Xavier Charles (@)
Title: 12 Clarinets in a Fridge
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
French electroacoustic musician and clarinet player Xavier Charles probes his skills and his living and practising space on this interesting release where he decided to complement the sound of his beloved instrument with voices of home appliances: even he freezed melody, the 12 clarinet lines that he defrosted from his resounding fridge sound like hypnotical vibrations from ice crystals on the opening title-track "12 Clarinets in a Fridge", the 10 lines that he loaded on the amazing "10 Clarinets in the Washing Machine" follows a 6-minutes lasting washing cycle that remives any harmonic stains from the score, while the surviving 6 clarinet lines echoes the heating of the sinusoid electric resistence and the agitation of water molecules inside a boiler on "6 Clarinets in a Boiler". All the above-mentioned aplliances are so integrated in each track that it seems that Xavier just tuned clarinet in with their sonic display. Likewise the clarinet sound like a tuning fork on the two long tracks that he placed in between his domestic experiments where grafts single tone of clarinets, which often fan out over harmonious sonic lumps, entrancing vibratoes and puffs into a miscellany of field recordings and external interferences ("Heterogene") or circular or gurgling mesmeric eddies ("Materiel"). Even if you got fascinated by Charles' experiments, don't try to melt your clarinet in the microwave oven!
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Artist: Cryobiosis (@)
Title: Inner Stasis
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Cryo Chamber, as usual, offers concise linear notes as it more focused on sound rather than complex, and often as catchy as void, presentation. This new release is another release from this label based upon "noise soundscapes" that create a "claustrophobic sound" but it sound a step towards new territories.
While "An Opening" starts this release as a typical album from this label as a dark ambient track focused on a drone, as the track unfolds the focus is on the detailed small noises that put this release in territories closer to field recording. So this album could be divided in two parts: one is made by tracks like "Into Nothingness", "Chasms" or "Hidden Dungeons" that are based on the stereotypical musical path of this release while the other is made by track like "Deep Aquaduct", Harrow or "Demise", the zenith of this release, where the drone is just the glue that takes together the highly detailed small noises that evokes an almost cinematographic experience.
Whilst this release is deeply routed in the tradition of this label, mostly for the usual remarkable mastering by Simon Heath, Cristian Voicu, the mind behind this release, is trying to reach his personal sound so it's someone to could release something important in the near future. A really nice release.
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Artist: Chris Heenan, Ernesto Rodrigues, Alexander Frangenheim, Ofer Bymel
Title: Berlin
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The four blurred vertical lines on the cover artwork, which look like scuff marks on an asphalt-like homogeneous surface or possibly waveforms which crosses a silent space, could be a good graphical condensation of the umpteenth finding in the basket of recorded improvisations that Creative Sources decided to release and entitle by means of the names of the locations where they got recorded. Each line could be matched to the involved musicians: Ernesto Rodrigues, whose fanciful oestrus on viola should be known by my followers, talented double-bass player Alexander Frangenheim, that I already introduced here ad there, Israelian drummer Ofer Bymel on percussions and Berlin-based American saxophonist and clarinetist Chris Heenan on alto saxophone and contrabass clarinet. Besides the usual striking parade of odd techniques and dynamics, the first two parts of this suite let prefigure that no particular variations on a musical "organization", where all elements sound like strangled into a web of feeble interactions where no one can really stand out, could occur over the release and both the third and the fourth parts are in keeping with the previous expectations, but waters begin to get rippled in the final part of Part 4 and Fragenheim and Rodrigues begin to hit and scratch auditory nerves and strings on Part 5, before that sleeping wildness, which sounds like anesthetized in the previous parts of the record, explodes on the sixth final part of this session, which got recorded on 25th April 2010 at Studioboerne45, Berlin-Weissensee.
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Artist: Tarab (@)
Title: I'm Lost
Format: CD
Label: 23five (@)
Rated: *****
Some people are interested in shredding the veil of Maya, while other ones could be ideally more interested in breaking the windscreen or the rear-view mirror of their own car as a deforming lens or misleadign diaphragm between sentient individual and surrounding reality and the skilled Australian sound artist Eamon Sprod aka Tarab, who builds visionary mosaics of field recordings and focused on the perceptional prophylaxis of mass transit on his previous release "Strata", seems to follow this spiritual and artistic path. Noises (mainly those ones which come from technological devices, artificial objects, traffic, social environments) got placed in Tarab's puzzling patchworks as disturbances which heavily influence the perception of reality, whose "natural" elements are just like insignificant entities, as it's clear since the first of five tracks of "I'm Lost", which could vaguely resemble some neurotic sequences of sketches of movie makers like David Lynch or Darren Aronofsky. The second track features claustrophobic entities over an almost silent blown stream, which precedes the oppressive grid pattern of radio frequencies, confusing sonic objects, squeaking sheaves and disquieting trembles of the third track and the very high frequencies and the electric stridencies of the fourth one. The final track, the longest one, got filled with outlines of social sketches which seem to get exterminated by an electric buzz getting out of a broken pressure relief device. Besides any implied interpretation of the title, Tarab seems to pinpoint his grabbed disturbances and heterotopic non-places as possible sources of (spiritual, geographical or sensorial) bafflement.
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Artist: Philipp Quehenberger
Title: Content
Format: 12"
Label: Editions Mego
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure that some spiteful reviewers, who often label a record after listening 10/15 seconds of the first 2-3 tracks of an album, or hoity-toity listeners puckishly will be quick to say this record by Austrian producer Philipp Quehenberger is just a wink at techno or electro followers by Editions Mego as the content of "Content" - seven years after his first appearance on Rehberg's label four years after his amazing release "Hazard" on Laton, that I already introduced on this zine - is richer in inputs. The first tracks sound like already digested sonic cuds, but there are some nice moments such as the opening "Deadline", where loop and frequencies are like reagents of a reciprocal erosion, the course track-laying sonorities of "Fucked" and "Uff Uff", which vaguely resemble some stuff by T.Raumschmiere, or "In Sight", which gets closer to more slaphappy offbeat electro (imagine a more abstract declension of Dat Politics stuff), while it seems that the friction coefficient increases on the last tracks so that the lunatic spasms of "Startled", the neural knurls of "Extended", whose basslines could be similar to what you would associate to the belch of a fat toad, and the final cruise of "For Real" are my favorite moments of the release. After listening to "Content", you will think that stubborn stains could sometimes look spick-and-span!
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