Music Reviews



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Artist: Response (@)
Title: S.O.S./Control
Format: 12"
Label: Ingredients (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of that kind of trapping sound which could turn blindness into a watchful eye permeates "S.O.S.", the title of the first half of this very good d'n'b shot by Mancunian dj and producer Nick Owen aka Response doesn't refer to the notorious Morse code distress signal, but to the so-called Son of Sevenless, a set of genes which has a key role in cellular signal transduction. Howbeit the tech-step-driven sound of this track could let you think about the rendering of the attempt of encapsulating a dangerously overwhelming pandemic till the moment when a voice mentions a violation of Section 409, which, if I remember well, is related to fiscal matters in the US Code. On the flipside, the dystopian contrails of the first tune procedes over "Control" a meaningful kicking 2-step tune, which depicts a computer-ruled monitored social system by means of sound. The sci-fi-like atmosphere could let you surmise it's a mirroring of an envisaged nonexistent hyper-reality, but are you sure it's more actual than you could imagine? Anyway, really good dnb shots!
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Artist: Guy Gelem (@)
Title: Reappearance
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
I received this tidbit by cello player Guy Gelem some months ago, but there should be some available copies of the strictly limited edition of 90 ones yet which features the usual lovely artworks by Time Released Sound - a star punched, black felt covered outer envelope, wrapped in an undulating, hand worked, 26" folded obi strip'¦with an included, stamped insert made from pages of vintage, hand notated sheet music, whose package got tied up with strands of Mongolian horsehair and a hand made, rubber tie down button, made from a used bicycle tire tube! -. According to my ear response, the recording is not perfect, but it seems that this nice assay of neo-classical music got deliberately recorded in a raw way that emphasizes a certain genuine rusticity of Gelem's music. I don't know if he got helped by guest musicians or puzzled different melodic lines in studio, but the melodies that he rubbed on four tracks - one for each part of the day (morning, noon, evening and night) - are so enchanting and evocative that any other aspects are irrilevant. I'm pretty sure that listeners will experience a sort of bucolic synaesthesia while listening to Gelem's "Reappearance" that is going to bring your mind towards a perception of time whose close connection to natural cycles has almost been forgotten by many communities where alienation and consumerism are undisputed rulers.
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Artist: Lee Gamble (@)
Title: KOCH
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: PAN (@)
Rated: *****
No dice: when a producer gained experience over years, the quality of music dramatically rises and Lee Gambler is one of them as he shows a remarkable familiarity with bass-driven music on this astonishing album, which is going to be launched from PAN pad on 12th September. The opening track resembles some psychedelic atmosphere by Future Sound of London as well as the intros of some 90ies jungle stuff by means of the hypnotical sirens choir and the narcotic effects he inject, which come back on the first of the four faces of this release on "You Concrete", whose rarefaction follows the saturation bombing of "Motor System", where Lee combines dry mechanical hammering (closer to Riou's industrial techno) with deep techno vaporiuzed sonorities, and precedes the pneumatic pressures of "Nueme". A subtle pad-synth which gradually becomes more audible after bumping knocks seem to generate metallic crumbles that got scattered over deep outer space on "Oneiric Contur" opens B-side, which features the more sidereal abstractions of the whole album with the exception of the sci-fi computational techno of "Hmix" and finishes with the six narcotic minutes of "Frame Drag", a track which let me recall stuff like Experimental Audio Research's "Phenomena 256". The gelatinous electronic clots of "Voxel City Spirals", the agglutination of sparkling metallic hits, muffled sonic spurts and a sort of mechanical heartbeat on "Yehudi Lights Over Tottenham" and the planetary keepie-uppie of "Jove Layup" fill C-side, while the computational chirping of "Ornith-Mimik" turns D-side on. The alien technoid bleeps of "Caudata", which seems to render a possible exercise on a terrestrial Detroit techno tune by a Mars inhabitant, the abstract medley of "Flatland", the gnarling torsions of "Gillsman" and the martial stomping beats of "6EQUJ5-7", which could be the OST for an imaginary battle between space dreadnoughts, complete this amazing record.
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Artist: Candida Kandinskij
Title: Premature
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Candida Kandinskij is a one-man-band by Giovanni De Benedetto from Udine. The project falls under the big umbrella of 'industrial rock'. On his website, Giovanni De Benedetto cites many influences, such as Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, Death in June and Einsturzende Neubauten. 'Premature' is self-released and it is a 11-track album. I have to be honest'¦this album is pretty bad. All the tracks are sloppy and boring, except for Obliquium, Dobermann and Hill. But why exactly is this album so bad? First, the rhythmic section is sloppy, uninteresting and the single sounds selected by Giovanni De Benedetto are pretty bad. I know how it is difficult to find nice drum sounds, but doing something more than the sounds of this album should be mandatory. Second, the voice. The tone is coarse, sometimes inappropriate to the music. However, one may say that such a tone could be a stylistic choice, so that my remark may sound a little bit out of the line. But there is a bigger problem with the voice: the English pronunciation. As pronunciation sounds really bad to me that I'm italian, I cannot imagine how this may be perceived by a native speaker. I think it is important to cure this aspect because the voice sounds really really botch. Synths (except for Dobermann) are badly arranged (if arranged at all), and I am also skeptical about the choice of sounds. The only decent aspect of the album are probably guitars, but this is not enough to save this piece of work. I'm afraid Candida Kandinskij has still to find its own way.
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Artist: Gaap Kvlt
Title: Void
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
The man/woman behind Gaap Kvlt curtains managed to keep his/her identity conceiled for the moment as no one knows anything about him/her except, I surmise, Polish label Monotype which released his/her first complete album. As I am adverse to the cult of personality by nature, I cannot but praise such a choice, even if it could be consistent with the mysterious halo of the sound and the whole evoked atmosphere you're going to explore: the quotation of the Golem on the opening highly hypnotical track "Birth of Golem", who became famous for the notorious novel by Meyrink, but above all a style which melts dark ambient, cinematic industrial-like poltergeists, field recordings which seems to come from obscure recesses of some haunted building, abstract electronics whose low frequencies which gradually entwine and smother the sonic sphere (particularly on tracks like "Inquieude", "Poix" or "Far") and sinister knocks could be described as a possible crossbreed between Flint Glass, Emptyset and Vidna Obmana even if some occasional lacquering of Arabian sonorities (mainly percussions on tracks like "Ritual" or "Peganum Harmala") could resemble some stuff from Muslimgauze. Some moments of the album certainly render a sense of vague and suffocating emptiness, but a title like "Void" clashes against the thickening coagulations of visionary sonic injections and the fascinating polarization between icy sounds and the scorching heat which emanates from this fascinating release. Mind the Gaap...I said...mind the Gaap!
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