Music Reviews



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Artist: Tmymtur (@)
Title: Kooh
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ENSL AMDC (@)
Rated: *****
This is an album of remixes of Tmymtur's 'Yusei.' The original project used layers of 5000 voices to create shimmering drone. Unfortunately, most of these stay pretty true to the original, to the point where I had a difficult time distinguishing them from each other. Except for the tone that they chose to pursue, they were stylistically similar. Only one really stood out as taking a different trajectory from the original. Stephan Mathieu made these voices more jagged and abrasive; his stood in stark contrast to the others, which were much more calming, like the original. Overall, this was not nearly as engaging as the original, perhaps because of the length of the album. The original stood at around 22 minutes, and this was almost three times as long. I would just get the original and skip the remixes. This album weighs in at around 65 minutes.
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Artist: Tmymtur (@)
Title: Yusei
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ENSL AMDC (@)
Rated: *****
According to the press sheet that came with the disc, this project focuses on the elements of ultrasonic waves included within the voice by using recording equipment capable of recording inaudible frequencies over 20Khz. 'By layering over 5000 of these voices, they blend organically, and form the sound creation called '湧声 (Yusei)' which is one of a kind, made just of voices. It is a composition where people can feel beyond their territories of consciousness, a kind of feeling as if everything is connected and shared.' The concept is interesting, so let's see what this sounds like. This is one 22 minute track of long, ever-shifting, shimmering drone. The closest comparison I could come up with would be Jliat's 'The Nature of Nature' or Margrit Rieben's 'Brückengesang.' Interesting and engaging. This album weighs in at around 22 minutes.
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Artist: Neznamo / Siyanie (@)
Title: Sonans
Format: CD
Label: Moonsun (@)
Rated: *****
I was already familiar with Siyanie's work, but Neznamo was new to me. I am always interested to hear collaborations to see what parts become foregrounded from each act. The label explains that this was the result of a live improvisation recorded at the Otgoloski Festival in 2011 and describes it as 'lo-fi drone ambient.' The album consists of one 41 minute track, which makes sense considering its origin. This has a kind of ethnoambient feel to it; there is some nice drone with percussion elements and noise. However, I didn't find it to be as lush as Siyanie's solo work. This sounded sort of thin by comparison. Of course there is less that one can accomplish in a live setting without resorting to a lot of backup tapes, so this is understandable. It also began to get somewhat repetitive toward the end, almost as if you were trapped in a locked groove. This album weighs in at around 41 minutes and is limited to 111 copies.
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Artist: Siyanie (@)
Title: Shining of Unity
Format: CD
Label: Moonsun (@)
Rated: *****
Siyanie is the work of Segey Ilchuk, formerly of Vresnit. I had previously reviewed the collaboration between Vresnit & Kshatriy, so I had some idea of what I would be in for. This is really peaceful ambient work that allows you to drift off into your own thoughts. If I could describe this in one word, it would be 'contemplative.' The music reminds me of Vidna Obmana's 'River of Appearance,' with shimmering drone. When there are vocals (e.g., on 'Sunrise Lullaby'), they are slow and gentle. If you think that you're going to be delving into dark ambient because of his collaboration with Kshatriy, you're in for a surprise. Really calm, but very good. This album weighs in at around 57 minutes and is limited to 300 copies.
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Artist: Alexander Vatagin (@)
Title: Serza
Format: CD
Label: Valeot Records (@)
Rated: *****
Austria-based Alexander Vatagin is a busy man. In addition to running Valeot Records, he has also played with acts such as Port-Royal, Tupolev, Quarz and several other projects. And then there is his solo work, of which this is his third release. According to the label, Serza features 'a huge spectrum of common as well as unusual instruments, it takes you on a thirty minute trip full of delicate melodies, pushing drums, gentle noise, swirling celli, warm vibraphone chimes and sweet piano tunes.' I found this to be a strange mix of This Mortal Coil-like orchestrations mixed with noisy elements. It never gets too in your face with the noise ' just noisy. We have here a nice blend of calm, peaceful music and dissonance coexisting nicely together. Nice work. This album weighs in at around 30 minutes.
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