Music Reviews



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Artist: Richard Moult & David Colohan (@)
Title: Hexameron
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
This assay of graphical and musical art from Time Released Sound got signed by Richard Moult and David Colohan, two young Irish musicians from Galway-based neo folk collective United Bible Studies. I think that the artwork of digital version with that "industralized quotation" from Gustave Dore''s "The Deluge" is a more appropriate image than those swatches from a 100 years-old book about mysterious 15th century printer and illustrator Anton Sorg for the deluxe edition of "Hexameron" in order to let listener envision their style. Named after the term which refers to 6 working days for the creation of our planet by God on Genesis, which got mirrored by the number of tracks as well as by a steady "mystical" tension of their sound, these guys glides along sugarcoated expanded piano melodies, cherubic choirs, occasional drones, placid guitar riffs and lukewarm tonal vaporization, where that vague sense of frail beauty got emphasized with a touch of tragedy and inescapable austerity. To be honest, some moments when the driving musical forces of this record (piano and guitar) reciprocally stress melodic phrases with single chords, which could surmise similar dynamics from melodic prog-rock or fusion stylistical fields, are not so original, but the emotional textures they manage to weave are sometimes enchanting: the gradual ascension on the fifth tracks, the fade-in by which instruments make an entrance on the stage of the second track, which let me think about the breathtaking show of mist sea at dawn on the Isle of Skye, where Moult started to record this album on January 2013, and the occasional dramatic eruptions by Colohan's alto saxophone mark some of my favorite moments of this musical palingenesis.
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anymore
Artist: Frontal (@)
Title: Lass uns Tanzen
Format: CD
Label: Emmo.biz Records (@)
Distributor: Emmo.biz
Rated: *****
Frontal is a German old-school EBM-duo consisting of Alex Wobig (Voice and Programming) and Denis Rehm (Live Drums) and they have been part of the flat-haired EBM-scene for several years now. After starting with a self-released album they could join the ranks of the legendary Electric Tremor label, while they now got signed to Emmo.biz. 'Lass uns Tanzen' is their 4th official album-release and this duo can be sorted musically into the same drawer like Der Prager Handgriff in their early years, meets Pouppee Fabrikk meets Jager 90. So you shouldn't be too much surprised if you'll get a pure, nostalgic and uncomplicated EBM-album with the typical straight kick- and snare-work, the monotonous synth-bass-sequences leading almost the whole music-outfit, plus the raging EBM-shouter with a deep timbre. All tracks are danceable produced with the expected 4-on-the-floor-attitude, so further musically surprises in their arrangements are reduced to a minimum. Almost all tracks provide German lyrics which deal with typical themes of the young 'get-hard-be-strong' EBM-youth like the mostly unsuccessfully hunt for girls, cars, beer, etc. One track finally breaks a bit out this known formula: 'i-Generation' offers more synth-pads thrown into the mix so that I tend to compliment this one out of the mass. Two remix contributions by Orange Sector and a complete reinterpretation by Jager 90 are closing this album, but both do not match the better original tracks. What generally impresses with Frontal is their pleasantly-relaxed expression of their music. They are far away from offering pseudo-aggressive shouts or nervousness in their arrangements. What disturbs is the fact that you shouldn't expect anything more demanding, be it innovation in their music or a lyrically content on more serious themes. It is ideal stuff to warm-up your next body-party, but it doesn't suit to every possibility as background noise.
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Artist: Kangding Ray (@)
Title: Solens Arc
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
You could almost envision the contraction of the muscles of an athlete, his gradual perspiration or his challenge against gravity since the initial "Serendipity March", as if such a slowing down could display some hidden secrets of universal forces. You can have the impression to perceive the movement of every single air particle while a bullet slices through the space that is between its origin and its target on "Transitional Ballistics" or understand the vector space of a bird's flight while listening to "L'Envol". The concept by this awesome record from David Letellier aka Kangding Ray seems to be focused on the attempt of gleaning the essence of movement by a translation of trajectories and parables into sounds by following any resounding object that got launched by laptop, drum machines and synths as if they were cannonballs whose infinite rifle range got mirrored by the gradual "blossoming" of synth arpeggios and melodic dust into enzymatic broken rhythms and deconstructed rave anthems. Each of four Solens arc, one for each side of the album, has been splitted into three phases and wondrously cleaves to such a concept by progressive polymerizations of industrial techno engines - the first stage - into granular entities - the second stage -, which vanish over ether - the third and final level -. My favorite ones are the third arc ("Amber Decay/Apogee/History Of Obscurity") as its evolution sounds like a sort of epic apokatastasis to my ears and the fourth one on D side ("Crystal/Transitional Ballistics/Son"), where the emotional tension wisely reaches the highest peaks by going through stylistical environments which bridges 70ies horror movies soundtracks, industrial techno, broken noises and sidereal drone-ambient. Labelling this release as a masterpiece is not a backslapping at all!
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anymore
Artist: Jenx (@)
Title: Drift (by Lyynk)
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Rated: *****
French label M-Tronic has been always throughout the years a fine resource for demanding Experimental Electronica / IDM artists (Mlada Fronta, Black Lung, Millimetric, Ex-Tension, Dither, etc.), but a signing on a Metal-style related project surprises in the first instance. But no chance for the hairy headbangers, M-Tronic still stands faithful to their own created policy, because this album delivers music mostly far away from those genres. Jenx is a Metal-quintet and Lyynk one of their band members responsible for keyboards, synths and sound programming. He has picked up some tracks taken from the last Jenx-album 'Enuma Elish' and has created remixes and/or completely new interpretations. This results in 6 tunes in a more Electronica-based, more experimental kind of music. Already the more than 11 minutes long opening track 'Inner View' is an ideal example: from the depths of a Downtempo-, very Dark Ambient-like scenario to danceable Electronica to a raw Noise-climax - this track bends through all genres, surprises with unexpected breaks and scores spectacularly. With the second track 'The Flood (Dry Version)', this album then turns more to a real remix companion release to 'Enuma Elish' with some straight kick- and snare-work, various FX samples and also the raw voice of Jenx-frontman Xav. Jenx. The filmic impression returns with the last tune 'Renewal' and this one actually renews the depth of 'Inner View' and stands for a brilliant closure of this 6-tracker EP. 40 minutes playing time are to my personal taste a bit too short, but Mr. Lyynk proves his skillful talent on all tracks. It seems that a sound-designer in a Metal-related band can do much better things than switching some knobs to produce some background noises. The signing to M-Tronic is well deserved and much appreciated.

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Artist: Micromelancolié (@)
Title: It doesn't belong here
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album according to his linear note 'is a trial at merging two worlds together: traditional praise, wedding and funeral songs with contemporary avant-garde music' but really is based on the juxtaposition of field recordings with ambient music. However the result is less predictable than it could seem as the tracks are structured with a path in mind rather than being an void exploration in search of something musically interesting.
The drones and the field recordings, colored by glitches and noises, of 'Wedding Songs and Funeral Laments' open this release as an introduction to 'It Doesn't Belong Here' focused on the performance of Mia Zabelka using extended techniques to obtain various resonances matching with the underlying soundscape orchestrated by Robert SkrzyÅski. 'Greeting and Farewell Songs (in Three Parts)' is a quiet and mediative introduction to 'Greeting and Farewell Songs (in Four Parts)' the longest, quite an half of the duration of the album, track of this release constructed as a musical journey where the drones are the canvas where the field recordings paint the expected mood.
This album tries to search new grounds reasoning on structures rather than searching some weird new sound. It's not something enjoyable for everyone but it's worth a listen for the fans of experimental music. Really nice.
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