Music Reviews



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Artist: Illustration Sonore
Title: Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
After twenty-six releases of reissues from the past, Medical Records is releasing its first release played by a nowadays band and at this purpose they picked up the Paris based duo Illustration Sonore. Formed by Dash (active also with Dolina) and Christina (from Froe Char), the duo released this year two songs ('Flying Lights' and 'Violence') on the La Forme Lente compilation 'Circuit d'Actes 3' and had only a demo out. On their debut album titled 'Undisciplined Strips Of Emotions', we can find ten tracks of which five really new as 'Flying Lights' was on the compilation and 'Buried In The Hearts', 'Divinatorium', 'Vision & Prayer' plus 'Die Gefhuleduselei' were on their first self titled demo. Anyway'¦ The album opens with 'Ulysses', a really good song which sets the atmosphere for the whole set: dark ambience, catchy melodies, deep analog sounds and punching electronic drums. Mixing male and female vocals, Illustration Sonore succeed into giving their personal touch to 80s electronic wave blending it with electro industrial influences (see Cabaret Voltaire or Chris And Cosey). See tracks like 'Cannibals' or 'Blacklights' (distortion, melody arpeggios and cold vocals are their core elements) and you'll understand what I mean. There also tracks which are less aggressive like 'Divinatorium' (to my surprise a song with Italian lyrics!) and good for an alternative dance floor. This is a nice debut and you can check it at this page http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/undisciplined-strips-of-emotions-mr-027
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Artist: Snap Shot ft.Chimpo & Tonn Piper
Title: Dooms VIP/Dark Shadow VIP
Format: 12"
Label: NBAudio (@)
Rated: *****
A friend of mine with a strong passion for bass music says it's better to wait before buying some new 12" as he's fully convinced by the fact that some enhanced VIP versions could follow and they are going to play better than original tune. NB Audio, a newcomer in the overcrowded arena of alternative electronica labels from Manchester, doesn't dissuade that good folk from corroborating his argument by launching a couple of very good V.aried I.deas or V.ariations I.n P.roduction from Snap Shot, the two-headed project by Mark XTC - co-founder Da Intalex partnership with Marcus Kaye and shaker on Galaxy 102 radio by his own excellent drum and bass radio show - and Philip Lomas aka Microcosm - one of founding members of Mancunian collective North Base -. They managed to hype both the chasing "Dark Shadow" which features Tonn Piper, resident at Manchester's Warhouse Project, APE and Metropolis, on mic by stressing jungle-like inserts and the menacing dark clo(u)ds of the original track, and the gluey dark steps of "Dooms" by passing it to talented bass music styles' juggler Chimpo. Check them out!
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Artist: Hooved
Title: Timeless EP
Format: 12"
Label: AMAM (@)
Distributor: Intergroove
Rated: *****
The metronomic 2-step incipit of "TMLSS1" over a 15-minutes lasting pelting of sonic entities such as a sort of plastic rubbing, a small sample of vinylic hiss, which sounds like the first sparkle of a primer, popping claps whose mechanical sequence could let you think about the forcing of a deadbolt lock, occasional slackening swirls, spotty quavering high-notes which are often used in movies to announce an upcoming hazard and harmonic outcrops till the final and somehow unexpected parching, imprints a slight metamorphosis of the sound by Italian dj and producer Gaetano Vinci aka Hooved, even if such a mutation doesn't completely camouflage its devotional passion for some past Detroitesque sonorities (particularly Derrick May, The Martian and Richie Hawtin), which more clearly emerge on the lulling techno frame-up of the second movement of this EP as well as on the third one (a digital bonus), whose hypnotical looped vocals repeating "I think I might have something you would enjoy over at my house..." on a tolling of synth low-bells, subcutaneous kicks and nice bleeping clicks which emphasize the fourth beat of the rhythmical pattern reprise recurring stunts of Detroit tech-house. You'll also find a nice remix of the track by living legend of minimal techno Thomas Brinkmann, who manages to highlight "Timeless"' danceable prompts and turn it into a proper hit by inoculating a vial of symphony as well.
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Artist: Mountain Black (@)
Title: Closing In
Format: CD
Label: Moozak
Distributor: A-Musik
Rated: *****
It's not so difficult to realize that Melbourne-based sound artist and sound designer Martin Kay in the guise of Mountain Black knows many fictional tools which belongs to movie soundtracks and narrations in general, but the lack of precise space and time handhold and visual references subtend the intent of remove any narrative plot from its sonic art, which stands on an amalgamation of processed found sounds, field recordings and drone by means of cross-synthesis processing techniques and digital editing programs. Such a choice could floor many followers of this branch of sonic experiments since many sound artists who deal with field recordings are trying to render a sort of narrative line or let their arts move within the fences of conceptual frameworks at least, so that this purge by Martin could be the best invitation to sharpen ears as if they got outfitted by powerful receptors which can grab the slightest vibrations of resounding particles. However many listeners could fall into temptation of building a sort of narration due to the sonic clues that Martin Kay's astonishing sound modelling and the interceptions of his contact mics provide such as the intriguing dichotomy between "Diegetic" and "Non-Diegetic", a couple of tracks which refers to the role of sounds in films: when a character of the movie or a fiction in general can listen sounds, you can say that sound is diegetic, while on the other hand when the sound (for instance soundtrack itself) cannot be heard by the character, it is termed non diegetic or extra-diegetic. Mountain Black's translation of this concepts is absolutelly interesting: while "Diegetic" features the "usual" well-recorded insects, birds, burning pyres and other almost imperceptibles sonic elements that the "storyteller" can listen, "Non-Diegetic" seems to have been recorded while the key player falls in a light and disturbed sleep while watching TV. The above-mentioned temptation could be fed by some logical and sonic chains as well, such as it happens for the two parts of "Glass Eaters" (a sonic translation of hyalophagia?), the two detached sonic inputs of "Waiting Room" (a distant vocal noise and a white squall), which flow into the following "Messin", and the almost silent "Bind", which seems to be a sort of preface of "Non-Diegetic", but any chance of narrative cohesion cannot be but delegated to the imagination of listeners. I recommend a closer look (and a closer listen) to Mountain Black's website in order to understand both aesthetics and "poetics" as well.
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Artist: Sonarophon
Title: Naked Arrows
Format: CD
Label: Zang:
Rated: *****
Recorded live at the Tou Scene in Stavanger the new second album of Sonarophone, titled 'Naked Arrows', is about to be released after three years from their debut 'De Frie Elementer' always on Zang:. Sonarophone is a duo formed by Alf Terje Hana (at CHAIN D.L.K. we reviewed different releases of his main project Athana) and Line Horneland. Containing eight tracks, the album is a melting pot where guitar experimentation (Alf is a master of this field) and jazz meet, transmute and rise to new life. Line vocals are captivating and hypnotic and pass from jazz classic atmospheres to whispers. On tracks like 'Oldtidsstrid' we have the sum of their sound with a spacey guitar introduction which is joined by vocal chants, breath noises and screams. It just sounds evocative and convincing. Also the following 'Short Song' is particular one as it's formed by a mix of distorted rhythms, guitar short arpeggios and little vocal chants. I imagine how it would have been being at that show when at a certain point the audience find itself in front of a woman who sings like in reverse and looks at a guy who seems to play a guitar but the speakers spread a fragmented strange sound (like on the track 'Samtea'). Inspired and beautiful this is an album I'm suggesting you to check and you can find so by visiting the band's sound cloud page at www.soundcloud.com/sonarophon
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