Music Reviews



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Artist: ASC
Title: Proton/Electron
Format: 12"
Label: Pushing Red (@)
Rated: *****
James Clements, better known as ASC, one of the most prolific electronic music producer, who mostly lived and breathed Motown, techno and primeval UK hardcore scene, unclasps a couple of catchy techno tunes on this polarized release for Texas-based label Pushing Red by Heath Looney. Even if I could surmise he mainly seems to build a stylistical bridge between icy sci-fi electro sounds (I could mention some stuff which came from NY-based Satamile) and those hazily narcotic sonorities of some underground UK releases, there's something in the assembly of the rhythmical pattern, in the progression of sounds and in the percussive elements (particularly of the negative pole of this electrolytic cell, the track called "---" or "Electron" where ASC seems to induce radioactivity at a certain point by means of catchy dynamics...) which let me thought about some possible hype revisitation of some techno-trance mantra by obscure Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia by Sabres Of Paradise or Solar Quest. Of the two tracks, I prefer the above-mentioned "Electron", but "Proton" is equally catchy, even if those mashed bumps on pitched buzzes of the first part could sound a little bit banal till the moment he injects funnier legerdemain with bleeps and click on a heady very low frequency.
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Artist: Vladislav Delay (@)
Title: Kuopio
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
After the appetizer of "Espoo", a sort of sidetrack and bridge between his previous album "Vantaa" and present day, Sasu Ripatti aka Vladislav Delay keeps on feeding his "psychogeographical" sonic series about Finland, his beloved country, by a release named after Kuopio, the second urban area in terms population density after Helsinki. By means of this good album, the mutation of Delay's sound seems to have been completed in the bargain: even if it could sound less irregular and somewhat close to more chewable stuff, Sasu manages to mould a sound, which sound mature and elegant both when he contours more physical sonorities as it happens in the first part of the record in authentic master strokes such as "Avanne", "Hetkonen" or "Osottava", where he almost renders ice, crystal, metal, timber, empty logs or even crumbled stalactites by means of sounds, smoothed with suspended pads and muffled reverberations, and when he tacks towards more bouncing tracks and amazing hybridizations which manage to preserve the typical matchstick structure and modular progressions of his style. There are many gems which seem to be squeezed from Kuopio's spirit - a people-orinted environment, where it seems there's a careful and balanced policy on cultural life, environment, transportation and arts, which probably influences people's mood, as it seems that Kuopio inhabitants are more jovial and talkative and less melancholic and reserved than other Finnish citizens - in order to encrust it on listenable support. I could just recommend to relish and gulp it down like a pleasunt journey with many amazing landmarks such as the puffed telegraphic breakbeat of "Marsila", the floating levitations of "Kellute", the crystalline nibbling and mindblowing sequences of "Hitto", the catchy melting of icy leftover curls of "Kuuluuko", the lukewarm fibrillation of "Hetkonen" and so on... Really yummy record!
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Artist: IKB Ensemble
Title: Monochrome Bleu Sans Titre
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of the semicircle on the inlay artwork, which is similar to the typical graphical representation of the seating arrangement of different musicians of an orchestra, and so many improvisational musicians involved in the project, referring to IKB as an "orchestra" could be quite misleading. IKB could better be defined an ensemble with some specific and somewhat original features: its conceptual framework focuses on French painter Yves Klein, leading figure of the artistic movement he co-founded in 1960 with art critic Pierre Restany, the so-called "nouveau realisme" (new realism), as suggested by the fact this ensemble names after the bright and intense blue hue, International Klein Blue, that Monsieur Klein first mixed and widely used for a lot of installations and paintings. According to the Nouveau Realism Manifesto, whose members autographed on a rigorously IKB panel, and the artistic perspective of this group, the surrounding world could be observed as a sort of modular picture and any artist could take single parts as well as incorporate them into their works in order to "seal" a sort of bond between art and life and a return to concrete world in opposition to abstract art. Their aggregation/congregation was considered a sort of "collective singularity" as it derived from the awareness of their differences, whose "trait d'union" was mainly methodological and based on the grabbing of reality. Whereas that movement mostly unfolded itself in visual arts, IKB ensemble could be considered the missing link with sound art. On the four sonic canvasses, it seems that they apply their precepts by means of instrumental clips and sounds derived from objects, which sound like emulations of daily sounds or rubber-stamps or casts from concrete reality and while it seems they flow into tonal streams, listeners could have the impression of a choral mimicry. Ernesto Rodrigues and his crowd of talented collaborators (Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Miguel Mira on double bass, Rogerio Silva on trumpet, Eduardo Chagas on trombone, Bruno Parrinha on alto clarinet, Nuno Torres on alto saxophone, Pedro Sousa on tenor and baritone saxophones, Abdul Moimeme on prepared electric guitar, Carlos Santos and Ricardo Guerreiro on computers, Monsieur Trinite', Nuno Morao and Jose Oliveira on percussions) presumptively invented a possible new direction for improvisational scene.
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Artist: The Exaltics
Title: Muted World
Format: 12"
Label: Trust
Rated: *****
Robert Witschakowski has always been really active and also 2013 has started in a good way as The Exaltics already released a split 12" EP and this new "Muted World" EP which has been released by Austrian label Trust. Available as 12" and digital download, "Muted World" blends electro, a bit of acid (like on "Second Phases"), ambient electronica and Detroit techno. As usual the tracks offer hard beat complex rhythmic textures, tense atmospheres and almost a maniacal cure into the arrangement procedure. "Muted World" offers four new instrumentals "Every Beginning Has An End", "Second Phases", "Muted World" and "Broken" plus a remix of "Second Phases" by bristol's Kamikaze Space Programme, the new experimental techno project of veteran drum'n'bass producer Chris Jarman a.k.a. Raiden. On this version, Chris kept the main melodic structure and added distortion here and there, but mainly to rhythmic elements, just to give more boost to the whole track. As usual, for The Exaltics, wait for a quality release!
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Artist: Aidan Casserly Vs. Hyperbubble
Title: Fist in the Mirror
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Fellowshipwreck
Rated: *****
Chain D.L.K. readers already know Aidan Casserly as he's the Empire State Human's frontman plus he's been active with different other projects (Figaro, The Garland Cult and The Wazp to name a few). This time I'm talking about him because of his recent collaboration with the American synth duo Hyperbubble. Active since mid 00's, they have four albums on their back plus a new EP in collaboration with Manda Rin. Aidan and Hyperbubble have already collaborated on the duo's album "Drastic Cinematic" in 2011 as Aidan recorded some back vocals for them. Back then, they talked to produce something together and thanks to the Fellowshipwreck net label now we're able to check their single "First In The Mirror". Available as a free digital download, the single has the main track plus a remix as virtual B-side. The song sounds fresh and modern but it also has its atmosphere deeply rooted into 80s/90s synthpop. The remix, without Aidan's melodic touch, reminded me a bit Paul Hardcastle's "19". Nice single that you can have for FREE at label's website!
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