Music Reviews



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Artist: Talvihorros (@)
Title: Eaten Alive
Format: CD
Label: Fluid Audio (@)
Rated: *****
Drug or alcohol addictions are always a delicate issue and I don't consider a review appropriate to speak about all the aspects about such a thorny matter, but I cannot say the same about this intense release by Scotland-based composer Ben Chatwin, who seems to have sprinkled and translated into sounds many emotional flashbacks on "Eaten Alive", an album which blossomed from the meeting between Daniel Crossley, owner of Fluid Radio, and Ben and the following visitation of some places in East London, where they used to live in the past: "We spent a weekend going to places where Dan had grown up, places that had stuck in his head for various reasons. Dan shared with me some harrowing and heartbreaking tales that eventually culminated in him battling with drug addiction", Ben explained and he added "I think Dan was incredibly brave to get out of the situation he found himself in, get out of London, and live the life that he is living today.". The impressive convergence between a certain lukeworm coziness and the crystallized fixity of sounds is clear since the initial "Little Pieces Of Discarded Life" where a lulling terse and very slow melody wraps listeners while a sort of silent lashing by icy-cold billows seems to surface from crevices of the memory and such a dithering conflict between sonic entities which evoke a kind of hibernating halo and more or less strenuous motion and occasional grinding halts permeates the whole album, which manages to intoxicate listener's imagination. All those listeners who already listened some releases by Talvihorros will notice that the guitar he usually highlights has been often camouflaged by means of a balanced use of effects and electronics and mainly resurfaces or got blistered to render the emotional outbursts of some moments of the album such as "The Secrest Of The Sky", "Four Walls", "In The Belly of the Beast" or the entrancing asphyxiation of the beauteous "Dyspnea". The sorrowful remnants on the final "Today I Am Reborn" don't strip it of that vaguely heroic mark as well as that evoked augmented awareness which suppurates from the track. Even if the limited edition on Fluid is sold out, a physical version on cd is going to be released by the appreciated German label Denovali, which already launched some previous albums by Talvihorros.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Evolution Of The Giraffe
Format: CD
Label: Diffrent (@)
Rated: *****
Launched by means of a party that Diffrent guys were setting up at Hoxton, this excellent selection acts as the festive sonic garland to celebrate the 20th release as well as almost four years of life of Leonard the pink Giraffe, Chris Dexta's puppet which became a sort of sacred image for many d'n'b followers (!) and emblem of one of the best label in the packed scene of experimental drum'n'bass, and has been spread on CD (8 tracks plus two bonus tracks), digital releases with two free mouthwatering downloads (Fybe:One's "Physical" and Jekyll's "Garrison Dogs") and as well as a strictly limited 4 track pink vinyl, which exhaustively retraces the evolutionary mutations of so-called "Giraffe step".The stylistical range and the band spectrum are remarkably broad: even if I prefer the outputs by those artists who seemingly shaked the long neck of the giraffe such as the adventurously and nervously pounding grip of "Choices" - the collaborative track by M-Zine, Scepticz and Mtwn -, the crackling punches over a wild labored breathing, the slapped step and the sticky basslines of "Wax" by Arkaik, the outstanding hi-hat driven machine-gun fire on "Forfeit" by Shiver or the hitching wry tunes by Chills on VIP version of "Everyones Mad" - one of the two bonus tracks together with the shaded pressures of "Gain", another impressive collaborative track by Arkaik and Coma -, those moments when some Diffrent equerries climbed the neck to share giraffe's eye view or hybridized "soulful" or more introspective moments by intriguing percussive filings manage to drain some good stuff as well, so that moments like the lithe pitapat of Fybe:One's "The Last Minute", the ablutions into a sonic pool, who got rippled by mellow sounds and soulful vocals, on Kolectiv's "Slow" or the spellbinding dubby fractures on Dominic Ridgway's "Siren" easily remain afloat on the waves.
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Artist: Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg (@)
Title: Anton (OST)
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg are the brothers behind the band called Lost Kingdom and they also compose music and perform music in other settings in different genres. The brothers have only breifly before ventured into the world of film scores but for all of us who listened to the brothers before this was the obvious step. The same goes for several other Waerloga Records artists such as Simon Kolle (www.simonkolle.com) in Za Frumi who happened to master this album brilliantly.

Daniel & Mikael have outdone themselves really with this soundtrack. The name of the film is Anton and the film is in the sci-fi genre. Here you can find a teaser from the movie http://vimeo.com/visualcooks/antonteaser and here you can find an awesome promo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRUK0jfWLGA

As far as my opinion on the music goes I have to say I am very happy that Daniel & Mikael for real evolved their sound in this way. The Chronicle of the Black Monks, which were the brothers soundtrack debut, was also good and more in the vein we come to know Lost Kingdom. With Anton the brothers have become way whole so to speak.


Daniel & Mikael turns up the power for the release of Anton. Stoked by a vast combination of percussion, horns and really strange and cool fusion jazz elements. It does not end there as the brothers freely and with great result also experiment in genres such as classical and ambient (of course Dark Ambient).

For all you that like Post Apocalyptic soundscapes you should check this out as it! Orchestral mastery interwoven with strange and sometimes surrealistic outbursts of jazz! While achieving malevolent drama with the cue Hunt the track that I love the most is Out of Hand as it is so strange and yet thrilling. The cue Anton I really enjoy as it also is way out there with the Fusion and strange elements of musical geniality. The cue Heartbeat is beautiful and dark but it's the track Atmospheric Toxicity (and it's reprise) that really give me chills and make me think of spy thrillers. The emotion truly comes when we reach the climactic cues, the sweeping strings tugging at the listener's heart in the way only great composers can achieve.

This strange album is the best so far from the duo!
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Artist: HATI (@)
Title: Wild Temple
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
"The Serpent knew the call, and, rolling on,/Wave about wave, his rising length, advanced/His open jaws; then, with the expected prey,/glides to the dark recesses of hid den." These are the last four lines of the sixth paragraph from Southey's "Madoc". I might get wrong but, even if there are no specific hints in the linear notes, there some references to the following parts of that poem in this striking studio album by Polish percussionists HATI, who started to record stuff together with guest Slawomir Ciesielski, former drummer and percussionist of legendary Polish alternative rock band Republika (very popular in the 80ies) inside a XIX century fort in Torun before recording this album in studio, and if you keep on reading the following stanzas (in particular the one that the notorious English poet titled The Snake God), you could have the impression they managed to translate both the atmosphere and the lyrical tone of that poem as well as its synesthetic moments with many sonic hooks while listening to the entrancing percussive weaves by these musicians, who reach the most hypnotical peaks of possession on the tribal-like mantras of "Last Breath Of Ra" and "Ocean, on the atmospheric combination of thin metallic rasps, echoing cymbals and mesmerizing woods of "Sen" and on the menacing bewitchment of the final "Limbus", which are the best moments of an album where HATI manage to channel both ritual, meditative and electroacoustic sonorities and a somewhat istintive percussive style, so that the title of this album "Wild Temple" could be the proper recap of what you're going to listen and find after a detailed sonic titration.
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Artist: Gelbart (@)
Title: Vermin
Format: 12"
Label: Gagarin (@)
Rated: *****
Once upon a time crowds of macrocephalic martians, predators (notably opposing sausage-cephalic translucent wired aliens), body snatchers, space vampires, ETs, Ewoks, Macs or just Things followed by higher ranks of slimy, furry, scaled, chapped or glaring beings from outer space used to invade our planet in order to save it from its malevolent occupants. Now you should get ready for Vermins, a new species in the guise of little sweet potatoes with parsley-like appendages, who according to their mouthpiece, the 8-bit-chewing whimsical composer Adi Gelbart, are collecting seeds of a number of plants for some mysterious purposes (maybe just a salad...) and such a first step of a desirable colonization, a mission of utmost importance, deserves a befitting soundtrack, a drudgery that Gelbart discharged by an amusing musical patty which whisked lo-fi electronica, noisy remainders of laser guns or quacking puppets passed for as innocuous toys, prog-rock everlasting howling ghosts, old-fashioned synth-driven arpeggios, raw rock-like crackpot motifs and other delightful cryptic ciphers which ranges from the weird space samba of "The Device", the steady-thumping arcade blowdown of "It Speaks" or the menacing flaring space-age pop-rock spotted abscesses of "Those Machines Are Translators" to the wistful halo of "Song for a Dying Earth" or the mechanical (and very human) clucking of the pitched strings and the amusing clarinet inserts by Benautik on "Meloda" by a pinwheel of electronic sounds and samples which got adorned by a set of terrestrial acoustic instruments such as saxophones, bass guitars, violins, organ, trumpets and drums, where you could track many different influences down whose range is even wider and could include Oleg Kostrow, childplays, Atari 8-bit videogames, Pierre Henry or even King Crimson... On B-side you'll find the proper soundtrack that this brilliant multi-instrumentalist and electro-scientist composed for his homonymous film "Vermin", whose sequence of bleeping patterns, sound effects, sci-fi eerie melodies and sonic samples from old sound libraries will rocket you in the nooks and crannies of a radiophonic outer space. Clear the way for Vermins triumphal invasion, dozy humans!
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