Music Reviews



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Artist: Funk D'Void & Dave Tarrida
Title: Data Reader EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Autofake
Distributor: Beatport
Rated: *****
A release I can't discard from the huge card deck of digital pre-releases I usually receive is the one by the promising collaboration of well-known shakers of Scottish techno scene, such as Lars Sandberg in the guise of Funk D'Void, a moniker he took from George Clinton's fictional character Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk, which stuffs the delectable catalogue of Glasgow-based label Soma Quality, and Dave 'Bang!' Tarrida, founding member of Edinburgh-based Sativa Club, who after the successful experiencing as a label boss of the same-named label Sativa Recordings with Steve Glencross and a massive quantity of good releases on renowned labels such as Tresor, IF? and All You Can Beat, decides to launch another imprint, Autofake, which marks this collaboration as well. These Scottish agit-props are not new to collaborative releases - for instance I remember "Supa Hammer" on the dibanded UK techno label Missile Records -: on "Data Reader EP", they digs into dirty and flipping sonorities of primordial acid techno as well as the typical technocentric references, a recipe which reaches the acme when the amazing sequences of bleeps and raw drumlines got acceletered such as on "Glow Job". The release include a rework by Spanish producer Miki Craven, who mastefully turned the stunning hard-hitting "Discontinue" into an atmospheric track by dunking its original elements into a tarnishing gelatin.
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Artist: El Gato #9
Title: No Lie Can Live Forever
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Bloo Neko Recordings (@)
Distributor: Beatport
Rated: *****
Unlike many official media which according to a focused conservative strategy indiscriminately drift towards the demonization of any form of constructive coalescence and artistic blossoms from younger generations and the glorification of any weapon of mass distraction, I don't believe that some musical genres spread just negative values and ideas, foolish behavioural patterns and fake heroes whereas official media have a corner on the manufacturing of mass asininity by means of the production of huge amounts of disfigured facts aka lies. Even if the sonorities by Christopher Leath are maybe not so pristine, the combination of a style in between tech-house and ambient which could surmise some old stuff from legendary Apollo Records and political samples, that he already tested on a number of past releases, sounds quite telling about the will of wearing some "frivolous" sonorties with meaningful content, so that he seized the moment of the annual MLK Holiday Special, hosted by "The Big Love Show" on Stanford University's radio station KZSU 90.1FM in order to pay homage to Martin Luther King by putting an extract of his notorious speech "How Long, Not Long" that MLK delivered on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama after the Selma to Montgomery March. The release includes a rework by Paul Leath, who mainly uses the same sound palette of Christopher (including the organ-like sound which smells like a devotional dirge to the prominent historical figure of nonviolent civil disobedience), and a more vibrant and definitively less dreary "Cat Kills Crow Mix".
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Artist: Deadwood
Title: Sheolic
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Daniel Jansson's project is presented as a blend of 'dark ambient with black industrial and power electronics' but is a sort of dark ambient close to black metal in the construction of a sound that evokes dark realms and more carefully developed than the average of the releases of this musical genre.
The noisy field recordings of 'A.V.E.' open this release and transports the listener in a desert landscape where everything seems a menace. 'Pulverization Pause' is another soundscape constructed upon noises and drones while 'Compound 4080' is developed upon, apparently, quieter sounds and features even voice samples heavily filtered. As the title suggests, 'Traditorem' returns to the darkest musical path obtainable without noise sources. 'Dissolution paradigm' is a noisy interlude to 'Malum in Se' that closes this release with layers of small noises that seem quiet but reveal the search for an uncomfortable soundscape.
This is that kind of release that has to be listened in a quiet environment and with attention to appreciate the subtleties of the sound design. Recommended for fans of the genre.
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Artist: Taiga Remains
Title: Works For Cassette
Format: 12"
Label: The Helen Scarsdale Agency (@)
Rated: *****
In the act of decanting the five tracks of this collection from tape to vinyl and digital data, James Plotkin wisely kept the tape hiss of the original versions intact, as he understood that it's an essential element of the fascinating aesthetics by Alex Cobb, the guru of Cincinnati-based Students Of Decay and the man behind the curtains of Taiga Remains. This sonic pouring on San Francisco-based label Helen Scarsdale Agency combines a couple of rare releases by Alex under that guise, which already appeared as strictly limited tape editions in 2008: the first one, "Beneath The Weeping Beeches", came out on Matthew Sullivan's tape label Ekhein, where the sweetly sorrowful resins of the initial "Sup Pralad" and the icy thorns of "There's Nothing" seem to get gelled on the dreamlike plains of the entrancing sonic sprouts of "Skin, Leaves"; the second one is "Thereafter", which got formerly released by Mike "Treetops" Pollard's label Arbor, whose two tracks - named after two types of Taiwanese tea ("Winter Tai-Tung" and "Spring-Shan-Lin-Shi") - shows the masterful way Alex manages to generate emotional convections by means of gently layered processed guitars, which phases their radiant heat out. You won't get nauseated while sipping these two cups of psychedelic tea.
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Artist: Hunter Complex
Title: Hours
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Narrominded (@)
Rated: *****
This new release is a digital single from the already reviewed last album from this outfit. As stated in my review, the musical outcome is 'a sort of modern postcard from a distant era' and is something that, perhaps for the nostalgic effect, is really easy listening in the best meaning of the word.
The first track is the second single taken from 'Heat' and is constructed as an almost classic synth pop track from the early '80s with luminous melodic development. The really interesting part is the two remix: the first one, from The No, is focused on the juxtaposition of an hard edge beat over the melodic lines of 'Seriuos Glasse', while the second one, from Drvg Cvltvre, entirely deconstructs 'Highway Hypnosis' taking it in darker and more evocative territories making and interesting use of noises as it doesn't erase the pop allure of the tune.
As almost every single this is a collector's item, however the Drvg Cvltvre remix is something worth a listen and could even acts as a possible line of development for Hunter Complex. Nice
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