Music Reviews



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Artist: Tape Loop Orchestra
Title: In A Lonely Place
Format: 12"
Label: Facture (@)
Rated: *****
One of the three admirals of the appreciated band The Boats, Andrew Hargreaves, comes back with his interesting personal project Tape Loop Orchestra, whose release got inspired by an authentic noir masterpiece, "In A Lonely Place", an old film by Nicholas Ray, starring Humphrey Bogart and film director's wife Gloria Grahame (in a moment when their relationship was on the break point...) and based on an adaptation of the homonymous novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. The most bizarre and somewhat controversial aspect of the plot is a certain mirroring of real life happenings: Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) breaks the relationship with the cynical screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), whose inflammable temperament and irascible behaviour stoke the suspicion of being the assassin of the story as well as her fear and distrust, so that it seems the fiction mirror reality. Moreover even the choice of the title and the profile of the screenwriter (his isolation among people, his selfishness and quick-tempered behaviour as well as his drunkenness) according to essayist Louise Brooks had some references to the real Bogart. The titles of the three long tracks - the first two tracks are real time live takes, while the third one is their editing -, which have been recorded on a modified 4-track and walkman loop, have been named from the words Dix said to Laurel in the car, which were also written on a page in the typewriter of the original end of the movie: "I was born when she kissed me, I died when she left me, I lived a few weeks while she loved me.". The devices used by Andrew which perfectly filled a C90 tape, before pouring the final result into vynil, managed to antiquate the sound, which seems to reflect a promenade within a fading and surreal scene by entrancing loops of feathered overstretched tunes, graceful repetitive blows and dazzling reverberation, whose subtle fluctuations gradually discloses lovely fragile melodies.
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Artist: Uphill Racer (@)
Title: Nautious EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: M = Maximal (@)
Rated: *****
This appetizer of forthcoming album (it should be titled "Golden Anchor") by Oliver Lichtl aka Uphill Racer, following the excellent collaborative release which should be titled "How It Feels To Find There's More", is one of the most welcome return into my headphones. He keeps on dry his sound up, a choice which can more easily soak the listener into his saccharine melodies. His style has nothing to share with minimalism as it seems to highlight its immediacy and blissful naturalness. The soothing indulgence of the initial "Nautious" got emphasized by a sort of imitation of the backwash of the sea by a few of resounding entities as well as by some guessed effects which turn his Fender guitar into a shrieking gull or a singing whale, while he delicately rises bpm on the following "Happy Xoxo", an 8 bit-like electro pop song which smells of glazed teen love affairs. The final "Waiting For Your Mistake" could vaguely remind an "unrocked" reprise of Alex Gopher's "Brain Leech" due to the singing style and the gripping melody by Uphill Racer. If you appreciate his particular declension of "organic" pop, this musica trinket cannot but be mouthwatering.
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Artist: AC Prodz (@)
Title: Spyhole
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Beat Machine Records (@)
Rated: *****
Eux, the first stage of what Milan-based producer and one leg of Exprezoo Records Alberto Campi aka AC Prodz defined a musical story, didn't particularly thrilled me due to the fact he used too much hacneyed sounds, even if its concept was quite interesting. Its follow-up, "Spyhole", definitively sounds more interesting: his sonic research keeps on focusing on contrast between melody and "rhythmic noise" as well as on perceptions of contrasts between the illusion of movement and an almost static and somewhat confused evolutionary process he grabbed in the Italian capital of fashion, but he seems to tip the scales in favour of melody and contemplative moods this time. A certain feeling of forthcoming perturbation and epic upheavel permeates the first track, "Dither Class A", where microscopic bleeps looks like being flattered by the symphonic impetus and the delicate flurry of Ying Huang's violin, while the following "Dither Class B" smells like airy cosmic steams by Vangelis by means of an heartbeat-like muted beat within fluffy melodies, which sound like inflated in the lukewarm computational reverie of "Wi Fi". Pleasurable abstract and melancholic cameo.
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Artist: Inter-Connection
Title: Life
Format: CD
Label: A Different Drum
Rated: *****
"Life" is the third album by Inter-Connection and it's their second one to be released on the A Different Drum's VIP series. As for the other releases of this series, three hundred copies have been printed, two hundred sent to the subscribers plus one hundred have been delivered to the band. Inter-Connection are formed by three members who live in three different countries and whom write their music sharing sounds and ideas through the net. Revital Ben Hemo, vocals, is from Acco/Israel, Giuseppe Calandrini, vocals and lyrics, is from Rome/Italy and Rene' Tebbe, composer, producer, synths, is from Hannover/Germany. I read on their Facebook page that they already have finished their fourth album "Strange World" and that they are looking for a label, but let's focus on "Life" now... The album contains twelve tracks and one remix (to tell the truth I dunno if they sent me some extra tracks as the rear album cover on their website has eleven tracks on it) and it's in balance from catchy synth-pop with dance influences, electronic melancholic ballads and cool dark electro pop tunes. The album opens with one catchy one sung by Revital, titled "Synthetic Love". This one, along with "Tie Me Up" (one of the dancey ones), "Traveling" and "How Do You Feel" for me are the highlights of the album but there are also tracks like "Nightmare" (an electro ebm/synth pop monster made out of hard beats and bouncy bass lines), "Red Lights" (a nice synthpop song in balance from 80s and 90s) or "Gone Bad" (an electro dance anthem sounding so Swedish 90s synthpop) which will satisfy your synthpop needs.
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Artist: Ubik (@)
Title: Circadian Rhythm, Sleep Disorder
Format: CD
Label: FARMACIA901 (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Farmacia901 is, according to the press release, dedicated to "sleeping disorders. ['¦] Insomnia is the most common among the most known and clinically studied disorders. ['¦] It consists in awakening only with the mind, while for some time the body remains asleep". Musically speaking this is resolved with heavily processed guitar aiming to reach almost ethereal atmospheres.
The longest track "Irregular Sleep Wake (Tryptophan)" opens this release in a quiet way until the guitar take the scene with his delay above a glitchy beat. "Delayed Sleep Phase (Melatonin)" use sparse notes and carefully chosen effects while "Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (Light Therapy)" uses, instead, reverbs and resonances to depict the dreamy atmosphere of this album. "Hypnic Jerk (Zeitgeber)" is based on almost irregular rhythms while "Suprachiamastic Nucleus (Barbiturates)" is a drone acting as a canvas for the guitar to color. "Sleep Paralysis (Amitriptyline)" feature an hypnotic guitar loop below the small noises and the guitar notes. "Bruxism (Biofeedback) close this release in a fully restructured mode as guitar and effects are in a fully dialectical mode.
Instead of being a mere window dressing, the linear notes are a way to enter into the complex musical offer of this artist. In my opinion, this is one of the albums of the year. Recommanded.

p.s.: all the track are denoted with this scheme: Disorder (name of the therapy)
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