Music Reviews



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Artist: Richard Chartier (@)
Title: Recurrence
Format: CD
Label: Line (@)
Rated: *****
Line is undoubtedly one of the miliar stones for audiophiles with a passion for digital minimalism since its preambles and this release by its founder Richard Chartier comes back to the spark which lighted its story up 12 years ago and 58 releases ago. His "Series" has teasonably considered one of the most majestic sonic monument on the pokey borderlines between silence and sound (or I'd better say between silence and Tinnitus!), which got performed before a very restricted and selected lucky audience on live stage just ten years after its official release. "Recurrence" cannot be considered a proper new album by Richard Chartier, as it is a sort of reprise of "Series", where the original nine untitled tracks have been melded in one long-lasting track after a further smoothing of frequencies, a sort of suite where, even if the sounds that marked "Series" are quite recognizable, their chiselling borders on the fiendish research for perfection so that each single sound sneaks in listener's ears like a subcutaneous imperceptible jab and each sonic stream got atomized in order to be easily discernable for listeners themselves. This impressive sample of sonic surgery has been preceded by a sort of 21-minutes lasting bonus track in the opening of the record, "Recurrence (Room/Crosstones)", where this master craftsman dabbles in small-scale variations of ultra-low basses. I cannot but reccomend to listen it by means of headphones or hi-fi sound systems which manage to render sounds (particularly bass frequencies) over a "passable" level.
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Artist: The Slaves (@)
Title: Ocean On Ocean
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: The Helen Scarsdale Agency (@)
Rated: *****
There's a wide generation of musicians who are hanging on that idea of frail and fleeting beauty, whose inflection points ideally build an embankment against a supposedly decadent and invasive reality as well as safe mental abodes which could correspond with distant sidereal cleft, vivid remembrances of childhood or maidenhood and other aesthetical escape hatches. The possible stylistical terms for comparison such as Grouper, Cocteau Twins, Cranes or Barn Owl of this likable release by Portland-based duo The Slaves, made up of Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper, liaise with many different musical languages for the translation of this mood such as dark, post-rock or math, while it seems The Slaves don't turn their noses up at some sonic hints of witch-house and drone-ambient as the recurrance of quadruplet of bi-tonal based slow lines and the way they transfigure guitars and pads which often sound like equipped with organ-pipes. A sort of self-induced hypnotic suggestion permeates their sonic ravelling so that the pleating of original sound seems to turn into a gust of wind slamming on the doors of crystalline cages by reaching remarkable qualitative peaks and entrancing afterglows in tracks like "Sweet High", "Shadows II", whereas songs like "I'm In Heaven" or "Wild Ride" sound like attempts of reawakening buried alive bacchanals.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Rise of the Under Dogs vol.1
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
Parisian label IM:Ltd by dj, producer and graphic designer Caine has been one of the most wondrous and stylistically labyrinthine of the scene in the last years, so that a retrospective compilation which could furnish an immediate and concise proof of such a strain on sound machines cannot but suit to a T. All ten tracks, which have been included in this selection, make a good impression and encompass the wide stylistical range IM:Ltd's trying to thrust. From the initial glitchy and somewhat sinister witchcraft by young Polish dnb producer Mortem on "Whispers" to the final aerostatic lyrical "Above The Clouds" by Glen E.Ston, an array of pleasures will delight listener's cochleas: the beeping computational arcane sonoritires of Belgian producer Meersman Olivier aka Atmospherix on "CPU", remarkably edgy shots of "Elektronic Angels" by talented producer Alex Judd aka Soul Intent, the amazing crossbreed of glitchy clicks and wicked bass of "Surrealism" (already a classic!) by Italian Arp Xp, the catchy bonebreaking flows of "Monopole" by London-based trio Future Signal, the crisp blown claps and beats of "Sabbah" by Hibea, the flying kicks of kung-fu inspired "Travelling Man" by Mad Rabbit, the melancholic blurred shades by Hobzee & Zyon Base on "Black & White Movie" and the demimonde waxed song "Universe" by Gunston. "Rise of The Under Dogs" includes so many palatable tunes that you cannot hope the label will keep on paving its way.

VV.AA.: SOM 5

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (7414)
Jan 28 2013
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: SOM 5
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Born in the mid 00s the label founded in Jena, Germany, by Nico Jagiella and Robert Witschakowski, Solar One Music has been the right place for finding electronic sounds influenced by Detroit techno, Miami deep basslines, acid and differents sorts of experimentations. Three years ago I discovered their sounds and decided to review all their releases and to interview Nico; you can find that article at this link http://www.chaindlk.com/interviews/solar-one-music/. Solar One Music made of the phrase "Something different, something special" its manifesto and with the compilation SOM5 (its twentieth release) wanted to release something even more special: this time to celebrate they released a 2CD compilation housed into a A4 32 pages color booklet containing photos, interviews and background story for everyone of the 22 artists present on the CDs. With unreleased and some released tracks (like DVS NME's "Unobtainium"), the compilation offers a good view on the state of underground electronic music touching different influences. We have the electro driven sounds with some ambient elements of Hyboid, CN, -=UHU=-, Plant43, Komarken, The Exaltics Meets Crotaphytus; the Detroit techno syncopated rhythms of Defekt, Dcast Dynamics, Goliath, DVS NME, Arnold Steiner, Sync 24, Headnoaks and CPU; the electro atmospheres of CRC, Frank Di Sarrio, Heinrich Dressel and Scape One; the semi industrial experimentations of Schmerzlabor; the electro acid sounds of Dioxine Waves; the horror Twin Peaks influenced perversions of Elec Pt1; the Miami techno influences of Matti Turunen (member of Morphology). For sure you'll find different tracks you'll love and I'm sure you'll want to hear more!
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Artist: Francisco Meirino (@)
Title: Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete
Format: CD
Label: Cave12 (@)
Rated: *****
It seems that the high rate of dumping factor, let's say so, is intentional in Francisco Meirino's sonic research as according to the one who wrote his biography his music primarily "explores the tension between programmable material and the potential for its failure" and this operating procedures permeate this release, where you could imagine an astonishing electromechanical prototypical marvel which fails the test just some instant after it gives the impression it's going to to work well! It could be a wise way to gibe its own skills as I'm pretty sure Francisco knows them quite well. More than 150 live performances in many venues in Europe, Japan and North America and a plenty of collaborations and commissioned releases are enough to validate them. During the listening of Meirino's work, you could easily imagine a supercar with the highest technological content which ridiculously fails the first test for a punctured tire! It's not a negative criticism at all, as I reallt like those skilled musicians which manages to add some funny provocative hints in their artworks! Those abstract lines on black background on the cover artwork refers to the compositional process, which has been used for "Untitled Phenomenas in Concrete", as Francisco fed 85 HighC/UPIC sessions with a set of 18 external sounds (recordings of bones cracking, snow falling, electro-static noises, oscillators, gear failures, magnetic fields and insects!) by means of a device (UPIC) developed by Iannis Xenakis, which gave the possibility to create sounds from drawings on a sort of primordial tablet. I'm not surprised Francisco spent nearly four years to achieve a satisfying result, which arguably manages to reinvent the glitch logic within electroacoustic composition.
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