Music Reviews



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Artist: Gushing Cloud (@)
Title: Beat Wings in Vain
Format: CD
Label: Intangible Cat (@)
Rated: *****
The individual behind Gushing Cloud is Chicago based musician Cory Bengtsen (stage name: Gus Kumo). Bengtsen has also worked with Amalgamated and Rebekah's Tape and plays baritone saxophonist in the avant-prog-rock group Lovely Little Girls. I very much enjoyed the other album from this label (Dog Hallucination), so I was interested to see how this fit in with the label's roster. The opening track is like finding long lost instrumental tapes of late 1980's era Cure ' just a touch of psychedelic poppiness. 'Witness' keeps the weirdness going but gets a bit more mellow. As I continued through this disc, I couldn't help wondering if Bengtsen is a big Legendary Pink Dots fans, because I would be surprised if they weren't an influence. I could definitely see Gushing cloud on tour with them. Still, it is clear that Gushing Cloud has its own sound, as evidenced in the relentless march that is 'Return to Hunger' as saxophone and analogue synth merge with pulsing beats. Others, like 'Gesturing Stream' are soothing and melodic. Overall, this is really well put together jazzy instrumentals that make for some pleasant listening. This album weighs in at around 54 minutes.
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anymore
Artist: Inner Vision Laboratory vs Nepenthe
Title: Ambit
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from this polish artist in collaboration with Nepenthe took "3 years in the making when they were searching for a common language and [..] created a [...] symbiotic world". Tracks have no title so suggesting that this release has to be considered as a long track in seven movements and, effectively, this album has a remarkable consistency.
The opening movement, "I", is a dark drone that acts as a canvas for sparse noises and a distant voice. The second movement, "II", is based upon the development of a drone while "III" develops a sort of background noise and "IV" develops a form of field recordings or, in cinematographic term, foley art even if sparse notes of piano closes this movement. "V" is the more dark ambient oriented and menacing as is features heavy bass. The distant voices of "VI" marks a return to more evocative musical paths that finally resolves his path in "VII" that seems a musical representation of the cover art, a black rose on a white surface, as it based upon the juxtaposition of a dark soundscape and bright noises.
As previous releases this is not anything ground breaking or something that I would remember in a end of year playlist but it's something that regularly is played on my stereo as it's a sort of technical "state of the art" dark ambient and it's developing his own style in the path of tradition. Highly recommended for fans.
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anymore
Artist: Alphaxone
Title: Living in the Grayland
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber
Rated: *****
This release is presented as a soundscape that flows "between the ancient and the futuristic and inspires for internal stories about the path of mankind". Musically speaking it's an almost classic album but it's constructed with an overall direction, so it's not a void research for an enchanting sound.
"Awakening" opens this release with layers of atmospheric synth depicting a sort of dawn while "Cold Spring" introduces the listener in a darker territory using lower frequencies that, while listening in an open space, allow natural sounds to enter into the music. "El shadows" starts as a continuation of the previous track and ends in the same mood of the opening track. "Darkscore" continues in the use of higher frequency and a broad sound spectrum while "Interface" returns to depict a more menacing sound constructed upon small noises upon a dark soundscape. The quiet drones of "Overwhelm" opens the second part of the album and features more evident field recordings. So "Into the Silence" seems almost constructed upon small field recordings of a cave (or so it sounds). Whit "Foresight" the drones start to enlighten and slowly develop in a canvas for the field recordings. As the title suggest "Melancoly" is a static track that acts as a prelude to the last track "Grayland" almost entirely constructed on a bunch of drones slowly developing as in a spiral that quietly ends.
This album features an unusual quality in this field: the drones, instead of creating a static mass of sound, depict a form of storytelling so it's really enjoyable and engaging. A really nice release.
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Artist: Arnold Dreyblatt (@)
Title: Choice
Format: 12"
Label: Choose Records (@)
Rated: *****
Personally selected by Choose label boss Jorg Hiller aka Konrad Sprenger, who is also a mate of its author, and mastered by Rashad Becker, this anthology of ten tracks by Berlin-based composer and media artist Arnold Dreyblatt, one of the most influential musician of the so-called second wave of New York minimalism, whose personal approach to composition - mainly focused on mesmerizing harmonics and tuning of strings by means of unusual bowing techniques - made him distinguish from other notorious (real) classmates such La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier and Pauline Oliveros. The glue highly hypnotical elements of the first four tracks are hurdy gurdy, excited string bass and Peter Phillips' miniature princess piano, while other instruments got emphasized on the other amazing tracks such as the entrancing mellowness of cello, violin and trombone on the excerpt from "Flowchart", the most recent recording of this amazing collection, Jason Kahn's cimbalon and Pierre Berthet's percussions on the lively "Sideband", the frisky mood-enhancing twine of excited string bass, pipes, French horn, trombone and miniature princess piano on "The Odd Fellows", the Tibetan-like hits on Wolfgang Glum's snare-drum of "Surfacetones for solo snare drum", the awesome "organ" octet of "Organmusic for Sixteen Hands" (maybe the track which is closer to the contemporary idea of "experimental music") as well as Arnold's solo playing on excited string bass on the final "Brushtones", the oldest track (it was recorded at Fulton Street Studio, NY, in 1977) of this good "Choice". Most of the tracks feature elements from Dreyblatt's legendary The Orchestra Of Excited Strings, which can reasonably be considered an essential "biographical" element to understand the artistic path of this great composer. If you never heard anything about him before (what a shame!) and you like to understand his influence on contemporary music, I could recommend to have a listen to his masterpieces "Nodal Excitation" and "Animal Magnetism" after this well-done anthology as well.
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Artist: Eveson (@)
Title: Grey Dawn ft.Halogenix/A Dystopian Romance/Deluge
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ingredients (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of the fact Alex Eveson signed so many remarkable tunes that made him gain a solid reputation as a master of more liquid vein of drum'n'bass palpitating heart, Ingredients pushers maybe can't imagine that he could release three proper jewels when Broe asked to join the digital series after he listened to Eveson's guest mix on Bailey's show or maybe he did so that he asked to bring some tunes about. The first tune they received was "A Dystopian Romance", whose airy synths, deviously bright nuances and challenging rhythmical pattern follow the contrails of some tracks of his excellent album "The Last Summer OF Love" on V Records. Soon after this first drop, he called Ivy Lab's Halogenix and they forged "Grey Dawn", a tune which sounds really dystopian and eerily foggy over a carpet of dry hitting drums and warm bass. The icing on the cake is the final "Deluge", where Eveson injected softer sonorities and atmospheric breaks as well as the bittersweet feeling of a declaration of love from a distant and almost forgotten person who decided to phone you in the middle of the night. This unmissable tidbit is going to be released in the beginning of July. Check it out!
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