Music Reviews



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Artist: KoldVoid (@)
Title: Roadside Ghosts
Format: CD
Label: Valse Sinistre (@)
Rated: *****
Releases like this one by Romanian project KoldVoid are normally filed under the eerie label "ghost ambient". If I have to accept such an occult way of labelling music on the basis of the suggested paraphrase of the title of this collection of tracks recorded between 2008 and 2011, I'd say this music appeals with the portraits of so benevolent and almost seducing phantasmagoric entities that you could wish to meet them while hitch-hiking by the roadside in spite of the addition of somewhat disquieting French clips from noir movies and the cryptic intro, which could be imagined coming from those iconic horror-style organs with keys made from finger bones. The first tracks sound not so dissimilar from other repertories belonging to this branch of ambient such as those ones by Svartsinn, Northaunt or Desiderii Marginis, but the appearance of a guitar on "Phantasma" and of a faint piano on the following "Nostalgia" anticipates the cinematic hooks, which will be clearer in following moments of the recordings, the ones I honestly prefer just for the resemblances of the notorious Twin Peaks' soundtrack by Badalamenti and Lynch when KoldVoid reaches the stylistical zenith with highly immersive and entrancing tracks such as the sweet intimacy of "Ephemeral", the glimmering paleness of "Arctic Silence", the spoooky charm of "Eyes Of The Bottom-People" - sounding like some squeeze of Tor Lundvall's music - or the thrilling chillness of "Sailing Without Sails". This album could be perfect to drive during a foggy night. I'm pretty sure some mist-shrouded ghost could make an appearance, especially if you boozed all night long...
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Artist: Emanuele De Raymondi (@)
Title: Buyukberber Variations
Format: CD
Label: ZerOKilled Music (@)
Rated: *****
Many people, who are digging the improvisational soils and their exotic seeds, could be conversant with Turkish born clarinet virtuoso Oguz Buyukberber for his nice tapping style and his musical syncretism, which aggregates elements from American jazz, European classical music and Turkish traditional one, but they supposedly ignore the talented Italian avant-garde sound artist Emanuele De Raymondi, who recently recorded his debut release in an inspirational loft in Kreuzberg, Berlin, in spite of his remarkable collaborations and performing experiences and just chose Buyukberber's improvisations to give proof of his acquaintance with electronic compositional techniques. Clarinet, "extended" techniques and electronics have never been in cahoots like in the most recent years - think about known and unknown musicians such as Milos Sugar, Karlheinz Essl, Georg Antoniv, Harold Rubin and many others -, but the sublimation of this nice member of winds family, which manages to produce "rissoles" of amalgamated high frequencies and bizarre harmonics, by De Raymondi sounds focused not only on different treatments of its sound - I particularly enjoyed the ones when Emanuele seems to stretch clarinet's voice and Oguz's breathe like in the second (superb!) and seventh variations as well as those ones when he "pricks" frequencies or manages to make them hiccup as he emulates a sort of cutting edge -, but also on a careful and extremely clear study on spatial placement of sound, which could be helped by the location he chose for the recording. The dedication of this debut release to Giorgio Mortari, the head behind the highly regarded and notorious festival Dissonanze, which he successfully organized in Rome by inviting very important names of different stylistical fields of electronic music, is really moving.
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Artist: Bernard Parmegiani (@)
Title: L'Oeil ecoute/Dedans-Dehors
Format: 12"
Label: Recollection GRM/Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Recollection GRM is the worthwhile new project by Austrian label Editions Mego focused on the forerunning sonic research of legendary Groupe de Recherches Musicales, the hyperactive collective of sound artists and researchers created by Pierre Schaeffer, whose releases are authentic miliar stones for the development of the so-called musique concrete and electroacoustic music. Peter Rehberg's label should have justifiably thought that the reprise of some sonic jewels kept in GRM's archives could be a useful anthology for all those people, audiophiles and musicians, who are seriously approaching electronic music, so that Francois Bonnet and Christian Zanesi, coordinators of Recollection GRM project, decided to sift through them in order to reprint some of the most meaningful finds. After the reissues of GRM founder Pierre Schaeffer's "Le Triedre Fertile" (previously released by Philips in 1978) and "Granulations-Sillages/Franges Du Signe", one of the first release by Guy Reibel, first assistant of Schaeffer's electroacoustic composition courses at the Conservatoire de Paris, the third release of the series has been dedicated to a couple of astonishing sound collages by Bernard Parmegiani, the protean sound engineer who's expressly been numbered in the list of sources of inspirations by some effulgent star of contemporary electronic music scene such as Autechre and Aphex Twin. Named after the oxymoronic title of an essay by French poet Paul Claudet, "L'oeil ecoute" (meaning "The eye hears", released in 1970) is a majestic intertwining of concrete and electronic sound, one of the first release which was recorded in GRM's Studio 54; it begins with field recordings which sound grabbed during a train trip (according to many essaysts such a preface should be a tribute to Pierre Schaeffer's "L'Etude aux chemins de fer" (The Study of Railways) and carry on impressive sonic sketches, where you could easily recognize some of the sonic tricks which are still used by many electronic musicians. On the other side of the record, you'll find "Dedans-Dehors" (1977), an impressively realistic field recording-oriented long composition focused on the notion of metamorphosis, which, according to the explanation by Parmegiani himself, "is one of the principles that leads the course of the musical suite, reflecting changes (fluid-solid passages: water/ice/fire) or movements (ebb/flow/wave, inspiration/expiration) or inside-outside passages (door/individual/crowd). Thus, the perceived object is not entirely what we would have liked it to be. Our music brings us closer to some whilst it takes us away from others: each with their own inside.". Both of them are not just collection of stunning sound effects, but the words used by Parmegiani to introduce them seems to subtend some authentic aesthetic and ethic fundamentals as well as a sort of teaching about the infinite possibilities offered to our sense organs by stimuli whose existence often gets ignored by sentient beings, even just in order to feed and drive its imagination. Definitively a must-listen.
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Artist: Voide (@)
Title: Agents and Radios
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
A new Voide release after unusual 1,5 years in silence, this Swedish one-man Electronica music-project returns with a freely available 2-track-release. This EP works also as a teaser to introduce the upcoming new Voide full-length album 'Electric Jungle', to be out while you read this. The good point on this EP is the fact, that these both two tracks, 'Electronic Waves' and 'The Agent', are unreleased and won't find a slot on the upcoming album. Both tracks impress the listeners with its thoughtful arranged synthesizer sounds combined with a straight dancefloor-compatibilty. As a 'new' direction in the opulent sound-design of mastermind David Almgren, both tracks feature a permanent insert of voice-samples - normally not that kind of 'instrument' you'll get to hear too often from Mr. Almgren. Also the voice samples are wisely chosen, you of course don't get to hear female screams or that painful moaning of harsh-minded EBM-kids. David integrates rather movie stuff; the content of 'Electronic Waves' got taken from "Attack of the Monsters (1969)", while the samples for 'The Agent' is taken out of "Invisible Man - Crisis in the Desert"( 1958). Both sample quells are available via Archive.org. All in all this is a must-have download not to be missed, if you're interested to check out a quality Techno- / Synthpop artist, which still flies too much under the radar of international-based genre listeners. Available only via the Voide Bandcamp web resource.
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Artist: Gudrun Gut (@)
Title: Wildlife
Format: CD
Label: Monika Enterprise (@)
Rated: *****
Former member of the primordial Einsturzede Neubaten line up, founder of the seminal female band Malaria!, milestone of German post-punk scene, label manager of the appreciated Monika Enterprises, whose musicians have often been a finishing line whenever reviewers used to speak about the so-called forlktronica, club promoter, voice and selector of the weekly radio show Oceanclub together with Thomas Fehlmann, Gudrun Gut has been justifiably considered one of the so pioneering key figure of Berlin scene that she could be likened to an historical monument of that huge creative smithy. That's why the fact she decided to move out of Berlin - she entirely recorded "Wildlife" in Uckermark, a countryside town, sited not so far from German capital city - in order to get inspired for her new album and her temporary transplanting and seclusion in a rural environment could sound a little bit strange for a character who sounded so accustomed to an urban aesthetics. Although such a "coming back to nature" could be considered a return to the source - she grew up on the Lunenburg Heath - or ascribed to the general rediscovery of a natural dimension as a follow-on from the crisis of individualism, the marrow of her sound still linger on electronic structures, which oscillates between primeval new wave and industrial dance aesthetics and contemporary dub-techno, but her sonic language looks like pierced by "orgonic" and organic energies: therefore whenever her synths secretes sticky sounds (like in the dub-driven "How Can I Move" or in the darker "Tiger"), it seems she just echoes the secretion of resin as well as some percussive elements sounds like coming from tree hollows. While listening the album, you could almost feel that natural environment gradually hugging Gudrun's sensitivity, which looks like going native in many moments of the album, such as in the blissful feeling of con/fusion and annihilation of "Little Nothing", in the daydreaming abandon of the lovely "Slow Snow", in the progressive detachment from social roles and scripts (as it seems to be suggested by "Erinnerung"), in the contemplative mood of the enraptured "Leaves Are Falling", in the immersive experiencing of freedom of "Frei Sein" as well as when she looks like singing about a moment when she develops an awareness of physical human finitude by means of an eloquent and allusive revision of Bonnie Tyler's "The Best" - the most known cover is undoubtedly the one sung by Tina Turner -, whose almost recitative interpretation could remind Romy Haag or Amanda Lear singing styles.
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