Music Reviews



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Artist: ][|][
Title: [__]
Format: CD
Label: Steelkraft Manufactory (@)
Rated: *****
File ][|][ alongside 'The Artist Formerly Known as Prince' for having unpronounceable names. This is the second album I have reviewed from this act, having previously reviewed 'Iter,' also on Steelkraft Manufactory. I was not too into the previous album, but this is definitely a step up from Iter. This album (again with the unpronounceable title) uses organ improvisations inspired by the Greek myth of the Labyrinth. These works were then heavily processed to create interesting washes of heavy drone. Where I found Iter to be too static and minimal, this album is engaging and continually evolving. The sound is dark, suffocating, and oppressive at times before shifting to quiet, peaceful moments, only to do it all over again. If you like atmospheric drone this is one to check out. This album weighs in at around 56 minutes.
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Artist: Contagious Orgasm & Babylone Chaos (@)
Title: Altered Beats
Format: CD
Label: Steelkraft Manufactory (@)
Rated: *****
It seems that Contagious Orgasm has mellowed out a bit. The last album I reviewed from this artist was with Kadaver and was still noisy, but leaning toward the atmospheric side. I had also previously reviewed the collaboration between Babylone Chaos, Lambwool, and Le Diktat, which also leaned toward atmosphere and beats. As such, I was interested to see what these two would do, since they were both enjoyable for different reasons. On this album there are lots of interesting samples that seem to function less as commentary and more as disembodied bits of atmosphere. One exception of this is 'Judgement,' which seems to have a sample of a preacher talking about preparing for the judgment, but it is speeded up to give it a 'chipmunks' like feel, making it sound a bit comical. 'Psychodelic Worms' had a noisy feel to it, but it wasn't the harsh noise I associate with Contagious Orgasm. Others, such as 'Tension,' were much more interested in building atmosphere, with a dialogue that was difficult to make out, but definitely on the playful side with subdued laughter between a male and female protagonist. Indeed, there is little about this album which is scary or ominous. You could easily give this to someone who was looking into experimental music to give them just a hint of noise and dissonance without overwhelming them. But this is not just experimental music with training wheels ' I found it to be quite enjoyable and a good synergy between these two artists. Recommended. This album weighs in at around 45 minutes.
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Artist: Automageddon
Title: Crunch/Grind Mechanism
Format: CD EP
Label: Chimera Central
Rated: *****
I took a look at this and figured I was in for a nice drum and noise excursion, but then I saw the inside liner photo with the artist wearing an MZ412 shirt and realized it may be a bit different. The press sheet that came with the disc describes the album thus: 'The sound of industry, processing the organic masses into a fine paste. Smog-like basslines choking the air as sharp drums cut into the bone, leaving only the sensation of high frequency noise washes that tinglesthe nerves. Automageddon's Crunch/Grind Mechanism breathes life into the machine of Dubstep and Industrial music. With automated precision, each piece of music is crafted to shake your body and refine your expectations of what good music should sound like.' I'm not sure if I would go so far as to say that it will shake your body. Brooding is probably the best word that comes to mind when listening to this CD. There is a beat here, but it is a slow, plodding beat. You certainly won't dance to it (although if you did you would look like you were dancing underwater). The music is gritty and dark with a nice post-apocalypse feel to it, like the soundtrack to an ominous war video game. Not too bad. This album weighs in at around 19 minutes.
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Artist: Veil of Light
Title: s/t
Format: Tape
Label: Bel├Ąten (@)
Rated: *****
Veil of Light is a one man band out of Zurich, Switzerland. The label describes this album as 'ice cold gothgaze splendour drenched in reverb and distortion,' comparing it to Cure, Jesus and Mary Chain, and early Death in June. For once this description holds up. This is fantastic old school dark music that would be right at home on the late 1980s 4AD label roster. Kind of reminds me of a more brooding Clan of Xymox, only more gritty and heavy. Can definitely hear the old Cure influences as well. Highly recommended. I only wish that it was longer. This album weighs in at 22 minutes.
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Artist: Corephallism / Gnaw Their Tongues (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 10"
Label: Lascivious Aesthetics
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Corephallism's 3' CD, so I had some idea of what I was in for here and realized that this would not be the harsh wall of noise one may expect from his other project Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck. I recognize that for many the titles are almost secondary in this kind of music, but 'Abandonment' does a good job of living up to its namesake, with slow droning synth. There is a sense of sadness in the track, which was almost pleasant. Likewise, 'Rapes of Convenience' certainly tries to set a sinister tone, with hissing, unintelligible vocals and dark atmosphere. Gnaw Their Tongues provides the other side with 'A Moral Guide to Self-castration And Necrophilia.' I had heard about this act, but had not yet had a chance to hear what they had to offer, so I was interested to check it out. This is some nice, slow, heavy, noise. I'm not talking wall of noise kind of stuff, but more a kind of industrial soundscape with some synth drone and some screaming thrown in for good measure. It's gritty, but not too harsh ' you could play this for someone who was interested in noise but just didn't get it because all they had ever heard was Merzbow or Masonna. Pretty good, although the screaming did start to get a bit tiresome. And yes, the cover art is pretty much what you'd expect. Don't leave this out on your table when the in-laws come to visit.
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