Music Reviews



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Artist: Rafal Kolacki
Title: Panoptikon
Format: CD
Label: Mikrowsparcie (@)
Rated: *****
This solo release from Rafal Kolacki is made from tracks composed for a movie, called Panoptikon, influenced by M. Foucault's theory of permanent surveillance. Almost all tracks feature various guest artists so it aims to be varied.
"Wiedza Okrutna" opens this release with an oriental and hypnotic setting while "Obkakany w Zielniku" is a small interlude to "Jesyk Bez Konca" takes the listener to dark ambient territories of undoubtable charm. "Cialo Skazanca" is a noisy soundscape above a sad synth line while "Znaki I Przypadki" is a gentle track featuring even some sample of birds (or so it seems). "Widzialne Niewidzialne" is based on drone colored by some small noises and "Zywoty Ludzi Niegodziwych" is a marvelous track with small notes of piano that reverb in an open space. "Black Kazni" returns to darker territories with layers of violins. "Zamknieta Pokrywa Slonca" features a flute that dialogues with the soundscape. "Panoptyzm" is a drone track while "Plaga Goraczek" is a dark ambient one. "Wielkie Zamkniecie" close this release returning to small notes of piano dealing with a line of synth that seems to try to overwhelm it.
This is an album where the artistic personality of Kolacki is able to catch the boundaries of the genres crossed in the development of the musical path. It really worths a listen.
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Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree (@)
Title: Disappearance
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
The sonic research of the legendary Japanese electronic composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto and 12k label owner Taylor Deupree already intersected in the past since when Deupree was asked to remix a song from Sakamoto's notorious album Chasm and later on the occasion of the collaborative and collagist project Chain Music and KizunaWorld together with Stephen Vitiello. The common place of residence, New York, cemented this artistic collaboration so that it was presumably clear a collaborative album was not to be late. The seeds of "Disappearance" got sown on the occasion of their live performance at John Zorn's club The Stone in April 2012 as they started to record the first tracks for this album at Sakamoto's studio while they were rehearsing that concert. The slowly sliding of piano feeble melodies, underground rivers of low frequencies, crepuscolar flaring tones and unexpected sonic extrusions over recordings grabbed from the room, which include breathes, shuffling on chairs, metallic tinkling and other found objects of the initial "Jyaku", a Japanese word which could be translated as "weak", perfectly begin this sonic idyll which focuses on themes like isolation, solitude and contemplation about the fragility of nature and life. Similar reticulum on the following tracks, which becomes slightly hypnotic and soothingly hibernated on "Frozen Fountain", dully eerie and ghastly withered on the entrancing "Ghost Road", before the daydreaming sedation, which seems to seesawing between lucid dreams and nostalgic nodules on "This Window", where time seems to get marked in a slow mental rhythm by inner journeys and a sneaking unsettled state. "Curl To Me", the beautiful final act of this inspiring sonic incantation, where the imaginary vanishing protagonist could be discerned beyond a mirror, could echo the ultimate atonement of a sensorial process, which ends with the perception of the breathe, the heartbeat and the voice of talented Japanese singer Ichiko Aoba, former collaborator of both Ryuichi and Taylor, who anoint "Disappearance" by an evoking and meaningful biological junction to life before its fade-out.
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Artist: Orphax (@)
Title: De tragedie van een liedjesschrijver zonder woorden
Format: CD
Label: Moving Furniture Records (@)
Rated: *****
Gusts of icy wind which lashes over a land while electric drones and sharp-edged echoes matche with the glacial crystals which blanket everything, the magnetic storms traces their wavering dances on the sky and some distant crackling fire. This is the first figurative and mental image of the initial track "Onder Het Noorderlicht" ("Under The Northern Lights") from this ambient limbo-like album that Amsterdam-based producer Sietse van Erve aka Orphax assembled between April 2005 and July 2007 during a delicate period of his life which occurred between the end of educational period and the beginning of working years when he fighted against an unknown (at that time) disease which swamped his mind with a plenty of questions with no answers, mirrored by its title "De tragedie van een liedjesschrijver zonder woorden' (Dutch for "The tragedy of a song writer without words"). Such an immersive and somewhat wistful listeneing experience, which got enhanced and rehashed in 2008 and 2010, keeps on wrapping listener by the suffocated numbness of "Geluiden Van De Eerste Dag" ("Sounds of the First Day") where rustling subcutaneous sounds sneak between occasional electric buzzes, the feeble and toneless drone of "Samen Aan Het Water" ("Together On The Water"), the estranging pale warmth of "Winterslaap In De Zomer" ("Hibernation In Summer"), the reprise of initial environmental icy suggestions on "Ochtendgloren Boven De IJzige Vlakte" ("Dawn Over The Icy Plain"), which sounds even more hypnotical and sinuously asphyxiating than "Onder Het Noorderlicht" and the final mystical and mystifying rise of "Het Bos" ("The Forest"). Just 300 copies have been released, so that if you're an immersive ambient-drone lover, I cannot but recommend to grab your copy.
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Artist: Jessy Lanza (@)
Title: Pull My Hair Back
Format: CD
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most seductive entry in the rich roster of UK electronic label Hyperdub comes from the talented Canadian singer Jessy Lanza, whose sensual voice jelled with the likewise erotic keys by herself and Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, who fords somewhat hackneyed stylistical rivers such as contemporary pop or r'n'b by brushing velvet gloves against their surfaces. The tempting shell of this symbiotic fusion is going to coax a wide range of listeners by limpid moments of melancholy, which have been wisely nestled both in the texts and in the sonorities. All those who have been infected by the reprise of some disco lay-out which followed the outbreaking Daft Punk's record supposedly will be diven crazy by the central track "Keep Moving", a juicy amalgamation of classic disco and house, but besides this pop climax, there's so much classy eclat inside the crawling pelting of sonic and vocal pearls between the initial alluring rub of acidic basslines, soothing synths and piano, smooth claps and Jessy's voice which seems to come from a burnt out neon of "Giddy" and the final emotional paregoric of "Strange Emotion", where the listener will experience some difficulties in winnowing if voice or sonic touches is more seducing while moaning with pleasure for the auricular penetrations all over this release.
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Artist: Gerwin (@)
Title: Lying Portraits (Zero T Reprint)/Soul Truth (Bungle Remix)
Format: 12"
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
I don't want to display these remixes of Gerwin's one-two of "Lying Portraits" (co-signed with Nuage) and "Soul Truth" as out-and-out improvements as the original tracks were good enough to draw a rank. They're just good derivations from those tunes and I'd rather say the remixers - the talented Itrish producer Zero T and the young Brazilian ace Bungle - have been able to keep soulful traces of the original versions into their rhythmical overflow: while Bungle's rapids let filter the crystalline sounds of "Soul Truth" through shattering stream of percussive flooding, which seems to quieten in correspondence to the repetition of vocal refrain, Zero T seems to split the atoms of "Lying Portraits" into a more "space-y" sphere in the first part of his remix before opening pressure valves by gorgeous cavorting percussions and enchanting synths which shoot the track skyward. Really persuading proofs of (d'n'b) concept!
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