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Artist: Coen Oscar Polack & Herman Wilken
Title: Fathomless
Format: 12"
Label: Narrominded (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from this artists is inspired by two existent places: the Barents Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, and the Sundarbans, a place in India known for his colored fauna. So I suppose that they aim to evoke the sensations offered by this particular landscapes and I must say that they realize it.
The album has one track on every side: 'Barents Sea', the A side, starts quietly with small noises and a glacial drone slowly portraits a glacial landscape and, decaying, is substituted by the juxtaposition of a bright drone and some sparse crackles until a new and louder glacial drone erases all and the tune ends gently.
'Sundarbans', the B side, starts with a sort of field recordings of leafs moved by the wind and a bright drone slowly changing until birds's recording introduces the listener into an oasis of colors and peace that lasts until a buzz starts a quieter part that lasts until a bright drone starts and, with a quieter interlude, drives the listener to the end of the track slowly changing.
This two long tracks are an uneasy listening but charming as they reveal a form conceived for the portrait of landscape in an evocative way. Recommended.
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Artist: Attemporal
Title: Att 9
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ATT series
Rated: *****
Attemporal is one of the most interesting act from Spanish techno scene and the mastery of the heads behind this project, Salva Cotanda and David Sierra, seems to be confirmed by the elongated chain of their Att series, which achieves the ninth ringlet. This new drop into their gurgling dark pond drags up old hard-techno sonorities again by means of straight rhythmical inflations, kicking heels, thin electronic tremors and aquatic nuances, whose conciseness justifies its forcefulness. This release includes a couple of remixes as well: the first one got signed by Melbourne-based producer and dj Craig McWhinney, who preserved the concision of rhythmical gearwheels and highlights the electronic dub constituents of the original version into his progressive incendiary flow, while the second remix comes from French producer Damien Lapena aka The Plant Worker and snap at eardrums by siphoning "Att 9" into acid murky solutions.
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Artist: Fun Every Friday (@)
Title: Heart Puke
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Previously known as F.E.F. aka Flesh Eating Foundation, Fun Every Friday are John E Smoke, The Juddaman, Mash, Big Un and Crooknose. The last release I reviewed and which I'm aware of was the EP "So Yeah", released in 2011. Now the guys are back with a free download album titled "Heart Puke". The album contains twelve new tracks which are able to communicate to the listener the urge they felt when they composed them. An album composed, as they wrote, "on guitars, not laptops and synths. Proper riffs first, the synths and laptops are still there but they came after". Musically you can hear influences that go from Ministry, to Alien Sex Fiend passing through Killing Joke and Skinny Puppy. Guitars are well sustained by hammer like drum machine beats and razor sounding synth sounds. Power and melody are the core elements of the album and tracks like "Who's Rules", "Without Light" or the closing "Lazarus" are working really well: direct, powerful and catchy. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the release date.
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Artist: Death In June
Title: Lives At The Edge of the World
Format: DVD
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Rated: *****
I have been listening to Death In June for the better part of two decades, so I was quite interested to see this DVD. This DVD features three different performances recorded in Brest, Brittany, from December 2011, May 2005 and April 2002. The label boasts '45 Different songs and 81 different performances. Massive gallery of unseen photos + poster. Certainly the most complete collection of Death In June songs on one single release.' Now on to the music itself. I have to admit that visually Death In June is not terribly engaging. This is partly because the live performance is a duo of Douglas Pearce mainly on acoustic guitar and John Murphy on various percussion instruments. But the music is stripped down and raw, which gives it a kind of urgency not found on the studio albums or even the live album 'Something is Coming.' But the music is done very well and takes on quite a span. Unlike many performers who focus mainly on new material with a few crowd favorites thrown in, this covers much of DIJ's creative output, ranging from 1983's 'The Guilty Have No Pride' to 2010's 'Peaceful Snow.' I was surprised to find some of my favorites on this disc, with a breathlessly fast 'The Honour of Silence' and '13 Years of Carrion' (although along that same trajectory, I would have loved to hear a live version of 'God's Golden Sperm' or 'Torture by Roses'). For Boyd Rice fans, there is a rendition of 'Où Est Boyd Rice?' finishing off with an acoustic rendition of 'Total War' with Rice on vocals during the 2002 concert. I found that Pearce was a lot chattier in the 2005 concert than in the 2010 or 2002 performances, providing commentary on several of the songs, which was interesting (we find out the 'Hollows of Devotion' was inspired by a bathroom rendezvous with a priest in Heathrow Airport, for example ' I'll avoid spoiling the moment for you, but, hint, ' it may have something to do with the gay pride flag he brought out partway through). The 2002 concert cinematography could have been much better. It is clear that this was not professionally taped for posterity. Imagine that a friend held up a camera phone and videotaped the concert and then ran it through a sepia filter with some abrupt cuts. There you have it, but then again we didn't get this for the special effects. This is the shortest of the three concerts, but still demonstrates the continuity of the live experience. It seems that the 2002 concert is less essential than the 2005 and 2011 ones, but there are songs in this concert not found in the other two ('The Night of the Knives,' Smashed to Bits (In the Peace of the Night,' and the collaboration with Boyd Rice), so it still earns its keep on the DVD. Overall, this is 4 hours of DIJ video. If that doesn't sell you, then nothing will. This is pretty much a must for all DIJ fans.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Dark Ambient Radio Vol. 3 – Muzak for the Final Elevation
Format: CD
Label: Dark Ambient Radio (@)
Rated: *****
This compilation lets you know what it is right up front, and in some ways it flows together like a good radio show should. If you didn't know it was a compilation, it would be easy to think that it was the work of the same artist for several tracks. I had not heard of any of these artists, so I was interested to see what this group had to offer. Aspectee, Nepenthe, and Valerio Orlandini open the disc with three tracks respectively of nice spacey ambient. Mortaja mixes it up a bit with some ritualistic chanting. Crepuscular throws down some crunchy ambient with the feel of tectonic plates shifting. Myth Industries and Sjellos also departs from the space ambient feel with slow waves of rattling and light drumming. Sjellos takes on his own track with some drums that I didn't really expect to kick in, but it worked. Then he goes back to the comfort of droning ambiance. Winterbound provides the base for your next Halloween mix ' this has a nice horror movie soundtrack feel to it. Mytrip finishes us off with 'Small Humyn,' which has a nice heaviness to it. There is a feeling of pressure and depth, like the thick drone that you might find in the inside of a beehive. For me this was one of the standout tracks on this disc. Overall this was interesting dark ambient and it was curated well. If you want to hear some new blood in the dark ambient scene, this is one to pick up. This compilation is limited to 500 copies and weighs in at around 72 minutes.
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