Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Famine (@)
Title: Anachronisms
Format: CD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
My last encounter with Famine was on his 2010 album, 'Nature's Twin Tendencies'. I must say that 'Anachronisms' is quite a change, and at first I thought, not for the better. 'NTT' had just so much 'in your face' programming that it was overwhelming, and recently revisiting it (for comparison's sake) did not change my opinion. It's an awesome, relentless album melding breakcore, IDM, glitch, electro, techno-industrial, you name it into a crazy, delirious trip you won't soon forget. 'Anachronisms' is not nearly as bold, and it took me half a dozen listenings to get into it. Written in the alleyways of Winnipeg (where Marty Famine is based) in the Autumn of 2012, the album initially struck me as cold, techno-trance breakcore in comparison with what I'd previously heard from him. Ambiences and synths are downplayed; beats are in the forefront; melody hardly exists; everything seems, well'¦smaller'¦less.

Actually, that's really not quite the case at all, when you listen to the album with phones, which I didn't at first. There's a subtlety at work here that won't be obvious on the first few listenings. With the beats so upfront you can't grasp that right away. First track 'Tablecrasher' is so jarring one can't help but be disoriented. Beats and sounds collide with an unfathomable timing pummeling you again and again and again. I have no earthly idea how it was put together. After that, it becomes a little easier to navigate Famine's terrain, although still often a challenge. Beats are contorted, distorted, manipulated and mixed with elements of god knows what to propel you through Famine's alien landscape of tech-mech madness. The ambiences are the most subtle elements of the compositions, easily overshadowed by the bodacious beat programming, which is more elaborate than you could imagine. Plenty of rhythmic effluvia is also in play, beyond the beats. There is one track ' 'Salbutimol' that could almost be considered jazz in form with kind of an abstract melody that's very intriguing. Maybe future-future jazz. The last two tracks ' 'Filmstrip' and 'Filmstrip' (Valence Drakes Remix) are a radical departure from the rest of the album. Comprised largely of processed, cut-up manipulated voices (with some other electro-acoustic elements), the little rhythm in it seems incidental and more for effect. It comes across as quite hallucinatory and experimental. The remix seemed like an underwater version of the original, filter-suppressing a lot of the elements with some warping techniques, bending stretching and shaping employed. Perhaps this is a logical extension and fitting conclusion to 'Anachronisms'.

I still like 'Nature's Twin Tendencies' better than 'Anachronisms' but it's obvious that Famine has refined his technique on this album as well as progressed into something more cohesive. For some, this may be 'just the droids you're looking for'.
cover
Artist: Rion
Title: ホタル
Format: CD
Label: Hibernate (@)
Rated: *****
UK ambient label Hibernate keeps on emitting sonic refulgence by means of this beautiful collaborative project by Home Normal label boss Ian Hawgood and Sapporo-based producer Ryo Nakata. They immediately wrap listener up into a very warm ambient drone, which has been built on a couple of stretched frequencies, coiling slow pitches, spellbinding modulations and resounding needles of the title-track (Japanese word for "fireflies"), which prepares the ground for the following trance-inducing "Let Me Sing You A Song Of Kindness", where sea-gulls got melted into binaural radiations, which unrelentingly migrate from opposite sides of the surface of sound sphere before getting conjoined on its centre. Some Japanese vocals and the noise of a typewriting machine are the starting point of the following track "hope", whose relaxing wavelets gently sluices listener's mind into a soothing basin. After the possible ambient translation of Chinese New Year's Eve where samples of fireworks got mixed with frequencies that sound like rendering the dazing feeling that the flashy colours of fireworks stimulates on a festive observer, you'd rather imagine that Rion are frying ether without volatilizing the positive feelings that this release is going to ingrain on your thirsty ear.
cover
Artist: Quentin Sirjacq (@)
Title: Piano Memories
Format: CD
Label: Schole (@)
Rated: *****
The reciprocal fascination between Japanese and French arts and culture is stronger than someone could imagine by taking account of their geographical distance. Somebody explains such a magnetic exoticism by a possible central and almost devotional sense of beauty of both cultural principles, but even if such an explanation cannot be considered completely preconceived, I could just reckon that both Japanese and French simply love beautiful things. I could say it's the same for music as well: many classical music lovers know that Debussy's way of breaking traditional rules of harmony derived from the influences of jazz and oriental music he never disowned, while many Japanese cinema lovers maybe noticed that many Japanese filmmakers emplyed French composers in their scores. I took cognizance of these two aspects as I firstly spoke about talented French composer and pianist Quentin Sirjacq on the occasion of the release of "Bright Days Ahead (Les Beaux Jours)" OST by highlighting the strong connection of his style with French impressionism. In regards to this new lovely album, which was entirely recorded with Schole label boss Akira Kosemura as a co-producer and Hiroshi Iguchi as a recording engineer after a journey in Japan, Quentin confirms the opinion of those ones who speak about him as a possible reincarnation of Chopin. Furthermore his lovely delicate flights on piano keys, which immediately hit listeners for their endearing touch, got wisely enhanced by unexpected and somewhat unpredictable electronic effects by Paris-based drummer and sound producer Steve Arguelles as well as by a guessed sound spacialization. His charming nine piano memories seem to whisper to listener's heart where beauty or maybe what French names joissance got hidden in the depths of its own soul.
cover
Artist: J.C. Combs (@)
Title: Every Junkie is a Recording
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
J.C. Combs is a Seattle-based composer and sound artist whose work has been heard previously on Electroshock Records and the Spectropol Record labels .Every Junkie is a Recording is a 33 minute, single-track offering that enables the listener to explore a landscape of the imagination, convincingly conjured from electronic and hybrid sonic materials. Full disclosure ' J.C. and I have worked together at the Sound-In.org website that he founded five years ago. Every Junkie is a Recording is a good example of what is possible using sounds and tones artfully constructed as a descriptive vocabulary.

The beginning minutes of this piece are a series of deliberately steady staccato electronic notes ' like footsteps - often with sforzando accents. These are accompanied by stronger, more singular, reverberant tones pitched somewhat higher and spaced out among the beats. The tempo and feel is andante in the literal sense ' we are strolling down a familiar street at night, perhaps in the fog, the lights from the lamp posts providing little pools of welcome illumination. The texture, however, morphs into a less distinct rhythm as the opening section progresses, and a more alien, metallic feel creeps into the tones of the upper registers. Now little gusts of wind are heard - the landscape has changed to the less familiar, even as we continue walking tentatively forward.

After the 8 minute mark, the footsteps fall away and we are immersed in a series of warm metallic humming sounds of various pitches with the sense of no longer walking but floating. The wind gusts return, but are now more menacing and the enveloping tones have turned lower and darker. It is as if we have entered into an unfamiliar neighborhood that imparts a vague sense of unease. The pace slows considerably evoking an almost dream-like state, with an underlying current of faint dread. At 17:00 this feeling is expanded by a soft, but steadily increasing roar that flows underneath a series of bell-like tones, as if sounding from some ghostly clock tower. Soon a more regular ringing sound is heard accompanied by the opening andante theme ' perhaps we are walking past a railroad crossing gate. This fades into the distance and is replaced by a low ragged roar; perhaps we are passing some industrial process close by.

By 25:00 the roar has increased markedly, and there are no other sounds. After of few minutes the metallic humming returns, faintly heard at first but becoming steadily louder, then fading again. We seem to be getting steadily closer to the source of all these sounds. In the closing minute, a ticking sound is added - like an alarm clock only faster ' and this evokes a feeling of timed tension. The roaring suddenly stops, and for the last minute of the piece just the ticking is heard until it too, abruptly ceases.

As the liner notes accurately state, this is ' a piece which travels in and around ambient, drone, accidental sounds, mystery synthesis and melodic noise.' Every Junkie is a Recording is a persuasive and engaging sonic journey carefully crafted from unusual materials.
cover
Artist: Cadlag
Title: Cadlag Live Tape
Format: Tape
Label: Pharmafabrik
Rated: *****
Available on tape, VHS and 5" tape reel, "Cadlag Live Tape" is the second album by Cadlag which is released after a three track album available digitally and several compilation tracks. Recorded live, as the title states, in 2013 at Ljubljana Noise Festival and at the Trbovlje New Media Festival, "Cadlag Live Tape" brings to the lovers of industrial noise, two intense performances. Formed by members of PureH, Dodecahedragraph, TGWFYTD, Extreme Smoke 57 and Earslaughter, Cadlag on the seventeen minutes of "Infundibulum" composed a suite that starts with ambient drones just to reach its climax after the fifth minute. Here we have a mix of controlled feedbacks, electronic noises and hisses. Just when you thought the noise was at the maximum, Cadlag rise the level adding more drones and noises with treated guitar sounds. At this point we have a sort of magma which almost reaches the pink noise level. At minute 12, the effect disappears like fog and leaves a pulsating noisy drone with small distant noises that come and go. This is the part I prefer as there's a lot going on between the apparent calm. The track get noisier again just to end soon after. "Speculum" is the second track and it starts like a sort of early Lustmord tune: tense and menacing but kinda calm. This state ends soon as after three minutes Cadlag open the gates of hell by adding noisy drones. The effect isn't much cacophonic as on the previous track, probably because of the frequencies used. Based always on live manipulations and noise eruptions, "Speculum" seems a dying snake which rattles with spasms. This is stuff to be handled with care. You can check the tracks here http://cadlag.bandcamp.com/ and you can watch the performances on the Cadlag's Youtube channel here http://www.youtube.com/user/cadlagTV
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601] [602] [603] [604] [605] [606] [607] [608] [609] [610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110] [2111...2120]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha