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Artist: 4giftgas
Title: La Première Exhalation de 4giftgas
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Misty Circles
Rated: *****
From the sparse notes available for this project, 4giftgas is collective of artists with open line up and aiming to explore disturbing sounds. This debut EP is out on the historical label Misty Circles and is a physical object, a printed plastic medal with chain, with a download code. Apart from consideration about the status of a musical release, an object instead of something to play, their output, audio and visual, is clearly influenced by classic industrial music.
"Cyanide" is based upon the juxtaposition of sparse noises, an almost dancey beat and the clean and declamatory lyrics of Zyanid. The martial beat of "Come to Me" introduces the listener to a track divided in a part based on the vocals and the final part based on the noise. "Anvil" closes this album with an harsh musical assault.
Three tracks are usually too few to properly judge a project however, even if this release is carefully done and crafted, it seems too debtor to their influences. For fans of early '80 industrial.
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Artist: David Berezan
Title: Allusions Sonores
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Another aural delight for the lovers of unconventional electroacoustic sonorities and field recordings from the well-known Canadian label empreintes DIGITALes bear the signature - the second for the imprint - of Uk-based fellow countryman David Berezan, who recently mastered the five acousmatic works he made from 2008 and 2011. The oldest one, "Badlands", is related to his native region, Alberta, as he grabbed some field recordings in the so-called badlands or calanques in Southern Alberta in the summer of 2007 so that the densely constructed soundscapes he built by means of intriguing amalgamation of buzzing insects, chirping cicadas and crickets, flurries, eroding rocks and even skits of traditional American Indian ritual sonoritis vaguely exudes a sense of nostalgia while rendering dinosaur fossils, indigenous people history, lovely parks and the characteristic climate of that part of the planet. If we go in a chronological order, the following track "Nijo" teleports listeners inside Japanese castles; the title refers to Nijo Castle in Kyoto, where David supposedly recorded the sounds he assembled for this track, which focuses on the squeaking sound when a visitor of the castle walks upon its wooden floors, which are commonly known as "uguisubari" (meaning "nightingale floors" due to the fact they sound like chirping!) and functions as a security system which detects intruders, which cannot but inspire a sound artist like David, who tried to go beyond those floors by nailing occasional Japanese voices, high-speed trains and other noises from contemporary Japan which bumped into his microphones. Another region of the planet Mr.Berezan visited many times and grabbed many sounds from is Bali, Indonesia, which fed "Galungan", where he carefully nestled sounds from the Galungan religious festival, the rice paddies, the rich nocturnal natural life and the gamelan in order to render both the extraordinary natural environment and the impressively rich Balinese traditional culture, and "Thumbs", where David just recorded a single plucked sound froma Balinese thumb piano before processing it while inspired by anything related to the word "thumb" that came to his mind during the compostion (all-thumbs, thumbs-up/down, under thumb, thumbing through and so on). The most recent track is maybe the most unconventional one as David entirely assembled "Buoy" from sounds of different kinds of sea buoys, whose bells, whistles and gongs as well as detecting systems (whereas buoys normally aid sea navigation or circumscribe safe area for swimmers or divers, some buoys aid scientific research of ecology, oceanography or maritime weather) could be considered as a sort of decoding of an imaginary language of the sea.
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Artist: DUBCON - cEvin Key meets Twilight Circus
Title: U.F.O. Pon Di Gullyside
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The stylistical versatility of Canadian-born (even if he moved to The Netherlands in 1991) musician Ryan Moore, former member of The Legendary Pink Dots (never totally abandoned as his recent collaborative release with Edward Ka-Spel on Tourette label could testify), who has finally reprised his dub-translucent project Twilight Circus Dub Sound System after a ginormous pile of releases and a massive musical training on jamaican recordings , and multifaceted electronic talented skinny puppy Kevin William Crompton aka cEvin Key aka Download was already ascertained by respective previous works. They've finally flowed into one another by laying the foundation of DUBCON, which flies over dub territories and breezes in the hearts and minds of the lovers of the genre by means of a wise buffing of cauldrons for amalgamations of heavyweight and electronic dub with impressive electronic tricks, which sounds like an enhanced reshuffle of that kind of electronic dub which got mainly spread from UK and Germany in the 90ies (I could mention Zion Train, Funki Porcini, Dubstar, Transglobal Underground, African Headcharge, AlphaOmega, power Steppers, Dub Syndacate and many others) and the tracks where this electronic enhancement is more clearly audible are the best ones according to my ear response since the initial warm-up "Outerspace" where a shredded electronic bruising blends echoed vocals, slapped claps, resounding plops and pad-synth-driven gusts as well as on following tracks like "Zion Cluster" (featuring Sly Dunbar on drums), where they let some classic dub elements sizzle into an electric buzz, "Moment In Space", where banging clap and kick drum render the typical "shot in the dark" effect, "Project Sign", where alien decomposition of the genre could sound advanced before you listen the following stages such as the oxidized ligaments of "Dubbrain", the pressurized punches of "Farstar", the slick interferences on the title-track "UFO pon di gullyside" or the entrancing plasmic mush of the final "Gone Orbital". Very good jamming!
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Artist: Maile Colbert (@)
Title: Come Kingdom Come
Format: CD
Label: Two Acrons (@)
Rated: *****
The "Ouverture" for the so-called Dies Irae (the Day of Anger, which should the biblical Last Judgement), which somehow reminded me of the very first moments of Mozart's "Requiem Mass in D Minor" (K 626) besides electronic sounds and modified field recordings, introduces listeners in an experimental opera, whose mode of expression counterbalances a conceptual framework, which is so recurring and overworked that could sound banal. The most relevant aspect of this release, named after the notorious invocation "Come, Kingdom Come", is the intersection of sonic skills by intermedia artist Maile Colbert, who is currently director of Cross the Pond, an organization based on arts and cultural exchange between US and Portugal and contributes by her own writings on Acoustic Ecology and Sound Studies at "Sounding Out", and the celestial voice of classically trained soprano Gabriela Crowe under Colbert's direction with contributions by Christophe Giraud aka Tellemake, singer Jessica Constable and RUi Costa's electronics, who dabble in a sort of sonic exegesis of "The Book of Revelations", which got turned into a sort of score as well as a source for inspiration. The transfusion of apocalyptic and millenialism-related themes into clots of Latin medieval monophonic chant, instrumental suppurations, subcortical harmonies, ancestral calls, lyrical contributions by poet Ian Colbert, psychotic reversed sounds and a number of befitting field recordings such as the ones grabbed before, during and after natural disasters, VLF recordings of sun storms while hitting Earth's magnetosphere, bird calling from endangered species, the other-worldly quiet in Chernobyl, the seismic activity of an earthquake and so on, makes the listening experience constantly fluctuate between mystical nuances and thin apprehension, exstacy and anxiety, longing and catharsis, which cannot but come to a conclusion which refers to the end of time by means of barely audible raptured chants and agonizing sounds.
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Artist: Rafael Anton Irisarri (@)
Title: The Unintentional Sea
Format: 12"
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
On the occasion of his new solo sonic jaunt, Rafael Anton Irisarri aka The Sight Below chooses to draw inspiration from one of the worst US environmental disaster, which affected the so-called Salton Sea, a brackish endorheic lake on the San Andreas Fault in Southern California, whose water inflow, which gave birth to this accidental sea after a strong flooding in the beginning of last century, and bayous has made up of the system of irrigation ditches, some small streams and rivers, but thermal, mixing and oxygen regimes of the Salton Sea are not so stable and the circumstance it's essentially a close system entailed its heavy pollution right after the development of human activities in close proximity to the area, particularly from Mexican inflows which poured many toxic hemicals from Mexican farming. Environmental blight caused the failure of a plan intended to turn the area into a touristic place, which some adverts described as "the miracle in the desert"; nowadays just some ghost cities, abandoned resorts, clunkers, wrecks and schools of died fishes remain and the landscape of the area surrounding Salton Sea looks like a post-apocalyptic artificial limb of hell, whose bleakness got impressively evoked by Irisarri, whose five long sonic suites oscillate between sadness, deep pensiveness and grayness. The initial "Fear and Trembling" sets the mood by moth-eaten field recordings and gloomy tonal haze before the brine got blended into the nostalgic burst of heat and memory on the following "Her Rituals" and the nestled feeling of annihilation on "The Witness", which closes A-side. Such a paralyzing motionless permeates the feeble lights of "Daybreak Comes Soon", which paradoxically thickens the dark reticulum on the highest dramatic acme of the record,"Lesser Than The Sum Of Its Parts", whose final synth-driven emotional outburst sounds like rendering a moving requiem or the uncontrollable weeping over such a tragedy.
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