Music Reviews



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Artist: Mikal (@)
Title: Spiritual/The Chant (Rido Remix)
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
Utopia Music label head Stephen Redmore aka Mako already mouthwatered all those who appreciated the gorgeous stuff by talented Swedish London-based dj and producer Mikael Willett aka Mikal by anticipating this release. On "Spiritual", Mikal's sound still has a strong connection with heavy stomper of his first years on the glorious imprint by Goldie and Kemistry&Storm, Metalheadz, but put the mallet he hit on red-hot iron on his previous "Headbanger" in order to temper the pitting with more pad-driven fluctuations so that getting closer to the sonorities of some previous tracks such as "Lifts Me Up" or "Distance", even if as it happened on thoe tunes, he doesn't opt some mind-blurring dirty spots and drilling metallic purulences out of his sound. A similar operation of chamferring has been made on "The Chant" by Czech producer and dj Pavel Ridosko aka Rido, who seems to apply some dynamics of the original track to the unhuman moan, which marked it, and lean towards more crackles and bumps instead of the "slide" of percussive elements on the grunt of low frequencies by Mikal. Two excellent assays of atmospheric ruggedness.
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Artist: Poena
Title: Likboden
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten
Rated: *****
Recorded in the old morgue of the Sidsjon mental hospital in Sundsvall, "Likboden" is the first album by Poena, project of Poena Kristian Olsson (Survival Unit/Alfarmania) and Christian Godin. Poena is the spirit of punishment and the one side 60 minutes tape released by Belaten, contains a thirty minutes long suite which is taking inspiration from early industrial/ritual music of the likes of Zero Kama, LAShTAL, early Ain Soph, etc. The suite alternates tense moments where sounds recalling Tibetan human tight bones, chain rattles, buzzing guitar noises create something that sound almost alive... a sort of crawling monster. Time to time the atmosphere get noisier and reverb is used to spread the sound like a drone. If you like harsh sounds, dark atmospheres and early 80s industrialism, this is for you! Check it here http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/likboden
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Artist: Bungle (@)
Title: Astral Travel/Aura
Format: 12"
Label: Soul:R
Rated: *****
Another breach in the wall of hearts of drum'n'bass followers from Markus Intalex's Soul:R bears the name of the talented Brazilian musician Andre' Olivera Sobota, better known as Bungle, who doesn't goof up the beat on this lovely release in spite of his moniker. Mr.Intalex already played some stuff by Bungle on the occasion of some dj sets, but he preferred to use the utmost discretion about the author till now and he already announced a series of releases on his label by Andre'. The first track "Astral Travel" is pure bliss for lovers of airglowing stuff: after 40 seconds of routine maintenance of rocket engines, the listener gets pushed upwards by gild synths and aerostatic tunes, whose last descending triplet adds a certain sense of melancholy as well. During this ascension, which seems to be propelled by feverish tickling of astronomical clocks, just don't look down! The second track "Aura" sounds equally uplifting and breezy, but the feathered progression of rhythmical pattern with a stress on the eighth step could remind his Brazilian masters - he got ideally initiated to drum'n'bass by Dj Patife and he sometimes coupled the somewhat legendary Dj Marky -. A really good way to start 2013 for Soul:R.
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Artist: Chagas Curado Viegas Wind Trio
Title: Old School New School No School
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Although their sound cannot be considered as totally original, the skills of these three Portuguese musicians and authentic musical "spin doctors" on wind instruments, Joao Pedro Viegas (soprano and bass clarinets), Paulo Chagas (flutes, sopranino clarinet, oboe) and Paulo Curado (soprano and alto saxophones, flute) as well as their extended techniques, the clear mastery on their sounding tools (and their lungs and breathing apparatus indeed) and their wise sonic "portraiture" make this recording really palatable to followers of the genre. In the gurgling cauldron of broken phrasing, whimpering whiffs, rambling melodic lines and brave climbing on diatonic scale, there are many courses for imagination in the basket which nearly achieve cinematic fumigations ("For Emir", "Fake Camerata", "Nice (Bardot) or nice (Hayworth)" or the amazingly drunk "Bottleneck's Dream Song") and bizarre espousing of performative hints from ethnic musical language ("Articulated Ruidisms", "Stucked by Muffled Reed's Flattersung", "Meditation For Beginners"). On "Old School New School No School", a title which seems to be in correspondence to respective training, Wind Trio manages to whisk a remarkably high number of stylistical recipes on a sort of page-turner by means of an histrionic oomph.
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anymore
Artist: Bassazynthz (@)
Title: Strictly Approach
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Battery Park Studio
Distributor: Juno
Rated: *****
The first thought that came to my mind after i played the new 'Strictly Approach' e.p. by mr Ronny Kuenniger aka BASSAZYNTHZ, is that this man is passionate about his music (and a very skilled producer). After playing it again, many times over, and listening carefully, i was starting to discover little details with each listen and to me, that always is an indication of that passion.
In this five track e.p. released on the 'Battery Park Studio' label, Bassazynthz, embarks on a multidimensional electro journey, that covers all bases.
Of course there is the much needed sonic edge, to move things forward, the very contemporary and modern production approach, that ensures that the end result is gratifying, but he does not stop there. In most of the tracks, there are little 'injections' of retro elements that enrich his compositions giving a very stable platform for him to evolve and release his melodic vibes that add this multilayered feeling/emotion, to the otherwise sometimes cold and robotic - by definition - genre of electro.
All the tracks are very carefully structured, with great attention to detail, and the overall production is flawless. There are haunting pads, driving beats, great vocoder action, and lead synth hooks, thunderous basslines and intriguing arrangements that guarantee repeated listens and ultimately a very happy music buyer!
The 'Strictly Approach' e.p. is out now, on digital form, but watch out for the vinyl release soon!
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