Music Reviews



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Artist: Malato
Title: Avamposto Malato
Format: CD
Label: Old Europa Cafe
Rated: *****
Six years in the making and with a revamped line-up (we have a new female member called Black Bon Bon on vocals to help the filtered distorted declamations of Dark Yota), Malato is back with their second release titled "Avamposto Malato". Always released on Old Europa Cafe, one of the most renowned Italian labels for industrial, neo-folk et similia, "Avamposto Malato" offers to the lovers of industrial electronic sounds four new tracks and a couple of remixes. Always influenced by Futurism, 80s industrial music, Mod-ernism (see their love for the Mod aesthetic and 60s Italian design - check the 500 car and Vespa on the cover), pop music (this isn't really the influence I'd name for first in this case but their wrote it into their press info) and muzak (this concept is really correlated to 80s industrial culture as it's the science of how music affects the behavior of a customer) the band is back better than ever. Steve Stroll, Yugin, Black Bon Bon, DarkYota and ClauDEDI, helped by Eranot (he remixed an unreleased track titled "EU"), Luciano Lamanna of Der Noir (he played synthon the opening "UBRC"), the dj and producer Lanconero (he remixed "Distruzione") and Simona Ferrucci of Winter Severity Index (guitar on the opening "UBRC"), in my opinion succeeded into creating a convincing mix of melody, hard beats, noises, dance intuitions and improvisation. "UBRC" opens the EP with the sensual voice of Black Bon Bon and the distorted guitar improvvisations of Simona Ferrucci that duet "disturbed" by Dark Yota's declamations. "TEOT" is a danceable tune which reminds me a bit Chris And Cosey (Cosey Fanni Tutti is also thanked on the booklet's liner notes) where theremin, electronics and 4/4 beats prepare the listener to the "Pquadro88" mayhem. Based on pounding distorted beats, obsessive synth bass lines and noise improvisations, this is a eight minutes delirious track. "Distruzione" is a real surprise, as it's a danceable track (do you remember Portion Control's dance industrial tracks?) with noise inserts and pop female chants. "EU" is an electro post industrial track based on long synth lines, distorted electronic sounds, pounding beats and few melodic parts. On this one Sys2064 (a.k.a. Eranot) alternates suspended atmospheres to explosions of rage when the distortions get its peak along with the blasting beats. The remix of "Distruzione" enhance its danceable side but it doesn't add nothing new to the original tune. Nice release... Welcome back, Malato.
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Artist: Magic Panda (@)
Title: Temple of a Thousand Lights
Format: CD
Label: Tigerbeat6 (@)
Rated: *****
The title, "Temple of a Thousand Lights", could resemble the one of a diary by a rabid fan of some buddhist school, led lamps of brain machines, the cover artwork could let you think that the above-mentioned fan could have a passion for 70ies wallpapers or vintage games as well, but the music that 31-years old Norfolk-based Jamie Robson aka Magic Panda is really amazing, very elegant and remarkably accurate despite of its late arrival on electronic music scene. The ethereal engines of his uplifting grooves and he peacefully warm breeze he blows into listener's mind by means of layered harmonies, chiming waggles, resonating fleecy synths, levitating melodic lines, heavenly choirs, velvety 4/4 steps with many enthalling variations and lulling dream-injections could divert attention from the way Magic Panda intertwines contrasting elements into his yin-yang-ish tracks: the buoyancy of the initial rocket "Tokyo" have an inkling of epic and vaguely apocalyptic mark, which us more audible on other harmonized rides like "Distant Places" or the enchanting "Zwolf", whose tubular harp textures copuld let you imagine as a proper hit over the hidden portal of some fantasy game; a kaleidoscope of dark and light elements sounds like whirling on tracks like "Chiaroscuro", while the euphoric spurts of tracks like "Perfect Circle", "Days Are Numbered" or "Luna Rosa" could sound melancholic and vice versa. While slinking close to stylistical grounds of ambient-techno, post-rock, stargazing shoe-gaze, prog-house and electronics (you could imagine a delicious soup of Morr Music's plinkerpop, Ulrich Schnauss, Royksopp with the aftertaste of Godspeed You Black Emperor! or even Sigur Ros), this Magic Panda seems to know how to haul listeners in forgotten intimate realms, where dreams and nightmares breathe together.
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Artist: Skittles
Title: In For Me Remixes
Format: 12"
Label: Estate Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
His critically acclaimed full-length "Poor With £100 Trainers" didn't only rock the UK hip-hop scene, but the amazing style which bridged hip-hop to sonorities from other stylistical fields as well as Skittles' nimble and caustic lyricism hopped many other musicians up, so that Manchester-based Estate Recordings selected another meaningful song, "In For Me", and out into the wise hands of some bass jugglers after the excellent remixes of "Dot2Dot" (I could recommend to check the one by Dub Phizix in particular, if you missed it). The jeering and reasonably provocative tone of "In For Me", which bashes the stinking logic of mainstream music industry, fertilizes the imaginative grounds and sharpen the knives of Metalheadz's fair-haired Jubei, who zipped the guitar sample, petrified drums and armoured basslines for his hooking make-up, and the incendiary duo Need For Mirrors, who bucked epileptic wood-blocks, razor-sharp electric guitars and precise cuts after some quick preliminary waggles. A bonus remix by Manchester-based dj and producer Ruud "Metrodome" Whiting, which squeeze a wobbly croaking dubstep-spotted version, and the original version of "In For Me" have been bundled for all those ones who will prefer digital version.
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Artist: Yuya Ota
Title: Arctic April Mother
Format: CD
Label: Glacial Movements
Rated: *****
Yuya Ota is a composer and sound artist clearly influenced by artists like Nobukazu Takemura as he is trying to create a balance between pop clarity of musical development and avantgarde research in the musical texture.
"Knife" opens this album with gentle notes of piano above some field recordings of a rainy day. "Silver Rain" is instead based on bright juxtaposed drones while "Lágrima" on darker ones. "Maria" is almost a pop song with his soundscape and romantic notes of piano. "Seven Sisters Cliff" is a quiet track based on noises and drones while "Parfum" feature sparse and gentle notes of guitar above a gentle texture and remind to some pages by groups like Fonica and Minamo. "DispÄrsus" is a gentle track for piano and noises. "Tokyo" is a gentle ambient track based upon acoustic and electric guitar. "Viento" is a quiet optimistic soundscape that closes this release.
Even if he's clearly in debt with his musical influences Yuya Ota delivers an album that is enjoyable not only for fans of this kind of music but almost for everyone. It really worth a listen.
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Artist: Neizvestija
Title: Majak
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
This new release by Cryo Chamber is made by Swedish producer Daniel Wiklander and inspired by the radioactive zones of Chelyabinsk. According from the linear notes this zone are pastoral landscape but are extremely toxic because water were used to cool nuclear reactors. This theme is depicted using a classic dark ambient musical development that takes advantage from the clear mastering from Simon Heath.
"55º44'² N 60º54'² E" opens this release almost quietly and slowly developing an evocative soundscape. "Muslyumovo" continues in the portrait of a lost and abandoned land. "Kyshtym" relies on samples of spoken words and acts as an interlude to "Techa" that is a long drone above some sparse noises. "Metlino" is another track based upon the same structure of the previous one while "Ozersk" is a carefully constructed dark ambient tune and "Karachay" closes this album with a clear drone that is colored by the noises of the final part of this tune.
This is an enjoyable release by all fans of this genre that will appreciate the clarity of the musical development. Really nice.
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