Music Reviews



Sep 11 2012
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Artist: Imiafan (@)
Title: Old School Surprise
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten
Rated: *****
Out tomorrow for the Swedish label Belaten on tape and digital format, "Old School Surprise" is a new EP by Imiafan. Containing five new tracks, this new EP is a bit more raw and cold compared to the MLP "Neurozone" that I reviewed few weeks ago. On this tape, there aren't catchy synthpop intuitions like there were on tracks like "Is It Fiction?". Now, the atmospheres are even more cold: try to imagine a mix of Suicide meet Die Form that cover Daf songs. Helped by Sololust on "The Ballroom" (vocals and lyrics), by Charles Kent on "Old School" (mix and arrangements) and by Mikke (he took care of the first three tracks in the studio), Imrich Vegh is bringing to the audience five cold analog synth tunes influenced by early electro industrial e.b.m. Hard beat rhythms, analog filters and synth noises form an intricated web of sounds that are able to catch the attention of the audience in no time. Check the whole release and purchase it at this link http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/old-school-surprise
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Artist: Chrysalide (@)
Title: Don't Be Scared, It's About Life
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Tender words to traders and their indulgente money-feeders ("Traders Must Die"), attempts of sweet awakening media-addicted sleepwalkers and middle-class insouciance despite awareness of media manipulation about "reality" ("Let's Talk About This During Dinner", but I'd say their wise cover artwork refers to media control and the typical master/puppet relation between people who control media and their unaware victims), feeling of solipsism and withdraw in front of widespread acceptance of the state of things ("Not My World"), redeeming escape attempts ("Give Me Somthing Stronger"), refusal of homologation ("Rest In Silence My Friend", "They Won't Get Us"), memories of pure love ("LoveTape"), saga-like dramtic stages of anti-heroic teeny personal growth ("Lizzie And The Charming Prince", "Lizzie In Toxicland") and other themes digged by this French industrial band by brothers Sylvain "Syco" and Arnud "Arco" Coeffic could be considered as cliches for the musical and cultural fields they cross over, but the way they melt them, a fusion between industrial standards (particularly KMFDM and Skinny Puppy), a ferocious digital hardcore approach (a la Teen Age Riot) and contemporary hybrids such as nu metal, neurotech or grime dubstep, don't deserve the assumed unconcern (their album has been introduced as "2011's best CD that no one wrote about"...) related to their first European issue. Canadian label Artoffact recognised their talent and decided to let their product land in North America through an edition which five bonus tracks, including their raging cover version of Pink Floyd' hit "Another Brick In The Wall", the hitting tracks "All Guilty" and "Freakout", the above-mentioned "Lizzie In Toxicland" and "We Are Fod For Worms" - one of my favorite track of the whole album -, which mentions a notorious line by professor John Keating on Peter wseir's "Dead Poets Society". Chrysalide could have gained more visibility on underground press, but maybe it needed to be fed more to turn into a butterfly.
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Artist: Olivier Dumont & Rodolphe Loubatiere (@)
Title: Nervure
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Some sonic wormholes and burrs together with hourse springing, odd hiccups, metallic tool grinding and scratches before turning into a searing swirl of white noises, grim dissonances, thudding rolling and squabbling knocks and squeks of the initial long-lasting track "Petiole" limber the listener up for the bizarre experience offered by guitarist Olivier Dumont, who turns his instrument into a percussive and scenic element, and percussionist Rodolphe Loubatiere, who seems to head the collection of sketches of the following "Nervure", which sounds like a collection of many possible strategies to fray guitar strings when they reach some peaks of tautness whereas it acquires very strange tones - guitar often sounds like squawking or strangling itself -. The final and longest recording session, "Limbe", sounds a little bit more well-structures and cinematic than previous ones and beyond hard rubbing, metal and wood rumming and occasional rumpus, you could have the impression they're representing the awkward bustling for the almost desperate repair of an handloom or a music box. Even if it cannot be filed under easy-listening, "Nervure" could disclose many amazing moments for your eardrums.
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Artist: Kassel Jaeger (@)
Title: Deltas
Format: 12"
Label: Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Appreciated Wien-based Mego label adds another interesting mockup into the shrine of sonic artifacts by issuing (on vynil) the fifth album by French-Swiss sound artist Kassel Jaeger, whose "scientific" approach to sound isn't well-rendered only by the biographical note about his membership to the well-known Groupe de Recherches Musicales, a sort of mystery school and collective of sound researchers, a rib of Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète, founded by Pierre Schaeffer and a number of other notorious composers, related to electroacoustic and concrete music, but also by audible validation like this one. The long-suite on Face A, "Campo Del Cielo", has named after a big meteor crater in Northern Argentina, whose found rocky fragments are the source for the processed sounds of this composition, commissioned by Espace Mendes France and performed at The Planetarium in Poitiers through an 8 channel system, an entrancing suite, which has been divided into two parts: the first one, Aerolite (meaning "flying stone"), sounds like a sort of cosmic field recording derived from sonic manipulations, while the second one, Baetylus, is based on electromagnetic capture of magnetic resonances. Both of them have been filled with bleeping waves which looks like coming from scientic instruments while detecting strange electromagnetic anomalies, but the recurring noise of breaths which blows over this brunch of sonic waves imparts an arcane atmosphere to the listening experience, which seems to follow both a bottom-up and a top-down process, whereas it reflects the ideal meeting within an "alien" stone between cosmos over our heads and ground below our feet. A similar bottom-up approach seems to distinguish the title-track, "Deltas", due to the fact it begins with a very low frequencies which has been covered by layers of sonic sediments of mid and high frequencies, till the moment when pure waveforms crumble into many granular noises which look like rivulets on the soil, left by a river in flood; sounds have a so physical consistency that they can be considered as elements of the description of geophysical phenomenon which has been described in details by Kassell throughout an appropriate description which looks like taken from a geology textbook: 'Whenever the volume of water is so great as to counteract and almost neutralize the force of tides and currents, and in all cases where the latter agents have not sufficient power to remove to a distance the whole of the sediment periodically brought down by rivers, deltas are produced.'. The third final track has been entirely built on unprocessed sounds of the legendary Coupigny Modular Synth, an authentic holy monolith for many electronic musicians (a lot of important musique concrete of GRM such as Berio and Parmegiani played on it), hosted in GRM studios, whose impressive chromatic possibilities have been exploited by Kassel to built an hypnotic and somewhat frightening track, named after the notorious wordplay by Duchamp (a guest + a host = a ghost, i.e. two word with the same etymology and opposite meaning whose combination could make sense...), which was even quoted by Chris & Cosey for a collaborative track with Boyd Rice as well as by many artists of different fields, due to the spine-chilling feeling, produced by the simultaneous playback of sounds, which have the same origin (Coupigny Modular Synth) and different "physical" properties. Very absorbing listening experience.
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Artist: Rapoon (@)
Title: Time-loop anomalies
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Just few months after "Disappeared Redux", Robin Storey return with another release that is, in author's words, "a collection of single tracks and 'starts' in the creative process drawn together and composed into a cohesive collection of pieces" so it's more experimental in nature and rich of surprises.
"sputnik remix" opens this release with noises quickly evolving in a quiet trumpet loop and a jazzy mood. "Earthbound and emotional" is an hypnotic track remnant of the Zoviet France's past of the author. "Hybrid identities 1" and "hybrid identities 2" forms a long track made out of noises and found sound of clear beauty forming a soundscape to sparse female spoken words at low volume. "(Memories of) holidays at the sea" return to quieter soundscape sparsely coloured by samples. "Of course there are aliens" explores more rhythmic territories while "synchronic" is a small interlude to "pig drum ritual" really remnant to the ethic rhythm and mood familiar to the past production of this artist. "Carmen 2 remix hybrid" is made out of sparse samples above a incisive beat. "Rapoon solo carmen" is a quiet long soundscape while "one year out end" closes this release with carefully juxtaposed layers of samples.
Instead of being a release filled with recollection of already used ideas, this is a mesmerizing collection of tracks and one of the best issues of the year. Truly recommended.
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