Music Reviews



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Artist: New Risen Throne (@)
Title: Loneliness Of Hidden Structures
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
This album from Italy's New Risen Throne try to speak of rebirth. According to the press notes "within the caves and ruins left by the destruction, there begins to form the first foundations and structures of a reconstruction that is in turn in constant evolution." The result is an album that begins with a dark and oppressive mood and slowly change into a brighter mood, at least from a dark ambient perspective :).
"Lungs into declining structures" opens this release with an invocation hidden in the mix to create the atmosphere of some crowd hopelessly confined in structure, prison or even worse. "Echoes from the loss" is an intricate juxtaposition of filtered noises. "Loneliness" is a long atmospherical track based on a relatively high frequence drone an samples of swords and film voices. The titletrack of this album deals with a soundtrack line of synth posed above, probably, field recordings a loose martial beat. "Lands filles with silence and grief" is the longest track of this album and relies on a texture drone beneath filtered gregorian chants. "A vision from the hidden" is an evocative deep soundscape while "Breath of growing structures" close this album trying to lighten the dark mood depicted in this musical journey.
This album feature also two remix: "New Risen Throne (II)" is done by northunt and try to give some resonance and space to the oppressive soundscape while "New Risen Throne (III)", made by Nordvargr, add the notorious evil touch of MZ412's mastermind to the recipe. This two remix has the unusual quality to be a reconstruction that reveals hidden possibilities of the original.
This album is, perhaps, one of the best release of this year and reveal a focused production and clear writing. Recommanded.
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Artist: Z'Ev & Hati
Title: Heart of A Wolf
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This is the second collaborative album by the industrial legend the Polish duo from Torun, and is a sonic postcard from their 2011 tour in May 2011 and is composed of two, supposedly without overdub, livesets: "Live in Turin" is the first set, a long track, and is focused on the resonance of the cymabals and gong notoriously used by the players in the first part of the gig while the development is focused, in the second part, in african percussion that introduce in a meditative and silent third part that end in an oriental like percussion development. The final part of this gig is divided in two section: the first part use some strange flute sounds above the subtle Z'ev percussion and the second end this gig with the same evocative mood of the introduction. "Live in Gdansk" is a smaller, and more predictable, set based almost exclusively in ritual and meditative gong resonance periodically interrupted by atmospherical silence above subtle metallic percussion. The result has a good impact due of the undoubtable craft of the musician involved.
A fine release but only for fans of ritual ambient music.
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Artist: Steve Beresford/Stephen Flinn/Dave Tucker (@)
Title: Ink Room
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Listeners who follow the improvisational music scene could have already heard the names of the three talented signers of this release, including the most meaningful moments of a recording session, held in 28th November 2010 in London, mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet without overdubbing. Arguably the most notorious one of this performing trio is Steve Beresdorf, one of the most active musician not only related to this particular stylistical field, even if I remembered him for having been member of the funny combo The Melody Four together with Lol Coxhill and Tony Coe, which released some bizarre stuff on Jean Rochard's Chabada, for his collaborative work with David Toop, named General Strike, and the grotesque madness of Double Indemnity, a collaration with the cellist Triston Honsinger...you will easily find some other stuff by this many-sided musician, who's engaged in electronics on this occasion. In spite of their interesting experiences, Stephen Flinn and Dave Tucker are less known, even if the former is a very creative drummer and percussionist whose highlihgts on his CV is a collaborative experimental/industrial project called The Cutmen with the legendary Z'EV and the latter was member of the great Mark Smith's The Fall in the early 80ies, a seminal band from Manchester who brought what is known as indipendent pop into the fields of a rock who sounded genuinely clumsy, blunt and maybe unaesthetic, but it made sense so that I reccomend to check it if you missed it. In Ink Room, these grown lads scatter their tones on the score. A certain scantiness of phrasing, which is clear since the initial "At Night", as well as the gradual attainment of togetherness - quite normal for collective improvisations - don't entail a lack of expressiveness and even when the sound looks like "squeaking", this comb manages to give a kinematical appeal by evoking a sort of decadent hyperuranium, either they play little gigs (such as in "Mud Club" or "A Torn Couple") by constant decays of musical patterns (an approach which is clearer in the final collage titled "Fragments") or they seems to do their utmost into meaty progressions ("Investigations"). Repeated listenings are going to make you grab more nice preciosities than a first absent-minded one can do.
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Artist: T.A.C.
Title: Senza Titolo
Format: CD
Label: Sometimes Records (@)
Rated: *****
Originally released on tape in 1982 by Anschlag, SENZA TITOLO was the first thing released by T.A.C. Back then the combo coming from Parma, Italy, was formed by Andrea Azzali, Simon Balestrazzi, Giorgio Barbuti, Fabio Cortesi, Giampaolo Terenziani plus Andrea Salvini (guest on piano on "Parabole" and "Tuo"). For that tape they recorded twelve tracks in balance from free jazz, post punk and avant rock. Along with classic rock instruments, they were using treated tape loops, custom built synthesizers and metal sheet percussions. Lyrics and vocals were reflecting their will to experiment, because if used, they were sounding like cut-up phrases cried out loud. It was like they were giving form to random thoughts that to the audience could have been sounded like recordings of a paranoid or a mental ill guy. They were sounding like a No New York ensemble influenced by post industrial culture. They didn't care to sound nice or else and, on this Sometimes Records reissue, you can also find six live tracks recorded on the same period: from these recordings you realize that they sounded just like that, no matter if they were in front of an audience or not. If you think that in 1982 in Italy, Litfiba and Diaframma just recorded their first MLP and 7" (we can think about those two as the spreading of new wave and post punk music to a wider audience), it's a peculiarity that T.A.C. wanted to sound like an experimental 70s band fascinated by industrial culture of late 70s/early 80s. These recordings aren't an easy listening but SENZA TITOLO shows really well the early days of an Italian band that was eager to dare.
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anymore
Artist: PHOENIX CATSCRATCH
Title: Nectar & Wrinkles
Format: CD
Label: Dead Scarlet Records (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 500 copies, NECTAR & WRINKLES is the first Phoenix Catscratch album. Released by the Greece label Dead Scarlet records, the CD contains seven new tracks of the band which were originally formed by Apostolis and Valisia in November of 2008. After different line-ups and musical adjustements, they found their stability with Vasilis (guitar), Menis (analog synths, drum machines, eletronics) and Andreas (bass). Influenced by post-punk, new wave and experimental electronic music, the combo composed tracks where all these elements are mixed. Apostolis and Valisia alternate their vocals, duetting. Their style remember me early Siouxsie & The Banshees ("The Scream" and "Join Hands" period), while their fellows focus their efforts into creating a web of tension using dry guitar distortions, simple synth melodic lines and 4/4 upbeat drum machine rhythms. With NECTAR & WRINKLES the band succeeds into catching the spirit of the early 80s without being too nostalgic.
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