Music Reviews



Dec 04 2011
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Artist: Dagshenma
Title: Zaumi
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Electroton (@)
Rated: *****
Although Kyoto sound-sculptor Higuchi Eitaro has been producing music under the Dagshenma name since 2002, 'Zaumi' is his first release for Electroton, and proves to be a good match for the label's glitch-electronics ethics. Dagshenma's brand of glitch 'n dub sounds like electronic toys gone wild over off-kilter funky beatz. It's a mix of cute and gritty that ranges from curious to annoying with repetitive elements abounding. Sometimes there is a playful musicality in some of the loops Dagshenma makes use of, as well as weirdness, incorporating manipulated vocals and songs of the Ainu, an indigenous group of people from the north of Japan. With only seven tracks (all of them under 4 minutes and most well-under) and a total of a little over 21 minutes, 'Zaumi' flies by very quickly. Only the most ardent of avant-IDM enthusiasts are likely to groove to this particular hodge-podge of ultra-quirky glitch electronics. It's not that it isn't friendly or overstays its welcome; it just seems to carry a built in itch that you're going to have a hard time finding to scratch. The usual Electroton package- 3' minidisk in a transparent poly case, release limited to 150.
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anymore
Artist: Type001 (@)
Title: Finished Business
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Glim Records (@)
Rated: *****
There are still some music projects existing completely under the radar, from which one could think, they've been gone into the happy hunting grounds of Manitou. Boston-based project Type001 can be called to them, during the last 5 years the web presence of mastermind Matt Ossen was more down than up. Lately discovered on Testube's remix EP 'Unintentional' with a remix, I thought to listen to one of the very last audio outputs of this highly talented artist. But now - and lesser surprising signed to Testube's label Glim Records - here comes an all new album. More than 7 years in the making, 'Finished Business' gives an overview of what has been produced by Matt in private, but still points out a quite important fact: Type001's sound outfit provides an own form of authenticity. A few tracks (the double-intro/-outro ''¦Made You Mine' / 'Made You Cry'¦') are picking up the mood of the marvelous debut 'Multi-Track Alignment', released by DSPB in 2004, as well as a few tracks have been released as alternative versions on the download-only follow-up EP 'Re-Aligned' (You need to know that this belongs on the "original version" of this download-able EP, which was available for a while from the Type001 website - Nowadays I guess there has been a reduction of the quantity of tracks for this freely download-able EP with the intention, not to obstacle the business activities for "Finished Business"...). But generally viewed, 'Finished Business' marks a step away from the rather Dark Electro-minded Industrial sound of the debut and moves towards by integrating more-than-ever-before musically different styles. There can be noticed a growing preference for IDM and post-modern Ambient styles, as Matt proves his abilities by installing slow and opulent sweeping synthesizer-sounds to execute moody and film scoring environments ('Alien World' with its slowly stalking rhythm components, or the oriental-sounding 'Residual Order'). "Who's Your Daddy Now?" is one of the very few, relative straight produced Dark Electro-minded tunes, which impresses through various fx manipulations on synth-sweeps - to me the favorite available on here. Matt's preference to integrate guest vocalists to help him out behind the microphone receives another episode with the versions of "Room For One" DJ Morgana), as well as with the track 'Put Yr Beats in Line ("You're Outta Line" mix)', a mutual track composed with his long-years' friend Matthew Skaves. This new album sounds more diverse, but also more introverted than before. Matt integrates a lot of different things mostly a bit away from the known path of his debut, which was to me more accessible to consume.
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anymore
Artist: Pauk
Title: Snails 'n' Dragons
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Enpeg (@)
Rated: *****
Barcelona is not only home for one of the best soccer teams around, also some IDM/Electronica music-projects have found their home in this pulsating, Spanish city. Behind Pauk hides Pau Cabruja, who can look back on a few releases available on Discontinu Records, also based in Barcelona. His music combines the balance between nervous rhythmic excursions into IDM, Dub-Step, Breakbeat styles, various voice sample quells and relative catchy melodic installments, often presented with classic piano inserts ("The Snail"). There's often the try to unite these relative different moods, the hectic rhythm section, with the at times easy-minded melodic component. This has its best moments, if Pau decides to add a bit more spacey and futuristic sounds to his outfit, "Night On Irkutsk" is such an example. "Suite 30" also lets the heart jump with its detailed and layered synthesizer pads. According to the release info, "Snails 'n' Dragons" draws its inspiration out of fairytales, which Pau has been told as being a child. This can be discovered not only through cover and track listing, also some voice samples thrown in, from which some could be also his own voice, giving some insight. This album is pretty much based straight in its genre, so some experience and a favor for IDM genres of the listener is quite helpful. All in all a good download-able release for the Enpeg-label, the digital partner-section to the prominent n5md-label.
Dec 02 2011
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anymore
Artist: FLESH EATING FOUNDATION (@)
Title: So Yeah
Format: CD EP
Label: Glory & Honour
Rated: *****
Flesh Eating Foundation recently signed a deal with Glory and Honour Records for a single and album. Yesterday, first of December, their new label just released this EP titled SO YEAH. It contains four new tracks, two remixes of the main track reworked by Angelspit and T-Lab, a cover of a Babyland song titled "Worst Case Scenario" and an interesting slow stripped to the bone version of the main song. Available in CD, saucy red vinyl 7" (containing two tracks plus a digital download code), compact disc and digital formats, the EP shows the band performing granitic e.b.m. punk tunes where distorted leads and hard beats are mixed following their distinctive formula. Keeping on using their zombi aesthetic, Flesh Eating Foundation packed this nice EP with minimal arrangements, dance attitude and tense atmospheres. Try to bite them before they'll bite you...
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Artist: Altenburger, Blondy, Gauguet (@)
Title: Vers l'Ile Paresseuse
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of its peculiar transgression against canonical academic rules and standards, improvisational music, particularly when performed by a group of musicians, entails a certain harmony between performers. It's quite clear since the first minutes of this recording that the blending between Bertrand Gauguet (alto and soprano saxophone), Frederic Blondy (piano) and Martine Altenburger (cello) is not only working, but it borders on the mystical. Such an amalgamation has been fostered by the fact Blondy and Gauguet know each other quite well, but it's astonishing Altenburger's cello manages to work as a glue while the sound bursting out from this combo rolls on, showing a great sensitivity and a noteworthy versatility - I particularly enjoyed the moments when her cello "wedges" itself into the bold experiments with breathe by Bertrand and obsessive and tenebrous hitting on very low tone's key by Frederic such as in the lovely "Dans les plis du vent" and those ones when she produces funny sounds through cello, which looks like a whistling tea kettle or a creaking door here and there -. In the initial track "La montagne ne porte pas le nuages", the rendering could sound quite fragmentary, but you will notice there's a gradual rising of tension: they reach some dramatic peaks adding layers and layers by following an imaginary disjointed path, during which the performers look like refining their "dialogue" in sketches which could be thought as frames of the same scene, till some brief moments when their instrument abruptly erupt. Beyond the technical aspect - arguably most of listenrs are going to enjoy Gauguet's and Altenburger's as the "presence" of Blondy's piano has mainly the role to set the general tone, a difficult task, which has been accomplished by the musician -, what is remarkable of this combo is their cinematic skills as they are able to describe a sort of spontaneus journey towards an imaginary lonely dimension througout absorbing changes of mood, cromatic mutations kust like a poetry whose delicacy can easily turn into something abrasive by using a musical language which often sounds skeletal despite its erraticism.
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