Music Reviews



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Artist: Nyodene D (@)
Title: Edenfall
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
Well, here we go again, more noise/power electronics. Nyodene D is one Aaron Vilk, the project stared in 2008 as ambient industrial but soon shifted into death industrial/power electronics. 'Edenfall' is about the 10th release for Nyodene D, counting CDr and cassette and the first one on the Malignant label. 'Edenfall' features appearances by Shift, Sky Burial, and Rope of American war metal band Prosanctus Inferi and death metal band Father Befouled. This is one fuck of a noisy album, so if you're not up for a shitstorm of noise, you probably want to pass. There are vocals (indecipherable of course) but Aaron has graciously provided a libretto to his industrial noise symphony in the included booklet, so you can follow along if you wish. Actually, it's too bad that all of the vocals are so distorted; some of the lyrics are really poetic and deserve to be heard amidst this Sturm und Drang. Maybe if they were hoarsely whispered'¦

The first two tracks, 'Edenfall' and 'Damnatio Memoriae' were like having tons of molten scrap metal raining down upon my head. Chances for survival are slim. Things get a bit more interesting with 'Anasazi' with this really weirdly distorted Native American chant loop in the background, the power electronics a little subdued, and you can understand the lyrics if you follow along with them in the booklet. Still, it's pretty noisy, but what else could you expect? Definitely a weird atmosphere. 'Scars of Anthropology' seems to have more direction than the previous tracks, heavy on the power electronics noise drone, light on the scrapyard. The undercurrent is a heavily processed speech/lecture running throughout (probably not a TED talk), something about scientific experimentation on humans as you can divine from the end where all is left is that sample. Over this we have the ranted vocals, and without quoting them I can tell you that it's a diatribe against science, technology and war used for profit and subjugation in the illusion of 'freedom', 'safety' and 'progress'. Well, that all makes sense! 'Nihilation' with its moaning bass and muffled scream electronics might just make you queasy. Forget following along with the lyrics on this one; just read 'em. Suffice to say, it's the end of everything and we all went to hell in a handbasket. Final track, 'Borne on a Vulture's Beak, I am Carried into the Heavens' was the track on the album I liked the most. Perhaps it's because my ears weren't bleeding throughout the entirety of it. The dark ambience and electronics here are much more subdued compared to the rest of 'Edenfall' and the lyrics are almost decipherable without the aid of the printed word, but still quite electronically processed. It's a fitting conclusion to the album, kind of like a nihilistic prayer of the afterlife.

Nyodene D has made 'Edenfall' quite an artistic endeavor for a noise/power electronics project, and I'm sure most noise enthusiasts should appreciate it. For me though, there were places where it was just too much, as in the first couple of tracks. Okay, maybe I'm a bit of a noise wimp, but just because I can't get into 10+ minutes of violent metallic mayhem at a clip doesn't mean it won't work for you. Still, there's enough depth and variety on 'Edenfall' to make it worth checking out. Definitely not noise for the sake of noise, but noise as the expression of all that is corrupt, decadent and despicable in human society. Sometime you just need a ton of molten scrap metal poured on your head to feel it.
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Artist: Didges Christ Superdrum (@)
Title: Alien Technology
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure that Brian Johnson of AC/DC, who caught one half of this project, Shawn Bowen, while playing together with Kelly Shaefer for Neurotica and decided to produce their first album when he used to live in Sarasota (Florida), wouldn't be disappointed by the costume Shawn "Obishawnkenobi", talented didgeridoo player Jeremy "Lembonius" Lembo with the support on drums and percussion by Julius "Caesaronius" Mendoza and James "Bezl" Labonte which could someone think about four possible fathers of Iron Maiden's dummy Eddie. Jokes apart, this record by Didges Christ SuperDrum, which could be considered as a sort of side project of World Collision, shows a remarkable sonic understanding and complementarity of its columns and an interesting crossover between didgeridoo dance and ritual music and electronic rock song typical structure, whereas even if the conceptual framework, if we could call it so, draw on aquarian/new age beliefs, the ritual pep often got tempered by a shrouded and thought-provoking irony and vitriolic sideswipes against reigning capitalist contours, particularly on tracks like the clotted gore-spotted "Black Is The Colour", the appropriate venomous "Grind To The Slaves" (lyrics like "The ideology of ideocracy/You've been hypnotized/by your own demise.../.../The system that you foster/isn't built to last" could echo more some furious industrial or metal song than a ritual-oriented set), the non-confessional "The One True Devil" or the final sabbatical stage "Snake Oil" - one of the highlights according to my ear response -. All things considered, "Alien Technology" is a very good release, but I imagine that listening or taking part to some Didges Christ Superdrum's live exhibition (or I'd rather call it a rejuveneting rite of passage!), which features interpretative dances and fire manipulations by Skyedancer as well as some fluorescent body painting, could be head and shoulders above an ordinary listening by headphones.
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Artist: Ikonika (@)
Title: Aerotropolis
Format: CD
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
Another sublime and sublimating sonic specimen which ideally knots past, present and future, comes from the heightened musical sensibility of Sara Abdel-Hamid aka Ikonika, one of the best female dj at present, whose somehow visionary talents was clear since her first single on Hyperdub "Please" and the following full-lenght "Contact, Want, Love, Have" by which she moved dubstep up towards steampunk and 8-bit ground-breaking forms. This junction could mirror "the not-too-distant future" when the plot of Gattaca (an explicit source of inspiration of this record) and its protagonist Vincent Anton Freeman/Jerome Eugene Morrow occurred or possibly a proper assay of sonic genetic engineering or the validation of a stylistical freak between italo-house, 80ies breaks and many other amazing clasps with that "not-too-distant past" from not too old-fashioned glorious equipment (such as a Roland 707 or a Juno-106) in order to be in line with the plot of that movie. Named after the phenomenon described on "Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next", an interesting essay by John D. Kasdara and Greg Lindsay, who envisaged a sort of perpetual global connectivity by means of cities, where the typical urban pattern according to which airports should be built in peripheral areas will be replaced by airport-centric giant cities, many listeners will not believe their own ears to know Ikonika partially got inspired by her fear of flights beside the fact her recording studio is close to Heathrow Airport for "Aerotropolis" due to the recurring synth rockets and the feeling of air spring that her classy patchwork of claps, agogo, fingersnaps and other percussive elements could inspire when got shaked inside melodic ginger pompoms and enmeshing arpeggios since the ignition sequence starts by means of the delicate drone of "Mise en Place" and the following aerostatic sensuality of "Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)", which features enchanting vocals of Jessy Lanza, who gets off the ground and begins an gorgeous musical journey with many emotional legs between reminiscences and augmented stylistical developments. Stop'n'go barrel rolls of "Manchego", the gliding of gleaming percussive elements on a surface of polished chords on "Let A Smile Be (Y)our Umbrella", the uplifting jigging junction with italo-house of "Eternal Mode", the crunchy bleeping housey breaks of "Lights are forever", the blissful estrangement of the crossbreed between church organ and reverberated claps on "Mega Church" are just some of the moments of this evocation which manages to flash listeners up till the final bare solemnity of "Zen Sizzle".
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Artist: Xtrah (@)
Title: Lost Time EP
Format: 12"
Label: Symmetry Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
A plenty of forthcoming great dnb releases which are going to break winter's ice have been announced and this gorgeous 15th drop with the signature of a proper lord of the scene, Yasin Elgohary aka Xtrah, in Symmetry catalogue is almost ready-made. To be honest, its collaboration with Break and DRS, the electro-hopped tribastic hit "Always New" with its worming synth lines has shaked many frontlines in summertime yet. The full release - I'm not sure if it will come on double or single vinyl beside the digital version - includes "Groove Shadow", a great assay of nervously drilling darker dnb, a remix of "Cyrax" (the astonishing track by which Xtrah landed on Symmetry shaking grounds) by Break, who impresses its fast-moving beat rolls upon the cinematic sequence of electric skylarking, misty pad-synths and granular basslines, and the title track, "Lost Time", the massive tune which comes from the collaboration with Codebreaker, where the ideal fight against the passing of time suggested by (rhetorical?) repeated question has made by means of unconventional weapons such as gurgling basslines, puffed hi-hats, precise cuts and clackers - a toy, also known as click clack balls, which many oldies who were teens in late 70ies/early 80ies could remember... -! "Lost Time EP", which is going to be available on 30th September, doesn't definitively mean wasted time...
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Artist: Aesthetic Perfection (@)
Title: The Dark Half
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The first appetizer of the forthcoming release by Daniel Graves' Aesthetic Perfection sounded so poppy that some fans could have suspected tyey were the first worrying symptoms of some mainstream syndrome, which turns musicians into MTV-homologated beings, a contagion which don't spare subjects who try to contrast the contagion by latex or leather prophylaxis. This second one is much more interesting and the first of two tracks, "The Dark Half", dispels any doubts by all those followers who could have supposed Daniel was getting sucked into an ego trip, as this song, which features hard-hitting E(mo)B(ody)M(usic) and electro splinters and the amazing vocal style by Daniel (sometimes singing, sometimes screaming, sometimes possessed by siome evil - or good? - spirit), seems to speak about a case of all-or-nothing thinking and the eternal fight between opposite polarities and the funny and somehow disquieting clip for "The Dark Half" highlights it (someone should explain me why bad people always wear in black and furiously drive black fast cars). Even if Aesthetic Perfection reprised many hard-techno hackneyed sonorities, the second track "Dead Ringer" sounds definitively more engaging and damned better rhythmic than "Damn Good Rhythm", the bonus track on the above-mentioned first appetizer "Antibody", whose follow-up comes with a bunch of remixes as well. I particularly enjoyed the ones by Suicide Commando, who probably hacked some intercom on the occasion, AAimon's - it's a shame I still don't know how to write delta on wordpress... -, who emphasized the cinematic and "arcane" side of the song, even if they seem to suggest tosolve any problem with your alter-ego by means of a gunshot, and BITES Remix, which lets me think about a mongrel between Aesthetic Perfection, Tiga and Mr.Oizo.
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