Music Reviews



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Artist: Ab Intra
Title: Supremus
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This new release coming from the esteemed Polish label Zoharum, signed by Radoslaw Kaminski aka Ab Intra (Latin for "From Within") is going to tickle tympanic palates of drone and dark-ambient follower. The first sandpapering of the record could vaguely recall more "mystical" branch of ambient-chill such as Asura or other stuff on Ultimae and similar labels, due to some sonic clues such as seraphic choirs, distant thundering and absydal electric storms, then his silent gales migrate towards ritual-ambient fields, recalling some sonic episodes by Kammerheit or Runes Order (particularly in "Supremus IV" and "Supremus II") with distended whistling blows, moving inside electric clouds, sinister bolts and subtle sub-bass tones, whereas it seems that previous dust begins to amalgamate in majestic or epic mirages. You could have the impression that Ab Intra's sound got miniaturizes into many particles in order to pass over any pellicle or membrane before breaking the banks and flood into the sensorial ground in the final moments of the album, in order to share or just inspire great visions in listener's mind by creeping into it throughout ears, so that I could say "Supremus" sounds like a very attractive mind-tuning opera. Have a listen.
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Artist: Noise Under Dreaming (@)
Title: In mIne
Format: CD
Label: Red Birds Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Some people say that many regressive processes could have been explained by a troublesome approach to difficult times (so troublesome that it could flow into its refusal), so that it's no coincidence that nowadays many fields of music and art in general are getting sprinkled with references to childish feelings, as the result of the communication between the artist and a sort of uncorrupted inner voice, subliminally forcing imagination and sensitivity to interposing in between any cognitive moments through intuition. This new album by Noise Under Dreaming, a project from Milan-based musicians Michele Ricciardi and Matteo Chiamenti looks like springing from this feeling or I'd rather call it a kind of prophylaxis, strictly filtered by memory's meshes, a kind of return to intimate innocence and a claim of a certain candour. It's therefore that some sonic choices such as some toy electronics which look like coming from cheap synths, the recording of some sessions with external microphones (so that it seems instruments are part of a field recording), plain melodies and basic rhythmic patterns make sense. In spite of the interesting conceptual premises, the first part of the record could induce some yawns: with the exception of the nice acapella dadaism of "Lullaby For Lovers" and the good vocal performace in "Noise Under My Wish", where the singer perfectly renders the idea of an ignored word to the wise, most of songs look like bad copies of music, which could be vaguely associated with theabove-mentioned kind of poetics such as Sigur Ros ("For Nothing") or even some teeny pop wails like Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You", whose melodic line seems to have been quoted in "Placebo". On the other hand, the second part of "In Mine" shows more appreciable stuff even if the band doesn't move away from the same skinny compositional approach since the three graceful and airy movements of "Sinfonia Per Menti Distratte" (meaning "symphony for careless minds"): there are some catchy tracks such as "In Deep", whose sonic clues with sounds from MSN's chat reminds it could refer to some intense "contemporary" love affair, "Better Story" - emphazised by the lovely insert of violin by Sara Primiterra - and the sluice gate of "Monochroma".
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anymore
Artist: LUCA SIGURTA' (@)
Title: bliss
Format: CD
Label: Fratto9 Under the Sky (@)
Rated: *****
Some years ago Luca Sigurtà has been brought to my attention from my Chaindlk-mate/musician Eugenio Maggi aka Cria Cuervos, Eugenio gave me some of his early releases, later I've bought myself his cdr on Afe records, his cds with Pocket Progressive, Harshcore and so on. We're not writing about a newjack since the guy has an intense touring schedule both alone and with bands like Harshcore or Luminance Ratio, he's also been sharing splits or collaborative efforts with Andy Ortmann, Claudio Rocchetti, To Live and Shave in La, Slicing Grandpa and Fhievel just to name a few. For this second chapter of Fratto9's Microcosmos series Sigurtà has shaped his best work so far, finally enriched by a boombastic production with the aid of Giuseppe Ielasi during the mastering process. This piemontese musician has put together a release that is intriguing, meditative but at the same time relaxing. Always close to the border of ambient music, this crepuscular collection of drones is really inspired, by some means I've been quite surprised during the early listenings and it has to be addressed to the fact Luca has basically worked with weird, noisy, electro-acoustic projects and his live acts, without being exactly "power-noise" oriented, are physical and angular (whatever it means). I think despite the many influences you can perceive here and there the sound of this music is really "american", I mean even if this music sometime may suggest you comparison to Oren Ambarchi, Brendon Labelle or similar artist, Sigurtà stylistically is probably closer to John Wiese or Aaron Dilloway and this' more evident if you have the luck to see one of his shows.
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anymore
Artist: FABIO ORSI
Title: the new year is over
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
Along with Giuseppe Ielasi, Fabio Orsi is probably the most talked about italian musician that surprised me the most release after release. Differently from Ielasi, despite some different works, Orsi has more stylistic continuity infact if we have to draw in some comparison to picture what kind of artist we're in front of, he could be the italian answer to Aidan Baker. Even if both Aidan and Fabio are crossing a post ambient music field their approach is considerably different, infact the italian artist relocated in Berlin has a less depressive e more ambient feel that doesn't remind anything in particular. Release after release and after several collaborations, many of which see him involved together with Gianluca Becuzzi, Orsi developed his peculiar musical language and beside melancholia I'd add his modus operandi is high emotionally charged. This new triple cd came out on Silentes (if you've never given a try to this label you'd better check it) shows this guy is in full blossoming and after having seen him live (a less than quarter of an hour minutes blast) I can confirm he's a real talented musician. Even if I was afraid three distinct cds were just too much, after having experienced all of them one after the other I can truly say while they can be listened as three episodes of the same movie, there's no superfluous repetition and considering it's post ambient music it's surprising. Why do I define this music post ambient? Cause Orsi added an electronic percussive beat that animates the first cd, he's also add some dark passages that later leave room to dreamy and almost evocative feelings and everything well mixed in a really relaxed mood. I really don't know if this the apex of Orsi solo carrier but I'm sure this' one of his best works so far and like Aidan Baker it amazes me how he managed to maintain such a high quality considering they both are unstoppable under the releases profile. Believe it or not this' probably one of the few triple cd releases you can repeatedly listen without finding everything excessive. The general atmosphere of this album made think to this french sentence "le ciel bleu est plus joli après la pluie"
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anymore
Artist: UNDER THE SNOW
Title: the other room
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
This project involves Stefano Gentile himself, he's the head-chief of Silentes records, one of the most renowned italian label for what concerns ambient music, field recordings, soft electronics and anything in the likes. His cohort in this band is Gianluca Favaron who has a few ambient, experimental releases out on several labels. This' an equilibrated duo considering Gentile takes care of objects, guitar (he's already played guitar for other projects including his all star "band" called Maribor) while Favaron uses microphones, electronics and loops and both are credited for the field recordings. Considering one of the members is the man behind such a label I don't think you'll be surprised to discover the release has been somehow influenced by ambient music, but beside that obvious conclusion I wouldn't define "the other room" as an ambient recordings, this music has much more to share with minimalism. I guess the most learned now reading will be thinking by some means minimalism and ambient music have always been linked by an umbilical cord people like Brian Eno has never tried to hide. As said this' minimalist music to the bone and with a strong relaxing edge, don't expect something explicitly melodic, but no doubt this' a soft blanket to get asleep while catching a train of thoughts.
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