Music Reviews



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Artist: iVardensphere (@)
Title: Scatterface V3
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The successful debut album "Scatterface" by Canadian mutant band iVardensphere got originally released by Synthetic Sounds in 2009 and re-issued by Danse Macabre in 2010, but after this band founded by Scott Fox and co-piloted by Yann Faussurier (Iszoloscope) since 2011 rallied their electric cables around Metropolis on the occasion of the release of "APOK", many followers of the scene might have bargained on a third re-edit of their bedrock. If you never heard about them before, you could imagine a corrosive tangle of techno-tribalism, banging hard-electro stretches, industrial inklings, which could vaguely resemble stuff from Xotox, Terrorfakt, Juno Reactor or Noisuf-X, but the harsh virulence of their sound has been so well amalgamated that you'll almost perceive there are no rifts on the smoothed surface of iVardensphere, which implemented many vocal robotic samples to enhance and feed listener's imagination of their nervous broken lines and grim post-apocalyptic suffocating atmospheres. The stop'n'go abrasive lines of "Diatribe", the menacing epiphany of "Box Of Monsters", the contagious "Virus (Outbreak)", the ravaging "Sentient Wave Form" and "Calibrating The God Machine" and the dystopian bittersweet wit of the final "A Massage From Our Sponsors" could be the highlights, but the whole album could be danced and listened with bated breath from the beginning to the end. Besides the 11 tracks of the original tracks, this V3 includes a couple of remixes of "Bonedance", an abrasive one by David Brauburger aka Blush Response and an amazing IDM declension by witch-house innovators 'Aimon. A lot of fake blood is oing to be shed yet...
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Artist: Play
Title: Red Movies
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
Rated: *****
Play was a band formed by Wayne Kennedy and David Rome. They recorded only few singles in 1982/1983 for Survival Records, label which started in 1980 specialising their catalog in electronic dance music (Drinking Electricity, Hard Corps, and Richard Bone) and charting with Tik And Tok. In the mid eighties they moved toward rock music finding success with The Quireboys and then in 1990 they signed the Celtic band Capercaillie and have been working with them both as a band and with their individual careers ever since. David Rome previously had worked with the recently passed Martin Lloyd in the group Analysis (later evolved into Oppenheimer Analysis) as well as was the founding member of Drinking Electricity (also reissued on Medical Records) along with Anne-Marie Heighway. Medical Records is reissuing their compilation "Red Movies", which has been originally released in 1985 and which gathered most of their singles plus two extra tracks (the 12"s version of "You Don't Look The Same" and "In My Mind"). The music of the duo was a perfect blend of new wave with electronic inserts (synths and drum machine) and to me they recall a bit some atmospheres of the best Comsat Angels tracks mixed with the new romantic touch of Midge Ure's Ultravox (check "Chasing The Sun"). Songs like "You Don't Look The Same" are just perfect with their melodic lines and their being in balance from pop catchiness and dark atmospheres. This reissue comes in 'half and half' 180gr colored vinyl (blue and red). Check all the tracks here http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/red-movies-mr-026 and purchase your copy!
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Artist: Alvin Lucier/MAZE (@)
Title: (Amsterdam) Memory Space
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
Based on John Cage's precepts of the so-called aleatory music according to which the score rests on a number of established "rules" whereas the proper work's composition gets determined by performer, the instructions of Alvin Lucier's "(Hartford) Memory Space" (1970) focused on musician's "augmented" memory both in the inspirational and performative phases. Alvin just stated to record the "sound situations" of an "outside environment (urban, rural, hostile, benign) by any means (memory, written notations, tape recordings) before "returning to an inside performance space at any time later, re-create, solely by means of your voices and instruments and with the aid of your memory devices (without additions, deletions, improvisation, interpretation) those outside sound situations.". The members of the electroacoustic ensemble MAZE which include Yannis Kyriakides (computer and electronics), Anne La Berge (flute and electronics), Dario Calderone (double bass), Reinier van houdt (piano, keyboards, electronics), Wiek Hijmans (electric guitar), Gareth Davis (bass clarinet), strictly followed Lucier's instructions while they were in Amsterdam on the occasion of the centenary of John Cage's birthday (5th September 2012) and assembled an inspiring one-hour lasting piece where individual mnemonic monads conflate into a collective patchwork by means of an accurate studio recording which combined titchy instrumental improvisations and field recordings, where each musical soul seems to go through A'dam in the guise of uncovered spheres within recorded clues of Dutch vibrating capital.
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Artist: Cavern Of Anti-Matter
Title: Blood-Drums
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Grautag Records (@)
Rated: *****
The sound from the Cavern of Anti-Matter, the new astonishing project by Holger Zapf on synths, Joe Dilworth - the first drumsticks of Stereolab - and Stereolab's guitarist Tim Gane, could be considered as a sort of convex mirror of modernity, whose geometry and its strong connection with krautrock, the timeless and utmost musical language of the German booming economy between 60ies and 70ies coming from a covey of sound artists which combined electronic and rock, sound still adequate to many contemporary urban organisms whose circulatory systems could souds more or less like "Blood Drums". The intangible textures of its everlasting rolling motion become concrete just as they transfuse sonic clues of majestic wire harnesses and sketches a grid pattern which swings from the white and black slots of an expanded chessboard; its stream pipes the dizziness of clickety-clacks which got evoked by the typical games on stereo channel of mono recordings ("You're An Art Soul"), the dazzling reflected light of steel and glass monsters ("Solar Diamond"), the soothing effect of electromechanical melodies ("Invocation Melodie In C"), time-lapses of swarms of beings ("Hot Electric Insect"), advertised or somehow prosthetic large bright smiles and augmented lips ("Irradiated Dream Mouth"), slaphappy libations of vitriolic food ("Acid Death Picnic"), artificial simulacrums of glee ("Kool Boy Narcosis", "Dystopian Shopping Mall") or movement and other parades of modernity. The discernment of what is real and what is fake doesn't really matter as what really matters is the fact that the intimate anxiety or I'd rather say the angst of a world which looks like in perpetual and frantic formation needs its own labyrinthine place of worship or a totem pole and the Cavern of Anti-Matter could "naturally" be that place.
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Artist: Aquavoice (@)
Title: Grey
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this is the eighth album of this project, this is the first release I've heard about. According to the press notes this album is "a bit more experimental than simply ambient or Berlin school" but, in facts, this release, rather than an ambient album, is a kaleidoscope where converge at least three major influences: dark ambient soundscapes, trip hop rhythms and a bit of new age influences.
"S.E.T.I. Project" opens this release with a radio transmission, a noisy loop and small noises while "Magma" instead is a form of industrial trip-hop. "Child Of The Moon" starts with a sharp noise until the soundscape gradually emerges. "Terra Incognita" is a gentle interlude to the longest track of this album "Radiowaves" that return to the hypnotic beats in the first part while the second relies on an oriental mood. With "Glassgames" and "Invisible World" there's a sort of chill-out time while "Air Sanctuary" and "Liquid Plejades" return to dark ambient territories. An unreferenced hidden track closes this release with an oriental and meditative loop gently colored by small noises.
This is a release where sharp experimentalism and quiet soundscapes converge in a listening without boring moments. A remarkable release.
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