Music Reviews



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Artist: THOMAS BARRANDON
Title: Escape From Earth
Format: CD
Label: Sauroid (@)
Rated: *****
True to the new French electro sound that has into its basket names like College (and generally all the Valerie Collective bands), Kavinsky and many more and that mixes the 70s electronic sound with 80s electro, Thomas Barrandon is a newcomer proudly presented to audience by Sauroid. Influenced by John Carpenter, Angelo Badalamenti, Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, Klaus Doldinger, Giorgio Moroder, Wendy Carlos, Justice and Daft Punk, Thomas wrote thirteen instrumental tracks that Sauroid is making available on digital download and on limited CD-r. ESCAPE FROM EARTH sounds like a sort of soundtrack to an imaginary sci-fi 80s movie: stop and go, warm pads, arpeggios, catchy melodies and hard drum beats are Thomas' weapons and he uses them to seduce the audience. Atmospheric mid tempos are alternated to fast electro rides with that distinctive synth distorted sound (check "The Last Race Between You And Me") and lead you through a breathtaking run to ESCAPE FROM EARTH...
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Artist: Bryan Black presents Black Asteroid (@)
Title: The Engine EP
Format: 12"
Label: CLR (@)
Distributor: wordandsound
Rated: *****
The driver putting the key in ignition could boast about a rich CV: Mr Bryan Black is the man behind the curtain of Motor, a name which some Depeche Mode fans noticed on some tickets during their World tour in 2009 or arguably on the line-up of some festival as after just 2 singles, he shared the stages with legendary names of the jest-set such as Kraftwerk and Daft Punk; he's also famous as he worked as sound engineer of that genial dwarf from Minneapolis, named Prince, when working in the acclaimed Paisley Park Studios. He introduces his project Black Asteroid through the valuable imprint of CLT (acronym for Create, Learn, Realize) by Chris Liebing and his way of treating beat sounds like fitting tightly to the kind of techno, proposed by such a label. The first track, Engine 1, begins with a sort of fill of obsessive bass pulses and razor-shaped hats, before the rhythmical pattern featuring a "muffled" cadence on the 13th step and flam on higher tones is close to that kind of hard techno and ebm-electro which has been loved by many followers of djs such as Dj Hell. For the second and the third tracks - Engine 1.1 and Engine 2 -, Brian just shuffles elements of the previous song with some little variations: Engine 1.1 looks less obsessive than the 1.0 version, as it seems that Bryan's game on the knob regulating time intervals between hats and volume pitch as well made it more "elegant", whereas he muted some rhythmical elements such as claps, hats and bass pulses themselves to give more voice to snare drums and those crazy distorted chirps which give that nervy and sinewy touch to the track in Engine 2.0. The priority given to synth forging on Prism brings the listener into more "relaxed" atmosphere. Really interesting technoid release!
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Artist: Angel
Title: 26000
Format: CD + Vinyl
Label: Editions Mego
Rated: *****
Imagine a corrupt, desolate, dead planet, full of toxic waste. Radioactivity has swallowed every lifeform. Power generators are destroyed in a daily basis, explosions and fire everywhere. Chaos. In remnants of industrial plants some engines are still operating (or rather dysfunction), refusing to stop producing...
26000 seems to be the ideal soundtrack for the above futuristic (and realistic) decadent scenario. Ilpo Vaisanen (one half of the great finnish electronic project Pan Sonic) and Dirk Dresselhaus (aka Schneider TM), with the help of Hildur Gudnadottir, BJ Nilsen and Oren Ambarchi, are Angel, and, on their 6th album, they undertake to describe sonically the nightmare of the annihilation of human nature and the ruins of its civilization. They seem to use... everything to do so, from metal and wooden objects, glass bowls, ash trays, to electronics and acoustic instruments (such as percussion, guitars and halldorophone, which is a cello that allows the player to color the sound of what is being played by feeding the vibrations of each string back into the body of the instrument). Their field recordings are remarkable, you can almost smell the smoke of the burning ground, you can almost feel the pollution penetrate your body, you can almost touch the unrecycled garbage pulp of tin cans, plastic, glass bottles, silicon chips etc.
This is true industrial, like they used to call it in the late 70s/early 80s, describing the drones of Test Dept, SPK, Nocturnal Emissions, Neubauten and TG, way before the term end up to refer almost completely to aggressive electronic/metal stuff. Recommended.
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Artist: Kammerflimmer Kollektief
Title: Teufelskamin
Format: CD + Vinyl
Label: Staubgold
Rated: *****
"Teufelskamin" ("Devils Chimney" in english) is Kammerflimmer Kollektief's ninth album (sixth on the german label Staubgold). Although a follow up to the trio's best offering so far (last year's "Wildling") and thus a work of great expectations, this long player deserves nothing less than flattering comments, as it features 10 carefully crafted pieces of KK's hybrid sound, a sound that ranges from free-jazz, psychedelic and post-krautrock to neo-folk, ambient and experimental electronica. Starting with the dreamy "Coricidin Boogie", in which the reverbed guitars of Thomas Weber (founder of the group) are blended perfectly with the ethereal vocals of Heike Aumuller, "Teufelskamin" continues in calm waters with the percussive beauty of "Never Collapse, Always Dazzle!", to unleash tension on the excellent improvisational "Teufelskamin Jam#1", a 10+ minutes glitchy track, in which Heike's keys and Thomas' guitars and loops become one, creating spooky soundcapes of a unique organic feel. "Shangrila" could be a wonderful pop song if it wasn't surprisingly... short (1:43!). "Soft Machine" is dominated by Johannes Frisch's bass and it is very atmospheric, like "A Different Karmic Thermat", a melancholic piece of pop (and one of my favourites in this record). "Teufelskamin Jam#2" is weird and stressful, being a free jazz improvisation, while the instrumental "Nearly Able To Fly" is a fine example of experimental ambience with jazzy touches. On "New Ghosts" the trio's flirting with noise, as Thomas drops high doses of abstract electric guitar and Heike's singing sounds at places like a female... Johnny Lydon. The album concludes with a short tweaked lounge track with the significant title "The People United Will Never Be Defeated".
Kammerflimmer Kollektief have cooked (with a little touch by the devil himself?!) a really great album which grows and grows with every listen. Highly recommended not only to the fans of Can, Robert Wyatt or early Pink Floyd (some obvious references), but to everyone who has lust for real music, made by real instruments by real people. Available also on vinyl, go grab it in your prefered format.
Sep 28 2011
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Artist: LOU TETI
Title: Love It
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
With different releases on the Tigers On A Leash label, Lou Teti is on Mullet Records for the first time and he picked up LOVE IT to surprise Mullet's fans. LOVE IT is a great lush and sensual song with a good beat. The original version is here in three versions: "Radio Edit", "Original Maxi Length Version" and "Original Maxi Instrumental Version". On these versions you'll be able to appreciate the funky rhythm, the bouncy bass, the cool melodies and that synth that sounds like a spacey rhodes which is spreading all its catchy vibes out there. Also the warm vocals are working damn good and the whole result is a killer track. Dublin Aunts have been called to remix the tune and they made of it a dancey song with 4/4 hard beats, funky bass line and choruses. Tad Wily remix is closing the release with another dance remix based on a rich rhythmic section plus vocoder filtered vocals. Nice single!
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