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Artist: Sabled Sun
Title: Signals I
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
This project has changed direction and, perhaps, importance. I've searched for some linear notes and found nothing on the website: only the name of the track, the cover and nothing else except the fact the second part of this release "Signals II" has already been released and this is four release in four months, some years ago, in another distributional framework, Psychic TV just tried to do a similar operation: 23 albums in 23 months.
Just a step back. This album is composed of one long track that reveals pro and defects of this project. The fact that this label is a 24 bit label devoted to the digital format is clearly audible: the sonic presence and details is impressive and Simon Heath from this aspect reveals himself as one of the most technically gifted. This track starts quietly in the usual dark ambient mood i.e., a quiet drone colored by small noises until this noises takes the scene mutating until the drone and the quiet noises return to take the control of the piece just enough to admit that noise returns to take the spectrum and end the track as someone could expect.
For fans this is a release to pick and from a critical perspective this album raises an issue uncommon in the audio field: this project marks an historical importance as it start to raise an issue that is related on the dialectic between art and the medium used for his distribution. Someone raised the issue that this technical possibility is harmful for music as it gives full control of the artist to decide what to release but it doesn't take care of one simple issue: who has the right to decide what to release? This review is not the place to discuss that but it's the place where I could say that this project is important even if you doesn't listen to all his releases.
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Artist: My Dear Killer (@)
Title: The Electric Dragon of Venus
Format: 12"
Label: Boring Machines (@)
Rated: *****
I have really no idea what recorded Russian voices are speaking about here and there on this album while they got enwrapped by gentle guitar strokes, but I could just imagine it could be related to the title of this long-awaited second album by Stefano Santabarbara aka My Dear Killer - seven years after his last "Clinical Shyness" -: Russian cosmonauts use the expression "Electric Dragon" to describe the violent electriomagnetic very luminiscent storms, which occur just under the clouds on Venus and that caused some troubles to space probes. Such an allusion, which seems to be confirmed by hints in songs like "Magnetic Storm" or "Glass Glow", could elucidate the delicate emotional outburst ad well as the subtle disquietude which often flare this nice recording, whose main features are the straight naivete' of guitar arpeggios, the mood swings of Stefano's singing which sometimes sounds like mourning, choking back tears, patching anger or lapsing into reverie and the unobtrusive interventions by guest musicians Piergiorgio Storti (Morose), Stella Riva (Satan is My Brother), Matteo Uggeri (Sparkle in Grey) and Gherardo della Croce (HMWWAWCIAWCCW?), who sprinkle the stark concision of guitar-voice intertwining by means of effected guitars, electronics, theremin, winds and other noises, which cannot but enhance dark-tinged fold by My Dear Killer. A certain embitterment together with occasional sick angst resurfaces from MDK's depths, but there are many intense epic moments, among which the above-mentioned "Magnetic Storm", "Scent of the Water", "Mild Eyes" and "Frozen Lakes" seems proper highlights to my inner eardrum.
Mar 06 2013
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Artist: Grupo Q
Title: Back Up
Format: 12"
Label: Atemporal Records
Rated: *****
The story of Grupo Q (the original name was Q but the record label added Grupo as a sign of distinction), is deeply linked to the story of Fernando Carmona. It started in 1974 when he, his brother Jesus, Carlos Nieto and Juan Falero, formed Khorus, a progressive rock band which lasted three years and recorded only a demo that have been reissued in 2011 by the label Arabiand Rock. In 1979, Fernando and Jesus decided to leave and to form a duo called Bola. They where the first band in Spain to use "new technologies" as analog sequencers and drum machines along with keyboards, guitars and vocals. They lasted for three years and did their first gig at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Seville on September the 24th of the same year and then Jerez and several provinces of Andalusia and Madrid followed. The duo disbanded the year after and Fernando with Alberto Guerra, Mario Canovas and Francisco Canovas formed Grupo Q. Active during the 1982-1986 period, Grupo Q recorded a 7" for Ariola ("La Nueva Generacion" b/w "Cuenta Atras") as a band and when Ariola tried to force them to have a female singer for their first LP they disbanded. A couple of years later Panoleta Records released four tracks recorded by Fernando alone (the tracks on this one were "Cine De Miedo", "Nada Nos Parara", "Dejame Ahora Dormir" and "Muneca Cibernetica"). Grupo Q sound was based on analog gear such as Roland Jupiter 4, Yamaha CS-20M, Korg X-911, Roland SH-2, Roland TR-808, Roland CSQ-600, Solina String Ensemble, Ibanez Digital Delay AD-190 and maybe for this reason, sometimes you can hear echoes of O.M.D. on some tracks. Thanks to Atemporal Records we are able to check the band's sound with twelve unreleased demo tracks. On these ones we can enjoy the peculiar techno pop style of the band where nice analogue bleeps and sounds paint joyful fresh atmospheres. For the people who's not keen about early 80s, these sounds could seem thin and kinda fragile but I assure you that the songs are melodically strong and catchy. Sometimes we also have ska uptempo rhythms, like on "Contra La Bisa" or on the particular mix of dark experimental electronic atmospheres and clean guitar of "Conexion Con XT-72". Also, check the only English sung song "Houses Of Glass" and you'll experience a time travel at the time when the radio was airing O.M.D.'s "Electricity", Depeche Mode's "New Life", Thomas Leer's "Contradictions" and Robert Rental's "Double Heart". Too bad we weren't aware of Grupo Q back then!
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Artist: Schloss Tegal (@)
Title: Oranur III
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Many gourmet of electro-industrial dark ambient don't really need any introduction of American sound project by Robert Schneider and Mark Burch, named after a castle near Berlin which was formerly a psychiatric clinic for military people, where they got treated by means of music and art therapy. I surmise they have a reputation as many critics and reviewers consider Schloss Tegal as the founders of so-called dark ambient, whose main features were hovering since their electro-industrial debut release in 1989, a 7" single which was properly titled "Procession Of The Dead". They planned a series of reworks of some albums of their discography. This one by appreciated label Cold Spring is a digtally remastered version of their "The Third Report", a record inspired by the apocryphal scientific matter of orgonic energy, theorized by the controversial Austrian psychoanalist Wilhelm Reich, who made some researches of this supposedly existing cosmic energy during the years he spent in the United States. The concise, but exhaustive dissertion on Reich's experiments and beliefs about Deadly Orgone Radiation, Cosmic Orgone Engineering, Cloudbuster, Electro Magnetic Fields and its relation with the so-called "emotional plague", Oranur experiments, bio-weapons and other similar matters you can delve, with old pictures of Reich's cloudbusters is the conceptual framework of this album, which sounds like a sonic transducer of that theorized energy. Its magnetic flux density got emphasized by vocal samples, which seems to be taken from descriptions on tapes, noisy excoriation, abrasive insertions, toned-down obscure frequencies, piercing rumbles, which keep on putting a steady strain, which is somewhat uncommon for many dark-ambient contemporary releases, on many tracks such as "Coital Affirmation", the long-lasting initial "Oranur II "the Third and Final Report"", the disquieting "Dark Eyes", the creepy cryptic "Beyond The Wall Of Sleep", the subterranean clashing gusts of "Orop Desert Eas 1954-1955", the shivering phantasmagorical breeze of "Orena "Orop Terria"", the ethereal carnality of "The Core Men". This final report is supposedly the final warning to the sleeping beings of the Earth, according to their own (Schloss Tegal or some multidimensional being?) words!
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Artist: PRSZR (@)
Title: Equilirium
Format: CD
Label: Hinterzimmer Records (@)
Rated: *****
PRSZR is the consonantal name (to be pronounced "pressure") of the collaborative project by Wien-based former dj and renowned experimental sound artist Peter Votava, better known as PURE, and Polish alchemists of percussions Rafal Iwanski, Rafal Kolacki and Dariusz Wojtas aka Hati, whose talent in building entrancing patchworks by means of ethnic instruments, found objects, idiophones, gongs, stylistically on the borderlines between improvisational electro-acoustic music and magic(k)al meditative/ritual one, already facilitated important collaborations with remarkable musicians such as Z'EV, John Zorn, Steve Buchanan, Heike Fiedler. With the exception of the third central track where a sort of flanged didjeridoo which wrap the percussive web could give you the impression of intermittent buzz moving around the sonic space, the reciprocal interplay doesn't sound too invasive so that you could easily distinguish both contributions to the building of each track. The nylon narrow vibration of an ascending plucking on a mist-shrouded clump of almost aphonic gongs and plates on the first gorgeous track and the glaring reverberation of plate tapping and rubbing which dissolves into a sort of heartbeat and sequenced flurries on the second track keep the voltage of the listening experience high as well as after the above-mentioned central flame-up, the squeaking and tickling stretches of the fourth act and the subatomic percussive particles which seem to unleash and trigger sonic fly ashes on the final track. "Equilirium" succeeds in striking demanding listeners by way of suffumigation of hypnotical, mind-tickling and somewhat cathartic atmospheres.
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