Music Reviews



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Artist: The Exaltics
Title: Das Heise Experiment
Format: 12"
Label: Abstract Acid (@)
Rated: *****
Here we are, after three years from the latest album ("The Freefall" was released by Solar One Music on a double CD along with AS1's "Code Reference ") and after several EPs, finally we have a new The Exaltics album. Released by Abstract Form's sublabel Abstract Acid on LP and on CD (the CD has two bonus tracks "Siebenundzwanzig" and "Vier"), "Das Heise Experiment", brings to the attention of Robert Witschakowski's fans ten new tracks. If you followed CHAIN D.L.K. regularly, you'd realize that The Exaltics has been really active during the last couple of years and the thing that amaze me is that the music produced in this time span, has always reached high quality standards and I think that this is a sort of gift and also the fruit of a real passion. Anyway... Despite the fact that "Das Heise Experiment" has been released by Abstract Acid, don't wait for a release like the second part of "1000 Lights In The Sky", because on this album the acid elements are mostly TB-303 bass lines which are mixed to dark menacing atmospheres. Already the opening track "Neun" is a manifesto of the release as we have drone pads, robotic powerful drumming, dissontant distant arpeggios and acid bass lines. Robert decided to mix all the elements creating, in this way, a uniform track list as it was a sort of soundtrack where techno, acid and dark electro form a sound which is capable of catch the listener immediately. Tiny melodic lines are used to hypnotize as well as subtle noises and powerful rhythms are used as weapons of mass destruction! This album is a blast and I suggest you to reserve one of the 300 copies of the LP or one of the 100 CDs.
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Artist: Spaceheads (@)
Title: Sun Radar EP
Format: CD
Label: Electric Brass Records (@)
Rated: *****
First of a series of three EP on their label Electric Brass, "Sun Radar EP" seals the relished comeback of another glorious duo of early 90ies pioneers of live looping, the Spaceheads by Andy Diagram, who warms many alternative and leftfield acts by the sound of his engaging trumpet, and Richard Harrison on drums. I'd say they could be awaken by recent intense solar activity - maybe some solar flares or some neutrino storms - after nearly 10 years from their last tour over USA and Europe and nine amazing albums where they whiskied sugar-coated funky pills, high-spirited fanfares, psychotropic electronics and sci-fi floaters in their alembics. On this appetizer, they come in peace shrouded in an uproariously hippy-like aura with four amazing tracks - their playful approach to music could be gathered by the same duration of each track (around 3 minutes and 30 seconds): the initial "Sun Radar" ignites the boogie by a funky trumpet, a friction drum they made from a Moet Chandon ice bucket, playthings, a gripping groove whereas the following "Atomic Clock" seems to translate the downfall of nuclear age in their own musical words and "Miles to go" frivolously evokes a carefree journey by an uplifting rhythmical pattern, an overjoyed trumpet, a foot-loose whispering and scattering of echoes and delays. The final "North of the Border" gradually takes wing over smoother sounds and gentle drum brushes before gaining altitude. These half-serious missionaries of peace perfectly know how to make music carom over eardrums and joints.
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Artist: Isinglass
Title: One 3 Four
Format: 12"
Label: Anna Logue Records
Rated: *****
Coming from Canada and active on early 80s, Isinglass were formed by two members of the early Men Without Hats line-up (Jeremie Arrobas and Michael Gabriel) and were helped by other friends such as Pierre Lacoste (drums), Marc Perusse (guitar), Hendrica Verheyden (vocals) and Marc Lynes (guitar). Officially they never had a release out but for this Anna Logue's release they picked up three songs they recorded at Studio 1917, Montreal, in June 1982 and a live track they recorded in 1983 at La Pleine Lune club. "One 3 Four" is influenced by late 70s bands of the likes of Telex or Tubeway Army but they had a personal style that mixed new wave, post punk and synth pop. Take tracks like "Right Or Wrong", it has a nervous atmosphere similar to early B-52, a paced synth bass line, post punk guitar riffs and sparse synth orchestral inserts. The title track is more melancholic and intriguing with percussion, new wave guitar arpeggios and syncopated synth bass lines and it would had been a perfect single back then. "Burning Pictures", sounds energetic and obscure and the first thing I thought has been: "it sounds so English". The live track, "Much More Than This", is a melodic fast tune a la early Ultravox, with bouncing bass lines and distorted guitar riffs and it shows well the sound of those years... I'm done with my review, now it's your turn to check them out and you can do it here http://soundcloud.com/annaloguerecords/anna-046
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Artist: Martin Bedard
Title: Topographies
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
When you peruse resumes like the one of this Montreal-based phenomenal wizard, who just attained a place in the catalogue of empreintes DIGITALes - maybe the most remarkable label in the field of electroacoustics and acousmatics at the moment -, you immediately foresee the consistency of a release with his signature: alumnus of Yves Daoust, Andre Fecteau and Robert Normandeau, Monsieur Bedard is teaching auditory perception, composition and analysis of electroacoustic music at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal as well as electroacoustic compostion at Universitè de Montreal, received a number of awards I'm not going to list and the City of Montreal - Lachine Borough gave him the Au fil de l'excellence last year. On this collection of sonic marquetries he assembled in different moments, his hyperreality seems to be nourished by a selection of concrete noises whose attrition is a sort of runaround for Martin's processing, but beside the impressively heady and somehow cinematic pelting and rendering of blasts, liquefactions, combustions and coalescences, which could vividly render fearsome train trips ("Push & Pull"), scorching meteoric darts ("Grand Dehors"), frightening metallic landslips ("Topographie de la noirceur"), precipitous tumbles down to the hellish bowels of the ore bodies of the earth the main aspect of the creative/destructive elaboration ("Metal fatigue") and dense swarms of drilling noises from excavation sites ("Champs de fouilles"), the properly dramatic element of each representation seems to be the inoculation of temporary breaks of piercing sounds, which almost mirrors the psychological whirls and craters, which follow such a pelting by emphasizing the inner sense and consciousness of Bedard's topography.
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Artist: Rapoon (@)
Title: Vernal Crossing Revisited
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is the reissue of the third album from this project made for the 20th anniversary of the release. To the remastered edition there's also a complete reinterpretation made by Robin Storey.
The nine tracks of the original release starting from "the same river once" and ending with "yo-tun" are a one hour long exploration of the hypnotic qualities of the rhythm and so could be seen as a continuation of the experiments made with Zoviet France in the first part of this career. However, there's also the first attempts, in tracks as "sonol" and "anatapurrah", to extend this formula with texture oriented soundscape that will be fully developed in the next albums.
So, the 2013 remake, with tracks like "again we see" and "where stars reflects", is less focused with hypnotic beat and more oriented to territories where the texture is more relevant and rhythm is less hypnotic. There's also explicit references to the original album in tracks like "the water edge" but they acts as interludes to the actual musical path of Robin Storey hearable in the last long tracks "the clouds pass quickly" and "to end" where the hypnotic effect is constructed by the soundscape, with layers of drones and perhaps loops constantly changing, rather than by the beat.
Apart from the historical relevance of the original release, faithfully remastered, the remake reveals how a musical path could be developed without changing his fundamental basis but escaping from the trap of self citation. It's a really nice reissue for fans.
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