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Artist: Dvs Nme (@)
Title: From The Ashes
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Recorded in different places with mobile devices (if I'm not wrong Johan used mostly the program Nanostudio), "From The Ashes" is the newest and third DVS NME album. Containing ten new instrumental tracks, the album sounds just epic. Its sound is in balance between sidereal and robotic atmospheres with the add of catchy melodic lines (check the opening "Bright Lights" or the dark "Scintillant") and Johan succeeded into creating his own sound. Taking inspiration from electro and Detroit techno, as usual, DVS NME now sound like DVS NME, because the project has reached a perfect mix of all the elements that already made the old stuff sounding great. Every track contains elements that create a good contrast: an upbeat rhythm is joined by a spacey synth pad as well as a robotic arpeggio is joined by a catchy melody. The alternance of all these things make this album sounding various and cool. Anyway, as usual, if you like Arpanet, Dopplereffekt, Drexcya as well as Mandroid, this release is a must. You can check a preview here http://soundcloud.com/dvsnme/dvs-nme-from-the-ashes
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Artist: Virgil Moorefield (@)
Title: No Business As Usual + Five Ideas About the Relation of Sight and Sound
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Hinterzimmer Records (@)
Rated: *****
Behind the provocative title "No Business As Usual", there's a proper creative outburst by New York-based self-taught drummer, intermedia artist and composer Virgil Moorefield (former professor of music and media at Northwestern and the University of Michigan and former collaborator of Glenn Branca - Virgil was the solo drummer of the monumental "Hallucination City: 100 Guitars" - and legendary Gira's proto-industrial Swans), who managed to melt some performative techniques from minimal and repetitive music, an accentuated dynamical ebullience the ear of a drummer could embed and a rich stylistical crucible of free-jazz, punk, krautrock, improvisational and even classical music, which have been thrown in the heady emotional vortex of the five parts of the title-track, where the initial melodic theme often swells by means of apoplectic instrumental eruptions and choral splattering snarl-up from the six very talented musicians of his Bicontinental Pocket Orchestra, comprising Ian Ding (vibraphone, drums), Martin Lorenza (percussion), Jurg Wickihalder (baritone sax), Vicky Chow (piano), Taylor Levine (guitar), Alexsander Gabrys (contrabass) and himself. The cd also includes another impressive work for sextet, "Detroit per Se", whose calm beginning on a quiet piano could seem a little bit deceptive due to the amazing musical fibrillation and heated crescendo which come after, and an amazing 11 minutes lasting duet/duel with Ian Ding, "Siamese Kits, Joined at the Kick (A Study In Prime Numbers)", which will make many lovers of drumming moan in pleasure. The "visual" part of the release consists of a DVD with the intermedia piece "Five Ideas About The Relation of Sight and Sound", an interesting collection of five tableaux with five technology-driven ways to reach synaesthesia and supposedly euphoric listening bliss as well.
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Artist: Erik Friedlander/Scott Solter
Title: No Compass: Solter resets Friedlander
Format: 10"
Label: SkipStone (@)
Rated: *****
The starting point of this sonic tidbit by sound engineer, producer and mixer Scott Solter is "Broken Arm Trio", the acclaimed release that his friend Erik Friedlander tributed to the legendary jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford who took up cello after breaking his arm (!), but don't except to find the stylistical constituents (jazz, chamber music, bluegrass, folk and klezmer) Erik added to his musical recipe. Erik himself gave carte blanche to Scott, who fudged on the intrinsic codes by Friedland in order to boost and boast his distinctive art of remixing. Burrs of cello tunes sound pan-fried on the initial "Full Chroma", whereas Scott seems to push them into higher orbit of the deep space within a space capsule on the following "Columbarium", hide Friedlander's sound in disguise of Adolf Woelfli's flippantly schizoid style and rhythmic swirling on the amazing "Assault by St.Wolfli", depict an intriguing embodiment of horror vacui on "Drifting Pyre, No Moon" and parachute cello into a funnel cloud on "Steppe Dub". It's almost unnecessary to spotlight the fact that melodic and rhythmical elements of original themes have been wisely camouflaged by Solter, whose remixing art lies on the manipulation of preeisting material. "My usual remixing technique is to manipulate only the existing multitrack material and not introduce new content such as beats, instruments etc. In some ways my method doesn't always respect the original work, but I'm less interested in that than in discovering a song's troubled siblings. I just pull up the tracks, choose the content that moves me and set about manipulating, eviscerating, expanding, cutting, destroying'¦ ', Scott said while describing his reset of Friedlander's stuff. The only flaw of this release is its short duration, as it sounds like an appetizer which might not satisfy eagerer listeners.
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Artist: Motoomi Doi
Title: The Illuminated Nightingale
Format: CD
Label: Noble (@)
Rated: *****
The very first tracks of the first official album, following a couple of indipendent albums (including his appreciated "N-N-N", promoted by means of the so-called "free-distribution" way, where users who sent requests by email from Doi's website received it by post...his talent and word-of-mouth on Internet disseminated his sound), by talented Osaka-based song writer Motoomi Doi could prove the firm belief about the strong liking for stylistical forgery by many Japanese musicians (even if they often makes very good "imitations") as songs like "Dark Night", "The Eye of Night has Opened" and "Oscar" could immediately resemble the childishly dreamy atmospheres by the notorious Icelandic band Mum, but this musical portray of the concept of "night" from dusk to dawn turns on a dime by means of elegant insertions of caster sugar melodies, whose harmonic motions gradually expand by means of jazzy drum sets, good electronic chiselling, zesty techno-pop sprinkling, swingy tunes, pretty J-pop marches and above all an emotionally mottled poetry whose intensity and seesawing between joy and anxiety, peace and sorrow, solitude and grace which got rendered and easily fathomed by Doi's piercing, delicate and somehow ephebic vocal interpretations, whose singular timbre could be imagined as a male and childish version of an hybrid between Pinkie Maclure (Pumajaw) and Tujiko Noriko, could tell you something even if you don't relly understand any Japanese words. Tested and approved by my one-year old worshipped nephew!
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Artist: Kuantum (@)
Title: Wasteland
Format: 12"
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
The new discovery by French label IM:Ltd, Kuantum, musically grew in the underground parties of Montpellier scene. If I could profile his musical purpose, I'd say he could reasonably carry the torch of a new generation of dubstep craftsmen, which would like to rediscover the roots of th genre without becoming the camouflage or the clone of the styles by producers who gain so much notoriety in the scene that their names (I could mention Skrillex, Benga or Skream, whose releases ride the wave of the shining moment of a genre, which exists since long time) tightly acquired the synonymy with the word "dubstep". The sonic strategy by this talented lad is quite clear since the initial "Wasteland", an engaging track named after the legendary vintage videogame by Electronic Arts, set in a post-apocalyptic world: the sound is definitively more dub-oriented and exquisitely wild as it seems to sink listeners into a world crowded by humongous wild beasts and landfill-generated monsters where life-and-death struggle and feral instinct don't look tempered by education or civilization. In spite of the presence of that rumbling wub which resembles peristaltic noises, one of the main characteristic of dubstep, on the following "Innervision", dub struts prevail and such a preponderance have been clearly shown on "Distracted", the collaborative track with Mateba, where the general sound fluctuates between contemporary dubstep gargles and those spatial puffs which marked some past electronic dub releases, and the enchanting melancholic coil angd gloomier fumigation of the final "Majora". Very promising debut release.
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