Music Reviews



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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Cielo Inchiostro
Format: CD
Label: Bosco rec
Rated: *****
Honestly I have totally lost count of how many albums Daniele has released so far. He's one of the artists I've known about and have been following on and off for probably two decades now and who he relentlessly continues to release new material on his label Bosco records.
Based in Turin, Italy, Daniele was one of the pioneers of industrial music, and specifically of a sub-genre of industrial music that he probably unwillingly created, where authorship and songwriting seamlessly blend with noises and melodies to create a new style that he is proficient at and almost nobody else seems to play or take part in, most certainly not on his hometurf (read, country!). It's hard to describe but I guess you could try thinking about Einsturzende Neubauten's most melodic releases and replace the German singing with Italian singing. Industrial folk is probably what I'd come up with if I had to put it in two words, but that's always limiting.
The language used probably has a lot to do with the identifiability of his style, granted, but it also has a lot to do with where his style comes from, musically and historically. Italy's tradition of songwriting has roots that go back decades if not centuries, and although in the last '40 years Italian music is often (but not always) synonymous with second grade garbage pop, Daniele willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously draws upon that tradition and, most importantly, develops upon it, taking it further, with sonic vignettes, found sound patterns and rhythms, experimental sounds and more along those most creative lines. Although guitar was very prominently used in the past, this new direction of his hands the lead off to a more avantgarde percussive aesthetic with a lot of samples, house objects and very minimal melodies.
The CD comes in a handmade cardboard sleeve with three semi-transparent sheets that feature titles and lyrics.
If you have never checked him out you owe it to himself, and him, because he's been at it for longer than most of you might have been into this genre, and in that sense, he has a lot to teach and a lot to give. Quite possibly, if you don't speak Italian it might not be as interesting as if you did, but nevertheless his music is a trip. One that you should embark on!
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Artist: Schizoid (@)
Title: The Next Extreme
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash records (@)
Rated: *****
Canadian D-Trash records released one of my own records in 2009 and so when in the mail came the D-Trash release from the label's mastermind Schizoid himself, I could not send it off to my amazing contributors and had to take the time out of my crazy busy days to review it myself.
Thirteen years after his speed core debut "Enough is Enough" and after a long compositional hiatus, Schizoid returns with his 3rd full length album "The Next Extreme", which is basically digital hardcore taken to its most extreme limits of speed and brutality. Verging on black/grind metal and breakcore, "The Next Extreme" is basically about as far you can take the digital hardcore genre and still call it that.
Schizoid throws 16 abrasive, fast, violent and harsh tracks at you with the same delicacy that a charging rhino would panzer-speed through a china shop, the china shop being your life of course. His lyrics (d)evolved from political criticism to misanthropism, with most songs covering the hardship of life, the disdain for the blatantly ignorant bystanders of our civilization and death that is all around us and hovering above us.
The album features a ton of guest appearances by long time D-Trash friends such as Babylon Disco, The First Seed, The Named, Phallus Uber Alles, Angel Enemy, Alex B from Leech Woman, No Brigade, Jul!e D:stroy, DK Dance, Dirty Fingers Licked, Luna Seaux, Junkie Kut, Robot(a), Hansel, Drugzilla, Celebrity Dead; and I believe Schizoid when he explains that these cameos are not for marketing purposes but to highlight the camaraderie that exists in this scene and around this label.
Certainly not for everyone but if you need to be shaken awake or you are looking for the next extreme, look no further!
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Artist: Magnetica Arts Lab (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Maldoror Records (@)
Rated: *****
Arnaldo Pontis has been long active in the Italian, and specifically Sardinian, audio and visual scene. He's also very political, outspokenly libertarian, distinguishably provocative and doesn't believe in mass production of goods, Therefore all of his productions are available freely as a download but also as an unconventionally packaged limited edition physical edition. In this case, Magnetica Arts Lab's self-titled CD comes in a DVD casing with Shepard Fairey artwork, easily recognizable by the yellow, black and red colors that made him famous. The front cover has an almost Nazi Germany SS vibe to it, which nicely adds to the provocation layers of this artist, who is clearly NOT in that world but loves to push people's buttons and provoke visually, and not just sonically.
Musically, this 10 track CD will take you on a pretty low key trip, for the most part, through mellow electronic suites, occasionally juxtaposed by louder and more abrasive industrial tracks. The CD is mostly instrumental, although there are a lot of vocal samples intertwined with the music throughout. There's definitely also a dark veil of somber moodiness being cast over the whole production, which I enjoy.
The listening experience flows nicely and presents plenty of interesting moments but the repetitive nature of this type of anti-song-structure loop-based composition sometimes fails to develop enough to take you from enjoyability to engagement. Nevertheless a good album all in all.
If you like what you read, you can download this album for free from the artist's website but if you want to support or own the beautiful artwork head on over to their website and purchase a copy from them.
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Artist: Twins Natalia / Marsheaux
Title: Radial Emotion / When We Were Young
Format: 7"
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Here I am to talk to you about a split single, co-produced by Anna Logue and Undo Records, with two bands: Marsheaux and Twins Natalia. Marsheaux are a duo coming from Greece and as far as I know none of us at CHAIN D.L.K. ever had the chance to release any of their three albums. Formed by Marianthi Melitsi and Sophia Sarigiannidou, Marsheaux released their latest album three years ago for Undo Records in Greece and Out Of Line for the rest of the world. They produce a blend of synthpop with powerful sounds which sometimes remember e.b.m. or electro music. I already talked about Twins Natalia, because I reviewed their first single "When We Were Young" in 2008. The band is formed by Steve Lippert, Marc Schaffer, from Anna Logue Records, plus Sharon Abbott, Julie Ruler and Dave Hewson of Poeme Electronique. This split single presents two songs which have already been released: "When We Were Young" was on the first Twins Natalia 7" and "Radial Emotion" have been released on the Marsheaux "Lumineux Noir" album in 2009. This time, the two bands covered the other's band song. If you know the original version of the track, you'll remember the rich analog sounds palette they used. Well, Marsheaux kept the upbeat atmosphere slowing a bit the rhythm and gave to it a dreamy touch plus they used their electro synthpop distinctive arrangement. Twins Natalia, ideally, took "Radial Emotion" and made it time travel back to the early 80s: the sound is made by fat bass lines as well by chirpy sounds. Sharon and Julie did a great job with their vocals and they boys created a cool web of arpeggios and catch synth solos. The single is housed in an additional cardboard slipcase embossed with the record labels' logos and track details. This aren't just covers...
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Artist: Gianluca Becuzzi / Luigi Turra (@)
Title: In Winter
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
One of the most interesting branch of ambient and neo-classical music, but also the one which exposes musicians to the risk of misfiring and getting jammed by stylistical platitudes and "already listened" stuff, is the "seasonal" one, which tries to use sounds as if they were paintbrushes in order to portray a particular season. The prolific Italian sound artist Gianluca Becuzzi joined together with Luigi Turra, who already made similar two-headed collaborations where he usually explores aural sonorities, in order to give "voice" to winter: most of tracks focused on the research of a balance between an evocative set of natural field recordings and sound objects by Becuzzi and slow, melancholic and often muffled (as they have been stopped by icy hard ground and crystallized landscapes) melodies on acoustic guitar and piano by Turra, which gradually sound like melting together whereas sustained reverbations of the last tones blur into gentle glacial breezes or scatter over a surreal silent scenery so that it seems to stare by sound at a person within the emotionless uniformity of a mute snowy expanse. Both Turra's minimal tonal weaves and Becuzzi's sonic faint setting seems more focused on the building of a deeply immersive virtual reality for the listener than on the maniacal research of musical perfection (maybe some common headphones which emphasize low frequencies won't neatly render some amplified stresses on low tones) and if listeners predispose themselves to such an experience, they will easily appreciate the enthralling recollection this couple of experienced sound artists patiently assembled.
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