Music Reviews



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Artist: PARTY CATANI
Title: Lowfistication
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco
After releasing a year ago an album with Driver & Driver, Patric Catani is back with his own name project (this time turned into Party Catani) with an album released by Cock Rock Disco titled LOWFISTICATION. His new album contains twelve episodes of party extravaganza where weird bleeping synth noises are mixed with hard beats, movie samples, techno alienated intuitions and various no sense craziness. At a first listening tracks like "Boss", "Nasty Girl" or the obsessive "Fat Gal" seem to be recorded during a Love Parade where something went wrong with the drugs. The synths sound like broken toys and the syncopated rhythms make them sound like broken records. Hard techno, acid or 8 bit sounds (like the ones on "Unchain My Tips") are the core of the album, which seems a work of a Mad Hatter playing techno music at his tea party. Personally I find this one too extreme to be enjoyed and you have to love party music lot to appreciate fully its crazy side.
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Artist: Boris Hauf - Steven Hess - Keefe Jackson - Juun (@)
Title: Proxemics
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
When you'll listen to this release signed by these four talented improv musicians, who met each other as they worked together at the annual music festival Chicago Sound Map where they discovered they had some common interests in harmony, texture and rhythm explorations related to the musical possibilities enabled by collective improvisation which led them to Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in April 2010 where they recorded this sonic stuff as part of the concert belonging to the Outer Ear series, you could easily enhance the listening experience they recorded through a possible research of similarities between their performance and the interesting matters related to the mentioned discipline, proxemics; they even quoted the diagram by proxemics'most eminent scholar (and founder), the American anthropologist Edward T.Hall to name their sets. According to this diagram, based on some concentric circles known as "reaction bubbles" whose radius represents the spacial distance between two people, social distance is correlated with physical one so that he distinguished intimate distance (for closer interactions), personal distance (friendly or familiar interactions), social distance (being between already acquainted people) and public distance (for public speaking between almost unknown people), whose measure should be strictly related to cultures, which state when an interaction could be too intrusive or stand-offish. The beings whose interactions seems to be studied are tenor and sopranosax played by Boris Hauf (recorded on right channel) and contrabassclarinet and tenorsax played by Keefe Jackson (recorded on left channel), whereas Juun's piano, Hauf's sinetonees and harmonium and Steven Hess' fuzzy experiments on drums and electronics look like acting as spectators writing notes on a sketch book or alternatively as choreographers of the dances, moved by the elastic forces getting stronger and stronger. In the first track, named Public, the longest one, the above-mentioned interacing sonic elements sound tracing completely different melodic paths, climb on discordant scales and sometimes look like dozing till the moment (after 22 minutes) when a sort of electronic foggy quiver looks like dropping the curtain on gaps whose voids had been filled by estranging or sinister emotional sets. In the second track, Social - the shortest one -, the magnet reducing distances seems to be breath and the frenzy percussive tinkling - mainly made up of high frequencies hits and feverish piano pulses -, whereas the final track, Personal (featuring some great drum rolling by Steven Hess!), sounds warmer than the previous ones since the very first seconds, thanks to the long-lasting hypnotical sound of an harmonium, but the general feeling of this bizarre but pretty recording will suggest the listener those two interacting elements aren't going to encounter even if they get chorally closer and closer.
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Artist: THE HUNTERS
Title: Hands On Fire
Format: CD EP
Label: Aagoo Records
Rated: *****
The Hunters are a band hailing from Brooklyn/N.Y. formed by singers/guitarists Derek Watson and Isabel Almeida. Their E.P. HANDS ON FIRE is out on Aagoo Records and contains five new tracks. As far as I know this is their first official release and it fill its fifteen minutes with derailing guitars, tribal drumming and boy/girl duets. Mixed by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and produced by former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, The Hunters deliver tracks that are a mix of Sonic Youth and the Vaselines: a sort of N.Y. punk with shoegaze attitude. "Deadbeat", "Noisybitch" or "Headache" are tracks that are capable to be immediate, powerful and melodic. A nice surprise that you can check in its entirety here http://huntersny.bandcamp.com/album/hands-on-fire
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Artist: Minerve (@)
Title: Repleased
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Many gigs around Germany, mainly as a support band for the notorious synthpop and EBM And One, together with important names of the scene such as Camouflage and DE/VISION (arguably the stylistically closer band to the sound of Minerve), and this double-cd collection issued by Echozone properly crown an excellent year for musical career and growth of Minerve, mainly due to the long wave generated by the issue of the remarkable album Pleased in 2010. As you can easily guess, Repleased is a remix-album, but its tight connection with the above-mentioned miliar stone of their discography as well as the purpose has been partially mirrored by the order of the tracks, which is the same of the European edition of Pleased (there's also a Russian one with just some little differences in the tracklist), with the mere difference of the inclusion of a cover version of Eurythmics'"Here Comes The Rain", so that even if the twelve remixers got fun in playing as make-up artists, most of melodic structures stayed quite similar to the sources instead of most of them winked at the dancefloors, being my favorites those moments when cosmetics get so acid that they manage to burn the skin, such as the ones used by Stum on "Down To The Ground" (arguably delighting some Depeche Mode lovers) and For A Space vs. Destroid remix of "Life Is An Illusion" (looking like a sleight-of-hand by Funkstorung or Funckarma!), the dark grey paint of Lakeside X on "Read In My Memories", the nice atomizing of "Please"'s samples by Liquid Divine (my favorite remix) and those techno-pop regurgitations used by Mechanical Apfelsine on "Under My Skin". The second cd is a bonus including all tracks from previous singles - available mainly on digital till now - and it's rich of some funny stuff and good vibes such as Evvilking mix of "Hold Me Tight", demo versions of "Hold Me Tight" and "Down To The Ground", the pretty chilling tech tunes of Seabound's Frank M.Spinath on "In love with an open end", whose sound looks like a time travel to those years when Humate's or Paul van Dyk's techno-trance filled floors, and the lovely ballad "I Welcome The Rain", whose vocal interpretation by Richard Bjorklund of Spektralized adds that sense of dazed grace which manages to emphasize Minerve's skills in evoking deep emotional sets.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Strange Tales From The Future Vol.3
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Solar One Music is back with a new vinyl release and this time it's the the third volume of the "Strange Tales From The Future" series. It contains two songs each by Luke Eargoggle/Johan Inkinen (Stilleben, Lunar Disko), Kan3da (Stilleben, Transient Force), Oestral (SOM, Black Montanas) and Weltwirtschaft (Dominance Electricity, Kommando 6). Basically is like having four singles packed into a single release. Weltwirtschaft opens the dances with "Invention", a track with dark atmospheres and electro techno intuitions. Luke Eargoggle with Johan Inkinen (the same duo who is active as Faceless Mind) is next with "The Highest Height", a bleeping kinda mysterious tune which has their characteristic analog sound we already love. Oestral's first track is titled "Vade Retro" which is kinda obsessive 4/4 as it evolves around a looping melody where other synth short arpeggios are added. Side A is closed by Kan3da with "Mm", another bleeping track (that could be a consequence of being Swedish, maybe) which is halfway from the robotic and the acid sound. On Side B we have the band sequence messed up. It is opened by Eargoggle/Inkinen with "Empathy Window", a fast syncopated tune that gives me the idea that it could fit the closing titles of an 80s movie. "Robocop takes Miami" could be its title. Oestral is next with "Sarah Or Rahema" a track that sounds almost nightmarish thanks to its hissing background sounds. Weltwirtschaft on "Evighet" mixes again electro and a bit of techno using also stop and go and analog bleeping effects. Kan3da is the last one with "Stupid", a mix of robotic analog sounds and late 70s electronic music. This is another Solar One Music fine release. Check some samples at the label's website.
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