Music Reviews



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Artist: Antanas Jasenka
Title: Point/Circle
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock Records (@)
Rated: *****
Antanas Jasenka has taken the opportunity with his latest record 'Point/Circle' to really create a vessel for the listener to take advantage of, if he or she wishes to step out of mind and body for oh say sixty-seven minutes. The collections of fluctuating tones snuck up upon by moments of sheer dissonant fear and terror enable you to transcend time and space, if only for a short time. Each piece was arranged for a specific instrument (and computer) ranging from flute to trombone to electric organ and finally culminating with a piece 'for string quartet and live electronics.' Each song is distinct while remaining a part of the whole (appropriate considering the first six songs are technically different movements of a single entity wholly entitled 'In/Out'), some with tastefully abrupt and crashing endings are reasonably minimal in a way that really works, with textures flowing slowly in, around and through themselves. There is even a point where Jasenka introduces what I could only classify as light digital funk. This album is otherworldly, drifting along the edges of reality.

The record defies me not to specifically mention the incredible 'Out of Ciurlionis,' the piece designed for string quartet. Now I definitely expected something other than the average symphonic piece here, but my expectations were nonetheless completely shattered. COMPLETELY unconventional use of the instruments makes for one of the most interesting string pieces I've had the pleasure to baste my ears with. The booklet of the disc contains a schematic diagram of the processes used in the creation of this song wherein the actual audio of the instruments was through various means converted into digital commands which fueled both audio and video processing, essentially making one great, giant proverbial feedback loop, a concept which I find quite interesting, if only I could see the video which was produced'¦
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Artist: Yney
Title: Micro Macro
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock Records (@)
Rated: *****
'Micro Macro' opens up nicely with manipulated dialogue samples and processed synths, that somehow manage to sneak in a few choice chord progressions. The instrumentation is very sparse on Yney's Sophomore release, with jazzy six string basslines incorporated throughout, though in the second half of the disc they become more abstract and/or distorted. Those bass riffs add a certain something to the experience, even if at times they seem to work against the surrounding instrumentation. There were certain parts which were a bit 'Casio' for my liking, being of a noticeably lower quality than others whose instrumentation were much more appealing and professional sounding. I completely understand the concept of 'minimal' and am a big fan when it's executed well and properly thought out, I'm just not positive that this release was entirely effective in those two areas. By the final track, the listener is presented with what could potentially have proven to be the beginnings of a great piece, until it is abruptly cut short at just a minute twenty. The record was overall a little sleepy, which worked in some parts but not quite in others. It also has a very unique 'ethereal jazz fusion' quality to certain pieces that despite being a bit partitioned, were undeniably interesting.
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Artist: Ascii.Disko (@)
Title: Black Orchid: From Airlines To Lifelines
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Hot out of Artoffact ovens, Black Orchid: From Airlines to Lifelines (what a wise tilte!) is the new album by Daniel Gerhard Hol aka Ascii.Disko where he seems squeezing efficaciously danceable beats and good sounds into a stylistically crammed suitcase. Many electro techno djs who stocked some of Ascii.Disko releases in their bags and all those who listened some of his acid stuff could feel somewhat surprised while listening to the musical turnabout of this guy towards more dulcet and whimsically pop directions, but it's quite difficult to escape from the pleasant tunes by which Piemont manage to pamper the listeners subtly inviting them for a merrily desperate sinking into imaginary quicksands! My favorite moments of the albums are those ones when Daniel Gerhard Hol melt together elements of rock, funk and house, whereas in stunning tracks such as Horizon, the frenzically erotic White Lines Black Lines, the frenzically ego trip of 100 Demons (...wittily tinged of that kind of guitar textures post-rock lovers habitually get stoned by - a neatly audible influence in track such as Crystals and Knives as well as in other lovely intimistic exfoliations -!) or the controversially sexy and slap-happy From Airline to Lifelines and even in some brightful solipsistic reveries such as the brilliant The Black Angels Love Song the tender french kissed Butterfly some witty listeners could hear echoes of French Teen Idol or Alex Gopher (...or at least the Alex Gopher emerging from his self-titled album!). A sort of new era even for satanic acid youth could have come... Brilliant workout!
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Artist: Ascii.Disko
Title: Black Orchid: From Airlines To Lifelines
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
The forth album from Daniel Gerhard Holc is basically a pop album, well curated, without any true invention, uninnovative in a certain way but is that sort of thing someone could listen for hours. "Horizon", as an example, is a classic up tempo song that is perfect during a trip in a car. "Goodbye 1305" is a slow, emotional tune based on a guitar riff. With "whitelines / blacklines" the road returns to happier moods. "Crystals and Knives" is an almost post-rock track while "the black angel love song" use even an organ without being too romantic. This album continue in his journey between up-tempo pop and romantic ballads until "outtro" surprise the listener (and the reviewer too): more than twenty minutes instrumental track made out of all experimental ideas of this record: after an synth intro similar to some John Carpenter's soundtrack is slowly evolve in a minimal, solar tune that slowly evolve as a quite summer day down ending this record with a quite guitar pulse.
In the end, this is solid pop album that reveals clear ideas of songwriting and a careful production work. Even if this is not an experimental milestone, it's the type of record that will last in my iPod for a long time.
Apr 13 2011
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Artist: R21
Title: Minimum Remixes
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
MINIMUM REMIXES is the newest R21 release out on Binalog Productions. It has the original R21 tune (which was included into the double vinyl compilation "Advanced Funk Vol.1") plus nine new versions reworked by new electro producers. Mike Ash and DJ Xed didn't vary too much from the original structure, they preferred working on rhythm variation and stop and go's. Microslav did a great version enriched by new catchy melodic lines and robotic atmospheres. N-Ter's version plays with electro funk melodies and dark atmospheres. Mirage (the dj chosen to rock on the forthcoming Street Sounds UK Fresh Reunion) made a nasty version with hard beats and mid-Oriental melodies. The Grow remix sounds claustrophobic and robotic with warm pads, bleeping sounds and filtered vocals. Pip Williams enriched his upbeat mix with a raw bass sound, dub influences and spacey synth sounds. Binalog Freq focused his mix on obsessive 4/4 hard beats and nice techno acid influences. R21 closes the EP with a "Slow and low" version of their track, which now sounds like a nice electro ragamuffin tune.
(Proofread: Johan Sebastian Bot)
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