Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Rise of the Under Dogs vol.1
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
Parisian label IM:Ltd by dj, producer and graphic designer Caine has been one of the most wondrous and stylistically labyrinthine of the scene in the last years, so that a retrospective compilation which could furnish an immediate and concise proof of such a strain on sound machines cannot but suit to a T. All ten tracks, which have been included in this selection, make a good impression and encompass the wide stylistical range IM:Ltd's trying to thrust. From the initial glitchy and somewhat sinister witchcraft by young Polish dnb producer Mortem on "Whispers" to the final aerostatic lyrical "Above The Clouds" by Glen E.Ston, an array of pleasures will delight listener's cochleas: the beeping computational arcane sonoritires of Belgian producer Meersman Olivier aka Atmospherix on "CPU", remarkably edgy shots of "Elektronic Angels" by talented producer Alex Judd aka Soul Intent, the amazing crossbreed of glitchy clicks and wicked bass of "Surrealism" (already a classic!) by Italian Arp Xp, the catchy bonebreaking flows of "Monopole" by London-based trio Future Signal, the crisp blown claps and beats of "Sabbah" by Hibea, the flying kicks of kung-fu inspired "Travelling Man" by Mad Rabbit, the melancholic blurred shades by Hobzee & Zyon Base on "Black & White Movie" and the demimonde waxed song "Universe" by Gunston. "Rise of The Under Dogs" includes so many palatable tunes that you cannot hope the label will keep on paving its way.

VV.AA.: SOM 5

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (7414)
Jan 28 2013
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: SOM 5
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
Born in the mid 00s the label founded in Jena, Germany, by Nico Jagiella and Robert Witschakowski, Solar One Music has been the right place for finding electronic sounds influenced by Detroit techno, Miami deep basslines, acid and differents sorts of experimentations. Three years ago I discovered their sounds and decided to review all their releases and to interview Nico; you can find that article at this link http://www.chaindlk.com/interviews/solar-one-music/. Solar One Music made of the phrase "Something different, something special" its manifesto and with the compilation SOM5 (its twentieth release) wanted to release something even more special: this time to celebrate they released a 2CD compilation housed into a A4 32 pages color booklet containing photos, interviews and background story for everyone of the 22 artists present on the CDs. With unreleased and some released tracks (like DVS NME's "Unobtainium"), the compilation offers a good view on the state of underground electronic music touching different influences. We have the electro driven sounds with some ambient elements of Hyboid, CN, -=UHU=-, Plant43, Komarken, The Exaltics Meets Crotaphytus; the Detroit techno syncopated rhythms of Defekt, Dcast Dynamics, Goliath, DVS NME, Arnold Steiner, Sync 24, Headnoaks and CPU; the electro atmospheres of CRC, Frank Di Sarrio, Heinrich Dressel and Scape One; the semi industrial experimentations of Schmerzlabor; the electro acid sounds of Dioxine Waves; the horror Twin Peaks influenced perversions of Elec Pt1; the Miami techno influences of Matti Turunen (member of Morphology). For sure you'll find different tracks you'll love and I'm sure you'll want to hear more!
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Artist: Francisco Meirino (@)
Title: Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete
Format: CD
Label: Cave12 (@)
Rated: *****
It seems that the high rate of dumping factor, let's say so, is intentional in Francisco Meirino's sonic research as according to the one who wrote his biography his music primarily "explores the tension between programmable material and the potential for its failure" and this operating procedures permeate this release, where you could imagine an astonishing electromechanical prototypical marvel which fails the test just some instant after it gives the impression it's going to to work well! It could be a wise way to gibe its own skills as I'm pretty sure Francisco knows them quite well. More than 150 live performances in many venues in Europe, Japan and North America and a plenty of collaborations and commissioned releases are enough to validate them. During the listening of Meirino's work, you could easily imagine a supercar with the highest technological content which ridiculously fails the first test for a punctured tire! It's not a negative criticism at all, as I reallt like those skilled musicians which manages to add some funny provocative hints in their artworks! Those abstract lines on black background on the cover artwork refers to the compositional process, which has been used for "Untitled Phenomenas in Concrete", as Francisco fed 85 HighC/UPIC sessions with a set of 18 external sounds (recordings of bones cracking, snow falling, electro-static noises, oscillators, gear failures, magnetic fields and insects!) by means of a device (UPIC) developed by Iannis Xenakis, which gave the possibility to create sounds from drawings on a sort of primordial tablet. I'm not surprised Francisco spent nearly four years to achieve a satisfying result, which arguably manages to reinvent the glitch logic within electroacoustic composition.
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Artist: Kyle Bobby Dunn (@)
Title: In Miserum Stercus
Format: 12"
Label: Komino Records (@)
Rated: *****
According to Canadian composer Kyle Bobby Dunn, one of the most skilled and somewhat ironic ambient master craftsmanthis album "definitely consists of the most somber and depressing music I've ever made". I cannot but appreciate such an outspokenness and I could even appreciate Kyle's modesty in self-congratulation as there are many different manners of instilling austerity by means of sound and Kyle's manner distinguishes itself for its conciseness and effectiveness, which immediately fosters the elopement between listener and sound. The pitiless title "In Miserum Stercus" sounds like mirroring the epiphany many listeners perceive while listening his laudanum-like drones, but could don the double face of this album: on the first side, it seems he's "sonically" displaying the resolution of an image and the reconnaissance of an emotional set by means of two very glum and meek tracks, "Buncington Revisited" and "Lake Wapta Rise", before they turn into a sort of contemplative and detached illusory brightening up, where the awareness of the fact it could be a self-deception worms in the stream of frequencies by pushing them gently down and down on the other side of the record, where "In Praise Of Tears", "Meadowfuck" and "The Milksop" sound like catching this venomous germ in the air. The delicately dim transitions and the way Kyle weaves such a sonic awesomeness is really astonishing.
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Artist: Heidi Mortenson (@)
Title: Mørk
Format: CD EP
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
After a 4 year hiatus, Heidi Mortenson returns with 'Mork' and a vastly different style of music than her previous works. This is a much more chill, down to earth, organic and dark release than her previous effort. She also returns to her native Danish tongue on this one, which adds a subtle exotic taste as well as a sort of refreshing detach in that the (non Danish speaking) listener can absorb the sound as a whole and feel more of the pure emotion that's represented on this disc.

'Mork' starts out with 'Side A,' which is three songs, all of which combine these minimal, yet meaningful and strong beats, with a relatively small number of layers of instrumentation, but again, very strong, very effective. From fun and quirky yet astringent synth textures, to believe it or not, nearly epic horns that just MIGHT even be appropriate for riding into battle. The vocals are smooth, smoky, seductive and alluring. They pair so perfectly with these songs. Track 3, entitled 'Underkast' (which translates to 'Submission') is the perfect example of all of these traits which combine into a cabaret/almost noir-esque piece which invokes visions of a smoky, futuristic lounge or nightclub with its spotlight shining down on the woman onstage the only source of light, and the band master has a drum machine atop a full sized grand piano style midi controller.

'Side B' which is just a mere two songs, is even more relaxed, slightly more organic and takes off a bit of that digital edge, bringing you back down to earth. 'Alt I Alt' (All in All) is much sadder, more low key and emotional than the first half of the disc. And it's followed by a slow and beautiful solo piano piece that reminds just a little of the album 'Screws' by Nils Frahm. He wrote and recorded the album after breaking his left thumb and was unsure if he would ever play piano again, to which he responded by sitting down, armed with 9 fingers, and began to play and record these little pieces at night. They yielded these beautiful, delicate and vulnerable works; and that is how I would describe the closing of 'Mork.'

All in All (no pun intended) it's quite an extraordinary little EP with almost no flaws, missteps or downpoints.
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