Music Reviews



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Artist: MB + ICS
Title: Vir-Uz
Format: CD
Label: FARMACIA901 (@)
Rated: *****
This album from one of historic figure of industrial music (MB) and of a musical researchers for noisy constructions (ICS) is based on the idea of someone who receive "a wise response from the pleased God" and most of the field recordings are from the jewish cemetery of Alessandria as, as most of the release after his comeback from his well-known hiatus, this release is filled from the religious inspiration of his makers.
The title track opens this release with a noisy rhythmic samples repeat rhythmically until sparse field recordings begin with quiet drones and, after an isolationistic second part, quiet and sharp noises occupy the musical canvas. "Severe provata" is a dialogical juxtaposition of drone and small noises. "Turnamentaj abscensoj" is an obscure drone carefully constructed for careful listeners. "La eternal prenis" is based on sparse guitar lines coloring the abstract soundscape. "Falsaj amikoj sugestis" starts with a noised quickly covered by metallic resonance until small noises clear the way for a drone that at last surrender to the quiet and sharp noises. "Pro lia fido", the shortest track of this release, is a drony interlude to "Pli ol la komencajn" a slowly evolving metallic drones above which are juxtaposed the usual quiet noises.
Even if it could be quiet predictable the dialogue between the almost serene drone of MB and the carefully constructed noise of ICS, this is a so well written record that it worth repeated and careful listening. Nice.
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Artist: Lean Left (@)
Title: Live at Cafe' Oto
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Distributor: Squid Co
Rated: *****
Since its opening in 2008, Cafe' Oto has become one of the temple for lovers of leftfield, experimental and unconventional musical mestizoes in London. Named after a Japanese word meaning "sound" and "noise", it offers food for guts (delicious Japanese light bites, Middle Eastern food, assorted beverages, baked goods, homemade cakes and so on) in the daytime and food for ears which could aid digestion by means of audio-aided secretion of gastric juices in the night-time. This release on Unsounds immortalize some moments of pure listening pleasure, which came from the bizarre freak Lean Left, an impressive collaborative project which lies slantwise on arable jazz and punk grounds by a poker of very talented musicians, whose musical paths already met in the past-time: the octopus-like drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and the versatile Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone and clarinet from one side, the skilled guitarist Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels, whose guitars have been respectively channelled on the right and the left, of the explosive underground Dutch anarcho-punk/free jazz collective The Ex on the other side. On the two long-lasting recordings of the release (on threshold of cacophony the first "koevoet", a little bit more regular the second "Drevel"), they managed to nestle energizing rushes, pensive moments, reciprocal prodding and onstage assaults, musical quotes, highly varied improvisations and astonishing sonic juggling. There are a lot of amazing moments: I particularly enjoyed those ones when Andy and Terrie seem to let dangle or slide tones from guitar strings, while Paal and Ken histerically clamber up their games by tangling hits and harmonic lacerations. The only regret you could experience while listening to their raving could be related to the fact you missed them while in London!
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Artist: Simon12345 & The Lazer Twins
Title: If I Stay Here. I'll Be Alone
Format: 12"
Label: Doumen (@)
Rated: *****
You could have the impression to ride a skittish prancer that found the way to rise into the air as you'll press play with this nice leftfield release by Simon12345 and The Lazer Twins, who seem to launch a popping hash of claps and sticks into earth-synchronous orbit from their secluded cottage in the north of Denmark, where they recorded these track while jack frost was hardly working outside of it over many weeks. They decided to live there and build a temporary studio in this isolated envoronment with the vague and undefined intent of squeezeing some powerful musical ideas from a set of musical ideas and day after night, they basically shaped a set of tracks where presumed deductions and thinking caps seems to expose musical celluloid just like a warm breath which steams a window up. They sound poured in the blender of post-production with reality bits, distrusts, elations and mercurial moments resulting into catchy dubby sound collages, which could remind some amazing releases by Rump Recordings or some meaningful patchworks on NoNine from the stylistical viewpoint by means of an emotional crescendo and sonic morphology, which manages to pattern reality in accordance to moods and reaches the highest peak in the final title-track "If I Stay here, I'll Be Alone", where the decisive resolution and enlightment gets frozen just before it gets bequethed to humankind thru Californian postapocalyptic rap voice of Beegs Alchemy, just like Moses would have died of exposure before spreading his inlaid boulders.
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Artist: Container (@)
Title: LP
Format: 12"
Label: Spectrum Spools/Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Besides the frontline of more fashioned techno makers, who are costantly honing recording techniques and enhancing sounds till the concision of pure frequencies, there's a bizarre rearline of (mainly European) producers and djs who are rediscovering dirty and extremely rough sounds. A detection of historical explanation to this phenomenon could focus on analogous sonic languages such as Detroit techno movement, whose cultural memes could be found in the environment of the first decadent American metropolis, due to the undeniable stylistical propinquity. Such a propinquity is quite clear in the sonic reversed research by Nashville-based producer Ren Schofield aka Container, who flaunts five retrofuturistic tracks on his second LP, osseusly titled "LP". Even if he demonstrates that he can easily handle techno timeless driving forces and brainchildren by many notorious predecessors such as Derrick May, Kenny Larkin, Joey Beltram, Dave Clarke, X-313, Surgeon or even DAF, he prefers a dirtier and rusty sound, which he manages to render by recording it in mono so that it seems he revamped disused old industrial machinery before their final demise. With the exception of the final "Refract" - a devastating electromechanical storm with suffocating fill-in of distorted snare drums and noisy gluts -, most of the tracks have been wisely boned so that their essentiality could remind the overdried structures of some electro-pop relics ("Paralyzed"), the heating coils of the most minimal displays and programming of Detroit techno and acid house ("Perforate", "Dripping") or some industrial techno engines ("Acclimator"). The language which Container's sound trying to translate smells of that kind of archeology of dumped machines (or maybe I'd name it futuristic primitivism) that many listeners could dare to describe as "prophetic".
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Artist: Horror Vacui
Title: In Darkness You Will Feel Alright
Format: 12"
Label: Avant! Records
Rated: *****
Horror Vacui are a band who formed recently in Bologna, Italy. The band members are coming from the crust/hardcore scene (see the bands Kontatto, Campus Sterminii and Sumo) and fascinated by 80s goth and punk rock, decided to "release the bats" and to play mixing elements of Sisters of Mercy, Lords of the New Church and a bit of Misfits, I'd say. Their first album "In Darkness You Will Feel Alright" has just been co-produced by Avant! and band's own Legion of the Dead (sublabel of Agipunk). Opening with the classic "Rosemary's Baby" theme, the album starts off with "Black Rivers" a powerful 4/4 track with tribal drums, strong guitar riffs and bouncing flanger bass guitar lines just to keep on going on a similar track until the end of the album. Personally I've nenver been a fan of goth aesthetic and I think that it's really difficult for a nowaday's band to succeed into re-defining a genre which is so rooted to a specific period and I don't see it possible to revive something like the Batcave scene or so. Horror Vacui, to me, sound powerful and melodic but I don't find them catchy. For sure it's my fault and it's possible that I'm missing something but to my ears their sound isn't fresh. Since it's only a question of taste, you can make your own opinion by checking their album at the label's Bandcamp page at http://avantrecords.bandcamp.com/album/horror-vacui-in-darkness-you-will-feel-alright-lp
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