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Artist: Attilio Novellino (@)
Title: Through Glass
Format: CD
Label: Valeot Records (@)
Rated: *****
I given myself the opportunity to listen to this one over several times already and its a little more exquisite with each experience. I'm referring to 'Through Glass' by Attilio Novellino. In this release he crafts amazingly epic scapes of sonic wonder based, at the core, on the concept of light filtering though glass, and how that concept would translate into sound. He chooses sounds and textures and tones to get this across to the listener with flawless precision. The concept shines through like (forgive me) light through glass. Not only does the overall tone and feel of the record fit perfectly with the title, so do the songs with their titles. Pieces like 'A Footpath for Night Dancers,' 'Snapshot of a Loss,' and 'Yosemite's Night Sky' couldn't have been more fitting. Attilio evolves through many different forms herein; from harsher drones, dense textures, tense pads and razor-like tones, to washing, airy, lush atmospheres. It's an all encompassing sonic journey guided by an absolutely poetic mastery of his craft; Attilio Novellino has given a very special gift to the world with 'Through Glass,' one that you'd be sorry to miss.
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Artist: Azurazia
Title: Lowering the Mediterranean, Irrigating the Sahara
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Grautag (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
Rated: *****
Coming from an interesting experiment by Grautag label manager Nicolas Moulin, a French artist and photographer, who actually lives in Berlin where he's trying to develop the idea of a "self-generating" label together with other artistic projects as well as overturn some conventional schemes of music production, Azurazia is a very interesting project, based on a sort of back-propagation process: "Lowering the Mediterranean, Irrigating the Sahara" - the title supposedly has been inspired by Atlantropa, the idea of German architect Herman Sorgel, whom Nazis banned, about the building of a dam on Straits of Gibraltar in order to produce hydro-electric power from the different sea level of the Mediterranean sea and Atlantic Ocean to irrigate dry areas and avoid further desertification of many surrounding lands - should be the soundtrack for a movie, which has not been made yet, a curious way to break the usual progression based on the issue of a book, feeding the plot for a movie, followed by the issue of its OST. Each of four long track has been partitioned in various episodes, whose title recalls the typical partition of a play script or the paragraphs of a book, so that listeners' imagination could be driven in the funny process of self-building of a possible plot, whose setting should be the place where the involved sound artists, Vincent Epplay, Pharoah Chromium, and Arnaud Maguet, grabbed most of the samples and field recordings to feed their sound banks, Morocco. Even if music includes many hooks and references to Moroccan traditional music, ritual dances and field recordings, it's quite different from projects which enclosed those sonorities such as Raksha Mancham, Amira Saqati, Master Musicians of Joujouka or other artists of Barraka El Farnatshi's roster due to its cinematic structure and the continuous contamination of drones, ambient and electronic sounds, which act as an adhesive of different sonic sketches, which pass through listeners's mind in a riveting way, just like the scenes of the supposedly forthcoming movie.
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Artist: Marielle V Jakobsons
Title: Glass Canyon
Format: CD
Label: Students Of Decay (@)
Distributor: Experimedia Ltd
Rated: *****
Since the beginning of this lovely recording, Oakland-based sound artist and violinist Marielle V.Jakobsons aka Darwinsbitch takes the listener by the hand and moves him in the warm chillness of "Purple Sands", where crystalline gusts, a low-frequency electronic buzz, granular pulses, placid piano strokes cradle listeners and gentles their solitary mental twirls through her quiet violin tunes which emphasizes this charmingly rustic idyll till the final sonic gurgling and the faint dramatic tension added by piano, inaugurating a listening experience where the uncommon interplay between violin and analog synths lead to intriguing sonic excrescence, whose sidereal romance, a certain emotional uniformity and a shaded solipsistic feeling never gets too woeful, even when the musical atmosphere looks like clouding over such as in trach like "Cobalt Waters" or "Shale Hollows". I'd say Marielle's sound in "Glass Canyon" is more contemplative indeed and when her gentle violin sprinkles the sonic space, it's like she blows on a dandelion's seedhead, which settles like snow on different elements evoked by other voices, so that an ocean could appear not so different from a desert.
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Artist: Four Tet (@)
Title: 128 Harps b/w 128 Harps (Anthony Naples Remix)
Format: 12"
Label: Text Records
Rated: *****
So often it seems like the real virulent strains of dance music's DNA are most visible in the 12" format. They're quick and easy to produce, and it gives the DJs something to hold on to. When coming to grips with the status of Techno worldwide, one must take into account what is actually being played in the clubs, what're people dancing to.

Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden, has been releasing a string of 12"s in anticipation of his newest long-player, Pink, released digitally on August 20th via Hebden's own Text imprint, and will be released on CD in Japan on August 22nd on Hostess Entertainment. On "128 Harps" Four Tet expands upon his glorious glowing signature sound, beats that could've been sourced from the electric company with millions of myriad mechanical intricacies that whirl around yr head like a cloud of gnats, and gets a little low-down, a little funky. "128 Days" is built around a clobbering bass-line that would sound at home on some of Scuba's recent Techno forays, but off-kilter and full of freaky syncopations. The negative spaces of the prime beat are filled with the ringing harp sounds that are the record's namesake, and it sounds like walking around in a music box museum in yr dreams. The two main elements are fleshed-out and surrounded by precise clicks and whirrs that just go to show that while this may be some of Hebden's more dance friendly work in a while, his music still demands some headphone devotion.

The B-side is a tasty remix from Anthony Naples, a DJ from New York's Mister Saturday Night club, who straightens out the beat to create a tribal-tech stomper, that sounds like an electro party under the sea. Churning organ repetitions mix with plasticine 606 percussion to create something that is both ancient and modern.

Four Tet is a great example of a new breed of electronic artist, that is not afraid to cop from every source, borrowing stratagems from Dubstep, Drum 'n Bass, minimal wave electro, and abstract hip-hop to create the ultimate groove mechanism. Production is tight and sharp on this one, and i can hardly wait for the full-length to drop.
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Artist: Cyprien Busolini, Frantz Loriot (@)
Title: VIOLAtwoVIOLA
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Although it cannot be missing inside an orchestra or a chamber music ensemble due to the recognisable timbre and the primary role in filling middle tones of harmonies, whose peculiarity was known amidst legendary musical geniuses, viola has never reached the notoriety of other members of its family such as cello or violin. One of the possible explanation could be its dimension as it's smaller than a cello, but bigger than a violin, so that lutists must customize it after taking musician's measurements. Therefore even compositions for this instrument, particularly for soloist, are quite limited, but I'm wondering how this duo of skilled violists, made up of Frantz Loriot and Cyprien Busolini, managed to go beyond "limits" of their instruments by extracting uncommon sounds during their funny interplay. The nervous and slow scrubbing on the overstressed strings and strident noises they make with their bows after a dozing opening, which sounds quite similar to a snoring, could recall to mind a fierce dispute between shouting people, before storms gradually die down, just like their instruments have been completely exhausted by heated quarrel. The second track is even more funny and bizarre: in the first part it seems they are on the point of destroying their instruments by turning pegs or sawing strings till the moment they almost give voice to their poor violas, which look like a dog in the act of baying and yapping while forcedly dragged on leashes. The third and final track starts with a noise which could let imagine someone while striking a match, but before and during their interplay blazes up (...and it's so confusing their way of treating viola that you could think they're playing an electric guitar or a distorted shuriken!), they fiddle with (or maybe I'd better say they put on endurance teest) their violas.
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