Music Reviews



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Artist: Arsine Tibe' (@)
Title: Good evening, the mountain said
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
One leg of the synth-pop duo !Distain, Manfred Thomaser looks like having come back with the tables of the law (or better a 10-track new album!) after some chat with an unknown god smoking and chilling at lounge noir, his imaginary temple arguably hollowed on the side of some high well-mannered mountain (as the title suggests, it should be the same mountain who used to pursue Mohammed, which nowadays due to the fact there're too many pavid mad people who easily call for police to protect themselves even from people who incidentally walk on the same route to get out from a station, it confined itself to merely greet!), through his solo-project Arsine Tibe'. If you didn't know such a sonic semblance and demanour, when Manfred wears Arsine Tibe''s dress, he normally entartains listeners in a less enquiring way without refraining from simple compositional schemes combined with a narrative approach, delicious hooks on some 80ies sonorities. The initial track "Light" dips the sound in the ink of some sacred text by a delicate percussive textures, leavened synth sounds and the spongy vocal performance by Tania Murray (I have to say that the light hypnotical breeze of the song as well as the gentle vocal tune of the singer repeating "give me the light, give me the anime" could induce some of you to post some comics and a lighter to Tania!), whereas the second track plays on the contract between the dim evoked by the title "Darkness" and the general mood of the lyrics and the ethereal shine of the sound close to some stuff by Ataraxia or Cocteau Twins. The simple bassline and some delayed synth-piano of "In My Room At Night" bring gracefully the listener into the oniric dimension where Manfred could have imagined (or just dreamt) the narration, which looks like described as "a stranger's dream" or arguably a possession by "a stranger's mind" by Tania's voice in "Dawn At Night", where the possessed girl ("feeling not like a girl") finds herself in a noisy lounge bar (it's quite bizarre the jump of setting in "Maximum boy", the track describing such a change of scene), which looks like belonging to an undefined past time. I dont' anticipate anything about the way this character reaches its redemption and enlightenment, but it's quite clear this album sounds like a soundtrack of a spiritual journey whose goal is the understanding of the roots of existence. From the stylistical viewpoint, I think that Arsine Tibe' could be considerably enhanced by recurring to less conventional and braver choices, but it's appreciable anyway.
Dec 14 2011
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Artist: DATO
Title: Bangkok
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
After their May debut EP, Denmark duo Dato are back with BANGKOK. The main track is here present in three different version, "Radio", "Extended" and "Extended Dub". The difference between the two extended ones is that the latter hasn't the vocals, so if you're going to purchase only one or two tracks from this release, I'd go for the "Extended" but if I were you, I'd purchase also the only remix you can find here: it's a real nice one made by Casio Social Club. For his track, Justin, pushed the electro pedal to the metal and switched the female choruses with vocoder filtered vocals and added warm synth sweeps. Anyway... "Bangkok" is a great electro funk track with 4/4 rhythms, hand claps, cool female choruses and catchy melodies. It has that cheesy atmosphere that it's perfect for a sexy dance.
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Artist: HYBOID
Title: Where Androids Come To Die
Format: 12"
Label: Astro Chicken (@)
Rated: *****
With his fist album "Aliens ate my Synthesizer!" we knew the most sidereal side of Sebastian Hübert. Tracks like the opening "Madhouse In Space Pt. I" were introducing us to the spacey side of Hyboid, thanks to dreamy melodies and 808 beats. With this new MLP titled WHERE ANDROIDS COME TO DIE, you're invited to attend to the funeral of a robot. As reported on the info sheet, this is the story behing the release: "On a quest for his ancestral roots our hero suffers a CPU arrest. Unable to recover, certain death is only a matter of time". Printed on a special deluxe cardboard, the cover reminds a funeral card and the seven tracks are perfect as its soundtrack. Despite all this funeral thing, I sincerely hope that this isn't meaning that Hyboid won't be no more, because I love both the albums. Musically, if until now Sebastian was using fast arpeggios and upbeat tempos, on all the tracks the rhythmic part is kinda bouncing and energetic but the atmosphere has turned dark and the arpeggios are slowed down, creating in this way, an hypnotic sound that it's captivating but if you want to check something great, put your needle on the final track "Requiem For Hyboid": it is touching and even if it is an instrumental one, it's like hearing thousands of unspoken words. With this MLP, Sebastian, took Hyboid toward new lands and he brought his music to level of people like Klaus Schulze. Rich textures, great analog sounds and catchy melodies will convince you to support this release... Get well soon cyborg!!!
Dec 13 2011
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Artist: Sturqen (@)
Title: Praga
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
Even if this new effort by the Portuguese duo Sturqen made up of Cesar Rodrigues and David Arantes hasn't been titled with the name of some disease (such as Colera and Peste, being this last one the record which gave them some notoriety for the important award of two nominations of the renowned French contest Qwerz Electronic Music as Best Artist and Discovery categories ), Praga - on second thoughts, the Czech capital has a certain je ne sais quoi distinctively morbid but fascinating at the same time - preserves that viral and visceral attitude as well as its acid crumbing already shown in their past releases. The feast of saturated noises, distorsions, disturbances, martial movements and the perpetual ridding with ear-splitting shots combined with funny games on filter's knobs sometimes concocted with bizarre sounds (such as a disquieting scary cheerping in "Orto", the irritating noise of an alarm clock in "Cumando", the scary transposition of a lively farmyard into a set of scary explosions in the final track "60 73" - you can imagine a featuring by some kamikaze little chicks letting them explode to fight the oppressive cock's authority! - and some occasional field recordings...and the ones in the above-mentioned "60 73" are so realistic that you could think some objects could have fallen from the shelves) let think to an imaginary stylistical pollination of industrial technoid grounds with psychedelic seeds. Many tracks (Redima, Orto, Pertal and even Suner, which seems to wink at extreme dancefloors) amidst this cacophonic nebula, whereas these noisy scamps manage to evoke other nice and partially forgotten acts of industrial noise such as Celluloid Mata, Synapscape, Klangstabile and other noiseshapers who shared other glorious stages such as Maschinenfest, but I cannot rule out the possibility some listeners could think these oddities sound too tedious particularly when they excessively stiffen on plug-generated noises in the second part of the release by persuading them to mistrust the rewards Sturqen received for their work. Available both on Cd and as digital download, I reccomend to prefer the first format for the elegant package the appreciated Ukranian label Kvitnu made for Praga.
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Artist: Enrico Coniglio/Under The Snow (@)
Title: Dialogue One
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
I already had evidence about Enrico Coniglio's skills as a landscape musical painter since the times when he issued Topofonie on the Irish label Psychonavigation, a sort of transposition of Venice lagoon, his inspiring birthplace, whose musical "encoding" perfectly sticked to the best ambient and contemporary classical standards thankls also to some important featurers such as Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Nicola Alesini (to mention just of a few of them). In the following releases he just confirmed such an attitude as well as his preferences for wintry suggestions and glacial sonorities and his particular approach to ambient music based on a combination of concrete elements which are often wrapped up in warm or ethereal melodic blankets reoccurs in this split release co-signed by the Italian project Under The Snow for a "dialogical" series of recordings marked by Silentes label. The first of the four tracks signed by Enrico looks like something close to a field recording grabbed by a microphone placed in the middle of a winter windy night or the bugging of an electrical storm, a white noise turning solid, interrupted by occasional sounding lead's bleeps and sputters. You can enhance the listening experience by imagining that Enrico's initial above-described track, titled "Long Distance", is just the necessary musical foreword whereas all the crevices, the sonic ripples, the slight chinks on an imaginary drift ice by whom the composer violates the apparent uniformity of an arctic pack ice become the gates for the following psychedelic breezes's gushing: on "Calls of the White", Rachele's delicate trilling (some of you could think to a sort of quote of vangelis' "Rachel Song") mingles with the entrancing gusts of sonic winds, whose crystalline exhalation make that voice similar to an angelic chant while the gentle sonic melting of "Century Dome" and the harmonic flood of the final "Kingdom Of Her", whose lithe undulations could sound similar to the ones by Fennesz, properly highlights the intimate beauty of this mental journey over icy landscapes. The second half of this record signed by the Italian duo made up of Gianluca Favaron and Stefano Gentile (owner of Silentes): their explorations are equally catching, even if considerably less "enraptured" and more restless than the ones offered by Enrico Coniglio. They prefer to unify different moments of their digging into one very long track they titled "Resonant Cuts", but they choose to run on an imaginary ascending path as well so that the dim lights where they look like roaming a subterranean world under layers and layers of snow (!) rich of many fascinating and disquieting moments, gradually get radiant and radiant.
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