Music Reviews



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Artist: AC Prodz (@)
Title: Spyhole
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Beat Machine Records (@)
Rated: *****
Eux, the first stage of what Milan-based producer and one leg of Exprezoo Records Alberto Campi aka AC Prodz defined a musical story, didn't particularly thrilled me due to the fact he used too much hacneyed sounds, even if its concept was quite interesting. Its follow-up, "Spyhole", definitively sounds more interesting: his sonic research keeps on focusing on contrast between melody and "rhythmic noise" as well as on perceptions of contrasts between the illusion of movement and an almost static and somewhat confused evolutionary process he grabbed in the Italian capital of fashion, but he seems to tip the scales in favour of melody and contemplative moods this time. A certain feeling of forthcoming perturbation and epic upheavel permeates the first track, "Dither Class A", where microscopic bleeps looks like being flattered by the symphonic impetus and the delicate flurry of Ying Huang's violin, while the following "Dither Class B" smells like airy cosmic steams by Vangelis by means of an heartbeat-like muted beat within fluffy melodies, which sound like inflated in the lukewarm computational reverie of "Wi Fi". Pleasurable abstract and melancholic cameo.
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anymore
Artist: Inter-Connection
Title: Life
Format: CD
Label: A Different Drum
Rated: *****
"Life" is the third album by Inter-Connection and it's their second one to be released on the A Different Drum's VIP series. As for the other releases of this series, three hundred copies have been printed, two hundred sent to the subscribers plus one hundred have been delivered to the band. Inter-Connection are formed by three members who live in three different countries and whom write their music sharing sounds and ideas through the net. Revital Ben Hemo, vocals, is from Acco/Israel, Giuseppe Calandrini, vocals and lyrics, is from Rome/Italy and Rene' Tebbe, composer, producer, synths, is from Hannover/Germany. I read on their Facebook page that they already have finished their fourth album "Strange World" and that they are looking for a label, but let's focus on "Life" now... The album contains twelve tracks and one remix (to tell the truth I dunno if they sent me some extra tracks as the rear album cover on their website has eleven tracks on it) and it's in balance from catchy synth-pop with dance influences, electronic melancholic ballads and cool dark electro pop tunes. The album opens with one catchy one sung by Revital, titled "Synthetic Love". This one, along with "Tie Me Up" (one of the dancey ones), "Traveling" and "How Do You Feel" for me are the highlights of the album but there are also tracks like "Nightmare" (an electro ebm/synth pop monster made out of hard beats and bouncy bass lines), "Red Lights" (a nice synthpop song in balance from 80s and 90s) or "Gone Bad" (an electro dance anthem sounding so Swedish 90s synthpop) which will satisfy your synthpop needs.
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anymore
Artist: Ubik (@)
Title: Circadian Rhythm, Sleep Disorder
Format: CD
Label: FARMACIA901 (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Farmacia901 is, according to the press release, dedicated to "sleeping disorders. ['¦] Insomnia is the most common among the most known and clinically studied disorders. ['¦] It consists in awakening only with the mind, while for some time the body remains asleep". Musically speaking this is resolved with heavily processed guitar aiming to reach almost ethereal atmospheres.
The longest track "Irregular Sleep Wake (Tryptophan)" opens this release in a quiet way until the guitar take the scene with his delay above a glitchy beat. "Delayed Sleep Phase (Melatonin)" use sparse notes and carefully chosen effects while "Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (Light Therapy)" uses, instead, reverbs and resonances to depict the dreamy atmosphere of this album. "Hypnic Jerk (Zeitgeber)" is based on almost irregular rhythms while "Suprachiamastic Nucleus (Barbiturates)" is a drone acting as a canvas for the guitar to color. "Sleep Paralysis (Amitriptyline)" feature an hypnotic guitar loop below the small noises and the guitar notes. "Bruxism (Biofeedback) close this release in a fully restructured mode as guitar and effects are in a fully dialectical mode.
Instead of being a mere window dressing, the linear notes are a way to enter into the complex musical offer of this artist. In my opinion, this is one of the albums of the year. Recommanded.

p.s.: all the track are denoted with this scheme: Disorder (name of the therapy)
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Artist: Ossie (@)
Title: Ignore
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub
Rated: *****
Unlike many other beatmasters, East London-based producer and dj Ossie Aneke doesn't suffer from artistic incontinence, but he mostly likes to ration energies in order to concentrate them and his remarkable panache on true sonorhythmical gemstones, so that he still manages to stand out of an overcrowded scene, which finds it hard to let emerge authentic talents due to the proliferation of releases, which normally tag along the sound in vogue. Ossie seems to prefer the "little but good" policy and after a couple of successful hits - "Tarantula" and "Set the Tone" -, he comes back with a pair of impressive tracks: both of them are still imbued with garage-house sonorities, but beside the captivating beat-juggling on wisely built rhythmical patterns, mainly lying on back-and-forth broken beats and amazing shuffles, Ossie dashes some catchy preciosities. On "Ignore (Yes I Did)", a song about the battle games between opposite sexes, performed by Tilz on mic, Ossie adds pungent acidolous basslines and rolling snare drums to rise dynamics, while on B-sided "Find It", he sticks a Balearic guitar arpeggio on the pan-fried sequence of chords and effected vocals, which let play at full gallop in the end after he tried to draw in the reins. Proper stuff to let dancehalls wiggle on.
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Artist: Fescal (@)
Title: Alchemical Wanderings
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
Fescal (real name David Suyeong) is an experimental musician and producer of audio, self-taught graphic designer, photographer and visual creator residing north of Seoul, South Korea. Classically trained as a musician, Fescal has worked with various forms of exploratory media for a number of years and plans to continue to do so in the future. The first thing you'll notice about 'Alchemical Wanderings' is the elaborate packaging. It comes in a see through anti static bag with hand-stamped metallic tag. (Something you'd expect to get an electronic component in, like a circuit board or hard-drive.) It also comes with a 5'³ screw capped pyrex test tube containing a secret TRS blend of semi precious and precious metals, glass and other transposed particulate matter, litmus paper, periodic table of elements, and instructions for 'Exercise 73,' Qualitative Separation of Lead, Silver and Mercury. The CD itself comes in a hand-worked black digipak. This package is numbered and limited to only 100. (Mine was #7, if you care.)

Science kit aside (although it makes a nice collectible) the album is ambient much in the way of Alio Die, Vidna Obmana, and maybe to an extent Brian Eno, and yet in places unlike them too. While not dealing strictly in drone, the album has an overall placid feel with elongated sustain of atmospheres that can be construed as drone-like. There is one long track (50:30) comprised of episodes with brief space between them. There is enough variety between these ambiences to keep things interesting and non-monotonous. In fact, as drone-based ambient albums go, this one leans toward the superb side. There is only one problem- throughout the album is the (faux) sound of vinyl on a turntable, as if you're listening to a record instead of a CD, or a record that was transferred to CD. Purists may find this quite annoying. On my first listen I found it so distracting that it was all I could think about. I remembered why I stopped listening to my ambient albums on vinyl, as over time the snap, crackle, pop just became a nuisance and distraction. I'm sure it was Fescal's intention to incorporate the vinyl listening experience into the sound of 'Alchemical Wanderings,' but to me it seems as though the purpose would have been better served releasing it on record rather than disc and let it occur naturally. The one advantage is that it won't get any worse or more predominant as it could on vinyl. If the music wasn't so subtle I could abide it, but there is no question that the stylus-on-plastic effect cannot be easily overlooked. Perhaps over time and repeated listenings one may become used to it, but I for one would have preferred a cleaner sound.

Still, this is a worthy effort, and probably worth owning as its limited release and unusual packaging will assure this one increases in value over time.
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