Music Reviews



cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: E:MF3
Format: CD
Label: PAS Records (@)
This is a pretty good use of a compilation. According to the labels, 'This compilation showcases some of the acts for the Experi-MENTAL 3 Festival taking place on August 5th through August 7th at Goodbye Blue Monday, in Brooklyn NY. We are trying to raise money through selling this compilation to fund the festival. All donations for this compilation will go toward artist transportation, housing, and food.' On to the music. This is a various artists compilation, which are almost always a mixed bag, so I'll mainly touch on the high points. Some of the standout tracks are 'Justine' by Blue Sausage Infant, who throws down a heavy slab of electronic rumble with some spoken word. 'Cloud' by Richard Lainhart is a nice piece of shimmering drone. 'Blatta Blyad' by Violet brings the harsh noise to the compilation. 'Socrates Speaks' by PAS is just plain weird, but in a good way. 'Friday Night' by Use Other Door was nice minimalist soundscape that makes good use of dynamics and quiet. Some seem to not quite fit, like 'Bubble Wrap' by Carey Burtt, which sounds like it would be quite at home on your local college radio station. 'Experimental' by Black Saturn is kind of an odd rap (although let's face it ' it's still better than most of the 40oz driven crap out there these days). Overall, this sounds like it would be an excellent show (although it has already happened). Still, if you see something like this it is a good reminder to support your local experimental music scene. This disc weighs in at around 58 minutes.
cover
Artist: The Jazzfakers (@)
Title: Two
Format: CD
Label: PAS Records (@)
Rated: *****
From the opening lines, the Jazzfakers bring back the funk. At first I thought that this was going to be relatively straightforward jazz ' in short, that they wouldn't be jazzfakers after all. It had a bit of weirdness to it and it was a bit chaotic ' just the way I like my jazz music, but was it really sent to the right outlet for review? This was a bit of a surprise to me as it was on PAS records, the mother ship of the ensemble Post Abortion Stress, which I had reviewed earlier. I need not have worried. As we move into 'Flying Carpet Transport,' we get a sense that this is not the kind of thing you'll hear on your local 'smooth jazz' station anytime soon. They definitely keep it interesting and as we move through the album it gets less and less like traditional jazz all while maintaining a hold on the roots. For example, Kenny G Voodoo Ceremony has some great tribal percussion going on, but this slips into Flower Cacophony which sounds like a more mainstream saxophone solo until it starts mixing with analog synth sounds and gets more and more like John Zorn on Bob Ostertag's 'Attention Span.' The album as a whole walks the line between standard jazz and noisy, crazy improv. Luckily they don't seem to take themselves too seriously and seem to have fun with the music. In short, if you're a fan of jazz and a fan of experimental music, this would definitely be one to pick up. Well done. This album weighs in at around 41 minutes.
cover
Artist: Kamil Kowalczyk
Title: Aurora
Format: CD
Label: Prototyp Produktions (@)
I had not heard of this composer, but this is understandable as this is his CD debut. Here's what we get from the website: Aurora 'contains two long tracks, 'model II' and 'plasma.' The main concept for album was conspiracy theory about Aurora ' a top secret, ultra fast US Military aircraft, also called TR-3B, which has very advanced technology, and special engine driving by plasma.' I have to admit that 'model II,' was far too minimal for my tastes. There were some clicks and crackles, along with some arpeggiated tones that work their way through the piece, but for the most part, we have a few pulsating tone that dominates the track. At about 11 minutes in we shift from a higher tone to a lower tone. This gives you a sense of the glacial shifts in the track. At 32 minutes it didn't really seem to go anywhere. 'Plasma' is much better in my opinion. It is pretty good soothing bass drone that is actually kind of peaceful and hypnotic. It seems to move a bit more fluidly as well, but perhaps this is just in contrast to the previous track. This album weighs in at around 57 minutes.
cover
Artist: Roughhausen (@)
Title: Just In Case U Missed US
Format: CD EP
Label: TinderBox (@)
Rated: *****
When I introduced Someone's Got To Pay, a mini EP issued by Taiwanese imprint TinderBox signed by Roughhausen, a musical creature by former Front Line Assembly member Jeff Stoddard - it's difficult blame his intellectual honesty especially after he declared he begun making music to have access to "an unlimitted supply of meaningless sex and endless trips to the free clinic in a recent interview! -, I've not been too mild while expressing my doubts on their sound. This limited edition (just 500 hundred copies should have been printed) related to their recent US tour, formally addressed to all those ones who missed their concerts, partially makes change my mind on it, as many releases like it are sometimes wanting in "immediacy" when they are frozen in a cd as it's not so easy to transfer the energy they can express on live stage when they record stuff in a recording studio. "Just in Case U Missed Us" - an eloquent title - partially counterbalance the above-mentioned dyscrasia without pretending to be pithy: the five versions of previously issued stuff in different dressings are relevantly more appreciable to grab some of the (not only sexual, if someone just holds on lirical explicit contents) energy this band can liberate. I particularly appreciated Grudge fux mix of "[sic]fuk" - more innervated with sketches of that kind of rhytmical saturated stepping similar to that scary industrial hip-hop close to some stuff by Swamp Terrorists than the original version -, the ferocious beating and electric intertwining of Gutshot mix of "Gut" and the mid-tempo clocking breaks on GutterLords Mix of "The Pinned Man" (the track, in my opinion, which sounds closer when someone runs into the somewhat controversial way of labelling style as "electronic industrial punk"). The final track, Aspire to Mix of "Systemic", is stylistically interesting even if it easily goes over peaks so that distortion on low-frequencies makes it a bit disturbing (not sure if my headphones are dying or what). Check it even if you don't miss them.
cover
Artist: Francisco Lopez (@)
Title: Untitled (2009)
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
Most known for his sound and silence sculptures and for his appreciable minimal electroacoustic escapes, where he often manages to play with the sense of time perception of the listener, the fecund sound forger Francisco Lopez, one of those mad scientists of the sound my ears like to approach with, often scatters sonic seeds in different catalogues. This collection of untitled stuff featuring 14 compositions coated on two cds is his second signature for the little but industrious French label Baskaru, having been the first one an eccentric collaboration with Lawrence English titled HB. Untitled (2009) mainly deals with psychoacoustics and field recordings, but can be thought as a set of sound spells, so that the listener's ear can be easily cheated as Lopez skills in manipulating sounds can achieve the goal of a perfect devilish maquillage of some frequencies in a way they could acquire a semblace of something concrete or different. Massmediologists and semioticians can experience multiple extatic raptures in front of releases like this one, where the liminal point between artificial and real looks like blurred by the possibilities of realistic reproducibility given by musical technology, but I don't suggest such an intellectual and snobbish way of approaching to this kind of works, even if there are many appetizers for speculative minds. You could ask yourself if there's some hidden message or just an echological way for freezing some personal experiences of the author behind some tracks since the very first seconds of the listening, as the biographical note related to Francisco describing him as a genuine globetrotter could persuade some listener to argue that the orchestral and somewhat disquieting snoring you could hear in the first part of "Untitled #220" - including sonic sketches grabbed between 1996 and 2009 in eight different places of the world (San Josè, Koln, Montreal, Riga, Brazilian Amazon, Calakmul in Yucatan, Namtib and Cape Cross in Namibia) and reprised for the first track of the second part, "Untitled #239" (whose sinister pulsations could evoke some scary digital beasts by Scanner or David Toop), are reports of sleepless nights in the noisy dormitory of some hostel where Lopez casually rested located in some remote part of the planet.The above-mentioned blurring effect between what is real, seemingly real and totally artificial is going to be the leitmotiv (or even the pangs) of the whole state of possession the listener is going to experience even when the sonic enviroment sounds more "natural" such as during the listening of "untitled #233" or "untitled #232", whose sonic material has been grabbed at Mamori Lake in the Brazilian Amazon. I personally enjoyed those moments out of a specific context or a geographic localization, when sonic treatments are combined with seemingly static dynamics, attack and decay games, subtonal low frequencies mumbling and compressed overtone effects, where seraphic choirs could sound frightening ("Untitled #221") or short-circuited buzzes or industrial mumbling could sound crystalline or even relaxing (such as in "Untitled #234" or "untitled #222") as well as the relevant 20-minutes lasting track ("Untitled @231") derived from raw material by Phill Niblock, forerunner of psychoacoustics and arguable a miliar stone for Lopez's aural aesthetics. Categories of true, false and verisimilar get mixed up with the controversial effects on listener's senses in a whirling dance where ambiguity turns into something seducing.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761] [762] [763] [764] [765] [766] [767] [768] [769] [770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha