Music Reviews



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Artist: Gianluca Becuzzi
Title: Trax To Trax
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
Most of devoted fans of this master from Italian avant-electronics scene should already know many tracks which have been included in this double-cd collection of recordings and every connoisseur of that scene should immediately realize the connection between its title and the glorious Italian tape label Trax by mail artist, music critic and expert on countercultures Vittore Baroni and the late lamented eclectic artistic Piermario Ciani. The most "flamboyant" tracks - due to their remarkable length - perfectly exemplify the network-based operational philosophy of Trax: the first one is the long-lasting, estranging and really evocative "Rednight", inspired by the notorious novel "Cities of the Red Night" by William S.Burroughs and partially based on the original version, a collage of edits, samples, spoken words, overdubbing and noises from different artists and musicians, who took part to the first Trax convention, held in Bertiolo in 1982, having recourse to a plenty of techniques such as cut-up or detournement, which have largely been applied to avantgarde and industrial releases of that age; the second one is "Where Angels Can't Land", representing in Becuzzi's own words "a sort of semi-controlled application of the aleatory theories of John Cage" for the way this track has been assembled, whereas each involved artist/musician - Simon Balestrazzi, Fabio Orsi, Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions), Pietro Riparbelli (K11) and Rod Summers (VEC Audio) - recorded a track for each base they received from the central operational unit (Becuzzi himself), which organised all sonic contributions according to a sort of radial scheme, where the peripheral units "interacts" only with the central one. Other tracks are equally interesting: halved track "All Frontiers Anthem" easily collides with listener's eardrum with the combination of heavy thumps and very piercing acute sounds, while "Unspeakable" is the moment when post-industrial languages sounds like winking at old-fashioned dark (and even folk...) tastes. The only unreleased track, the final "Untouchable", is an immersive dark-ambient track, where Becuzzi inserts buzzing and cutting sounds into a spooky and somewhat ghastly magmatic pool.
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anymore
Artist: Binalog Frequency (@)
Title: Late Night People
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Distributor: bandcamp
Rated: *****
After listening to 'Late Night People', Binalog Frequency's 5th solo album, many times over, very carefully, it became apparent to me that this album actually feels like it's some sort of a 'statement'. Like a personal journey but with everyone invited. That could explain the title too (in my mind).
Binalog Frequency has his own distinct sound, that has been documented through his solo albums and remixes. Once again, in top form, 'Late Night People's core is all about the 'groove' within the Detroit techno/electro sonic work-frame. The tracks are powerful with very carefully constructed/programmed techno beats, thumping, catchy basslines, and mood-setting pads, clean and direct arrangements, and even some 'techno - dub' experimentations that add an extra special vibe to the album.
As a whole, the listener gets a feeling that below the 'in your face' grooves, that are the driving force, there is an undercurrent of introspection, that makes all the difference. This album is a keeper. A solid, techno beat-driven, powerful collection of tracks, guaranteed to satisfy your electro/techno needs.
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Artist: 300 Basses (@)
Title: Sei Ritornelli
Format: CD
Label: Potlatch (@)
Rated: *****
People who ignore layout of basses on accordions - for example Stradella accordion, which is the most common one, has 120 bass buttons, even if most of musicians doesn't really need all of them to play all bass notes and corresponding chords - could find the name of this interesting project as well as the name of their recording "Sei Ritornelli" (Italian for "six refrains") quite misleading as even though this trio of accordion players, made up of Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Jonas Kocher and Luca Venitucci, often explore lower parts of audible spectrum, they don't play basses. Focusing on this instrument and their renewed versions - just in these days, I received an invite to the sixth edtion of International Festival of Digital Accordion, which is scheduled on 3rd November and is going to be held in Rome - could be equally misleading as they integrated a number of "objects" in the line-up during the 3-days lasting recording session at L'Arc Romainmotier (Switzerland), so that you shouldn't expect revised version of Tyrolean folk songs at all. The long initial recording "Fuoco Fatuo" sounds like the typical intro of improv music sessions, where the players looks like tuning their tools, but layer after layer their scouring on the lowest part of accordion's frequency band turns into something pleasantly relaxing, when it's suddenly broken by harshest squeaks of the following track "Abbandonato", whose strident noises could be tiresome if they would haven't inserted some variations. The accordion sound is clearer in the sinister and somewhat obsessive cycles of "Gira Bile", which could remind the noise of a not so perfectedly oiled rusty mechanism, whereas it's partially masked by hypnotic bass oscillations, chilling metallic cacophonies and clattering slides on "Mala Carne". Whereas the trio migrates towards highest frequencies on "Maledetto", a sort of inverted tuning compared to the initial "Fuoco Fatuo", the final "Fantasma" - the track I liked more - shows a gluier amalgamation between accordions.
Sep 11 2012
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anymore
Artist: Imiafan (@)
Title: Old School Surprise
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten
Rated: *****
Out tomorrow for the Swedish label Belaten on tape and digital format, "Old School Surprise" is a new EP by Imiafan. Containing five new tracks, this new EP is a bit more raw and cold compared to the MLP "Neurozone" that I reviewed few weeks ago. On this tape, there aren't catchy synthpop intuitions like there were on tracks like "Is It Fiction?". Now, the atmospheres are even more cold: try to imagine a mix of Suicide meet Die Form that cover Daf songs. Helped by Sololust on "The Ballroom" (vocals and lyrics), by Charles Kent on "Old School" (mix and arrangements) and by Mikke (he took care of the first three tracks in the studio), Imrich Vegh is bringing to the audience five cold analog synth tunes influenced by early electro industrial e.b.m. Hard beat rhythms, analog filters and synth noises form an intricated web of sounds that are able to catch the attention of the audience in no time. Check the whole release and purchase it at this link http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/old-school-surprise
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Artist: Chrysalide (@)
Title: Don't Be Scared, It's About Life
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Tender words to traders and their indulgente money-feeders ("Traders Must Die"), attempts of sweet awakening media-addicted sleepwalkers and middle-class insouciance despite awareness of media manipulation about "reality" ("Let's Talk About This During Dinner", but I'd say their wise cover artwork refers to media control and the typical master/puppet relation between people who control media and their unaware victims), feeling of solipsism and withdraw in front of widespread acceptance of the state of things ("Not My World"), redeeming escape attempts ("Give Me Somthing Stronger"), refusal of homologation ("Rest In Silence My Friend", "They Won't Get Us"), memories of pure love ("LoveTape"), saga-like dramtic stages of anti-heroic teeny personal growth ("Lizzie And The Charming Prince", "Lizzie In Toxicland") and other themes digged by this French industrial band by brothers Sylvain "Syco" and Arnud "Arco" Coeffic could be considered as cliches for the musical and cultural fields they cross over, but the way they melt them, a fusion between industrial standards (particularly KMFDM and Skinny Puppy), a ferocious digital hardcore approach (a la Teen Age Riot) and contemporary hybrids such as nu metal, neurotech or grime dubstep, don't deserve the assumed unconcern (their album has been introduced as "2011's best CD that no one wrote about"...) related to their first European issue. Canadian label Artoffact recognised their talent and decided to let their product land in North America through an edition which five bonus tracks, including their raging cover version of Pink Floyd' hit "Another Brick In The Wall", the hitting tracks "All Guilty" and "Freakout", the above-mentioned "Lizzie In Toxicland" and "We Are Fod For Worms" - one of my favorite track of the whole album -, which mentions a notorious line by professor John Keating on Peter wseir's "Dead Poets Society". Chrysalide could have gained more visibility on underground press, but maybe it needed to be fed more to turn into a butterfly.
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