Music Reviews



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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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Artist: Beyond Sensory Experience (@)
Title: Modern Day Diabolists
Format: CD + DVD
Label: cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Over the time, this band moved from the side project of the member of one of the most important bands of the '90s, MZ.412, to the status of one of the project moving dark ambient to new territories. This album is focused on the theme of life in the modern urban world.
The spoken words intro of "Through The Underworld" opens this release with the usual mix of dark ambient and small noises known to all fans of this band. "Hailstone Reactor" is an atmospheric track featuring and extremely clear and open musical spectre. "Modern Day Diabolists" feature the well known dark soundscape of this band while "Between Sleeping And Waking" start with quiet guitar line and marks a sort of departure to the rest of this album "Rapt From Earthly Things" is a glacial soundscape that would inspire a really good video. "Lost In Habblahester" return to dark soundscape that is in the background of this band as "The Testimony Of Memory" while "Geometric Fashion" is an intro to the longest track of this release, "Locating Imaginary Events In Real Place", that features all the development lines of this album track and, so, is a compendium to the musical ideas behind this release.
Even if it doesn't develop any new territories for this genre, it marks another step forward the recognition of this band as one of the most impressive outfit of this genre. It really worths a listen from everyone.

p.s.: This album feature a DVD with two videos (the most remarkable is the Fetish 23's one based upon "Rapt from Eternity Things" that relies on dual images of great suggestion) but, as usual, it's just an add-on to the record.
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anymore
Artist: Inner Vision Laboratory
Title: Perpetua
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
The new release of one of the most recognizable act of this polish label is centred about the idealistic concept of creation seen as a result of an idealistic culture instead of the recognition of a cycle of creation, stagnation and destruction.
"Slowly Dictating Supernovas" is a quiet and long ambient opener heavily relying on female samples while "The Bequest Of Originators" feature some sparse noises to color the dark soundscape. "Consciousness Of Clouds Colliding" is an atmospheric soundscape as "Lifethread". "Frozen Resonance", instead, relies on some dark, or ethereal, sample above the carefully constructed texture. "The Contracts Of Conflict" is based on spoken voices and a martial beat while "Forgetful Cosmos" tries to use the soundscape to escape from the solemnity of this musical structure. "The Chapters Of Ignorance" return on the dark soundscape of the beginning of this release while "A Paradigm Shift" marks the use of more bright sounds above the spoken words that develops the personal vision of this outfit. "Novel Delusion" close this records returning to the classical structure of this genre.
Probably this is not the best album of this moniker nor the most innovative but confirms the musical quality either of this outfit and of this label. Recommended but only to all dark ambient fans.
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