Music Reviews



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Artist: Nux Vomica and Voice of Eye (@)
Title: Fire of the Unitive Path: Three Rivers
Format: CD
Label: Auricular Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Nux Vomica, but I have enjoyed Voice of Eye for quite some time. There are the expected ethno-ambient and tribal sounds that one would expect, but there is also a bit of dissonance throughout that keeps it from sounding too sanitized. This is more experimental than I have heard Voice of Eye, so it is reasonable to assume that Nux Vomica is bringing out that side of things. The experimental quality is to be expected, as the liner notes state that this is 'part one of a continuous improvisation recorded on September 17, 2009.' The press sheet that came with the disc states that they 'have been involved in countless collaborative improvisations over the years and this is the first one that can be released in its full, unedited form, making it something remarkable.' All I know is that I would have very much liked to have been there to hear this live. From the opening track, 'The First Gate,' we hear lush atmosphere and female vocals that would be quite at home on the old Hyperium 'Heavenly Voices' compilations. 'House of Water' becomes a bit too repetitive for my taste, despite its slowly shifting, evolving sound. 'River of Heaven' is an odd mixture of space-age electronic atmosphere and lilting vibraphone-like music. If Harold Budd and Hafler Trio had to collaborate on a track, I imagine it would be something like this. 'Water Wheel Treaders' would fit well alongside Coil's 'Musick to Play in the Dark,' with its atmosphere and relentless, repetitive melody. 'Tripod of the Elixer' is, by contrast, a slow moving track with waves that crescendo and decrescendo as a bubbling soundscape boils beneath the surface. 'Golden Elixer of Immortality' is a wonderfully peaceful track with soothing female vocals and sparse synth pads. 'Original Awareness' slowly shifts gears, becoming a dark, claustrophobic track that would suit a good horror film. Overall, this is quite enjoyable. This disc weighs in at about 46 minutes.
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Artist: Chris Connelly
Title: How This Ends
Format: CD
Label: Lens Records (@)
Rated: *****
I have to admit that I have not thought about Chris Connelly for a while. I have a fair amount of material with which he has been connected. If you were interested in industrial music in the late 80s and 90s it was hard to avoid him. In my collection alone, I have Acid Horse, PTP, Ministry, Murder Inc., Pigface, and he's been involved with other acts ranging from Revolting Cocks to Whitehouse. The musicians that assist in this effort are likewise diverse: Izi Coonagh (Sugar Bullet), Tania Bowers (Via Tania), James Marlon Magas (Magas, Lake of Dracula), Gordon Sharp (Cindytalk), Zak Boerger (These Wonderful Evils), Bill Rieflin (R.E.M., Ministry, Swans), Brent Gutzeit (TV Pow), Sanford Parker (Minsk, The High Confessions), David Levine (Mucca Pazza).

Musically, the closest comparison I can come up with right now is Current 93's amazing 'I Have a Special Plan for This World' or 'In a Foreign Town in a Foreign Land,' with their mix of spoken word and weird ambient atmosphere. I suppose this is somewhat fitting since Connelly dedicates the album to David Tibet and Gordon Sharp. According to the press sheet that came with the album, this is more a long poem performed by Connelly and collaborators than it is traditional songs. This is also not exactly feel-good kind of music. The press sheet notes that 'How This Ends is about death, genocide, homicide by corrupt powers upon innocents. It's about the people who didn't make it, the ones who either tried, or were taken by surprise.' The opening lyrics give an idea of what you are in for: 'The bloodflow moves like jagged ants in the strobe of the conflicted sunset.'

There are two tracks on this album, simply titled 'How This Ends (Part One)' and 'How This Ends (Part Two).' Part one is all over the place, with female spoken word that reminds me of the vocalist on Coil's 'The Angelic Conversation' alternating with male vocals (Connelly) at others. We have freakout John Zorn-like saxophone mixed with pulsating industrial soundscapes and analogue sounds. Add to this a lilting piano theme that runs throughout. If this sounds a bit disjointed, it only seems so. This hangs together well and pulls you in until it clubs you over the head with screaming and noise at an increased volume, which then gives way to the piano and calming spoken word. Part Two is much more traditional for the most part, sounding more like murder ballads with acoustic guitar. Overall, this is quite enjoyable, and makes me interested to hear more of his recent output. This album weighs in at 51.36.
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Artist: Clutter (@)
Title: Yellow Light Discarded
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Clutter, nor the other work of Shaun Blezzard. According to his website, 'all tracks were improvised using laptop, iPhone, Nintendo DS and effects then edited and mixed.' Field recordings also figure prominently. 'Yellow Light Discarded' uses a field recording of rain on a balcony in Plymouth and 'On Your Parade' uses sounds taken from Dalton Parade. The latter is particularly interesting as we hear chirps and high pitched drone mixed with police sirens. The result is rather engaging. 'Yellow Light Discarded,' on the other hand, sounds a bit like what you would expect Vidna Obmana to come up with. Calming synth mixed with the sounds of rain. 'Pollen and Scatter' continues the ambient synth vibe. It's nice, but not as engaging as the previous tracks until it begins to get a bit more noisy and chaotic toward the end. 'The Edge of Possible' is pleasant drone that kind of faded into the background; the silence is what made me aware that it had ended. Not too bad overall, although at times it seems a bit too new age for my tastes. This album weighs in at about 21 minutes.
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Artist: Lazy Late Kids
Title: Francis And Friends
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Basserk (@)
Rated: *****
After almost a year from their debut, Lazy Late Kids are back with a new EP titled FRANCIS AND FRIENDS. Coming from the fourth chapter of the Some Tunes compilation series, "Francis" has been remixed by four label's mates: Bronstibok, helped by Mc Complex, created a dance grinding track with catchy vocals, Aerotronic opted for stop and go formula with lfo filters on the wild, Klipar focused on a dubstep/pistolpop approach and Jey Key for sudden stops with reverbs, long pauses and exaltation of the key melodies. The release doesn't have only remixes, you can find also two original instrumental tunes: "Revenge" sounds as Lazy Late Kids were remixing themselves, because it recalls a bit the structure of "Francis", "Crusader", instead, has classic grinding bass lines along with cinematic strings/cembalo section and it sounds like a distorted dance version of a Morricone track.
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Artist: Diversant:13
Title: Glamour & Pathos
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Synthematik (@)
Rated: *****
Hellectro is always same-sounding, repetitive, monotonous and at least boring. Really? Come on, guys, and give this new talent hailing out of Belarus a fair chance. They of course do not re-invent the wheel of a car, but what they do here, sounds harsh, with passion and dedicated to the subject. 4 original tracks are featured here, plus 6 remix works by projects out of the Russian Harsh Electro/Industrial underground-scene with names like ZWEIFELHAFT, [DE:SOURCE], PSYQ, DIRTY BIRD 13, NANOBIOTICS, or that pure cover version on the title track by UNGRACE, which adds a rocking Crossover-feeling to the hard, straight-forward produced music. What counts is the sound, the energy and the sweat spent into the production of their own compositions and DIVERSANT: 13 are acting like a hurricane, which blows away the mediocrity out of too many artists in this genre. 'C*NT (feat. Miss13)' is a linear EBM-tune, which offers a bizarre sound vocal performance by the female guest vocalist Miss13. The track 'Electroscum, Inc.' additionally comes out raw, with some raging guitar riffs, and can be counted as being the most forward-moving tunes. The bass lines and the straight beat-work of this quartet are sweaty and breathtaking, while the difference to some central-European substitutes lays in the language, and a bit in the kind, how they perform their abrasive vocals. Thematically surprisingly not reflecting the deeds of the next mass-murderer, this quartet offers a nasty essay about the typical scene-affectation by its patronages ' although I don't speak Russian/Belarusian languages. 'Glamour And Pathos' is a promising first release for them, and they should be able to continue in this style. Thrilling enough produced to kick multiple, better-known projects out of the stadium, keep on rawking!
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