Music Reviews



Artist: GREY HISTORY
Title: Jesus from Las Vegas
Format: CD
Label: Radical Matters
Rated: *****
As you probably already know Grey History is Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi together they've a plethora of releases under their belt, this project alone has arrived at its third chapter. After two records the sound is still the same, is it a mistake? A problem? No way! With Grey Anatomy the two italian artists intentionally follow the same power noise, industrial in your face trajectory. The project is quite clear also if you look at the 7" shaped cover and if you read the song titles: it's always bad taste and ignorance diluted with a great dose of irony and those who can't get it should better leave it, honestly it's sad how a lot of people never got the irony of some industrial folks like Bennet or Whitehouse themselves, sure they're are/have been outrageous and provocative but with a good dose of irony. The sound profile is always top class as you know it happens with two good musicians, also the tracks have the usual good structure, so soft parts, ironic parts and power blasts have been alternated to make you feel like you're jumping up and down on a roller coster with no fasten belt. The song titles are funny as always, you just have just to decide if you prefer a title like "Queers of god" or something like "the diameter of papal rectum".

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Artist: The Arctic Disco Machine (@)
Title: Supernova
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
With so many crap releases around, this 3rd on his own Datarocket Records Junolainen offering stands out like an oasis in the desert. What we have here is an album full of electronic disco and funky tunes, perfectly crafted in its details and enjoyable from the first track to the (hidden ;)) 13th.
Although Kirill lives and works in the cold cities of St. Petersburg and Murmansk, his heart is definitely warm. And so it's his sound: disco grooves driven by funky basslines and clever space themes is an obvious description; but there's more: the beat is old-fashioned (in the good sense of the word), miles apart from the cold mechanical loops that "modern" (see: boring) disco is full of. Bass keys are also dated 80s, with that funkiness of groups like the Dazz Band or Dayton (for example listen to the awesome boogie tune "Apricot From The Lapland" or the phat funk of "Polar Night" and "Flash In The Dark"). Pads and sequences along with the themes refer directly to the 70s and artists like Space and Meco. However all the tracks (recorded between 2009 and 2011) sound fffresh! It would be really tough to pick one as a "desert island tune", but if i had to that would be "Moon And The Stars", electronic disco at its finest and a gem i'm pretty sure Marc Cerrone would have been proud of ;))
This is a 5-stars album, but i give it 4.5 just because i know damn well that Kirill Junolainen hasn't released his 5-star album yet ;) Grab your copy NOW!
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Artist: Erik Carlsson
Title: The Bird and The Giant
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
A provision of subdued delayed bells, sporadic metallic clanging and other percussive muted tolls blended together with a sort of abyssal breathe, arguably derived from the echo of the mentioned bells, which could infer imagination into an almost motionless percussive performer, hitting its instruments while braving the stronf friction by some dense liquid from the bottom of a pool, and quite close to the music which normally accompanies Buddhist or Shintoist rites, of the track wisely titled "Could be emotional" introduce the listener to the second solo album by the talented Swedish percussionist Erik Carlsson. Its interesting experimental appeal travels through different directions: whereas the second track "Heavy rest" shows a more concrete approach - it's funny to imagine Erik playing pinball with his sticks on wooden and metallic percussions -, on the following one "Hope, perhaps feelings" there's another immersion in that kind of sound dilations he arguably manages to record with the support of a multitrack bowing sonorities with that slightly hypnotical suppleness which is going to intrigue the listener. That ritual dimension looks likehaving been reprised in "The dead spirit" where an entrancing crystalline labyrinth of clicks, tolls and drop-like hiccups aregoing to bring the listener into an imaginary cave rich f brightful charmstones. Some sinister white noises or radio frequncies interceptions begin the fifth track "Something else somewhere", where Erik climbs the steepest experimental peaks by subdividing his "subject matter" into microtonal impulses which give the idea of some transmission of a parallel and unknown universe, a rarefaction which reaches its apex in the sixth hidden track and arguably in the heavy breath (sounding more like a snoring with occasional disquieting high frequencies) keeping it separate from the rest of the recording. Highly reccomended listening!
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Artist: Zeit Modelle (@)
Title: Network Virus Killer
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Datarocket Records
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
Until recently (and after 30 years of listening and supporting electronic music) i was pretty sure that Richard Kirk holds the world record for both the most prolific electronic producer and the artist with the countless aliases (ok there's also Pete Namlook and a couple more to challenge him, but i'd definitely vote for Kirk if i had to ;)). I changed my mind when i met in cyberspace Kirill Junolainen, a half Russian/half Finnish (as his first and last name witness) electronic artist, based in St. Petersburg. He sent me a demo of only 4 tracks and he said that if i like them there's more stuff by his good self to share with me. Tunes were sooo great that i replied with enthusiasm and told him to send me all the tracks he had so i can listen to some more fine electronics. Kirill laughed and said that it was impossible to do so because he has written and produced more than... one thousand tracks! Christ! Of course i thought "the man's crazy or something" but he started sending material and the very next moment i had in my hard drive... 2 albums and 4 EPs by Junolainen, all under different aliases! Curious enough to see what this man was talking about i started to listen... I swear to God that until that day i had never listened to so many tracks in a row by one single artist without the need to skip at least one! Kirill told me he has been producing music since 1991 and once more i caught myself wondering how the hell such a great artist with 20 years of activity behind him wasn't already renowned outside the local scene of St. Petersburg and that of Murmansk (his native city, on the north-west of Russia, beyond the Arctic Circle).
I mean take a look at the man's discogs page (http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lazer+Kontinent): 34 albums, 21 Singles & EPs, and we're talking only about his main project, Lazer Kontinent (once a duo-Igor Stepovy left in 2004)! And it's not only the quantity that's impressive (respect to Kirk, but he also did many... crap tracks, in my opinion); til now that i'm writing this review i haven't heard a Junolainen production, either electro, techno, italo-disco or chill-out, of low quality, believe me!
This release, 2nd on Kir's newly founded label Datarocket Records, is no exception. It gathers material written and produced between 2004 and 2007 and it focuses on the man's electro/techno-pop side. Heavily influenced both by Kraftwerk and early Warp, Kirill delivers a compilation of ultimate beauty, filled with danceable brain electronics. Every track is ace, however if i had to choose only one as my fav, that would be the hypnotic opener "Megatron Mensch" ("Megatron Man" in english, like the Patrick Cowley classic). I should also mention the excellent retrofuturistic "Komputerische Modelle" and "Logick" and the trippy Warp-ish "Kvadrat" (but the rest of the tracks are top quality too ;))
If you haven't already experienced the Junolainen sound, do yourself a favour and visit Datarocket's Bandcamp (where this and another 2 releases are available for purchase) or/and check the man's 3 releases on Binalog Productions and the Raw EP on Russian Techno. More to come as his bunker is full of sounds and noises, so stay tuned. This artist deserves your attention!
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Artist: Ogni Videniy (@)
Title: Tajushie
Format: CD
Label: Vetvei (@)
Rated: *****
Last review of the slew of releases received from the Russian Vetvei label (no particular reason it's last; it just worked out that way) is Ogni Videniy's 'Tajushie'. My first experience with Ogni Videniy was on '2137', a collaboration with Six Dead Bulgarians. Although along the same acoustic-ambient lines, this album is quite different. It consists of a single piece only seconds over a half-hour in length. The basic elements used are singing bowls, bells, wind chimes and field recordings of water- lapping, noise washes, etc. There is also some use of voice and other minor unidentified acoustic sounds.

Remember (if you're old enough) those 'Environments' series of LPs from the 1970's? There was one called 'Wood-Masted Sailboat' and there is a degree of similarity in this recording. Throughout the piece you feel like you're afloat, and the bowls/chimes/bells give the impression of a boat's bell or buoy sounding quietly in a gentle wind. Other sounds give the impression of creaking wood or (possible) shipboard nautical activities in places. Still, it has a surreal rather than the realistic quality of the Environments LP, which was an actual recording of a boat on the water. 'Tajushie' is much more open to interpretation, but there is no doubt that this is an aquatic-based ambience, and a relatively calm one at that. There is not the variety of sonics or form that was on Ogni Videniy's '2137' collaboration, but then I don't believe this was intended to explore those regions. The subtlety makes up for it though, and you'll probably find yourself discovering new sounds within the piece you didn't notice at first. It's a nice pleasant trip; perhaps the antidote to land-locked moods. Another Vetvei release packaged in a colorful abstract 6-panel artwork by Vresnit.
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