Music Reviews



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Artist: Tecumseh
Title: Return to Everything
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
There are only 3 tracks on this disc, but they flow together as if they are one. 'When We Loved' is the shortest, at 3.31, with plenty of gritty atmosphere punctuated with distorted beeps and whining tones. I really wanted this to go on for much longer ' definitely my favorite track on the disc. 'Apophis' brings in some nice drone before busting out some nicely distorted guitar, which serves more as atmosphere than as a guitar solo. If you like Fear Falls Burning, this may be up your alley. The label states that this is for fans of Earth, Sunn0))), Lustmord, and Organum. That said, it just doesn't strike me as atmospheric enough to fit in with Lustmord. For me, it got a bit repetitive after a while. 'oakca' finishes the disc with a 13 minute track that takes us on a similar trajectory with slow moving guitars and noisy atmosphere. Overall, I would have to say that this was decent, but it didn't really do much for me. I get the sense that this would be much better live. If you like guitar drone/noise, this is worth checking out, but BlRR has much more interesting offerings to choose from. This disc weighs in at around 25 minutes.
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Artist: Inien (@)
Title: Favoriten
Format: CD
Label: Schraum (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this project before receiving this in the mail. It's a duo consisting of Axel Haller on Bass and Johannes Tröndle on Cello. Now if you think that this is going to be peaceful chamber music, remember where you are reading this review. This is interesting experimental classical. One gets the sense that they are playing the wooden bodies of their instruments almost as much as the strings, as the entire album is washed in a layer of heavy grinding static. At times the bass comes to the fore for some heavy droning resonance. The only issue I saw with this is that it is a bit too minimalist for my taste, as the compositions become repetitive, which is likely a result of having only two artists. If you think Kronos Quartet is too mainstream, this may be one to check out. This disc weighs in at around 47 minutes.
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Artist: May Roosevelt (@)
Title: Haunted
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
It really isn't too often that I get something to review that prominently features theremin. As usual, I had not heard of May Roosevelt, but I had to admit that when the press sheet busted out the work of Jacques Derrida, I had a suspicion that I was in for a pretentious album (at least it wasn't Lacan). Thankfully, it wasn't. Here's how the press sheet describes the album: 'May Roosevelt's new album "Haunted" opens doors to phantoms of the past. The work's eight musical compositions are supernatural entities of modern technology that hover in the air, bursting open the chest of rustic tradition only to be transformed into rhythms of Greek dances.' I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. I had expected some heavy electro-experimental knob twiddling with a lot of bleeps and bloops. This was quite well orchestrated work in which the theremin was simply another instrument in an ensemble of synthesizers, drum machines, and vocals - the main instrument, of course, but this wasn't just some person making science fiction sounds. Rather, she plays the theremin with skill. Nicely packaged in a foil embossed folder. This album weighs in at around 37 minutes.
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Artist: Arturas Bumšteinas (@)
Title: My Own Private Bayreuth
Format: CD
Label: HMK { HotelMariaKapel } (@)
This album has an interesting premise behind it. According to the label, 'In 2009, Bumšteinas ordered tickets for a well known Wagnerfestival that's held every year in Bayreuth, Germany. Upon his request for tickets, Bumšteinas was placed in a nine-year queue. He then decided that, every year he would spend on the waiting list, he would perform his own version of Wagner's 'Ring der Nibelungen.'' I saw that the album was mixed by Jos Smolders, so I was expecting a more experimental feel to it. Bumšteinas brings in a host of other musicians to create his own ensemble, complete with excellent vocals. The overall effect is quite nice, but it is mostly straightforward classical music with some minor elements of noise thrown in. Think of this as the remix of Wagner's Ring Cycle and a condensation of 15 hours of opera down to about an hour. This album weighs in at around 63 minutes
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Artist: Vigilante (@)
Title: The New Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
This fourth album from this outfit from Chile seems like some mainstream hip-hop album: a long list of features from well known bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Strapping Young Lad, Clawfinger, Public Enemy as son on. This could be a careful choice of collaborators in search of new sounds and approach but, more commonly, is a search of a commercial appeal using name of press appeal and this is the file for this album.
After a good intro, this album show his cards with "The New Order": filtered vocals, heavy beats, catchy synth, martial attitude and a pop melody. This album sounds really well: good sound balance, careful master but here relies his greatest flaw: all songs are constructed the same way, from "Prison Break" to "Gone", the true last track because the last four track are almost dancey remix, quite a bonus ep, all the tracks features the same musical format, the only variation is the presence of some heavy guitar to the whole mass. This is not an issue considering all tracks on his own, but, listening to this album as a whole, a sense of repetition or boredom arise because it seems longer than necessary.
This album could be a good choice for dj searching for a new track from their set, or for collector of industrial music, but everyone searching for something new could better search otherwise.
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