Music Reviews



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Artist: Simon Balestrazzi (@)
Title: A Rainbow In My Mirror
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Magick With Tears (@)
Rated: *****
The sketch of the skeleton belonging to some Siamese twins is a becoming dress for the first tangible self-titled release by Simon Balestrazzi, one of the most prolific sound forger, mainly known as the only enduring member of the notorious exmperimental and industrial Italian cult band T.A.C. (acronym of Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata, i.e. what is known in English speaking countries as "computerized axial tomography", a notorious diagnostic test, a bizarre name marking some of the most interesting combination between progressive-rock and industrial gothic) and former member of Kirlian Camera. Such a pertinence hangs on the circumstance A Rainbow In My Mirror has been completely recorded in two "twin" but mirrored moments - autumnal equinox in 2009 and vernal equinox in 2010 -, surgically joined together in one 21 minutes-lasting trance inducing track, whereas the whirligig of sounds departing from a sort of drone built on piercing and almost cacophonic sounds interrupted by a panting breath and flowing into a sort of cloudy organ - including one prepared toy psaltery (!), the glorious MS-20, many field recording (really disquieting some vocal childish ones appearing in the middle of the sound storm), arguably processed through Bidule, a funny modular music software, developed by Plogue - becomes gradually more vortical even if it seems possible to recognize the transition from an equinotial day to the following one when some natural sounds burst into the sonorous space previously crossed by metallic rushes, clanging hums and other sinister presences. Simon shows a considerable talent as sound-weaver and although many moments could sound quite abrasive, the bountiful way by which he fasten together the manifest esoteric aspect of this product and the stylistical exploration into one creature is somewhat interesting.
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Artist: DAYBEHAVIOR (@)
Title: Silent Dawn
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
SILENT DAWN is the newest Daybehavior digital single which works as an appetizer to their third album titled "Follow that car!", which will be released soon. The single contains the excellent original version of "Silent dawn", a mid tempo synthpop song with a bit of melancholy and seductive elements where powerful synth pads coupled to epic leads melodies create a great background for Paulinda's vocals. The first mix is by Parallox and they turned the song into an upbeat dancey synth tune with house intuitions. Paramaterial on their version enhanced the dramatic atmospheres thanks to strings and piano, then they added nice 4/4 drum beats and bass arpeggios. People Theatre mix sounds retro and catchy with bass arpeggios, piano arrangements, synth strings and upbeat tempos. It's the fourth time I listen to this release in a row and I'm not tired of it yet. A sure hit!
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Artist: Saints of Ruin (@)
Title: Glampyre
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Even if vampires are not my favorite monsters at all as I think zombies are remarkably nicer and widespread in contemporary society - just try taking underground in the morning time and you'll meet some of them, mostly wearing elegant suites holding briefcase and showing stinking breath off especially when they forgot brushing their teeth after they overate garlic bread the night before! -, I have to admit these fearful creatures are sometimes quite good rockers besides being more thorough in the choice of garment and arguably cosmetic as well. I'm not sure the American gothic band Saints Of Ruin tried to introduce a new entry in the Bestiary (maybe themselves?) even if songs like Love Dies or Slow Poison looks like some possible explanations of what could give birth to such a dreadful species and a song like Fire (the one I like most) could act as a comprehensive glossary of this clan, collecting words and concepts ("Religion/in the midst of the night/Incision/cuts the party on the right/Decisions/made profiting on high/Collision/pushes masses to a fight"...and so on...), but I do appreciate their plain way to rock the gothic scene. Their music sounds suitable, glamour(vampyr)esque - an important role has been played by the great "nordic" voice by Ruby Ruin in the musical cauldron - and austere at the same time without wanderings from the point. It shows a fancy for tidy rock structures and you can say everything except scolding for some technical mistake - maybe just guitar sometimes looks like getting bogged down -. You could consider it a merit, but also a sort of want, if you're seeking more experimental hooks in the scene. Every elements look in the right place to me, but I'm pretty sure they'll dare more in the forthcoming future. It's better not to be too draconian. Be patient and give them the time to suck more delicious blood to make up their sound!
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Artist: John Zorn
Title: Interzone
Format: CD
Label: Tzadik
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
A statement not often heard in regards to Tzadik releases: this is one of the most wholesome musical experiences audible on the label. Even if you aren't a Burroughs devotee but enjoy Zorn, you'll enjoy this one.
The album actually covers a huge array of aesthetic directions, drawing from a portion of the Masada band but also delving into some unprecedented sonic art territories. As to be expected, it's all virtuosic all the time, but one thing to note is how organic and naturally flowing the entire album is. In a seamless way, it crosses the borders of free jazz, ambient, sound design and Zorn's trademark genre "..?" in a single pass.

Featured personnel: Zorn (sax), Medeski (keys), Ribot (guitar), Dunn (basses), Baptista (percussion), Mori (electronics), Wollese (the rest). Stellar performances. And huge friggin props to Chippy for another speechlessly inspiring graphic design package. This alone validates picking up the disc over the mp3s. Words cannot do her work any justice.

A thing to note about reviewing this album. It can't really be captured accurately in less than a 10 minute verbal diatribe at the very least- do yourself a favor and pull up some excerpts online if at all curious. This is a very real journey that is very welcome in this age of single track experiences.

In the meantime, there are three Interzones, each serving a different purpose upon arrival and all of which are musical journeys unto themselves. Tzadik continues to climb the mountain of ingenuity, and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Jun 16 2011
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Artist: IMPAKT
Title: Resonant Escape
Format: CD
Label: Solar One Music (@)
Rated: *****
After his CD released last year by the 'Solar One Music' sublabel 'Unhoerbar', Jorgen Indal (a.k.a. Impakt) is back on the main label with 'Resonant Escape'. The new CD contains fourteen tracks that balance electro, techno, i.d.m., breakbeat and acid. Most of them sound like mid tempo soundtracks suspended in time. 'Spooping', for example, is focused on syncopated rhythms, analog bass lines/leads, sparse vocoder filtered vocals and layers of light distorted saw waves. The following "Mountain Climber Groove" reminds me of a robot march with classical music scales played with analog synths and with electro inserts. "Drink" is another good example of how much 'Impakt' is good at making tiny melancholic melodies adding a bit of schizophrenia, thanks to fluctuating distorted sounds and break rhythms. "At The End", instead, mixes acid TB-303 sounds, electro melodies and fast 4/4 rhythms. Sometimes these tracks make me recall 'Scape One' or the best 'Luke Eargoggle' moments. If you love these musicians, for sure, you already know Impakt but if you don't, this is the perfect way to get acquainted with his "braindance" tunes.
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)
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