Music Reviews



Apr 27 2011
Artist: SCAPE ONE
Title: Potent Mutagen
Format: 12"
Label: Cultivated Electronics (@)
Rated: *****
It's time for a new Cultivated Electronics vinyl release! For the first one of year 2011, Scape One has been selected. If you follow forums such as Electro Empire or Robots For Robots you should have noticed that Kurt Baggaley is reissuing (on his Bandcamp page) many old releases with tons of bonus tracks. POTENT MUTAGEN isn't a reissue and contains two new tracks (three if you purchase the digital download version) and two remixes. Side A opens with "Substorm", a tune featuring minimal fluctuating melodies filtered through cut off and different rhythm layers (using a 808 drum machine I think); It sounds like a space landing gone wrong. "Potent mutagen" is a mix of bass line arpeggio, spacey synth pads and upbeat syncopated beats. On this one Kurt adds and subtracts rhythm and bass lines giving to the tune a dizzying effect. The first remix is by Sync 24 and "Substorm" is the track they chose to undergo treatment. Philip Bolland, for this tune, used a solid upbeat rhythm pattern with an obsessive bass line. He used less melody and focused the remix on rhythm alternation and filters. It's different time that Dynarec don't have a release out. They released their latest album back in 2006 on the Italian label 'Nature Records' and now they are back with the remix of Scape One's "Time falls" (the digital bonus track). The track, which originally was a mid-tempo based on deep bass lines, has sparse synth chords and lead melodies and now it sounds like an electro hit. Dynarec used fast bass lines, frequencies noises, great rhythms and everything that is useful to make people dance and asking for more!
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)
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Artist: David Stackenas, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, Nuno Torres
Title: Wounds of Light
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
For some mysterious reason, the first six minutes of this recording call those unwelcome awakenings begun with vexing headaches or those terribly sickening hangovers to mind and you could imagine why all the following mental images by such a listening could have been influenced by this first impression so that I could link the six minutes left over to nothing but the effect of an analgesic pill! ...and you'll understand why the harsch viola by Ernesto Rodrigues, that sort of gumbling and snoring by other sonic objects, the metallic scratching and the obstinate sawing by Guilherme Rodrigues' cello, the steady reverberating by David Stackenas'e-bows and Nuno Torres' alto saxophone of the second track could be linked to the interference in such an anguishing state of mind by some coercive "needs" as well as the third 15-minutes lasting track could be considered as the difficult attempt of rebalancing or recovering from such a condition or maybe it could just be the attempt of finding some relief out...finally! The description of an ordinary day which isn't deserving of some lines in a personal diary at all. I could be more assertive and even show off some learning by trying a comparison of the title of this improvisational issue with the notorious sentence by William Blake according to which "colours are wounds of light", but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground today! Just enjoy this listening in accorrdance of your situation or your speculative knowledge...it's up to you!
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Artist: Echologist (@)
Title: Subterranean
Format: CD
Label: Steadfast Records
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
Born in South Africa, but living in New York, the fecund techno-maker Brendon Moeller also known as Echologist and Beat Pharmacy after a plenty of releases for Mule Electroniq, Rekids, Ann Aimee, Electric Deluxe, Third Ear, Ostgut Ton and the renowned Deep Space Media by Francois K (just to mention a few), tries to take new directions by draining away the beats from the classical structure of contemporary techno anthem without tainting the typical kinetic energy. Even if Brendon's approach sometimes plays off key so that someone has defined his style as a sort of shoegaze techno (for instance, when Echologist starts digging the mental ground of the listener in the inital title-track Subterranean, he inserts a sample of slow scratching which could writhe the mouth of some of them...just some slight flaws to be honest), its drilling is everything but boring and is able to induce a remarkable listening pleasure. One of the trick to confer some dynamics on tracks is the addition of resounding ultra-low frequencies (oscillating within a relatively short range of values...and in tracks such as Lunar Cycle or Deliberate - where syncopated punching on the sonic flow is the perfect surrogate of a bumpy bass-hit -, you're not going to miss electronic drum parts at all) and deep sub-bass, which, combined to some flounces on sonic spectrum and some airy reverb-soaked drones typical of electronic dub, ease the descent of the listener, a descent who looks like an ascent towards oneiric realms. Echologist knows how to play on knobs and buttons in order to dig deeper and deeper by turning drilled plates and shattered clods into levitating objects in the sonic space. The style he manages to explore in Subterranean could be difficult to describe, but it's very easy to be enjoyed!
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Artist: Justin Varis w/Kevin Ponto (@)
Title: Mountains
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Audiomoves (@)
Rated: *****
I heard some interesting glitch emotional stuff from the American (from Cincinnati) composer Justin Varis, when using his moniker Claudia on Audiobulb and Frozen Elephants Music, and I wonder how's possible this knick-knack has been issued just on digital (for the moment) as some lover of this peculiar way of composition, based on the preservation of mistakes, could prefer having it on physical support. It could be justified by its temporal shortness... Anyway, his fuzzy ideas based on a bizarre way of interlacing some concise piano phrases in a sort of disruptive collage of fragments are equally appreciable. Im not sure he's trying to communicate something to the listener as Mountains could be just a detour by Justin so that burdening it with philosophical meanings could sound like falling head over heels in love, but I like even nasty pranks and that's my impression on it. Mountain could be just a metaphor of the poet's highesy viewpoint. The contemplative and somewhat peaceful mood induced by the vision from such an height transposed in the piano strokes are somewhat broken by seconds of total silence or bothered by external noisy objects (there're some field recordings interfering with plain intimate melodies); sometimes the same tonal sequence have different time or different arrangement in the sonorous space. I enjoyed imagine the five tracks (titled with single letter: F, G, C, E and L) are like a way of reporting the recursive backforwarding in different momeents and places by Justin's mind as well as of any possible "obstacle" acting like deterrents against the contemplation of beauty or any possible catharsis. Maybe you'll enjoy the same way!
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Artist: CRUISE [CTRL] (@)
Title: Red Or Blue? (Remixes)
Format: CD
Label: Meka Prods (@)
Rated: *****
RED OR BLUE is a remix album containing different versions of two Cruise [CTRL] songs coming from their latest album "How's Annie?": "Where is Alice? Alice who?" and "Pomona Road". The album opens with the beautiful cinematic version of Brain Leasure, who mix orchestral sounds with acoustic guitar, slide guitar and dark ambient effects. Sobria Ebrietas se.22 remix "Pomona Road" giving to it a dark e.b.m. flavor thanks to industrial noises and mysterious atmospheres/vocals. HIV+ remix of "Where is Alice? Alice who?" mix harsh industrial and obsessive e.b.m.. R3 Mute go for a similar approach on their version of "Pomona Road" but their used more electronics and less noises. Lambwool recorded a convincing version of"Where is Alice? Alice who?" mixing melancholic orchestral melodies and sparse synth arpeggios/rhythms. People Theatre gave a nice electro e.b.m. flavor to "Pomona Road". Operation Of The Sun mix of "Where is Alice? Alice who?" is a nice electro e.b.m. tune with hard beats and dreamy synth pads. Babylone Chaos mixed industrial e.b.m. to minimal electronic for "Pomona Road" while Laag for "Where is Alice? Alice who?", opted for a minimal approach with e.b.m. rhythms and samples. Bruit:Fantome did an hypnotic electronic version with acid attitude. Final Cut is the last band of the CD and they remixed "Pomonda Road" making it sound slow, nightmarish and obsessive. Most of the remixes focus their sound on the horrorish approach to atmosphere and played around the original ideas adding new sound layers but there are some of them that are outstanding.
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