Music Reviews



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Artist: Driver & Driver (@)
Title: We Are The World
Format: CD
Label: Staatsakt (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Nitro's been filled in the engines of this German music drivers and they look not so interested in directions...they look more interested in being on their way in top gear running over any possible stylistical path, which they cross without caring about pedestrians and pursuers possibility to eat their dust. They just grind eternal stones under their caterpillar musical wheels leaving behind their shoulders a world sinking like a torpedoed merchant vessel by retracing those uneven road surfaces, partially paved by other memorable German musicians such as T.Raumschmiere, rich of junctions and ramps going towards hip hop, industrial, punk, noise, funpunk, techno, rockabilly and many more musical languages, wisely mashed up in a somewhat brutal way. It has alreaby been emphasized by my collegue Maurizio in his previous review of this issue both the impressive way of playing live drum by Chris Imler (one of these two drivers!) being a recipe able to add a roughly guessed grip to D&D formula and their connection with other past notorious duos like Suicide and DAF (...and tracks like the unruly Back to L.A. or Wohin whose playful melody reminded to me the intrusive jingle scored in a Coke tv adverts, glueing - somewhat ironically - the ideal friendship between German and American, a stylistical alliance highlighted by the use of both English and German even in the witty lyrics). So that it's not my intention to be repetitive or make a track-by-track commentary of it, but I cannot avoid in reccomending this energetic pill to you... don't miss it out!
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Artist: ROBERT COSMIC
Title: Restarting My Robot
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Battery Park Studio
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
RESTARTING MY ROBOT is the first release by the Spanish electro producer Robert Cosmic and it is my bad if I'm reviewing it after his second release he did for Pip Williams' Shameless Toady. Out for Battery Park Studio, this three tracks EP starts with a banger main track. Based on bouncing mid tempo rhythms, fat bass lines and spacey synth pads, the track sounds mysterious, powerful and a bit dancey thanks to its syncopated rhythms. "We back" is the second tune and mixes electro funk and dark electro atmospheres. Bass sounds alternations and nice samples are its force. "Synth conversations" closes the EP with robotic rhythms, bouncing bass lines and a bit of acid sounds. If you love Spanish electro, you can't miss this release!
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Artist: Parhelion (@)
Title: Midnight Sun
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
"Midnight Sun" is the debut album of this canadian band and it's a collection of sonic reflections on the natural geography and harsh climate of the arctic terrain. The result is a form of industrial drone made of guitars and found sounds.
"Tinturia (part II)" open this album with harsh drones of guitars and synths, "Forgotten Outpust" quite surprise because, when you expect another sonic assault after "Beneath", it opens to quite meditative soundscape made out of synth pads, "Solitude" is a balance of harsh and quiet lines of guitars and synts. The album continues on this tracks until "Echoes from a Restless Sea" with the environmental samples to constitue the sound web of the track. This short tune introduce the listener to the second and absolutely meditative second half of the album that reaches its peak with "The Transmission" where quiet harsh lines of guitar meet with synths and quiet arpeggios, a wonderful tune. "Atmospheric Reflection" close with heavy drones and synth pads.
This release is a good drone record, and perhaps better than recent outputs of more known, and well respected, bands. An album for invernal meditation.
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Artist: DRIVER & DRIVER
Title: We Are The World
Format: CD
Label: Staatsakt
Rated: *****
Driver & Driver is the creature of Patric Catani (aka Candie Hank, Puppetmastaz, EC8OR, etc.) and Chris Imler (aka Golden Showers and many more). On this project, the two German producers felt themselves freed from any boundaries and ideally, having a giant blender, they put into the fifteen tracks of their debut album WE ARE THE WORLD r'n'r, techno, e.b.m., electro and punk influences. I know that telling you so, you can think that this album is a sort of mishmash of sounds and influences but you should know that people can make the difference and Patric Catani and Chris Imler made that difference. Listening to WE ARE THE WORLD I can say that a major influence have been a famous duo active in Germany during the last thirty years: D.A.F. Probably the fact that Chris Imler plays the drums live is helping making that link with D.A.F. a reality but Driver & Driver are more than a duo influenced by the Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (even if someone would have told me that "Der kleine ernst" was the new D.A.F. single I would have believed him). Powerful drumming and German recitative vocals are the core of many tracks, so keep that in mind and add raw techno synth distortions, r'n'r melodies (like on "Hello, hello" or "Underwear"), retro synth melodies mixed with techno ("Back to L.A." sounds like Yello playing electro techno), mad electro tunes ("Wohin" sounds like a broken toy nightmare and "Sparen" like a techno folk song) and dance electro (like on "Kein model"). The album will be out at the end of January 2011. In the meantime you can download the opening track "Kurchen" from the band's website.
Artist: MICHAEL VORFELD
Title: Flugangst
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
Monotype has put out some interesting releases so far and this definitely fits in the category, infact Vorfeld gave us a interesting proof of how one can put together an unconventional drumming/percussionism and sound installation style, in case you've never seen or heard anything by this german musicians he has many releases out on label such as Creative Sources, Trente Oiseaux, Rossbin, Esquilo and similar labels. Is that an hint to identify this work? More or less infact it would extremely reductive to paint this release as the ordinary electro-acoustic cd, it's a solo recording and it's a great thing since it proofs that sometimes to reduce the players and the instruments is not a bad thing but a good option. That could suggest minimalism is the thing, but it's not, not exactly that...it's sound art that goes really close to concrete music and if you remember the Metamkine serie of 3" mcd you know "the rules of the game" and probably the fact he's collaborated with Bernard Gunter may help to make it all clearer. The kind of instrument may introduce an easy parallel with Eddie Prevost but is no truer than an easy comparison to Bailey for every acoustic guitar improviser, so take it with a grain of salt. Vorfeld plays skins and stringed instruments with a different style if compared to Prevost and goes much closer to music concrete, electronic, post-industrial music than to any average electro-acoustic work. Why? the answer is there in the performative/ambient structure of every track, every suite is evolving around sound, a particular sound and it is developed to full blossoming. Flugangst is not far from some other releases like that, but compositional-structure and experience of this talented percussionist make the difference. If you add the recording give a vivid picture of the live session you know why I enjoyed so much this solo work. Sound plus space and the ambient of a room still makes the difference between a good solo work and a boring one. Somehow it also reminded me Enrico Malatesta a young talented drummer/perfomer from the north-east of Italy. Thumbs up!.

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