Music Reviews



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Artist: Obtane, Giorgio Gigli, Tin Man (@)
Title: Analysis of a Nihilist Who Wants to Become Famous
Format: 12"
Label: Zooloft (@)
Distributor: Rubadub
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure you could have arrived to this review for the magnetic attraction exerted by the title of this release. Well, it doesn't concern an essay of Kroker bros, a raving Discordianism sacred text or a philosophical libel by some post-modernist thinker or agit-prop, even if this release on the nice label Zooloft could be fitted for similar readings. I could certainly be influenced by the verbose titles as well as their foggy apocalyptic taxonomy, but the first musical term of comparison coming up to my mind is a possible one with Black Lung, the project of David Thrussel, as he coined similar titles to properly frame from the conceptual viewpoints his obscure rhythmical driving, inbued with dystopian "fictional" themes. The matter is that all the perceptions evoked by the tracks of this project signed by Obtane and Giorgio Gigli and featuring a track by the Austrian producer Tin Man are not so fictional nowadays. The first track entitled Social Distruction sounds to be the first nightmare of a nihilist who wants to become famous, picturing a society suffering from a sort of cannibalism whereas it prevails the sadistic pleasure to see other people's mishaps - even if the consideration according to which this is a peculiarity of our age could be criticised on the basis of the evidence, for instance, mishaps or bad luck has always been one of the columns of comedies since ancient times...maybe an evidence human genre is basically cruel... - and its obscure stepping over the ticking 12-minutes lasting with muted acid sounds and a sort of suffocated didgeridoo reminding parts of the weaponry of the mentioned sound-artist. Just turn the vynil on the other side to keep on feeding paranoid thoughts: the first track is the one assembled by Tin Man, a sort of slow motion dub-techno, which gradually insinuates while bringing the listener into a vortex of intimate thoughts wheras every beat could sound like a drop over the icy surface of the consistency of the most automatic side of the world we're living in. A disquieting bassline on a nervously mechanical set of sounds and what looks like beetles' droning or snakes' hissing prevails over the whole progress of the final appalling track, wisely entitled Individual Submission To The System, evoking the awareness about the dramatically unescapable swallowing of decadent fate. It could sound a little bit paranoid, but it cannot be but the result of the impression anyone had about our society, often suffocating what was known as human feeling.
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Artist: Speedy J (@)
Title: Shoegaze EP
Format: 12"
Label: Electric Deluxe
Distributor: wordandsound
Rated: *****
It's a long time I don't hear something by the legendary Dutch producer Speedy J, maybe cause I got uncosciously traumatised by some of his smashing hits, so that I've been sublimanally induced to stay away from his stuff for a while, but when I had to pick up a listening froma blend of promos, this EP signed by him was one of the first I choosed. The title, one of the first aspect you notice of any release, was crucial for my choice as I've always thought Speedy J's (and other techno makers or sound forgers close to him) sound has something in common with Brit shoegazing, especially for what concerns the maniacal reasearch of pure sound and Carthusian work on frequencies, but electronic composers have an advantage if compared to the possibilities of Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Slowdive, Curve and so on, which mainly worked on the notorious Larsen effect: electronics! Speedy J knows it well and in this little goody he doesn't behave out of character in particular with his skills (in my opinion the best exaple of its "art" is still "A Shocking Hobby", issued by Nova Mute maybe ten years ago) in assembling sort of techno anthems, which concretize the illusion of something rising from within beat by beat. On A side, the Out of Focus Dub version is the one who arguably will collect more applauses as it's accentuated the contrast between concrete and abstract sounds whereas the following one on B side, Edit Selects Dub, sounds more as a stomper who can causes seriously lasting damages to the dancefloor (and loudspeakers above all for frequencies going easily over peaks!). Both of them look like the musical description of an enzymatic catalysis, where sounds instead of getting clearer and cleare are going to become dirtier and dirtier, so that you can imagine Speedy J injecting drops of acid on hi-hats and machines in order to make them sound in a more corrosive and hypnotical way. On the digital release, you'll also find two other versions of Shoegaze: the first one looks like a shuffled version of B-side, as it starts in an atmospheric way and then becomes harsher over a steaming lopcomotive of bass pulses who are going to grab dancefloor's souls, the second version is a sort of distillation of Shoegaze in order to give the possibility to retreat on mixer to the most talented djs.
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Artist: Metope (@)
Title: Atlantic EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Factor City (@)
Distributor: Decoder Muzique
Rated: *****
Interesting debut on the young Factor City label by the hectic Michael Schwanen aka Metope - the Berlin based producer is also active member of the promotional agency Omega Oz and of the known trio leading Beachcoma Recording, completed by his Canadian friends Pan/Tone (who also played live with Metope's Cereal Killers) and Fairmont, performing some appreciated lives -. His "love for digital" as well as his skills on NI machines, which are intensively used during his dj-sets, surfaces from the very first bits of the title-track of this tech-housey bauble: the bumpy metronome doesn't stop even during temporary "melodic" medleys and your imagination could easily get influenced by the title, Atlantic, so that the continuous rhythmical stream could keep the course of it over the wide ruffling of oceanic waves whereas the following track partizan could keep on blowing on canvas with his chirruping sounds, finger snaps and gummy bass-tones. Good tracks even if my favorite one is Ghost, the third sketch included in this EP, mainly for the appreciable intrigue on filter knobs as well the most stressed evanescence (or I'd better say abstractness) of its sound. The release has been enriched by three remixes: to be honest, the first one of Atlantic by Dave Dk sounds nothing special, looking more like a sort of card shuffling, while the same track remixed by Undo is definitively more interesting for the way the Spanish producer re-assembled it mirroring his unique style, based on the progressive combination of elements gradually combined on a monotonal stream, flowing like paper boats on the water of a river on the point of flooding. By the way the most convincing remix is the one of Ghost by John Daly, a sort of dub-housey structure featuring a good use of effects on synth lines of the original samples.
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Artist: Butane and Someone Else (@)
Title: Dink Touching EP
Format: 12"
Label: Foundsound (@)
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
I sometimes get wondered a seemengly non-sensical techno track could have a certain picaresque grip. If you don't know which kind of person is a dink toucher, you'll need maybe a short explanation on such a human genre, forcefully arising in modern society. You'll easily identify him/her from his/her behaviour as he/she will rarely entertain deep relationship, but it's the typically super-nice smart aleck (or better it appears in such a way) you'll instinctively want as a friend or as a companion of adventure as a socially acceptable welcome distraction! But it's very frequent you'll (a true lie?) complaint about him/her with your partner arguably for his/her excess of superficiality, even if a professional dink toucher could be more than just a good fellow! Many sightings of such a kind of humanity have been recorded in shots inside disco clubs as they normally touches dink of cutie dancers exhibiting different kinds of scraggy facial expressions! Vocal whimpering and hitting lowing inserted in this driving minimal techno rhythmical pattern featuring many nice beat gimmicks by Andrew Rass aka Butane (owner of Alphahouse label) and Foundsound co-founder Sean O'Neal aka Someone Else, after they virtually fused their minds by founding the label Little Helpers could evoke the mentioned sightings. Amidst the three remixes included in this release, I've enjoyed the crunchy one (Butane's Strip Club mix) made by Butane himself and the Sterni Edit by Agaric, who decides to remove the melody after highlighting it in the previous remix...some nice samples of beat juggling! You will also find a track entitled Etard - a strange way to let indie rock tunes interfering into tech-house streams - as well as two remixes of it, the first one (really catching) by Catenaccio's founder Benjamin Fehr - adding a darker shadow on the blissful luminous vapours of the original track - and the second one by Figdet, who churns out an appreciable exaple of deep shoegazing techno. This Ep is everything but rinky-dink finger training on Traktor!
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Artist: Perception Cleanse Perception (@)
Title: inVERSIONS
Format: CD EP
Label: Dungeon Recordings / Backscatter Media (@)
Distributor: Shinto Records
Rated: *****
Another often discovered artist calls it quit, as this is the last PCP release ever. PCP is a solo project by the Little Sap Dungeon founder, Kevin J. Cazier. This project has always had a quite experimental mentality, it often has been a kind of pool to include several sounds and ideas, which may would not fit with Little Sap Dungeon, Kevin's dark and haunting Electro/Industrial effort. Of course, drastically style changes ' this has happened quite often with PCP in the 10 years of existence ' are seldom the right choice to build a constant fan-base. There are reasons and a statement of Kevin regarding the end of this side-project, and I would like to quote him: 'I just felt that the project had become too unstable and confusing for listeners with all the style changes in musical genres. In all honesty I could've started 4 different projects from PCP and built a much stronger fan base keeping styles separated. I'm not a fan of unpredictable projects either. At the time I just wanted a project with some diversity and have proven it can be done. Not every track needs to sound like the same song.... not every track needs to sound like a club hit, which has been something that has bothered me about the scene from the get-go. I value projects with theme and imagination in their music, not gimmicks and club trash.'
Clear and true words, nothing more to add, now coming to this EP, which holds 7 tracks in stock, which generally pick up of the Dark Ambient-like mood of the last studio work 'Black Labyrinth Wonderland'. 'inVERSIONS' is seemingly sort of companion release, as it features mainly remix works and alternative interpretations of this last album. Not that easy to consume, I guess this last efforts of PCP have been at least the less accessible works from Kevin are filled with unconventional soundscapes, here and there rhythmically supported with excerpts out of Breakbeat, Downtempo and IDM-related styles. Again a bit more demanding to fall completely into it, but so it has always been. An end for good for this project, now back at the mixing desk for the new LSD efforts. PCP last EP is available as download, but also as a limited run of a CD pressing (50 copies available.)
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