Music Reviews



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Artist: NEUROBASH
Title: Stereotype
Format: CD
Label: Tigon Media
Rated: *****
Formed by Johan Andersson and Per Nordahl, Neurobash are releasing their first album on digital format on Tigon Media. STEREOTYPE contains eleven tracks which are in balance from e.b.m. and synthpop. Mixing harsh sounds with melody and hard beats, the duo could be compared to Covenant. Even if their sound has a strong rhythm relevance, I think that Neurobash, besides the 4/4 beat, have more to offer. Check "Lovekiller", for example, it has a blend of soft atmospheres and melancholic melodies with a background of a fat bass line. We have good synth e.b.m. tunes based on pad sounds and light distortions like "The Future Is Bright They Say", "Inner Conflicts", "Prototype" or "Self-Destruct Mode" and songs which can remember a bit Depeche Mode, like "Out Of Time". The album has a strong sound and the band have also interesting videos directed by their label mate Daniel Brandt. You can check them on their website.
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Artist: Scanner + David Rothenberg
Title: You Can't Get There From Here
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
Scanner, I think if you haven't spent the last decade or more on Mars, I'm sure you know his career as an electronic musician, David Rothemberg plays clarinet (here he pays duty also with a computer), he's a jazzist with a plethora of releases out on label like Terranova and ECM that itself says a lot. The result is 'delicious' and is equal to the sum of its parts, infact it's a jazzy-electronic release with a nightly atmosphere and a strong phatos. Robin Rimbaud's touch is quite recognizable and at the same time he's worked in a really quiet way, at the same time an inspired Rothemberg warms the tracks up with a soft and elegant velvet mood for his solos. Since I've mentioned ECM I'd better say this work sounds a lot like some electronic oriented releases by Jan Garbarek or Nil Peter Molver or other jazz musician on the same label, but this collaboration sound much better, both in terms of inspiration and for the soft ambiance it recreates. Its not exactly an experimental cd, or at least is not something barely comparable to Wolf Eyes plus Braxton or John Wiese plus Evan Parker, it exactly sounds like some similar works of the genre you probably have heard before, but as I've said the songs they've put together on this slab of plastic are quite excellent and the melodies are really intense. If you're looking for elegant, relaxing music for a night flight over the city, well you'll probably love this one.
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Artist: TROPHIES
Title: become object of daily use
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
Trophies is a trio, I'm sure those of you who have an interest in experimental music will recognize the name of Alessandro Bosetti among the other players. On this cd Bosetti on voice, electronics and behind the mixing desk, his comrades in Trophies are Kenta Nagai on guitar and Tony Bruck banging the drums. The result is quite singular somehow and that itself should grant a listening and believe me after having listened to a millions releases all sounding the same, it's a beautiful surprise to find something like that. I'm not saying this cd will change your life but sure, after a few seconds of listening, you will agree with me it's not your ordinary release. How does this "become object of daily use" sounds like? Hard question for a firm answer, let's say it's one of the few work that reminded me of Harry Cow for real, a possible 2011 version of Fred Frith and friends? Maybe...Trophies follow the same weird and personal path. This release pays an homage to the Canterbury sounds, but it's mostly avant-jazzy music with a weird electronic edge, quite often the soft light singing of Bosetti follows guitars not while the drum pulse in swinged jazzy way. The music is not odd not even dark, it's simply strange, but as I have said the combination and the use of electronics here and there is strange. Nice work guys!.
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Artist: Francisco Lopez + Novi_sad (@)
Title: Titans
Format: CD
Label: GH Records (@)
Rated: *****
Such a title, Titans, for this listening pearl signed by the renowned sound artists Francisco Lopez and Thanasis Kaproulias aka Novi_sad, is not an act of haughty self-referentiality, even if I could say it could fit to their skills, but it's strictly connected to the inspirational place where they moulded the sonic material they consolidated in different way: the legendary Ancient Olympia region! In particular Titans (also known as white clay man as according to some studies their name derived from a Greek word meaning "white earth") are those gigantic deities who ruled the world during the so-called Golden Age, an era which was ended by Prometheus, a Titan himself, when he gave to the mankind the gift of fire and other arts and crafts. By the way, according to some essayists Titans had a central role in the primordial stages of Ancient Greek shamanism: they were normally represented by men covered by white clay, who evoked the strongest cosmic and natural forces, able to destroy other ones such as the pleasure. Such an attribute was called back in the ritual based on the episode of Dyonisus' cannibalism by Titans themselvels for instance.

Some listeners with a lively imagination could hear a sort of translitteration of Titanic powers in this split cd: Francisco Lopez's 30minutes lasting track starts with thundering ultra-low frequencies nearby the threshold of hearing, which seem to rise from the bowels of the earth, before the sound gets crammed with abrasively sinister metallic scratches, whose friction with eardrums gets gradually silenced till the moment when the Spanish sound artist plays with imperceptible hums, babbles and chirps so that it seems the titanic force of its sound has shaked the whole audible range till when the listener has been traumatically taken back to nature. Novi_sad's "Ellipsis" is really impressive as well: Novi_sad uses the same source materials, but melts them in a completely different way. The thundering low frequencies by Senor Lopez have been replaced by the recording of a real storm and when he overloads the sound space with proper thunders, you'll almost feel the electric atmospheric activity related to such a weather condition, while the hypnotical sonic sculpture based on an intense teeming of metallic ground noises sounds to be swept by a persistent corrosive wind. Analogies and bizarre similarities with nowadays Greek financial crisis, which is hypnotizing many people injecting rich doses of paranoia, come almost instinctively as well; I'd go so far as to say that the cover itself with those repeated and close green and black stripes could be considered a reference on it as well as the general atmosphere of this record, filled with a sense of deep-toned oppressive neurosis whose terminal stage cannot be but nature.
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Artist: VERY SHORT SHORTS
Title: minimal boom!
Format: CD
Label: Riff records
I remember quite vividly the debut release by this band, they proposed a good bland of classic music-soundtrack-rock feel with a touch of irony and a sunny attitude. This power trio based on a drum, piano, violin/viola intersection is always working on hectic tracks therefore if you think by combining their strings and skins they will probably bore the shit out of you, you're simply wrong. The rock and the "swing" (not meant as a genre but as an attitude) elements are always driving the majority of their songs as I've probably said in the review of their debut they have a strong gipsy-rock influence that's also why I imagine live they probably kick ass. This' exactly the music you can tap your right foot at while getting drunk glass after glass. They probably enjoy so much playing what they play and you don't have to go too deep between the lines to find it, their heterogeneous musical background is well expressed in every track, even if as I've said their rock attitude is still the captain of the boat, that's why they avoid to go for a safe navigation. Welcome back guys!.
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