Music Reviews



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Artist: Aardia
Title: Conquest of The Ancient Halls
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Aardia is a Swedish trio that started creating music together as soon as 1999, making music to underground horror films (mostly in the Zombie genre) and creating demos, have songs on compilations and more. 2008 they joined Waerloga Records, a label that releases Za Frumi and other dark fantasy inspired groups, and now in the early parts of 2011 the debut album is released.

According to Waerloga Records the process has been very slow and demanding but really worth the while. Not many albums like "Conquest of The Ancient Halls" reach me but when they do I get really happy.

The music is bombastic at times and more moody at others. Arcana, Za Frumi, Erdenstern and film music to fantasy movies comes to mind when listening. One thing that strike my right away and that's the great sound of the album. Simon Kolle of Za Frumi have both mixed and mastered the album and that was a great move by Aardia for sure!
Another thing that I really like is the way the music feels so well done. The music is neo classical at times, but does not resemble classical music as much as music for the movies.

The album is clearly made with inspiration taken from dark fantasy and I think this is the best Waerloga release in a while. A friend of mine visited me while listening to the album and she asked me from which new computer game the music was from and first I took that as an insult but she did not meant it that way. Music to computer games now a days is made by really good composers and some of the games sell in millions.

Conquest of The Ancient Halls got no bad song and one hit in the bombastic and action packed piece called The Conquest. Great work, I am impressed and will listen to Aardia a lot this spring.

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Artist: Concise
Title: Ingénue
Format: CD
Label: Wycombe Music (@)
Distributor: NovaMedia
Rated: *****
I'll try to be concise:

1) Concise is the musical project born from the concomitant lambing of an out-of-time musical style standing on the borders between crispy techno-ambient, idm and electro-pop from Christian Grass' uterine creativity and the knitting of tidy vocalization and meaningful lyrics of the singer Katrin Segert aka Yrea, both of them assisted by the obstetrical talented drumming of Sebastain Bode (12systems) and incubated as well as lovely nursed by warm electronic patterns by Robert Helms (eqt, umami) and genetically empowered by the precious contribution of Florian Ziller aka Flaque, propelling with his gloomy dilutions the last six tracks of this issue in order to initiate and guide this brand newborn freaky creature during its first steps (...we're not sure about its sex...arguably it's androgynous !) amidt the intricate webs of sensorial and intellective envinronment and embossing the auroral insight of this project...it's really moving the "logical" and musical progression ending with the track "sentience [suffering]", presumably marking the end of naïvety of the creature I imagined, but not the delicate candour of Concise's music.

2) Their music looks like a grandiloquent narration of the creative process, far from being a boring or pretentious makeshift of some wisdom writings, whose airy harmonics, hypnotic movements, soft melodies of the first part, nicely highlighted by crispy beats and dry sound whose cleaving result and rhythmical crackings, more heightned in the second part of the record whereas Flaque reaches steps close drum'n'bass and broken beats, which could evoke the breaking of the pod or better the gradual cleft of the egg-shell while colliding against the smoothed frequencies. In between, Yrea's voice flows and levitate reaching tones which could stand as some convolutions by a sort of new Miss Kittin, an association maybe justified by the fact Concise grew in the brilliant Berlin hatchery...

3) I warmly reccomend to listen it!
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Artist: FAVOLE NERE (@)
Title: Specchio Delle Fantasie
Format: CD
Label: LM Records
In the 80s I.R.A. records' motto was "Italian music sung in Italian language" and their first roster was including Litfiba, Diaframma, Moda and Underground Life. What has this to do with Favole Nere? Well, I see their music and their attitude deeply linked to the sounds and the atmospheres proposed by that label back then: their music sound like a mix of the afore mentioned bands with the add of tiny electro e.b.m. synth lines on some tracks. Listening to their first abum SPECCHIO DELLE FANTASIE I imagine Dario plugging his bass to the flanger box, while Silvio warm his voice and Cate asks who stole her eyeliner. Soon after they are ready for the sound check to give their best for a gig made of new wave sounds influenced by rock. The nine tracks of the album mix catchy melodies, solid guitar riffs and synth arpeggios. On this blend Silvio give life to his introspective lyrics thank to his deep voice while Cate duet with him with her heavenly vocals. If you are into goth wave rock, check them at their myspace page www.myspace.com/favolenere
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Artist: The Dark Unspoken (@)
Title: Diode In Your Head?
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
I cannot say these funny lads are not intellectually fair after I approached to their new album provocatively asking if there's a diod in someone's head as THE Dark Unspoken seem totally conscious of developmental limits of the genre they tried to play as well of the fact that it's not easy to satisfy different stylistical palates without rediscovering some clichÃés. Tying the knot without doing your block is a possible mission just for writers of essays for halfwit dummies as well! Their trustful declaration of honesty could be sensed in the track Ich Mache Die Maschinen (I make the machine), in their own words, a statement against the increasing lack of interest in the meaning of texts, as theirs are intended to act as passphrases to damage that diode, a small electronic component which The Dark Unspoken considered as a fitted metaphor for the so called unilateral thinking, often the cognitive cause of intolerance, due to its function to allow current pass in one direction. If you consider just the stylistical viewpoint, don't expect anything particularly revolutionary, as even if Diode In Your Head? sounds more refined than their previous album Rotten Memories, the listener could experience deja-vu listening experiences here and there. Basically they unearths some mid 90ies electro-pop to relive with magical future-pop powders mixed with grated metal guitars - especially in tracks such as Abandon Thrill or Abnormis, one of my favorite track of the whole record in spite of the oldness of its sounds -, they arguably gormandized with 80ies wave, but their "tidiness" should not be necesserily regarded as a defect. Straightforward "Denglish" lyrics dealing with "real" life shouted by the hoarse ugola of Darkun are maybe the most relevant aspect of this record and covering a wide range of matters such economical critical situation, nearly an existential variable at this point, contaminating those rare certitudes of anyone cultivating the myth of self-made man (Wild Life) withered with the bad fertilizer of the so-called competitive spirit (Growing Paintre, Abnormis, Won't Sell Your Will). But it's funny to notice that sometimes the approach to contemporary disfigured electromechanical version of human being is almost friendly anf if your soul has almost been annihilated by some balance sheets or greedy intentions, you'll almost perceive a friendly slap on your shoulders when listening to tracks such as Diode In Your Head? - one of best crafted song definitively... - or the enlighting revelation of a guru on Painful Heaven, even if Darkun's gruff (but hearty) voice will gently whisper a plenty of oaths in your ears!
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Artist: Puin + Hoop (@)
Title: Door
Format: CD
Label: Narrominded (@)
Rated: *****
After the already reviewed release with Hermen Wilken and Coen Oscar Polack, narrominded release this new work of this dutch trio. According to the press release this album "presents a rich trip though sound, encompassing the gray area between improvised music, post industrial drone and glowing synthscapes" and, honestly, this definition well describes the artistic relevance of this release.
This is an album which title seems to suggest that the listener have to go from a place to another, in a sort of musical journey into experimental fields illuminated by a bright dark light.
"Het Wondere Toeval" is a noisy opener for the second track "Bomendocumentaire" that is a mesmerizing loud and heavy drone while "Huidig Tijdsgewricht" is instead a slowly moving and dark description of dangerous situation. "Complotkanaal" took the listener into the heavy atmosphere of the beginning of the record with a final talk between piano and synth. "Ceci n'est pas une Puin + Hopp" is almost an exercise in post-rock structures with clear ideas in mind and a funny joke title. "Zuurstof III" is the last and longest track of this good album and is constructed above a romantic piano juxtaposed on an abstract soundscape with an hypnotic effect.
Even better than their recent live release "de objectieve lach", it's a record of uncommon variety and full of details. A remarkable release. Highly recommended(^_^).
This album is available also as free download @ www.narrominded.com, another reason not to miss it.
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