Music Reviews



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Artist: GLENN ASTRO / LEE WEBSTER
Title: Colored Sands / Hotel Groove
Format: 12"
Label: Big Bait Records
Rated: *****
The eighth release on Big Bait Records is a 12" which sees Gleen Astro and Lee Webster proposing two new tunes. Side A contains "Colored Sands", a two parts track by Glenn Astro. On this one he mixes house atmospheres with downbeat rhythms and a laid back attitude. The minimal approach to sounds finds a certain richness into the evolving strutcure of the track. Side B has Lee Webster performing "Hotel Groove", a track based on syncopated rhythms, house hypnotic synth chords and a nice melodic and seducing vocal line. Also this one, sounds minimal and rich at the same time. This 12" will be available in the stores on early September.
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Artist: GUNNAR GEISSE
Title: meta atem
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
From what I can argue from the booklet coming with the cd the majority of the sounds featured on this cd are coming out from voices, so what? a Bobby MacFarrin like cd? Of course no. "Meta atem" is divided in four long tracks and a conclusive one were electronic sounds, guitars and voice treatments are well melted together for a cocktail that as a weird contemporary aftertaste. Behind the majority of the sound sources and of author of the field recordings is Gunnar Geisse himself , but I see other names like Ernesto Rdriguez, Ishani and Mercan Arda, Hamid Khezdi, Thomas Mahr just to name a few. While some tracks like the opening and the third one are quite dense, some other play with sounds and stops and goes, and the last kind of tracks reminds me much more of early quasi industrial sound designer a la Asmus Tietchens instead of contemporary music, even thought as many of you can guess there's a thin line separating the two afore mentioned categories. There's a dead serious atmosphere haunting the majority of these compositions, just take the third one and you see the guitar sounds are not exactly softening the result. This interesting collection of compositions reminds us the incredible importance of avant garde composers like Bruno Maderna and the influence they had on contemporary music.


Artist: MAGDA MAYAS, TONY BUCK
Title: gold
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
As I've wrote so many times, I'm not exactly the greatest fan of piano music and be it for the listening overdose of the instrument over the years or for some childish psychosis for classic music sometimes I really hate it, said that during the last years I've had the chance to listen to some really interesting piano-centered recordings and this fills in the category. A live recording for piano plus drum, a really good sound definition and what's more a brilliant performance where you can sense the incredible complementarity of this couple of musician. While Magda Mayas performs her piano "total body" using an incredible amount of tricks and sounds, Tony Brucks gets in and out of the crescendos, crosses the scenario with some quasi free drumming interventions but all using the light touch of a ballerina dancing on her toes. These two tracks are about forty minutes long compressively, in both of them lots is happening and follow the same screenplay, so you have quite parts, growing sounds, eruptions and slow downs at the same time the fragments are not so long you get bored when the cd is not over yet.

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Artist: SCOTT FIELDS dra
Title: wings
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
A series of 98 composition inspired by the drawing of a swiss artist called Thomas Hornung, Scott Fields used the drawing to elaborate a score, but obviously it's really complicated to be described in a review, but believe me if you read the line notes you find it damn interesting. This electric guitar based recording is nothing but a collection of fragments, none of the tracks goes beyond fifty seconds. If we had just to consider this record for the music, this could be one of those odd works by Bailey or Frith even if Fields is less clean and in an intentional way. Both distorted and clean tracks shows despite his technical skill Fields is a soulful musician that with a releases like that is not to be taken for granted. This ghostly materials probably feels really good with the original drawing or maybe that just my personal suggestion. The video here included in this cd shows wonderfully what this all work is about.

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Artist: TOM SHELTON, RYO IKESHIRO (@)
Title: ry-om III
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Both Tom Shelton and Ryo Ikeshiro play guitar and laptop and both are using feedbacks loops, together with some of the latest releases on this portuguese label it's mostly electronic music, but seen the essence of this work this cd could have been out on Touch records. Abstract sounds and soft drones generated through guitars, it's just with the second track that we have the introduction of some melody thanks to a processed acoustic guitar, but don't worry it won't last too much. This not an extreme release but the music is laptop based with an atmosphere that's fucking dead serious. As somebody else has already wrote they reach 'idiomatic ends that wholly justify their means' but aside from their intellectual satisfaction this cd is by some means listenable. The recording as you can imagine is nothing but top notch to this you've to add the two musicians work in a really complementary way and you know why I can truly say this record is interesting. Space is the place.


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