Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Hopen (@)
Title: The Shark’s Wife e.p.
Format: Tape
Label: Automation Records (@)
According to his website, Childe Grangier, the person behind Hopen, creates his music 'Using architectures of hazard and chance, influenced by sounds, daily noises and music experimentation from Dub to Zappa, Autechre, Luc Ferrari, Subrosa label or Capillary Action.' This is a pretty accurate assessment as far as it goes. This is a lot of cut up music, with segments speeded up and slowed down and any range in between, as if someone was playing it on a turntable directly powered by the jerky hand of an elderly person with ADHD. Oh yeah, and the record would be scratched enough to continually skip at random intervals. The song titles are amusing, but seem to have an arbitrary relation to the songs, such as 'No Sleepy's Will' and 'Sir Fuck Twelve IV.' I have previously reviewed Hopen's 'Their Quasi Homes Are Real Holes,' and the comparisons I gave there (Zoviet France's 'Loh Land' and some of Hafler Trio's cut up stuff) remains intact. However, I found 'Their Quasi Homes Are Real Holes' to be a stronger release. What I enjoyed about that release was the sense of whimsy and dark humor that seem to be absent here ' 'Rathmines' is the track that comes closest to this feel. It's almost as if Hopen is taking himself too seriously on this release. Something about this album just isn't clicking for me. However, you can actually check out the album at the website and see what you think. This tape weighs in at around 28 minutes.
cover
Artist: Collapsar
Title: Beyond the Event Horizon
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
I am always happy to see a disc from Malignant in the package because I know that it has a good chance of being excellent. I had not heard of this French artist, but, as usual, this album does not disappoint. Here is how the label describes the album: 'Collapsar transports the listener on an epic journey deep into the cosmos, forging a path across a vast, inky void, and steering a course around a roiling galactic core of hyper-dense stars and black holes. . . . There is beauty and tranquility within these realms, but there is no light ' just massive, pulsating textures coalescing into shimmering drones, rippling sound waves, and billowing, multi-dimensional layers of powerful dark energy.' I would agree with this assessment. This is nice noisy dark ambient in the vein of Inade. Crushing, echoing drones invade the atmosphere as if we are listening to the soundtrack of the creation of the universe itself. Not all of it is pure intensity though. 'Passing the Gate' provides some respite, but there are still moments of uneasiness. This is not the kind of dark ambient that you put on and read a book. Rather, this is dark ambient that demands the listener's full attention. It seems that Collapsar has created a concept album of sorts, thinking through the ideas of black holes (hence the name of the project), and has done an excellent job of conveying this feeling. Without knowing anything about the project, one would get a sense of cosmic cataclysm, where natural forces were at work in shaping the planetary and solar occupants of the void. The only quibble I have is the use of what sounds like voice in 'Reaching Nariai,' which seems out of place at times. Overall, however, I would strongly recommend this album to people who liked Inade or Aricebo, which seemed to have a similar telos. This disc weighs in at about 47 minutes.
cover
Artist: The Infant Cycle
Title: A Mysterious Disc
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Ceiling (@)
This disc by The Infant Cycle is certainly a mysterious disc in that there is little to identify it as anything by anyone. No track listing, not even a way to identify the artist. Even the promo sheet has a 7 inch square hole cut out of it with only the artist, label, and title left intact. Track 1 starts off with a repetitive clicking/tapping rhythm that continues through much of the track. There are some slowly evolving drones beneath the surface that begin to take over about nine minutes in. The first time I listened to the track, it seemed to take place somewhat suddenly, but on repeated listens, I could see the transition. For the most part, it is a bit too repetitive and minimal for my tastes, but still a pleasant listen. Track 2 is a short track that features some square-wave synth and nice industrial atmosphere. However, at only 1.15 it ends before you have a chance to get too into it. Track 3 is likewise short, at only 2 minutes, but it is so low that you can barely hear the birds chirping in the track and it sounds like the artist simply drops the mike at the end of the track. I listened to it again at a much higher volume and it sounds like someone standing by the roadside recording birds as the occasional car goes by. Not much to this track. This disc weighs in at about 15 minutes.
cover
Artist: Nadja (@)
Title: Under The Jaguar Sun
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
The more I hear from Aidan Baker, the more I am amazed at his ability to be so prolific while creating wonderful music. For those who do not know, Nadja consists of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff and 'encompasses experimental/drone, ambient, shoegazer, & doom metal.' If you are looking for doom metal, however, you won't really find a lot of it here, but you are unlikely to be disappointed. Overall, I would classify this as noisy ambience, along the lines of Inade, but with elements of traditional song structure creeping in. Let's check out the highlights of each disc. SUN1jaguar opens with a slow moving guitars and drums with vocals buried deep in the mix before finally falling apart at the end, also at a glacial pace. SUN2windstorm was for me one of the standout tracks on the disc, with heavy layers of dissonance before ending with machine gun snare drums and wall of noise drone. Quite nice, but the vocals don't really seem to fit. SUN4flood is a quiet, soothing piece with bass and quietly speaking, almost chanting, male and female vocals. But underneath the calming sound lie some rather sinister vocals: 'each and every day I tear out your heart that the sun might rise again ... each and every day I eat your heart that I might be like you'¦' Moreover, the track is punctuated with random elements of dissonance and feedback and eventually descends into pure droning distortion. This is what makes this album so enjoying ' the mixture of sweet and sour, of melody and dissonance that run throughout it. Disc 2 consists of five interlocking tracks that function well as background music. Strings mix with drone to provide a pleasant listen. It is still quite engaging in its own right, but the fact that it is meant to be played together with Disc 1 really limits what they can do with it. Each disc weighs in at about 60 minutes, so you definitely get your money's worth at any rate. It doesn't matter how it sounded when I played them together because it will be different for each person depending on how they choose to mix it. Suffice it to say that it is a great idea and it is a lot of fun. Like most BlRR releases, this comes beautifully packaged, in this case in a foldout box.
cover
Artist: Purest Spiritual Pigs (@)
Title: Body Misses
Format: CD
Label: self-released
I was kind of surprised when I put this in the CD player for a couple of reasons. First of all, with a name like Purest Spiritual Pigs, I expected some kind of harsh industrial or power electronics kind of music. I don't really know how to describe it, but it isn't that. I suppose the best description I can come up with is college indie rock ' at least it would have been at home on the college radio station I worked at. The closest comparison I can come up with is Torcher. It isn't too bad, but it didn't really do much for me, with some notable exceptions. FPNOP PPL (which in the liner notes is deciphered 'For People Not on Phones) is the only one that really seems to move into the experimental realm with some distortion and heavily processed voice. But the standout track is 'Three Thieves Gone' with slow, mournful vocals over a slow, mournful bed of strings and percussion. 'Burnt Through' continues this trajectory with an even more stripped down accompaniment. Helena Thompson, the main vocalist and driving force on this project, has a sultry voice that would be right at home in a blues joint and this is showcased well on these tracks. This is in stark contrast to songs like 'You Inspire Me,' in which the emotion seems forced and the expression cliché. Overall, the disc was kind of hit or miss for me, but I do get the sense that it would be an interesting live show to check out. This disc weighs in at around 48 minutes.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911] [912] [913] [914] [915] [916] [917] [918] [919] [920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha