Music Reviews



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Artist: MIKE MAJKOWSKI
Title: ink on paper
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Don't ask me why but during the last years I've made and experience in solo double bass works, this probably the third or fourth release performed with this great instrument I review from the last September. Mike Majkowsky like the other double bass players I've been reviewing so far has the technical skill to caress his instrument right to find its G-spot and following this metaphor now and then they reach the aural orgasm they're looking for. Five different track for many different lengths and techniques, from the finger picked up and down of "pizzicato" to the bowed breaths of "foam and straw", from the stuttering of "ink and paper" to the quasi-contemporary classic structure of "current". Despite the many colors and tones thrown in the oven by Majkowski I have the impression there's a predominance of high pitched notes and for non-continuative playing, with the last thing I don't mean the tracks are full of stops and goes, I simply wonna say most of the times he opts for fragmented notes played like he's using a sort of morse code even when doing slow rides like in "current". Definitely an interesting release.

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Artist: FATHER MURPHY
Title: no room for the weak
Format: CD
Label: Boring Machines (@)
Rated: *****
Father Murphy were an indie folk band from Italy, now while the years have passed by, the transition is complete, they gradually passed from playing a good and essential American indie rock with reminiscences of Violent Femmes to this dark mixture of lo-fi rock and crepuscular psychedelia. Strange kind of blend as you can imagine and you have to consider they have some really chaotic experimental interludes in the middle of the song that bring you down in this spectral Seventies' atmosphere which characterizes the whole productions. What did they do to complete this metamorphosis? They worked so much on the shape of their sound, they add more reverb, more acoustic noises (bells and cowbells for examples), they reduced structures and some riffs to the minimum it took to give the shape to a song and they painted the whole canvas of black melodies. Sometimes it also of the darkest Doors, Sonics and Stooges amputated of their rock element and obscured by a black cloud. I think if I say it has a strange "garage" aura many may think to garage rock, but it's closer to some of these bands when following some bad trip it's not even that far from some nightly Fuzztones ballads. Sure despite the aesthetic is easy to perceive this band is not just a clone of heroes from the past, but sure they follow the ranks of vintage music. Believe me, they were a really good band but I would have never imagined they could take such a direction. A really nice surprise.
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Artist: Archon Orchestra
Title: Pong
Format: CD
Label: Shadowplay/ Muzyka Voln/ Monopoly (@)
Rated: *****
The song are constructed using a minimalistic structure: one line is a repetitive motif, the other is a meditative tune for organ. The result is an album beneath religious and videogames aims. The reference for the classic game is relevant for the comprehension of this album.
"Orpheus" is a sort of manifest for this record: a lovely loop for synth and a calm structure for organ, thinking of Terry Riley. "Golconda" is more reminiscent of the renaissance paintings of the cover, a baroque theme for synth. "A stone among stone" is a classic minimalistic tune. "Counterpoint", for converse, looks at the sounds of the pong game because is a repetitive (or dull) theme for synth. "Adagio" is a wonderful theme for piano developed with a clear process in mind and is the best track of the album, worth of a listen. "Canto" is the specular for the synth and "Fantasie" a curious mix of videogames soundtrack and classic music for harp. The last track "Pong" is the titletrack and the most disappointing track an extremely long track that take a videogame motif repeatedly for minutes, boring.
The life of man is short yet purposeless. Full of delusive hopes, yet true sorrows.
This words are written on the rear cover, and are probably humorous in regards of videogames and take another confusion for an album that stay between a good record and a prank. While is repetitive is sometimes disappointing, but when it develops his tunes this album is worth a listen for all minimalistic fans.
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Artist: Atone (@)
Title: Live and Love Your Life
Format: CD
Label: Sheebeen /Vitamin Records (@)
Rated: *****
As you press play, you could be grabbed by a sort of synaesthesia injected by the even-tempered chilled beats (if you enjoyed the soulful branch of electronic lounge and chill-out beats which were ubiquitous in the collection for modernist bars and clubs as they appeared on almost every selection issued after 2000, you will easily recognize some samples used by this Australian project) of Live & Love Your Life, the title-track of Atone's tribute release to Ali Bin Mohammed Omar Al Muscati, better known as Ali Omar (R.I.P., man'¦), one of the most respected and well-known producer in Sidney, who left a remarkable dental impression on the fast-growing Sidney club scene even after its recent decease due to its nonchalant musical mark and its witty personality, distinguished by a deep sense of humor and an acute attitude in music and life according to all musicians and common people which shared some moments when he was still alive. Both Ali and Andrew Fitzgerald (Atone's name at vital records office) come from Uk, but they got rooted in Sidney after they intuited the lively Australian capital was among the most fertile grounds of the planet for the birth of a renowned club music scene, so that Ali's studio, sweet-scented by burned straw (!), become a sort of lighthouse on that music scene and by listening this release you could perceive the airy breeze of the eventide, those dub/breaks tunes which slightly move the flames of the beacons on Sidney's seasides or adding that be-all recipe to the musical stylish food served in Sidney's clubs. I personally prefer those tracks when Andrew tacks nearby dubstep and reaggae coastlines as episodes such as the electronic muddy dubstep of Caffeine, the rocky Cold Sweat ' quite close to the funkin-up style of Salmonella Dub or Zion Train- , the Noran Re-mix of Look At The Stars ('international and sensational' by paraphrasing the whimsical Ali's words, partially evoking the stylish dub style pushed up by labels such Different Drummer some years ago'¦) or the delightful hip-hop haze of Free Yourself or the afro-tinged exotic gear circling in Let The Light Come In, but any listener will easily enjoy other juicy candies caromed in the list by Atone ranging from some sugary drops such as the above-mentioned title-track, the piano-toned Shine ' slake your tympanic thirst by Gina Mitchell's vocals as well'¦- or the exciting downtempo of I'm Back, You're Right to the gusts of melancholy in tracks like Lost You, from the catchy electro-pop step of Brown Rice to the emotional transmissions you'll find out in dazzling tracks like Paradise No2 . Ali will surely enjoy it hereafter!
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Artist: Kinetix vs Pylone
Title: Sonology
Format: CD
Label: Sound on Probation (@)
Kinetix a.k.a. Gianluca Becuzzi is an italian artist active since 1999, and after several releases during years debuts on France based Sound on Probation. I would call Becuzzi a sound designer, a pretty abstract sound designer concerned with experimentation on the synthetic side of the sound. Along the two long tracks (that seem pretty much connected into a single long work) Kinetix layers on extremely extended ambient backgrounds a pletora of recurring micronoise patterns that are probably the very interesting part. The recurrence of the same parts probably makes the composition a bit redundant anyway due also to their minimalism. The hard work on the composition is clearly intelligible, but not an easy listening at all.
This split is the third release for Pylone, as usual on Sound on Probation. We are still on the sound research side, still with a concern on minimalism and micronoises, but with a flowing shape given to the four composition, a flux as the bio states. It's a form that captures more deeply the listener comparing with Kinetix, due also to a wider variety of sounds manipulations involved, as well for the background drones that vary from still minimalistic shapes to some deeper capturing sound waves. The same concern on digital experimentation emerges from the cover artwork made by Véronique Weil.
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