Music Reviews



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Artist: CHAPTER 24 & PHILIPPE PETIT
Title: the red giant meets the white dwarf
Format: CD
Label: Boring Machines (@)
Rated: *****
An old American commercial said "another fine product brought to you by" and in this review we can go on writing: "'¦by Philippe Petit!", that in this recording is joining the Greek post-rock psychedelic trio Chapter 24. If you happened to read an old interview to String of Consciousness we did for Chaindlk you probably remember the French musician was already talking about this recording and and now It's finally out on Boring Machine. Differently from other collaborative efforts in which Petit collaborates with some friends, here he becomes a sort of fourth member of the band, this thing brings forth the obvious conclusion Chapter 24 have a big importance in the final result of this work. Should we talk about psychedelia or kraut music?...who cares anyway, the only important thing according to my humble opinion is that this cd is oniric, sometimes almost dreamy, nightly but it's not one of those third rate answers to GY!BE, Mogway or Mono. By some means we can dare to say it has some post rock reminiscences this could be close to Tarentel when after the first (wonderful) records they started getting more and more drone-driven and experimental. The comparison can draw us close to Pink Floyd and believe it or not that's not completely wrong, let's say Faust when working similarly to their inspirators. If the album title suggests a story plot we can also imagine this' an ideal soundtrack and that's also another proper definition. While the first songs of this cd have an introductive role this work grows track after track, I've been listening several times to this "the red giant meets the white dwarf " while relaxing on my sofa and the impulse to lay down and close my eyes was always there. Vintage and really "set the controls for the heart of the sun" if you get what I mean: have a nice trip.
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anymore
Artist: QUARTERSIZED
Title: Questions
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: What A Carve Up! (@)
Rated: *****
QUESTIONS is the newest EP by Quartersized and it is the first for What A Carve Up!, label set up to release in digital download format all the music produced by Ian Proudfoot with whatever moniker he'd like to use at that moment. The EP is opened by the main title, a track which include electro dub and ambient influences under the shape of a mid tempo horror cinematic tune. Also "Scare anyone" is based on the same atmospheres but with the use of syncopated tabla percussion as rhythmic instrument. "Desire" sounds like a slowed down blues with industrial dub influences, while "I had to laugh" is pure ambient dub with upfront bass guitar and synth distortions but it is the one that I preferred less because it didn't create the mysterious atmosphere the other three were capable to. Vocal samples and loops enrich the formula as usual. You can preview the whole EP at the bandcamp website and purchasing it for only 1 pound.
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Artist: NITRO MAHALIA (@)
Title: Nitro Mahalia
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar Records (@)
Rated: *****
Formed in 2004 in Vienna, Nitro Mahalia are a particular band. Mixing noise, film music, punk and jazz, the four people of the band used all these years to prepare their first album. Released on vinyl by Interstellar Records the Nitro Mahalia self named album is bringing you eleven blasts where bass distortions, hard beats, noise, catchy brass solos and organ cries are the main core. Take for example "Acid D.C.", it starts with a distorted bass and drum beating like a double heart beat, then brasses arrive. The chaotic/melodic wall of sound finds its nirvana thanks to the Chris Janka (one of the four guests on this album) distorted guitar inserts which now are noisy and then powerful. Another track that catch my attention immediately was "Intro" (which isn't the first of the album, it's the seventh/the second of side B): it starts with drone organ loops and then when the tension is at the top, it changes, turning into a fast melancholic tune. This album is a pleasant surprise and if you are into 90s guitarism with a bit of experimentation or you love Naked City, Slint and a bit of jazz, Nitro Mahalia is a band to check!
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anymore
Artist: MARTIN PHILIP (@)
Title: Recumbent
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Released recently, RECUMBENT is the newest album by Martin Philip and it brings to the attention of synthpop lovers, ten new tracks where you can find the distinctive Martin's smooth vocals (which recalls me of Pet Shop Boys as the last time), nice pop melodies/atmospheres, mid tempo rhythms and clever lyrics where he put his heart on his hands facing the audience. The main difference from "Fraudulent" is that he decided to sweep the dust from his Gretsch Electromatic electric guitar and to use it on these recordings. Composed during the last cold winter, the album finds Martin giving his vision of modern world taking inspiration from things like the lack of freedom (surveillance cameras are everywhere and "My dear illicit" is about that), girls living into a squalid student bedsit ("The opposite girl"), the responsibility of possession ("Carry no cargo") or about the vast contrast between how the world was as he grew up in the 70's compared to what it is today (the opening " Recumbent but never content"). Compared to the previous album I found RECUMBENT more reflective. Maybe, as Martin reported on his website, the fact to find homeless people under his apartment stairway trying to find a shelter, made him think about a lot of things and this album is the result of all this.
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anymore
Artist: CHROMAGAIN
Title: Any Colour We Liked
Format: CD
Label: Anna Logue Records / Mannequin (@)
Distributor: Mannequin
Rated: *****
Chromagain formed at the end of 1982, just before one of the most successful independent concert held in Turin during the early 80s. The concert was "Rock contro il nucleare" and it has been held at the Architecture Faculty's courtyard for two days and it gathered many of the independent city bands: Franti, Blind Alley and I think also Monuments, among others. Chromagain's early line-up included Sivio Ferrero (keyboards and drum machine), Luca Pastore (bass, guitar, keyboards) and Riccardo Acuto (vocals). Acuto left after recording some demo tracks and after him, Dana (singer who later formed the Synthetic Sun), joined with Maurizio Gallero (keyboards). Dana left and formed, with Sivio Ferrero, Casino Des Images, a project that is still active. Davide Bassino (vocals) joined and with that line-up they recorded "Ethnicbox", a track for a vinyl compilation titled "Tracce" released by Shirak Records in 1984. The year after, they recorded for Supporti Fonografici their only MLP titled "Any colour you like". That release had five tracks which showed a multifaceted band, capable of playing new wave tunes with a dance attitude like the opening "Satisfied" and "Spot" (also Monuments opted for the choice of being influenced by dance music for their MLP "Age"), atmospheric synth ballads (like "Killing dome"), melancholic dark mid tempos influenced by the Joy Division of "Decades" and pure new wave synth pop songs like the closing "Season of steel". Recorded at the Monuments' studio TKS, "Any colour you like" gathered recognition around the Italian country but Chromagain decided to stop their experience just like many bands did during the mid eighties: disco music was the hype back then and maybe Supporti Fonografici (which was a label linked to the records shop of the same name) wasn't strong enough to face the change. Chromagain during the last twenty five years have been remembered here in Turin and I think that many people while growing up, recalled themselves dancing to the melodies of "Spot". Anyway, after all these years, thanks to Anna Logue Records and to Mannequin, you have the opportunity to have a close look to Chromagain's music thanks to the five tracks of their MLP plus nine other tracks (on the vinyl they are only three) coming from compilations and early demos (many with Riccardo Acuto on vocals). I'd like to point out the quality that their demo recordings already had: they were a bit rough but they showed a great taste into the creation of the atmospheres and into the sound mix. I'd like also to tell you that Chromagain weren't only music, they also had a visual side thanks to Luca Pastore, who was already active with his Lego Video studio. He worked at a video and made the artistic cover of the MLP, for example. He already started to work on other bands' videos back then (you can check on YouTube his videos for Blind Alley and Deafear) and he continued to do so producing many Subsonica videos (a really well known band here in Italy). Music wise he played bass guitar with Fluxus (they were a noise rock band with four albums on their back) and nowadays you can check his audio/visual project Sulle Uova on YouTube and his new band Maciunas. Also Silvio Ferrero played with different bands such as Loschi Dezi and later Munciausen Generescion and he also opened a recording studio called Bunker Studio.
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