Music Reviews



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Artist: Ilitch (@)
Title: La Maïeutique de la Quantique
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not previously heard of Ilitch, but with Beta-lactam Ring Records putting it out, I knew that it would be interesting. When putting the disc on, we are met with what sounds like the world's slowest buildup for a rock band, like a warm up session with plenty of feedback. It's sparse, but still engaging, sort of how legendary drummer Buddy Rich could play only the snare drum while keeping it interesting. We eventually move to 'La Maieutique de la Quantique,' which is the closest thing you'll find to a traditional musical structure on this album. But that is not to say that you'll hear it on your local 'today's hit rock station.' No, this is still on Beta-lactam Ring Records, so you know that "normal" is not a normal part of their vocabulary (thankfully). The closest comparison I can come up with is a slowed down version of label-mates Seven That Spells. When we reach the mammoth 'La Quantique de la Maieutique,' which weighs in at 14.55, we are met with varied and interesting soundscapes but we lose what little remained of traditional song structure. 'La Cantique de la Quantique' ends the disc on an almost peaceful note, if hiss and analogue squalls can be considered peaceful (and it can). The overall trajectory of the album is one of structure moving into a kind of disintegration of structure. Overall, it's a fun ride. This is limited to 500 copies and weighs in at around 43 minutes.
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Artist: Pepe Wismeer
Title: Between Sheep & Pigs
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
Have you ever had one of those dreams that you wake up from and you're not quite sure if it was a good dream or a bad dream? One could easily imagine Pepe Wismeer as your own personal Virgil, leading you through the different realms of inferno, purgatory, and paradise, all at the same time. The music is often sparse, bordering at times on the whimsical, but always filtered through the haze of almost consciousness. Wismeer is certainly an artist who knows the use of tension in music. Evidently I wasn't the only one who thought this. After giving it a listen, I took a look at how the label described the album: 'Pigs, in there? Yes, but if you count them, they will become sheep, which is appropriate as Pepe's music is like drifting into a dream. His hushed vocals sigh just beneath the melody, as if he were in camera with woodland deities.' What makes this all work is his voice though. It is like a cross between Edward Ka-Spel and the singer from Frazier Chorus. It's soothing, but there's a bit of dissonance there beneath the surface. This version comes packaged with a bonus EP that maintains a similar approach to dragging though many dreamlike states. The first half sounds like the album was remixed by Troum or some other drone master. Then we have a raw, beautiful track, which only lasts for 2.21 before moving into the next track that maintains a dissonant feel before concluding with a slowly evolving droning piece. Everything is dropped further into REM state, making this a bit more soothing than the album itself, but every bit as enjoyable. Quite nice overall. The album weighs in at about 42 minutes. The bonus EP weighs in at around 29 minutes.
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Artist: katsa.theo
Title: Porto
Format: CD
Label: Ressonus Records (@)
Rated: *****
Like much of what I review for Chain DLK, I had never heard of this project. This album is a collaboration between JiÅí Tilgner who 'grows mostly from the electro-industrial roots naturally spiced with downtempo, musique concrète and even dubstep features' and singer Milli Janatková. I must admit that this is an odd combination. The label describes the album thus 'The contrast between her dreamy voice singing Portuguese lyrics and the raw musical background moves the project towards the realm of abstract pop.' Her voice is beautiful and seraphic, which stands in stark contrast to the sweeping noises laid down by Tilgner. I guess if I had to describe this, imagine if a trip hop band decided to do a noisy track for Projekt records. It's interesting and engaging, but what really makes this work is Janatková's voice. It's beautiful and sultry, ranging from spoken word to standard singing to heavily processed ethereal vocals. This is an excellent counterpoint to Tilgner's structured noisiness and glitches. The only drawback is that the two remixes of Sonho really didn't seem to add a lot. I would have preferred some other material. Still, although ChainDLK is often geared toward the difficult listening set, we all need a break at times and this would definitely be a good choice because it provides a bit of the dissonance we enjoy combined with a bit of beauty. This disc weighs in at about 36 minutes.
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Artist: ‘kirchenkampf’
Title: Well of Souls
Format: CD
Label: Cohort Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of 'kirchenkampf,' but the first thing you notice is the packaging. It is a grey, stamped, folded cover that reminds me of the old school DIY noise music scene. The best part about it is that when I put in the disc, the music was likewise reminiscent of those days. The label describes the album as 'three long tracks of cavernous ambience depicting the subterranean in us all, spiritual or otherwise.' This may be ambience, but it is not exactly Robert Rich or Steve Roach. This is more along the lines of Inade or Terra Sancta, with noisy drone and walls of sound. The music shifts at a glacial pace, slowly evolving, but always shifting beneath your feet like sand on a beach. Each track is around 25 minutes long, leaving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the soundscapes. The liner card simply states that 'no radios were used.' I have to admit that this doesn't really push the envelope, but what it does it does quite well. I could easily see this at home on Cyclic Law or Malignant Records, so if those labels sound good to you, this is certainly worth picking up. This disc weighs in at around 75 minutes.
4 stars
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available
anymore
Artist: ODAHL
Title: Out Of Control
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mullet Records (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
One year and half from the "Never 2 much" single, ODahl is back on Mullet Records and this time he delivers two dancefloor killers. "Out of control" is a 4/4 conga driven cool tune with lead synth solos, fat bass lines and nice female vocal samples. "Just be easy" is another 4/4 instrumental song where the Swedish guy make us go crazy with hypnotic arpeggios, in levare fat bass lines and plastic synth pads. These tracks have great melodies and are good to dance with. Two winners! The E.P. contains also two remixes for each track, the first is by Justin Faust (a nice remix that plays a little with the original tune and add a different lead line). The remix of the second track is by Honom and they play a little with stops and go just to let the tune start on the second half and turn into a night dance track on the ending part. The original tunes are great, the remixes are nice...
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