Music Reviews



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Artist: SEVEN OCTAVES
Title: Encouragements
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The newest Seven Ocatves album, ENCOURAGEMENTS is able to destabilize the listener for the way Kenny mixed synthpop (check "The real me"), late 70s pop a la Hall & Oates (like on "I'm falling"), 70s electronica, dubstep, electro funk, id.m., a bit of jazz or cheesy early 80s dance/soundtracks tunes with piano and harp in evidence (check "Give it unto you"). I dug the central part where electro funk was the main influence but at first it's difficult to get into the right mood to listen to the whole album in only one session. You need at least a couple of time to get used to its "weirdness" to be able to fully appreciate it. This album contains a lot of ideas and melodies if you are patient to discover them... Nice.
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Artist: Alipio C Neto/Thelmo Cristovam
Title: Triatoma Infestans
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I know such a possibility is quite faint, but if you walked nearby emergency stairway of the psychiatric hospital Novaes Carvalho in Recife by fate on August 7th, 2007 (someone living in the northern emisphere and ignoring that seasons in the emispheres of Planet Earth are inverted so that expecting relax and sunbathing in that area of the world after transferring a lot of money in the bank account of some cheating travel agency could run the risk of suffering from some temporary mental illness!) and noticed some people on it, they were not maintenance men or security systems' inspector. The guys recording some sounds on such a bizarre location were the Brazilian free-jazz improv saxophonist and composer Alipio C Neto raping a soprano saxophone and the saxophonist and field recording's buff Thelmo Cristovam (playing a C Melody Saxophone). I ignore the reason why they chose such a place, but I can guess they were frightened by the possibility (not so faint) of nettling and therefore stimulating the aggressive activity of this nice blood-sucking bug (Triatoma Infestans aka vinchuca) mentioned and portrayed on the cover artwork, quite widespread in South America. Their 42-minutes lasting session, hieratically titled "Escape Apparatus" looks like a mantric carousel of breathing experiments (some of them reminded to me the salivary aspirator a dentist normally use in order to dry the fauces during an operation), vehement saxophone sketches reverberating on the metallic structure of emergency stairway, some nice instrument's resonances and bursting jazzy phrasing with any regard for melodical or rhythmical canons. You could hate or you could love it, but don't say it's not a musical celebration of total compositional freedom. Have a listen!
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Artist: THE GREEN MAN
Title: Horus Calling
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: HR! S.P.Q.R. (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to only 31 copies, HORUS CALLING is a new CD single by The Green Man. The single brings to the lovers of the duo an original song which gives the title to the release and "Gently Johnny", a cover of a traditional folk song (track used also on the movie "The wicker man"). As for the previous releases the lyrics and themes of The Green Man are deeply influenced by the works of Aleister Crowley and "Horus calling" is inspired by what the magus wrote during his stay in Cairo (when he had the vision of his guardian angel Aiwass whom dictated "The Book of the Law", the central sacred text of Thelema, to him on April 8, 9, and 10th in 1904.). On this single Eliahu Giudice and Marco Garegnani succeeded into mix neo-folk and rock intuitions into a charming song which in 7 minutes brings in many moods, mixing acoustic guitar arpeggios and granitic electric guitar riffs helped by tribal drumming. "Gently Johnny" is a beautiful song which brings with it smells of moorland along with mysterious pagan atmospheres well described into the original version of "The wicker man" (movie based on David Pinner's 1967 novel "The Ritual", focused on a religion based on Celtic paganism practised by the inhabitants of the island of Summerisle). In my humble opinion this is the best The Green Man release. Check it out...
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Artist: BLACKHOUSE
Title: 25th Years Anniversary + Hope...
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: M-Tronic
Rated: *****
Born in 1984 as an answer to the sexist extremism of Whitehouse, Blackhouse is celebrating their 25 years of activity. Using Christian themes as lyrics instead of penis on fire and stuff like that, the music was early accredited to a duo formed by Ivo Cutler and Sterling Cross who came from the heart of Mormon country, Salt Lake City. Blackhouse changed the game of industrial pornographic themes, using power electronics sound in conjunction with Bible messages. A lot of time and releases have passed since their 1984 "Pro life" tape released by Ladd-Frith so M-tronic decided it was time to celebrate the project with a double CD. 25 YEARS ANNIVERSARY + HOPE... is a particular collection, because it consists of two CDs where the first is a mix of spoken word (where Brian Ladd talks about Blackhouse and about the facts of his life that led him to form Blackhouse), unreleased tracks, collaborations and remixes by Le Syndicat, Brume, Hypnoskull, PBK, Orphx, Pacific 231, GX Juppiter Larsen, etc. for a total of twelve musical tracks and thirteen speeches. The second CD is a reissue of their second release "Hope like a candle", also released on Ladd-Frith. The thirteen tracks of that tape were recorded directly to a stereo cassette as live improvisation without the use of overdubs and post mixing. Musically those tracks sound a little more varied compared to what Whitehouse produced then as many tracks are built on rhythmic layers where treated vocals duet with feedback and white noise. With this release you can check a "different" piece of 80's industrial music.
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Artist: Ambient Fabric
Title: In Space
Format: CD
Label: Auraltone Music (@)
Rated: *****
The very first time I heard about Ambient Fabric, the ambient project by the skilled plasmatic Norwegian moulder Oystein Jorgensen, was on the occasion of the absolutely fortuitous listening of a collaborativbe project together with the delicate Austrian musician Susanne MaCu, entitled Melancholia, under Creative Common license (...one of the best invention to explore into vast and deep experimental music oceans!) and I had a good impression on it, even if you don't know the individual style of the signle collaborators, it's quite difficult to isolate the mutual supply to the sound. This new release by Ambient Fabric gave the possibility to me to appreciate more his style and it aroused my curiosity about his previous issues (most of them can be downloaded for free). In Space belongs to that kind of stuff you'd better listen with high quality headphones or (real) hi-fi system in order to grab all nuances so that swimming in the weirdy virtual sensorial pool Oystein is going to catapult the listener into. As you can easily imagine, this album has been described by its creator as a cosmic outing whose starting point cannot be but your terrestrial location. Track by track, your mental journey starting with a track called Starship (a lot of people who accidentally came into my listening room guessed it just after dwelling upon some sonic clues...) could reach some emotional and imaginative peaks throughout a gradual levitational ascension and supposedly some of you could even experience OOBE...I couldn't know if you're skilled enough into astral aural journeys! You could enjoy the dazzling echoes as well as the entrancing dilatations of sound waves of tracks such as The Outer Limit or Cosmos, the symphonic suite of Sphere II, the isolationist sense of flowing peace of Beyond (whereas you'll just hear the buzz of your Spaceship's engine together with some suspensive puffy sounds) or the mute tumbles and the intrusion of the disquieting cry of some mysterious creature living betond solar system of the final Empty Darkness (a track which reminded to me some recordings by Robert Rich oir Tylervision) just closing your eyes, but I can reccomend it's equally enjoyable if you listen to it while virtually jogging over the orbital routes traced on some Solar System "realistic" simulator. Just like I did!
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