Music Reviews



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Artist: Buttercup Metal Polish & Jacques Demierre (@)
Title: Brain & Balls BBQ
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Brain & Balls BBQ is another amazing release coming from the Portuguese label Creative Sources, signed by Buttercup Metal Polish together with Monsieur Demierre, an improvised trio named in a confusing way, as they don't deal with metal stuff, they're not Polish at all and arguably don't bestow pieces of advice neither on grilled beefs nor on butter fry-up! Let's do the introductions. The mad scientists of drumming are Nicolas Field - English improvisor who after and during academic studies in Geneva, The Hague and Amsterdam, collaborated for many projects related to jazz, improv, electronic music - and Alexandre Babel - Swiss born drummer, who widened his knowledge between Ney York and Geneva -, while the pianist between them is Jacques Demierre, talented experimenter on prepared piano techniques coming from Geneva and possibly boasting about a remarkable experience in sound installations, improvisational and jazz music sessions as well. Well, shake your hands and burst your ears open! You could expect drums outline some piano suites...well, it's aptly the opposite! The piano turns into something percussive to follow the stirring and high-spirited twists, turns, spasms and epileptic fits on the drums and the astonishing fact is that its role is everything but exiguous or fringe. It highlights the explosive rumbling in the funny track "How To Choose Plus Size Dresses That Flatter (In A Mushroom)" (what a whimsical title!!!!), it emphasizes the suspensive tension of the initial "Whose Arms On Ma'am?" (the stifled pounding of percussive elements as well as the increasing twists and the continual metallic rubbing are the perfect way to commence such a set!!!), it acts almost like a lightly anaesthetic drug in the awakening of Vulcan Nerve Pinch (the 17-minutes lasting narrative session whereas the drums work like pins!), it introduces the maddish random drumming spots (playing like rashes on the devastated skin of a teenager) in "He's Likable Guts", it seems following a solitary crazy path amidst the rhythmic scaring creatures in The Croquet Consortium (maybe the track where the three "voices" of this combo sound totally split up before the tonal battle after 3 minutes....frenzy!). You could consider it as one of the best sample of concert for crockery in your kitchen (an aesthetical naevus?) or maybe a sort of tonal eclampsia, but most of you will find this workout eclectically capricious!
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Artist: FLECK E.S.C.
Title: Electro Space Cookie
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Distributor: Juno Download
Rated: *****
Just months after the album 'Bruxia', Fleck E.S.C. is back with a new album titled 'Electro Space Cookie'. Released on Binalog Productions, the new album contains ten new tracks. Fragmented rhythms, Detroit techno/electro atmospheres and a minimal approach to melody is the core of sound. Fast looping rhythms and melodies duet as if obsessed by a software bug, creating a constant flow of minimal bleeps and beats. Sometimes tracks (like "They Are Watching" or the following "Next Life") are enriched by vocals filtered by a vocoder but are generally composed focusing on rhythmic alternations and tiny melodic progressions. Franck Collin used many tiny sounds creating a rich web of sound which needs the attention of a casual listener. The tracks immediately catch the attention of the electro lover, but 'Electro Space Cookie' isn't exactly a pop album to whistle along with.
(Proofread by Johan Sebastian Bot)
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Artist: Fluor
Title: Ciclo de Thule
Format: CD
Label: GH Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is a remastered edition of a self-relesead album made in 2006 by this spanish project involved in what is called INCUBICO, an artistic movement looking for the recovery of symbols, taboos and rather underground cultural currents. The musical result is a canonical dark ambient based on the usual musical structures but assembled with a strong view on his sonic impact.
The titletrack is a long track constituted by three movements around high frequencies on a deep bass drone reminding of a snowstorm. "Ex Norde Lux" shows an almost hip-hop beat after a spoken word. "Cryognosis" is a noise track using a lo fi soundscape using probably field recordings. "Fenris invicto" is a slowly moving track reminding some Biosphere's works in the first movement while developing a more ritual mood in the second.
As the tiles reveal, the album is inspired by northern mythologies and use a lo fi spirit for the mastering that some some sonic depth to the tracks giving more colour to the high frequencies widely used in all tracks. A fine album of dark ambient.
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Artist: Jacek Sienkiewicz (@)
Title: On The Road
Format: CD
Label: Cocoon (@)
Distributor: Word and Sound
Rated: *****
The friendship between the Polish talented techno producer Jacek Sienkiewicz and Sven Vath's legendary label Cocoon - one of the few cases where important goalss have been reached for tried and true skills and not for some lucky circumstances - seems to be strengthened and even his fame in the scene is going to get well established, even if he's considered one of the aversest to praise as well as one of the most bashful character amidst a plenty of glittering people who like to be under floodlights. After gaining some notoriety with his releases on his own imprint Recognition and two albums on Cocoon (the acclaimed Techne and Displaced), Jacek has finally finished On The Road, his 3rd full-length on His Majesty Sven's label. I was slightly surprised to learn he needed two years of work as some melodic parts sound so spontaneous that someone could argue they've been improvised, but the final result is really interesting and without removing anything from the value of other issues, I could say it has something more than other recent releases by the label, maybe as Jacek assembled a sort of emotional journey without recurring to vapid mechanical techno loops - maybe the only track where he winks at a more "fashionist" sound is On The Road Again, even some "jazzy" moments and african sketches could remind some good stuff by Dominik Eulberg -. The titles themselves look like trustful clues this techno-maker conceptualized an emotional journey to translate it into modern musical language, a journey which starts with the psychedelic tech-house of Departure 11 (I particularly enjoyed an harsch sound looking like a muffled barking) and ending with Arrival 12, an oneiric and somewhat impalpable ambient sounding as the report from a dreamy state of mind, wisely closed by a fit of coughing. In between many stylistical techno crossbreeds, among which I particularly enjoyed Fear - a track which seems a tribute to some Detroit techno legends such as Kevin Saunderson, turned into something more comfortable and less hard by the deep-house suit Jacek manages to weave -, the obscure stereo pads of Peregrinating and the psychedelic bumpy fans of Lost And Found, a track which is going to be appreciated by those djs who already speaks about "post-trance" music. On The Road is not an easy album at all, as it's quite distant from many Cocoon artifacts, but that's the reason it's really intriguing.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Landscapes Of The Future
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Greener (@)
Distributor: WhatPeoplePlay
Rated: *****
Gustavo Lamas' Mas welcomes listeners to this therapeutoical audio session with a peaceful soundscapes interrupted just by a noise looking like something scorching or, as I used a "medical" term, like the crackling noise you hear when you drop oil to melt wax in the ear! Listeners whose switch is on ambient locks could imagine that what is scorching should be a sort of photographic reticular imprint of the surrounding world, if they "use" music as a way for escapism. In the intention of the Argentinean label Greener - it's the first time I hear something on this techno label even if it was born from an idea of Andres Zacco 3 years ago -, this selection of 9 beatless tracks should deal more with other imaginative grounds. You've read well. Beatless. As after many techno vynils, the label has decided to explore new musical paths just for the digital series by starting a series of music for home listening and mind. A part of being a good opportunity to explore an "exotic" scene as all musicians and frequencies' manipulators come from Argentina, being the only exception the presence of the talented Polish producer Jacek Sienkiewicz (Recognition), The Landscape Of The Future project is mainly a pretty collection of samples, where the involved electronic composers try to move your mind without using beats or drum machines. Such a sonorous prophylaxis includes many enjoyable goodies such the ominous hypnoid sequences by Franco Cinelli and the well-crafted static suspension by the above-mentioned Jacek Sienkiewicz (his Frk is definitively one of the best sample of sonic chiselling on this compilation), the nice embedding of field recordings to comfy tunes by Berlin based Nico Purman and the interesting bumpey brushed dubstep by Leonil Castillo, whose Domingo Soleado sounds as the brightest moment of this of landscapes rich of patchworks, carefully drawn in chiaroscuro.
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