Music Reviews



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Artist: Sid Le Rock (@)
Title: Gentlemen's Intermission
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult (@)
Distributor: Zero-inch
Rated: *****
Well-polished black suit, soft velvet overcoat, old fashioned top hat in Dickensian style, glossy silver spectacles and pewter headed walking cane, which can be turned into a sextant or a telescope ready for the intermission the gentleman portrayed by the talented Canadian producer Sid Le Rock (co-founder of Beachcoma record label also known as Pan/Tone and Gringo Grinder, signed under T.Raumschmiere and Daniel Meteo's Shitkatapult squadron in July 2010 with the superb release Tout Va Bien) in this poshly amazing release is getting aware about. The first track, Devil's Night, abruptly pushes on bumpy beats, spacey foggy sounds and eruptive hats before some sinister bells enter into the stage in order to draw a swirling 7-minute lasting smooth techno mantra, reminding to my musical memories some pieces by Stewart Walker filled with minimal techno squarings. The perfect warming up piece is the remix of Made For You (previously appearing on the above-mentioned Tout Va Bien) by Thomas Brinkmann aka Soul Center, who is able to rearrange that tune imbueing it with warm sense of vacuousness and cramming with beats that sound like fluctuating like jellyfishes in a phosphorescent pool. The most touching track which completes this gentleman's portrait is Hello Gorgeous, an astonishing and engaging hybridization of indie rock, melancholic glaze and that day-dreaming pop frosting, which doesn't corrupt the general feeling of the tune. A nice musical bauble who sounds like a futuristic reminescence about the bygone days. Definitively appropriate for gentlemen!
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anymore
Artist: Ich Niente (@)
Title: Incerchio
Format: CD
Label: Bosco rec (@)
Rated: *****
Ich Niente ("Ich" is german for "I" and "Niente" is italian for "Nothing") is a collaboration of Mirco Rizzi and Daniele Brusaschetto and "Incerchio" is their second album together (after 2004's "Ri_Tagli").
The two long time guitar players improvise for over half hour and go straight to tape (first take) using effects and other pedals as well as different playing technique (bowing, picking, plucking...). As you might expect from an improvised record there is a lot of noodeling and the two players interact but often go off on their own tangents more than you might wish for. Some pieces are a bit more structured and others are purely vamps or individual rubatos.
The record opens on a dark note and although it takes on different shapes and colors throughout its duration, both guitars seem to want to retain a certain lo-finess to their sound and yet do manage to become a bit more solar form time to time. One of the musicians even sits down at a seemingly un-miced drum set at one point on the last song.
They definitely draw from a vast array of musical influences from noise-rock to jazz. Reverb is their allie and freeform is their playground. Some tracks are as short as 26 seconds and the opener is more than 10 minutes long. For clarity and spatial results the two guitars are mostly panned almost hard left and hard right but you can't always tell who's who.
The record really comes off as a live recording, which it is in a sense, but it's almost missing the applause of the crowd.
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anymore
Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Fragranze Silenzio
Format: CD
Label: Bosco rec / Bar La Muerte
Rated: *****
I've been following Daniele Brusaschetto's music and moves since longer than I can remember. He was one of the pioneers of the '90es scene of weirder and more interesting electronic music in Italy and almost twenty years later he's still at it. I've lost count of how many records he's done. As you'd expect his style has evolved and changed and today is maybe darker and more introspective than ever. If you judged his latest direction from the title-track of this CD you'd think that he's now into Sunn O)))/Boris/Sleep but, except for that one long, epic and somber closing doom movement, the album "Fragranze Silenzio" (Silence Frangrances) has much less distortion and rather portrays and artist that can effortlessly move from slow and sinister tracks (like the opener "La Bambina Intermittente") to more uptempo electronica that sound like an odd mixture between Bjork, Clock DVA and Young Gods (as in "Il Sole Domani"), passing through minimalistic industrial rhythmic episodes (such as "Ali di Mosca"). Courageous choices like phase-reversing percussion tracks so that you can listen to a song with or without a beat ("Clouds") speaks for his daring approach.
Throughout, a sense of loss and reflection permeates this album, augmented by disturbed and treated pianos, glitchy beats and electronica, treated guitars.
The common denominator is more often than not his vocal style and his cryptic lyricism. Wide and deep doubled vocals, sometimes willfully distant, almost always dipped in long reverbs and treated to sound removed but still within the context of the music.
Lyrics are mostly all in Italian and if you want to really dive into Daniele's world they are printed on the inside of the digipack. He's certainly an artist that has a lot to say but leaves plenty to imagination.
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anymore
Artist: Evans / Pluta / Altieri
Title: Sum and Difference
Format: CD
Label: Carrier records (@)
Rated: *****
This NY improvisational trio is comprised of trumpet player Peter Evans (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, Peter Evans Quintet), laptop artist Sam Pluta (Glissando Bin Laden, Peter Evans Quintet, Wet Ink Ensemble) and violinist Jim Altieri (Glissando Bin Laden, Tatters and Rags, Pearl and the Beard).
I've had the pleasure to work with Evans several times and in several contexts, so when
I saw his name on this CD I was very curious to hear what else he was up to and, as the liner notes suggest, these tracks remind us that besides his great technical chops he also has an inate ability to adapt to any sonic situation, even when the musical "entity" he is improvising with is a laptop that spits out glitches, pop, drones, tones and all sorts of other sounds that Pluta creates with his custom built software, controllers, ring modulators and fm oscillators. Altieri adds to the organicity of the textures and although you won't often hear an untreated violin bowing sound, you will hear his skills and versatility in his own micro-tonal approach and contribution.
The focus of this release is on the interactivity between the players, as it should be! All three musicians showcase their ability to counteract each other and offer a vast array of sounds and sonorities, that span in mood, pace and intensity.
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Artist: Alexander Frangenheim (@)
Title: The Knife Again
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This German free-jazz improvisator lavishly manages to crossbreed the forms of art he studied (...and arguably keeps on digging): born in Wuppertal, Alexander Frangenheim privately widened his knowledge of classical doublebass with Reinald Schwarz, soloist of Stuttgart Philarmonics, while studying sculpture at the academy, and he gradually extended his performing technique due to his passion for emperimental music, an hibridization which gave him the possibility to expand his activity over an incredible number of projects, works and performances. In this release, issued by the appreciated Creative Sources, Frangenheim's aesthetics looks like clambering up on scales leaving traces of scratches, lacerations, breaches, gashes and cuts as well as of sort off doodles on stave almost acting as stiches on a bleeding body after having been ripped to shreds. Seventeen smal solo sketches recorded in August 2006 in Berlin and mastered by Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson which are not derivative at all, but including many little jems of tonal twisting and the listener is easily going to appreciate a lot moments such as Counter Furioso, Surface, Chant, Knife, Memory or the sinister swirling pulsations of the final Birds For Z whereas the instrument sounds like putting on facial expressions or alternatively fighting with its tormenting player. You could imagine this record as a sort of wrestling or better a fight to death between the soul of the instrument opposed to the sould of the musician. Bizarre supplies!
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