Music Reviews



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Artist: Seeded Plain (@)
Title: Entry Codes
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Well, I'm not sure if this album has some hallucinogenic properties, but while listening Entry Codes through headphones in drowsiness I dreamt about flying over Charing Cross Road during an imaginary contest of Gnawa trance music bands. I definitively should avoid snoozing while listening to such releases as I could commit many valuational errors and saying for instance the unconventional rhythmical codes Bryan Day and Jay Kreimer - the two eccentric craftsmen (an acceptation to the point as they just use some homemade instruments in their sets) - have recorded could be good to enter into a somewhat deviated oniric world, but I should say they activated some auditory remembrances as their rhythmical structure maybe have some points of intersection with Morrocan or Nubyan trance musical tradition with the remarkable difference that they use totally different sonorous objects, while sound in such an amazing way you could envisage the possibility to send some home stuff you don't need anymore to their mail account instead of collecting it in the bins for recyclable materials! If you decide to approach to Seeded Plain's acoustic devilments, I warmly reccomend to dwell upon tone-colour strange and estranging sounds Jay and Bryan manages to obtain by striking and so giving life to their noisy freaks so that the hums and all those rasping noises in Tarpaper Neutrality, the muted tolls and metallic squekings in Vacuum Insert, the metallic garglings and the sinister snoring together with somewhat stunned strokes of hit box-springs in Ciar of Thumbs and Waxwing Lattice as well as the dull wooden rumbling interrupted by a teeming of metallic bumps and plops could be considered as the whimpering of creatures born inside an audio-genetical mad lab!
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Artist: C.H. DISTRICT
Title: Conclusion
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic
Rated: *****
C.H. District is the musical outfit of a Polish guy called Miroslaw Matyasik. He started under this moniker on 1996 and he also cooperated writing music and , sometimes, acting for three theatre groups from the Silesia area: Cogitatur Theatre, Apart and Suka Off. In 2002 he got a deal with M-Tronic label and the year after released his first official album split with Duuster. In 2005 he released a full length for the same label titled "Slides"and then we have to wait until 2010 for the release of the latest one, CONCLUSION, album which has been licensed to Tympanik Audio for the north and south America. CONCLUSION contains ten new industrial electronic i.d.m. rhythmically driven tracks which are more similar to Oil 10 than to the sound proposed by Ant Zen or Hands labels. Tracks like the main title, "Practical tool" or "Go out" have a danceable pitch mixed to ambient and others like "Shrink" or "Burnaut" (this one features synta[xe]rror), are cool melodic dreamy robotic tunes with powerful beats and a cinematic feel. Then, "Like a human", featuring Tomtylor on vocals, shows new ways of exploring the genre thanks to a rich sound palette (Miroslaw uses many beats coupled to cool electronic textures) where melodic vocals are a great counterpart to an energetic dreamy sound. Really nice album...
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Artist: PAUL CHAMBERS
Title: Stations / Absorptions
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Anna Logue Records (@)
Rated: *****
Paul Chambers is a guy coming from UK who in the late 70s started to experiment with synthesizers and, just like Thomas Leer (his album "The bridge" released in collaboration with Robert Rental has been released by Industrial Records in 1979), could be considered a pioneer of dark minimal electronic music. Officially Paul released only two tracks ("Steering solo" and "Take a ticket") in 1981 when he took part to "The apprentices dance", compilation released by Sounds Interesting Records. For "Steering solo", Paul took the post punk energy thanks to solid guitar riffs and energetic vocals and mixed it with epic synth lines. "Take a ticket", instead, is a mid tempo introspective synth wave tune with passionate vocals and nice melodies recalling me a bit John Foxx. Those were two really nice songs which showed the potential Paul Chambers had and that he couldn't prove with a full length release. Fortunately, now, Anna Logue Records is giving to Paul that chance and is giving to us listeners the pleasure to check a double feature release: an LP titled "Stations", containing vocal and instrumental tracks where you can find also the two songs I mentioned and a CD titled "Absorptions" containing fourteen instrumental tracks which sound like a soundtrack for futuristic movies (for the concept of future that people had in early 80s) made with screaming synthesizers and cold drum machines plus a different mix (even colder than the previous one) of "Take a ticket". If "Absorptions" represents the experimental side of Paul Chambers, "Stations" contains synth wave gems like "The appointment with fear" (where sudden pitch changes make it sounds like a post punk track for aliens), "You are time" (syths leads play a mysterious atmosphere while Paul sings mesmerizing the audience like David Bowie was used to), "Crazy lazy" (try to think to a version of Japan's "Nightporter" played by Vangelis) or "Title name" (a slow synth r'n'r tune with guitar solos and fat lead sounds). I hope that Paul will dig some more into his archives to give us more songs. He's a multifaceted artist and he'd deserve to get the proper exposure even if it arrives thirty years late.
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anymore
Artist: Artefactum
Title: Foxgloves & bluebells
Format: CD
Label: ur muzik (@)
Rated: *****
This album from Artefactum deals programmatically with poetry because almost all of the lyrics is based on poems by various author and mostly from the romantic age.
"Fairly Lanterns" is constructed above the voice of Merissa d'Erlette above a sounscape made out of a drones and various bells giving a sort of romantic nightmare. Noises and a cavernous drone introduce the listener into "Of Subterranean Inhabitants" where spoken word gives a poetic mood to the whole track. "Primrose chant" is a sort of abstract tune for infants. "Oraisons mauvaises" is a repetitive ambient loop that ornes the voices of David Sabre reading the words of Remy de Gourmont. "Where Saffron and Daises Grow" uses the words of Emily Bronte whispered on a lovely and dark soundscape full of evocative images ending with a piano line. "La belle dame sans merci" is based on the lyrics of John Keats and is the softer track of this album with the bells to create the almost ethereal mood of the track with also the nature samples and ending, using traditional flutes and beats, with a smile.
This is a sophisticated album that lies between dark and ethereal with almost ethnic influence. It's an uneasy listening but, with a careful curiosity, will reveal a poetic depth. Quite nice.
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Artist: John Berndt (@)
Title: New Logic for Old Saxophones
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The youngest hyperactive member of the second wave of the so-called Neoist movement, faithful to both the philosophy and musical researches by Henry Flynt - the father of Concept Art and of the Fluxus movement, an interesting attempt to destroy the barriers between existence and artistical creation - and to the experimental researches related to improvisional music - he invented the so-called Relabi style, an almost esotheric concept of sound design close to the idea of primordial rhythm, which has attracted some attentions by Computer Music fans, but who has been criticized for the difficulties for any possible application on "played" music, even if Mr.Berndt applied its principles both in the composition for his group Multiphonic Choir and his orchestral project known as Second Nature (have a look here, if you are interested to investigate this subject thoroughly, check it here: http://www.johnberndt.org/relabi/index.html -, founder of the Red Room collective and organizer of the well-known High Zero Festival in Baltimore, one of the most important event related to the most experimental side of improvised music, John Berndt unearths two vintage saxophones - one 1933 Buescher Soprano (arguably an S-50 Bb, belonging to the legendary New Aristocrat series) and 1935 Conn Alto (I could guess it's a 6m, also known as Naked Lady, but I'm not sure...) - to apply his performative "logic", whose postulates doesn't derive only from "standards" like the ones by Ornette Coleman, but the catching phrases of Berndt seem digging in different stylistical grounds and it's quite amazing noticing the intertwining of modular or free jazz with arabian scales. The introduction of the release by Denpasar you will find in the leaflet seems tryng to draw a "poetical" framework, more than conceptual, around it by making impressive descriptions, looking like mental movies inspired by Berndt's exhumation. You will find some sort of tributes to other respected improvisional musicians - you'll wonder how this scant community of musicians is close-knit and bounder than an Amish one! -, such as the Italian Gianni Gebbia, the stagy saxophonist Anthony Braxton and the eccentric Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour (A Material Answer, the track tributed to her way of performing based on a visceral interaction between the instrument and vocal noises, is maybe the most amazing of the album!). Someone could argue John Berndt makes sonorous stuff for snobbish listeners due to somewhat invasive excess of technicism, but it's difficult to deny this fourth solo-album by this skilled improv musician is amazing.
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