Music Reviews

Artist: Robert Normandeau (@)
Title: Palimpsestes
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Many followers of electroacoustic music and fans of one of the most renowned imprint, the Canadian label empreintes DIGITALes, were asking themselves about this skilled performer Robert Normandeau, who already signed a plenty of "movies" for the ears according to the way many reviewers described his art, but after listening to his long-awaited album - his last release on the label was "Puzzles", which came on the unlucky DVD-Audio format -, I could say it's worth the wait. The initial title-track "Palimpsestes" is an amazing collage of hubbubs, gargles, sniggers, grumbles, soughs, wheezes, snorts, pants and other bizarre expression of human voice, whose opening "disorganization" seems to get gradually organized so that they looks like staging a sort of gargantuan machine in the second part of the track, while the following "Murmures" is an interesting acousmatic sample, where Robert seems to amplify metallic, plastic and gummy noises in order to render a certain sense of perceived mechanical degradation, whose incessant sinister swarming sounds constantly transposed from urban to natural settings. On "Jeu De Langues", he manages to render flushed and flustered sides of the nocturnal hot dreams he grabs and the subtle flutes he added vividly depict the worming of wantonness and tempting reveries which silently sneak into a bed. The following track "Anadliad" - the one I like most - has been named after a Gaelic word, which means breath and inspiration, and the great work he made by combining the sound of a bagpipe and a pigborn, a Welsh wind instrument, and the strong winds and intense storms of that lovely place of the planet could let you feel like a particle, which get pushed out of the drones to meet the violent electric energy of thunders outside before getting inhaled again into bagpipe's bag, a listening experience which anticipates the final "Palindrome", a mesmerizing track, where various sonic elements seems to overwhelm listeners after wrapping them up by a series of eruptions which feed a persisting mental strain.
Artist: VV.AA.
Format: CD
Label: SantoS Productions (@)
Rated: *****
The small Italian label Santos Productions by Davide Fernia manages to erect a monumental sonic mausoleum dedicated to big names of history, politics or culture, whose lives are somewhat memorable whether right or wrong, by involving some of the most renowned (mainly) Italian representatives and explorers of grey interzone, who offer an impressive collection of various facets of this obscure and unconventional scene, whose stylistical ground lies on tape and noise art, post-industrial, electronic experiments, dark ambient, neo-folk, ritual ambient as well as on a fertile humus of occult subjects, paganism, underground cultures, futurism, political activism and so on. This 17-tracks compilation of "requiems" opens with "Le 516 volte di Giovanni" ("The 516 times by Giovanni") by Massimo Olla's project Noisedelik, whose sinister rasps on guitar strings, noises of chains, grinding blades, metallic objects and coughs which seem to come from filthy wet prison cells become more and more claustrophobic and obsessive like the imminent execution by the hands of the character whom this track refers, Giovanni Battista Bugatti, commonly known as Mastro Titta, the cruel official executioner for the Papal States in the first half of XIX century, who carried out 516 executions. That's a sticking way to start this commemoration, which carries on with memorable memorials. All tracks include proper sonic hints and quotes by the personalities they referred to so that it's almost impossible to state an "order of preference" as well as a dissertation about each memorial could be excessively rambling. Anyway there are some tracks which struck me more, but such a list cannot be considered thorough at all: ofr instance I found particularly catchy the treatment LCHM and KHEM reserved on "Neo Mondo" to a reading by Pier Paolo Pasolini of some excerpts from Ezra Pound's "The Pisan Cantos" with the quotation of the known verse "What thou lovest well remains, / the rest is dross", the psychotropic evocation Simon Balestrazzi offers on "The Airtight Garage of Jean Giraud (Requiem for Moebius)", the guessed industrial anxiety on "Crunch/Grind Mechanism" by Automageddon in order to remember the controversial General Ludd, the memory glimpses of some literary climax by Danilo Kis while listening to the tribute by Maurizio Bianchi, Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron, the touching dark folk song dedicated to Ota Benga by TSIDMZ and Rose Rovine e Amanti, the synaesthetic sonic remembrance of the brave deeds by Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary Nestor Makhno on "Tacianka Armata" by Brigata Stirner, the scary abrasions by Uncodified for his homage/memorial to Italian witty film director Lucio Fulci or the ripping dedication by meand of headbanging reading within a storm of noises to the innovative aesthaetics of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima by The Streetcleaner and Troy Southgate, but I cannot but reaffirm such a list doesn't justice to other sound artists, who gave their precious contribution to the general impressiveness of the project.

PascAli: Suspicious Activity

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7361)
Dec 21 2012
Artist: PascAli (@)
Title: Suspicious Activity
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The cover artwork of this funny release by PascAli, collaborative project of Sean Ali and Pascal Niggenkemper, seems to suggest the source of raw materials for the preparation of their enhanced double-basses, which lie in respective cases on a wheelie bin! Even if they avoid any kind of processing, effects and electronics, they manages to keep their sound genuinely acoustic and impressively descriptive, so that you don't really need a review to understand what you're going to listen to! You just have to read the titles, even if some allusions are just ironic, provocative or jeering ("Britpop", "Perpetua", "Pavarotties"). The mere listening of a CD could deprive the listener of the pleasure of their bizarre ways for the transfiguration of double-bass, as I'm pretty sure you'll wonder about the techniques and objects they used to turn their musical instruments into squawking chickens ("Chicken Talk"), shredders ("How Long Does It Take Styrofoam To Become Earth Again?"), power saws ("Sawing Logs"), angry dogs ("Dog Bite"), beloved fetishes ("Kissing F-holes"), resounding behives ("Buzzing Bees"), innuendos ("Serene Moment", "Bonanza's Nuts", "Witch Tricks") or authentic sonic set designer ("Highway To Hell", "Industrial Romance"). I've just listed a part of the wide sonic mimicry this creative couple of musicians collected in 22 wacky sketches. I'll leave you the pleasure to explore the remaining sketches of pure sonic camouflage.
Artist: Slow Listener (@)
Title: The Long Rain
Format: Tape
Label: Exotic Pylon Records (@)
Rated: *****
An unaccostumed declension of darkest ambient comes from Robin Dickinson under his moniker Slow Listener on Exotic Pylon, the appreciated and quite eccentric label by Jonny Mugwump, whose unconvenionality for contemporary times is clear since its format: "The Long Rain" has not only been recorded entirely on tape, but the sound is so dirty and crackling that you could surmise the tape he used was overdubbed many times before getting so murky and was found in the forgotten archives of some abandoned loony bin. Sinister squeaks, pitched drones of claustrophobic extended bells, occasional field recordings, a disquieting mechanical meddling with metallic utensils on a sobbing engine and a job lot of other sonic incrustations playing over the somewhat obscure and periodic repetition of the expression "the light" (or was he meant to say "delight"?) by a male of voice before the deep breath of a sleeper on the first suite "And Nor Was He Mistaken" and the more abrasive and scraped drones, the "constipated" corrosions, the recording of a rain shower and unremittingly lo-fi loops and layering before the bizarre monologue on the second part of "Ondras Rising" depict a certain feeling of "enlighted" seclusion and alienation, which partially remind those cut-up stuff by various "esoteric" and majick-oriented industrial transmissions such as Coil's "How To Destroy Angels", Throbbing Gristle's "Hamburger Lady" or more recent dark ritual-ambient Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia's "Dust (At The Crossroads)". The association between the sound of "The Long Rain" and the weird atmospheres of William Hope Hodgson's "The Night Land" - a classic novel which traces the existence of survivors on a dystopian Planet Earth, living inside a huge metal pyramid after the Sun powered off and the only lights on Earth got produced by the glow of some active volcanoes - is quite guessed.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Juggernaut Services presents: Moving Mountains Vol. 1
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Juggernaut Services (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: *****
We at the Chain D.L.K. are welcoming and sending congratulations to our colleague Nick Quarm and his new activity under Juggernaut Services. Nick has made himself a quite good name as reviewer/interviewer for the Swedish Brutal Resonance webzine. He has established with Juggernaut Services a promotional tool to interested underground artists to extract more exposure out of Nick's experience and world-wide based contacts. In the first instance Nick works with his clients to gain attention by the international press, promoters, online-bloggers and other resources. His website introduces widely this promotional agency, so I leave it for now and start to concentrate on the music content of this first compilation compiled to introduce the most important content of the whole concept, the artist. 'Moving Mountains', which is available via the Bandcamp website of Juggernaut Services, represents the rather hard side of his clients and it is filled with driving beats and harsh distorted vocals. Some ideal stuff to invade the dancefloors of the darkest clubs is pretty much available here. The COP-recording project nolongerhuman opens and also closes this compilation and this one already counts to the more prominent clients of Nick's agency. 'One For You, One For Me 2010' as being the opener already sets the standard on a very high level and if I listen to the used synthesizer pads, song structure and vocal processing, I feel myself pretty much remembered to Suicide Commando's 'Axis Of Evil' album. Also the closing track 'Transcend Humanity' impresses with a straight but melodic sound-design and it is quite clear that this project can be hardly topped by the further participants. Next one is the UK-based project Tactical Module with 'Dead Zone' the title track of their latest, freely available same-titled EP ( Straight-forward produced beats and sequencer lines supported by dark Metal-like guitar-riffs, but unfortunately with a very poor sounding vocal performance are the leading elements of this appearance. Cease2xist are one of the British hopes to storm on top of the Harsh EBM genre, but compared to the crystal-clear quality of nolongerhuman they are suffering a bit on the fact not to have the best studio possibilities available. Like most of the invited projects on this 15 track-compilation, also Cease2xist present us two tunes. 'Teenage America' is a great composition with a well recognized socio-critical content, but also 'Tonight' convinces. San Diego's duo RetConStruct comes up next, also they could enter two slots on this compilation. They are to me pretty much gifted with talent, but at times they are dwelling a bit to much in obscurity. 'All Gone Awry' provides a strange and out-of-range-sounding vocal performance which actually ruins a good track, while their straight produced second appearance 'The Maelstrom' is the much better done track. With the Poland-based project Controlled Collapse and their two appearances 'Halloween' and 'This Nightmare' you'll get another relative prominent contributor to this compilation and it does good to hear Mr. Wojciech leaving the field of Harsh EBM/Hellectro to the other kids. This band has grown and reached maturity, the arrangements are pretty much filled with details, while I sometimes dislike the deep, a bit monotonous sounding vocals. However, musically on a quite recommendable course, keep it on. Warsickle hails, as far what I know, out of the Czech Republic. Their first track 'Help From Outer Space' is a well-done Dark Electro instrumental tune, while the second 'Call For Help' suffers again under a not convincing vocal performance. It gets heavier and to me hard to bite with the Australian quartet of Eschaton Hive - that is hard and raging Metal-Industrial music, which is in the first instance louder produced than bombs - while this doesn't make it any better. And please don't ask me what kind of poem you can extract out of a title like 'Zombie Attack Plan', phhh. We have two additional one-track appearances with the rhythmic Powernoise-project Tapewyrm - actually a good and unique sounding addition to this genre - and the Scotland-based Industrial project Plastic Noose. Their 'Zu Allen' features energetic male vocals - actually good and natural sounding vocals - in a rusty Electro/Industrial/Coldwave-like sound environment, which reminds me somehow on a classic project like Carbon 12 (... who remembers them?). Nice to hear a project to break a bit with conventions, this one is recommendable - through the darkness we will hear!
All in all a first nice overview of the musically harder-minded projects presented through Juggernaut Services - it has highs and depths, but I guess this was to expect. This compilation as well as the follow-up contender 'Calming Cyclones' is currently available as downloads via the Juggernaut Bandcamp website, but there are plans to release the best participants out of both as a real pressed CD. It belongs a bit on your will to support the Electro/Industrial underground. So you can be a part of it by donating via IndieGoGo here: The advantages for you can be told: you'll be the first in the world to own the releases, and some of the Juggernaut acts have put personal gifts in the pot to say thanks. In recent news, the track listing for the CD release is in development. To top all this, the release will have unreleased and exclusive tracks by God Destruction and Rein[Forced]. So let's get in and join the forces of the Juggernaut Services and its attractive roster.

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