Music Reviews



NO SURRENDER : medicine babies

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 31 2011
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Artist: NO SURRENDER
Title: medicine babies
Format: CD
Label: Zerokilled (@)
Weird, I think that's the first time I review a cd so blatantly dance oriented and that's a real pity, probably it has to do with the fact the majority of the music I review (and the majority of the materials I write about in Chaindlk) stands somewhere else. Electro-house production 4/4 tempo with male female vocals as it's supposed to be, a a good production but still not as boombastic as someone may expect from a cd like that. The music is cathcy, really dance till you drop with a poppy vein pulsing underneath and your usual "back to the eighties" sensation. Synths, a bit of guitar, vocal driving the tracks and a hell of a taste for melodies and that's probably the best quality of this project. The fact No Surrender are able to put together well written tracks can be demostrated by the fact while listening to the cd I was moving my feet to the rhythm of the music. Somewhere else they have a bit of rap music melted in the cocktail and it also reminded me of Beam and some Anti Pop Consortium, but this definitley more dancy. Still to be refined but a good start.

Solvent: RDJCS5 EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 24 2011
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Artist: Solvent (@)
Title: RDJCS5 EP
Format: 12"
Label: Suction (@)
Rated: *****
In my life, I've met many spendthrift fetishists who rival with other compulsive bidders to pursue the knocking-down for many bizarre objects, often with no real value in use and consequently overpaid, just because they belonged to some famous figure. I've nothing to complain about it to be honest, but I wonder how many people waste money just to stock them in a dusty showcase or inside a trunk whenever they change furniture. You should know that there's a considerably huge market for used musical instruments, where you can even buy off-key guitars, cracked organs or nibbled plectrums for a huge amount of money, which can be just redeemed with some certificate of authenticity, bearing witness to its previous famous owner (it's sometimes reccomendable to check fingerprints if the auctioner didn't wipe them out indeed!) ...well, many people are persuaded that a portion of the creative wit can be ideally engraved in the object he used, a sort of hallmark of the genius! Maybe Solvent's friend who spent $1200 for an old Yamaha CS5, owned by Richard David James aka Aphex Twin, being seemingly part of the audio equipment for Selected Ambient Works Vol.II (as it's explicitly mentioned in the linear notes of that great record) could have justified his purchase at VEMIA auction - acronym for Vintage Electric Musical Instrument Auctions, a private auction held twice a year where you can buy a lot of instruments, previously played by notorious musicians - after such a deduction, as it's quite difficult to admit it was a good bargain, as some friend of mine bought the same instrument for half a price (or even less) from some obscure repairer's workshop, even if on the occasion of another famous VEMIA auction, some anonymous bidder bought an EMS Synthi from Brian Eno for just £16.000! By the way, this guy had at least the good idea to entrust this glorious machine to a skilled friend, Solvent, who managed to create an EP, he entitled RDJCS5 - RDJ are the initials of Richard D.James -, where he gives a demonstration of his compositional skills in assembling 4 nice electro tracks in spite of the limits of this little synth. Most of them, particularly Radiator and Tassels, remind some pieces of sound artillery on AFX's Analords, while the first one, Curtains, could remove the dust from some musical memories related to the very first tunes by Bochum Welt or even some "lighter" tracks by Lowfish for the "dadaist" insert of an atmospheric programming of the oscillators. If you decide to buy the 12" vynil limited edition, you will also find a bonus track, entitled Sandpaper, which is a sort of drone a lot of djs are going to enjoy. A nice release which could persuade you to lend your dusty music machines to Suction's studios!
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Artist: Falko Brocksieper (@)
Title: Alkem Nukem EP
Format: CD EP
Label: False Industries (@)
Distributor: i-tunes
Rated: *****
False Industries' folks are keeping their promise to the listeners about stocking their catalogue to a line of action inspired by the purpose of upkeeping the highest qualitative levels they can reach and this 4th release, signed by Falko Brocksieper, one of the father of the so-called sound of Cologne and founder of Sub Static (together with Mia Grobelny) and Karloff - two important brands in electronic music nowadays - bragging about a plenty of releases for renowned labels such as Resopal, Tongut, Tribstoff, Tuning Spork, Dumb Unit, whose style based on the hybridization of minimal techno with analog sound with an immediate hypnotical hook - I could reccomend to listen to his second album Heavy Day on Sub Static to have an idea of his sound -, which many other notorious producers (Sid Le Rock, Akufen, Gabriel Ananda, Benjamin Fehr, just to name a few) who asked remixes to him, corroborates such a noble purpose. In order to pursue the label's intent, Falko didn't assemble any techno tune, but leant towards some sonic solutions between computational textures and broken ambient paracentesis (the astonishingly cinematic wet catharsis of Westfalia with his powerful ultra-low frequencies and the hypnotical clicking of the beat-blemished Mellica - my favorite track - are great examples of this crossbreed) as well as an experimental approach, where he mixed together in an intriguing way different sonic elements such as in the title-track, Alkem Nukem (it's eloquent the fact Falko choosed the names of two German companies, who build atomic reactors, to give a name to this issue), where he inserted dripping bleeps and padded pulses inside the sulphuric cloud evaporating from a sort of processed white noise, and The Boy Who Turned Yellow, where he assembled a sort of orchestra from miniaturized and "muted" sounds including a "dirty" snare drum, some vocal syllabic samples - turned into percussive elements - and woods, a kind of musical cryonics who reminded to me some past tracks by Riou Tomita. This EP also includes two remixes of Westfalia - the former by NY-based Morgan Packard (Anticipate) where the original track sounds desiccated before injected in the chilling micro-dub groove, while in the latter Mark Van Hoen aka Locust (my favorite remix) manages to tighten the strings through a downbeat stepping on highly tense analog sequences - and two remixes of Mellica - a delicious arctic dubbed silent riding by the Canadian brothers Thibideau aka Repair and a sort of weird and nightmarish childplay by Benjamin Fehr and Lenique -.

LASZLO: Radial Nerve

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 11 2011
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Artist: LASZLO
Title: Radial Nerve
Format: CD
Label: Lydian Label
Rated: *****
Laszlo is the moniker of Aaron Frederick Wheeler, composer/producer based in London. His music blends many genres like IDM/Electronica/Experimental and Jazz/World/Folk/Classical. His first album, which will be released on Lydian Label the 5th of September, is titled RADIAL NERVE. He decided for such a title after he broke his radial nerve and once recovered, succeeded into composing new tracks even if doctors were thinking it would have been impossible to. The eleven tracks of the album shows really well Laszlo's wide musical interests that spans from Balearic atmospheres passing through jazz and techno. Many different instruments have been used on each track and if fusion sounding "Satori" has piano, mandolin, flute and vocals with i.d.m. rhythms, the short opening "Radial Nerve" to me sounds like a techno version of "Tubular Bells" and it sounds great. Percussions, dulcimer, piano, percussions and gongs are the main elements on "Musicbox Vs Dulcimer" while piano (sometimes reversed), vocals, jazzy drums, synth bass, flute and classic guitar are the ones of "Lydia's Dream". Sounding sometimes dreamy and others cinematic RADIAL NERVE will please the lovers of sophisticated chill out music.
Aug 04 2011
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Artist: Cardopusher (@)
Title: Yr Fifteeen Minutes Are Up
Format: CD
Label: Tigerbeat6 (@)
Distributor: RevolverUSA
Rated: *****
I'm pursuing Dj Cardo aka Luis Garban since when I discovered his sound by chance in a small record shop in Berlin through Unity Means Power - Cardopusher's second album - on Ad Noiseam's imprint three or four years ago. His way of combining dusty chirping breakcore (from8to64bits) chips with massive dubstep quite similar to that mania affecting some wholesome people like Soundboy, Tes La Rock or Quarta330, could have sketched a sneering smile on my face close to the ones which made Richard James so attractive to so many people, but I cannot confirm such a circumstance as I don't remember any mirrored image of myself in that shop! I'vee been so pleased to find out that even if this guy partially changed stylistical explorations as it seems following the abstract/cosmic directions taken by some dubstep producers and its crossings with ambient and other syncretic syncopes, his sampledelic way of creating miscellaneous tracks featuring that bizarre and eccentric hook Tigerbeat6's team usually dumps proves to be inshrinkable and trustworthy as well. Mechanics of the first two tracks, Antisharkz and Paintbrush, based on the intertwining of good rhythmical crafts with bleepy phunky sounds is quite similar, but if you keep on listening to the album, you'll enjoy Cardopusher istrionic skills as he easily juggles with Latin sketches, dubby techno, sampling, electro, vocals all over it! There are many tracks which could be frequently burned inside your hi-fi system. I'll just list mt favorite ones: on the top of the list, there are tracks such as Juice In Blender, Coppertoned Punch and Idle Talk, whereas Luis blends the highly danceable synth grooves (it's not casual the presence of remixes of the first two of the mentioned songs in the tracklist...to be honest I prefer original versions) with latin and floating ambient elements, the little rascal hip-hop golden sensation evoked by MC Sensational on We Want Ca$h, the funny remixe of Kid606 & Jessie Quattro's Holiday whereas Cardopusher enjoys playing on fills of the four percussive elements of the rhythmical pattern on the intriguing "la-la-la" by the female singer. I'm pretty sure most listenerswill appreciate the elegant style by Cardopusher as even if he generates storms on the pattern, it seems he doesn't lose his composure. My fifteen minutes-lasting coffee&sigarette break for reviewing this nice record is up!


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