Music Reviews



Seba: Identity

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 17 2013
cover
Artist: Seba
Title: Identity
Format: CD
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Inside the alchemical symbol of fire, the comic portrait of Sebastian Ahrenberg aka Seba depicts himself in a whirlpool of tentacles, diamonds, a cute girl biting apple and everyhting which could summarize a story, including feelings, passions, temptations, pains, fears, thoughts, victories, defeats and whatever seems to be the fuel whose combustive agent cannot be but drum'n'bass. Such a "humanization" of the genre is one of the most relevant aspect of the second labum by this appreciated Swedish producer, which shuffle his best cards for the highest stakes of dnb folowers by conjugating a wide arrays of styles and some hints from past champions: for instance, some of you could recall some intersections between dnb and alternative rock by Pendulum while listening the engaging "Too much too soon", where Jinder seems to sing about the emotive consequences of an impulsive passion, some "romanticized" tunes from Hospital while listening the masterpiece of liquid dnb "Nothing can replace", whose skilled singer could recall the style by Kirsty Hawkshaw (or maybe she is Kirsty Hawkshaw...!?!?!) with vocal nuances which could remember LTJ Bukem's Logical Progressions, some grimly computational pre-apocalyptic atmospheres and the devilish voice-over by Ed Rush & Optical's "Travel The Galaxy" on title-track "Identity", some pad-driven soft skidding by Omni Trio on the initial "Can't Describe" or even some elastic Detroit techno by Basic Channel or Bochum Welt on the unique stunning and somehow unexpected techno track of the album "Midas". In spite of possible remembrances, you cannot but notice the elegant touch by Seba and appreciate his astonishing versatility. There are really many master strokes. My personal favs are the above-mentioned "Nothing can replace", the majestic epic synaesthetical hooks of "Balance of Power" (not so different from some tunes by Upbeats), the perfect crossbreed between progressive techno and breakbeat of "Could this be love" and the heart-melting emotional intensity of the soulful song "Madness". This release by the owner of Secret Operations, which could be considered one of the proper dnb highlights of 2013, cannot but deserve 5 stars.

Pilocka Krach: Fame

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 17 2013
cover
Artist: Pilocka Krach (@)
Title: Fame
Format: 7"
Label: Greatest Hits International (@)
Distributor: Word and Sound
Rated: *****
According to the danceable statement by talented forger of electro beat Pilocka Krach, everybody's name is fame! Even yours! On this delectable appetizer, she combines spoken words with delicious electro-pop and electro-house pills by hooking that humorous subtle irriverence of some glamouresque acts (I could mention Miss Kittin's death certificate of Frank Sinatra or some other tunes which plays hide and seek which reverse electrotypes from the world of showbuz and fashion), so that after kind preamble ("Hi..how are you?") she repeatedly introduces herself with the typical formula "my name is..." and evokes an array of possible identities (money, kiss, Kurt Cobain, Mexico, alcohol, cool, swimming pool, bubblegum, cigarettes and so on), which lead back to fame while she rolls on funny samples, enthralling elecrobeat cogs, elastic malicious bleeps on "My Name is Fame", a possible response to a classic by David Bowie, who got celebrated together with his unique declension of pop on the amazing list of famous dead people of the following "David Bowie will never die" as well as on different clus by Pilocka. In addition to the digital version, "Fame" comes on fine 7" limited edition vynil with three digital remixes of "My Name Is Fame": while the first one by Philip Bader sharpens the zesty taste of the original track and the recreational rhytmical grip by means of dry hits and smashing claps, Be Svendsen Remix pulls a playful aroma out of the original track by nice synthesizer-flute arrangements and vocoder voice a là Max Headroom which smells like vintage break dance. The cherry on top comes from Sven Dohse, which ignites his remix with classy beats and frizzy electronic gushes from trask-funky hues of original guinea pig.

Mergrim: Intersect Landscape

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 12 2013
cover
Artist: Mergrim
Title: Intersect Landscape
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Moph (@)
Rated: *****
Sprouted from his acclaimed debut album "Invisible Landscape", Tokyo-based Takahisa Mitsumori aka Mergrim gives worldwide listeners the chance to know many interesting Japanese artists and musicians (mainly unknown on this side of the planet), who have been involved in the remix project "Intersect Landscape". All remixers managed to keep the miscellany of glistening crispness, daydreaming vibe and aerodynamic forces of the original sonic mold by means of wise chromatic variations without omitting their stylistical mark: I found particularly catching the sobbing glitches of swishes by m-koda on "Beautiful Corruption", the entrancing jazzy gliding of no.9 on "Soft'n Poetry", which could make you think about an imaginary crossbreed of some tracks by dZihan & Kamien ("Homebase", "Drophere") by Sakamoto or viceversa, remix of Arch by Go-qualia, whose title, "Chemistry of a dream and a spring breeze", is the proper description of what you're going to experience, the delicate piano expansions of moshimoss on "Senkyou" and Lycoriscoris on the melancholic "Ideal That Fade Out", miaou's remix of "Noir Noir", which could be associated by many Western tasteful listeners to an airy variation of Cornelius' music, saccharin folktronica resins of agraph on remix of "Dry Aesthetic", the chirping childish vocal interpretation of Cokiyu on her remix of "Step Of The Flakes", the frothy electronic tunes of Ametsub on "Shdwgrph *Grain", the sleepwalking casting of electronic honey by Geskia! on "Absentminded Drowsiness", the enthralling electronic-house flying over by Dj Sodeyama on his reinterpretation of "Beautiful Corruprion". The fact I quoted all of them at last could be indicative of their respective quality, so that it's really difficult to make a rank. The second cd of "Intersect Landscape" includes some live-tracks that Mergrim recorded during his tour in Japan and China, where his music got rocketed over the clouds by the precious collaboration of talented drummer Kazuya Matsumoto. If you like jazz-spotted glitch airy electronics, you'll find this listening experience really blissful!

VV.AA.: Mise En Place pt.2

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 09 2013
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Mise En Place pt.2
Format: 12"
Label: Ingredients Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The second part of Mise en Place series of EP by relentless d'n'b label Ingredients includes another poker of high-quality stuff. The first to play his ace card is George Ovens aka Dub Phizix, who tempers his typically mettlesome staccato breaks with an uncommon touch of melancholy and meteoropathy on his winsome "Rainy City Music", which according to his own words, it immediately became his own favorite tune. Such an intensively pensive mood congeals on the shattering remix of Villem's "Splinter Your Mind" by Break, who wraps crazy metallic splinters and tonal chips into a sort of spicy rhythmical roulade with a foil of sizzling distorted bass. The following "Blue Eyes" by Skeptical is a master stroke which manages to combine sinister hisses excoriating rhythmical tumbles and female murmurs and to turn a dark minimal d'n'b tune into something really classy. The concoction between ascending pad synths, whipping rolls, roaring bass-stuffed bustle and warlike bangs marks the final explosive "No Return" by dRamatic and dbAudio out. This second course of Mise En Place stunning libation sounds so yummy that it kept on whetting my appetite...I'm just waiting for the third course.

VV.AA.: Hunted EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 08 2013
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Hunted EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Rated: *****
On the cover artwork of release number 40 by renowned label by Caine, which is hotly marking time and keeping abreast with the interesting stylistical niche of dark minimal drum'n'bass, there's a printed tyrannosaurus, but on the face of the persistent and fast beat rolling of the six amazing tracks on it, it could be some hybrid between that ravenous ginormous lizard and a velociraptor indeed. There's a constant sense of rush and escape from a threatening predator over this release, whose emphasis by the talented producers involved in this EP conveys a suspenseful tone. After the extremely basic hitting, anxious ticking and cavernous echoes of the initial title-track by St.Petersburg-based producers Andy Pain and Z Connection, a sinister murmur, frenzied tablas and grimy laser shooting on Fade's "Tribal Dancer" relocate the pursuing scene into an imaginary jungle. The wiry neurotech and the rhythmical stretches on sci-fi ghastly sonorities of "Lost & Found" by Kuantum, the clobbering catchy beats on "Fissure" by Mono, the reprise of tribal style by means of disquieting reverberations, slanting wicked pressure and infectious bass hits on the gorgeous "Achime" by Hungarian producer Giocator, the relentless ride which got deceptively masked by floating flutes of the final "Course" by talnted Ukrainian producer Disept quicken the break. "Hunted" definitively sounds like a prehistoric sonic adventure rendered by futuristic sounds, which overlaps to current wild crazy civilization, whose dynamic pressure is sometimes more monstrous than sharp chops of a giant-sized reptile.


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