Music Reviews



Chaim: Alive

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 19 2011
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Artist: Chaim
Title: Alive
Format: CD
Label: BPitch Control (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
After the superb compilation Werkschau, I personally expected something different from the worthy Ellen Aillen's label, especially as a cadeaux for St.Valentine's day! It doesn't mean that BPitch doesn't love listeners at all, but to be honest the strong-willed Israelian "producer" Chaim Avital's debut album doesn't manage to seduce my ears at all. It's true that Chaim declared that most of tracks included in this issue are related to memories of parties he took part when in Tel Aviv, so that some of them could have fatally been influenced by some vintage house - even if I have to admit that some tracks sound like a blood transfusion from New York sonorities' strong veins into the emaciated body of Chicago house, still kept alive by the ventilating machines of an host of producers and djs such as Robert Owens, are interesting especially when refined with delicate melodies...check tracks like the initial Rain, Everything, Alive or the crispy and warm (Balearic) breeze of Runaway Frequencies, one of my favorite piece of the whole album in spite of the plenty of musical quotations, maybe cause it reminded to me some "Morriconian" soundtrack in exotic sauce! -, but sometimes I got the feeling he'sputting pressure on prodigious pupils to study harder. In some tracks, it appears that kind of glamouresque ghosts who recently haunted the sound machines of Bomb The Bass or even Unkle - tracks like Who Said What, featuring the nice vocals of Elisa Sednaoui, and above all Robots On Meth are bodies of such an evidence - or the ones haunting prestigious German techno club such as Cocoon - on the nice People Can Talk one of these ghost seems to speak...even ghosts need to be loved, lads! Should it be the reason why among brimful synth-brasses and forged claps, does Chaim insert the sample of a departing airplane?!?!? -, but this good guy could dare give more...

ROTTERDAM: Cambodia

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 17 2011
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Artist: ROTTERDAM
Title: Cambodia
Format: CD
Label: Everest Records (@)
Coming from Vienna, Rotterdam are a duo formed by Susanne Amann (cello, flute, electronics) and Michael Klauser (acoustic guitar, electronics). CAMBODIA is their debut album and it is the result of ten years of sound experiments. The seven tracks of the album born from compression of sound treatments obtained from acoustic instruments mixed with samples. The result is a sort of minimal hypnotic schizophrenia which finds its way out through repetitive loops progressions. The effect is a particular one, because it sounds like a minimal techno album where the only source of rhythm is coming from strings picking, violin squeaking and I don't know what kind of treated sound source, which at the end sounds like a digital beat. The tracks sound obsessive and repetitive but the atmosphere span from melancholy to confusion passing though schizophrenia and isolation. Intense experience but avoid the listening if you are already feeling stressed by your daily life.

Aardia: Conquest of The Ancient Halls

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 13 2011
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Artist: Aardia
Title: Conquest of The Ancient Halls
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Aardia is a Swedish trio that started creating music together as soon as 1999, making music to underground horror films (mostly in the Zombie genre) and creating demos, have songs on compilations and more. 2008 they joined Waerloga Records, a label that releases Za Frumi and other dark fantasy inspired groups, and now in the early parts of 2011 the debut album is released.

According to Waerloga Records the process has been very slow and demanding but really worth the while. Not many albums like "Conquest of The Ancient Halls" reach me but when they do I get really happy.

The music is bombastic at times and more moody at others. Arcana, Za Frumi, Erdenstern and film music to fantasy movies comes to mind when listening. One thing that strike my right away and that's the great sound of the album. Simon Kolle of Za Frumi have both mixed and mastered the album and that was a great move by Aardia for sure!
Another thing that I really like is the way the music feels so well done. The music is neo classical at times, but does not resemble classical music as much as music for the movies.

The album is clearly made with inspiration taken from dark fantasy and I think this is the best Waerloga release in a while. A friend of mine visited me while listening to the album and she asked me from which new computer game the music was from and first I took that as an insult but she did not meant it that way. Music to computer games now a days is made by really good composers and some of the games sell in millions.

Conquest of The Ancient Halls got no bad song and one hit in the bombastic and action packed piece called The Conquest. Great work, I am impressed and will listen to Aardia a lot this spring.

Concise: Ingénue

 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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Feb 10 2011
cover
Artist: Concise
Title: Ingénue
Format: CD
Label: Wycombe Music (@)
Distributor: NovaMedia
Rated: *****
I'll try to be concise:

1) Concise is the musical project born from the concomitant lambing of an out-of-time musical style standing on the borders between crispy techno-ambient, idm and electro-pop from Christian Grass' uterine creativity and the knitting of tidy vocalization and meaningful lyrics of the singer Katrin Segert aka Yrea, both of them assisted by the obstetrical talented drumming of Sebastain Bode (12systems) and incubated as well as lovely nursed by warm electronic patterns by Robert Helms (eqt, umami) and genetically empowered by the precious contribution of Florian Ziller aka Flaque, propelling with his gloomy dilutions the last six tracks of this issue in order to initiate and guide this brand newborn freaky creature during its first steps (...we're not sure about its sex...arguably it's androgynous !) amidt the intricate webs of sensorial and intellective envinronment and embossing the auroral insight of this project...it's really moving the "logical" and musical progression ending with the track "sentience [suffering]", presumably marking the end of naïvety of the creature I imagined, but not the delicate candour of Concise's music.

2) Their music looks like a grandiloquent narration of the creative process, far from being a boring or pretentious makeshift of some wisdom writings, whose airy harmonics, hypnotic movements, soft melodies of the first part, nicely highlighted by crispy beats and dry sound whose cleaving result and rhythmical crackings, more heightned in the second part of the record whereas Flaque reaches steps close drum'n'bass and broken beats, which could evoke the breaking of the pod or better the gradual cleft of the egg-shell while colliding against the smoothed frequencies. In between, Yrea's voice flows and levitate reaching tones which could stand as some convolutions by a sort of new Miss Kittin, an association maybe justified by the fact Concise grew in the brilliant Berlin hatchery...

3) I warmly reccomend to listen it!