Music Reviews



Ascii.Disko: Black Orchid: From Airlines To Lifelines

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 13 2011
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Artist: Ascii.Disko (@)
Title: Black Orchid: From Airlines To Lifelines
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Hot out of Artoffact ovens, Black Orchid: From Airlines to Lifelines (what a wise tilte!) is the new album by Daniel Gerhard Hol aka Ascii.Disko where he seems squeezing efficaciously danceable beats and good sounds into a stylistically crammed suitcase. Many electro techno djs who stocked some of Ascii.Disko releases in their bags and all those who listened some of his acid stuff could feel somewhat surprised while listening to the musical turnabout of this guy towards more dulcet and whimsically pop directions, but it's quite difficult to escape from the pleasant tunes by which Piemont manage to pamper the listeners subtly inviting them for a merrily desperate sinking into imaginary quicksands! My favorite moments of the albums are those ones when Daniel Gerhard Hol melt together elements of rock, funk and house, whereas in stunning tracks such as Horizon, the frenzically erotic White Lines Black Lines, the frenzically ego trip of 100 Demons (...wittily tinged of that kind of guitar textures post-rock lovers habitually get stoned by - a neatly audible influence in track such as Crystals and Knives as well as in other lovely intimistic exfoliations -!) or the controversially sexy and slap-happy From Airline to Lifelines and even in some brightful solipsistic reveries such as the brilliant The Black Angels Love Song the tender french kissed Butterfly some witty listeners could hear echoes of French Teen Idol or Alex Gopher (...or at least the Alex Gopher emerging from his self-titled album!). A sort of new era even for satanic acid youth could have come... Brilliant workout!

+VERB: Solar Heat Traveler

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 03 2011
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Artist: +VERB
Title: Solar Heat Traveler
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Vermin Street
Rated: *****
Here's a new release from Vermin Street. I kinda missed the label's sound during their seven months break. Anyway... +verb with SOLAR HEAT TRAVELER are bringing to the dubstep lovers three new tunes made of mid tempo robotic fragmented sounds full of bleeps, wobbling sounds and tiny melodies. Sounding now epic and then mysterious "Puddlegum", "JerkOff" and "Meltyyy" show a great attitude and a knowledge on how making an atmospheric tune. Stops and go, powerful kiks and an intricated rhythmic palette will convince you that this release is worth checking. On this EP you can also find three remixes of the opener "Puddlegum" reworked by +verb themselves (the "I can haz harps" mix), Knight Riderz (their take is cinematic and powerful thanks to the use of choirs) and De79 (their version sounds like an 8bit buzz slow dub tune). Freddy Todd closes the EP with a remix of "JerkOff" where he enhances the wobbling bass effect and the bleeping sounds but keeping the main structure of the track. Nice one.

Grand Pianoramax: Smooth Danger

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 25 2011
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Artist: Grand Pianoramax (@)
Title: Smooth Danger
Format: CD
Label: Obliq Sound (@)
Rated: *****
Grand Pianoramax is a Swiss duo of talented musicians (award-winning jazz piano player Leo Tardin and drummer Dominik Burkhalter) more often than not joined by an american MC for their live performances (Black Cracker most of the times, who rhymes on two of the tracks of the album; and sometimes Mike Ladd, who appears on one track).
If you are wondering what a drummer, a pianist and an MC could possibly do together and why it would fit the pages of Chain D.L.K., keep wondering because it sure is hard to describe, but somehow fits our readership more than you might think.
Tardin plays piano, rhodes, K-station, harmonium and philichorda while he accompanies himself with funky bass lines and effortlessly switches between all these instruments and their treated alter egos. All the while Burkhalter lays down a number of smoothly flowing broken beats rich with syncopation, fills and the occasional uneven counts. Stylistically you will hear Tardin's jazzy influence and he'll make your head bop along with his funky playing, but sometimes he will make you feel like you are in the middle of an arcade video game galactic battle; Burkhalter keeps you rocking out steadily with laser sharp precision and a kind of live drum'n'bass aesthetic even when the figures are far from your average dance floor 4-4 and even though there really isn't any d'n'b per say on this record. The two MCs flow on top of everything making what is already an exciting and original musical offering even more out there and at the same time even more approchable.
The album was recorded between Switzerland and India (and features Karsh Kale on tablas on two tracks) and mixed in Germany in an old radio station control room with some funky old-school gear. The sound of the album is great and the attention to detail shows.
I highly recommend checking out this album (out now in Europe and dropping in the US in May) and catching the trio live (some US dates are announced for the spring).

CEX: Tiny Creature

 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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Mar 22 2011
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Artist: CEX
Title: Tiny Creature
Format: CD
Label: Tigerbeat 6
Rated: *****
It's hard for me to say if I like this album or not. First of all it's a really long one, it contains nine tracks (one of which is 20 minutes of length) which play around i.d.m. rhythms, dubstep and artsy non musical melodic mixes. TINY CREATURE, the newest album by Cex, is a constant flux of destabilizing rhythms and melodies which sometimes sounds cold and sometimes alien. If Venetian Snares is able to create furious tracks that take you elsewhere, Cex, instead, freeze you by unplugging your senses... but they does it gently. I don't mean to say that this is a lousy release but for sure it needs time to be understood and sometimes you arrive to the point where you are about to stop the CD player, just to decide to wait a little while. The tracks that to me sound more structured are the hip-hop influenced "Megamuse", "12 exalt" and "Trumpetflower", a mid tempo based on rhythm breaks, epic synth leads and synth shots but who knows at the fourth spin what I could find... I could end loving it. If you are willing to give a try to an album that is in balance from cosmic digital music, experimental, i.d.m. and breakbeat, TINY CREATURE is the one for you.

JILL AKA PROJECTOJIL: New Kind Of Action

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 22 2011
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Artist: JILL AKA PROJECTOJIL (@)
Title: New Kind Of Action
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hey Girls, the guy from Viseu, Portugal, is back and this time he wants to make you dance with some disco tunes. Opening with a dance track driven by fat bass lines titled "Visual thing", Jill Aka Projectojil is bringing to the lovers of dance/house/chill out sounds a new album titled NEW KIND OF ACTION. This time for these eight new tracks Jill wanted to cover other styles besides his characteristic Balearic chill out sound. The opening track "Visual thing" is a dance upbeat killer with distorted leads and atmospheric pads and the following track, "The slider", is a sophisticated mid tempo with semi i.d.m. rhythms, boucing bass lines and atmospheric lead synths. I liked a lot these two and I think that Jill should risk more and he should go into this direction: he's really good at producing lush and chill out atmospheres but proposing new ideas is vital and he's able to do it. Make our butts move, Jill! You can check the tracks here http://soundcloud.com/jillakaprojectojil


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