Music Reviews



Black Lung: Full Spectrum Dominance

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 21 2010
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Artist: Black Lung
Title: Full Spectrum Dominance
Format: CD
Label: ant-zen (@)
Rated: *****
One half of the harsh industrial band Snog, the provocative Australian musician David Thrussel finally comes back with another of his shrubby and scathing releases by which he's able to shrivel the most raving aspects of contemporary human history, most humans sometimes ignore, as well as to have a squint behind controller's curtains through the use of musical language inheriting elements both from EBM, techno and scattershot electronica, a plenty of references running on the razor-sharpened edge of conspiracy theories and political matters and by which he manages to move the listener's mind up without using any lyrics. The plot standing behind this new release entitled Full Spectrum Dominance ' issued by Ant-Zen in collaboration with the seminal Tympanik Audio -, like the ludicrous military doctrine inspiring the American Department of Defense according to which a joint military structure should achieve control over all elements, including not only the classical air, land and maritime warfare, but also information space (the so-called Cyberwarfare) and electromagnetic spectrum and what is known as Joint Vision 2020, the famous plan for world hegemony developed by Joint Chiefs of Staff and supported by DARPA, acronym for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, a funding body of the US Government and the Pentagon, mentioned as the fake client of this release, intended according to the fictitious words of a DARPA's officer 'to deliver to the men and the women working in some of the Pentagon's most challenging fields as inspiring soundtrack to their daily working life, but also to present to the general public information and a view hitherto unconsidered of some of the lesser known branches of our military' and the booklet included with this record explains the references of each track, alternatively quoting some Chomsky inspired anti-capitalist issues, the Hostmen of Newcastle upon Tyne ' being maybe the first example in human history of energy cartels controlling resources and inventing shortages in order to appeal to the unmerciful market rules, inspiring according Thrussel's words the nowadays cartels'¦ -, the manipulations of world bankers in order to generate illusions and hypnotize markets (The Wonderful Wizard of Ounce is definitively the funniest and most bitter title David could choose for 'affording' this theme!!!), neocolonialism, the inner mechanism of the so called 'free market', contemporary fears about forthcoming future and other actual more or less paranoid arguments.

His provocative joke seems consisting of wearing the mask of the controllers, spreading messages to the bovine masses in a witty and almost dramatic way, by using sounds as theatrical gesture and creating implicitly a possible soundtrack of our dark ages. From the musical viewpoint, Full Spectrum Dominance looks like an exhaustive summary of the previous breathings by the Black Lung, but I mostly prefer those tracks showing some ambience and atmospheric gears, such as the thoughtful and disquieting worried whispers of The Great Unconscious, an evocative collage of synthetic melodies standing as one of the best piece Thrussel had ever composed and which perfectly rendered the most buzzing divergence and the implicit imperfectness of any ordering supreme will, the disquieting beauty of the already mentioned The Wonderful Wizard of Ounce, the swarming concinnity of the bass intertwining some bizarre sounds in The Hostmen of Tyne, the dark sound granules of The Feminine Void which is going to carry your mind in the outer dumb spaces (!) and the gentle martial core as well as the stirred sounds on a disassembled march of The Neuroses of Nostalgia (another great immersive track!), but the most ominous techno crunched sounds you're going to hear in other appreciable tracks ' more easy to recognize by all those listeners which already tasted Black Lung's previous records ' should be considered just as parts of a whole. Maybe Full Spectrum Dominance is not so epic as other releases, but in my modest opinion it's the definitive proof that Thrussel's sound forging skills as well as its provocative grip reached some interesting peak indeed!

Roman: Roman

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 17 2010
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Artist: Roman
Title: Roman
Format: CD
Label: Karaoke Kalk
The newest Roman self named album is his third and contains ten new tracks which show really well his multifaceted musical soul. Pop is the core and the key of his work and each track has a different arrangements where you can find rich orchestral sounds, folk instruments, electronic (check the dance sound of "Traffic" and the particular effect of the spoken word), jazz, 80s indie pop (check "Despair when young" for this) and more. Roman histrionic approach to vocals make me think of him like an actor who choose music instead of theater. Now happy and then melancholic (like on the closing "Shoot" where piano and strings make of it a touching song), Roman made an inspired album that you'll dig if you want to spice up your pop music collection.

Venetian Snares: My So Called Life

 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 16 2010
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Artist: Venetian Snares
Title: My So Called Life
Format: CD
Label: Timesig Records
Rated: *****
Timesig Records is the new personal label of Aaron Funk a.k.a. Venetian Snares and the first release is, obviously, a new record by Venetian Snares. MY SO-CALLED LIFE contains ten new tracks where Aaron, as usual, free his musical craziness giving life to chaotic rhythmic collages where vocal samples, chunk of orchestral camera samples and the usual fast like hell dubstep/breakbeat, i.d.m. style give their best to create tornadoes of sound. The main title closes the album and along with tracks like "Goodbye9/Hello10" made my evening, thanks to a good blend of crazy rhythms, melody and dramatic atmospheres (check how the violins along with the breakbeat rhythms are able to create something innovative and tragic at the same time). Each track has been created into two days of work and Aaron structured this album like it was a record of those days using irony (I laugh out loud listening to "Aaron 2" where medieval like trumpets were introducing Aaron, whose heart was filled with hatred) and great sounds like a sword.

VV.AA.: Thesis Vol. 1

 Posted by eskaton   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 10 2010
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Thesis Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Impulsive Art (@)
Rated: *****
Compilations, as a general rule, are a mixed bag. Even if you really like the label, there are bound to me tracks on it where you think 'so the artist had to cough up a track to go on this compilation. They must have sent the weakest track they had laying around.' In other words, compilations often suffer from the perception that the tracks that made it on were those that were too weak to make it on to a real album. Luckily for Impulsive Art, the artists on this compilation brought their A-game to the studio. Overall, this is what you would expect from the label ' a lot of beats and a nice groove. In a way, much of it seemed to blend together in such a way that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between artists. Some stood out, however. For example, Tapage throws down 'Last Inhale' with the kind of intensity that one would expect from such a title. Rapid-fire beats, clicks and electric pulses punctuate this track throughout. Larvae's 'Shogun' had a groove that made me take notice, making this one of the standout tracks. Andrey Kiritchenko goes against the grain of the compilation by laying down a lilting melody that was oddly soothing and peaceful. Overall, this would be a good addition to the collection if you want to hear some lesser known acts (the only ones I had heard of were Mad EP, Larvae, and Keef Baker) and get a feel for what Impulsive Art is putting out. This disc weighs in at around 60 minutes.

Atmogat: Trigger Event

 Posted by eskaton   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 10 2010
cover
Artist: Atmogat (@)
Title: Trigger Event
Format: CD
Label: Impulsive Art (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this band, so I did the usual homework. Here's what the label had to say about the band and the release: ''Atmogat,' a well known and respected electronic duo from Germany, after many EP releases, contributions on compilations and remixes for Tympanik audio and Hands productions, are ready to release their first full length album. 'Trigger Event' reveals a world of intricate IDM/electronica experimentations, all with a futuristic approach that moves the electronic music standards a step further.' I'm not quite sure that this pushes electronic music a step further. While listening to this, my wife stated, 'this is just standard techno.' Well, not quite. I would state that it is well done techno beat that is well sequenced and tries to take an experimental angle. At some times the tracks blend seamlessly into each other in such a way that I didn't notice until I looked at the player and realized that it had changed. Much of this would work well on the dance floor, but it was also a pleasant listen. At times they did try to push the envelope by mixing it up a bit, and some had kind of a tribal feel that reminded me of Muslimgauze's Zul'm. Not bad, but at times it seemed a bit sterile. This disc weighs in at 72 minutes.


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