Music Reviews



Francky Brown: New Slogan

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 18 2006
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Artist: Francky Brown
Title: New Slogan
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Ozore Age / Play It Again Sam (@)
Distributor: Toolbox records
Rated: *****
Immagine what a drum'n'bass record mixed by Sam Sever would sound like and you probably get a vague idea of what this category-elusive fella' sort of sounds like... Guitar player/DJ/programmer Franck Guillotin (previously with Black Maria and also known as BJQ/Brown Jurnior Quartet) teamed up with Dj Monolythe (scratching away on the tables) and packed up this "New Slogan for Hip Hop and Jungle" CD, that (you guessed!) features a mixture of Chuck D-ish hip hop grooves, Tricky-ed out jungle vibes, twisted Bad Brains-inspired reggae/ragga elements, Mind Power-referencing acid jazzy sounds and MC-ing that might easily remind you of Cypress Hill's nasal monotone rhyming or Jamalski's jamaican/american-style on some of the tracks. Interestingly enough all of this still comes wrapped in and around Francky's experience on the six strings, with slick licks and sneaky riffs camouflaged between these urban sounds and fast-paced chill beatz. This is (and better be!) the new hip hop generating rising up!

Les Boucles Etranges / Mem Pamal / Yann Richet: Traveller Tcheque

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Mar 16 2006
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Artist: Les Boucles Etranges / Mem Pamal / Yann Richet
Title: Traveller Tcheque
Format: 2 x CD + DVD
Label: Electro Lab Factory/Ozore Age (@)
Distributor: Play it Again Sam
Rated: *****
Paris-based Ozore Age label, as well as their offshoots Vision Alternative, Electro Lab Factory, Xunk, E-beat, were founded by two French partygoers/DJ/graphic artist/promoters (Yann Ichbiah and Christophe Martin) who have since been releasing albums, promoting artists, organizing events and feeding venues and audiences some of France's best and least commercial techno music.This release sort of pays a tribute to the movement that has shaped people like Yann and Christophe, and does so by offering you the re-release of one of the most important cassette testimonies of the free party movement, a more recent live mix as well as a DVD with a movie that documents one of these nomadic party crews.The "Traveller Tcheque" film, includes footage documenting the itinerant efforts of an international troupe of youngsters that left France with a van, a bus and a Citroen to ride through Rumenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, organizing music, performance art and dance performances in venues, open air fields, city neighborhoods and such... It's a pretty interesting documentary, that definitely breaths rebellion and alternative life-style throughout every minute...When the free party movement started in the UK (with illegal raves taking place in every possible abandoned spot the city or the countrysides had to offer, with riot police shutting them off occasionally, with quasi-political anarchist agendas such as Hakim Bay's "T.A.Z." and everything else that came along with them...) it quickly spread out to the rest of Europe... I personally remember attending one of these parties in Switzerland in an abandoned airport... The vibe in the air was awesome. People were dancing and partying, high on music (and a few other things here and there of course...), well into the whee hours of the morning. In 1996 one of those parties, called "La Luciola", became sort of a milestone in the French scene and its music was released in a 200-copies limited cassette tape. For those who have heard about that mytisc night but never had listened to those tapes or even for those who actually were there to experience French techno history being made, comes this triple-disc release, where one of the CDs is just that! The other CD gives you an insight at what is left of the free party movement 10 years later. Mem Pamal recorded his "Precursub 057" party in 2005, while riding the wave of his double CD success, earlier in 2004, called "Longueurs d'Ondes" (also released by Electro Lab Factory/PIAS). His hypnotic blend of trance, minimal hardcore-techno and drum'n'bass will fit into almost any environment you'll decide to play this, just as it was meant during its creation.This entire disc has a great archival and documentary value attached to it and I recommend it to those who have left some of their youth and some of their good days at those parties, or simply to those who are into the European techno-scene.
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Artist: YUKI KAWAMURA - YOSHIHIRO HANNO
Title: slide
Format: DVD
Label: Lowave (@)
Rated: *****
The joyful wedding between Yoshihiro Hanno's musical gift and the enchanting images of Yuki Kawamura gave us a pure piece of art, I still can’t say if this a must have but it’s top class for real. As many of you can probably deduce a series of clips appropriate for Hanno's melodies necessitates a couple of important characteristis: the first one is an strong lyrical power, the second one is an (apparent) simplicity with which the afore mentioned power is articulated. Different videos for different atmospheres, but there's a "file rouge" that links the nine videos (ten including the bonus one) of this dvd, here your eyes are gonna meet sliding doors, the womb of a void warehouse, breaking pieces of glass, leaves...beautiful leaves, clouds and an ocean of colours. If you think (like I do) some contemporary japanese electronic music is strongly emotionally charged but also gentle and shy (think of Sawako or Minamo for example): the images featuring Kawamura's clips are made out of the same fabric and embody the same spirit. It's hard to choose between the different clips but it's also so easy to fall in love with episode like "Slide" or "Jour de reve" or "Play at dusk"?!...above all in the last case how can you resist to dive plunge your thought s into such a good-looking cumulus of clouds?. When the images aren’t rendering beautifully the unseen passing of time they will guide you into the secret life of elements (take "Ve" for example). In the last case the view I probably really close to that of a an insect or a rock thus we can say the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hanno's music keeps its enchanting effect intact but with the aid of Kawamura the inward eye experience brings into another dimension.
Mar 09 2006
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Artist: MODERN INSTITUTE
Title: excellent swimmer
Format: CD
Label: Expanding Records (@)
Rated: *****
That's definitely a blast from the past, but from the most recent past since Teho Teardo after Meathead, Matera and Here kept playing and putting out records like his new solo cd (out on Nail records), like Operator and he’s worked with many other projects. As you will discover by reading a forthcoming interview for Chaindlk this musician has also earned a living by composing soundtracks for movie directors such as Gabriele Salvadores or Guido Chiesa and if you ask me I'd say this cd is deeply influenced by his job. The personal touch and the melodic taste of Teardo are kinda similar to Here's masterpiece "Brooklin bank" and that's truly recommended to those who loved that project with Phyler Coleman because this could be the natural evolution of those ideas. The spine of this record is rapresented by some texture elaborated mainly with electronics and/or on the classical-chamber cello playing of Martina Bertoni, the marriage is enchanting and really soft as you can guess. A soft and dreamy listening: "stairs", "not a word manni", "munibabe" are just some of the potential hits included in "excellent swimmer" (and it also comes with a nice clip for "munibabe"). Take it with the usual grain of salt, but I think this cd stands in between the Bermuda triangle the angles of which are Album Leaf, Rachel's and latest and most manipulated Hood without vocals. There's a whole list of adjectives suitable for "excellent swimmer" like elegant, easy listening and refined; if that's what you looking for get it.

ERAST: Cyberpunk

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 08 2006
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Artist: ERAST
Title: Cyberpunk
Format: CD
Label: Laboratory Instinct (@)
Rated: *****

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After the release of two EPs on Laboratory Instinct, Erast release his first album titled CYBERPUNK for the same label. Behind a title that isn't that original there's something more than a mere exercise of technologic sounds/subjects. Nika Machaidze thought the different tracks as steps of a game. The rules/explanations are described into the opening track "Cyberpunk" where the guest narrator George Dzodzuashvili (aka Gogi.Ge.Org and Post Industrial Boys) explains how the game has been conceived while in the background there's a sort of main theme. "Het" opens the dances with its mixture of breakbeat and electro lounge where piano chords duet with vocal cut ups and frenetic rhythms. The following "Raindrops on my window" see strings that duet with synths and rhythms. "NLQ" is more relaxed and it creates a soft ambience. "Dimpiatauri" sounds jazzy and lounge blinking an eye to i.d.m. "Influtusa" mix gentle pizzicato strings with rhymths. The different tracks creatively mix orchestrations with multi layered rhythmic sections creating particular moments of intelligent electronic. Listening to the tracks there's a certain cinematic sensation: it's like they are part of an aural slide show that dynamically represent different moments of a common theme. A CD that deserve your attention and that needs your attention to be fully appreciated.


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