Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Reinterpretations (a remix album of timeless Kitaro songs)

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 05 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Reinterpretations (a remix album of timeless Kitaro songs)
Format: CD
Label: Kanpai records (@)
Rated: *****
More interesting sounds from Kanpai come in the form of a remix album that tributes the work of Kitaro, a Grammy Award, Golden Globe and Artist of Peace Award winning japanese composer/musician known for his timeless spiritual music pieces, that blend "the ago-old and the space age", like "wordless poetry", they say of him. "Reinterpretations" brings together eright artists and their twelve remixes of his songs (most of them can be found on the 2003 "The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai") and takes his vision for a new spin, adding dub colors to it, flirting with electronic flavors and marrying his sound with their sound in ways that are unique and personal to each group. AudioMoe (a.k.a. Moses Truzman), Turbotito (a.k.a. Filip Nikolic/Junior Senior/Djosos Krost), Inside the Sun, Peas, Timmy the Terror (a.k.a. Tim Anderson/Ima Robot), Appogee, Occidental and Stephan Hauptfeur take turns to get their best shot at it.

Appogee: Unconscious Ruckus

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 05 2005
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Artist: Appogee (@)
Title: Unconscious Ruckus
Format: CD
Label: Kanpai records (@)
Rated: *****
I am excited as I start reviewing a bunch of CDs from this new label out in Los Angeles called Kanpai. They've been releasing some really dope shit lately, I must say, and the first one I picked out of the batch is Appogee's debut CD "Unconscious Ruckus". These dudes are based in LA and have been growing alongside Dntel (The Postal Service), Planktonman (Nortec Collective) and The Mutaytor, altough I must say they don't seem to lack anything in their approach. You can't really tell it's newcomers, they sound like they've been around for a decade. Their sound is pointy, full, well-produced, well-arranged, sophisticated sonic artifacts. No messing around, they know what they are doing, that's for sure. They shoot for the drumn'n'bass formula mainly, but let themselves be carried away with implants of electronica, industrial, rhythm-noise, rock and some ambient/idm. Particularly interesting is the use of acoustic guitars and vocals on some tracks, which definitely makes them stand out of the crowd for originality. Where else can you hear a fast-paced d'n'b beat pumping while buried underneath a Radiohead-ish ballad with an acoustic guitar, or a Beatles-like pop tune with an Autechre/Aphex Twin-like beat, or Lycia-like lush electric guitars with vaguely flamenco-sounding nylon guitars that try to keep up with a cut-up and frenzy beat. Most definitely an awesome sounding record! Well done indeed!

CHEVRON: Everything's Exactly The Same

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 03 2005
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Artist: CHEVRON (@)
Title: Everything's Exactly The Same
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Jungle, ambient, breakcore and tons of coolness make of this EVERYTHING'S EXACTLY THE SAME a record you don't have to miss. Since the first song you'll realize that Chevron is a king at the creation of a perfect mixture made of ambient layers, breakcore rhythms, bleeping synths and thousands of other little sounds that enrich the tracks. I already listened to a live version of the opening track "Swimming lessons" downloading a live concert of the Reflex Records crew. Chevron's ability to mix past electronica with moder sounds is evident in tracks like "Optic realisation" where the ambience created by the synth pads make me think of an up to date version of Tangerine Dream or early J. M. Jarre. Electronic from the past isn't the only thing that Chevron made me think of, because on tracks like "Bathyscaphe" or "Rudi the techno pioneer" (a weird meeting of ragamuffin and techno) Chevron express himself projecting the music towards the future creating an original blend of sounds. The CD version has got fourteen tracks (the vinyl has got only eight of them) for fifty minutes of pure pleasure... try it!

TILIA: vous rÍvez / vous ne rÍvez pas

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 31 2005
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Artist: TILIA
Title: vous rÍvez / vous ne rÍvez pas
Format: CD EP
Label: Crůnica
Rated: *****
An audiovisual artist, with a remarkable curriculum in music and video direction, Alexander Peterhaensel debuts as Tilia with this intriguing ep (3 tracks + a quicktime/divx video). While definitely more electronic-oriented, "vous rêvez / vous ne rêvez pas" reminded me of Brian and Chris' recent, and brilliant, "3" on Dielectric Records, due to its elegant interweaving of synthetic beats and memorable autumnal melodies, here mostly played by a piano. A careful, layered mix often alters the main melody through loops, skips and light glitches, so that it is recognizable and slightly blurred at the same time. As with Brian and Chris (and mid-period Tortoise, which I have to mention again as a possible reference), the result is both very direct and refined, the longer, more dilated "Moronic" being probably the most successful piece. It's a shame I haven't been able to watch the video yet (which has been - unsurprisingly - directed by Peterhaensel himself, with footages taken in Cuba, Germany, Morocco and England), but Denis Stuart's pictures are a nice visual accompaniment to start with. A notable debut.

AMBASSADOR 21: I Wanna Kill U.com

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 26 2005
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Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 (@)
Title: I Wanna Kill U.com
Format: CD EP
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
Ambassador 21 don't take time to rest and after releasing their album and touring through Europe, they release a new E.P. titled I WANNA KILL U.COM. The E.P. has got four new tracks ("I wanna kill u.com", "All the rest like animals has", "Anarchy" and "The english lessons (who suck fuck?)"), three remixes of the main track (thanks to Beinhaus, Ambassador 21's member DJ J. Christ and Lament Configuration) and a video track of "All the rest like animals has" (Enemy LTD directed the video, mixing anime cartoons, live performances by the band and other extreme video sources, creating a mixture that makes you feel the depravation of bestial side of human beings). Musically the E.P. isn't focused only on total distortion of sounds (maybe the manipulation of the Ramones logo, which sees the eagle with the Ambassador 21 logo on its chest and the names of the three members on the perimetrical side of the circle, indicates the influence of punk of the band's music) and the punk/hc samples of "All the rest like animals has" and "Anarchy" duet with tribalism of the main title which is based almost unically on drums. Distortion isn't the main thing on this CD but you can always find it along with the right rioting attitude!
P.s. This is the first Ambassador 21's which sees the release on vinyl thanks to Restroom Records. More to come...


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