Music Reviews

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

 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
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", "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...

Headscan: Dead Silver Sky

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 24 2005
Artist: Headscan
Title: Dead Silver Sky
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Art Of Fact (@)
Rated: *****
This maxi is totally a stomping club dance killer. Headscan delivers a powerful hard-hitting dancefloor techno/trance track "Dead Silver Sky" with remixes and a remix by Component. Other tracks features "Metadata" and "Sentinel", which have two remixes included. The rough and penetrating vocals of the singer perfectly fits into the somber electro aggression of the songs that has been mixed and remixed in different versions. The rhythmic is heavier and faster while the techno tones creates a devasting edgy effect. Best selling single off Art Of Fact label that's worth the money.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 19 2005
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Title: Very Pleasure
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock (@)
Rated: *****
Rumors were reporting Jason Forrest of Cockrock being the main man behind Duran Duran Duran but the project is formed by Ed Flis (he is the main working member), Michael Chaiken, and Tony Gabor. VERY PLEASURE is their first record and it took four years of work. If you are an '80s lover and your first record has been "Rio" you could be offended by the provocative graphic of the CD (you know, linking the Duran monicker to two men that touch each other isn't that kind. Hehehe...) but this is the spirit of the project: taking everything fashionable and some times questionable ("All that she wants" by Ace Of Base for instance, isn't that thrilling track for my taste) that '80s produced, putting it into a blender and make of it an irreverent and powerful breakcore album. The first track is a sort of anthem: it's titled "I hate the 80's" and it's based on the manipulation of Yazoo's "Don't go" just to end into a controlled mayhem of rhythm and distortion. I'm an '80s lover, but I'm not offended by creativity. p.s. There's also a tenth beautiful unlisted track were heavy metal samples form an electronic version ïn your face"of John Zorn with stops and go.

VV.AA.: Broken Channel

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 15 2004
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Broken Channel
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Cocosolidciti
Rated: *****
A dense double cd set (an audio disc and a dvd) featuring all exclusively commissioned works focused on the themes of contemporary surveillance methods, from exterior (police monitoring of demonstrations and public protest) to domestic (CCTV, control cameras, etc.). The audio part generally reflects Cocosolidciti's slant towards beats/glitch/minimal techno (except Kaffe Matthews' skeletal work on frequencies), and one more time I wondered about the socio-political potential of modern electronica (or "avantgarde" as well) - I mean that all the artists involved have obviously something to say about the subjects, but if you just listen to the tracks, it's mostly nice, well-executed rhythmic electronica. I think it'd be quite hard to distinguish Battery Operated + Made, for example, from other similar projects/records, if you hadn't read before that they "look at how the control spaces of surveillance can be subverted to create radical new architectures and environments". Unsurprisingly, Ultra Red are more immediately recognizable and thanks to their use of field recordings from various specific demonstrations. So let's say the audio part is ok per se, but a bit disappointing if we look at the purposes. Now, the dvd helps a lot to potentiate some contributions - Matthews' and Maslen's, for example, turns into a sort of Kafkian nightmare with its stark, obsessive use of CCTV footages; and Ultra Red's documentary-like images add much strength to their protest techno. While not entirely convincing (Coldcut's and Outerbongolia's video is actually pretty bad), the dvd definitely makes this sampler much more thought provoking and effective.

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