Music Reviews

DUBCON - cEvin Key meets Twilight Circus: U.F.O. Pon Di Gullyside

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 17 2014
Artist: DUBCON - cEvin Key meets Twilight Circus
Title: U.F.O. Pon Di Gullyside
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The stylistical versatility of Canadian-born (even if he moved to The Netherlands in 1991) musician Ryan Moore, former member of The Legendary Pink Dots (never totally abandoned as his recent collaborative release with Edward Ka-Spel on Tourette label could testify), who has finally reprised his dub-translucent project Twilight Circus Dub Sound System after a ginormous pile of releases and a massive musical training on jamaican recordings , and multifaceted electronic talented skinny puppy Kevin William Crompton aka cEvin Key aka Download was already ascertained by respective previous works. They've finally flowed into one another by laying the foundation of DUBCON, which flies over dub territories and breezes in the hearts and minds of the lovers of the genre by means of a wise buffing of cauldrons for amalgamations of heavyweight and electronic dub with impressive electronic tricks, which sounds like an enhanced reshuffle of that kind of electronic dub which got mainly spread from UK and Germany in the 90ies (I could mention Zion Train, Funki Porcini, Dubstar, Transglobal Underground, African Headcharge, AlphaOmega, power Steppers, Dub Syndacate and many others) and the tracks where this electronic enhancement is more clearly audible are the best ones according to my ear response since the initial warm-up "Outerspace" where a shredded electronic bruising blends echoed vocals, slapped claps, resounding plops and pad-synth-driven gusts as well as on following tracks like "Zion Cluster" (featuring Sly Dunbar on drums), where they let some classic dub elements sizzle into an electric buzz, "Moment In Space", where banging clap and kick drum render the typical "shot in the dark" effect, "Project Sign", where alien decomposition of the genre could sound advanced before you listen the following stages such as the oxidized ligaments of "Dubbrain", the pressurized punches of "Farstar", the slick interferences on the title-track "UFO pon di gullyside" or the entrancing plasmic mush of the final "Gone Orbital". Very good jamming!

VV.AA.: Evolution Of The Giraffe

 Posted by Ivan Racheck   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 07 2014
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Evolution Of The Giraffe
Format: CD
Label: Diffrent (@)
Rated: *****
Launched by means of a party that Diffrent guys were setting up at Hoxton, this excellent selection acts as the festive sonic garland to celebrate the 20th release as well as almost four years of life of Leonard the pink Giraffe, Chris Dexta's puppet which became a sort of sacred image for many d'n'b followers (!) and emblem of one of the best label in the packed scene of experimental drum'n'bass, and has been spread on CD (8 tracks plus two bonus tracks), digital releases with two free mouthwatering downloads (Fybe:One's "Physical" and Jekyll's "Garrison Dogs") and as well as a strictly limited 4 track pink vinyl, which exhaustively retraces the evolutionary mutations of so-called "Giraffe step".The stylistical range and the band spectrum are remarkably broad: even if I prefer the outputs by those artists who seemingly shaked the long neck of the giraffe such as the adventurously and nervously pounding grip of "Choices" - the collaborative track by M-Zine, Scepticz and Mtwn -, the crackling punches over a wild labored breathing, the slapped step and the sticky basslines of "Wax" by Arkaik, the outstanding hi-hat driven machine-gun fire on "Forfeit" by Shiver or the hitching wry tunes by Chills on VIP version of "Everyones Mad" - one of the two bonus tracks together with the shaded pressures of "Gain", another impressive collaborative track by Arkaik and Coma -, those moments when some Diffrent equerries climbed the neck to share giraffe's eye view or hybridized "soulful" or more introspective moments by intriguing percussive filings manage to drain some good stuff as well, so that moments like the lithe pitapat of Fybe:One's "The Last Minute", the ablutions into a sonic pool, who got rippled by mellow sounds and soulful vocals, on Kolectiv's "Slow" or the spellbinding dubby fractures on Dominic Ridgway's "Siren" easily remain afloat on the waves.

Ital Tek: Control EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 03 2014
Artist: Ital Tek (@)
Title: Control EP
Format: 12"
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
All those listeners who appreciated last year album "Nebula Dance" by phenomenal beat juggler Alan Myson aka Ital Tek will easily notice that in spite of the sonic filiation of this amazing tidbit with the above-mentioned album, it's really hasty to nonchalantly consider "Control" just as a kind of doppelganger or a recapitulartory revision of the above-mentioned album as Ital Tek more distinctly channeled active ingredients of his distinctive upgrade of Chicago-rooted juke sonorities on this new miscellanous stylish soup: for example, the whirling synth-driven arpeggio on "Challenger Deep", which opens B-side, could remind the one of "Pixel Haze", but Alan seems to highlight this element by reducing the percussive ones to a desiccated, toneless and almost lo-fi hit and chained snips and the melodic emblazonment to occasional inserts of bi-tonal chords, the short ambient-lke track "Doom/Dream" or the reverie of the interlude "Zero" could remind "Discontinuum" from "Nebula Dance", but without any trace of the micro-taps, which sound echoed on "Violet", another peak of this release where someone could have the impression of listening a possible remix of Art Of Noise's "Moments In Love " by Burial, or on the title-track itself, which unexpectedly evolves into something hanging between juke bumps and airy dubstep. "Control" cannot be considered a sterile proof of concept, but a set of eight further bodies of evidence which testifies Ital Tek's sonic fluency by coming to a point where he manages to infer new hands by shuffling the same cards and switching stylistical stitches.

Das Muster: Durchleuchtung

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Dec 27 2013
Artist: Das Muster
Title: Durchleuchtung
Format: CD
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
'Durchleuchtung' is the newest album by Das Muster which has been released recently by Solar One Music. Available in a limited run of 99 copies, the album has three different layouts available, all three comes in a metal box. This is the first proper physical release for the Marcus Mumm project and it contains twelve new instrumental tracks which will convince you in no time if you are lovers of bands of the likes of all the Gerald Donald's projects. Marcus created kinda short cold robotic soundtracks where analog synth sounds paint different kind of imaginary scenarios. Mine are: the psychological ones of 'Testobjekt' ('Test Object'), 'Verhaltensmuster' ('Patterns Of Behavior'), 'Observation' and 'Irritation', the social ones of 'Drahtzieher' ('Masterminds'), 'Das Hochste Gut' ('The Supreme Good') and 'Resistenz' ('Resistance') and the lab experiments ones of 'Schnittstelle' ('Interface') and 'Auswirkungen' ('Effects'). Musically, we have the top notch eletro techno with paced rhythms, warm pads, bleeping sounds, dissonances and distortions. You can check the sound excerpts here
Dec 26 2013
Artist: Phantom Love (@)
Title: Crave For Lust
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ZerOKilled Music (@)
Rated: *****
Rome-based producer Valentina Fanigliulo, better known as Mushy, already had been introduced and praised on this space when she signed a collaborative release with Peter M. dedicated to the first movie by Alejandro Jodorowsky as well as her debut release "Faded Heart" in the guise of Mushy, which got described as the most convincing answer by American artists such as Zola Jesus and Tamaryn. Supposedly anticipated by same-named track on the single "My Love So Far", Phantom Love is Valentina's most recent moniker for an instrumental project, where despite she let her voice stand, she keeps on lingering on influences from dark music classics and horror movie soundtracks (particularly John Carpenter's ones), which have been melted with skeletal 4/4 pulsations and witch-house nuances. The initial "Crave For Lust" sounds like the perfect sonic glazing agent for the rendering of a cliff-hanger-like feeling by means of dry claps, scratched chords, crystalline dripping and an otherwordly electronic horn, whereas the stridency between seemingly opposite elements got highlighted on the following "Power And Passion", where a sort of spectral rattling fluctuates within distant creaking noises, translucent sonic bends and a muffled movement, whose intrinsic magnetic effulgence more clearly erupts on "Dead Illusion", the last track of this mouthwatering EP.

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