Music Reviews

Frank Bretschneider: Super.Trigger

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 31 2013
Artist: Frank Bretschneider (@)
Title: Super.Trigger
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Distributor: Kompakt Distribution
Rated: *****
This collection of nine rhythmical pleasantries by Frank Bretschneider, co-founder of the appreciated Raster-Noton label and maybe its most "mechanical" soul, differs from the conceptual framework and the somehow romantic and emotional hooks of many previous releases by this brilliant beat-juggler. The fact it derives from different moments of amusement which got crystallized into a series of nine collected improvisational studio sessions is clear from a "funkier" crispness which seems to have been spontaneously grafted within the great wheels of scrupolously chopped beats, masterful cuts, crumbled percussive elements and plushy effects as it happens on the meowing distorted basslines of "Flicker.Funk", the bouncy specks of "Machine.Gun", the bevelled abstract electro-hop of the title-track "Super.Trigger", which close to the one by Funckarma, Funkstorung or Ltd.Noise), the heady whistles of "Over.Load", whose amazing syncopations could surmise a dehydrated hybrid between Meat Beat Manifesto and some old tunes by Fat boy Slim, electric sprains and occasional glimmering gurgles of "Black.Out" - the one I enjoyed the most - and many amazing sonic flips, variations and protease. Its inner concision and terse sonorities clashes with the complexity of the rhythmical structures, but this is the distinguishing feature and the secret of the appeal and the magnetic attraction of Bretschneider's engines. Good headphones are highly recommended.

terminal11: self exorcism

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 25 2013
Artist: terminal11 (@)
Title: self exorcism
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Rated: *****
Tempe, Arizona electronic music artist Michael Castaneda working under the name of Terminal11 is well known for his breakneck breakcore and barrage of often cartoony cut-up samples. Here though on 'self exorcism' Castaneda distills his process to a formulaic routine that comes off more stultifying than stupefying. The opener, 'runs from the rain' begins with a collection of sample elements from Terminal11's toolbox before it coalesces into a sort of loosely melodic tune. Slight, to be sure. 'paralysis' has the aural earmarks of old-school Future Sound of London minus the expansiveness. 'start over' inhabits the breakcore world Terminal11 is known for and you wonder why it took him so long to hit his stride. Problem is, the repetitive, dissonant descending synth riff is kind of a buzz-kill. With a track name like 'fury' you'd expect to get some, but although the beats are fast, and eventually the samples too, once again the music devolves into the formulaic, coming off more 'furry' than 'fury'. 'anxiety acid' shows some neat creativity sounding like rush hour on the Toonville Freeway, with a lot of squinky analogue synthwork, but the followup, 'gruesome things' (title taken from one of the vocal samples) is based on a boring electro motif and too much clichéd claps. 'covered in demon blood' attempts to meld spooky vocal samples with an electro dance beat but yet another descending synth motif assures it a fast track to Nowheresville. JUst before the end it just completely falls apart. More electro dancebeat on 'phoenix,' a track that has no hope of rising from the ashes. There are places in this that sound like the synthwork is improvisational, like Castaneda was trying to figure out where to take it next. There is a return to form just before the end, but it's too late in this mess for coherency now. Terminal11 isn't quite done with the electro dancebeat yet and a variety of themes amidst the sample clutter of 'tension' but he seems to be searching for the golden ring just out of grasp on this not so merry-go-round. 'spanning time' begins with an amusing sequence of cut-up samples and 80's glissy synth chords with cakewalking staccato banjo-like rhythm that unfortunately isn't expanding on and doesn't last long enough. It falls apart heading into darker territory and never recovers.

Hopefully Terminal11's 'self exorcism' was successful in driving out whatever demons have been haunting Castaneda, but it comes with a price; few are going to appreciate this exercise in 'do whatever the fuck you feel like' aesthetic on this album. No doubt there's plenty of programming talent here but I don't think the means justices the end result.


 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 24 2013
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: NXG0009EP
Format: 12"
Label: NexGen (@)
Rated: *****
Beads of seat and star dust scatter across this forthcoming ep from NexGen, which focuses on more jazzy-oriented stuff by means of this nice selection. The first of four tunes by Vienna-based producer Faible - recent member of NexGen big family - and Maracaibo-based talented drum'n'bass vocalist and songwriter Iriann Joyce - the first dnb singer in Venezuela - could immediately recall those aqueous loungy sonorities which used to be fashionable between the end of nineties and the beginning of the new millenium (I could mention Chateau Flight, Better Daze, Amba, Mark Pritchard, some tunes by Alex Gopher, Isolee or Jazzanova and so on), but "Northern Lights" got drenched by spicy fast-moving dnb engine. James Tan aka Clart, Liquid Drops label owner Chris Kouzellis aka mSdoS from Greece and Daniel "D.A." Clark on "Disco Inferno", whose fresh jazzy breeze keys to chilling atmospheres and fashion bar, and talented Kiev-based producer Pavel Kuzmin aka Physical Illusion and Alexander Vovnyakov aka Sunny Crimea on "Something About Love", whose relaxing extended piano tone and sensual female vocalizations pad an amazing sparkling percussive session, course similar stylistical plains, while Byelorussian musician Nikolay Sunak aka Reborn, who normally deals with a wide range of styles such as Detroit techno, Kraftwerkian electronics and post-sopviet science fiction sonorities, goes slightly out of the way of previous tracks by a funny subplot of chopped electronic beats and bleeping chimes.

Survey: Away / Delirium

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 22 2013
Artist: Survey
Title: Away / Delirium
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Protect Audio (@)
Rated: *****
A sort of sci-fi and more "spatial" version of "Grid Sheet" - already appeared on Protect Audio gun-room last March, whose above-mentioned VIP version is available for free -, whose initial bells could let you render an alien mutation of a dancing cow before blasting kick-drums and claps, vitriolic basslines and clipped sounds begin to wrinkle waves, sets the stage for this upcoming new psycho-pill by Survey, the massive Berlin-based which is shaking dnb grounds by a series of stunning hits this year. The gnarly introduction of "Away" evokes unearthly monstrosity, which terrifyingly burgeon over the following heavy bangs and deep growls of thunder echo, while "Delirium" immediately instigates movements of the body by dull drums and smacking hits from inside a puffy sonic sphere and sinister hums, which get gradually digested wheels of a wicked rhythmical clockwork of metallic hiccups, laser beams and noises of combustion, spread into an obscure vacuum, which performs phagocytosis on various hitting elements.

D.Reamteam: Parade 10.0

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 20 2013
Artist: D.Reamteam
Title: Parade 10.0
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult
Rated: *****
Released ten days ago, "Parade 10.0" is the first single release of D.Reamteam, project of Shitkatapult label owners Daniel Meteo and T. Raumschmiere. Originally planned to be released on mid July for the tenth annual Shitparade, the single had a slight delay but it's worth your attention anyway. The single contains three techno tracks "Pult", "Kata" and "Shit" perfect for the purists of the genre. The first one grows slowly, it starts with a 4/4 beat alternated to a bleep. Then, a in levare bass line plus light synth noises, little melodies are added. Everything is quite minimal even if the result is quite catchy. "Kata" is a techno beast with reversed sounding synths, hypnotic rhythms and acid leads. "Shit" is the duo's "bastard son" thanks to its distorted obsessive synth monophonic leads, dark sounding pads and powerful snare drum beats... If you wanted a dark ambient track mixed to techno, this is it! Great release!

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