Music Reviews



Martsman: Shrank/NYCD

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 23 2013
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Artist: Martsman (@)
Title: Shrank/NYCD
Format: 12"
Label: Pushing Red (@)
Rated: *****
New full-blooded streams of fused silica on Heath Looney's label Pushing Red comes from proficient German producer Martin Heinze aka Martsman, who cajoles bass music lovers with a couple of brilliant tracks by this cookie. The amazing "Shrank" falls into the temptation of a sort of sophistication of 90ies garage-step which spreads over a shaped synth-pad before the percussive pillar begins to grind on subtle sounds and and dry up, while on the flipside the initial thin flurry on a mechanical bombard on "NYCD" evolves into a poisonous headbanging techstep, where Martin injects suctioned square waves, spongy basslines and delayed squeak from a rudimentary theremin and radio bleeps. Another sonic gem from this surprising label where a listening needle is going to get threaded.

Walton: Baby EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 23 2013
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Artist: Walton (@)
Title: Baby EP
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
This appetizer by Manchester-based producer Sam Walton is going to mouthwater the eardrums of many followers of the renowned Hyperdub label and its stable of beat-bucking nags and colts with a penchant for unusual compositional logic, as usual. It precedes the already announced release of his very first album "Beyond" and sets the stage by a coulple of amazing tracks: "Baby" has been built around an R'n'B acappella and bumping crackles of kick and snare drums, which sounds like enliven a proper construction site or supposedly a joiner's workshop as suggested by the tapping jam of noises of engines, hacksaws, alembics, gearwheels and so on, as if Walton discovered a "workbench" dimension and an inner savage order for R'n'b. After this bizarre (but really amazing) declension, which comes with an instrumental version, "Can't You See" increases salivation and appetite by hanging a billowing pad-synth over goading twists of bumping basses, dry snares and whirling 8-bits whetstones. Even if it's a strictly limited appetizer, "Baby" is a very efficacious teaser and a proper exhortation to move beyond.

Displacer: Curse Of The Black Lotus

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 22 2013
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Artist: Displacer
Title: Curse Of The Black Lotus
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Crime League (@)
Rated: *****
All those ones who remembers the first steps by Canadian musician Michael Morton aka Displacer on M-Tronic maybe will discern that his futuristic touch, which previously embellished ambient and downtempo-oriented stuff, has not perished even within the beat-thickening amazing muddle he flaunts on this tidbit, which comes on his own resurrected imprint Crime League. In spite of the solid rhythmical mould, which could remind some Beefcake's tunes or Gridlock's geometries by means of its mindblowing oscillations between IDM, breakbeat, drum'n'bass and analogue greasy sonorities, the four tracks and the remix on "The Curse Of The Black Lotus" exude whispering hues of the primordial sonic approach, which manages to carpet sounds with a charming air of mistery and a touch of electronic vintage: for instance, the whirling swishes of "Black Sun, Black Moon" starts and and develops around an hypnotic buzz which could recall the one Underworld widely used on some old tracks such as "Rez" or "Cow Girl" over a breakbeat carburetor, which could evoke some old stuff by Prodigy, the initial ignition on "Black Lotus" could be easily mixed both with some borderline tune by Proem and funked-up sci-fi breakbeat which some djs used to play 10-12 years ago and the scrampling airborne smoothness of Burned Mix of "RZLA" could activate some listener's aural memories related to some legendary moments of "space-odissey" techno age (Cyrus, Two Lone Swordsmen, CJ Bolland or Kevin Saunderson), but the casting of fused silica, post-industrial contrivance and "orchestral" charred coats by Displacer glow each track in a very charming way. It seems that Displacer is going to put a spell (or maybe a curse which will not easily get disabled) on a somehow groping scene.

Mantra: Many Worlds (The Crystal Issue Cycle 3)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 15 2013
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Artist: Mantra
Title: Many Worlds (The Crystal Issue Cycle 3)
Format: 12"
Label: The Crystal Issue
Rated: *****
Solar One Music is an hectic label that is producing quality music and is always in evolution. With The Crystal Issue sub-label, they deliver music focused on Acid/Chicago/Detroit/Techno/House, genres which deeply influenced Robert and Nico, the two label's bosses. The releases will be issued only on one sided colored 12" in limited run'¦ no digital files available. The first release of the series is by Mantra, project of a guy called Craig Stainton, who is also active with the Acid Phreex, Craig Stainton, Monofonix, Myriadd monikers. He has at his active an LP ("After Dark") and three EPs on Bunker Records as well as another EP released the last year on Abstract Acid. Mantra's is pure acid techno with tiny house influences where the classic TB-303 and TR-606/808/909 sounds are used to create a hypnotic loop where sampled vocals, sparse deep bass lines and some synth effects. On this first release presented on orange vinyl as opening track we find "Beat That House", a tune characterized by an house bass line that is joined by TB-303 on the pauses, just to start again with the "mantra". "Many Worlds" follows and this is focused on TB-303 sounds, drum machine blasts, tiny distorted synth reverbs and vocal samples scratches. Trancey, obsessive and dancey, these tunes are two of the best produced by Mantra. If you are into acid or techno, check this out!

Atiq & EnK: Fear Of The Unknown

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 15 2013
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Artist: Atiq & EnK
Title: Fear Of The Unknown
Format: CD
Label: Mindtrick Records/Tympanik Audio (@)
Rated: *****
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown", said the legendary American writer H.P.Lovecraft and this fresh and somehow unknown twosome by Guido Van Den Brink aka Atiq, founder of Mindtrick Records and known in Rotterdam for its intense activity as a promoter of many notorious parties such as "Jungle Soundclash" and "Rave!!!", and Pim Arnoldus aka EnK, music producer and guitar player in the Dutch nu-metal band Brainshake, trace the ancestral sense of the above-mentioned definition and above all the strength of its semantic and spiritual payload by means this remarkable debut album, which encapsulate many acts of IDM and electronic hybrids as well as the most interesting declension of heavy dubstep - I could namedrop Hecq, Venetian Snares, Burial or even some oldest acts such as Beefcake, Flint Glass, Elixir (a project by Martin Stovey, Steve Jones and Richard Pushong, which dropped some interesting stuff on Quatermass, sub-label of SubRosa) or Bill Leeb's Synaesthesia - with a deep penchant for psychedelic orchestral inserts. In reality they don't depart from Lovecraft's quote, but these skilled guys cite some words by Dr.Wayne Dyer they sampled in the initial track "Stay With The Familiar" ("Fear of the Unknown...They are afraid of New Ideas...They're loaded with Prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based on if something is new, I reject it immediately; because it is Frightening to Me. What they do instead, is just Stay with the Familiar. You know, to me, The Most Beautiful things in all the Universe, are The Most Mysterious"...a very meaningful message for our troubled planet), which perfectly sets listener's mood for the whole album, whose main quality lays in its intimate narrative structure. There are many stylistical peaks all over the release: the cathartic suspense, which have been enhanced by entrancing female vocals, of "Moonlit Tea Party", the heavy lock step, the suffocated melodies and the sinisterly silvery atmosphere of "My Obligation", the somber crystalline music box on "The Glass Kingdom", the cinematic Gregorian chant-driven mesmerizing dubstep of 'Like an Angel's Feather' - absolutely my favorite track! -, the meteor craters of the mercurial dub on "Sim One" (nice track with samples of Orson Welles' narration of "Future Shock", a documentary by visionary American writer Alvin Toffler) and "Three Minutes", the bites of dubstep on a Jarre-like synth-driven melodic sequence on "Shards Of Brilliance", which precedes the final resolution "The Moment Of Truth", which got spelled by Mike Redman's rapping. Fear of the unknown must be beaten and these guys proposed their amazing sonic strategy.


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