Music Reviews



Atic: Tuff Times EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 07 2015
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Artist: Atic
Title: Tuff Times EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Free Love Digi
Rated: *****
That's another good inoculation into Free Love Digi catalogue, the third one by Denver based producer Atic, if I include the freebie "Conspicuous" in his discography. He digs the more melodic side of drum'n'bass, but such a labelling doesn't mean it's not interesting and somehow futuristic as most of launched rockets from Quentin Hiatus' imprint base. The first shot by Atic winks at the Rastafarian community living on Jamaican Blue Mountains, which could be considered a sort of sacred place in between wonderful falls, caves, rivers and a really lush and fecund nature, which gives really delicious coffee among other things... the nervously electric breaksthat shuffle vocal parts of the track could let you imagine the dreadlocks of the long-haired members of the above-mentioned community are like wires where divine knowledge circulates faster than data on human fiber-optics lines. While Atic lets leak poisoned sounds from the clocking half time of "Flatapus" as if they were interior of slaughtered alien, he puts his feet down on the gas on the frenzy drum'n'bass movement of "Critical Sound" (featuring Kaset!) before inoculating solidly cemented clips and entrancing vocal clips into the gelatinous techstep of the following "Pyramid", speeding down a piano-driven simple melody on "Juil", the most liquid moment of the release, and the more alarming sets of "Slap", which features his mate Kaset again, the second leg of Critical Waves.

VV.AA.: RE: Residual

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 29 2015
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: RE: Residual
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Parenth├Ęses Records (@)
Rated: *****
Five years ago, two members of cross-cultural ensemble Way Out West, the Australian eclectic trumpeter and composer Peter Knight, whose outstanding sonic research is mainly focused on making musical bridges between jazz and world music, and Vietnamese musican and experienced jazz guitarist (as well as performer on many traditional Vietnamese instruments) Dung Nguyen gave birth to Residual, a collaborative project which tried to make a possible connection between Western musical styles and Vietnamese music. Their debut album on Brussels-based label Parentheses Records was enthusiastically acclaimed by many reviewers and listeners. In the beginning of 2014, Peter and Alexis Courtin discussed about the possibility to revamp that great release, so that they decided to ask some musicians from France and Australia to provide their personal perspective on the ideas that got seeded by Residual. The five tracks - I won't refer to them as proper remixes - of this digital remake are simply awesome and features the contributions by Mathias Delplanque aka Lena, whose elegant cosmic-dub explorations on "Autumn Music" could resemble some world/dubby stuff by Harold Budd or Hector Zazou, Tilman Robinson, whose lulling abstract ambient "Phase Pedal" could inspire ecstatic daydreaming, Melbourne-based drummer, percussionist and electro-acoustic performer Joe Talia, who unweaves some micropercussions on the subtle electronics of "Minky Star" where Peter's trumpet could resemble Erik Truffaz's style, Melbourne-based Dan West, whose minimal-techy revamp of "Residual" is the most club-fitted moment, and last but least, the American-Scottish (actually living in Paris) word artist and writer black Sifichi, speaking of astronomical subjects by means of his distinguishable deep voice on "Travelling". Available for free on label's bandcamp.

JLin: Dark Energy

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 26 2015
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Artist: JLin (@)
Title: Dark Energy
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
The smoking black splinter on the cover artwork could ideally come from the notorious black monolith, that landed on Earth and changed the course of events of a community of monkeys in the subtly ironic clip of Kubrick's "A Space Odissey", and the cinematic intro "Black Ballet" of this release by Indiana-based producer JLin could foster such a fancy and let you think of footwork as a sort of blessed cosmic stoning against eartlings! Besides any possible whim of your imagination, her definition of footwork, a style which keeps on getting squeezed by many music innovators and was constantly followed by an enlighted music mind like the sadly departed DJ Rashad, could reasonably be considered the state of the art of the genre and not only for the amazing clips where she inserted the menacing voice of notorious fighting videogames ("Flawless Victory" and "Suicide" -!- announcing on "Infrared (Bagua)" obviously got taken frm Mortal Kombat, as well as the "Round 1-Fight" in the middle of the precise cuts of "Mansa Musa" - named after a benevolent ruler of the legendary Mali Empire - will go frakking wild many Street Fighter fans) and the likewise amazing percussive juglling that spread over the album, as one the main feature of her sound is the lack of samples from old funk or soul records (it's about freaking time!!!). After the praises she received for "Erotic Heat", a banging track that was inserted in the list of the second volume of Bangs & Works, the compilation by Planet Mu, which tries to collect the best of Chcago Footwork, this album clearly shows that she could be one of the real pioneer of this evolving genre. I could guess that smoking splinter landed on Gary, JLin's hometown in the neighbourings of Chicago, which saw the birth of Jackson 5 and hosted many Steel Mills - including the one where JLIn works - and some fumes reached her nostrils to enhance her inventiveness. A mysterious godsend for lovers of bass-driven sonorities!

Digital: Catch A Fire

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 23 2015
cover
Artist: Digital
Title: Catch A Fire
Format: 12"
Label: Function Records (@)
Rated: *****
After a five years lasting period of inactivity, the appreciated producer Digital keeps on feedng his own imprint Function Records by a couple of his release. The first one "Respek Da Foundation", which includes a collaborative track with Macunian dnb producer N Owen aka Response and a remix of Digital's "Deadline" by George Ovens aka Dub Phizix, was a celebrative release for 20 years of activity of Digital. "Catch A Fire" is the second ring of the hopefully long chain of Function and includes many stylistical hooks to older rings by Digital. Such a welcomed connection with the past, which could be considered more as an act of devotion than a fit of nostalgia, is clear since the igniting track of this release, "Rejection", whose alarming sound, the solid clustered bassline and the double gangways where Digital lets amen break spin (a subterranean one, which is clearly audible on the beginnign of the track, before the one on a higher ground begins) are typical hooks of 90ies junglists, and a certain old school nuance seems to float around the more atmospheric sonorities of "Light Years", the new bicephalous tune he co-signed together with the above-mentioned Response. Digital reduces the spped, but not the effectiveness of his music, on the title-track "Catch A Fire", a really astonishing assay of likewise old-fashioned heavyweight dub. Unmissable release for all those listeners who miss those kind of vibes, which used to shake dancehalls in between the second half of 90ies and first part of new millenium.

HLZ: Dying Memories/Duel

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 20 2015
cover
Artist: HLZ (@)
Title: Dying Memories/Duel
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Warm Communications (@)
Rated: *****
Another good entry on excellent Texan imprint Warm Communiations comes from italian producer Emilio Dimitri aka HLZ, who speeds down the block by a couple of fast running tracks on this digital release. Besides the obvious reference to the high rate of bpm of the genre, I've not used the verb "speed" by chance as both "Duel" and "Dyring Memories" manage to render insane races in listener's mind to the point we could guess that his previous experience as half of the influential drum'n'bass act Need For Mirros turned into a Need For Speed game session. Have a listen to the the rolling machinery of "Duel" and the insertion of noises from igniting engines and running cars could let you surmise it got inspired by an insomniac night in front of some racing videogame. The way he heats the rod of a typical amen break until it glows bright red by means of distorted guitars on "Dying Memories" is really amazing as well. Warmly recommended to the followers of the genre and the more demanding djs who are going to speed dancehalls up!


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