Music Reviews



Braiden: Apex of the Sun's Way / Solar Poise

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8617)
Feb 23 2015
cover
Artist: Braiden
Title: Apex of the Sun's Way / Solar Poise
Format: 12"
Label: Off Out (@)
Rated: *****
Berlin-based dj Steve Braiden finally decided to light (or rather blow out, it depends from listener's viewpoint) the first match of his personal label, Off Out, by means of a couple of very good tracks, where he wisely derailed two tech-house grooves and I can't say he didn't start the label off right! The somewhat mystical halo which got evoked by the title of first track "Apex Of The Sun's Way" got mirrored by an exciting race on an amazing rhytmical pattern which has been wisely lubricated by an eeriely overshadowed distorted melody, short metallic breathes, abraded vocals, bouncy clacks and dull vocals, while the flipside slips on the polarized dim lights, the electric bottlenecks, the lukewarm pulsations and the dynamic viscosity of "Solar Poise". He already announced he will set other upcoming fires on Out Off soon and this incandescent sparkle arouse positive expectations.
cover
Artist: Hieroglyphic Being And The Configurative Or Modular Me Trio
Title: The Seer Of Cosmic Visions
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
Someone labelled it as "Outsider House", but it's an objectively misleading reference so that I prefer the labels that Chicago-based producer and founder of Mathemtics Recordings Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being aka IAMTHATIAM aka The Sun God aka IBM (cool acronym for Insane Black Man), the inventive pioneer of this style, coined by means of expressions that seems to quote Sun-Ra such as 'Cosmic Be-Bop' or 'Rhythmic Cubism'. Beyond the way its style could be named, the assemblage of Chicago house and EBM and spotty elements from industrial, noise and avant-jazz, which could sometimes render the way someone who temporarily suffeers clogged eardrums would perceive a record by Frankie Knuckles, Adonis, Fingers Inc., Ron Hardy or other legends of the 80/90ies underground scene of Jamal's vibrant city, or some variations of Chicago house by means of low-battery cheap drum machines or synths whose circuits got regrettably watered by corrosive chemical products or dj's favorite drink, is really amazing even if it could sound like a mere exercise in style. Anticipated by an exclusive 6 files digital release for The Wire readers, "The Seer Of Cosmic Visions" includes nine past jams and tracks from his catalogue, which got wisely remastered by Michel Kuhn at Berlin's Dubplates and Mastering: the unsharpened knives of "Calling Planet Earth", the nibbled Chicago-house of "How Wet Is Ur Box", the lop-sided computational sequence of "The Human Experience", the robotic stuttering over poofy sonorities of the final "Strange Signs In The Sky" and the gelatinous boiling of rhythmic noise on "A Genre Sonique" of my favorite ones, but the opening lukewarm psychedelia of the opening title-track, the opacified meditations of "Letters From The Edge" and "Space Is The Place" and the numb tribal funk of "134340 Pluto" are likewise amazing. Have a listen!

The Binary Mind: The Bankrunner

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (8589)
Feb 05 2015
cover
Artist: The Binary Mind
Title: The Bankrunner
Format: 12"
Label: Decoder Recordings (@)
Distributor: Straight
Rated: *****
The intrinsic social and political criticism inside the intriguing sonic code of techno music, which mainly marked the first breeding grounds of that scene before thesome producers become somehow sclerotic on sound technologies, sometimes comes back and the brilliant Dutch producer Christiaan van Tienhoven seems to render money, the most efficient contemporary weapon of mass enslavement, by means of his declension of techno: the pressing progressions of the title-track "The Bankrunner" that ignite the first drop of Decoder Recordings, his newborn label, get more and more overwhelming while the other sonic entities evoke a strangling race against time; the swirling sequences and the metallic friction of the following track "Cold Space Dust" twist listeners into a sort of freezing chokehold, while the highly-energetic hypnotic rumbling of "Moonhiking" and the ghastly atmospheres of "Bugs" draw stunning computational mantras. Good firestarter!

Aeriae: Victris

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (8584)
Feb 03 2015
cover
Artist: Aeriae (@)
Title: Victris
Format: CD
Label: Clan Analogue Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Aeriae is the project name of Wade Clarke from Sydney, Australia. Wade released his first album, 'Hold RI', independently in 2007. At first, it was just a studio project but after seeing a Moldover ("The Godfather of Controllerism") video, Wade was inspired to take Aeriae live. He followed up his first album with remixes of other Sydney artists, hooked up with Clan Analogue (Australia's oldest electronic music collective) and put out an EP with them in 2013 titled 'Nurse 2 Alyssa Type'. That brings us to the present. 'Victris' is his first release to have general physical distribution in Australia, and likely, beyond.

I need to be bluntly honest here. 'Victris' was the first thing I listened to out of the humungous package I received a month ago from Chain D.L.K. central. I absolutely hated it then. Too much of everything and all over the place was my first impression. A month later, and my opinion has radically changed. However, you really need to prepare yourself for Aeriae's brand of hyper-IDM. First track of the ten on 'Victris', "Revered Daughter"is an exercise in what can be done with a fast-sequenced many-note melody line, breakbeat percussion and a steady bass keeping time on the whole note. Other synth elements come into play in both the melody and percussion, enhancing this 168 (or so) BPM runaway train. Things never get too far afield, but it does (intentionally) devolve toward the end. "Ai No Kuni" begins sounding like another happy day in the amphetamine elves' toy factory until splashes of bright but eerie synth chords are introduced. So many changes take place in this one that it takes on quite a progressive bent. It calms down toward the end with only a single synth melody line present, but what a fascinating trip!

The hyper pace is slowed down considerably (to about 105 BPM) for 'Heiress' as Wade employs previously unused sounds from Aeriae's sound palette. Although a fairly steady beat carries on, the melody is more abstract, but not random. "Sword of State" layers airy synth chords over a sharper 16th note sequence with a scattershot rhythm track and wobble bass weaving in and out. It's less hyper than the first couple of tracks (around 130 BPM) and some low synth chords fill in gaps enriching the bass parts. As with other compositions on 'Victris', the end is nowhere near as it began. Back in hyperland for "The Book of Peace" (Mono) with a very busy but light rhythm track while a many note synth sequence melody and bass counter-melody play over it with intermittent synth chords. It's a bit classical sounding, especially in the bass line, but there's no mistaking this for classical music. It went on a little too long for my liking, but still was an interesting piece. "Kathle'en" has the ambience of a demented calliope backed by a minimal beat, a real carnival of the weird. "Movement for the Brides" is radically different than anything heretofore on 'Victris'. If the previous track exuded a carnival atmosphere, then this track is Barnum's sideshow of the bizarre, and much too difficult to describe. There is an aura of the ominous on this one. "Nurse 2 Alyssa Type" you might recall the name from Aeriae's aforementioned EP) is one cool melodic percussion-driven thing. On one level it doesn't change much (especially compared to previous tracks), and on another it changes quite a bit. The melody is by far simpler than the other tracks on Victris' too. Another mono track, "Angel Team" begins a bit slow but cranks up to get its engine firing on all cylinders soon enough. The chordal melody line is slightly staggered and staccato, but even that changes down the line as sub-melodies come into play. In the end it devolves into deep ambient space. Final track, "Regina Doesn't Have the Technical Knowledge for That" is a real mindbender. Everything plays off one particular repeating synth sequence heard from the beginning, but so many elements are added that it becomes a real fantasia, or capriccio even, while still retaining its melodic theme. Things change considerably towards the end as it winds down becoming more abstract, but there is no loss of interest.

'Victris' is indeed challenging IDM. Everything on it may not immediately resonate with you, but given a chance it certainly draws you in. Compositionally rich and complex, Aeriae has taken IDM to a new place, and maybe even another level. I'm looking forward to the next step in its evolution.

Lynch Kingsley: Time-Lapse

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (8583)
Feb 03 2015
cover
Artist: Lynch Kingsley (@)
Title: Time-Lapse
Format: CD
Label: Beat Machine Records (@)
Rated: *****
'Time-Lapse' is the debut album by electronic music producer Lynch Kingsley from Italy. Kingsley works in the Future Bass, Juke, Footwork, Slowfast, Jungle, Drum'n'Bass genres and 'Time-Lapse' is characterized by reverberated voices lost in frenzy beats and sound patterns that recreate an atmosphere reminiscent of "Timeless" by Goldie. Truth be told, I've never been a big fan of this kind of stuff, but I'll give it a shot. First, if you don't much care for Jungle and D'n'B, you'd best move on. If you can get past the annoying as fuck opener, "I've Never Known You" with its manipulated sample of those words repeated endlessly over frenetic breakbeat, you just may be rewarded further down the line. "Eternal" (featuring Nefer) is better by far, and possibly the best on the album. The track has a swirling ethereal psychedelic ambience with samples of Nefer's sensual vocal (mostly "eternally, eternally...love") repeated periodically throughout with a less hyper rhythm track. An interesting foray into quasi-shoegazer territory with a siren's love call. "Arms Up" builds its theme around a manipulated sample of those words, and now the thematic pattern of these first few tracks clearly emerges- take a vocal sample, repeat it often, and build a track around it. The flaw is not in the structure or musical and rhythmic elements, but in the overuse of the theme-sample. The rest is rather good, but constant repetition of a vocal sample just wears one down and gets old fast, well before the track is concluded. "Enchained" is all over the map. Jungle drum track with a staccato snippet of a vocal sample ("eh") punched out like Morse code, swirling pads, other stray vocal samples interjected here and there, zizzing noise, dying down to chordal ambience and noise wash, picking up again with heavy D'n'B, scattered vocal hoots, and then it stops. What the hell was that? More D'n'B on "My Last Breath" with ersatz noise-breath breathing sounds, and electronic psychedelic atmosphere. A few minutes into it and something vaguely akin to a song takes form, albeit something so abstract and hallucinatory, I'm really not sure. That goes away, the frenetic D'n'B take over again. End of transmission. "Feel Me Now" starts out rather mellow and placid compared to everything else- an atmos buildup, wordless vocals in the background, some piano chords, a hint of a rhythm track, then the real rhythm kicks in, and so do sample of old-school jazz horns amidst other sonic effluvia. I keep waiting for the "feel me now" vocal sample to emerge but it never comes. "Hidden Light" is almost minimal compared to the rest. Kind of techno-trancey. It picks up 3/4 of the way through with a ferocious rhythm. A bit 90's but not bad overall. Last two tracks on the album are remixes - "Feel Me Now" by Go Dugong (aka Giulio Fonseca), and "Eternal" by SertOne of Liverpool, England. Go Dugong brings up the piano and the nearly buried vocal sample of the original,dispenses with the old jazz samples, utilizes a simpler rhythm programming making the track sound completely different, and almost like a regular song...almost. SertOne starts "Eternal" with the sound of scratchy vinyl, claps, an echoing synth-chord sample. You don't get Nefer's "eternally" sample until midway. Percussion up to this point has been minimal to non-existent, and when it does emerge is still pretty basic. Low-key and a bit disappointing. In conclusion, 'Time-Lapse' is an uneven trip that left me feeling ambivalent. There's no doubt Kingsley has skills, and perhaps on his next outing his compositions will rise to that level more consistently. I do love the CD artwork by Nucco Brain though.



Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha