Music Reviews



Survey: Chop Chop EP

 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 16 2015
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Artist: Survey
Title: Chop Chop EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Translation Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Berlin-based duo Survey mould another excellent hybrid of atmospheric bass-driven music, really precise cuts and wise rhythmical contraptions on this forthcoming release (the full release will be available on 25th May) for Translation Recordings. The menacingly immersive sound and the masterfully chiseled rhythmical patterns of the opening "Acting Posh" immediately belay listener's mood down in a deeply hypnotic cave before the excellent title-track "Chop Chop" - undoubtedly the best moment of this release -, where they managed to turn an 85bpm dub-technoid movement into a really captivating entity that is going to irrigate body and soul by means of a sneaking sequence of crawling sonic particles that sound like coming from a contaminated nuclear plant. Beats per minute significantly rise and bassline becomes a little bit more aggressive on "Paperhands", where a simple 2-step movement got infected by catchy neurofunk sonorities, while the final "Pressure" hangs all previous elements together by a combination of elements of the previous stages. Survey can reasonably become a stylistical template for contemporary state of the art of drum'n'bass and this release is a further proof of their excellent skills in sound design, which can push drum'n'bass scene to levels, which could be even higher than the ones that got already reached.

Silent Dust: Lone ft HOF / The Deku Tree

 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 12 2015
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Artist: Silent Dust
Title: Lone ft HOF / The Deku Tree
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: None60
Rated: *****
Bristol-based None60's purpose seems to renew the important role of that vibrant city in the field of contemporary music. Having been the hometown of Portishead, Massive Attack, Smith'n'Mighty as well as the base of many great d'n'b producers and clubs, Bristol can undoubtedly become the lighthouse of bass-driven music again thanks to a number of newcomers and veterans that are shaking the grounds and the catalogues of labels like None60. This time it was the turn of the illegitimate sons of well-known British paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse, as Uk producers Andy Hobbs aka Hobzee and Dan Blishen aka Zyon Base defined themselves. Even if they were born respectively in Kent and Manchester, Bristol is the city where they mainly operates by means of their imprint None60, whose main mission, in their own words, is the removal of "all limitations of genre, tempo and convention". In order to give an idea of what you're going to listen before you check the two tracks by your eardrums, I could approximately define their sound as a sort of chillstep (I violate the first amendment), running at half tempo (I violated the second amendment as well), but before someone puts a jinx or an arrest warrant to me, I can certify that both tracks are really unconventional: HOF voice mastefully oozes honey on the mellow half tempo of "Lone", while that honey turns into psychedelic resin on the following "The Deku Tree" - I could guess they are fans of "The Legend of Zelda"! -. Silent Dust confirms to be one of the most interesting acts in the general renaissance of bass music at the moment!

Florestano: Noh

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 05 2015
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Artist: Florestano
Title: Noh
Format: CD
Label: Kowloon
Distributor: Rubadub
Rated: *****
Available the next July on vinyl, CD and digital, "Noh" is the first release for Florestano's personal label Kowloon. Florestano is the producer and multi-instrumentalist Leonardo Salvaro. Originally from near Verona, Italy, he spent the last five years traveling nomadically through Asia, Europe and South America. The experience of finding himself alone for a lot of time, influenced his creative process and allowed him to focus on the emotions he wanted to express with his music. The album title "Noh", is underlining the fact that Leonardo wanted the listener to be freed from any influence as happen on the noh theatre, where emotions are primarily conveyed by stylized conventional gestures while the iconic masks represent the roles such as ghosts, women, children, and old people (thanks Wikipedia for that). Musically, the eight tracks of the album remember me a mix of CN, Dmx Krew and Aphex Twin with a pinch of German techno. Rhythm is the main element on the writing and often breakbeat textures are mixed with melodic synth patterns and cutups which intrigue the listener and help giving a melodic structure to the tracks which, by the way, are instrumentals. Florestano succeeds into stuffing the tracks with enough interesting elements which are capable to keep the listener cool about what he's listening to. Also, he's great at breaking the mechanic and apparently cold complex rhythm patterns with melodic bridges which help creating an intriguing atmosphere. Follow Florestano's website for further news!

Lars from Mars: Americanino

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 05 2015
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Artist: Lars from Mars
Title: Americanino
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: clang (@)
Rated: *****
An interesting matching between minimal techno and mathematical functions - I wonder how some reviewers are still reluctant to accept the association of the adjective "intelligent" to the label "dance music" - came on Clang's catalogue from Danish producer, programmer and sonologist Lars Graugaard, whose passion for David Temperley's research into probabilistic melody generation (if you don't chew such a matter, have a look to his essay "Music and Probability" to have an idea what he means), musical rule systems and temporal morphing could let you think he's deepening mathematical knowledge on some digital sequencer or playing music by means of Matlab or Lisp while performing in real time - neither pre-packed phrases, grouping nor overdubs - on his laptop. The funny way by which he inoculates smartly crafted sounds and computational melodies stand out over the four track of this digital release. I particularly enjoyed the title-track "Americanino", whose twisting micro-techno groove sounds like trawling for resounding electrons in the thought of mad scientist, and "Drawn and Quartered", where a sort of embryonic break got blended into a crude "fruity loop"-like movement and free jazz-like synth-piano jam, but both "Later That Night" and "Decay and Slip" are nice specimen of the above-mentioned matching. Have a listen!

Netherworld: Zastrugi

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Apr 26 2015
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Artist: Netherworld
Title: Zastrugi
Format: CD
Label: Glacial Movements (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Netherworld is classified as a 'techno glacial album' confirming the aesthetic focus of this label in an imaginary made out of polar landscape where iceberg is one of his icons.
The deep and dark drone of 'Mapsuk' opens this release and slowly evolves, rather than in an ambient track, in a techno track when the beat emerges and became the gravity centre of the track. 'Bergie Seltzer' is really close, in concept, to best moments of Biosphere while 'SÃérac' tries to eliminate, for a while, the beat for the construction of a subtler soundscape. 'Dry Andes' is a concentrate and fast track more focused on impact than the rest. 'Uikka' closes this release with a more complex rhythmic part closer to the first Autechre but without the details on timbre and with more vehemence.
This is not a easy release to rate as it has as obscure elements as remarkable ones; perhaps is a transition release. Fans will love it but the average listener of this genre will remain puzzled. It's worth a listen.


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