Music Reviews



Lynch Kingsley: Time-Lapse

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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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.

P.E.A.R.L.: Four Cardinal

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 30 2015
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Artist: P.E.A.R.L.
Title: Four Cardinal
Format: 12"
Label: Falling Ethics (@)
Distributor: Triplevision
Rated: *****
The hinges of the sound by young Berlin-based Spanish dj and producer P.E.A.R.L. and former leg of the techno project Agony Forces together with Marcos "Coushin" Leiras, are not so different from the ones of his two previous releases that he already launched on his own imprint Falling Ethics on an annual basis: the four cardinals of IVC could be approximately a strong influence of British industrial declension of techno, a powerfully mental sound that often borders on hypnosis, precise cuts of raw percussive elements on the contrails of French 90ies techno and strong dynamics. The first of the two tracks is my favorite one as the subtle metallic hum and the rhytmic bleep could surmise some good "atmospheric" stuff that came from the glorious Nova Zembla (Brain Pilot, Paranonia) in the first half of 90ies, while the dark interrupted frequencies and the obsessive clicks of the second part sounds just like a stomping nubbin. As he did on his previous release "The Fall Of Because" when he let remix "All Gods Of Man" to OScar Mulero and The Transhumans, P.E.A.R.L. has been a fine picker-outer on this occasion as well to the point that I'd rather say that the remix by Semantica label owner Enrique Mena aka Svreca is the best moment of this technoid drop.

Mako, Villem & Mcleod: Inner Revolution/Borrowed Love

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 28 2015
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Artist: Mako, Villem & Mcleod
Title: Inner Revolution/Borrowed Love
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
Utopia Music big old milkwood tree keeps on germinate in wintertime as well as these small new juicy buds have blossomed from the machines of an excellent tryptich of brilliant Bristol-based dnb brains: Stephen "Mako" Redmore, Andrew "Villem" Wilson and McLeod let sunlight shine in listener's eardrum by wrapping frenzied rolling kicks and claps into fluffy chimes, pillowy pads, sonic dandelions and gentle piano touches that are going tickle your imagination and lead you into a sweet dream state. After they uplifted listers as if they got invited for a ride on a winged Pegasus, Villem and McLeod allows listener to keep on floating by a lovely half tempo track, "Borrowed Love", where soothing chilled sounds, metronomic keys and a resounding female voice are going to foray your dream states. It seems that dnb followers' expectation can not be disappointed by evergreen Utopia big tree's buds!

Ocoeur: A Parallel Life

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 26 2015
cover
Artist: Ocoeur (@)
Title: A Parallel Life
Format: CD
Label: n5MD (@)
Rated: *****
Ocoeur is French composer/sound artist Franck Zaragoza and 'A Parallel Life' is his third release since 2010, this one comprised of five tracks. This is my first exposure to Ocoeur, which loosely translated means "to the heart". Ocoeur's modus operandi is kind is a fusing of techno, IDM, glitch and ambient. On an initial listen to 'A Parallel Life' I found some tracks absolutely fascinating and others rather boring. "Universe" is a fine introduction to Ocoeur's sound palette with a glitch percussion track playing off a gentle, repetitive ambient-esque melodic sequence with a sub-bass drone undercurrent. "L'horlogue" unfolds a simple synth melody over slightly off kilter rhythm with a constant chordal synth pad in the background. "First Highway" is spacious chordal synth pads juxtaposed with crackling and staticy elements driven by a provocative techno-like rhythm. More light melodic elements are added as the piece shapes into melodic techno. This is Ocoeur at its best here; nice changes and shifting sonics keeping it interesting. "Kofski" was the first track I didn't much care for. A slow, repetitive, tremeloed synth chordal progression morphs through some slight distortion then ends with sweet strings. "Ostz" begins with higher string harmonics and a minimal bass-oriented rhythm track gradually bringing in glitchy percussion. A variety of other synth elements are introduced, some melodic, some percussive...the rhythm ceases for a spell, then returns. Quite engaging and somewhat complex. "North" has an intricate yet subdued glitch percussion track punctuated with a low tone while muted, cloudy synth tones play over it. Bellish synth chords emerge occasionally, but the whole is a heavenly exercise in the sublime, until the heavy chordal sequence at the conclusion. You definitely get the impression Mr. Zaragoza has studied the works of Aphex Twin and Brian Eno after this one. The title track is up next, and this is without a doubt the strangest track on the album. Describing the elements would take way too long, but suffice to say that it incorporates nearly every element in the Ocoeur arsenal. It isn't always pleasant, but it does have its own peculiar fascination. "Beyond Infinite" takes a long time to build with a muted low chordal progression, glitchy elements and complimentary higher muted synth tone with the occasional percussive thud that morphs into something more rhythmic. Very nice! Final track, "Red" is all heavenly synth pads and a track full of static noise. Perhaps a fitting end to the album, but I found it disappointing. Still, there is enough on 'A Parallel Life' that makes it worthy. Available from n5MD in CD, MP3 and FLAC, or if you prefer, LP in black, or (uber limited) transparent blue. Since the LP track-list is a bit different than the CD it comes with a download card so you can download the full album.
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Artist: Tumido
Title: Nomads
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar (@)
Rated: *****
An electronic melted blob, which seems to articulate words in an uncodified language, and fast percussions that give rise to an enterancing Berber drumming session and Tres pinching before the race gets inflamed by a trumpet, which sounds like a furious elephant, ignite this brilliant stylistical crossover on "Gubat", the first incendiary track of Tumido's new album. Over five tracks, mainly named from remote places on our planet, Gigi Gratt (tres, trumpet), Bernard Breuer (drums and sticks of Elektro Guzzi and Metalycee) and the new member Mario Stadler (synth), exhibit their striking sound, whose melting of dub, electronics and rock could stuck listeners up: the rough tribal patterns of "Nuuk" got embossed by tilting synths and swirling clots of drums and distorted guitars; the sneaking narcosis that mesmerizes listeners in the first part of "Isny" by means of a Massive Attack-like trip hop movement got stopped by a sort of tenderly adulterated spinet and abruptly smashed by an overpowering wall of sound, which gets dissolved into an electric suffocated cloud; obliquely delayed hits and crackly strokes got clotted by a piercing high-pitched frequency and a gargling noise on the blood-chilling "Tommot"; the tribalistic dance of the lenghty final track "Xaxim" unexpectedly turns into a distillate of a mangled dub, whose agonizing bad trip-like sound likewise unexpectedly expands in an overwhelming manner and flows into muffling metallic squeals. An excellent boxed cake mix for catching live concerts.


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