Music Reviews



Big Brother On Acid: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 26 2015
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Artist: Big Brother On Acid
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Alrealon Musique (@)
Rated: *****
My ear response made me think the name of this project could refer to the DAW software program that was originally launched by Sonic Foundry, but it seems to have a quite different story and more relations with the "mermaid" portrayed on the cover artwork: according to the words of the man behind Big Brother, a chief surgeon - I wouldn't wonder if that surgeon told something funny about the forefather of ether anesthesia John Collins Warren, who got quoted for the title of a track, on that occasion as well - stated that the police and surveillance at the annual mermaid parade in Coney Island, NY, the notorious family-friendly celebration of the beginning of summer by Dick Zigun. The reference fits a sound, a sort of wacky sonic ode to insanity as a straegy to go over some top, which melts many styles together and turned them into a funny pulp which could tilt the clocks inside your brain: you could surmise that the nervous dubstep of the opening "Friday Night", the slapped mixture of electro-phunk, space rock metastases and acid techno sonorities of the bouncy "John Warren", which sounds other than anesthetic, the sci-fi-propelled mad breakbeat of "It Was All Very Good", the sturdy jump on dubstep tyres again on the remix by Black Beast Of Arrrghhh of "Vandalism", which could let you think some slimy monster in the act of strangling a cow, the howling theremin and the psychedelic clips on the contaminated groove of "Order-Sigil-9", the uplifting conspiracy chattering on "Illegal Space Aliens" as well as the other moments of this wonky (and occasionally old-fashioned) stuff could come from a possible crossbreed between a crazed or paranoid chaos mage and a memetic clown, but Big Brother On Acid manages to tickle body and thought at the same time. I appreciate the fact that influences (Meat Beat Manifesto, Coil, Aaron Funk/Venetian Snares, Tipper and many dubstep producers such as Bassnectar, Downlink and Datsik) have not been cripplingly hidden at all!

NHK: Program

 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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Feb 25 2015
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Artist: NHK (@)
Title: Program
Format: CD
Label: LINE (@)
Rated: *****
If you have ever asked yourself what could be beyond the so-called post-techno, you could find one of possible answers in the sonic rocky ridges that NHK, the brainchild by the experienced noise engraver Kouhei Matsunaga - the man behind the curtains of many similarly named different projects (NHK'Koyxen, Koyxen, Internet Magic, NHKyx) and former collaborator of Merzbow, Autechre's Sean Booth, Mika Vainio, Conrad Schnitzler, Asmus Tietschens, Jungle Brothers' Sensational and many other important sound artists - and the young producer Toshio Munheiro, explores on this interesting release on Chartier's LINE. Both the names of the release - "Program" - and the titles of the ten tracks - all of them have been titled by means of the shortening of channel ("Ch"), followed by their ranking on the tracklist expect of the ninth "channel" which got named "Ch10" - mirrors the fact that NHK is also the name of the notorious publicly owned Japanese national broadcasting organization. Most of tracks seem to crack simple house structures up by short-circuit currents which bring its building blocks to their embryonic stage, but there are some moments when a sort of anticlimax of these primordial electric entities surprisingly spring out such as the agonizing engine that resounds from the deep emptiness of "Ch4", the noisy wart that rises from the ticking time bomb of "Ch5", the entrancing vent-like floating noise on the mechanical pulsations of "Ch6", the vacuum-packed low-frequencies and the clipped infiltrations on "Ch8" or the cryogenic abstract-dub of the final "Ch10". NHK's entity could maybe occupy some recess of post-post-techno zone, but I think you could encounter life-forms even beyond this seemingly inaccessible place.

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
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Feb 23 2015
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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.
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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
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Feb 05 2015
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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!


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