Music Reviews

Slam: Rotary/Catacoustics

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 27 2014
Artist: Slam (@)
Title: Rotary/Catacoustics
Format: 12"
Label: Soma Quality Recordings (@)
Distributor: Rubadub
Rated: *****
We recently quoted the Scottish techno label Soma Quality Recordings, whose long life - it's active since 1991 - seems to mirror the science of ageing whiskey whose thorough knowledge seems to be a secret art of their nice homelanders. Soma recently reached the important milestone of its 400th release, which got signed by its co-founders Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle aka Slam, a very influential fellowship for Glasgow techno club scene since the times when Steven "Workman" Sleepman asked these lads to care Saturday night at Glasgow's Tin Pan Alley. This "celebrative" tracks come out during tha last months in their recording studio, where they penned themselves up behind fences of past and new sonic technology that they tested for Slam's upcoming album (or maybe for whipping some new storms on the dancefloors up): the opening "Rotary" got ignited by a raw analogue line and a dry kick, which get gradually rippled so that they test a transition from a minimal tune to a proper techno track; on the flipside, "Catacoustics" drag deep techno sonorities up by means of hypnotical delayed bells, sub-bass gulper's lashes and masterfuly percussive spools- Long life to Soma!

Drvg Cvltvre: American Psychosis (part one)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 23 2014
Artist: Drvg Cvltvre (@)
Title: American Psychosis (part one)
Format: 12"
Label: Shipwrec
Distributor: Clone
Rated: *****
Money management, media-driven mass manipulation, marketing could be considered the bedrock of contemporary socio-political and economical established "democratic" or "M-authoritarian" system as many people have already understood without getting high-brows. Once upon a time, some producers, who crossed techno zone and its neighborhood (I could mention Test Dept, Black Lung and many others), tried to translate their sonic outputs towards the building of such an awareness, but the massive media campaign, intended to demonise some kind of styles by means of the matching with drug abuse, reprobation and any possible kind of anomaly, quenched many pressure points. This poisoned drop by Vincent Koreman, a veteran of Dutch electronic scene - I still remember many of his releases on KK and Mighty Robot Recordings in the guise of RaX -, could bring you back to that interesting stage of 90ies techno, where some grey visions and technocratic paranoia (just another label/negative undertone...) from industrial scene got poured into basslines and drum machines like the glorious 303, the most audible entity in Drvg Cvltvre's sound, that managed to render this kind of IR-lighted dark adaptation to such an obscure perception of civilization. The first part of "American Psychosis" got ignited by "Acid Flash" - an eloquent way to describe what you are going to listen -, a collaborative track with Bournmouth's Chris Moss Acid, but what Shipwrec wisely calls Orwellian electronics reaches its acme on the gloomy sonorities and male voice, who ominuously repeats the title of the B-sided track "I'll Wear Your Face On A Chain".

Conrad Van Orton: #1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 21 2014
Artist: Conrad Van Orton (@)
Title: #1
Format: 12"
Label: Tangram (@)
Rated: *****
The first brick of Tangram, the new label by Italian dj and producer Andrea Zanchetta aka Conrad Van Orton, got signed by the founder in person, who seems to make a boulder bounce over a ground whose fault let a foggy soound go out and wrap the whole track, which got enlived by a juxtaposed kick drum and some metallic clicks just before getting too monotonous on "November" - you have to wait the end of the track to understand that its subtle electronic buzz is just the sonic rendering of autumnal rain... -. A similar sonic strategy with a kicking trigger that enliven the track on the point it's getting too repetitive got followed on the following "Captivity Archives" where Conrad breaks the anchor chain in order to let the track hover by means of an almost lullingsynth sequence which smells like sci-fi intergalactic trips. On the flipside, you'll find a couple of remixes: VSK deflects "November" towards ambient-like airy sonorities even if he kept precisely cut rhythms by means of a formula which could surmise some old stuff from Plasmek Records, while the mysterious nickname Annulled User emphasizes the electromechanical inner excipients of "Captivity Archives" on the contrary. Let's wait the following rings of Tangram chain in order to understand the direction that the helmsman wants to give to his battleship.

Fatima Al Qadiri: Asiatisch

 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 18 2014
Artist: Fatima Al Qadiri (@)
Title: Asiatisch
Format: CD
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
The choice of opening her debut album by "Shanzai" - a word which refers to the Chinese counterfeiting of Western brands and goods, even if the original meaning of the term refers to an out-of-control territory ruled by bandits... -, a nonsensical Mandarin cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares To U", whose inspirational romanticism could turn a daydreaming song into a sort of nightmare where that song could be considered the musical emblem of a cultural transplantation (or I'd rather call it a proper inoculation) of Western cultural memes into Chinese chaotic declension of consumerism's seeds which goes over a simple act of counterfeiting, the conceptual framework of this great release by brilliant conceptual artist Fatima Al Qadiri, has been labelled as "brave" whereas I think it's a remarkable brainwave and a wise hatchway to give listeners access on unstable stiletto to this meaningful stylistical mashup, which overarches Western cliches about such a cultural amalgamation. While O Connor's dinner in a fancy restaurant could be replaced by a sad chuanr of starfish over a foggy street in Shangai or by a bowl of tear-flavored mala beef daoxiaomein, the following tracks manage to recall modern China and possible visions of a futuristic evolution by robot-like Chinese vocal samples andtrapping chorals, entrnacing flutes, delicate synth-driven melodies, steel drums and other elements, which could let you think of a possible attempt of forgery of Western synth-music tradition as the last stage and marking of an imaginary challenge to step a fake up. In spite of its connection with so-called "sinogrime", a branch of grime that got developed in South London between 2002 and 2005 where exotic elements from Eastern sonorities got integrated into grime patterns, Fatima's debut release is one of the smartest hybridization I've ever heard.

God Module: False Face

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jul 15 2014
Artist: God Module (@)
Title: False Face
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The immersion of electonic pop hooks and more distinguishable melodies into the dark-industrial pool of blood that Jasyn Bangert aka God Module scrambled for his sixth album is the main aspect that makes this release a cupcake if compared to other release with its mark such as "Viscera" or "Let's Go Dark". The cinematic sonic entities which let listener climb down into a crime scene or the horrific set of serial-killer driven cinematographic plot are clear since the samples of a scaried girl and the disquieting caption of a childish voice on the opening "A Good Night To Die", whose blend of sinister sonorities and sharpened beats that start on the very first ominuous lines of the song ("Wash your hands in th tears of the sycophants/Broken Behavious beyond perverse/No trial when you're opposite of innocent/your verdicts even read in reverse") could render a sensually spirited dancing with his/her assassin into listener's mind. If the stridency between muscular sounds and metallic scheeches sounds wisely softened on the following "Black And Blue", the almost jaunty sonic traces of "Nothing But Mine", one of the highlight of the album together with the title-track, the crunched song "Through The Noise", the moments when pop elements clearly resurface from the brutally groovy stings by God Module, the almost martial meaningful "Destroy The Day", could let symphatize with the torturer in a context where the classic dicotomy between good and evil, hell or heaven, got replaced by the one between truth and lie, which brings the crime or the persecution about as well as other elements where Jasyn, whose voice seems more robotic than the one I remember on previous releases, portrayed the murderer as a sort of dreamer whose aberration could descend from the craving of a paradoxically better society.

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