Music Reviews

Helena Hauff / Andreas Gehm: Helena Hauff meets Andreas Gehm

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 09 2014
Artist: Helena Hauff / Andreas Gehm
Title: Helena Hauff meets Andreas Gehm
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
The thirty first release by Solarone Music is a 12" split EP with Helena Hauff and Andreas Gehm. Helena is the Golden Pudel's resident dj and has different releases on her back for label like Panzerkreuz Records, Ninja Tune, Krokodilo Tapes in the past participated to the Hypnobeat project which lasted until mid nineties and now she's also active with Black Sites. On this EP she brings to the acid techno lovers two tracks: "Rupture" and "The Purely Painful Confrontation". The first is a 4/4 tune that plays around TR303 sequences, hammering drum bass beats and claps, hi-hat changes. The various elements come and go and the effect is in the sounds alternance. The second track, is a bit more tribal but pretty much plays with the elements I mentioned for the first one. Andreas Gehm, whom you should already know from my review of his "Black Pukee" album review, is here with two tracks: "HKX" and "Solar Two". The first one at first seems to play around a TB303 sequence with drum stops and go but under the belly we have different other rhythmical sounds that come and go which enrich the whole result. "Solar Two" is pure acid madness with drum and cut off filter variations which try to mitigate the attack that the TB303 is trying to accomplish. Check the snippets here

Philipp Quehenberger: Content

 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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Sep 04 2014
Artist: Philipp Quehenberger
Title: Content
Format: 12"
Label: Editions Mego
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure that some spiteful reviewers, who often label a record after listening 10/15 seconds of the first 2-3 tracks of an album, or hoity-toity listeners puckishly will be quick to say this record by Austrian producer Philipp Quehenberger is just a wink at techno or electro followers by Editions Mego as the content of "Content" - seven years after his first appearance on Rehberg's label four years after his amazing release "Hazard" on Laton, that I already introduced on this zine - is richer in inputs. The first tracks sound like already digested sonic cuds, but there are some nice moments such as the opening "Deadline", where loop and frequencies are like reagents of a reciprocal erosion, the course track-laying sonorities of "Fucked" and "Uff Uff", which vaguely resemble some stuff by T.Raumschmiere, or "In Sight", which gets closer to more slaphappy offbeat electro (imagine a more abstract declension of Dat Politics stuff), while it seems that the friction coefficient increases on the last tracks so that the lunatic spasms of "Startled", the neural knurls of "Extended", whose basslines could be similar to what you would associate to the belch of a fat toad, and the final cruise of "For Real" are my favorite moments of the release. After listening to "Content", you will think that stubborn stains could sometimes look spick-and-span!

Vindicare: Pathfinder

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 31 2014
Artist: Vindicare (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: AnalogueTrash Records (@)
Distributor: Trashdigital
Rated: *****
After the release of the Scottish Futurepop-project Advance and the Hardcore-/Industrial-Powerhouse Syd.31 earlier this year, UK-based Electronica label AnalogueTrash Records returns with a two-track teaser of the DJ/producer Addz Milner. Milner has been an active part into electronic music in different projects since 2006. His Vindicare-project he has been established in 2011 and can be sorted into the wide field of Techno-/Psy-Trance-driven music styles. Although this 2-tracker can't be seen as relevant enough to finally judge on his talent and the quality behind Vindicare, Milner's talent shines trough especially with the original composition of 'Pathfinder'. It's a quite accessible tune with driving kick and snares, lots of cool filter runs, ominous voice samples and enough breaks to keep it diverse and layered. The original version offers more inspiration and maturity compared to the additional 'Club Remix' of the same track. The 'Club Remix' reduces the musically content on the most constant elements, bass-line sequences and rhythm-/percussion-work. This one works excellent in the clubs, although already the original version beats the hell out of the boots when the masses conquer the dancefloors. It's all in all a quite good and quality produced example in this special music style, which keeps the hopes high for a soon to be released full-length album.

Kyoka: Is (Is Superpowered)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Aug 31 2014
Artist: Kyoka (@)
Title: Is (Is Superpowered)
Format: CD
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Rated: *****
A gust of cool wind on Raster Noton which manages to move the fronds of the tree that got tightly deep rooted on abstract techno grounds comes from Berlin-based Japanese producer Kyoka, the first woman in the ballistic roster that Frank Bretschneider and Alva Noto accurately built over years. The sonic spin doctors of Kyoka's third album are her label mates within Raster-Noton, Frank Bretschneider and Robert Lippok, who stretch frequencies and greases pawl and valve gears of an engine that seems skin-tight on the opening "Intl-A_Bin" and the following track "Flashback" where the removal of tarpaulin let prefigure and shine the gunky electromechanical sonoritiers through the first moments, but Kyoka's stylistical handliness becomes clearer when you keep on listening: even if she seems to add softener in the laundry where she centrifuges the harsher abstract techno of her mates, the balanced miscellany of ingredients that she adds into cloud of piercing frequencies, cleaving bleeps and smacking drums as well as a penchant for deconstructions are remarkable so that you could meet an unexpectable rap in the line-up of the chopped "Lined Up", otherworldy gurgling whispers and liquefied syllabic fragments in the aciduloud bolus of "Rot Neu", overstretched tie-rods and other industrial echoes in the captivating electro-house groove of "Rollin' & Tumblin'", a possible crossbreeding between AGF and Cibo Matto - ...and I'm quoting the NY-based Japanese female band not only for the inflection! - could be imagined while listening "New Energy Shuffle" or the amazing "Toy Planet" - the track where the concoction with To Rococo Rot and Bretschneider is well-rendered -. The triptych of track which features Mike Watt on bass follow: the hopping drilling and the radioactive saturations of Moonboots precede the amazing "Re-Pulsion" where Mike Watt inserts the funkier bassline of the album and the funny "Meander" where Kyoka's vocal chipping reaches its acme. The ablutions on UK acid pools of "Piezo Version Vision"a dn the gorgeous deep-house knottiness of the final "Mind The Gap" are the cherries on top of this excellent release.

Summed: Left-Handed

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 28 2014
Artist: Summed
Title: Left-Handed
Format: CD
Label: Out-ER (@)
Distributor: Rub-a-dub
Rated: *****
The first release that out-e(lectronic)r(ecords) decided to release both as a digital download and on CD comes from Italian young producer Filippo "Summed" Bologna. Labelling it as "experimental" is a little bit shallow as it doesn't say anything about the dexterity of this producer with drum machines and tech-ey loops: some tracks ("Operator's Dream", "As it happens") seem to have been recorded without the support of any recorded pattern, but by means of just fingers on the coloured buttons of drum machines, and many percussive elements could sound quite raw and inserted in the texture without any particular effect as they came out of the machines as their source is quite recognizable by all those who have a certain familiarity with drum machines, but it's not the most relevant aspect of this album. The most impressive aspect is the joyful and almost instinctive way that Summed follows to build enjoyable tracks and rhythmical vagaries that melt elements from house, breakbeat and electronic dub, whose glitches and funny "toytronic" strategies to unroll weird loops could surmise the attitude of some freaky stuff from Swiss dub shooter as well as some evergreen entries on Apollo. Many moments of this album could let you think Summed is playing drum machines as if he's playing against Rubik's cube, a playful approach which makes the listneing of some dubstep-oriented tunes interesting even if some reviewers consider dubstep already old-fashioned.

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