Music Reviews

Candie Hank: Demons

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 18 2014
Artist: Candie Hank (@)
Title: Demons
Format: 12"
Label: Shitkatapult
Rated: *****
Patric Catani is a multi faceted musician and he's or had been involved into many projects of the likes of E-De-Cologne, Eradicator, The Horrible Plans Of Flex Busterman, Jewfunk, Methylizer, Patric Cremer, Ricardo Prosetti, Test Tube Kid, Toytone, The VIP, etc. In the past I crossed my path with him when I reviewed Driver & Driver and Party Catani releases. This time I'm here to write about his latest album as Candie Hank. With five albums and a couple of mixed CDs, Candie Hank has released on late April the album "Demons" on Shitkatapult. Available in CD, vinyl and digital, "Demons" contains eleven new tracks that are difficult to define as Patrick mixes genres and atmospheres just to create a new thing that is in balance from surf music (check "Swimming Rabbit", "Every Night" or the opening "The Fox" which sounds like a ride on a 60s rollercoaster with an apple candy stuck on your shirt), Arabesque atmospheres (like on "Think About You Mama" or like on "What Is Your Name", where those atmospheres finds a new home into a dub arrangement) and creative cut-ups. This is the core idea and the force of this record: its creativity. It's difficult that you'll find something else sounding like this and by listening to "Demons" you'll feel like a kid chasing a toy clown into a luna-park while a possessed Atari computer is playing its video game soundtracks. Full of nice sounds, upbeat rhythms, each tracks is a surprise and you'll find yourselves ready for another ride. Please check "What Is Your Name" on the label's Soundcloud page here

Kucharczyk: Best Fail Compilation

 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 17 2014
Artist: Kucharczyk (@)
Title: Best Fail Compilation
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
It's not a contingency that Aleksandra Grunholz's artistic alter-ego We Will Fail is almost concurrent to this new release by whimsical Polish producer Wojtek Kucharczyk, where the word "fail" seems to have become a matter of fashion. In praise of failure, there are not only well-known historical occurances, where promises (or pipe dreams) of continual improvement and progress reveal their intrinsic inconsistency, but what really matters here is the way by which these two sound artists assimilated failure into respective arts. Whereas We Will Fail surgically operates on more mesmeric sonorities, which sounded like implemented into an interesting narrative route, Wojtek seems to disembowel techno code by a dual strategy: there are no more traces of that abstract muscularity that sometimes distinguishes the above-mentioned code, even when he explores more menacing sonorities, but it seems that he tests a different way of organizing sounds with unexpected "weighting" of each resounding elements, which often weaves frayed fabrics with twisted stitches or disharmonious spinning. Lo-fi or 8-bit sounds prevail over frigid smoothness, measured filth adulterates syncopations, which sound already altered, sonic entities, which should have been putted into the foreground, sound like belittled by rougher material and even easy-going whistling nicely mars a plasticized code by acting like a pin point that punches a supposedly inflated bodybuilder. Its stylistical "failure" could be thought as those bitter weeds that should not get uprooted, those moles that should not be removed or those black swans whose beauty lies in his blackness.
Artist: We Will Fail (@)
Title: Verstörung
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
The surprising Polish label Monotype popped another gorgeous bundle of releases out lately. One of the most interesting one comes from graphic designer and audioperformance artists Aleksandra Grunholz, one half of duo Tirips and co-founder of the artistic group OKO, whose intent, according to her own words" was "to create something that doesn't leave the listener indifferent, something that affects him" and she reached her goal by acting almost like a scavenger inside the well-matched sound library that she collected over many years. She organized an impressive number of sonic synthetic material, field recordings and samples from old tapes into fourteen spellbinding tracks, where electromagnetic inductions seems to run parallel to hypnotic suggestion. The 4/4 sprays into a drone-like electric buzz on the opening track sounds let me think about an attempt to erase techno memories by means of those old electric machinery which were tested in some asylum as they were supposed to remove bad memories and trauma disorders, but following tracks are other than just another techno spin-off and sway over unpredictable rhythmical patterns, radio and noise interferences, mellow slow-techno movements, lulling mutant winding, industrial-wave nuances, multi-layered structures as well as a number of both stylistical and sonic clues which cross-refers to post-techno and some acts from grey interzones where electronic mongrels got displayed from pop-song casements. The explorative sonorities where you could have the impression of listening to gene mutation of previous stylistical code on "Verstorung" (German word for "disturbance", even if the English version of the title was "Gargoyles"...) sounds like mirroring the notorious novel by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, whose haunting writing styles narrates the dark peregrinations of a doctor and his son over the austere rural Austrian landscapes where they meet many grotesque and disheartening characters, who are almost like landmarks of an unusually cathartic journey.

Kangding Ray: Solens Arc

 Posted by Duff Harris   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 08 2014
Artist: Kangding Ray (@)
Title: Solens Arc
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Raster-Noton (@)
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
You could almost envision the contraction of the muscles of an athlete, his gradual perspiration or his challenge against gravity since the initial "Serendipity March", as if such a slowing down could display some hidden secrets of universal forces. You can have the impression to perceive the movement of every single air particle while a bullet slices through the space that is between its origin and its target on "Transitional Ballistics" or understand the vector space of a bird's flight while listening to "L'Envol". The concept by this awesome record from David Letellier aka Kangding Ray seems to be focused on the attempt of gleaning the essence of movement by a translation of trajectories and parables into sounds by following any resounding object that got launched by laptop, drum machines and synths as if they were cannonballs whose infinite rifle range got mirrored by the gradual "blossoming" of synth arpeggios and melodic dust into enzymatic broken rhythms and deconstructed rave anthems. Each of four Solens arc, one for each side of the album, has been splitted into three phases and wondrously cleaves to such a concept by progressive polymerizations of industrial techno engines - the first stage - into granular entities - the second stage -, which vanish over ether - the third and final level -. My favorite ones are the third arc ("Amber Decay/Apogee/History Of Obscurity") as its evolution sounds like a sort of epic apokatastasis to my ears and the fourth one on D side ("Crystal/Transitional Ballistics/Son"), where the emotional tension wisely reaches the highest peaks by going through stylistical environments which bridges 70ies horror movies soundtracks, industrial techno, broken noises and sidereal drone-ambient. Labelling this release as a masterpiece is not a backslapping at all!

Mollono.Bass: Remix Collection II

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 04 2014
Artist: Mollono.Bass
Title: Remix Collection II
Format: CD
Label: 3000°
Rated: *****
He likes bass frequencies. He likes house music. He likes to remix different genres. He did lotsa remixes and I mean a lot! He did only one album in 2011 for Acker Records. He did about fifteen EPs for Acker Records, Absurd Recordings, Ostwind Records and 3000°. For this last one he just released on CD his second collection of remixes. Who's he? He is Ronny Mollenhauer a.k.a. Mollono.Bass. About one year from the first volume here it is a second one containing fourteen new remixes that Ronny did for Be Svendsen, Robot Needs Oil Ganja Tunes, Douglas Greed Feat. Delhia De France, Felix Eul, Fuji Kureta, Monkey Safari, Pupkulies & Rebecca, Stereo Express, Dole & Kom, Wolfgang Lohr Feat. Miss NatNat, Schäufler & Zovsky, Be Svendsen, Peng Peng and Dolph. The tracks' atmosphere moves from dub reggae/balearic (on the remix of Felix Eul's "Auch"), to minimal house passing through pop folk with Hawaiian atmospheres (on the Pupkulies & Rebecca remix of "Ici") and Gipsy influences (on the remix of Stereo Express' "Mister Mayor"). I appreciate the wide of variety of genres remixed but most of the tracks are conducted to have a similar sound at the end of the work missing a bit of peculiarity. Most of the times on the background there's a wobbling bass sound that along with a good amount of reverb helps creating this effect. Most of the tracks are nice but sounds like fluffy dance tunes that missed a bit of their power on the process.

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