Music Reviews



Halo Manash: Haudattujen Valvoja

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 04 2015
cover
Artist: Halo Manash
Title: Haudattujen Valvoja
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
Springing liquids that sound coming from some unknown cave, an icy breathe from a mysterious entity that seems to possess the body of the performers, slow stroking low tones opens this new output by Halo Manash, the audiovisual and performative group that keeps on linking a certain creativity in making hand-crafted instrumentation (or other addressed into service tools, as their own introductory words say), that got more or less heavily modified by means of amps, amplified speakers and cabinets, and ritual archaic paths, which mange to evoke (or awake) somehow forgotten elemental forces. The first three of the seven tracks /the above-mentioned opening "Wesieni Wainajat", Aavet" (a moment which could surmise a kind of dornes close to some obscure outputs by Lustmord and Djinn) and "Swri Syvyys" (the moment when the low tones of the first two tracks seems to get annihilated before merging into a sort of shining obscure balance) were performed on live stafe in Finland, Germany and Russia during 2013, while some lucky people in Austria, Finland, Sweden and USA, who joined Halo Manash's private Temple Hwaar, intercepted the entrancing remaining four tracks of the second half of "Haudattujen Valvoja" between 2013 and 2014, whose igniting sparkles are the field recording of their own steps venturing into some unknown sacred wood, where you could almost feel the rising of natural spirits and forces that gradually begins a sort of entrancing choir, on the awesome "Kanto", a sort of wooden vibraphone on the title-track "Haudattujen Valvoja", very low tones that could surmise a cello on "Uhr-a-Usva" and a really hypnotical web of trembling subterranean bass frequencies and catchy ethereal sonic entities on the 14-minutes lasting final "Avanto". It could awake energies that contemporary schemes, rational and logical sedations and invasive worries anesthetized.

Visionist: Safe

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 29 2015
cover
Artist: Visionist (@)
Title: Safe
Format: CD
Label: PAN (@)
Rated: *****
While dubstep scene seems to having been disintegrated, there are some grimers which keep on exploring more experimental stylistical pathwayss and a grime producer who showed a penchant for experimentation like Louis Carnell aka Visionist, belonging to the second generation of that scene that begun developing in South London suburbs, cannot but undoubtedly be one of the most interesting explorers. After many clues Visionist, who recently joined Bill Kouligas in the interesting attempt of revamping his own imprint Lost Codes, left on many single tracks, he definitively venture towards quite bizarre sonorities as it's clear since the opening "You Stayed", where he crafted a sort of alien melody by heavily pitched chords and deformed vocals before sliding into the circling set of ghostly voices weighted by fractured metallic bumps of "Victim" and the same voices keep on shaking the faint atmospheres (that "hey" you'll listen seems coming from an agonizing imp) on the following track "1 Guarda", where many listeners could perceive a certain similarity to some stuff by Burial and feature the short lasting interplay "I've Said", the broken suctions of "Vffected". An hypnotical carousel of delayed echoes of chiming sounds, vocal atoms and toy-like sombers fills the icy void of "Sin-cere" whereas the bass-driven tremors on the title-track "Safe", the more urgent pressure of "Let Me In", the whooshing electronic fogs of "Too Careful To Care" doesn't really disrupt the fragile balance evoked by mainly vocal elements, which seem to render the defense mechanisms of a fragile psyche in the attempt of wuthstanding external attacks before recovering a sort of lost balance on the painfully entranced "Tired Tears, Awake Fears", the shrivelled bass hits of the interplay "Constraint" and the anesthetized quietness of the final "Sleep Luxury". Grime seems having performed phagocytosis on mental diseases and anxiety on this interesting sonic experiment by means of the lucid cryonics of grime of Visionist.

Family Fodder: Sunday Girls (Director's Cut)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 29 2015
cover
Artist: Family Fodder (@)
Title: Sunday Girls (Director's Cut)
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
Every action will (sometimes) create an equal and opposing reaction. A physical law which could be applied to music as well and post-punk collective Family Fodder orbiting around the creativity and the wit of Alig Pearce, could be considered one of the most meaningful reactions to the booming of the so-called modern pop at its dawn, when MTV begun to work on global type-approval of musical tastes. Staubgold, which has released the last outputs of the band - they are alive and kicking, even if backward-looking re-releases make some less informed reviewers dig the grave of many musicians and in spite of their seemingly meteoric existence in those years.. -, recently collected "Sunday Girls" (dating back 1979), Family Fodder's amazing tribute to Blondie, together with a number of singles that climbed indie charts such as the amazingly iconic "Debbie Harry" (named after Blondie's notorious blonde singer whose 80is hit "Call Me" could be matched to Adele's "Hello" and justify other likewise reasonable reactions by contemporary listeners, who could decide to stop watching MTV or listening commercial radio stations for feeling like stalked by that skilled singer) and the awesome punkey dub "A 'Version'" - the B-side tune on the same 7" -, the funny "Playing Golf (With My Flesh Crawling)" and "My Baby Takes Valium" - the tracks of the very first 7" by Pearce's sonic freak -, the lovely "Warm" - a song which justify the opinion of all those who consider Family Fodder as possible influences of Stereolab - as well as "Tedium" and "The Story So Far", two rare tracks by Alig's pre-Fodder project Frank Sumatra. After listening to this collection, you'll fully understand the reason why the way they got labelled ("entertaining idiosyncratic experimentalism with pop sensibilities") is not an excessively flattering overstatement.

Georges Forget: Le dernier présent

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 25 2015
cover
Artist: Georges Forget
Title: Le dernier présent
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Georges Forget could be considered a proper poet of sound and field recordings as you can easily infer since "Urban Adagio", the first long suite that opens this collection, where he inspires the poetic description of an urban environment and a city as a tired woman at the end of the day in opposition to the typical saying that some cities never sleep: "My own city is very tired when evening comes, weary of the uproar and hubbub. I can see her struggling to accompany citizens to their final occupations. Here she is, streets and boroughs blinking as she yawns and stretches out at the bottom of streets that are emptying slowly... my city falls asleep; she quitely lets erode away the forlorn destinies of the handful of souls still up to contemplate her, their shadows fading away under the pale light cast by the lampposts", according Wahed Gotref's introductory words. Premiered on April 23rd, 2010 as part of the concert "Con sordino" by Code d'acces, which commissioned it, at Relais Mont-Rotal in Montreal, the suite renders such a portrait in a very astonishing and somehow cinematic way, but it's only the first assay of the remarkable skills of representation, transfiguration and translations into sounds that got displayed on "Le dernier present": the following suite "Metal en bouche" - awarded at the 25th Concorso internazionale di musica elettroacustica e rumore Luigi Russolo-Rossana Maggia at Annecy in France and at the 3rd Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition in Mar De Plata, Argentina - seems to render an attempt of asphyxiation of someone by means of faggots made by impressively resounding minced metallic objects; the noise of creaky boards, forestays and shroads could surmise the physiological outputs of a living entity on "Une ile", the suite that precedes the narrative one "Orages d'acier", whose alternation of moments here violence becomes hallucinatory and suspended anxious moments of emptiness render the inspiration that Georges took from Ernst Junger's novel "Storm of Steel" (published in French as "Orages d'acier"), where the author releates his combat experience in World War I, and the more recent motion picture "The Thin Red Line" by Terrence Malick. Forget quotes the translation by Jack Collings Squire of the first stanza of "The Invitation to the Voyage" from Baudelaire's "Fleurs Du Mal" as framework of the more intimistic suite "Seul et semptembre" (2008) and an extract from Melville's "Moby Dick" - 'Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from eliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off ' then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.' - as a description of "L'appel", the acousmatic masterpiece that closes this collection.

Echoes of Yul: The healing

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 16 2015
cover
Artist: Echoes of Yul
Title: The healing
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
This new release from Echoes of Yul is something between krautrock and doom, it's something atmospheric and heavy and evolves from perhaps few ideas but developed with a clear vision of how to write this release.
A drone opens "Ester" and introduces a meditative track based on a psychedelic guitar. The first part of "The Trick" is focused on the accordion while his second part is based on heavy guitar notes. "Diorama" is a piano based interlude to "Apathy Rule" whose meditative first part evolves into a crescendo based on synth. "Organloop" juxtaposes guitar lines while "Gush" is a guitar based interlude to "The Healing" whose slow notes evokes spiritual rest. "The Better Days" closes this release returning to territories closer to some krautrock.
Playing almost all instruments in this release, MichaÅ Åliwa, mixing influence from minimal to krautrock and aided by the mastering of James Plotking that exalts all the resonances and sustains of the musical spectrum used in the tracks, is responsible to a release in the vain of all those projects exploring slow-motion music but with enough personality not to be a clone. Recommended.


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