Music Reviews



Galati: Mother

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 01 2015
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Artist: Galati (@)
Title: Mother
Format: CD
Label: Psychonavigation Records (@)
Rated: *****
Galati is the work of Italian artist Roberto Galati, who explains that 'I make slow, psychedelic, ambient music' and that 'synthesizers, guitars, basses are my means of expression.' He describes this album in a pretty long discourse that begins, 'Mother is a diary of a long trip, reporting my personal search for answers and for my own self. It's about letting go, leaving behind; it means gaining simplicity and innocence. I've been observing a metamorphosis in myself, it started in Greenland, it continued during the winter months between 2012 and 2013, and went on to far-off lands of Tibet, in the shadow of Mount Everest, the Mother Goddess of the Universe.' OK... let's see how it translates musically. 'Mother I' kicks it off with some nice, spacey synth-based ambient. Imagine a soundtrack to a science fiction space film, and you'd be off to a good start. But this has some good complexity to it; it isn't just heavy drone. For example, there is a nice melody of chimes running through the piece. 'Mother II' is a nice slab of noisy dark ambient, where everything seems about ready to blow away on the force of the wind. 'Mother III' Keeps the same gritty feel going, but adds a marching snare and indecipherable vocals. It is like listening to an army coming toward you in the distance. 'Mother IV' changes it up a bit with some orchestral drone. The overall feel is like hearing a band warm up in slow motion, stretched out over 10 minutes. It is much more pleasant than it sounds, and reminds me of Russian dark ambient artist Kshatry. Finally, 'Mother V' brings it together with drone that blends into marching percussion and crashing cymbals. This is like hearing a parade in your dreams. Overall, this is nicely done soundscape that avoids falling into the trap of becoming uninteresting. Galati mixes it up and brings just the right blend of noisiness and drone to keep everything engaging. This album weighs in at around 75 minutes.

Bionulor: Vexations EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 31 2015
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Artist: Bionulor (@)
Title: Vexations EP
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: sqrt (@)
Rated: *****
The '100% sound recycling' method, that Polish sound artist Sebastian Banaszczyk a.k.a. Bionulor described last year on the occasion of an interesting chat we had after his album "Erik" on the label Oniron, got applied again on "Vexations", the longest composition by Erik Satie, his favorite source of inspiration and composer. Far from reflecting its notorious length - the disputed composition by Satie is known as the longest composition in music history (according to interpretes, the 152 tones on five staff which should be repetead 840 times should last between 9 and 24 hours....)...a couple of years ago French pianist Nicolas Horvarth performed a non-stop solo version which lasted 35 hours! -, this EP consists of seven short pieces, whose seemingly abstract nature could be inappropriately labelled as ambient, as it has more intersections with acousmatics and electroacoustic experiments: some of the field recordings, which feed the process together with excerpts of Satie's "Vexations", sounds unprocessed so that Sebastian tried to peek into a somehow ordinary side of Satie's universe. Each tone or phrase seems to have been transformed into a set of test tubes, beakers and whatnot, while sonic clues of ordinary world (noises of locking doors, distant cuckoos, metallic pins, aspirations, electric interferences and so on) got wisely embedded in amaneer which sounds really surreal. "Vexations" is the last act of a series of 3" CDs by Warsaw-based label sqrt (mainly focusing on experimental and electroacoustic music) to celebrate its ten years of existence.

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree: Perpetual

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 31 2015
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Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Title: Perpetual
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
The sound artists, who co-signed this release on 12k, shall be sufficient to guarantee the quality of the listening experience that got embedded into this plastic disc, whose only defect is the fact that it could inspire envy in those audiophiles who didn't took part to the event where Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree and Illuha, the duo of Tomoyoshi Date and Corey Fuller, shared food, words, exploration and stage (their first time together) in the wet heat of Japanese summer on the occasion of a series of events for the 10-years anniversary of the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. The specification with regard to moisture level and temperature are not minor details as when these masters begun to shape frequencies, they wisely tuned in to weather conditions s you can immediately catch from the first of the three movements this improvisation got splitted for the release: a sort of wet venner seems to wrap the thin layers and the blurred sonic elements (including some voices) that sounds like lanterns in dense fog and the presence of sonic elements is even rarest on the second and the astonishing third movement, where each isolated tone sounds like thrown into a dark pit. No wonder the lucky audience of this concert, when these masters wisely manipulated field recordings, crackling found objects, guitar tones, lulling piano and silence (!), got ecstatically breathless while listening to this performance that fortunately got recorded (in high quality DSD) for the listening pleasure of all those ones who missed this rare moment of sublime sonic art!

Fabio Orsi: Just For A Thrill

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 31 2015
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Artist: Fabio Orsi
Title: Just For A Thrill
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Since the delicate repetition of a piano melody and the "aquatic" whispers that got fluttered into the daydreaming pristine fluffs of the first untitled movement, Italian sound-artist Fabio Orsi dives into out-of-time minimal ambient sonorities that will let listeners slacken onto an entrancing atmosphere, where any small somatic variations of each sonic element that he wisely dissolve manages to render emotional states and changer without any specific purpose, except of pouring thrills into eardrums and souls. His extraordinary ability in communicating through wordless sonic waves, supposedly fostered by his fascination with artistic photography, got revealed by the eight movements of this release, which also includes a booklet of 16 snapshots by the artist: sober electroacoustic explorations, sudden twinkling tones, gently giddy loops, mildly mesmerizing ringing cycles and hovering sets of microtones, that reaches their acme on the 20 minutes of the last movement as well as on the catchy crescendo of the third one and the soothing shadows of the sixth one, are the enzymes of the charming thrills that Fabio wisely instill. The package of the 500 copies of this release comes using locally cultivated materials including handmade 380gsm washi outer wrap, while the 16 pages booklet that collects 16 polaroid shots by Fabio got printed on recycled card.

Giulio Aldinucci: Spazio Sacro

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 26 2015
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Artist: Giulio Aldinucci (@)
Title: Spazio Sacro
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
The sizzling noises of the opening track "The hermit" by brilliant sound artist Giulio Aldinucci could let you think he's frantically unpacking boxes or picking the lock of a casket where he kept sonic traces of memories and sonic clues from a number of sacred places of his native land, before he discloses his "Spazio Sacro" (italian for "Sacred space"), a release where the intimate recesses of religious experience meet the architecture and the lovely landscaping of Siena (Tuscany, Italy), where the alternance of void spaces and modelled solid matter meet the empty and rich places of a soul during its spiritual quest over painful remembrance ("Ricordo"), trascendental and somehow dizzying meditations ("Sator"), stunning contemplative moments where the dialogue of mind and soul cross the blurred lines of external sonic entiies which seems to be signs of a previously unknowable truth ("Come un immenso specchio d'inverno" - meaning "Like a wide mirror in wintertime"-), ecstatic reverie ("The liquid room"), intuitive perception of universal greatness ("Mountain") and recovered piece oif mind and intimacy ("Camino" - Italian word for 'fireplace'). Many field recordings that got manipulated by Giulio have been wisely placed in this perpetual ascension towards ethereal regions of composer's feelings and memories and the summit of the sacred (both artificial and natural) places which features his personal and sensorial history.


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