Music Reviews



Coil: Backwards

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 27 2015
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Artist: Coil
Title: Backwards
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This release seems to be an element of controversy, and apparently a sort of bootleg, as it's an element of one of the most obscure period of Coil's existence. Apparently, from 1993 to 1999, the focus of this project was ELPH. With the issue, in 2007, of "The New Backwards" it emerged how Coil recorded a proper album, called "Backwards" which was unreleased. While the remixed version of this album was dubbed as it wasn't the missing link between the two eras, Danny Hide, who worked with Peter Christopherson on "The New Backwards", has remastered the original version of this release including some tracks, "Amber Rain" and "A Cold Cell", revealing the path that would lead to the concept of "moon music".
This album starts with "Intro" an intricate synth loop. "Backwards" reveals how not only the singing style of Jhonn Balance influenced bands as NIN, whose Nothing should release the album, but also the musical structure based on obsessive beats and noises. "Amber Rain" is instead a precursor of what will be developed as "moon music" as it's based on meditative synth and a lesser aggressive vocal lines. "Fire Of The Green Dragon" and "Be Careful What You Wish For" are almost instrumental tracks focused on rhythmic patterns. "Nature Is A Language" one of the few tracks where Balance's voice is filtered and "Heaven's Blade" is a return into territories explored in "Love's Secret Domain". The synth lines of "CopaCaballa" and "Paint Me As A Dead Soul" are only an accompaniment for the expressiveness of the voice. "AYOR (It's In My Blood)" is a variation of the structure of "Backwards". "A Cold Cell" is the absolute peak of the album based on a simple and atmospheric synth line and the sad and mystical vocal line, a superb introduction to the 'Music To Play In The Dark'. "Fire Of The Mind" closes this release mirroring the voice with the use of the noises.
From a critical perspective, there's only suppositions on the motives behind the decision to not release the original version of this album. However, as the missing link between two separate periods of Coil's artistic life, this release has an historical importance in itself and simply the presence of the presence of this version of "A Cold Cell" make it an essential release. Absolutely recommended.

Kreng: The Summoner

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 24 2015
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Artist: Kreng (@)
Title: The Summoner
Format: CD
Label: Miasmah (@)
Rated: *****
This impressive release by Belgian soundtrack composer Pepijn Caudron aka Kreng, who recently made the OST for the nice horror comedy Cooties, seems to focus on one of the most relevant aspect of human life: death..or I'd better say the mourning or grieving process. The way by which he rendered the different stages of this process (each of them gives the name to the six tracks of the album) balances typical techniques for soundtracks and somehow original tricks. The first four stages don't feature any sample, but he decided to give a sonic shape to "Denial", Anger", "Bargaining" and "Depression" by focusing on the dramatic power of strings, so that he directed 12 string players, who accomplished this mission by an impressive alternation of wise exploding and sometimes unexpected crescendoes, noisy clusters and lapidary foggy overtones. There was a sort of missing ring on the chain between the first four stages and the quietly lachrymose sonorities of the final "Acceptance", which could ideally be matched to that emotional states when the pain for the loss of someone who loved is so strong that the one, who experience it, could feel close to madness or even death by its own: this emotional clot got rendered by the excellent "The Summoning", where the rising morbidity of the climax in between smokey chambers and ghostly organs explodes on the cameo by Belgian doom band Amenra, who suddenly erects a wall of guitars, drums and bass, the cherry-on-top of this portrait which was fostered by a sad year that Kreng experienced, during which many of his closest friends passed away...

F.S. Blummbastic feat.hey: Riddims and Biscuits

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 21 2015
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Artist: F.S. Blummbastic feat.hey
Title: Riddims and Biscuits
Format: 7"
Label: Pingipung (@)
Rated: *****
Eleven nice untoasted dub movements, which often glean sonorities from the fertile grounds of rock-a-steady and mento as well as from the deep well of echoes, delays and dynamic reverb, and nine biscuits - amazing interplays that got inserted in between riddims - mark the mutation of the introverted, but brilliant Berlin-based guitarist Frank Schultge aka F.S.Blumm into a proper Dub master, who changed his name into F.S.Blummbastic for this special occasion, even if he already treaded on dub grounds by means of the collective project Quasi Dub Development, whose last output - the album "Little-Twister vs Stiff-Neck" - featured the contribution of eminent voices of Zion's realm like Lady Ann and the legendary Lee 'Scratch' Perry. Most of those riddims, who were initially composed in order to be played at Quasi Dub Development's live performances, are almost raw and extremely concise, as dub unwritten precepts state before electronic heavily altered the original form of the genre, and the genuinity of dub sound has not really mutated by measured electronic inoculations from custom built amplified sound box by F.S.Blummbastic, who also made all the instrumental parts (organ, rhythm guitar and bass) by himself, but the final result, which featured the precious collaboration by Helmut Erler aka hey on drums, was so effective in his nitty-gritty guise that producers thought that those riddims and biscuits didn't really need any further tweak. Check what I said by yourself as the release is available for free on F.S.Blummbastic's bandcamp with the exception of four riddims and two biscuits as locked grooves, that Pingipung printed on 7" vinyl. Swing-a-ling.

Lyke Wake: Fall Of The Corrupt

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 21 2015
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Artist: Lyke Wake (@)
Title: Fall Of The Corrupt
Format: CD
Label: Aseptic Noise
Rated: *****
After its come back Lyke Wake, the Stefano Di Serio's musical project, has been busy producing new music and this year, after the tape "The Hatred Of A Thousand Years", is back with a sixty nine dark electronic cosmic suite. "The Fall Of The Corrupt" is a magmatic ever changing piece that is giving me the idea of a nebula. Try to think about that interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases and imagine the tension that make them collapse until a new temporary balance has reached. Some nebulae are formed as the result of supernova explosions, the death throes of massive, short-lived stars but try to apply this image to what the album's title suggest and you'll be projected into a mental supernova made of fast thoughts and sticky obsessions which have to find a new balance and have to fall... to stop. By listening to "Fall Of The Corrupt" you'll decide to embrace a voyage into your self conscience guided by Lyke Wake's sound and it won't be an easy listening. Catch your headphones and "bonne voyage"!

Sharawaji: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 20 2015
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Artist: Sharawaji
Title: s/t
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Clang (@)
Rated: *****
The somehow enigmatic word "sharawadgi" was firstly introduced by well-known English statesman and essayist Sir William Temple; even if he thought it was Chinese, he used this Japanese word in order to debate about an aesthetical concept, which didn't really belong to European culture in those days. According to Temple's own words in his famous essay "Upon The Gardens of Epicurus", Chineses' "greatest Reach of Imagination, is employed in contriving Figures, where the Beauty shall be great, and strik the Eye, but without any order or disposition of parts, that shall be commonly or easily observ'd. And though we have hardly any Notion of this sort of Beauty, yet they have a particular Word to express it; and where they find it hit their Eye at first sight, they say the Sharawadgi is fine or is admirable, or any such expression of Esteem". Later the word became almost fashioned - it was widely used to describe Japanese paintings or even kimonoes - and nowadays it's the word that Ney York-based musicians Satoshu Takeishi - quite known drummer, percussionist and arranger in the improvisational NY scene - and Hans Tammen, who have been played together in a number of formations for a decade, have chosen for this amazing electroacoustic project. Their sound could sound exotic for the followers of the releases by clang, but it makes sense in the explorative aesthaetical path the label is following since its very first release by including seven amazing improvisations that the duo recorded in New York in 2012 by wrapping a bunch of fine and sometimes hiccuping percussive phrases into likewise amazingly bizarre weird entities, which got synthesized by a software for sound processing by Tammen, ranging from lenghtwise miniatures such as "Shaman" or "Athetize" and the longlasting exploration "Sateen", which reaches the intensity of a proper sonic rite.


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