Music Reviews

P.E.A.R.L.: Four Cardinal

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 30 2015
Artist: P.E.A.R.L.
Title: Four Cardinal
Format: 12"
Label: Falling Ethics (@)
Distributor: Triplevision
Rated: *****
The hinges of the sound by young Berlin-based Spanish dj and producer P.E.A.R.L. and former leg of the techno project Agony Forces together with Marcos "Coushin" Leiras, are not so different from the ones of his two previous releases that he already launched on his own imprint Falling Ethics on an annual basis: the four cardinals of IVC could be approximately a strong influence of British industrial declension of techno, a powerfully mental sound that often borders on hypnosis, precise cuts of raw percussive elements on the contrails of French 90ies techno and strong dynamics. The first of the two tracks is my favorite one as the subtle metallic hum and the rhytmic bleep could surmise some good "atmospheric" stuff that came from the glorious Nova Zembla (Brain Pilot, Paranonia) in the first half of 90ies, while the dark interrupted frequencies and the obsessive clicks of the second part sounds just like a stomping nubbin. As he did on his previous release "The Fall Of Because" when he let remix "All Gods Of Man" to OScar Mulero and The Transhumans, P.E.A.R.L. has been a fine picker-outer on this occasion as well to the point that I'd rather say that the remix by Semantica label owner Enrique Mena aka Svreca is the best moment of this technoid drop.

The Pitch: Xenon & Argon

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 30 2015
Artist: The Pitch (@)
Title: Xenon & Argon
Format: 12"
Label: Gaffer Records (@)
Rated: *****
The Pitch is the guessed name that the fourtet by Morten Olsen (vibraphone), Koen Nutters (bass), Boris Baltschun (reed organ) and Michael Thielke (clarinet) have chosen for their band, whose sound is free from the rules of composition as well as from a certain promiscuity of improvisations by focusing on abstract tonal twines and the voice of their own instruments over a number of different superimposition and durations sets. The reference to xenon and argon, two chemical elements which belongs to the group of noble gases, is likewise guessed as each instrument sound like volatilizing without establishing any chemical bonding with other ones on the two long-lasting tracks of this release, so that listeners can only but appreciating the intrinsic characteristics of their sound - "the exaltation of a clarinet, the bruteness of a pump organ, the lushness of a vibraphone and the profoundness of a double bass" are considered as proper "navigational tools" in The Pitch's sonic streams in the introduction of the label - as well as their infusions within tonal clouds that sound risingly obsessive and vaguely entrancing on "Xenon" and deeply hypnotical on "Argon" - the tonal atomizer I prefer -, where the above-mentioned features got highlighted by a constant trembling of Baltschun's reed organ which will delight more demanding sonic brains.

Mako, Villem & Mcleod: Inner Revolution/Borrowed Love

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 28 2015
Artist: Mako, Villem & Mcleod
Title: Inner Revolution/Borrowed Love
Format: 12"
Label: Utopia Music (@)
Rated: *****
Utopia Music big old milkwood tree keeps on germinate in wintertime as well as these small new juicy buds have blossomed from the machines of an excellent tryptich of brilliant Bristol-based dnb brains: Stephen "Mako" Redmore, Andrew "Villem" Wilson and McLeod let sunlight shine in listener's eardrum by wrapping frenzied rolling kicks and claps into fluffy chimes, pillowy pads, sonic dandelions and gentle piano touches that are going tickle your imagination and lead you into a sweet dream state. After they uplifted listers as if they got invited for a ride on a winged Pegasus, Villem and McLeod allows listener to keep on floating by a lovely half tempo track, "Borrowed Love", where soothing chilled sounds, metronomic keys and a resounding female voice are going to foray your dream states. It seems that dnb followers' expectation can not be disappointed by evergreen Utopia big tree's buds!

Dronny Darko: Outer Tehom

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 27 2015
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Artist: Dronny Darko
Title: Outer Tehom
Format: CD
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
This album is described as a 'drone album of darkest black, every track a perfect 13 minute summoning of elder gods forgotten in time'. Without any info this release could be described as a release as carefully constructed as void of any other goal that being a milestone in form construction.
The heavy and atmospheric drone of 'Black Arts' opens this release and is based upon his opposition to almost pure silence and isolated sounds and samples. The same musical development is the foundation of 'Mortal Skin' where the variations are so subtle but so constant that could be ignored by distracted ears. 'Snake Hole' depicts a soundscape of frightening beauty while 'Arcane Shrine' returns to more canonic dark ambient resonances well described with the statue depicted in the album cover.
This release is hard to rate as it's as beautifully sounding as admonishing to be a pure exercise of form. However, how could art be afraid of beauty? This release will be truly appreciated by fans of this genre.

Origami Galaktika: One

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 26 2015
Artist: Origami Galaktika (@)
Title: One
Format: CD
Label: Monochrome Vision (@)
Rated: *****
It never ceases to amaze me, all the electronic artists who have been releasing music for years and years that I've never even heard of. Such is the case with Origami Galaktika, the project name of one Benny Braaten from Norway. He's been at it since 1996 with 13+ releases to his credit, 'One' being the 13th. Since I haven't heard any of the other works I have no basis of comparison, but I can tell you that the music is experimental-ambient. 'One' is comprised of 8 tracks, most of them very different sounding. "Full Moon Blue Mirror" introduces a ringing tone over a watery element with spacious slightly dark ambient drone that increases in intensity as it moves forward. Sort of like exploring arctic underwater caves if such a thing is possible. "Ground and Open the Receptors" begins with a high pitched echoed keening tone offset by a low, moaning textured drone giving the impression of something avian flying over a vast wasteland. That low moaning drone seems to morph into processed bowed cellos and/or basses. "The Beautiful Wonders and Dimensions of Creation" has thick, processed, echoed low drone tones with a hint of the industrial...and then a strange echoed noise squall is added. Layers of harmonically rich echoed overtones are added as it treads into industrial noise territory, until it all gradually fades away. Track 4, "Clearing of Spaces" is radically different. Low, lumbering, rhythmic thumping and thudding like some primitive farm machine. "Slowly, but Perfect and Surely" features episodic waves of medium to low harmonic noise that ebb and flow. It shifts into something more choppy, then introduces higher harmonic tones intermittently. Some of these tones are high pitched squeaks and squawks. Other sonic elements come into play as well. A strange brew to be sure. "In the Heartroom- Movement is Everything/Homecoming" plays with different pitches of elongated low, heavily processed cello-like tones, intermittently interuptped by higher echoed tones gradually morphed by changing the echo time and intensity. The lower tones disappear leaving only the higher ones, then reprise a bit later as a slight undercurrent. Other more percussive echoed elements are added as the higher tones have faded away. "Bright White Light of Love, 300' K's pr. Second" utilizes brief, melodic echoed tones (pizzicato,like a struck stringed instrument) and a variety of effected sounds. At a point it almost seems to coalesce into an echo-rhythm. "Memories of Tibet" features the sound of dharma trumpets (those long Tibetan horns) over incidental background sounds of unknown origin and eventually a muted hand-drum rhythm for a brief period. Okay, well that's it. 'One' enigmatic listen to be sure. I liked some parts more than others and likely you may too. The fact that Benny has been working for nearly 20 years in his field certainly accounts for quite a bit. This may be more sophisticated than I'm giving credit for, and perhaps in a month or two my impressions of the work might be different. If you're up for something challenging in the experimental-ambient genre, 'One' could be just the ticket.

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