Music Reviews



Ya Tosiba: Mollah The Machine Remixes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 17 2015
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Artist: Ya Tosiba
Title: Mollah The Machine Remixes
Format: 7"
Label: Pingipung (@)
Rated: *****
"Mollah The Machine", the first release by Ya Tosiba, the Berlin-based collaborative project between Finnish producer and pioneer of Swkee style Mesak and Azeri singer Zuzu Zakaria, was rapidly sold out soon after it got launched in summer 2014, so that Pingipung decided to release the downloadable edition. Some months after such a successfull debut, the label decided to release three nice remixes (two of them are availble on a 7inches vinyl as well): Natalie, Falk and Max of RSS Disco applied their acidulous mid-tempo house and synth--disco recipes to "Masin", whose remix is enjoyable, but it's nothing special to be honest. My favorite one on the vinylic version comes from Patric Catani's alter ego Candie Hank, who preserves the elasticity and the hilarious hook of the original version of "Mollah" by whacky synth-driven squawks and a catchy dubby movement. Likewise funny, the remix of the same track by Cologne-based electronica veteran Schlammpeitziger, who announced he was working on this remix when we interviewed him last February: you'll find his whimsically harmonious and charming make-up of "Mollah" on the digital version of the release.
Sep 16 2015
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Artist: Ovod
Title: Between The Days
Format: CD
Label: Ovodmusic (@)
Rated: *****
The night brings rest for most of people and inspiration as well as a wide set of things to some insomniac artists. The Russian sound artist and musician Ivan Lavrov, the man behind Ovod, collected some of the recordings he made in between the days, as the title suggest, before glazing them in the studio - Taylor Deupree provided a really good mastering - and forging this interesting album, which slightly differs from the amniotic prophylaxis of some ambient releases. The structure of each track is quite simple, as most of them lay on the combination of a carrier melody, textures - often made by overlapping of effected lenghtening of the above-mentioned melodies, which could surmise some sonic treatment by late 80ies cosmic or prog rockers - and more or less manipulated field recordings. These nocturnal emission are not always relieving even if its nebulized symphonies slowly evaporates, as you can guess by the opening "Flashback voices", inspired by those gripping headaches which can inspire the resurfacing of supposedly sorrowful memories, or other moments of the album, such as the following "Night at Port", where the synth-piano sounds like piercing icy splinters, a jarring note against the attempt of rendering "the greatful pleasure of evening loneliness" according Ivan's own words to introduce the track, or "Swamp Helicopters", where Ivan seems to have grabbed the sound of an helicopter from within the belly of a sated alligator before the final guitar dissolves it. A certain malaise resounds from "Kolomyazhsky" - a sonic description of a person, who observe the lights of an avenue from some height - and the final "When rails are not alone", whose perfect rendering of an insomniac and melancholic night within a train is so catchy that I can say it's my favorite moment of the whole album, and that malaise doesn't seem to fade away on the more relaxed moments of the album - the memories-driven "Afterglow" and "Butterfly day" as well as "The tale of time lost", a track by which Ovod tried to describe the feeling of an adult while reading a book for children! The nice cover artwork by Ekaterina Topal perfectly describes the emotional frame of Ovod's output.

Dat Rayon / FOQL / RNA2 / Gaap Kvlt: Circuit intégré Vol. 1

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 13 2015
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Artist: Dat Rayon / FOQL / RNA2 / Gaap Kvlt
Title: Circuit intégré Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
Based upon Philips' "Prospective 21e Siècle", a series of albums documenting electronic music, this new project by Zoharum wants to document new young polish projects. This first volumes present tree projects: Dat Rayon, a project of the post-club electronica; NZLD.pl, represented by FOQL and RNA2, a project of analogue electronics (a music in the tradition of '90 electro); Gaap Kvlt a project mixing ambient and drone.
The five Dat Rayon's tracks could be described under the term 'minimal': "PrÄdkoÅÄ Dopuszczalna" is based upon sparse, carefully constructed, samples; "Droga krajowa 7" stays suspended upon the beats; "Wypadek na A1" is almost a techno track; "Inne Ograniczenia" is dub oriented with his echoes; "Bez tablic" is an ambient track.
A sound more focused on the dance floor is the FOQL's: "Not Lost Till It's Gone" features a catchy melody upon a danceable beat and "Poseur Face" is even closer to synth pop. RNA2, as FOQL part of NZLD.pl, is a similar project but is more focused on methodically developed drum parts: "Cycle Of Functioning", "Magnetic Cores" and "Lonely Man with Sick Mind" are closer to EBM as the main loops are juxtaposed to repetitive beat of undoubtable impact.
Gaap Kvlt sounds as the most sophisticated project: "Visitant" is ambient track based on subtle variation of sounds; "Nebula" is an ambient tracks developed upon drones; "Huun" is based on small noises; "Rise" is focused on synth.
The overall rating is an average of a bunch of factor: the youth of the project with their evident influence; the heterogeneity of musical output, a choice of the curator Michal Porwet, which escapes boredom; the perceptible quality of some musical intuition. It's not ground breaking as the projects stand into a sort of tradition of their genre but, in the near future, Gaap Kvlt could present something remarkable. An unripe release.

Heitor Alvelos: Faith

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 12 2015
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Artist: Heitor Alvelos (@)
Title: Faith
Format: CD
Label: Touch
Rated: *****
The first interesting aspect of this release by Portuguese media researcher as well as longtime Touch collaborator - he provided stage visuals and photograpy for Fennesz, Biosphere, Rafael Toral, Philip Jeck and BJNilsen - Heitor Alvelos, who decided to sign it by its own name instead of one of his quite known aliases (Antifluffy, Autodigest) to highlight the fact it's an autobiographical output, is the long time span - from 1972 to 2013 - during which the (more or less processed) field recordings got grabbed, so that I won't wonder if he managed to grab some noises of his cradle by his parents as well. The second one is simply related to listening perception, as the way by which he manipulated frequencies show skills as well as that kind of aural intensity that could cause molecular or biochemical reactions into listeners or matter (electronic music lovers could understand that my opinion is not an excessively kowtowing overstatement...) that could be matched to experienced sound artists such as Mika Vainio or Alva Noto. Such an aspect is maybe the most relevant to listeners, as I guess it's not easy to infer biographical details from the listening of white noises, deeply low buzzes or whatever Dr.Alvelos encapsulated in his twelve tracks, but I can surmise that sharing pages of his spiritual path or personal schedule, in spite of titles which could have some connection to religious matters ("Vicarious Solace", "Peirasmos", "The Way of Malamat" or "Exodus"), doesn't belong to author's purposes, as you can infer by his viewpoint on the relation between technology and personal freedom when asked about that during a recent interview, so that a certain indecipherability behind the listenable stuff seems to be intentionally reached. Besides my personal interpretation, have a check just for your listening pleasure.

Charlemagne Palestine: Ssingggg Sschlllingg Sshpppingg

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 12 2015
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Artist: Charlemagne Palestine
Title: Ssingggg Sschlllingg Sshpppingg
Format: CD
Label: Idiosyncratics (@)
Rated: *****
The fans of this astonishing shaman of minimalism - even if he prefers to label his music as "resonant" instead of "minimal" - have undoubtedly recognized some puppets from his huge collection, which are the privileged audience of his exhibitions, on the cover artwork of this exclusive 51-minutes lasting recording that Charlemagne Palestine made for Idiosyncratics. Thanks to the precious sound engineering by label associate Frederic Alstadt and the masterful mixing by Aymeric De Tapol, this onomatopoeic titled recording came to light and saying that Charlemagne will bring listeners to some ecstatic mental state by means of entrancing textures of resounding pipes, entranced sssiiinggging, organ-driven drones, martial drums, evoking choirs of children, chirping birds, distant recordings of political speeches and other phantasmagoric sonic entities is almost redundant. The way by which he lead a psychedelic storms by means of an intense chorality is going to delight listeners by fostering cerebral synaptic maturation and inviting thm into a really deep meditative or hallucinatory state of mind. I guess that the first 30 copies, signed by Charlemagne Palestine himself, got sold out, but some copies of the unsigned release as well as the digital version should be available yet. In spite of the twist ending where Chrlemagne sings together with one of his puppet could sound like meeting a group of mad Teletubbies in heaven and discovering they are the real rulers of paradise, it's purely epic stuff!


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