Music Reviews

Ernesto Diaz-Infante: wistful entrance, wistful exit

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 16 2014
Artist: Ernesto Diaz-Infante
Title: wistful entrance, wistful exit
Format: CD
Label: Kendra Steiner Editions
Rated: *****
Poiché questa versione è stato ispirato da una morte in famiglia questo album, invece di mostrare la capacità virtuoso artista, si basa quasi interamente su un accordo che, variamente interpretato e con il riverbero del luogo, agisce come una forma di musica ciclo ma ha giocato invece di utilizzare un registratore. Così suona come le onde raffigurati sulla copertina di questa release come metafora del movimento circolare del tempo.
La prima traccia "questo" si basa sulle variazioni di un arpeggio cui note sono lentamente giocato in un modo che lascia le risonanze creano una meditazione e quasi triste atmosfera. La seconda traccia "lungo" si concentra sulla aggiunta delle varie risonanze delle note che, riverberante, raffigura una sorta di drone nel panorama della melodia. L'ultima traccia "momento" si basa sulla corda che viene lentamente variata riverbero della camera e il lento movimento del tempo di riproduzione.
Questo album suona come una sorta di meditazione silenziosa sulla vita e l'esistenza ed è una dichiarazione circa c'è più significato nella accurata riproduzione delle note di un singolo accordo alla ricerca di un suono e un'atmosfera, che nel gioco furioso di un milione di note ricerca dei limiti di gioco veloce. Un rilascio straordinario.
Artist: Cristian Vogel
Title: Polyphonic Beings
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Shitkatapult (@)
Rated: *****
According to Karl Heinz Stockhausen, a unified time structuring, a wise splitting of sound, the multi-layering of spatial composition and the equality of sound and noise are the "Four Criteria of Electronic Music" in brief and such an eminent conceptualization of music seems to have inspired the last two astonishing releases by brilliant Chilean techno legend Cristian Vogel, who after he moved to Berlin, one of the sacred site of contemporary music of our planet, fulfilled a quantum jump to his already appreciated style by a sort of integration of those principles into eerie dub-driven sonic boxes, which proves the chameleon versatility of this producer after the ambient-oriented album "Eselsbrucke". Some nuances of techno pops up in just one of his eight "Polyphonic Beings" - the amazing "How Many Grapes Went Into That Wine" -, while some technoid residue flow like water snakes in water ducts into a few of them - "Spectral Jack", "Forest Gifts" and "LA Banshee" are the ones where are more audible -, but most of the tracks have a totally different approach to rhythmical structure and sonic textures as he manages to synthesize outstanding hybrid between dub-techno and acousmatics where bright stylistical spots unpredictably deviate from the continuity principle of techno stuff: the sort of elegy that suddenly surface from the above-mentioned "Forest Gifts", the analogue spit-ups that surface on tracks like "Spectral Jack" (vinyl exclusive) or "Lost In The Chase" or the melancholically entrancing piano micro-melody and the shamanic hooks on the final "Society Of Hands" are just some of the moments when Cristian could find the right way to the hearts of more demanding listeners which cannot be considered proper clubbers anymore.

Kode 9 & The Space Ape: Killing Season

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 14 2014
Artist: Kode 9 & The Space Ape (@)
Title: Killing Season
Format: 12"
Label: Hyperdub (@)
Rated: *****
Named after a verse of his song "Heart" that warns people about the dangers behind human heart, this EP, which reprised the forerunning collaboration by Hyperdub label boss Kode 9 and the late-lamented vocalist and poet The Space Ape and was eagerly awaited by all those listeners who loves miliar stones of UK dubstep and grime that came from this sparkling meeting of musical minds and souls such as "Memories Of The Future" and "Black Sun", has a particular meaning after the announcement on Facebook of the tragic death after an excruciating battle against a rare form of cancer by Stephen Gordon - Spaceape's name in family registry -. The lyrics got clearly influenced by the cognizance of his physical conditions that he angrily describes on the opening "Chasing A Beast", and above all of the imminent death in the offing, which fostered his last compelling poetic visions after having been just gloomy allusions in previous lyrics. Even if I can imagine he did them with tears in his eyes, the sonic inoculations by Kode 9 got perfectly synchronized and reaches the acme when visions and insights flow into heartfelt pleas (Stephen seems to warn listeners by really meaningful words in "Devil is a Liar") and resigned sighs such as on the touching "Autumn Has Come". Whether in heaven or in hell, I'm pretty sure that many listeners hope to meet Mr.Gordon again after their (possibly faraway) last hours. Stephen's family friends gets all our sincerest symphathy.

The Smiling Buddhas: Latium

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 13 2014
Artist: The Smiling Buddhas
Title: Latium
Format: CD
Label: base (@)
Rated: *****
Named after some places that a couple of Smiling Buddhas, the name of the bicephalous project by Fadi "Hun Fa-di" Dorninger and John Fitzpatrick which was born as a mail-art project between Austria and Hong Kong, visited all over Latium, the Latin name of the region surrounding Rome, in 2013, "Latium" is the fourth sonic travelogue (after the ones over Austrian Alps, Atacama desert and the hidden kingdom of Lo in Nepal) by these guys. If you expected to listen some crossbreeding between field recordings and unconventional styles or some assa of audiotourism, your expectations could get bitterly disappointed as it's really difficult to link the sonorities The Smiling Buddhas forged to the places they mention with no explanations about their source for inspiration, but it doesn't mean their aural translations are not interesting at all. For example, the opening "Fast Bikeride Down to Trevi Nel Latio" could paint a pretty picture of a fast and furious bike ride from the uphills of the place they quote by means of their bouncy and somehwhat breezy techno, but there are no elements which vaguely cross-refers to the town of Trevi nel Lazio and I can't find any sonic hook to Italian 50ies movies The Smiling Buddhas were chatting about during a high-speed motor drive - it came to my mind a sequence from a car cabin showing the placard of "Fior d'Alpe" in Rossellini's "Journey to Italy" as a possible link to their previous release - in "Cruising To Terracina". The quality of tracks is a little bit higher on the second part of the release - the final "Altipiani" is maybe the best moment of this travelogue together with the amazing Aphex Twin-like dripping detonation on "Palestrina" -, but despite some interesting ideas I think that these guys could improve upon their sound.

Martin Kay: All Things Metal

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 12 2014
Artist: Martin Kay (@)
Title: All Things Metal
Format: CD
Label: 3Leaves (@)
Rated: *****
According to Martin's own words, the intention of the artist on "All Things Metal" is the highlighting of "the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape" as well as "propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments". The metallic diaphragm which often becomes a sort of proper filtering by re-rendering the perception of surrounding ordinary aural inputs come from a series of installations of different kinds of microphones (contact, omni-directional air and cardioid air ones) on metallic objects or places that Martin carefully describes in the cover booklet: for instance, two contact microphones that Martin placed on a street light in Sapporo Downtown can turn footsteps, advertisements from different speakers and the buzzing noise of internal electronis of the streetlight itself into a sort of alien transmission on "Street Light in Male Entertainment Distr." or the ones he placed on the protective railing of a stairwell ("Tokyo Crows") or beneath an iron gutter ("Rain On Iron Gutter") in Futako Tamagawa or the omni-directional microphones hanging inside an abandoned Soviet oil tank in Yerevan could convey unpredictable aural experiences which can skim over psychedelia. The above-mentioned ability of metals is so abstractly extrinsic and mind-blowing in many moments of the release coming from excellent Hungarian label 3Leaves that it could be considered a proper manifestation of a false-positively hidden hyperreality.

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