Music Reviews



99 Blows: I/O

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8645)
Mar 20 2015
cover
Artist: 99 Blows (@)
Title: I/O
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: clang (@)
Rated: *****
Some icy gushes, which sound blowing on the title track "I/O" together with a sort of description of his concept of music making, open the debut release by Danish electronic musician and former guitar player Rasmus Vestervig, who rendered what was occurring, the notorious Hurricane Sandy storm, outside This Is Care Of's studio facility in Manhattan, New York, where he recorded a rough version of this elegant assay of electronic dub-house, which was later polished and refined in his studio in Copenhagen. In spite of this element, internal heating system of TICO's studio where 99 Blows found the ideal dwelling place for its birth in between the soothing warmth of vintage organs, a pile of synths and drum machines, which had to be popped in a Danish hatchery by means of analog tubes, tape echo and various effects which helped to shape the definitive release in a familiar environment. After the above mentioned introduction that gets unfolded over a relaxed movement which could recall German chill-out stuff of late 90ies, 99 Blows warms its first sonic output by a nice housey groove, which seems to mirror the memory of the music for catwalks on "Tanzen Am Banhof", which sounds distant as if the storm managed to freeze NYC perpetual fashion weeks, and keeps on highlighting the lukewarm effect of nice memories by wrapping the synth-driven evanescences on the following "EFD" by means of really vintage acid-house bleeps and groovy percussive replays (you could imagine a sort of reshuffling and hybridisation of Sabres Of Paradise and 808 State), whose whiff sustains the structure of the final "Desolee" as well.

Ital: Endgame

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8642)
Mar 19 2015
cover
Artist: Ital
Title: Endgame
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
It's no lazy accident I've been waiting so much time to say something about new Ital's release, as I could have expected further releases by this excellent sonic explorer in order to develop the ideas he sketched on "Endgame" or just point the musical territories he'd like to scout. First of all it sounds everything but an end of his games, but I'd rather say its stylistical transitions has the features of a transition to a radical change of his path. Given that he keeps on deserving a special place in the almost faceless mass of the overcrowded tech-housey pool, Ital sounds like prepping a cryostasis chamber since the beginning of this album: the opening "Relaxer" is chilling in a literal sense as any element got frozen as soon as it appears, the title track "Endgame" imprisons an housey groove into computational crystals, the trigger mechanism of the cold techno of "Whispers In The Dark" follows an almost conking cycle, the over-echoed metallic hits of "Coagulate" rises the viscosity of a bassline whose degree of acidity equals the one of some stuff by Jeff Mills, the slinky groove of "Dancing" sounds like flooding, the liquid gushes from the fountain of "Concussion" turn into naphtalene as they spurt out, the female whispers of "Beacon" sounds like coming from the icy sculpture of a beautiful princess, the shaking pressure of "White II" as well as the fading transmissions of "Black Dust" and the frozen gurgling of "Oche" could give you the shivers. Is he going to keep on cooling down or up his core? I presume that Daniel Martin-McCormick will let us know soon...

Forenzics: Malign

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8641)
Mar 18 2015
cover
Artist: Forenzics (@)
Title: Malign
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Forenzics could maybe sound like the name of a blues band of middle-aged lawyers, who embraced music in order to escape from a profession which is going to kill their soul, but actually, it's the name of one of the most interesting improvised experimental music act that I honestly ignored before I received "Malign", the recording of a one-take live recording with no overdubs or edits they made on 15th June 2012, and their musical soul is more lively than ever in spite of the fact they included meteoropathy and misanthropy in their sources of inspiration together with their musical equipment, but I won't say that these overtones should be considered as pejorative aspects or pointless mindsets. The opening track "A Dusk Service", where Joe Cummins' trumpet sounds closer to some hazy suites by Bohren & der Club of Gore while John Wilton's drumming could resemble the searching of the right wrench to repair a mysterious mechanical contraption in darkness of night during a black-out and Matthew Syres' electric guitar and Dirk Kruithof's fretless bass seem to emulate the welcomed first break of lights at dawn, and the following gloomy vagueness on "You're Entitled" set the listener's mood for further listening; the atmospheres of the above-mentioned Bohren & der Club of Gore or Erik Truffaz's style resurface on the long-lasting anaesthetic dilutions of "Stone Cold Crazies", where Joe's electronic trumpet hones the febrile neutrality of the other instruments and sounds like the lead character on the following "The Song Games", where it sounds like the drunk honk of a car, which got fuelled by opium, and the awesome "Acid Nekk", where its wheeze mirror a pile of percussive spasms, an almost flat mumbling bass tone and choking distorted rattles from guitars; it sounds like having been poisoned by echo before spreading the infection to other instrumental brothers of misfortune on "Cubists". The garbled numbness of "Hyponagogic" and the disquieting emptiness of "New Ambient Dark Matter" close this convincing release by this Australian fourtet, who includes Supersilent, John Hassell, early Sonic Youth, Necks - their brilliant compatriots -, Tortoise, Demlike Stare and two masterpieces by Miles Davis ("Bitches Brew" and "In A Silent Way") as possible musical references.

glou glou: Hymn Her Hum

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8638)
Mar 16 2015
cover
Artist: glou glou
Title: Hymn Her Hum
Format: Tape
Label: Full Spectrum Records (@)
Rated: *****
The attached info about this release by glou glou, the collaborative project by Arjun 'subnaught' Mendiratta, who plays laptop ans squeezes some tones from a violin and some sounds from rocks, and Gretchen Jude, a young scholar of Oakland-based women's liberal arts Mills college, who pours voice (you should consider it as a sort of input of their compositional process), koto and a Roland SP404, says that children should be particularly receptive to their sound. I've not tested on my lovely nephews yet, but an adult eardrum can easily enjoy their sonic game, which seems to get started by a simple stretched tone, which generates a process like a spark, even if this spark can't really start a proper fire. If your ear is not so trained to textural miniatures and sonci slow chiselling, it's very likely that you'll find its listening (particularly side A) quite boring, no matter how hard you'll try to imagine the futuristic birdsong that glou glou prefigure in order to describe their sound or the reckless references to miliar stones of the so-called free music movement (Oren Ambarchi, Fennesz or 12k's MOSS ensemble...), but I have no qualms about saying that their sonic games could be imagined as a sort of lo-fi reprise of the sonic material they brought into play. It's kind of like someone try to strum and simplify a guitar solo by John Mclaughlin or Paco De Lucia by means of an out-of-tune acoustic guitar, but the final result is somehow interesting, if you focus on the sensory aspect more than the merely compositional one. Have a listen before claiming children's opinion about glou glou's "hymnified" hissing hum!

Maninkari: Continuum Sonore Part 7>14

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8634)
Mar 10 2015
cover
Artist: Maninkari (@)
Title: Continuum Sonore Part 7>14
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This band is a duo from France rather obscure even if they already released a bunch of albums. Their music lies in the current of almost neo classical projects lying in the interstice between chamber music, with the use of string, and experimental, with the use of drones and subtle variations. This release is the sequel to another release based on the first six part of a longer piece.
'Part 7' opens this release and exposes a musical palette made out of drones but with some lines that reveal a process of musical development rather to depict a static musical surface. 'Part 8' features some static noises upon the underlying drone. 'Part 9' is a slowly evolving drone mottled by a cello while 'Part 10' is based on the juxtaposition of spatialized drones. 'Part 11' features a violin loop upon a soundscape while 'Part 12' is based upon synth and field recording in the first part and evolves in a sort of neo classical tunes for strings. 'Part 13' is an evocative gothic drones for synthesized voices and 'Part 14' closes this release with gentle and sustained notes of synths.
Almost canonical in his form, this release is so carefully constructed that let the listener a taste for hearing the first part as it seems to have lost something. It's really worth a listen.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha