Music Reviews



Atrium Carceri: Metropolis

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2015
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Artist: Atrium Carceri
Title: Metropolis
Format: CD
Label: Cryo Chamber (@)
Rated: *****
Few months after the release of "The Old City", Atrium Carceri returns with a new release, presented as closely connected to "The Untold", continuing his tale of the primordial metropolis and the force that builded it. From a musical perspective is closer to the previous release as it follows, but with a stronger writing, his structures.
The cinematic quality of "The Gargantuan Tower" opens this release following the path of "The Old City" so, when the spoken arrives, there's the sense of the absence of a visual element. The rhythmic elements of "The Dark Mother" marks a small departure to the dark ambient, the foundation of Atrium Carceri's style, returning with "Across the Sea of the Dead" and his impressive sound details. The small distortions of "Black Needle" and the resonances of "Decrepit City" could sound closer to some forms of drone metal. "Sacred Slab" is a return to form with his use of synth as "200 Days", apart from the vocal intro. "Industrial District" is based on a slowly developing drone and "Heart of the Metropolis" continues this path until the small noises of the second part of the track introduce the listener to "The Cowled Seers" whose gentle synth notes marks a shift toward pop territories covered in a flash with the return to a soundscape with "The Machine" and his evocative use of drones.
Instead of a release oriented towards fans, this album removes the flaw of "The Old City", a too emulative sound, and marks perhaps the beginning of a journey to new musical direction from this artist. A truly recommended release.

Akira Kosemura: Trio

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2015
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Artist: Akira Kosemura
Title: Trio
Format: CD
Label: Schole (@)
Rated: *****
The third release of Schole's Concert Single Series is a lovely assay of a live performance that appreciated Japanese pianist Akira Kosemura held at Lutherian Ichigaya Church concomitantly with the release of original soundtrack for the film "Embers (Saigo no Inochi)" by Junpei Matsumoto, which was recently released by Akira's own imprint. This oung brilliant composer re-arranged some old and new tracks from his own repertoire that he performed together with Mika Shirasawa (violin), who co-signed a "duo" he recorded with Akira at Shinjuku Bunka Center and Okurayama Memorial for the same series, and Maiko Sato (cello). Gracefulness and harmonic splendour gently thrive over the delightful 22 minutes of this tidbit, which immediately set the mood on the opening "Precious", where Mika's violin plays an important balancing role, shows some similarities with some contemporary piano "minimalists" such as Einaudi on the beautiful "Larmes" and features catchy moments of lyrical musings on "Fragile" and "Imagery" by means of brilliant vibrato on strings and charming piano melodies. Pretty musical trinket, which sometimes sounds coming from a Victorian romance novel.

Andreas O.Hirsch: Summe 1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 21 2015
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Artist: Andreas O.Hirsch (@)
Title: Summe 1
Format: 12"
Label: makiphon (@)
Rated: *****
The imaginative representation of the sound processing on the cover artwork of this nice release by composer and inventive sound artist Andreas Oskar Hirsch, which depicts three egg beaters whose supposed interstellar juice digs the bowels of the earth and got filtered by a funnel, could match his sonic artifact for Koln-based label makiphon. Speaking of artifacts, the "exoticism" of some of the eight droney soundscapes Andreas poured into the pan of "Summe 1" comes from a really exotic instrument that he extensively plays along with electric guitars, mini fans, pitched harmonicas and delays: the electric palm leaf, an electroacoustic instrument that looks like a crossbreed between a marimba and a palm leaf, is the source of the delayed percussions for some nice moments of the release such as the second part of the opening track "In A Seldom Land", which could fit an imaginary anthem for an hidden holiday resort for Indian tripping summers, the entrancing "Konnektor", the immersive "Kemeri 5 am", where Andreas inserted the nocturnal crane calls that he recorded on a bike trip in a swamp nearby Riga while he was trying to decode bird messages by means of morse code (!), the overdelayed tidbit of "Kautschukwaage" or "Opossum Pravda", a track that he dedicated to the notorious nocturnal marsupial, where the soft hearted final tones suggests a sort of emotional attachment to that tenecious creature. The link to terrestrial wonders, botanical scenery and animality fades away on the flipside, where drones climb to numerical reveries ("Summe 1"), sidereal trips ("Maxwell Mountains") and amazing abstract physics ("Teilchenbeschleuniger"). Only 300 copies of this release circulate on the planet.

][|][: [_|_]

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2015
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Artist: ][|][
Title: [_|_]
Format: CD
Label: Steelkraft Manufactory (@)
Rated: *****
I had reviewed the previous two entries from this unnamable band, so I was interested to see what they had in store for me this time. The press sheet describes this as 'Ten coherent different titles dark and desperate. Ten strange litanies that emerge from the depths and remind us of the tragic history of ten shipwrecks in the Iroise sea off Brest in Brittany. An album in tribute to all the sailors missing at sea.' So we have a concept album of sorts, but not really anything you would recognize as such. Here we have organ compositions with bits of sweeping wind noise interspersed, like a really stripped down Mortiis. It's like the organ is alive and breathing, its breath punctuating the music. Some are lovely works (e.g., 'Lake Borgne (1918)'), while others are the demented musings of a madman who has been trapped in his dark castle for far too long. Some of the standouts here include 'Columbian (1865)', which is a nice mix of organ and noisy atmosphere, like a storm is howling outside, and the majestic 'Xenophon (1962)' that evokes the feeling of a coronation ceremony. If you like Mortiis' older Cold Meat Industry works, this will be right up your alley. This album weighs in at around 58 minutes and is limited to 100 copies.

System Morgue: Feu

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2015
cover
Artist: System Morgue (@)
Title: Feu
Format: CD
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this Moscow-based artist, but looking at the over art and the black metal logo, I expected something much more abrasive, at least noisier. But that's not what you get with System Morgue. The press release states that 'In its early period the project relied on aggressive and pushing sound in vein of harsh noise and power electronics, but later changed to milder sonorities and finally came to the now traditional form of guitar drone ambient.' Evidently, this is all created with guitar, bass, and effects. The music itself was really peaceful, deep drone, but it kept shifting enough to keep it interesting. At times there would be some moments of voice (Octobre), or guitar that is merely plucked to reveal itself (Moulin des Ãtoiles), but overall this is something that you can put on and just let everything fade away. Nicely done. This album weighs in at around 45 minutes and is limited to 100 copies.


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