Music Reviews

Hybryds: The Silent Whisper

 Posted by Paul Muhller   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 27 2014
Artist: Hybryds (@)
Title: The Silent Whisper
Format: CD
Label: Prodam (@)
A long-time presence on the ritual ambient music scene, Hybryds latest release, 'The Silent Whisper', continues to supply dark, industrial-strength sounds that are "sometimes harsh and bleeding and sometimes soft and gentle.' Based in Belgium, Hybryds consists of Magthea , the original founder (also known as Sandy Nijs), TraumaSutra (Peter De Koning) and vocalist Madeline Arnt. Dark Poem, another Belgian cult band personality, also appears as a vocalist on selected tracks. The music of Hybryds typically consists of deep, mysterious rumblings in the lower registers along with vocals or narration by Madeline Arnt and this combination is consistently effective. The feeling of this music is otherworldly, and sometimes harsh, but it does succeed in evoking a sense of intentional spirituality that is rare in our consumer-driven contemporary culture. The tracks range from smoothly accessible, as in 'Wheel of Life', to strongly primal, as in 'Garden of Dreams'. All of the pieces on this CD exhibit a strong sense of balance between the electronics and vocals, no doubt the result of a long collaboration between the members of Hybryds. 'Silent Whisper - Part 1&2&3' is probably the most impressive track artfully combining a variety of alien sounds, vocal chanting and saxophone into a convincing amalgam. The singing of Madeline Arnt stands out on this CD, but the percussion and electronic sounds are always well chosen and the mixing is excellent. 'The Silent Whisper' is perhaps best understood when the listener imagines himself in a small Berlin after-hours club on a summer evening ' hearing Hybryds perform live would be a powerful experience.
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Artist: Alberto Ezzu - Lux Vocal Ensemble (@)
Title: Il Fuoco del 6° Armonico sulla Luce della Dominante partendo dalla Madre Fondamentale (con in mente Zarathustra)
Format: CD
Label: Hic Sunt Leones
Rated: *****
"Il Fuoco del 6° Armonico sulla Luce della Dominante partendo dalla Madre Fondamentale (con in mente Zarathustra)", which sounds something like "The focus of the sixth harmonic on the dominant light starting from the fundamental mother (having in mind Zarathustra)", is the latest album by Alberto Ezzu Lux Vocal Ensemble but as project born in 2001 at the early days of the ensemble. Alberto Ezzu Lux Vocal Ensemble born that year to perform compositions and improvisations using mainly overtone singing. If you don't know what kind of singing is that, think about the traditional Mongolian chants where one performer emits two tones at a time. To that, they add traditional European instruments (synponica, micanon, viola and lute), classic instruments (cello and oboe), oriental traditional instruments (tampura, sitar, Indian harmonium and percussions) plus electronic instruments. On this album you can find a one hour suite where different overtone singers focus their performance following a synth frequency which slowly changes creating, in this way, a minimal multi layered experimental suite which is able to hypnotize the listener. This album is a step into Alberto Ezzu's path as music researcher, music therapist and, for the listener, is a chance you can take to focus your attention on your inner self using these sounds as a tool.

B/B/S/: Coltre/Manto

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 26 2014
Artist: B/B/S/
Title: Coltre/Manto
Format: 12"
Label: Midira (@)
Rated: *****
The "draft" of this great album by B/B/S, the awesome collaborative project by Aidan Baker, Andrea Belfi and Erik Skodvin, comes from an idea by Midira label-owner Dimitri, who organized a concert at Christuskirsche, Bochum, an evangelist historical church, whose specific acoustic features made it an imaginary part of the line up as well, and wisely asked to Christoph Scheidel a live recording of the concert, which provided the sonic material for later studio mastering by Martyn Heine in Berlin. The two long-lasting tracks of this astonishing record depart from ambient drones which gradually advance by turning into a crossbreed between primordial krautwave and improvised soundscapes, but whereas the sharpness of electronic fibers by Erik, guitar artifacts by Adrian and vivacious tribal-like augmented drumming by Andrea sound like moving and joining together like ethereal exhalations on "Coltre", they got fledged before getting warmly cathartic and somewhat mystical on the beautiful "Manto" on the flipside. The relaxed but intensely vibrant atmosphere that this record manages to render could let you envy the lucky people who spectated B/B/S concert, but it had been a good thing that someone had the idea to record it!

Martijn Comes: Infinite Spaces and Beyond

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 25 2014
Artist: Martijn Comes (@)
Title: Infinite Spaces and Beyond
Format: CD
Label: IO Sound (@)
Rated: *****
Some sizzling synth-driven frequencies, frothy dilations and sonic meteroids on the opening track "Memory Field" fire up the engine of the musical starship by experienced Dutch sound artist Martijn Comes. Careful and erudite listeners will supposedly recognize many well-known musical astral bodies while watching out of its portholes, such as the electronic archeostructures by The Orb, the psychedelic extrusions by Future Sound London, Pete Namlook's intergalactic overdrives or some acts of synth-pop, ambient-dub and techno-ambient, but they will soon surrender to the attractively elongated "fields" by this gut, who managed to wrap his overdrive of electronic dub, techno-throbbing sponges, fluffy ambient by catalytic orchestral stoles and sometimes unpredictable dynamics: for instance, the cathedral-like space organs of "Silent Field" will let you foretell the follow-up of the track just after Martijn adulterates it by a pitching, which fosters a sort of alchemical transmutation into a progressive techno combustion or the marine inputs in the beginning of the final "Ultrasonic Field" has no apparent connections with the magnetic gargling plain chant and the ancestral radiofrequencies at the end of the suite. Martijn wisely turns each track into adventurous listening experiences by occasional aerostatic interruption and gorgeously cadenced mutations, which become proper sonic traps on the almost mystical suite "Electric Field" and on "Mirrored Field", which could resemble to some late 90ies techno-trance dry stuff such as Dr.Numa, Zen Paradox or Koen "Starfish Pool" Lybaert. This breathtaking sidereal journey has been asterfully mastered by Taylor Deupree.

Hybryds: Music for Rituals

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 22 2014
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Artist: Hybryds
Title: Music for Rituals
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is a reissue of the first CD album of this project, conceived as a 'mail art music' and recorded on a 4-track cassette, featuring a bunch of collaborations with people like Vidna Obmana and Pier Luigi Andreoni. The result is an essay on post-industrial and ambient music of undoubtable charm.
From 'A Door to Perception' to 'Coda' this album is focused on loop and just intonation singing as in 'the Garden at the Sea'. 'Ritual for Quetzal Coatl' is the center of the work as it juxtaposes the loop and the beat with a sort of field recording of ethnic flavor. 'The Man with No Shadow' features samples perhaps taken from japan movie. This release features also a bonus cd with more experimental tracks like 'Saxapulations' where sax samples are layered and juxtaposed and 'Girl hunter: Dabide no hoshi: BishÃÃÃôjo-gari' where film samples are in a dialogue with classic japan instruments like koto marking a departure from the atmosphere of the other tracks.
Even if it's a really long release, almost two hours and an half with his bonus, there's no fill-in or boring interludes, it's full of ideas and surprises so it's strange that it's so underrated when there's some books about ambient music. A gem rediscovered.

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