Music Reviews



Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree: Perpetual

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 31 2015
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Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Deupree
Title: Perpetual
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
The sound artists, who co-signed this release on 12k, shall be sufficient to guarantee the quality of the listening experience that got embedded into this plastic disc, whose only defect is the fact that it could inspire envy in those audiophiles who didn't took part to the event where Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree and Illuha, the duo of Tomoyoshi Date and Corey Fuller, shared food, words, exploration and stage (their first time together) in the wet heat of Japanese summer on the occasion of a series of events for the 10-years anniversary of the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. The specification with regard to moisture level and temperature are not minor details as when these masters begun to shape frequencies, they wisely tuned in to weather conditions s you can immediately catch from the first of the three movements this improvisation got splitted for the release: a sort of wet venner seems to wrap the thin layers and the blurred sonic elements (including some voices) that sounds like lanterns in dense fog and the presence of sonic elements is even rarest on the second and the astonishing third movement, where each isolated tone sounds like thrown into a dark pit. No wonder the lucky audience of this concert, when these masters wisely manipulated field recordings, crackling found objects, guitar tones, lulling piano and silence (!), got ecstatically breathless while listening to this performance that fortunately got recorded (in high quality DSD) for the listening pleasure of all those ones who missed this rare moment of sublime sonic art!

Fabio Orsi: Just For A Thrill

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 31 2015
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Artist: Fabio Orsi
Title: Just For A Thrill
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Since the delicate repetition of a piano melody and the "aquatic" whispers that got fluttered into the daydreaming pristine fluffs of the first untitled movement, Italian sound-artist Fabio Orsi dives into out-of-time minimal ambient sonorities that will let listeners slacken onto an entrancing atmosphere, where any small somatic variations of each sonic element that he wisely dissolve manages to render emotional states and changer without any specific purpose, except of pouring thrills into eardrums and souls. His extraordinary ability in communicating through wordless sonic waves, supposedly fostered by his fascination with artistic photography, got revealed by the eight movements of this release, which also includes a booklet of 16 snapshots by the artist: sober electroacoustic explorations, sudden twinkling tones, gently giddy loops, mildly mesmerizing ringing cycles and hovering sets of microtones, that reaches their acme on the 20 minutes of the last movement as well as on the catchy crescendo of the third one and the soothing shadows of the sixth one, are the enzymes of the charming thrills that Fabio wisely instill. The package of the 500 copies of this release comes using locally cultivated materials including handmade 380gsm washi outer wrap, while the 16 pages booklet that collects 16 polaroid shots by Fabio got printed on recycled card.

Giulio Aldinucci: Spazio Sacro

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 26 2015
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Artist: Giulio Aldinucci (@)
Title: Spazio Sacro
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
The sizzling noises of the opening track "The hermit" by brilliant sound artist Giulio Aldinucci could let you think he's frantically unpacking boxes or picking the lock of a casket where he kept sonic traces of memories and sonic clues from a number of sacred places of his native land, before he discloses his "Spazio Sacro" (italian for "Sacred space"), a release where the intimate recesses of religious experience meet the architecture and the lovely landscaping of Siena (Tuscany, Italy), where the alternance of void spaces and modelled solid matter meet the empty and rich places of a soul during its spiritual quest over painful remembrance ("Ricordo"), trascendental and somehow dizzying meditations ("Sator"), stunning contemplative moments where the dialogue of mind and soul cross the blurred lines of external sonic entiies which seems to be signs of a previously unknowable truth ("Come un immenso specchio d'inverno" - meaning "Like a wide mirror in wintertime"-), ecstatic reverie ("The liquid room"), intuitive perception of universal greatness ("Mountain") and recovered piece oif mind and intimacy ("Camino" - Italian word for 'fireplace'). Many field recordings that got manipulated by Giulio have been wisely placed in this perpetual ascension towards ethereal regions of composer's feelings and memories and the summit of the sacred (both artificial and natural) places which features his personal and sensorial history.

Klangwart: Transit

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 23 2015
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Artist: Klangwart
Title: Transit
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
In order to propel a hot air baloon air, Koln-based Klangwart heat this lovely release by an awesome amalamation of old-fashioned electronic music in between the balearic orbits by Manuel Gottsching, the cosmic joyrides of German kosmische knights, some waveforms by William Orbit and the hydrocarbon rhythmical chains and the delightful analogue trajectories by Terry Riley (the closest one to Klangwart's "Transit" is maybe Riley's "A Rainbow in Curved Air"), whose minimal music together with the one by legendary Steve Reich has been a source for inspiration since the times when Markus Detmer and Timo Reuber (the minds behind Klangwart's curtains) met in a seminar on electronic music in 1992 when theyr were students of musicology. The listening experience they offer on "Transit" is other than a bunch of nostalgic inserts as some unforeseen events and unexpected rising of the injecting flame at the bottom of balloon's envelope occur during the flight since the "Passage I", the first journey (remarkably shorter in time than his more-than-10-minutes lasting anthem) after the intro "Ante", where the typical analogue sequence, that could be matched to BBC news jingles or some bizarre experiments of genetic engineering, sounds like heaten by hot flushes of muffles low frequencies before getting siphoned by wide reverberations on the following "Express", which sounds like some psychedelic drifts by Chemical Brothers. The organic chirping of the beautiful "Station", which is closer to some analogue mellotronic stuff from many Swiss producers, and the gentle rhythmical blaze of "Transit" precede the ecstatic electronic secretions of "Plateau", whose injection of soothing feelings didn't get endangered by the molecular agitation of the following "Passage II" or the analogue wrapping of "Exile", whose gradual overheating sounds like the perfect track for the crossing of the space-time continuum inside a starship that seems to land over the fuzzy rippling of the final "Rendezvous". Klangwart's "Transit" could really be considered one fo the most intriguing varnishing of the so-called cosmic music.

Docetism: Breaking The Circle Of Life

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 23 2015
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Artist: Docetism
Title: Breaking The Circle Of Life
Format: CD
Label: Tavern Eightieth (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this Polish project, but the label explains that the album 'explores the idea of a peaceful escape from life and the service of impulse and desire, aiming to express the possible contents of such an escape. The result is a set of gentle, moving ambient productions combining forest field recordings and murky choral samples with dubby bass and thick, droning strings.' Sounds good, so let's get into the music. 'Poisons' kicks it off with a 2 minute track of peaceful dark ambient. Then 'Parsifal' shifts gears as the clouds part and the sun appears overhead. Peaceful, hypnotic music with a bass line buried low in the mix (at first I thought it was coming from the car next to me). 'Forest Monks' brings the beat to the forefront with a prominent bass drum and voices singing and chanting. The overall feel is still pretty chill, though. Next up, 'The Wheel Of Ixion Stands Still,' a title which comes from the Schopenhauer quote in the liner notes, keeps the mellow vibe going with slow moving, peaceful ambiance and ethereal female vocals. Finally, 'Samadhi' features heavily processed spoken word that seems to be guiding a meditation session at the beginning, middle, and end. Singing bowl tones open and close the track while heavy drone permeates the track. A bass beat runs through it like a heartbeat, adding to the contemplative feel. The best way to describe this disc is something to put on when you need to slow everything down. Very chill stuff. This album is limited to 100 copies and weighs in at around 32 minutes.


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