Music Reviews

Zenial: Chimera

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 12 2013
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Artist: Zenial (@)
Title: Chimera
Format: 12"
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This release from Åukasz SzaÅankiewicz collects tracks developed mainly from installation so they are in connection from some visual elements unknown to the listener of the audio release. His musical path relies in the classic tradition of industrial/electronic music so is based upon oscillators and filters creating a musical palette with a clear and almost geometrical structure.
The rhythmic path created with oscillators of 'Chimera' opens this release creating a feeling with the '80's experiments of the first wave of industrial with the typical kind of static created with drones. The initial drone of 'Hastallen' with his sine waves is even colder in the exposition of the musical process based on the juxtaposition of the outputs of the instruments. 'Unclean/clean' depicts his title showing clearer sounds and noisier ones. The b-side of this release if filled by a track, 'Rosora 28', that entails classic industrial form with his coda 'rosora 28 : wymar 4/5' where the repetitive and alienating form evolves in quieter and refined path.
This release develops his musical ideas in the tradition of industrial ambient music working in the refinement of the form rather than in experimenting without a clear end. Recommended for fans.

Steve Hauschildt: S/H

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 11 2013
Artist: Steve Hauschildt (@)
Title: S/H
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Most listeners could have got in touch with the fine electronic arts of Emeralds member Steve Hauschildt by means of his delightful dedication to Greek Muses Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, and Polyhymnia, the Muse of Geometry (as well as the Muse of sacred poetry, hymns and meditation) on Kranky, which sounds like a finely mythological handhold under divine auspices to describe his intriguing style, where dances of electronic bleeping particles and enchanting geometries hover towards sidereal heights or flow into symphonic streams which often recall authentic legends of German Kosmische music, drone-ambient or even aquarian stuff. This huge anthology, which includes both previously unreleased stuff from his archives and some tracks such as "Passing Cars", "Critique Of The Beautiful", "Different Directions" and "Rapt for Liquid Minister", which appeared on Mike Pollard's Arbor, Chris Madak's Deception Island and expired Steve's label Gneiss Things, extensively displays the traits that this American electronic musician showed on the above-mentioned release, which seems to be reprised by cover artwork as well, a snapshot of a LED-based art installation by Erwin Ledl. It's going to cause auricular orgasms to lovers of synth-propelled cosmic riders such as Klaus Schultze or possible contemporary relay runners such as Boards Of Canada, Mark McGuire or Oneohtrix Point Never.

Antonymes: There Can Be No True Beauty Without Decay

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 11 2013
Artist: Antonymes (@)
Title: There Can Be No True Beauty Without Decay
Format: CD
Label: Hibernate (@)
Rated: *****
"Where to begin? Wherever you find yourself", a printed sentence on the album artwork of this beautiful record by Welsh composer Ian M.Hazeldine aka Antonymes says and his music immediately makes me find myself or my memories when I explored the fascinating places you can find in North Wales, where he actually lives, in wintertime some years ago, which could let you think he got somehow influenced by the gauntest places of that lovely corner of the planet, but the title as well as that sentence seems to allude to something else and the answer could be find in the light and shade of his music. Each track of "There can be no true beauty without decay" has a sort of twin, which could be misnamed as a remix, where his enchanting piano melodies sound like soaked within an daydreaming and emotional syrup or an environ-mental scenery. The beginning of an heart-rending seld-perception or maybe the clear focalization of a personal emotional state could suddenly spring while listening to this record, which offers many beatific moments, contemplative fibrillations and chilling sonic solvents - I particularly enjoyed both versions of "Means Of Escape", "Strange Light" and "The End Of Everything" as well as the first versions of "Forever Without Hope" and "Falling", but my personal rank cannot but be filtered by emotional diaphragms -. The photographic "quotation" of an old upright piano by John Strohmerger, which knew decay as a big fire completely destroyed that factory before its glorious rebirth, sounds likea variation of the antonymous theme, which has been developed in a clever way by Antonymes' imagined conversations on linear notes, which suppply many erudite quotations. "Georges Bataille writes in The Language of Flowers about the sinister relationship between beauty and its defilement", says Ian about such a chasing game between antonyms in music, arts and aesthethics, which belongs to the awareness and self-awareness of many musicians on these tagline-like notes where he also spoke about his creative process: "Sometimes I take an observation by a composer, and turn that into a piece of music, as if it can be read like a score, thoughts giving instructions about the shape, tone, speed, rhythm, intention of a composition...sometimes an idea comes because I am wanting someone to know that I am thinking of them...sometimes I just look out of the window, and make a little noise on the piano, and already there seems to be potential for a new piece"..., and I add, sometimes he can touch the chords of an unknown soul by a somehow random and "unaddressed" composition.

Burkhard Stangl: Unfinished. For William Turner, painter.

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 10 2013
Artist: Burkhard Stangl (@)
Title: Unfinished. For William Turner, painter.
Format: CD
Label: Touch (@)
Rated: *****
A very interesting linkage between music and painting comes from Austrian jazz guitarist Burkhard Stangl, who rendered a sort of synaesthetic translation of wonderful works (particularly his last ones Burkhard admired at Tate Gallery in London) by Joseph Mallord William Turner, a water colourist and landscape painter, whose particular technique focuses on an astonishing use of light so that many critics considered him as the Romantic forerunner of Impressionism, even if his late works such as "Sunrise with Sea Monsters" or "Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway" are closer to abstract and surreal art. According to his biography, Turner's famous last words, which got quoted by Burkhard 's introduction to this release, were "the sun is God", but I'd rather say that the musician developed a sort of worship of Turner's evanescent light which managed to hide objects or other elements of the landscape under its layer, even when he painted darker scenes, as his musical and sonic translation manages to evoke both Turner's style and the charm, or I'd better call it the spell, of what has left seemingly undone as it occurs since the initial "Mellow", the first of three movements of "Unfinished 1", where gently strummed guitar and its radiant contrails completely mask a scene, which sounds like just sketched by very silenced field recordings, or the preps of the following second part "Waiting" for the pulverization of guitar (or maybe its sublimation) which semms to be turned into a recipe of the protective solution of the painting in the third part "Longing". Turner's paintings like "Dutch Boats in a Gale" or "Fishermen at Sea" as well as an adumbrated estrangement got inevitably evoked by the gradual rarefaction and the aural fade-out of "Unfinished 2 - Sailing" before the surprisingly brief "Unfinished 3 - Ending".

Alteranima: Stereograms

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 09 2013
Artist: Alteranima
Title: Stereograms
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Raumklang Music (@)
Rated: *****
After an appearance on "Silent Reflections", the debut release by German musician Kai Christian Hahnewald's side-project Talvekoidik, where she dropped some piano lines into a couple of tracks, and a number of collaborations, classical trained but electronics-struck Italian dj, musician and graphic designer Elda Di Matteo starts her personal project Alteranima up by means of a very good album whose title sets a spot-on reference to those seemingly confused images based on stereopsis for binocular vision, known as stereograms or SIRDS, which offer the possibility to experience the perception of depth on bimensional drawing by changing the focal point, which sometimes required the crossing of eyes and some frustration to those observers who didn't manage to see anything. The connection with that technique is quite clear while listening her music, which covers a wide range of emotional states by inoculating piano melodies, bleeping crumbs or puffed pad-synths into cleverly fractured electronic rhythms, which somewhow renders the above-mentioned drawings where evocative soundscapes seem to got extruded from overlapping grids of electronic pinpricks, excoriated metallic thuds and laminar cuts. In order to have a rough idea of what you're going to listen, you can imagine a crossbreed between Gridlock, Proem or Beefcake sonic architectures and some progressive ambient-trance acts such as Aes Dana, Carbon Based Lifeform or Hol Baumann where Elda embellished a winsome electronic syntax by means of sonic propellants and tempered tunes, which often sound like tickling clouds by electromechanical tentacles. I particularly enjoyed tracks like "Open Wide", Expanding Mind", "Pixelechoes" or "Lucid Dream", where the second reagent got highlighted. The release includes a couple of remixes of "Expanding Mind" - while Stendeck seems to have dehydrated rhythmical pattern by cushioned hits, Autoclav1.1 shrines inner melody of the original version towards empyrean pinnacles and extracts an unexpected cosmic-rock ride -, the heady sequence of inoculated precise cuts and vitreous blistering by Rob Lioy aka Access To Arasaka on his remix of "Inner Silence" and the magnetic blurring of "Lucid Dream" by Talvekoidik.

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