Music Reviews



Ital Tek: Control EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jan 03 2014
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Artist: Ital Tek (@)
Title: Control EP
Format: 12"
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
All those listeners who appreciated last year album "Nebula Dance" by phenomenal beat juggler Alan Myson aka Ital Tek will easily notice that in spite of the sonic filiation of this amazing tidbit with the above-mentioned album, it's really hasty to nonchalantly consider "Control" just as a kind of doppelganger or a recapitulartory revision of the above-mentioned album as Ital Tek more distinctly channeled active ingredients of his distinctive upgrade of Chicago-rooted juke sonorities on this new miscellanous stylish soup: for example, the whirling synth-driven arpeggio on "Challenger Deep", which opens B-side, could remind the one of "Pixel Haze", but Alan seems to highlight this element by reducing the percussive ones to a desiccated, toneless and almost lo-fi hit and chained snips and the melodic emblazonment to occasional inserts of bi-tonal chords, the short ambient-lke track "Doom/Dream" or the reverie of the interlude "Zero" could remind "Discontinuum" from "Nebula Dance", but without any trace of the micro-taps, which sound echoed on "Violet", another peak of this release where someone could have the impression of listening a possible remix of Art Of Noise's "Moments In Love " by Burial, or on the title-track itself, which unexpectedly evolves into something hanging between juke bumps and airy dubstep. "Control" cannot be considered a sterile proof of concept, but a set of eight further bodies of evidence which testifies Ital Tek's sonic fluency by coming to a point where he manages to infer new hands by shuffling the same cards and switching stylistical stitches.

Miracle: Mercury

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 29 2013
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Artist: Miracle (@)
Title: Mercury
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
It's not the first time I diagnose that there's love-in-the-air syndrome within esteemed Paradinas' label as Miracle could be considered the outcome of an artistic and musical love by American electronic composer Steve Moore and British multi-instumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan, which blossomed during a tour of respective bands: O'Sullivan used to be the leading voice and the "electronic" recipe of Guapo, whose excellent recent release "History Of The Visitation" on Cuneiform, the first which followed the departure of Daniel, has some trace of his visitation yet, while the skittish Steve Moore was touring with Anthony "Majeure" Paterra as a leg of Zombi. After their meeting, they kept on flirting on Internet by which they exchanged ideas and files and forged the tracks of this good album by adding arrangments and enhancements, which preceded the definitive studio recording, which can be reasonably considered a proper upgrade of 80ies synth-pop rather than a calque in spite of the more or less recognizable similarities and influences. A sort of exegesis of the title "Mercury" could be the pretext to show some features of Miracle's debut album: "Mercury" could be a reference to the smallest planet of Solar System as well as the closest to our star, whose proximity eminently conditions its magnetic shield and its visibility from our planet or to the notoriously Greek messenger of Gods due to his winged footwear and helmet. Both interpretations could be related to some features of their synth-driven sound, whose divine halo is unavoidably magnetic and seems to be derived by a lofty perception and a certain detahcment from human recurring dynamics, but I can guess the above-mentioned possible interpretations could refer to the audio equipment, or at least to a part of it, which paved they way for the lovely cosmic route they offer to the listeners, as I'm pretty sure Steve Moore could have used a Prophet 5 or maybe a Prophet 600 to notch the long sonic chains of each song - and phophets are commonly considered a messenger of gods just like Mercury... - and the lyrics of the title-track seem to run on such an ambivalence. Many reviewers insisted on the similarities between the sound of Miracle and the one by Depeche Mode, which can maybe be reminded by some tracks of the first part of the album - the initial "Good Love", "Neverending Arc 1" or "Falling Into The Night"- even if they could be remind more stuff by former Depeche Mode-collaborator Bomb Da Bass at most, but the strongest influences I can perceive are the ones by some cosmic knights of late 70ies and 80ies, italo-house or some scorer of horror and sci-fi movies such as Claudio Simonetti due to some resemblances on the synth-organ attacks, but I can ultimately say that the sterling and upright way Miracle pop astronauts up is somehow original and so intriguing that many listeners will wish for a follow-up of "Mercury".

Maps and Diagrams: In Circles

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 27 2013
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Artist: Maps and Diagrams
Title: In Circles
Format: CD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
"In Circles" is the second release for Alameda-based Time Released Sound, whose strictly limited editions combine very finely hand crafted packaging and likewise refined mostly ambient and folk music, and the fifth one in 2013 by one of the most appreciated stretcher of frequencies within the packed ambient scene, the brilliant sound alchemist Tim Martin, mainly known in the guise of Maps and Diagrams. There are seemingly many similarities between "In Circles" and "Get Lost", its previous album on TRS, due to the instantaneous emotional impact of each track, the dilution of any sonic appearances into lengthened frequency, a vague sense of bygone nostalgia and an all-absorbing vibrant nimbus, but apart from the refiniment of Martin's way of blending and layering sounds, which usually characterizes his stuff, a careful listening reveals a more meticulous attention to details on dynamics. All the tracks of "In Circles" sounds like transmissions from somehow blurred and mostly celestial places which gves just some tanglible clues in the "real" one and can only be explored in a dream state: the aural breeze on the initial "Talavera" sounds like springing its sonic emissions (including a distant airy piano melody) up and pouring them into the following "Bosque" where what seems to be an elongated church organ swathes the whole track by a kind of holy effulgence, the vaguely bucolic escape in slow motion of "Valargo" and the sweet lapse of "Ten Black Cards", which precedes the heavenly transmissions of the breathtaking "Kimura (Cadiz)". One of the better chiseled moment of the album comes with "A Bump In The Night", where the initial guitar phrasing seems to slide into a fictional dimension by tunefully weaving together a beaming sound before its fade-out and similar dynamics where an instrumental element got fully imbibed by aural sonorities or aural transfigurations of exogenous stimulations occur on "Batika (Rust)" or the enchanting "Madrid (Orion)", which could be considered as necessary sonic steps towards totally ethereal episodes like "Locus (AB)" or "1895 (Moth Evolution)". Even if there some connections with Spain, including the voice by Spanish guests I am Dive on the lovely final song "Yesterday" and the antique ornate silkscreened Spanish cork wallpapers for the artwork of the deluxe version (only 70 copies), each "physical" entity got always mirrored by a sort of sidereal twin.
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Artist: Phantom Love (@)
Title: Crave For Lust
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ZerOKilled Music (@)
Rated: *****
Rome-based producer Valentina Fanigliulo, better known as Mushy, already had been introduced and praised on this space when she signed a collaborative release with Peter M. dedicated to the first movie by Alejandro Jodorowsky as well as her debut release "Faded Heart" in the guise of Mushy, which got described as the most convincing answer by American artists such as Zola Jesus and Tamaryn. Supposedly anticipated by same-named track on the single "My Love So Far", Phantom Love is Valentina's most recent moniker for an instrumental project, where despite she let her voice stand, she keeps on lingering on influences from dark music classics and horror movie soundtracks (particularly John Carpenter's ones), which have been melted with skeletal 4/4 pulsations and witch-house nuances. The initial "Crave For Lust" sounds like the perfect sonic glazing agent for the rendering of a cliff-hanger-like feeling by means of dry claps, scratched chords, crystalline dripping and an otherwordly electronic horn, whereas the stridency between seemingly opposite elements got highlighted on the following "Power And Passion", where a sort of spectral rattling fluctuates within distant creaking noises, translucent sonic bends and a muffled movement, whose intrinsic magnetic effulgence more clearly erupts on "Dead Illusion", the last track of this mouthwatering EP.

Max Cooper & Tom Hodge: Fragmented Self - Part 2

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 24 2013
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Artist: Max Cooper & Tom Hodge (@)
Title: Fragmented Self - Part 2
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: FIELDS
Rated: *****
If you enjoyed the first part of "Fragmented Self" by Max Cooper and Tom Hodge I spoke about some days ago, I'm pretty sure this second part will be the proper cherry on top of a pear-brandy soaked cake for many listeners whose ardrums and minds have been titillated by its pedecessor. There's only a new track by this guessed musical twosome, "Amorphous Romance", whose remarkable crescendo departs from a delicate raw solo piano by Hodge whose both rhythmical and "dramatic" accelerations got gradually ramped up by well-broken electronic particles, aerostatic light breezes, seraphic laments and a delicate pitapat by Cooper's machines, which manage to emphasize the abstract beauty of the track. The piano melody seems to have been completely absorbed by processing machines in the stunning d'n'b-oriented remix by British producer Jermaine Soul. "Von der Klippe Fallen" from their the first part of "Fragmented Self" is going to come as a bonus track for all those ones who are going to buy this release on iTunes.


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