Music Reviews



Cold Body Radiation: A Clear Path

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 15 2014
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Artist: Cold Body Radiation
Title: A Clear Path
Format: CD
Label: Dusktone (@)
Rated: *****
The label presents this release as 'a deeply personal work of loss, honesty and hope' featuring a 'new focus on songs structure and personal lyrics'. However, this album sound as a single track in nine movements as the basic formula, an almost inaudible voice buried upon layers of guitar and synth, is repeated in all track but, instead of being static or repetitive, develops his ideas in a remarkable clear way resulting in one of the most enjoyable listening of the year, even if is a demanding one.
The tracks, without a title, reveals a structure of mesmerizing beauty: from the first track, where the almost inaudible voice upon the dreamy lines of synth and the guitar mass set the scene into a menacing but bucolic soundscape to the last one, where the guitars flows between the overtones and the melodic path. In between sounds, there's quieter tracks like the second and the fifth, that seems almost an instrumental pop track, and noisier one, like the sixth and the seventh, where the synth and the distortions of the guitar set the musical palette.
This release isn't exactly a ground-breaking one as his musical form is well routed into his influences but the quality of the musical writing is of first class. Every fan will enjoy this release in an endless loop. Recommended.

Glowicka & Walentynowicz: Red Sun

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 13 2014
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Artist: Glowicka & Walentynowicz (@)
Title: Red Sun
Format: CD
Label: Bôłt Records/ARTEksounds (@)
Rated: *****
"Frost. Morning frost awoke me reaching under the covers.". These words are the incipit of the short story that Kasia Glowicka, the brilliant media artists which co-signed this entrancing musical suite together with pianist Malgorzata Walentynowicz, which seems to tell a romantic reverie where the main balls on the sky we see from this point of the universe often interfere with inner journeys of a romanticized sequence of happenings where temporary perceptions triggers different zones and seemingly forgotten recesses of the soul. Besides emotional clefts, these Polish girls wisely explores the stylistical choke points of a possible junction between classical music, ambient and minimalism by means of elegant and somewhat adventurous where the delightful piano melodies got striated by blurred tones, sudden sprays of bells, electronic drafts, distant rustles like reflections of lunar light on the rough water of the sea or an imaginary recce over Klimt's "The Kiss", which got mentioned in Kasia's storytelling. The mellifluous intermittence of emotional evocations can be clearly appreciated on the longest suites of the album such as "Presence", the heart rending dedication to Polis composer and pianist Tomasz Sikorski, an authentic source of inspiration for Kasia Glowicka, who already took part to a tribute release on Bolt Records, where she described Sikorski's minimalism by a meanignful description ("Sikorski's minimalism was unique to any of these native and foreign influences. He was a philosopher-minimalist concerned with the meditative properties of his compositions. His philosophy could be as well paraphrased by Queen's existential Bohemian Rhapsody - "nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters..." On the other hand, literally every note matters in his distinct minimalist style. It is here that I've identified most strongly with Sikorski's longing for brutal beauty. In this space, one can go so far as to be intentionally painful."), the lovely "Red Sun" or the bittersweet melancholia of "Retina", but the shortest tracks such as the fibrillating "Favola", the baleful "Absence" or the opening "Sun Spot" follows such a guessed compositional strategy.
Jul 10 2014
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Artist: Gintas K (@)
Title: Nota Demo
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I was a little surprised to find a release by appreciated Lithuanian electronic producer Gintas Kraptavicius - we interviewed him on the occasion of the release of "Slow" for Baskaru - on the pack of records from Portuguese label Creative Sources, even if this record could be thought as an interesting assay of computer-driven improvisation. Most of the sounds have been squeezed from Bidule, an amazing modular environment by Canadian audio software company Plogue Art et Technologie Inc.: the sonorities are closer to some 60ies electronic music, but in between more or less regular computational sequences, which sometimes sound like having been crumbled, other sonic entities such as bells, spurts, gushes, gurgles and rifts suddenly appear and stain any electronic eddies. You could imagine this release as the workout of a lively kid who plays on a gigantic control panel with a plenty of mysterious knobs, bright buttons and levers or you could imagine it came from the translation of the sonic language of a computer, who got drunk after its liquid cooling system was filled with vodka.

The Twentieth Century: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 10 2014
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Artist: The Twentieth Century (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: mosz (@)
Rated: *****
From the stylistical viewpoint, "The Twentieth Century" seems to begin like some sonic marks of the beginning of twentyfirst one as the very first convective movements of sound frequencies of this one-take recording that Wien-based duo by cellist Lukas Lauermann and guitarist Pieter Gabriel decided to record in an improvised pop-up studio in the workshop of an auto painter in the Austrian capital city with the aid of recoridng engineer Stefan Deisenberg could let you surmise some stuff by Stars of the Lid or William Basinski, which evoke sorrowful and somewhat aloof thining caps about chief systems and universal entropy. Little by little, the opening suite "A Slow Descent" whose airflows seem to delicately move the surrounding elements of the recording room such as windows and doors, which are listenable entities in the drone-like sonic stream, sounds like permeating any single particle of the environment by its radiant energy. The electroacoustic ingredient of their delicious recipe protrudes on the puckered chords and the ice scraping of the interstitial track "No Light From The Surface", which precedes the dimmer hues of the cathartic final "Pulled", where a breath of frozen air and a somber cell emphasizes the following sonic psychodrama by means of a warming symphonic clasp, which turns into a sort of flattening deluge. The sound of a snorkel at the end of the track sounds like a rescue, which could save listener from the emotional drowning these musicians managed to render.

Xumla: Statix

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 07 2014
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Artist: Xumla
Title: Statix
Format: CD
Label: Audiobulb (@)
Rated: *****
According to the press notes 'Xumla likes to produce naivety within sound' and, instead of being a catchy phrase for marketing purpose, is the most pure definition for this release. His musical outcome is similar to the ones released by artist like Sawako that remains in a fragile balance between experimental sounds and an outcome similar to the heritage of watercolor paintings.
The small sounds of 'Morni' introduce the listener in a quiet environment and 'Neverphone' continues the journey with grace and 'Dancin' dust' sounds like a form of avant-garde carillon. The drones of 'Statix' mark a development in the release so 'Roof talks' continues the search for a musical model where calm doesn't mean static. The rhythmic noises of 'Another sky' begin the second part of this release where the musical parts of the first tracks start to evolve in a new form. However 'Chinese toy' returns to more familiar paths and 'El sol y de gran altura' and 'Atoms heart' continue the use of drones. While 'Zima' and 'One-eyed girl' reveal some drum'n bass influence. 'Outro' quietly closes this release with sparse notes of piano.
Perhaps this release isn't ground breaking but sounds like a warm blanket in a winter evening, a sort of reassuring charming entity. A really nice release.


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