Music Reviews

Hati: Zero Coma Zero + Recycled Magick Emissions

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 04 2013
Artist: Hati
Title: Zero Coma Zero + Recycled Magick Emissions
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is a reissue of two limited edition CD-R released in 2005. 'Zero Coma Zero' constructed by Dariusz WojtaÅ and RafaÅ IwaÅski using ritual instruments (Tibetan and Indian bells, cymbals, horns and pipes) combined with discarded utility objects recovered from the junkyard (scrap metal, plastic tubes, screws and bolts etc) and 'Recycled Magick Emissions' where they used only recycled instruments (gongs, cymbals and barrels). They don't use electronic processing to create a sort of void for the development of sound with an almost ritual and meditative purpose.
While 'zero' opens this release with horns and pipes, 'animal' features a ritual beat that is colored by small noises and horns in the second part of the track. 'Homines' is a centered upon a drone and 'templum' upon small metallic found sounds created with objects. 'Aqua' uses extensively the metallic resonances of cymbals while 'V' uses bamboo pipes and 'Y' features the wood for the construction of the beat thus passing from a clear ambient soundscape to more ritual one using almost the same instruments. 'Anima' is a long dialog of a noisy beat, made perhaps from recycled plastics, and clear tones made by cymbals. The percussions of 'coma' close this release that is a statement of how a record could be vary using a small palette of tones and a structure, remarkable.
'Recycled Magick Emissions' features instead three tracks: '0' that is constructed upon layers of metallic resonances created with gong and cymbals, '1' created with berrels with a noisy sound and '2' that juxtaposes the two sound source in search of dialogue. Perhaps less adventurous than his companion but is a confirmation of the quality of this musical offer. A project to (re)discover.
Nov 03 2013
Artist: John Wizards (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
This new satellite, which entered the orbit of Mike Paradinas's Planet Mu, reflects the gorgeous vibrations of the shining and engaging sonorities of some amazing musical styles of South-Eastern Africa and, besides representing a praiseworthy epitome of musical integration, is undoubtedly one of the best musical hybridization of the year, whose pulpy fruit followed the meeting of Rwandan refugee Emmanuel Nzaramba, the voice of John Wizards, and 25-year-old musician John Withers, who was noticed by his partner-in-art with his guitar on his back while Emmanuel was working as a car guard outside a coffee shop in Cape Town where he moved to become a musician. On that occasion John told Emmanuel that he was looking for a voice for the music he was writing, but they met again a year later when John moved to a new apartment on Loop Street nearby Emmanual's home by chance, a fortuity which got poured into this wonderful album, whose combination of champer pop, r'n'b and guessed electronic treatments on one side and genres like South African Mbaqanga and Kwaito, Zimbabwean Sangura and Shangaan or Congolese rumba is so charming that it doesn't sound like a poncey exotic stretching. The listening experience they offer is pleasing from the initial "Tek Lek Schrempf", where a blissful waltz sounds like sliding into a frisky tribal dance which involves listeners by means of an eccentric weave of handclaps, conch shells, curly electronics and pitched-up guitar riffs, to the final "Friend", where a subtle dubbing on Emmanual's song and a lulling harp-like guitar goes back over Mali's meditative music. Even when the influence of "western" music is more audible - on tracks like the delicate r'n'b of "Jamieo", the diluition with post-rock-scenting pearls of "LEUK" or the housey "Durvs", which almost quotes early British techno -, there's a sort of fragrancy of homemade genuine stuff which doesn't tamper with the balanced harmonic symbiosis of the record. I'm quite surprised by the fact that this dainty record has not received the exposure that it deserves yet.

Kajkyt: II

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 02 2013
Artist: Kajkyt
Title: II
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: GOD Records (@)
Rated: *****
Besides the sepulchral and cryptic vocals (sounding more cryptic as I don't know a Serbian word to be honest, even if I could guess he's not singing about carefree jaunts, harvest festivals or love games...), the very first song of this album by Serbian-born, but currently living in Graz, Austria, composer Slobodan Kajkut aka Kajkyt made me thought about an obsidian variation of Radiohead's "National Anthem" or some imaginary remix of some stuff by Unkle by witch-house rising stars like AAimon or Lustmord, due to the easier structure this interesting composer applied to his sonorities. Such a gimmick doesn't alter both the elliptical halo of his stuff, which heavily draws from his past and current projects - Slobodan contributed to regroup English industrial seminal band Sleeping Dogs Wake as well as Daine Lakain's voice Alexander Veljanov's project Porta Macedonia by performing on the record and on the occasion of the album tour, which was brought all over Germany and on notorious stages such as the ones of M'era Luna and Wave Gothic Treffen - as well as from seemingly different stylistical fields by holding downtempo, illbient, drone, noise, Byzantine chant and dark ambient doors ajar all over a record which alternates hefty industrial clashes, industrial ("IV") and trip-hop ("VII") inoculations, dull thuds onto sinisterly obscure cones of silence, trepanning guitars or piercing low frequencies, which sound somewhat menacingly spooky on tracks like "I", "V" or "VI", and stifling stridencies. All these sonic entities lift nebulous dazes around Kajkyt's voice, which is maybe the most striking active ingredient of this dark-soaked mash. It's a shame I don't understand Serbian in order to appreciate lyrical content of this release, which deserves a listening anyway.

Hooved: Timeless EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 31 2013
Artist: Hooved
Title: Timeless EP
Format: 12"
Label: AMAM (@)
Distributor: Intergroove
Rated: *****
The metronomic 2-step incipit of "TMLSS1" over a 15-minutes lasting pelting of sonic entities such as a sort of plastic rubbing, a small sample of vinylic hiss, which sounds like the first sparkle of a primer, popping claps whose mechanical sequence could let you think about the forcing of a deadbolt lock, occasional slackening swirls, spotty quavering high-notes which are often used in movies to announce an upcoming hazard and harmonic outcrops till the final and somehow unexpected parching, imprints a slight metamorphosis of the sound by Italian dj and producer Gaetano Vinci aka Hooved, even if such a mutation doesn't completely camouflage its devotional passion for some past Detroitesque sonorities (particularly Derrick May, The Martian and Richie Hawtin), which more clearly emerge on the lulling techno frame-up of the second movement of this EP as well as on the third one (a digital bonus), whose hypnotical looped vocals repeating "I think I might have something you would enjoy over at my house..." on a tolling of synth low-bells, subcutaneous kicks and nice bleeping clicks which emphasize the fourth beat of the rhythmical pattern reprise recurring stunts of Detroit tech-house. You'll also find a nice remix of the track by living legend of minimal techno Thomas Brinkmann, who manages to highlight "Timeless"' danceable prompts and turn it into a proper hit by inoculating a vial of symphony as well.

Mountain Black: Closing In

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 28 2013
Artist: Mountain Black (@)
Title: Closing In
Format: CD
Label: Moozak
Distributor: A-Musik
Rated: *****
It's not so difficult to realize that Melbourne-based sound artist and sound designer Martin Kay in the guise of Mountain Black knows many fictional tools which belongs to movie soundtracks and narrations in general, but the lack of precise space and time handhold and visual references subtend the intent of remove any narrative plot from its sonic art, which stands on an amalgamation of processed found sounds, field recordings and drone by means of cross-synthesis processing techniques and digital editing programs. Such a choice could floor many followers of this branch of sonic experiments since many sound artists who deal with field recordings are trying to render a sort of narrative line or let their arts move within the fences of conceptual frameworks at least, so that this purge by Martin could be the best invitation to sharpen ears as if they got outfitted by powerful receptors which can grab the slightest vibrations of resounding particles. However many listeners could fall into temptation of building a sort of narration due to the sonic clues that Martin Kay's astonishing sound modelling and the interceptions of his contact mics provide such as the intriguing dichotomy between "Diegetic" and "Non-Diegetic", a couple of tracks which refers to the role of sounds in films: when a character of the movie or a fiction in general can listen sounds, you can say that sound is diegetic, while on the other hand when the sound (for instance soundtrack itself) cannot be heard by the character, it is termed non diegetic or extra-diegetic. Mountain Black's translation of this concepts is absolutelly interesting: while "Diegetic" features the "usual" well-recorded insects, birds, burning pyres and other almost imperceptibles sonic elements that the "storyteller" can listen, "Non-Diegetic" seems to have been recorded while the key player falls in a light and disturbed sleep while watching TV. The above-mentioned temptation could be fed by some logical and sonic chains as well, such as it happens for the two parts of "Glass Eaters" (a sonic translation of hyalophagia?), the two detached sonic inputs of "Waiting Room" (a distant vocal noise and a white squall), which flow into the following "Messin", and the almost silent "Bind", which seems to be a sort of preface of "Non-Diegetic", but any chance of narrative cohesion cannot be but delegated to the imagination of listeners. I recommend a closer look (and a closer listen) to Mountain Black's website in order to understand both aesthetics and "poetics" as well.

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