Music Reviews



Kshatriy: From Heart to Heart

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 17 2013
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Artist: Kshatriy (@)
Title: From Heart to Heart
Format: CD
Label: Muzyka Voln (@)
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Kshatriy's work, so I was interested to see where this would take us. The label describes the album this way: 'This time everything takes place in utterly deep space, in the immense emptiness that contains the whole world. Swinging on slow waves which shimmer in all possible colours we contemplate monumental galactic metamorphoses. Slowly unwinding are the tight spirals of synthesizer drone, rhythmic patterns pulsate and emotional melodies are cut with rare flashes of voice samples. Smoothly flows the sound, charged with energy, transmitting the experience of self-awareness from the musician to the listener... from heart to heart.' This is the sound of worlds slowly falling apart - creaks and groans echo over spacey synth drones. There are vocals, but they are buried so far into the mix that they seem to be there mainly for atmosphere. There is no lyric sheet, so figuring them out may be a fool's errand. Overall this is outstanding dark ambient, but it is not all just drone. Solar Wind, for example, features percussion, which gives the track a feeling of movement. As with the previous release, this would be quite at home on Cyclic Law or Malignant Records. It seems that Russia is quickly becoming a center for stunning dark ambient. This disc is limited to 500 copies, so you'll want to pick it up. This album weighs in at around 60 minutes.

Radium88: Escaping Tomorrow

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 17 2013
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Artist: Radium88 (@)
Title: Escaping Tomorrow
Format: CD
Label: Lotek
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Radium88's 'Only Science Can Tell Us the Truth,' so I had some idea of what I was in for. That album was pleasant trancey psychedelic music, and Escaping Tomorrow seems to continue on that trajectory. Their website describes the album thus: 'Nocters and oceans, born of the science of man. Partly heady vocals. Partly instrumental. Splashes of orchestral colour from live strings, cornet and clarinet. Crystalline pure angelic vocals soaring effortlessly above a landscape of science. If you like it, splendid. If not, that's ok too. In the future there will be no need for explanation...' This reminds me of mid-90's Delerium, with its calm, peaceful synth work and ethereal female vocals, although with a lot more processing to them. There is some beat here, but it is not really something that you're going to dance with. Some of the tracks go with the futuristic feel, such as 'The Unerring Certainty of Mechanism,' which has a fun sample where many sentences start with 'in the future' with random predictions about future life. However, it all starts to seem a bit too similar as the album progresses. This album weighs in at around 65 minutes.

Worms of the Earth: Azal’ucel

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 17 2013
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Artist: Worms of the Earth (@)
Title: Azal’ucel
Format: CD
Label: Industry 8 (@)
Rated: *****
The liner notes explain that 'Azal'ucel is the sigillic word formula of Azazel and Lucifer. As this is the initiator and God form of the Path of Sorcery, Lucifer is the illuminator of the soul, the one who allows the magician to unveil the Light of Self. This rite is designed to provide an inspired working of invoking Azal'ucel, from which one shall seek communion with their Higher Self. As one comes into contact with the entity, an illuminated sense of self emerges and a new type of path may begin to develop.' This, combined with the mystical layout (by Salt), gives some sense of the kind of music that you're about to experience. I was pleasantly surprised when the CD started; this is considerably different from the last Worms of the Earth CD I reviewed, 'The Angels of Prostitution.' We begin with some powerful percussion, clattering metal, and ethereal female vocals which give way to lush synth lines. Imagine if In Slaughter Natives collaborated with Love Spirals Downward. But don't try slipping this into your friend's ambient collection just yet. Tracks like 'Fork-Tongued Priests At Black Gehanna Again Speak My Name' have an unsettling feel to them, kind of like old Lustmord, with its noisy, spacy dark ambience. The lilting guitar line halfway through also provides an interesting counterpoint in this track. There is a remarkable amount of atmosphere to this album, with tracks like 'Drawing The Twelve Sigils of Set-heh' evoking a kind of Lovecraftian scene with a woman chanting in what sounds like Latin over a noisy soundscape. Once again, juxtaposition is key here, as her calm intoning mixes with the somewhat chaotic atmosphere. Overall, this is an interesting disc of ritualistic dark ambience; I concur with the label that fans of Raison D'Etre will likely be interested in this. When I saw tracks like 'Tearing Down The Christian Pantheon,' I expected the usual 'more evil than thou' approach, but this was much more subtle than the usual black metal influenced screaming. This is a major move forward for Worms of the Earth in complexity and approach. This album weighs in at around 71 minutes and is limited to 300 hand-numbered copies, so if you want one, you'll want to get it before it's gone.

Michel Banabila: Sum Dark 12

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 17 2013
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Artist: Michel Banabila (@)
Title: Sum Dark 12
Format: CD
Label: Tapu Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is interesting dark ambient with a beat. "Crowds" is a pulsating, rhythmic piece with crowd samples woven throughout. "Eyes of the Witness" keeps the beat moving, but this time a bit more traditionally. At some points, such as "Sumdark 12," it is pretty minimal, which actually works for this disc. "The Empire in Transition" is also a peaceful bit of droning soundscape. About half the disc is taken up by a live recording from "Summer Darkness 2012." We begin this set with a live version of "Crowds," but it is a bit more intense in the live version. The second part of the live set began as a simple beat-driven track that reminded me at times of old Plastikman and then got more gritty as it progressed. Overall this was a pretty good live set. This album weighs in at around 49 minutes.

Charles-Eric Charrier: C 6 GIG

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 11 2013
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Artist: Charles-Eric Charrier
Title: C 6 GIG
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
I don't really think that the very extended play - one untitled track which lasts more than forty-five minutes - of this self-named release by one of M.A.N.'s legs Charles-Eric Charrier is a blemish in spite of the fact that some passages could sound a little bit repetitive as I'd rather say that such a repetition favors the assimilation of his interesting approach to sound and emphasizes the somewhat ritual shadings that some sonic elements (particularly a sort of padded gong - almost permanently in the background -, which could vaguely remind the ritual halo of some stuff by Z'EV) evoke. The dropping initial metallic clicks, which resemble the lamellae of music boxes' steel combs, seem to prick the surface of the sonic sphere which bleeds poltergeists of deeply low frequencies and outlined arrangements by enlarging its pores till the moment when some purulences got occasionally lumped by unstable sonic equilibriums. The succession of deadening reprises, unpredictable interferences, gurgles of very low tones, spadeworks of dull thuds which seem to come from obscure recesses of different resounding elements and the scrupulous sound-design make this listening suite quite absorbing.


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