Music Reviews

Dec 24 2013
Artist: Annie Hall (@)
Title: Random Paraphilia
Format: 12"
Label: Detroit Underground
Distributor: Complete
Rated: *****
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, the notorious classification of mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, which can be considered the sacred book of psychology, psychopatology and psychiatry, described paraphilia as the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects. You can expect somewhat manic or morbid sonorities from an album which quotes paraphilias in the title as well as related matters to name its tracks, but Madrid-born, but Detroit-based, dj and producer Annie Hall, partner of Detroit Undergroud multidisciplinary arts collective boss Kero, manages to evoke a sort of poetic abstract related to this supposedly mental disorder by means of mellow edulcorations of electronic-hop lumps of fractured rhythmical patterns and compressed percussions, which could resemble some stuff by Funkstorung on the initial "DSM-5" or "Bandit 28930", a track which features Shadow Huntaz on mic - Annie's style is somehow analogous to Shadow Huntaz's excellent output "Dark Matter" -, some lovey-dovery sprains of abstract and glitch-IDM sonorities by producers like Metamatics or Solvent on the planed excrescences of "Foihtreiu", the delicious contrasts of "Symphora", where electromechanical evulliences reaches their pinnacle and got smoothed by liquid synth pokes and entranced vocals by Annie herself, and the sweet strictures of "Sada Abe", which sounds like the romantic sonic portrait of the notorious Japanese assassin, who strangled his lover Kichizo Ishida before cutting off his privates, which she held inside her handbag. Annie's sonorities cannot but stimulate Richard Devine's flair, who put before high-compression treatment "Bandit 28930", the most cacophonous episode of the release, as well as the panache for acidulous processing by Valence "MusSck" Drakes, who gripped and unraveled "DSM-5", while Gerard E.R.P. Hanson marvelously highlights the elegiacally melodic segments of "Sada Abe" on his surprising remix.

M.B., Massimo Croce, DBPIT and XxeNa: ISOMETRIE SONORE

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 22 2013
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Artist: M.B., Massimo Croce, DBPIT and XxeNa (@)
Format: 12"
Label: Arte Nel Rumore | GattoAlieno (@)
Rated: *****
In the presentation of this release, the postface written by Maurizio Bianchi, this release is based around a geometrical concept: the preservation of the sonic distance between the metrical spaces that, in musical terms, are the sonic ideas of the participants. 'Isometrie sonore' is an album that collect four collaboration of M.B. with some of the most obscure entities of italian industrial: DBPIT, XxeNa (already known for their 'drawings at an exhibition' release) and Maurizio Croce.
Perhaps the best way to approach this release is starting with the limited edition tape 'Artemisio' featuring four track from each of the participant to this release: 'Biettiva' is the track from M.B. and is a dialogue between two mono track low volume noise track so there's a stereo track that seems a blend between musical opposite: noise and lowercase. 'People', the track from DBPIT, is based around a trumpet line above a soundscape made of bells and synth vaguely resembling the most experimental Death in June tracks. 'Erama', the track from XxeNa, is the most industrial like with her use of declamatory vocals and small noises. 'Oblomizzati', the track from Maurizio Croce, is the most dark ambient like creating a cold soundscape. Oddly enough every track is louder from his predecessor as the quieter is from M.B..
The proper release, a vinyl one, features four collaboration '01' is between M.B. and XxeNa and is a clear ambient tune in the vein of the quieter period of M.B. from his '90 return. '02' is between M.B. and DBPIT and is opened by a martial noisy beat suddenly juxtaposed by a small noise that round between the channels. and ends with a dialogue between the lines exposed during the track. '03' is between M.B. and Massimo Croce and is a soundscape based on drones. '04', the track on the b side is a collaboration between the four musicians and seems the sum of the musical ideas of the tape as is the sum of small beats (of DBPIT), a soundscape (from Massimo Croce), small noises (from M.B.) and vocal lines and samples (from XxeNa).
In some way this release seems more a solo release from M.B. with some guests rather than a true collaboration, perhaps because he's a musical influence for his collaborators however is impressive to hear new musical ideas from an artist with so many years of activity. Absolute respect.

Papillon: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 20 2013
Artist: Papillon
Title: s/t
Format: 12"
Label: Discrepant (@)
Rated: *****
"Unquestionably the greatest adventure of escape ever filmed", the stentorian voice for the trailer of Franklin J. Schaffner's screen adaptation, starring a young Dustin Hoffmann and a magnificent Steve McQueen, of the notorious memoir "Papillon" by Henry Charriere about his incredible escape from a penal colony in French Guyana after he was wrongly convicted of murder in France. Besides the dispute regarding the truthfulness and the authenticity of that story, as many critics argued that some episodes could have been the fictional adaptation of other fellow fugitives of the alleged author, Discrepant label manager Goncalo F.Cardoso takes a stab at turning that best-seller into sound by means of his lo-fi synthesizers with the precious support of edited acoustic recordings by Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong, Cedric Stevens' raw and digitally treated analogue modulators and David Naan, who sprayed his drums on the visionary "La Cavale Des Chinois" after the psychedelic recordings of a sung poetry from Khmu, Laos by Kink Gong. Many moments of that fascinating and fantastic quest for freedom, its dramatic turn of events, the incredible vicissuteds and the (treu and simulated) psychological fallouts of the fugitive Papillon who tried to escape from confinement whose exotic location sounds like the better paroxysm of the assumed moral preening of Western civilization got rendered by a wide selection of cracked noises, augmented field recordings, amazing foley art effects, sudden synth jams, modular synthesis and sinister echoes, which reaches remarkably high peaks of quixotic and visionary power, so that listeners could feel themselves like having been immersed into a mesmerizing pool where shamanism, esoteric hallucinations, fever deliriums, lucid dreaming and near death experiences have been blended into a sonic cauldron or a possible sensory overload, which is going to hold your breath and feed your imagination from the initial claustrophobic feeling of reclusion of "Un Radeau Dans Un Tombe" till the final illusory emancipation of "Le Chemin De La Pourriturre".

Nian Dub: Aftermath 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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Dec 19 2013
Artist: Nian Dub (@)
Title: Aftermath EP
Format: 12"
Label: NBAudio (@)
Rated: *****
Another next big thing from fibrillating Mancunian drum'n'bass scene, which is recently kicking up its heels, comes from newborn label NB Audio again, which fires a good shoot by enlisting the debut release of Nian Dub, a two-headed project by O'Neill brothers, Rory aka Runes and Tim aka iLLtone, who showed an excellent four of a kind down by means of four talented collaborators on this special occasion: the venomous mc and lyricist Mr.Fox, who spits fire over the flagged title-track on a foggy dub-spotted tune, whose knappering sonorities could remind some stuff by Stereotyp and The Bug, Gareth "Semiotix" Leeds, who coals the fast-running percussive train of "Antaeus", Dan Tasker, who paws the gorgeous "Jazz Craft", the typical dnb tune which let your hands in the pocket before straining knees and neurons, and, last but not least, rasta singjay Kuntri "Lion King" Ranks, who brings his voice on the markedly dub song "Almighty Dub", but dancehall lions will loudly roar on dnb arena on the tracks with no feats such as the massive "Deliverance" where Nian Dub sounds like having passed the mic to an angry neurasthenic cat after surrounding him by means of a deluge of breaks, which evoke those golden age when people like Goldie or Bad Company melted dnb with furious junglism soups, and "Step Out", where haunting electronic dub primers trigger an interesting miscelleanea of sonic contaminations.