Music Reviews



The Necks: Open

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 03 2014
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Artist: The Necks (@)
Title: Open
Format: CD
Label: ReR Megacorp (@)
Rated: *****
Any stylistical or technical dissection of the one-track album by renowned Australian improv trio The Necks which cannot highlight and envision the mere emotional hook on listener's soul would be an aberration or just an avoidable understatement and even if "Open" seems to go back over the course of their first ambient-jazz elongations, such an approach sounds fit for the purpose of speaking about this brand new enthralling supplement to their abundant discography. Since the initial tuning tunes of Tony Buck's monochord, it's almost clear that the sonic river is going to flow past some rushing and definitively more corrugated crossover-jazz they recently dished out on "Mindset", as bassist Lloyd Swanton remarked: 'Mindset reached some pretty intense levels at times, and though we never overtly discussed it, I think that on Open by contrast, all three of us were taken by the idea of working in an area of great stillness. After a couple of days' recording, it was clear that the music was leading us in this direction.' In spite of temporary percussive whirlwinds and parenthetical tonal stalemates, the unleashing harmonic twinkles by Chris Abrahams' piano, where Lloyd Swanton's bass and occasional electronic gusts sound like a musical joint which got interjected between contemplation and sudden emotional outbursts, which can be considered as steps of an ascending movement or momentary drafts of a breezy catharsis, preponderantly pulls the strings by acting like the unmoved mover inside the sonic sphere they wisely clumped. Just rest your head on this new lovely slipstream by this master craftsmen of musical climaxes.

Atrium Carceri: The Untold

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 02 2014
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Artist: Atrium Carceri
Title: The Untold
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber
Rated: *****
This new release from Atrium Carceri is best approached from the included book with apparently unrelated texts describing a journey to a strange place where the relics of a primordial city is discovered. This way the tracks could be appreciated as forming an almost coherent path rather than be a collection of tunes.
The evocative soundscape of 'The Expedition' opens this release setting the path for 'Unlocking the Seal' to reveal the author's sense for the cinematic palette. 'The Way Down' is a small interlude for 'Catacombs of the Forgotten', perhaps the quietest track of the album, where the disposition of noises in the auditory space is his primary quality. 'A Flickering Hope', returns to territories more ambient-oriented. 'Thorn of War' features also some voice samples while 'Comfort of the Night Mother' is an introduction to 'The Untold' an evocative soundscape that recollects almost all the musical elements of the previous track. 'The Traitor' and 'Realitatem' are filled with more descriptive elements that flow into a meditative tracks 'Great Old One' that is as bright as 'Ego Death', the last track, is dark.
Apart from the usual ability of Simon Heath in the sound construction (headphone listening is highly recommended), the great characteristic of this album is his quality to portrait a sort of narration i.e., to tell a story. One of the best Cryo Chamber releases.

I.corax: Cella Phantasma

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 30 2014
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Artist: I.corax
Title: Cella Phantasma
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
Even though I.corax, the creature by Anti AIH Haapapuro and Jaakko JKV Vanhala, whose entrancing sonic secretion mainly coame out on Blue Sector, belongs to the Helixes collective since its inception, it had no signed releases on Aural Hypnox, the label which displays the artistical and "mystical" path of the collective itself and already announced its purpose of reprinting their back catalogue. In the meanwhile, Aural Hypnox decided to serve a starter by a previously unreleased album which dates back to the very first I.corax sessions in the surroundings of Oulu, Finland, in 1999 as well as the very first sparks of their esoteric path, where sound seems to flange altered states of consciousness, mystical experiences and physical realm. In their own words, "the sessions or states of Cella Phantasma were heavily influenced by numerous mystical experiences that took place during various night-time wanderings and ritual retreats, which more than often included exceedingly vigorous and intimidating encounters with the Visitors from beyond" and the element which makes such a transposition even more spellbinding is the concision as well as the drastic constraints of the sonic fleet. the initial "Hunt" immerses listener into befuddling waves, which dissolves the perception of time, rendered by almost silenced taps, before menacing dull thuds and ghostly chants burst on the scene. Metallic cavitations, a sinister whistle, mesmeric muttering and a festering atmosphere are going to strip off the listener's bark on the impressively absorbing "Kneeler", but the strongest mesmeric screwing has been reached on the following "Naos", whose title significantly refers to "Cella" (the inner chamber of a temple which hosts the worshipped idol). The seemingly allaying tones of the final "Nexion" subtlety scupper the sensorial sinter I.coirax's other-wordly sonorities may produce.
Jan 27 2014
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Artist: TER
Title: Fingerprints
Format: CD
Label: cat|sun (@)
Rated: *****
The shadowy consonances with the sonorities of partner-in art Tomek Mirt ring out while listening the earliest seconds of the first of six untitled fingerprints by TER, but this sonic trinket by the female soul of defunct psychedelic Polish band Brasil And The Gallowbrothers Band, where Andrzej Zaleski aka Zale forgets his paw on the (recorded in real time) percussions of three tracks as well, reveals its impressive stylisticals heterogeneousness in the blink of an eye. Modular synths, which tilt listeners up between phantasmagorical voiding and likeable psychedelic tickle, bump into afro percussions, space-age grandeur, kicking sizzles, synth-driven dub trots, electronic excrescences, minimal fillips, exotica nooks, dreamy synth-lines, sudden rhythicaml ganglions, abstract noodling and lovely alien melodies. The comparison of her six outputs with fingerprints comes from TER's admission of a certain kinship between her previous collaborative experiences and the enthralling syntax she's testing on her solo debut album, which cannot but be relished since the very first listening. Have a test/taste!

Mirt: Rite Of Passage

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 24 2014
cover
Artist: Mirt (@)
Title: Rite Of Passage
Format: CD
Label: cat|sun (@)
Rated: *****
Despite the fact that Polish sound artist Tomek Mirt outlined some references of his ninth album - for instance, the title "Rite Of Passage" has been taken from one epidose of tv series "Miami Vice" and vocal parts have been sampled from old zombie movies such as the second untitled track which has been recorded from Halperin Brothers' "White Zombie" (1932) starring a great Bela Lugosi as "Murder" Legendre, a white Haitian voodoo master who leads a crew of zombies before performing "The King Of Zombie" on a movie by Jean Yarbrough in 1941, which got sampled on "Rite 4"! -, the insertion of his second track which features some frog calls (already resounding on the above-mentioned sample from "White Zombie"), "Music of the Frogs", which could engender exstacy to neuroethologists and students of animal world together with the first version on Mirt's recent album "Handmade Man", the otherwordly atmosphere of the other numbered "Rites", the hallucinogenic sonorities that Mirt extracted from his modular synth in one take and without any further mixing or overdubbing and a certain grotesque halo which got emitted by cover artwork indeed managed to ring a bell: I may get wrong, but I invite you to check "The Frogs" by Aristophanes telling the story of the journey to Hades (Ancient Greek undeworld) by god Dyonisus in order to revive the playwright Euripides and make up for the unsatysfying state of Athens' tragedians. Beyond the synapse with the notorious chorus of frogs (Brekekekex-koax-koax!), this connection got fed by entrancing ambient dilutions, fermented noises, gelatinous dub-like movements as well as some sonic tricks that Mirt could have learnt from the amazing soundtracks of the quoted zombie movies, which could let listeners think about "Rite Of Passage" as a set of possible transmissions from the afterlife rather than a stylistical passage by Mirt.


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