Music Reviews



Asférico: Sonidos del Subcosciente I

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 28 2013
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Artist: Asférico (@)
Title: Sonidos del Subcosciente I
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Galaverna (@)
Rated: *****
As there's the Roman number for "first" after the title of the release, I could surmise this is the first of a series of sonic experiments by Asferico, new project by Barcelona-based dj, producer, founder of Storung electronic music festival and head of the Storung sub-label FlatMate Music Alex Gamez, who assembles a catchy mental odyssey/adventure and 25-minutes lasting listening experience by means of a guessed combination of modified field recordings and analog synthesizer sounds. The adventure starts with tempestous noise of a sort of sea storm, which he gradually disfigures by dint of sequences of puffs and blows as if he's turning it into a new appearance. The following steps of this sonic journey, which could give you the lively impression of being inside a cave surrounded by the noises of dripping rocks, colliding with ginormous metallic entrapping webs, awakening within a peaceful wood and so on, could let you think that according to a possible conceptual explanation of this release, the Spanish sound artist is trying to ding the sphere and the diaphragm between form and fuction, fact and fiction, perception and nature, whose sharp detachment seems to belong to many philosophical, religious, cultural and even architectural principles, which look like fostering this separation. I wonder how the follow-up of this first act of "Sonidos del Subcosciente", which comes on Italian net-label Galaverna by Enrico Coniglio and Leandro Pisano, could sound.

Lycoriscoris: From Beyond The Horizon

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 28 2013
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Artist: Lycoriscoris (@)
Title: From Beyond The Horizon
Format: CD
Label: Moph (@)
Rated: *****
When I'm asked to describe the style of some new musician, I don't really like to resort to schematical descriptions but it could be useful for "western" listeners to try a "mathematical" definition of the astonishing sonic syncretism that Tokyo-based musician and composer Lycoriscoris wraps on his album "From Beyond The Horizon". On the enchanted valley of their liquid sonorities, it seems that many rivulets come together after getting swollen by waterfalls of delicate organic ambient, Japanese electronics, contemporary smooth jazz, honeyed dreamlike melodies driven by piano strokes and gleaming sounds and glitch knitting so that you could almost imagine it as a combination of some sweet atmospheres by Pharoah Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith or some idyllic tunes by Takagi Masakatsu, filtered by means of typical skipped and hopped gaits of glitch music. The fuel additive which rises the pressure of the sonic centrifuge by Lycoriscoris is a subtle oomph which gradually or sprightly surface over the blossoming parade of sounds. While in the first part, where you will also find "Daydreamer", a pretty collaboration with Japanese singer Piana, the music cracks open towards breezy disruptions, many tracks of the second part such as "Amenooto", "Shinonomo" or "Stillness", mantain dreamy flavours intact but seem to pat more intimate strings of soul. A lovely collection of musical fragile potsherds.

Monopium: The Goat & Dead Horses\' Circus

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 27 2013
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Artist: Monopium (@)
Title: The Goat & Dead Horses\' Circus
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
It takes almost two years to this polish band to compile the follow-up of their debut release and, in times where there are releases every three or four months, is quite a good news as this is an album of impressive quality. As the reader knows, I've reviewed almost every release of this polish label as, so, I have some reason to claim that this one is amongst the best releases of this label.
"Marble" opens this release as this album were a sort of jam between a jazz band and an ambient one and there was a radio lefts on during the session while "Flesh" is an ambient track with a jazz mood juxtaposed. "Piramidy" instead is based upon a quite strange loop above some small and sparse noises. "Dead Horses' Circus" is a dreamy soundscape while "La Grande Déferlante" is based upon a dark loop and the impressive voice of EmmA WyrD. "Assassins" is a dark ambient interlude colored by an original saxophone line. "Fade Away" is based on Sci-Fi synth line as "La Primavera" is a small interlude based on string instrument and the hiss of an old tape. The quite old recording that opens "Lights & Serpentines" and colored by the bells introduce the listener to the final part of this release. "Sotto il Sole del Mondo" is a sample based track relying on the hypnotic effect of the samples. "As-Sawira" is the dreamy introduction to "La Primavera (My Final Bell)" where Euski gives his touch creating an atmosphere of great suggestion.
As a Nurse With Wound fan I enjoyed the courage of the musical path and the originality and variety of the solutions so this album is in my personal list of albums of the year. Amazing.

Gilded: Terrane

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 26 2013
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Artist: Gilded (@)
Title: Terrane
Format: CD
Label: Hidden Shoal Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The suffused and vaguely crepuscolar opening on gentle piano strokes and thin chinks of the initial "Velar" and the charmingly rustic twining of string saw, warm deep tones, accordion and banjo flowerheads, a dainty percussive nixer on the following "String And Stone" embarks listeners on the musical universe of Terrane, whose name comes from a geological term to describe a fragment of a tectonic plate which get "sutured" (normally after a process of subduction) to crust lying on another plate, by Gilded, a West Australian duo by experimental musicians Matt Roesner, whose sonic researches, focused on field recordings and guitars, partially flowed into labels like Room40, Apestaartje, 12K, Meupe and Miatera, and Adam Trainer, one of the founding member of Perth-based post-rock outfit Radarmaker. Ideally lying on the boundaries between the styles by Cinematic Orchestra, Greg Haines, Piano Interrupted and similar august satellites orbiting around conglomerates of minimalism, visionary lyricism and ambient, the sound they carefully mould on this lovely release constantly oscillates between melodic suspensions, emotional tension and pastoral idylls, which sounds like rushing from heaven-given creative sparks ("Dew Cloud", "Straight Crest", "Tyne"), earthly dampers ("Road Movie", "Expanded Contract"), bucolic effusions ("Cluttered Room", "Moth Food"), which evokes a constant feasting by tender sensibilities with contingent halts. This is undoubtedly a recommendable listening for dreamlike personal odysseys.

Second Culture: Flying Potion

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 26 2013
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Artist: Second Culture (@)
Title: Flying Potion
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Neither roots of mandrakes nor dragon claws inside the flying ointment from the hefty recipe book of Second Culture, a trio from Running Springs, a town on the mountains nearby San Bernardino in California, contrived by Keith McGrew (synthesizers, sequencers, guitars, words), Andy Hutson (vocals, synthesizers, percussion, visuals) and Mark Florin (Chapman Stick, guitar, stomp-box wonderland), as they prefer to draw heavily on psychedelic culture and music. They list instruments, equipment and sources for inspiration in details in the inner part of cd sleeve and as you maybe can surmise they included miliar stones of the so-called enviro-mentalism such as Terence McKenna, Carl Sagan, Cassandra Wilson's "Sankofa" and Inca Shamanism as well as a pattern book of mushrooms, herbs and references to elemental forces, while from the stylistical viewpoint, they propose an interesting crossbreed between structures of shamanic and ritual chants, dub-ambient and space-rock with electronic sonic memes of trance-ambient and even goa-trance. In order to give you an idea of what you're going to listen, you could think about a possible reinterpretation of Ozric Tentacles, Seven That Spells, Farflung or some past bands and musicians from Delerium Records by some sonic alchemist from Ultimae Records with the warm and entrancing vocal guide by the ghost or reincarnation of some guru of psychedelic culture during the mystical path Second Culture try to cobble. I could recommend to toss this sonic mash off and linger on some technical preciosities in order to better appreciate some proper jewels such as "Ancient Astronaut", "Hurricane eyes", "Bardo", "Heart-Centric At The Azure Teleport" and "Super Hero". Put your headphones on and contemplate the eventuality to fly off.


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