Music Reviews



Autogen: Mutagen

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (7720)
Aug 06 2013
cover
Artist: Autogen (@)
Title: Mutagen
Format: CD
Label: 4iB Records / Sturm (@)
Distributor: 4iB Records
Rated: *****
I know that I should have written this review months before, but unfortunately I lost track in between, so this one comes out late. The debut release of Autogen out of Latvia promised to be one of the outstanding releases during the last months for the Dark Electro/Post-modern Ambient/IDM genre. It is an experimental Electronica project by Kaspars Kalnins, also known under his pseudonym Kaps. He is maybe better known for his involvement in the Electro/Industrial project Rosewater or as being the founder of the Latvian cult label Sturm. Kaps is surely one of leading forces behind any activity of underground-related music in this small Eastern European country. This debut album is a collaboration release between Sturm and the new Singapore-based 4iB Records, which concentrates to present Ambient / Noise / Martial-Industrial styles. Autogen has been firstly discovered with an appearance on the latest Sturm compilation 'Stürmer 4' DCD set ('Par Veelu'), 'Mutagen' now collects all tracks written in between 2008 - 2012. Ever since the establishing of Autogen, this project has been often active with rude live performances and has visited numerous industrial and fetish clubs in Latvia, Finland, Belarus, Hungary, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia and also Bangkok in March 2012. The shows of Autogen are for parental usage only, they often display cruel scenarios of blood, gore and fetishism. The musically direction of this debut tends clearly into the field of demanding Dark Electro music. Projects like The Klinik, Mortal Constraint, or Disharmony have to be named to throw in possible quells of inspiration, although this album in its presented quality would also well fitting side by side with some highly praised signed to the US-based Tympanik Audio label. And so this album explores a wide range of dark and cold sounding Electronica styles and leaves out warmer and smooth sounding ingredients. The work of Mortal Constraint or Ingo Lindmeier's Polygon-project in its early recordings is surely witness for tracks 'Nevajag', 'Trakumá', or 'Súrums' in its existence. Massive applause for the rather deep drowning, stone-cold Modern-Ambient-like tune 'Vél Né', one of my personal favorites. That this album is also able to scratch some inner nerves can be discovered in 'Nederings', the ideal and raw soundtrack for your next dentists visit. 'Mutagen' is a brilliant collection of tracks full of creative sound-design with matured programming skill. No pseudo-aggressive Techno kick-and-snare-bawling on here, 'Mutagen' is rather designed to freeze your brain. A nice, cinematic, but also ice-cold sound-trip not to be missed. Get it!

Andy-Moor & Anne-James Chaton: TRANSFER

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7716)
Aug 05 2013
cover
Artist: Andy-Moor & Anne-James Chaton (@)
Title: TRANSFER
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
We already introduced some parts of TRANSFER, the fecund collaborative project about the themes of transportation and transition by The Ex's guitarist Andy Moor and spoken-word poet Anne-James Chaton, whose creative secretions have been impressed upon four vinyls whose side A got built on real or factual information or material (metro maps, major plane crashes, notorious news report such as the deaths of Princess Diana and Grace Kelly) and side B on fiction or fantasy (including Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days", Agatha Christie's "Murder On The Orient Express" and so on) as their mental glands, which got hopped-up by many different and almost casual real or fictional sources of inspiration, emitted them. Unsounds finally bundled them in one full-length, which gives the listener the possibility to appreciate all the stages of this awesome modular project, which combines spoken words by the "rhythmic" and somewhat burdensome Chaton's voice and a sonic style, whose concision runs parallel to its intimate mesmeric hook coming from a balanced dosage of obscure beats, smokey cinematic atmosphere, guitar riffs and loops, live samples and abstract noise. Three previously unreleased tracks have been added as well, including the "USA" version of "Metro", "Journey On The Pequod", inspired by Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" (the fictional side) and "Journal d'un Naufrage", inspired by the sinking of Titanic (the factual side).

Parallel Worlds & Dave Bessell: Morphogenic

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (7715)
Aug 04 2013
cover
Artist: Parallel Worlds & Dave Bessell (@)
Title: Morphogenic
Format: CD
Label: DiN (@)
Rated: *****
This is my second review of a Parallel Worlds collaboration, the first being a while back with their 'Exit Strategy' collaboration with Ian Boddy. You probably already know of Parallel Worlds, the project name of Bakis Sirros from Greece. Dave Bessell has been active in the field of popular music for many years, he also studied classical composition and orchestration at the Royal College of Music, jazz guitar with John Etheridge, holds a Doctorate in Music and currently teaches Music and Music Technology at Plymouth University. He may be best known as a member of the electronic group, Node, along with Flood, Gary Stout and Ed Buller. In a sense, 'Morphogenic' could be considered a 'dream team' for this type of electronic music. Just a quick look at the equipment used on the album ' Bakis Sirros: Euro/Doepfer, Serge, Buchla 200e modulars, MS20, Odyssey, Xpander, 4Voice, string machines and software. Dave Bessell: Macbeth M5n, Gibson Les Paul & custom software. (Ed Buller plays Moog Modular on one track- 'Heterodyne'.) You just know there are going to be some interesting sounds here.

'Morphogenic' is not just interesting sounds, but elaborate compositions that although varied, have a similar vein running throughout. While a good part of it seems to be amorphous and abstract, there are plenty of defined moments ' massive, weighty and grand themes; inventive and propulsive rhythms; wonderful sequencer work; dramatic orchestration, and more. The overly-used term 'cinematic' comes to mind but 'Morphogenic' is far more space music than soundtrack, although some themes employed on it could be considered motion-picturesque. Bessell's guitar work on the album is a perfect blending in the context of this kind of electronic music (something Edgar Froese never could get quite right with Tangerine Dream) adding power, depth and dimension, not just soloing over the top. Overall, 'Morphogenic' is a dense and heavy listen; a multilayered journey into the unknown that may have you exploring the outermost regions of your consciousness. Majestic, spiritual, sublime ' Parallel Worlds and Dave Bessell seem to have created the perfect environment for analogue space synth freaks to explore on visits that are bound to be return trips. The album was mastered by Ian Boddy and copies are limited to only 500 so get it while you can.

Jean-Luc Fafchamps: Back To...

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7713)
Aug 04 2013
cover
Artist: Jean-Luc Fafchamps (@)
Title: Back To...
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa (@)
Rated: *****
This "back to" what he fondly defines "an old buddy of mine" by Belgian pianist and composer Jean-Luc Fafchamps smells like a liturgical anamnesis: "back to my first musical feelings, but also my first writing techniques, which werequite remote from my current aesthetical concerns; back to the music pieces engrained in my fingers through practice; finally, back to the numerous hours of free improvisation of my lazy youth...[...] those back to...are works about memory" and such a mnemonic elegy and idyll got crystallized in three touching pieces performed by Stephane Ginsburgh. Fafchamps' return to piano could be thought as the comeback to workout of a sportsman after a crippling injury while listening to the first suite "Back To The Pulse", where you can imagine a session of emotional high hurdles: the engaging rolling of legatoes and staccatoes manages to put a further strain on the insistent and somewhat feverish harmonic progression which could render an idea of motion with awesome and sudden ligatures, interruption, tumbles and variation like the amazing one after 4-5 minutes when the imaginary hurdler looks like running in the dark and the seriousness of the situation got emphasized by the insistent stroke on the lower and higher tones, before the last ones begin to get closer to the central octaves, keep on running and diving into a sort of ragtime till the end. Those breaks, those tonal dull thuds and frenzied slurs sound like expedients to highlight the evocative power of piano on the following "Back To The Sound", as if each element means to say "listen to the range of emotions I can inspire and fan into you...", while more emotional outgrowth intertwines with soulful quotations of Fafchamps's mentors and peers in the final brilliant "Back To The Voice".

Daniel Menche: Marriage Of Metals

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7712)
Aug 04 2013
cover
Artist: Daniel Menche (@)
Title: Marriage Of Metals
Format: 12"
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Almost simultaneously with the release of his album Vilke', Portland-based prolific (nearly fifty releases on his bandcamp and an almost uncontrolled growth of his discography are good evidences) sound artist Daniel Menche diluted his abrasive style with a deluge of sounds he grabbed from the studio of the Venerable Showers of Beauty, a Gamelan ensemble hosted at Lewis and Clark College in his hometown that fosters artistic and musical exchanges between Javanese and Balinese culture and Portland artistic community. The compatibility or I'd better call it the marriage between Gamelan sonorities and electronics that Menche succeeds in tempering and shaping is so full-blooded that you could think such an association cannot be but elective. The wide palette of gongs, including the gigantic 'Gong Ageng" with his remarkably deep sound, and metallophones, got processed and immersed into scorching and somehow restless sonic Styx over a couple of almost 20-minutes lasting tracks. The first act of this sonci concubinage started off with a padded peal and an abrasive sneaking flux, which gradually shroud the sonic space. Its mesmerizing charge got amplified by the supplement of slenthem which soon reaches the saturation level. On the second part of "Marriage of Metals", the order of appearance of sonic inputs has been inverted and the sound of slenthem is more recognisable, but the mesmerizing effect on listeners, which are going to lapse into the slightly corrosive and somehow lulling float, is likewise absorbing and cataleptically purging.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha