Music Reviews

Lyndsie Alguire: Clair Obscur

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 26 2013
Artist: Lyndsie Alguire
Title: Clair Obscur
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: *****
I'm not sure if there are some available copies of this interesting ambient release by Canadian pianist and soundscape chiseler Lyndsie Alguire yet, as Colin Herrick's Time Released Sound printed just 100 fingerprinted and handsigned 3inches CDR copies, but you can try as the listening experience this young musician signed sounds like a proper blow moulding from her inner soul. Out of curiosity, I had a listen to "Suspended Light", her previous album on Camomile records, and I can say that "Clair Obscur" could just remotely have been patterned on the above-mentioned release as it's less focused on piano and voice. Only one distant note resound in the initial "I Was Dreaming Of You", which sound like a self-tuning or I'd rather say a tuning on Self over interfering zephyrs. Piano melodies resurface on the following "You Used To Look Happy", where Lyndsie seems to find out a grotto inside her inner world where echoes of whispers of the voice of the above-mentioned Self are barely audible, and the radiantly aglow "The Twin Stones (Lovechain)", but it's on the final 10-minutes lasting track "All Possible Stories" that the dim light which sounds evoked by the title of this release, appears vividly sketched: piano flashlight-like melodies and supposedly sense of self got diluted by the somehow dramaticly emotional perception of the multitude in the guise of field recordings of murmuring voices. In the light of the intimate value of this release, the 8 polaroid prints taken by Lindsie's friend Mat Guerin have no sexual meaming, but they might portray the "naked" lingering on a disarming, but bewitching clear insight.

Rapoon: Vernal Crossing Revisited

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 25 2013
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Artist: Rapoon (@)
Title: Vernal Crossing Revisited
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is the reissue of the third album from this project made for the 20th anniversary of the release. To the remastered edition there's also a complete reinterpretation made by Robin Storey.
The nine tracks of the original release starting from "the same river once" and ending with "yo-tun" are a one hour long exploration of the hypnotic qualities of the rhythm and so could be seen as a continuation of the experiments made with Zoviet France in the first part of this career. However, there's also the first attempts, in tracks as "sonol" and "anatapurrah", to extend this formula with texture oriented soundscape that will be fully developed in the next albums.
So, the 2013 remake, with tracks like "again we see" and "where stars reflects", is less focused with hypnotic beat and more oriented to territories where the texture is more relevant and rhythm is less hypnotic. There's also explicit references to the original album in tracks like "the water edge" but they acts as interludes to the actual musical path of Robin Storey hearable in the last long tracks "the clouds pass quickly" and "to end" where the hypnotic effect is constructed by the soundscape, with layers of drones and perhaps loops constantly changing, rather than by the beat.
Apart from the historical relevance of the original release, faithfully remastered, the remake reveals how a musical path could be developed without changing his fundamental basis but escaping from the trap of self citation. It's a really nice reissue for fans.

Erik Friedlander/Scott Solter: No Compass: Solter resets Friedlander

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 23 2013
Artist: Erik Friedlander/Scott Solter
Title: No Compass: Solter resets Friedlander
Format: 10"
Label: SkipStone (@)
Rated: *****
The starting point of this sonic tidbit by sound engineer, producer and mixer Scott Solter is "Broken Arm Trio", the acclaimed release that his friend Erik Friedlander tributed to the legendary jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford who took up cello after breaking his arm (!), but don't except to find the stylistical constituents (jazz, chamber music, bluegrass, folk and klezmer) Erik added to his musical recipe. Erik himself gave carte blanche to Scott, who fudged on the intrinsic codes by Friedland in order to boost and boast his distinctive art of remixing. Burrs of cello tunes sound pan-fried on the initial "Full Chroma", whereas Scott seems to push them into higher orbit of the deep space within a space capsule on the following "Columbarium", hide Friedlander's sound in disguise of Adolf Woelfli's flippantly schizoid style and rhythmic swirling on the amazing "Assault by St.Wolfli", depict an intriguing embodiment of horror vacui on "Drifting Pyre, No Moon" and parachute cello into a funnel cloud on "Steppe Dub". It's almost unnecessary to spotlight the fact that melodic and rhythmical elements of original themes have been wisely camouflaged by Solter, whose remixing art lies on the manipulation of preeisting material. "My usual remixing technique is to manipulate only the existing multitrack material and not introduce new content such as beats, instruments etc. In some ways my method doesn't always respect the original work, but I'm less interested in that than in discovering a song's troubled siblings. I just pull up the tracks, choose the content that moves me and set about manipulating, eviscerating, expanding, cutting, destroying'¦ ', Scott said while describing his reset of Friedlander's stuff. The only flaw of this release is its short duration, as it sounds like an appetizer which might not satisfy eagerer listeners.

Motoomi Doi: The Illuminated Nightingale

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 21 2013
Artist: Motoomi Doi
Title: The Illuminated Nightingale
Format: CD
Label: Noble (@)
Rated: *****
The very first tracks of the first official album, following a couple of indipendent albums (including his appreciated "N-N-N", promoted by means of the so-called "free-distribution" way, where users who sent requests by email from Doi's website received it by post...his talent and word-of-mouth on Internet disseminated his sound), by talented Osaka-based song writer Motoomi Doi could prove the firm belief about the strong liking for stylistical forgery by many Japanese musicians (even if they often makes very good "imitations") as songs like "Dark Night", "The Eye of Night has Opened" and "Oscar" could immediately resemble the childishly dreamy atmospheres by the notorious Icelandic band Mum, but this musical portray of the concept of "night" from dusk to dawn turns on a dime by means of elegant insertions of caster sugar melodies, whose harmonic motions gradually expand by means of jazzy drum sets, good electronic chiselling, zesty techno-pop sprinkling, swingy tunes, pretty J-pop marches and above all an emotionally mottled poetry whose intensity and seesawing between joy and anxiety, peace and sorrow, solitude and grace which got rendered and easily fathomed by Doi's piercing, delicate and somehow ephebic vocal interpretations, whose singular timbre could be imagined as a male and childish version of an hybrid between Pinkie Maclure (Pumajaw) and Tujiko Noriko, could tell you something even if you don't relly understand any Japanese words. Tested and approved by my one-year old worshipped nephew!

Kuantum: Wasteland

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 20 2013
Artist: Kuantum (@)
Title: Wasteland
Format: 12"
Label: IM:Ltd (@)
Distributor: Triple Vision
Rated: *****
The new discovery by French label IM:Ltd, Kuantum, musically grew in the underground parties of Montpellier scene. If I could profile his musical purpose, I'd say he could reasonably carry the torch of a new generation of dubstep craftsmen, which would like to rediscover the roots of th genre without becoming the camouflage or the clone of the styles by producers who gain so much notoriety in the scene that their names (I could mention Skrillex, Benga or Skream, whose releases ride the wave of the shining moment of a genre, which exists since long time) tightly acquired the synonymy with the word "dubstep". The sonic strategy by this talented lad is quite clear since the initial "Wasteland", an engaging track named after the legendary vintage videogame by Electronic Arts, set in a post-apocalyptic world: the sound is definitively more dub-oriented and exquisitely wild as it seems to sink listeners into a world crowded by humongous wild beasts and landfill-generated monsters where life-and-death struggle and feral instinct don't look tempered by education or civilization. In spite of the presence of that rumbling wub which resembles peristaltic noises, one of the main characteristic of dubstep, on the following "Innervision", dub struts prevail and such a preponderance have been clearly shown on "Distracted", the collaborative track with Mateba, where the general sound fluctuates between contemporary dubstep gargles and those spatial puffs which marked some past electronic dub releases, and the enchanting melancholic coil angd gloomier fumigation of the final "Majora". Very promising debut release.

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