Music Reviews



Kristoff K.Roll: A l'ombre des ondes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 25 2013
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Artist: Kristoff K.Roll (@)
Title: A l'ombre des ondes
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Headphones become an entrance ticket for a sort of representation within representation by means of this bizarre release by Kristoff J-Camps and Carole Rieussec, who focused on so-called dream narrative, not properly on dreams themselves. Their weaving of really immersive field recordings and inoculated frequencies lies on the perceptive threshold between outer happenings (hoo-ha or voices which sounds like coming from wide halls of consciousness before blackout and random dream assemblage, interferences of television broadcasting, traffic noises, chirping birds, barking dogs and so on are so perfectly rendered that listeners are going to experience a really immersive listening) and inner transfiguration which characterizes the half-sleep and dream states during occasional naps from the viewpoint of a napper, so that auditory stimulations get deliberately warped while each napper reports its own dream as a tagline and preface (in French) to the following sonic probing over the three long lasting tracks. Dreams or it's better to say the deforming lens of dreams look like the real source of sounds, which awakens speechless archetypes, which inhabit inner depths of napper's mind and resurface from the creases of senses while dozing under the perogla of frequencies. The final result is really interesting and the duo is so aware of it, that Carole and Kristoff are planning to buld a proper library of dram narrative by inviting listeners to record their own dream reports and some audio files to request a personal recording session to them. Just check "A l'ombre des ondes" and submit your file into this bizarre library in case you got intrigued by their odd sound concept.

Ametsub: All Is Silence

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 23 2013
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Artist: Ametsub (@)
Title: All Is Silence
Format: CD
Label: nothings66 (@)
Rated: *****
The fact that Tokyo-based surprising composer Ametsub managed to grab the tympanic attention of Master Ryuichi Sakamoto by means of his enchanting album "The Nothings Of The North", which was considered as the best disk in 2009 by Sakamoto himself, guarantees the remarkably high quality of the sound this electronic muscian squeezes from machines and the occurence that this brand new album "All Is Silence" goes under the aegis of Sakamoto again doesn't rock us as you just need to press play and listen to find a clear and convincing evidence of such an eminent certification. Some redolent reminiscences of Boards Of Canada are quite clear since the initial "Utmost Point" and resurfaces in many moments of the album together with some fine declensions of IDM by Benge or Monoceros such as the clapping bubble bath of the lovely melodic line by Brain Grainger in the enchanting "Rufouslow", the mildly hypnotical heavenly nebulization of "Blotted Out"'s tonal sequence, the daydreaming haze over balanced singed tape sputtering and tepid melancholy of the ravishing "Vestige for Wind Day", which evokes some crisp puffy tracks by Apparat, who shared some live stages with Ametsub in the bargain as well as many other notorious sonic sorcerers such as Alva Noto, Vladislav Delay, Atom TM, Cornelius, Moritz Von Oswalk, Plaid, Fennesz, Dj Krush, Tujiko Noriko, Oval and Jel (Anticon), the entangling cold glares of "Sun of Madrid" and the lovely mixture of jerking beats and plushy opalescent melodies of "Muffled Blue", but Ametsub manages to temper and highlight the outflow of pad-synth and related parabolic in-gradients by sizzling percussive ingredients. Other acmes of "All Is Silence" are the amazing cauterization and glitchy goads on melodic mantle of a piano which gradually turns into something close to a sort of effected shamisen on "Lucent", the favorite track by Sakamoto, the amazing instrumental obliquity of "Dimmur", whose piano strokes sound like gurgling and whirling into unexpected eddies, and the bizarre games on field recordings on modified tape of "Over 6633". "All is Silence" renders many interesting soundscapes by melting melancholy,abstractness, light and shade together with sonic precision mechanics.

The Ebertbrothers: Engine Eyes

 Posted by Barton Graham   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 19 2013
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Artist: The Ebertbrothers (@)
Title: Engine Eyes
Format: CD EP
Label: Mindwaves Music
Rated: *****
The Ebertbrothers have put out a release entitled 'Engine Eyes' which contains 4 new songs, and 3 remixes from their 2011 effort 'Susten Pass.' The record gives a solid start with the two new songs 'Sunset Car Chase' and 'Rusty Black Bike' which both have a pretty great sound to them. They manage to combine smart, modern beats and rhythms, which extremely chill synths and pads to create these wide open, airy textures. Some of their synths have a bit of a retro feel, but with modern production value. Sometimes they can feel a bit novel, or even ill conceived (synth line in the latter tune), yet despite that they still manage to have a very appealing, and even comforting sound and feel; very strange in a good way. The next set of songs on display are three remixes by Karsten Pflum, Lackluster and Badun respectively. Pflum takes on 'Black String' and offers a less stark, far more funky yet structured approach. 'Feature Film' is reinvented by Lackluster has created a far more chill, yet somehow (occasionally) more sporadic mix, with more of a groove to it. Then Badun sculpts a smooth, spacey rendition of 'Sympathy Changes.' To close the disc two more new songs remain; but are definitely good, but not really noteworthy in comparison to rest of the disc. 'Engine Eyes' treads a lot of different water, but manages to mix it all together in an overall pretty solid record with funky electrogrooves, chill tones and retro synths, and even a moment or two of sweet Massive Attack vibes.

Luca Sigurtà: Bliss

 Posted by Barton Graham   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 19 2013
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Artist: Luca Sigurtà (@)
Title: Bliss
Format: CD
Label: Fratto9 Under The Sky Records (@)
Rated: *****
Open: Rich, textural ambient begins to pour from the speakers (or headphones I suppose for most); there is an underlying washing of noises and field recordings. A deep bass slowly creeps in. Very oceanic, almost glacial. And so begins 'Bliss' by Luca Sigurtà from Frattonove (aka Fratto9 Under the Sky). While 'Bliss' contains just 5 untitled tracks, it clocks in at over 41 minutes, each one full of rich, pristine tones, textures and sounds. One of the only signs of melody is discovered at the intro of the second piece in the form of plucky koto or similar instrument, but as the texture slowly fills in around it, it quickly melts away. A very quiet, but delicious track overall. The third movement fades quickly in, filled with lush, almost orchestral walls, which very slowly, and very stealthily mutate into dissonant chords by the end of the piece. Track 4 is far more sparse, with soft static living just beneath a slight tension, which eventually gives way to the final chapter of this aural journey. A crisp ringing drone almost tricks the mind into believing its surrounded by crickets; maybe sitting calmly out in a cool, spring night's air. Until the static returns, much more than before, followed by the sounds of a dungeon or cave, echoing through said night. 'Bliss' has it all, from those beautifully rich, thick textures, to its robust tones, to its underlying noise and field recordings, it is just a well-executed, well-written page in the ambient history books.
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Artist: RMEDL | K11 (@)
Title: Chthonian Music
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This striking conceptual album and the related sound installation, based on the sound spacialization system I.M.E.A.S.Y. and performed in an ancient Etruscan hypogeum in the archeological park of Cecina, a little town close to Leghorn (Italy), during the spring solstice within the programmatic-conceptual event "Metasound ' Independent Curatorial Experiences in Contemporary Art: from the object up to the event: sound art, multimedia and practice of the art of listening", was initially limited to 50 private copies. Three years later, Cold Spring decided to reissue it in order to avoid the this remarkable sonic artefact could sink into the oblivion of the underworld the involved artists ideally climbed down. The Roman consul Albino Cecina, which gave the name to the above-mentioned town, ordered the construction of a villa, whose ruins can still be visited. The cavity of its cistern and its mysteric tunnels became the perfect location for Chtonian Music project by Italian philosopher, composer and sound artist Pietro Riparbelli aka K11 and Sandro Gronchi, head of Radical Matters, who involved an impressive number of sound artists and musicians from different but somewhat contiguous stylistical ground (Philippe Petit, Seth Cluett, Gianluca Becuzzi, Francisco Lopez, Aderlating, Andrea Marutti, Burial Hex, Christina Kubisch, Deadwood, Francesco Brasini, L'Acephale, Luciano Maggiore, Massimo Bartolini, Nordvargr, Utarm, Y.E.R.M.O) emphasized the sacral function of that ancient place with a sonic performance which sounds like a contemporary devotional rite to the Goddess Demeter/Persephone, the queen of hell and bride of Plouton/Hades and the symbolic representation of "the awakening of the soul and its cyclical path of death and transfiguration" behind her myth, who inspired the religion of the Mysteries, imported by the Etruscans in Italy. After the initial "Mvndvs", where Francismo Lopez immediately catches listener's attention by rendering natural amplified sounds on deep ultra-low frequencies by Seth Cluett and unexpected distorted rumbles which lacerates the apparent stillness like heavy thunders, the five following parts of "Katabasis" sonically describes the descent in the underworld by means of remarkable performative peaks such as the mindblowing raving ascension of Part II with the catchy vocals by L'Acephale and the heady drones by Utarm, the entrancing piano by Burial Hex on the magmatic fog by Andrea Marutti and Pietro Riparbelli in the third part ("Epopteia"), named after the final initiation rite in the Eleusinian Mysteries, the dusky electrical excitement of the first part, the grazing guitars by Francesco Brasini on the immersive virtual underworld moulded by Becuzzi and Bartolini on the narcotic organ and unearthly shouts by Riparbelli, the metallic rolling balls and the resounding crack on the ground which ushers listeners to the end of the obscure journey in the fifth part, before the final representation of "Nuktelia", a sort of supreme demonaltry when wizards with snkes twisted on their arms, moved at flickering light of torches in long orgiastic processions. Due to the high number of guests, under the stylistical viewpoint, "Chthonian Music" harvest from a wide range of styles: dark ambient, doom metal, dark-folk, field recordings, art rock, drone, classical music, musique concrete, ritual ambient flocked to celebrate the mysteries.


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