Music Reviews

Hakobune: All The Other Hearts I Knew

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 02 2012
Artist: Hakobune (@)
Title: All The Other Hearts I Knew
Format: CD
Label: Rural Colours (@)
Rated: *****
The cover painting with simple rolling lines and delicate pastel colours by Migiwa "Miggy" Shimizu is a guessed graphical abstract of the sound by Hyogo-based Hakobune aka Takahiro Yorifuji, whose airy sound in this pretty (very limited) release issued by Rural Colours, sister label of Hibernate, lends itself to blissful moments of intimate contemplation. Mild and relaxed atmospheres, based on over-stretched guitar sounds with electronic rising agents, graceful trembling, gradually acquires a virginal whiteness: the two parts of both tracks "All The Other Hearts I Know" and "Blackland Prairie" (a little more exstatic than the first movement) seems to follow the same progression as the waves of the first parts become brighter in the second ones and its intrinsic corale-like facet sounds like glimmering and enshrouding, so that it seems the sonic waves gush over a ravishment in front of a dramatic scenery. The in-between entrancing "Interlude", which acts a divide between the two parts of the two tracks of the record, sounds like an imaginary reprise of Burial's "Forgive" or "Endorphin" by Stars of The Lid. A lovely record to make listener's thoughts fluffier, which is going to make your mind float!

Dan Warburton & If, Bwana: I am Sitting in Phill Niblock's Kitchen

 Posted by Barton Graham   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 31 2012
Artist: Dan Warburton & If, Bwana
Title: I am Sitting in Phill Niblock's Kitchen
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
Dan Warburton and Al Margolis, also known as 'If, Bwana' have come together on 'I am Sitting in Phill Niblock's Kitchen' (which surprisingly has several valid meanings for such an odd title). This single, nearly forty five minute piece was crafted specifically for a live collaboration that the two were scheduled to perform. To prepare for this, Warburton took all of his Margolis/If, Bwana records and time stretched them all to precisely forty five minutes long, which was their estimated performance length. This essentially yielded nearly 100 tracks, which he was then able to piece together into a single, cohesive track, which he then gave to Margolis to finalize a mix. This took place in a kitchen owned by one Phill Niblock. Recording and mixing in all of the surrounding ambiences, passing traffic, etc. as the track was played back, they finally had a 'finished' product which would serve as the backdrop for their live improvisations.

The piece we've been presented with here, is a stoic soundscape, slowly changing, evolving over time. It's difficult to put such work into words, as it is much more a visual, visceral experience. It's one to listen to in the dark (or dim), close your eyes and just let it draw you in. From drones, to airy ambience to field recordings, to the occasional sharpness'æ The records starts with almost the exact same tones as it ends, so it could also be played on repeat rather seamlessly, which you just might want to do. The end result of Dan Warburton and If, Bwana's work together is definitely not to be missed and if you're like me, you just may find it to be a springboard into both of their back catalogues as well.

VV.AA.: Sensitive Data 2

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 30 2012
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sensitive Data 2
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This release from Zoharum marks the fifth anniversary of this label, so it compiles samples from the most interesting release of the last two years. I've already reviewed on this site some of the artists featured on this release (Inner Vision Laboratory, Ab Intra, Ouroboros, Rapoon, Hybrids), however this album is interesting because some tracks are remix taken from single or compilation and, so, not included in albums.
Psychomanteum remix the track "frozen resonance" by Inner Vision Laboratory and, stated that they are two of the best act from this label, this is a bloomy atmospheric track based on subtle sound processing. "Bonus 1" by Different State marks a depart from the usual label's sound being an almost trip-hop (and enjoyable) tune. "System xx-entend" by Zenial is another almost pop track stating the open mind of the compiler and "Noto i'm ready" by K. Stanislavsky is perhaps even more explicit in searching atmospheres closer to soundtracks than dark ambient territories. While M.X.Marchoff and Mj Caroline Rider with "voxfield 6" are in the classic dark ambient territories loved by this label, "Passage Wright" By Orryelle & Hermaphoditic Chaorder of the Silver Dusk is an almost irresistible pop tune.
This compilation is a surprise for the connaisseurs of this label and a colourful prism for the primer. A truly enjoyable release.

Nick Edwards: Plekzationz

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 28 2012
Artist: Nick Edwards (@)
Title: Plekzationz
Format: CD
Label: Mego
Rated: *****
Named after an EKO organ bought in a charity shop, the artistic alter ego Ekoplekz of Nick Edwards, music blogger on the influential Gutterbreakz blog, began to circulate between electronic music followers since his very first wails and after various releases on various catalogues such as Mordant Music, Punch Drank, Perc Trax, Snug Life, and many others, he finally gains more visibility with this release for the renowned label by Peter Rehberg, whose four long-lasting recordings sounds like a mindblowing collage of other recordings. Edwards' charming and somewhat obscure dub as well as its intertwines with old-fashioned sounds, which are often untreated and uneffected, are really pleaseful: echoes, delays and vibrato on dry and liquid sounds - particularly in the first ("Chance Meets Causality Uptown") and third ("Inside The Analog Continuum") parts - and the addiction of some daydreaming gleaming sounds and bubble-wrapped grooves recalled to my mind some spectacular and entrancing psychedelic rides by electronic dub's pioneers such as Future Sound Of London and Jah Wobble, but there many sonic hints, related to his basic homemade sound equipment - he mainly works on primitive analogue hardware and cassette four-track technology -, which could remind 70ies and firts 80ies psychedelia (I don't think it would be a sacrilege to put Pink Floyd out amidst possible references), whereas a sort of sonic superimposition between dub, krautrock and industrial appears to be an accomplished fact while listening "(No) Escape From '79" (undoubtedly an eloquent title!), the second part of Plekzationz. The fourth and final track "A Pedant's Progress" sounds quite different from the rest of the album: reminiscences of most pompus suites by Cabaret Voltaire, combined with occasional rings and beep, could be associated to the testing of some bizarre atomic clock, powered by some martian fuel, or a door bell made of unknown alloys.

Uncodified: Document

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 28 2012
Artist: Uncodified (@)
Title: Document
Format: CD
Label: Lisca Records (@)
Rated: *****
This first release or document by Uncodified, new brainchild of the talented musician Corrado Altieri - I already introduced some of his collaborative projects on this space and his long-lasting partner-in-art Simon Balestrazzi, which co-signs their tasty project Candor Chasma, come abreast of him for electronics and mastering on the final "Entertainment and Partial Entropy" and "Aesthetic Imperfection", one of my favorite track due to the way they perforates plain waves by means of drilling noises -, sounds like a sonic translation of temporary mental black-outs or I'd better say it seems he managed to capture, render and turn into sounds the reticular black and white crackling sizzle on TV screen when something got wrong during analog broadcasting which ideally interposes between reason, will, desire, expectations, impulses and every inner surges or mental structures from one side and external reality from the other side, a diaphragm which sounds evoked by distorted low frequencies, fractured walls of digging noises (the jittery ones in "Discobar Panic Disorder", "Severance" and "Relationship" sounds particularly abrasive and catchy at the same time) and piercing sonic waves, whereas its psychopuncturing hooks could vaguely recall some stuff by Zonk't. Built on sounds extracted by analogue and digital tools without laptops, these psychotropic electronic storms are not so disturbing, even if "Document" cannot be filed under easy-listening music.

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