Music Reviews

Biodub: Reisegefaehrte

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 11 2011
Artist: Biodub
Title: Reisegefaehrte
Format: CD
Label: Ki Records (@)
Distributor: Dance All Day
Rated: *****
The first release of a newborn music label is always an important event as it could help to uderstand the sonic ground the label itself wants to dig and Ki's declaration of intent on this very first release is definitively a good preface on an hopefully rich volume to stock (and listen) in your audio library. The first signature on this label from Cologne is the one by the young dj and producer Biodub from Hannover, whose tracks I already listened to here and there maybe on some net label. His airy and luminous way of combining techno pulsations with dubby rhythms and chords, microbiotic and electronically scorched sounds as wel as deep basslines and sounds grabbed from environment or acoustic instruments, inspired by mental dynamics pushed by the contemplation over nature or by the appearantly utopic dream of an harmonic and peaceful coexistence between nature and technology - a sort of cultural meme of contemporary German scene as well as a supposedly desirable purpose for the whole mankind -, has many hooks with the repertory of other techno makers such as the ~scapist Kit Clayton's wavemorphing, the liquid electronic dub of Meteosound or Slownoise (the newcomer Jeremy Davies), the flowy techno-ambient by producers such as Sven Weisemann or the organic side of Sven Vath's vast armoury. Biodub's balanced music is enjoyable both for smooth and slow body oscillation and for relaxing in a full-immersive natural environment; all tracks are equally pleaseful but if I have to reccomend some for your mp3 device, I'll definitevely pick Dead Rider for its nice rhythmical dynamics as well as Massive Central, Ismic Sky and Subsistence for its half-bumpey half-relaxing power, showing off Biodub's talent with drumming and sense of rhythm (already showed off in the band Noetics)! Reisegefaehrte - which is going to be issued on CD, digital and 2 x 12" LP with the guessed graphical and photographical translation by Ki's Amelie Kai - is going to become one of your favorite travel mate, folks!

Paragaté: Gnosis

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 11 2011
Artist: Paragaté
Title: Gnosis
Format: CD
Label: Auraltone Music (@)
Rated: *****
According to gnostic principles, one of the possible way to the discovery of the divine element each human being has arguably stopped interacting with is not only knowledge, but also the contemplation of beauty. Beauty in nature, in arts and in music as well. I really don't want to make a theological issue or epistemological exploration in this space by observing for instance this "gnostic" ambient project could refer to the so-called Ophites or Serpentinians as the presence of the ancient symbol of Ouroboros, as portrayed by Theodoros Pelecanus in an alchemical tract titled Synosius - a symbol of human psyche according to Jung as well -, could suggest, even if some forms of arts are intimately connected to some system of beliefs, you could trust or not (I could just reccomend you to evaluate very carefully any kind of prepacked "spiritual" ideas or do-it-yourself dogmatic systems, religious movements or "philosophical" school to be unfrozen or cooked in 2 minutes just like spaghetti bolognese or thai noodles to be cooked in a microwave oven...!), and if you listen tracks of this issue like Cork on the Waves, a metaphor often used to describe turbulences in life, with the voice of someone making new age-like speeching, you'll easily argue this record could be related to some bizarre aquarian fan. To be honest, I found more interesting other compositional aspects of this release by this 4-member band called Paragate' (it's funny the circumstance this is their first release even if in reality could be considered a sort of "best of" as it's a collection of various recordings embracing a period of 22 years as the oldest piece Hello, an interesting sample of sound processing, had been recorded in 1987, whereas the most recent one, Liquid Siftings - my favorite one and the most "balanced" and contemplative one -, has been built and composed with Ableton Live in 2010!) as you'll notice that compositional (or computational!) methods adopted in each track looks like a sort of metaheuristic between free improvisation and a defined set of rules (some recurring chords, very slow rhythmical alteration, wise use of silence and pauses...), fatally close to the alchemical and gnostic belief according to which order can be created even from chaos thanks to knowledge or gnosis. There are many tracks leaving an aftertaste of incompleteness (for instance a track titled After The Fact stopped too abruptly after a warm mammal bass tone appeared... such a choice should be meaningful for someone, but not for me!), but there're also interesting ones such as the mentioned Hello, Gravity X and the final track Paradiso (it looks like a pre-set tune coming from the home theatre system of Amida aka Amithaba, the so-called Buddha of Infinite Light, the most adored celestial being adored by the buddhist Pure Land sect, mentioned in the info-sheets!). Don't expect to be illuminated by astonishing revelations coming from supernatural beings or divine messangers...I say, just enjoy it as it is.... or it's better to say, just contemplate the intimate beauty of Paragaté music!

Matt Shoemaker : Soundtrack for Dislocation

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 08 2011
Artist: Matt Shoemaker (@)
Title: Soundtrack for Dislocation
Format: CD
Label: Elevator Bath (@)
Rated: *****
Great, great, great isolationist dark ambient. Three tracks that suck you in and hold you tight. Dark, menacing and ultimately enjoyable. The sonic equivalent of walking in the woods just after dusk and catching something large moving in the corner of your eye. Adrenalin pumping, heart pounding, and blood thumping in your ears. Did I say this was great stuff!

Jean-Luc Cappozzo & Edward Perraud: Suspension

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 05 2011
Artist: Jean-Luc Cappozzo & Edward Perraud (@)
Title: Suspension
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Suspension has undoubtedly been one of the listening I hugely appreciated in recent times. Recorded in the end of april 2009 during a live session at La Chapelle St.Anne, lasting almost one very intense hour, by the skilled trumpet player Jean-luc Cappozzo and the "magnifique" (fitted definition of his value according to the words of Monsieur Cappozzo during a short break of this performance) drummer Edward Perraud - one of the most impressive talent of the free jazz and improvisational jazz scene I had the pleasure of listening on the occasion of a concert with Michel Portal -, it's a breathtaking collage of musical sketches oscillating between stylistical bluffness, touching blues-veined moments, fuzzy experiments with vocal blows and length alterations into this legendary brass, enclosed tonal games with crammed valves, funny conversations between the brass and the drums and spotted quotations, the venomous fitting of trumpet tones in the intricate drumming web by Edward looking like the stinging invisible tentacles of suspended jellyfish! The final ovation after a sort of pointillist version of Summertime, the notorious standard by Gershwin, is the most trustful and varacious feedback for such an emotional recording. Brilliant!

Artefactum: Foxgloves & bluebells

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 28 2011
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Artist: Artefactum
Title: Foxgloves & bluebells
Format: CD
Label: ur muzik (@)
Rated: *****
This album from Artefactum deals programmatically with poetry because almost all of the lyrics is based on poems by various author and mostly from the romantic age.
"Fairly Lanterns" is constructed above the voice of Merissa d'Erlette above a sounscape made out of a drones and various bells giving a sort of romantic nightmare. Noises and a cavernous drone introduce the listener into "Of Subterranean Inhabitants" where spoken word gives a poetic mood to the whole track. "Primrose chant" is a sort of abstract tune for infants. "Oraisons mauvaises" is a repetitive ambient loop that ornes the voices of David Sabre reading the words of Remy de Gourmont. "Where Saffron and Daises Grow" uses the words of Emily Bronte whispered on a lovely and dark soundscape full of evocative images ending with a piano line. "La belle dame sans merci" is based on the lyrics of John Keats and is the softer track of this album with the bells to create the almost ethereal mood of the track with also the nature samples and ending, using traditional flutes and beats, with a smile.
This is a sophisticated album that lies between dark and ethereal with almost ethnic influence. It's an uneasy listening but, with a careful curiosity, will reveal a poetic depth. Quite nice.

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