Music Reviews

ROBERT VINCS: pneumatikos

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 15 2011
Artist: ROBERT VINCS (@)
Title: pneumatikos
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
The debut release of this australian musician has been one of my favorite listenings coming from the land of kangaroos of the last years, every once in a while I play it and I still find it full so intense. Robert Vincs is back and the intensity is still the same, be it my personal impression or not, I think there's some sort of "mysterious feeling" creeping underneath the tracks of this new work. Even if the style of mr Vincs is still easily distinguishable, there're some considerable differences from the previous cd, I've had the impression the most of the songs have a more easy edge and I'm sure it came out naturally, it hasn't been some market strategy (hey, we're still talking about "borderline-jazz-music" what kind of market strategy can you plan!?). Eugene Unghetti and Scott Dunbabin have a big impact on the sound of this work since their role is far from that of simple pawns, they do mostly light but firm interventions and interact harmoniously with the sax of Robert Vincs. Differently from the past I don't hear that many "aboriginal music" influences, while the ambient-jazz and soundtrack elements are stronger than ever, I'm also tented to say sometimes "Pneumatikos" gives the impression it could result a more inspired and more experimental answer to Jan Garbarek or to some other ECM artists, I'm sure many will take it as bad thing but they're wrong. A more rarefied and experimental answer to some soundtracks of David Torn?...I'd say a lot more than that, just give a listen to "I hear voices". A friend of mine uses to say of all Anglo-Saxon descendants, Australians are the most freaky, this guy always says that with a lot of respect for these Oceanians and in someway I think he's not wrong at all and if you listen to this cd you'll know what he mean, above all when you find freaky elements and jazz influences well mixed track after track. I think this cd could be accessible for many kind of listeners, at the same time It betrays an incredible personality and a particular compositional skill that brings it far from predictability. When you think jazz or music with a jazzy edge has nothing more to say, releases like these show you you've been too quick to judge.

Yney: Micro Macro

 Posted by Barton Graham   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 13 2011
Artist: Yney
Title: Micro Macro
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock Records (@)
Rated: *****
'Micro Macro' opens up nicely with manipulated dialogue samples and processed synths, that somehow manage to sneak in a few choice chord progressions. The instrumentation is very sparse on Yney's Sophomore release, with jazzy six string basslines incorporated throughout, though in the second half of the disc they become more abstract and/or distorted. Those bass riffs add a certain something to the experience, even if at times they seem to work against the surrounding instrumentation. There were certain parts which were a bit 'Casio' for my liking, being of a noticeably lower quality than others whose instrumentation were much more appealing and professional sounding. I completely understand the concept of 'minimal' and am a big fan when it's executed well and properly thought out, I'm just not positive that this release was entirely effective in those two areas. By the final track, the listener is presented with what could potentially have proven to be the beginnings of a great piece, until it is abruptly cut short at just a minute twenty. The record was overall a little sleepy, which worked in some parts but not quite in others. It also has a very unique 'ethereal jazz fusion' quality to certain pieces that despite being a bit partitioned, were undeniably interesting.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Surge & Subside
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Aphotic Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
How pervert is this? Millions of Germans have been sitting in January evening by evening decadently in front of their TV sets to watch the 'drama' of a group of wannabe-prominent people 'trapped' in an Australian jungle camp.
The real drama though has happened to the same time only a few miles away in the Australian state of Queensland, which has been punished with a millennium-tide. It has been a historical high tide, which Australia hasn't seldom seen before. Uncountable people lost all of their estates, several had to fight for nothing more than their naked survival.
I'm ashamed by our TV-watching (de-)generation, which is seemingly impressed by the childish behavior of these half-prominent jackasses, which have played their role well in a faked show. Simply to say 'sorry' for this unbelievable and disrespectful kind against those Australian people fighting for their existence sounds like utter mockery. However, there are people over there in Australia making the right decision about charity. Help in any form is required and any idea, which promises only a small doze of relief, is an action to follow and support.
The same thoughts have had the people of the label Aphotic Audio (EMPTY), even more regarding the fact, that with Ken Evans of the Synthpop-project TYCHO BRAHE, one of their friends is directly affected. So with the support of the Australian Crash Frequency community, they've sent out their call for help and support to international-based artists, friends and band-projects, to provide tracks for this charity DCD compilation set, which can be purchased directly via the Aphotic Audio website.
All proceeds extracted out of the sales of this DCD compilation will be forwarded to the flood victims in Queensland. The response has been amazing: You'll get global scene-players like PSYCHE, ANGELSPIT, DISMANTLED, ASSEMBLAGE 23, SKREW, or COLLIDE asides hard-working independent contributors like DIVERJE, LUCIDSTATIC, I, PARASITE, ANDROID LUST, AUTOCLAV 1.1, ANGEL THEORY, and of course the complete roster of the Aphotic label (among others EMPTY, M(I)LKRUN, IAMMYNEWT...). By checking the mouthwatering track listings stated below, it's nearly forbidden to rate any of these fine contributors for their good intention, as they all offer the best they can - what counts is the will to help and to support the victims of this tragic flood.
All purchasers of this DCD set via the Aphotic Audio website will be specially rewarded with an additional Download-pack consisting out of 9 additional tracks (see below...). More than ever before are you, dear listener of Electro-/Industrial-/Alternative-music, asked for to purchase this compilation set. As the current dramatic happenings in Japan and Libya additionally prove, there can't be enough action available to relief suffering. So now it is on you to show your support ' illegal downloading of this DCD set is strictly forbidden and similar pervert, than the behavior of all participants of the TV 'drama' mentioned above! Go ahead and buy this one!

1-1 Sensory Gate - Ianus 2:46
1-2 Angelspit - Cold Hard Cash 4:05
1-3 Empty - Drift (Ginger Snap5 Remix) 5:25
1-4 Bound In Oblivion - Pain & Suffering 6:32
1-5 Psyche (2) - The Beyond - Live (Flood Relieft Edition) 5:32
1-6 Streak (3) - Groovey Booty 6:06
1-7 Diverje - Suffer ( V2 Remix) 4:08
1-8 Dismantled - Dead On Impact 4:23
1-9 Lucidstatic - Operating Directive 7:18
1-10 Mangadrive - 67 Gemini Starglider 5:49
1-11 NVEiN - All So Wired 5:02
1-12 Skrew - Universal Immolation 5:38
1-13 Tempest & The Diaspora - IO 3:42
1-14 Viral Millennium - Vomitosis 3:47
1-15 In-Fused - Misplaced (Iammynewt E-rage Mix) 5:26
1-16 Maximum Sexy Pigeon - Tunguska! (Water Retentive Mix) 3:29

2-1 P45K - Adrift 3:15
2-2 Assemblage 23 - Raw 6:47
2-3 I, Parasite - A Violence At Rest 7:43
2-4 Android Lust - God In The Hole 3:49
2-5 Soulchasm - My Facade (Empty Remix) 4:35
2-6 Autoclav1.1 - Waxing 4:45
2-7 Anhedonia - Rain 5:23
2-8 Motion Fused - Reflection Of Madness (Extended) 4:37
2-9 Angeltheory - The Wind 4:12
2-10 Headdreamer - Colder 5:22
2-11 Collide - Ocean 5:26
2-12 M(i)lkrun - Lard Ram 3:48
2-13 Dark Territory - Trista Me (Angeltheory Mantra Mix) 4:34
2-14 Iammynewt - itHURTS 3:55
2-15 Flood Of Rain - Grey Sky 5:34
2-16 Blast Radius - To Find Them Frozen 5:07

MP3-1 Sensory Gate - Purgatory (Marco Zanza Devoted Mix) 5:17
MP3-2 Empty (3) - This Regret Redux 5:29
MP3-3 P45K - Before Dawn 5:55
MP3-4 Blast Radius - Sight Unseen 4:53
MP3-5 P45K - What Have I Done 6:06
MP3-6 Tempest & The Diaspora - Jasmine 4:34
MP3-7 Iammynewt - Egor (Version 2.0) (Skullduggery Remix) 3:56
MP3-8 Disharmony - Evolution 8:12
MP3-9 Betty X - Shoot'em Up (Fury Road Mix) 3:04
Apr 01 2011
Artist: Soufferance, Vision (@)
Title: Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The Mind
Format: CD
Label: Valse Sinistre (@)
Distributor: Aliens Production
Rated: *****
We are relative aware about the fact, that most music based out of the gray area rather represents niches asides the so-called Mainstream. But these niches seem to grow anywhere, as this label, Valse Sinistre, hails out of Romania, an Eastern-European country, which has been a white spot on my world map so far. Musically, as far as I can rate this after three discovered releases, they are about to present Experimental, Abstract and mostly Ambient-influenced styles of music. This Canadian artist named Peine isn't an exception and presents a pure Dark Ambient album, which musically quells can be named with dark and haunting drones full of experiments, quite often supported by psycho-acoustic inserts. This album rather acts like a soundtrack into far, far away discovered areas of a human mind, it is music to sink into. It therefore fits, that this album consists of only 1 track, which clocks 65 minutes. No pauses in between, special 'sections' with different instrumentation got faded in or out. The possible comparison to some Cold Meat Industrial projects, taken out of the info sheet provided by the label, isn't that far away to start a description of this project. A lot of praise also for the stunning artwork of this album, which offers a book-like design with a size of a DVD box, filled with drawings, texts and illustrations.

Triangular Ascension: Leviathan Device

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 24 2011
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Artist: Triangular Ascension
Title: Leviathan Device
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
This is the debut album by Federico Agreda taking inspiration from Thomas Hobbes book "Leviathan". According to the press sheet "the album aims to depict the inner nightmare of the reality of mankind". This album relies heavily on sonic impact rather than subtle structural textures and the result is, in some part, amazing: heavy drones, nocturnal soundscapes and a lot of volume on the effect. But, unfortunately, not a lot of inventions in the development of the tracks; in this regards this is a classic dark ambient album with some remarkable features but any distinguishable tract.
"Twilights of the land" opens this record with a massive load of crafty constructions of the classic elements of dark ambient and, after listening to "sacrifice and tragedy" it's stunning to consider the quality of the mastering: this record sounds really well in his sonic fury in the description of an almost horror movie. But, strangely but understandable, here relies the real weakness of this album. When it's the turn of "the throne of water" it became obvious the development of the track and, while the sound is carefully constructed, one knows what's happening in advance. The title track tries to introduce some noise element in the recipe and, in this path, the musical journey continues until "whale requiem" closes it with an ambient side that relieves the tension continuosly underpinned in the development of this work.
This is not a milestone in the genere but, if you are a dark ambient fan, this is a record not just for collectors. When Agreda will balance his sonic construction with some variety and a sense of structure it will be probably a milestone. Nice.

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