Music Reviews



Aria Rostami: Form

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 24 2011
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Artist: Aria Rostami (@)
Title: Form
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Audiomoves (@)
Rated: *****
Some soft piano bitonal hiccups of the initial track Japanese Parisian intersecting some bumps which go by fits and starts welcome the listener to the musical microworld of Aria Rostami almost like a breeze leafing through a book, which silently helps the listener itself to look for some key explaining the entrancing beauty he's going to discover. The mental images this talented composer, whose composition sounds heavily influenced by his previous experiences with ambient pieces for film scores and installation, are as crystalline and glacial, as they've been mainly recorded during last winter; many moments, which sound hanging from contemplative raptures and soundproof daydreaming, evoke that feeling of precarious balance, entranced brittleness and harmonic delicacy, which could resurface from musical memories sketches of contemporary Japanese music (think about some stuff byTeruyuki Nobuchika, Ryuichi Sakamoto or Akira Kasemura), but tonal dynamics has often been propelled by rolling bass pulses and bleeps (a feature which is quite clear in tracks like Cleare or the lovely Klavs, where it could remind some tricks used by Murcof) or deep electronic bass notes or droning sounds, which have been wisely inoculated in the unstable piano melodies, such as in Daydream 26 or Mata Hari - my favorite track of the whole album for its strongly dramatic tension -, who could be linked to some interesting workouts by musicians such as Fennesz, Benge or Monoceros. In the final chapters of this sort of sonic narration, elements around which sonic experience has been built on look like more rarefied and impalpable: the short piece Black Tile almost imperceptibly debouches into the lake of ultra-low riverberating frequencies of Black Sands, whose recursive and loopable structure and cavernous dusk looks like a sonic letterpress of something permanent even if sometimes hidden like an old memory, the only part of this circuit which doesn't sound a "perishable" form, amidst so many bittersweet raising of transience.

Larva 108 : Music For Cup Marked Stones

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 24 2011
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Artist: Larva 108 (@)
Title: Music For Cup Marked Stones
Format: CD
Label: Inverno http://www.108nero.com/
Rated: *****
Right after his first collection of works came out Greytone label Guido Bisagni aka 108 is back and his music is fully blossomed. His post dark ambient melancholic mood can be easily recognized, this work based on sign left on stones shows how this guy hardly fail to put together a series of depressive tracks. Inspired by different places, these three long suites shows this guy beside being an incredible visual artist and having arranged a plethora of materials with Corpo Parassita, sometimes reaches the best result when focusing on his solo project. An over abundance of delayed guitar and field recording for the first track, while on the second the basic drone has been assembled on a synth and more elaborated and structured closing song. Just twenty two minutes, but the result is pure bliss, simple, sometimes naive and rough but the music of Larva has always some intriguing and mysterious aftertaste, like the sings on the rocks on which this work is based.

Deison : night session

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 24 2011
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Artist: Deison (@)
Title: night session
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
Many out there, probably can't remember Cristiano Deison played keyboards and samplers for Meathead, later he started his own solo carrier which among other things has brought him to cross his knobs with KK Null and to share a split with Thurston Moore. Does he need international credits to have more credibility? No way! Maybe it has probably helped him to reach a broader audience, above all his wonderful collaboration with KK Null, but as far as I concern Deison was a good musician from his early recordings and this cd (despite presenting a good amount of collaborations) testifies that again and again. He started as a dark ambient musician and he's slowly evolving his style, both his last collaboration and this new work shows he's experimenting to evolve his music. The majority of the tracks have a sort of quasi-electronic ecstatic feel. The sound definition is good, few sounds the reach the climax during the evolution of the track, drones, bleeps, guitar drones and synths have been used parsimoniously but with a hell of a taste. The atmosphere is melancholic but not depressive, it's one of those recordings that demands a relaxed night listening. Deison is probably reaching his full blossoming period.


Uphill Racer: How It Feels To Find There's More

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 17 2011
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Artist: Uphill Racer (@)
Title: How It Feels To Find There's More
Format: CD
Label: Normoton (@)
Distributor: Al!ve
Rated: *****
Any attempt of cataloguing Oliver Licht's (Uphill Racer's name on vital records office) fourth album, being it even the most imaginative lexical or semantic hybridization, could be tantamount to inflicting an unjust punishment, particularly if you consider not only the huge "logistic" effort in order to join together 15 different voices but also for the neat narrative coherence, the conceptual substance injected into a stylistically simple structure and the impressively wide assortment of musical colors, strongly amalgamated by the above-mentioned narrative unity, Oliver managed to ram into the fertile grounds of "How It Feels To Find There's More" (what a grandiloquent and suitable title for such an issue!). From Naissance (meaning birth) - that's the name of the "philosophical" intro on the voice of Judith Heusch (voice of Patty Moon), who looks like playing on the subjectivity of time perception when singing "There is a moment, now it is passed. Here is the future, now it is passed" - to the outro Renaissance (meaning rebirth), Uphill Racer plots an enthralling course, whose laps seem to scan a gradual ascension from falling to flowing, a step-by-step raising which is going to cause little crevices on the rocky surface of listener's heart by melting that undefined electronic pop naivety with some emotional bullets of Nordic folk, microscopic toy-like melodies, old-tune abstractions, meaningful lyrics, a certain sense of melancholy and many hooks which are going to resurface from the abysses of your musical memories many past listenings, which often smell of innocence and embryonic bliss. Most of singers could be new to you as they mainly come from indie-pop or indipendent labels' territories, but they exactly added to the tunes the touch Uphill Racer imagines and some of them are really touching: the sense of close distance perfectly fitted to the literary content of "From Miles" added by Betty Mugler from Hidalgo, the heavenly reverberating airy tone on "Applause" injected by Rebecka Maria Wallgren, that spot of greenhorn-like tousled lightheartedness imprinted by Kristof Deneus on "Gone With Eastern Winds", the light feeling of restlessness evoked by Aydo Abay on" The Automatic Function" - a lovely song whose atmosphere could remind the ones by Moderat - or the smooth-spoken caress by Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond on "Overfrail" - another lovely song who reminded to me some pieces by Tom Middleton's Amba -, the sing-song vocal massages by Patrick Haid from Line Drawings on the luminous "Kite", the powerful dramatic tension highlighted by Rosalie Eberle on the touching "Requiem For My Friend". The fourth album signed by this composer could be considered a pithy record, but not heavy at all, so that it's quite logical Normoton can easily announce they could promise to produce even his 25th album!

Voice of Eye: Anthology 2: 1992-1996

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 14 2011
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Artist: Voice of Eye (@)
Title: Anthology 2: 1992-1996
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Transgredient Records (@)
Rated: *****
Voice of Eye has been particularly busy lately. I guess they're making up for 10 years of lost time in which they built an "Earthship" house in the deserts of New Mexico (the photos on their website are particularly impressive). However, this is not new material, but rather a compilation of limited releases, live recordings, and compilation appearances from the period between 1992-1996. One would think that after almost 20 years in some cases that the music would sound dated. Luckily this is Voice of Eye we're talking about. Disc 1 is a much more varied group of tracks, owing to their disparate origins, but overall this is a great listen. From the opening track, 'Ascension of Joelene,' originally found on the Arrhythmia II compilation (now I'm feeling old; am I the only one who remembers this, let alone still has a copy of this comp?) with the pounding beats mixed with ethereal voices for ominous effect to the series of tracks from 'Sproket' that employ bicycles to create noisy industrial drone, this is an interesting mix.

Disc two is a bit more experimental but just as disjointed. 'Sonic Works Live Dress Rehearsal 1996' is almost an album's worth in its own right. Weighing in at just over 44 minutes, this is a monument to drone, fading into the background only to remind you of its presence as it glides along. There are noisy elements woven in, but overall the effect is soothing. It reminds me of, at least in the overall feel, of TAGC's 'Burning Water.' Next up, 'Tryst #8 ' excerpt' lulls the listener into complacency with the expected ethnoambient reminiscent of Steve Roach's works only to suddenly transform into Steven Stapleton's work as it progresses, becoming noisy, cut up, and disjointed in the most pleasant ways. This was a good time, and it makes sense considering it was originally part of a split tape with Big City Orchestra. 'Butterflies and Unicorns' once again makes a sudden shift with flute and strings and almost seems out of place after the much longer tracks that preceded it. Think In Gowan Ring and you're on the right track.

Overall, this is worth checking out. You already knew it would be good coming out on Trangredient, but this one demonstrates that Voice of Eye can create works that stand up over time. Disc 1 weighs in at around 74 minutes. Disc 1 weighs in at around 66 minutes.


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