Music Reviews

Simon Kölle: Res dej inte! [Stay Down]

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 04 2010
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Artist: Simon Kölle (@)
Title: Res dej inte! [Stay Down]
Format: CD
Label: Neuropa Records (@)
Rated: *****
Simon Kölle is debuting as a film composer and he just continues to impress me and I have begun to look forward to his music alot.
From the eerily mysterious albums of Musterion and Abnocto to the often rousing ethnical and fantasy inspired sounds of Za Frûmi.
Simon have shown us that he can do action-adventure before but with the soundtrack to Res dej inte! [Stay Down] he delivers a work that immediately signifies itself as being for a dark drama. Not that it should be a surprise to anyone seeing as how well he manage all genres he work with.

Like the Thin Red Line and even Schindler's List this score is rather quiet but in a good way. Already from the overture you get the idea of a dark film.

If you are a fan of dark ambient or a soundtrack fan just looking for something different, you might want to give this one a spin.
Simon Kölle keep on showing us that he knows his stuff and that he can score for whatever situation is needed, and with over and hour of beautifully dark music, what more could you ask for?

The music grows darker as it progresses, though it doesn’t turn too depressing. It is rather more sentimentally saddened at times and also break out hard with a couple of more fast paced tracks. "The Strangulation of Arash" is one of my favourits in its simplicity. It is also a track used in the great trailer (see it on youtube).

The title track is based on guitar, pump organ and some violin and it is beautiful. The use of the pump organ is great and "Erik's World" is really a minimalistic masterpiece. "For the Rest of my life" is a cue filled with emotions and I can only imagine what is happening in the film when that song is heard.

The film is part of an important swedish project which works with street violence. The film has been shown on film festivals and will also
be seen on swedish national TV and in schools! It was written by Sebastian Ylvenius, Erik Bolin and the director Richard Jarnhed.

In the press material I read things about the film which makes me want to see it:

"A dark, realistic story, the film follows three youth gangs and their time spent on the streets and their lives. Over a relatively short span the characters deal with paranoia, pain, violence and more. This film is powerful and grim. The last scenes are totally unforgettable. The plot comes to a sudden end and there are no truths about what really happened. More than a film, Res dej inte! is a comment about the ongoing violence in society."

All what the characters deal with are heard in the music and it embrace a frightening aspect, as if sharing the increasingly terrifying dangers of the youth's portrayed in the film.
is a quite superb score in every respect, and can easily be counted amongst the best efforts in the genre. Despite the relative obscurity of the composer to the public (even though we know him), and the art-house sensibilities of the film, the score stands up with the best Hollywood has offered the last month's and I sincerely hope Kölle follows the trail blazed by director Richard Jarnhed and they embark on a road to the mainstream.

Overall, this is an excellent score and if you've loved the music to films like Alien and The Omen you will definitely love this one as well. But you also here hints of the music of John Carpenter and Michael Suby.

It's a terrific score that fans of the genre for sure should waste no time in obtaining.

Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Miwak Twelve
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Hymen records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
If a label reaches the target to survive 12 years as an active outlet for intelligent Electronica music, then this has to celebrated. The whole Chain D.L.K. team congrats the Hymen Records label to its 12th birthday and is proud to get invited. According to this happening and to celebrate this event with the listeners, Hymen has released the right gift. "Miwak Twelve" is the name of this double-CD compilation, which features mostly new and unreleased tracks of the projects out of the label roster, as well as of some contributions by guests of the famous partner-label Ant-Zen and from several other resources, which are standing in one or another relation to the label. See the full tracklist below and chose your favorite, as this compilation offers quality only. I therefore pick up only a few contributors, which left the most impression. Already the opener of CD1, created by the German project THE EMPATH, impresses with some spacey synth pads and tasteful IDM-related percussion inserts. SOMATIC RESPONSE out of Wales are a real institution for Hymen and active since the beginning of the label. They offer with "Takayama (Another Rainy Day)" energetic Electro bass lines and a hard-hitting rhythm work. Female mistress TONIKOM offers interesting bass lines integrated in a break-beat firework. BLACK LUNG is a project by the well-known Australian sound-wizard David Thrussel (SNOG), who offers here a striking and straight-forward moving noisy tune. HPC out of Norway offers the right balance between harsh Noise percussion elements and a well-thought form of Industrial ambience. ACCESS TO ARASAKA, well, we’ve reached one of my personal favorites during the last months offers an older tune originally released on the netlabel Illphabetik, about with the same intense sci-fi feeling well presented on the marvelous full-length album "Oppidan", out on Tympanik and Spectraliquid. Not to forget DRYFT, the sole effort by the former GRIDLOCK-member Mike Cadoo – somehow his synth layer programming offers a lot of similarities to his unfortunately too early gone cult project.
Quite a lot of well-done works for CD1, but CD2 shouldn’t stand in the shadow. COMBUSTION is a Brazilian project and convinces with an interesting sound-design, plus some decent female vocal contributions by Caro Roth. SNOG a.k.a. David Thrussel gets the expected additional free slot and performs his inimitable "The End Of The World". The Canadian sound-designer of BLACKFILM manages still a lot, to hide himself from the audience, but since his scary Ambient music with its dramatic orchestral inserts are sort of a lecture of "How-to-produce-opulent-arranged-film-scores", I see myself quite fascinated by the audio result – who cares, who’s standing behind this project? The AB OVO-musician Jérôme Chassagnard shakes with "Time Traveller" another superb tune easily out of his wrist, which fascinates with a famous synth-play. And Mika Goedrijk hasn’t to be missed, since his last EP on Ant-Zen was a marvelous output – "Sore Eyes" stands rather more for his darker and lesser aggressive side of his straight-oriented tunes. Also MARCHING DYNAMICS a.k.a. Shane Talada drops an "Almighty Bomb", until the classic Hands-recording act ORPHX lead us into their monotonous, quite KLINIK-like sounding analog-produced Electronic Ambience music. DEAD HOLLYWOOD STARS need to be mentioned too, since the legendary Mr. John Sellekaers (Metarc Studios) stands behind this project – you’ll get it, he of course has also done the mastering of this DCD compilation.
And if some of you out there still have doubts, that 12 years in this shark-driven music business aren’t reason enough to celebrate this with a compilation – well, try yourself to survive with a related project a single year! And be assured, that the Hymen/Ant-Zen clan will find enough good reasons to return with a similar impressive compilation to their 15th year of existence. Let’s move on!
tracklist cd1:
the_empath: at the heart of it all
slam52: frosd
somatic responses: takayama (another rainy day)
millipede: concevoir (gaztheque remix by aphorism)
defrag: the old growth
tonikom: the source
nebulo: sunurb
deru: between you and me
black lung: the hostmen of tyne
lowfish: wreckage
hpc: phoenix
access to arasaka: xt10.20zp9
architect: awake
dryft: vector step (elimination)
hecq: sleep through the day

tracklist cd 2:
combustion: building the house of vanity (feat. caro roth)
ginormous: arrive with eyes ablaze
snog: the end of the world (intimate mix)
crunch: karot (vent remix)
mad ep vs. bryce beverlin II: breakstuff
keef baker: sacrifice
blackfilm: se5
karsten pflum: capstone switch
abs6: premiers traitements
wisp: the bard (postlude)
jerome chassagnard: timeless travelers
mika goedrijk: sore eyes
marching dynamics: almighty bomb
orphx: intercession (edit)
bit shifter: easy prey
dead hollywood stars: back in town
end: jailbait rock
twenty knives: royal vomitorium

Noiseshaper : Satellite City

 Posted by Royce Icon   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 11 2010
Artist: Noiseshaper (@)
Title: Satellite City
Format: CD
Label: Cat 'N Roof
Rated: *****
"Satellite City" is the new album from Dub/ Electro-Reggae act Noiseshaper.
I've actually been getting into a lot of reggae and dub recently, but I'm going to be up front by saying that I really can't enjoy this record. While
this record is expertly produced and it features some very nice sounds and performances by talented vocalists and musicians, I just can't shake the feeling of soulless cultural appropriation that I get from most of these songs.

Every one of the 10 tracks here just seem so bland and sanitized, there is no emotion or feeling, nor is there any particularly innovative King Tubby style dub experimentation to peak my interest. Just track after track of dub meets deephouse boredom. Some of the vocals are good, but not good enough to make the entire album worthwhile.

Noiseshaper have been massively successful, and chances are you may enjoy this. But personally, when I'm in the mood for dub or reggae I'd rather listen to some Linval Thompson or Lee Perry.

HC-B : Soundcheck for a Missing Movie

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 04 2010
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Artist: HC-B (@)
Title: Soundcheck for a Missing Movie
Format: CD
Label: Hidden Shoal
Rated: *****
An alternative title could have been "soundtrack for a missing movie" since that’s the style of this Italian post rock ensemble. A good work recorded by Sacha Tilotta from Three Second Kiss and son of two Uzeda members, the sound is ok and the production is overall quite good. Post-rock, the way you expect it to be and since I know some of you are looking for these cheesy comparisons to decide it it’s worth of a check or not, the genre is that chamber/well orchestrated post-rock a la Rachel’s meet late June of 44. Solid drum-beat, driving guitars bows, horns and several arrangements that reinforce the simple structure of most of the tracks. The band is not that technical as those I’ve mentioned, but with a could of good riffs, melody and these reinforcements the result is quite juicy above all if you’re a fan of the genre. Sometimes this or that passage is quite predictable but is suppose these guys are quite young so there’s enough room for improving, melodically everything is ok, maybe the next step is a further development of their personality. Maybe they’re a little bit too "loyal to the dogmas" of this musical style and even if they already have the "suggestion" by their side the expression has its importance.

Raoul Sinier: Tremens Industry

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 01 2010
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Artist: Raoul Sinier (@)
Title: Tremens Industry
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
The intriguing creative and operational skills of the Parisian digital painter and electronic musician Raoul Sinier have been already disclosed when Ad Noiseam decided to issue its very first release with his real name (and not by using his moniker Ra), Huge Samurai Radish '“ if you miss the "radish-o-phobic" nice clip, you'll find it in the nice DVD attached to this oeuvre - in 2007, whose sinister noises, crackling beats and static melodies colliding with multicolored poisoned baits of grating crunched sounds could just be considered as a sort of sonic manifestation of its painting attitudes. Tremens Industry, the logical link of the heavy chain crafted through its previous releases (as the listener's going to experience something similar to a sort of hybridization between the crunched hip hop crumbles dropped in Wxfdswxc2 and the stormy corrugated meatballs of sounds cooked in Brain Kitchen), is the best occasion to appreciate both sides of this contemporary craftsman, whose experiments with video and audio-clips could be considered complementary as well.

From the musical viewpoint, the fearful Tremens Industry (a sort of allegorical transliteration of a fervid and tireless creative mind getting wicked after a prolonged operative session?!?! A monstrous mutation that could be perfect to describe the freaky figments of Sinier's imagination!!!) looks more accessible than his past works, maybe for the presence of some songs (such as The Hole '“ we like the bizarre wit of its lyrics... watch related clips on the DVD for a visual transposition, folks!!! -, the rough metallic alloying of Elle A Raison, the lovely Boxes '“ one of my favorite "French-touched" tracks... - and List Of Things '“ a more hip-hop oriented tune reminding to us the golden era of Funkstorung-like electronic moistures on the classic hopping rhythmical pattern), composed mainly by vocal "clutches" on catching drum patterns and melodic lines derived from its self-made guitar (a specific video documentary among the extras will explain how to build a similar one step-by-step!!!), alternated with cool electronic pieces and some charming tracks in a unique coherent composition, introduced by the estranged effect induced by Overthoughts, a track which seems to be built on the typical electronic jingles used for broadcasted TV news '“ we like this kind of ironic insertions! -. Even if some episodes look slightly creepy and gritty '“ a dark recipe which doesn't harm its stylish formula... could you tell Burton's characters will preserve their attraction if deprived of their gothic appeal for instance? -, we'll glad to rediscover Sinier's crease-proof "playfulness" is the same as ever.

The second part of Tremens Industry (the visual one) consists of a DVD (with English & German subtitles)crammed by cartoons, 3d animations and some cool portraits grabbed from Sinier's "reality" among which I enjoyed the frightening La Peau du Soldat (translation: The Soldier's Skin) and its funny psychotic narration featuring some mute characters which seem to be just some multiplied identities of the narrator. Shorts, freaks, animations, eccentric characters (after the above-mentioned army of violent radishes, the dramatic funny gastronomic saga of food prompted by evil intentions is going to keep on throughout a troublesome chicken's breast... a really daily torment indeed!!! ) will surely entertain you and supposedly you'll be delighted by Sinier's attempt to involve the beneficiary of this release in its creative universe by including an how-to about his self-made guitar and some cool samples of speed painting powered by his MAC... don't call it just IDM ( ... and don't forget to call the cruel robot from the second videoclip index!!!)!

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