Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Compilation Vol.3

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 25 2010
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Compilation Vol.3
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
COMPILATION 3 is the new Solar One Music CDr compilation issued as usual in a 100 copies run. This time, Robert and Nico packed the new release with thirteen new tracks and three remixes (you can find them into the 3" CDr attached to the inner cover of the hand made digipack package). The compilation is opened by an electronic atmospheric great tune titled "R.F.I.D.", by Miami electro techno enthusiast AS1. Atmospheric electro continues with Komarken Electronics with a robotic tune with 8 bit like sounds, titled "Spaciousness". The same atmosphere is produced by Destral, that with "I love your fat ass" produce nice Miami bass driven sounds with bleeps and long pads. =UHU= is here with a remix of "Lyntas jazz", a track which mix minimal techno, house and electro. Aratkilo with "Blood-feud" changes the atmosphere adding darkness (check the menacing vocals) and obsessive synth lines to bouncing bass lines and hard 4/4 beats. Kan3da with "Gbg" ease the atmosphere thanks to robotic sounds and pads arpeggios. Alek Stark with "Am I wrong" is here with an obsessive tune of dark electro with vocoder filtered vocals and techno intuitions. "Planet 3" by Planetwalker is an electronic tune with synth alternating sound, electro funk bass lines and robotic atmospheres. SLF's "Aurora Borealis" is based on a circular melodic mechanical structure almost dreamy. Vagon Brei with "Ascension" present a cinematic electronic mid-tempo with nice melodies. The Exaltics with "Second choice" break the delicate atmosphere of the track before with techno industrial rhythms and epic/dreamy syth lines. Zyntax with "Sunset walk" mix ambient cold atmospheres, techno experimentalism and hypnotic melodies. Crotaphytus with "Bite 6" close the first CD with dreamy atmospheres, grinding rhythmical samples and icy ambient sounds. The MCD is opened by Clatterbox's remix of "Science of the naked men", a dark mid tempo track with early electronic industrial atmospheres (do you remind Portion Control?). Crotaphytus remix "Plug", a track originally by Katelectro Vs. Jauzas The Shining. They made of it a mix of techno industrial and dry electronic music with orchestral inserts. The whole compilation closes with The Exaltics remix of David Rottemeyer's "Logo 81", a nice electro upbeat tempo track with catchy obsessive melodic lines, cold pads and rich rhythmic parts. Make your purchase... quality is here!

Gabriel Le Mar: Jump Cuts

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 22 2010
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Artist: Gabriel Le Mar (@)
Title: Jump Cuts
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Yebo! One of the two Saafi Brothers (the psychedelic trance and dub freak he created with Michael Kohlbecker), Gabriel Le Mar, erects an ideal bridge between Zulu traditional music, one of the richest one as well as one of the meaningful of the African ones, and contemporary forms of techno music by bringing it back to the concept of tribalism, which inspired for many years all those essayists which tried to give a conceptual framework to the techno movement. Zulu music already acted as a source for inspiration for many European and American contemporary composers, but Gabriel maybe has been the first musician proposing an interesting mélange mixing together contemporary minimal techno with branches of Zulu musical tradition (in particular mbaqanga and maskanda) as well as a certain mysticism belonging to that culture ('¦and many musicians know how important is music for those tribes, whose lyrics are usually old poems, lullabies, chants which sometimes even include animal verses in order to highlight the deep connection with environment and nature'¦) by putting them into the groove in such a brilliant way and by involving some key figures of that scene, including the deep voice and the creative wit (according to many African music experts, she had been one of the best fusionist of the contemporary age, by proposing many astonishing hybridizations of marabi, maskanda and mbaqanga with elements of jazz, rock, rap, reaggae and even opera!) of Bushi Mhlongo (mourned by all South-African music scene for her recent decease in June'¦she will enjoy ethereal dances on tracks such as Critical Caution together with the holy spirits of other musicians in the area of the Heaven, which, I imagine, has been reserved to musicians'¦), one of the voice which inspired the fight for freedom in South Africa according to President Zuma, Lungiswa Plaatjies (another impressive singer, who got a certain notoriety for the fact she's maybe the first mbira female player) , Madala Kunene (the enthralling Konkomania, a remake of his song Kon'ko man, meaning Strong Man in Zulu language, which helped spreading the music from the native Kwa Natal all over the world, is definitively one of my favorite track of this record) and Mantombe Matotiyani, voice of Amampondo, one of the favorite band by Nelson Mandela and previous collaborators of Gabriel Le Mar as well, borrowing her trance-inducing voice on Drift, one of the best sample of the above-mentioned mélange, featuring a catching dub-techno groove .

Vocal-powered record whose mystical connection has been based on the whimsical and meaningful mixture of some ancestral feelings and hypnotic African rhythms with nowadays forms of dub and techno (Le Mar's preferred music territories indeed!) which reminded to me that daydreaming state of mind between reverie and befuddlement Zulus usually name Dwaal. A calling to arms to all music listeners who love more syncretic electronic freaks!

Jubulani, Zakea! [Be happy'¦it's beautiful!]

Troum: Autopoiesis/Nahtscato

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 16 2010
cover
Artist: Troum
Title: Autopoiesis/Nahtscato
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This Cd compiles two lp's originally released in 2004 and 2005 by Troum, a project coming from Germany. The 9 composition alternate some low volume deep drones and a synth oriented ambient with a pretty majestic mood layering on it. The more Troum go on the drone side, mostly on the second part of the cd, the more they become interesting. The synth part are a bit spoiled when it comes to sound, though they don't lack a certain kind of atmosphere, a darkened one of course. The tracks "O choros ton epithymion" shows a more percussive feeling and in conjunction with some invasive drones probably gives birth to the most intense moment of the cd. Interesting but not mandatory.

Horologium: A handful of dust and ashes

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 16 2010
cover
Artist: Horologium
Title: A handful of dust and ashes
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Another release for the polish Zoharum. Horologium come from Poland as well. They have several releases out, and this cd compiles a couple of early cdr's released in 2005 with the addition of 3 live songs. Horologium seem to be very active in the neo-folk scene, also from the live concerts side, though this cd shows a large number of composition with several elements combined. There's synth ambient for sure, a gloomy kind of one, some orchestral arrangements, samples, creepy noises, industrial elements sounds here and there, organ parts, a martial fascination that band seems to possess, and that allegedly will become a trademark for Horologium. Probably the feeling is enforced by the fact that this cd compiles different releases, but it seems that the mix of different elements not always works, it's like a collage that sometimes fails in being organic rather than being appealing. Interesting for the fans who want to rediscover the roots of Horologium. Digipack packaging.

Woodland Choir: Serenity rise

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 16 2010
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Artist: Woodland Choir
Title: Serenity rise
Format: CD
Label: Epidemie (@)
Rated: *****
Hailing from Hungary, Woodland Choir, a.k.a. Attila Bakos, the mind and the arm behind the project, is not on the usual side of art. It's more common to see art-works springing from tormented souls, states of sorrow, anger, frustration, basically negative feelings stimulating creativity. The main concept behind Woodland Choir refers to love for life, serenity, hope. Something pretty unusual mirrored by those 9 songs based on peaceful and melodic acoustic guitar arpeggios. Vocals are added, sometimes choirs, occasional flute and synth, creating a calm atmosphere where's there's no place for melancholy. It's rather the soundtrack for a contemplative sunny morning in the countryside in the middle of nowhere. This is fully that acoustic/folk the label is writing about. The aim is achieved though the vocal parts sometimes rate not the best ones. As far as my knowledge of hungarian folk goes there's no trace of it if it's a question that comes to your mind


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