Music Reviews



Gold Panda: Lucky Shiner

 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 29 2010
cover
Artist: Gold Panda (@)
Title: Lucky Shiner
Format: CD
Label: Ghostly Int. (@)
Distributor: K7 Partners
Rated: *****
Every reliable source foretelling glitch approach should have caught on many musical grounds keeps on being enhanced by interesting directions and paths opened by musicians such as Gold Panda, an English whimsical producer that after a plenty of remixes for the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, The Field (one of the most relevant source for inspiration in my opinion), Little Boots, Bloc Party and so on and some juicy releases, including the critically acclaimed Quitters Raga on Make Mine, whose bizarre bridging with Indian Raga tradition has been partially reprised on India Lately (one of the most brilliant mosaic embellishing Lucky Shiner!) here ' even some Indian spices give off their distinctive scent in different tracks'¦-, finally signs his first full-length album on Ghostly Int., coming after You EP, featuring remixes from Seams, Dam Mantle, Osborne and Minotaur Shock (one of the musical gardeners, which could be considered among the most adjoining to the brimful gardens where this specie of Panda healthily grows up!).

Helped by Simian Mobile Disco's James Shaw for mixing and recorded in two session in the lovely Essex countryside, where his uncle and aunt live and whose surroundings idyllically reverberates in some quiet moments of the record such as Parents ' a track featuring Gold Panda's mum whose voice introduces the guitar soft melody, playing as a golden setting into a natural soundscape, rendered by some chirping birds -, I'm With You But I'm Lonely ' whose abstract daydreaming melancholic sound setting and trembling childplay chimes have nicely been mortised with funny acoustic percussions which could remind the first drumming exercises of a child with crockery, pots and pans ' and sometimes turning into flickering psychedelic breezes such as Same Dream China (I imagined while listening to this track, reminding a little bit the reveries by Caribou aka Manitoba, Gold Panda getting inspiration from moments when he had fun with Chinese balloons'¦) or Marriage, a track that seems fitted to the glancing through a scrap book with images from a wedding celebration celebrated in the countryside!

Exploring his musical imaginary insufflated by a pastoral view of English countryside and musically pricked by Golden Panda's two years Japanese experience where he studied Japanese culture, language and history at the School of Oriental and Asian studies is like watching the sounding translation of his personal diary as suggested by the title of the album itself as Lucky Shiner is GP's grandmother's name and the pitched tear-eyed chords, the static beats and the gentle operation of bit-crushing synths propelling tracks such as Vanilla Minus, After We Talk ' showing a way of deconstructing hip-hop for the likes of Four Tet and Prefuse 73's listeners ' and above all You (the opening and the closing track of the album, whose vocal sample is more recognizable in the latter one while in the first it looks like filtered by the consciousness of a child!). Personal emotional worlds, but so well forged that it looks like Golden Panda's inviting the listener to pour it into his/her intimate dimension!

Lovely shining stuff!

Pip Williams: Natural Instinct

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 28 2010
cover
Artist: Pip Williams
Title: Natural Instinct
Format: 12"
Label: Shameless Toady (@)
Rated: *****
You read recently about Phil Ventre here at Chain D.L.K. because I reviewed his Pip Williams' "Resistance is futile" EP. Back with his own label Shameless Toady, he delivers another Pip Williams release titled NATURAL INSTINCT. Released as a beautiful three tracks picture 12" and digitally (this edition has as bonus track "Rasta four eyed"), the EP finds Pip dealing with dubstep rhythms and cinematic atmospheres. Having great sounds and samples, the tracks are built using many sources and alternating them creating a sense of "incoming catastrophe". Tiny melodic patterns crashes on pulsating bass beats while echoing synth sounds form a intricate web. Upbeat, complex and also experimental NATURAL INSTINCT will lead you down dreamy stairs. Watch your step and check it if you like Legion Of Two's "Riffs" album released by Planet Mu.
P.s. You can find the digital edition here http://www.junodownload.com/products/natural-instinct/1628474-02/?ref=dlk

PIETRO RIPARBELLI / K11 : Metamorphic Portrait 1230 A. D.

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 27 2010
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Artist: PIETRO RIPARBELLI / K11
Title: Metamorphic Portrait 1230 A. D.
Format: CD
Label: Actual Noise
Rated: *****
During the last year I've been reviewing at least three Ripabelli's releases and I've seen him once live, funny since despite the fact I happened to hear and read his name mentioned several times I didn't know how he sounded like or anything else about him and all of a sudden one listening after the other. This italian artist is quite well known for his activities in the dark ambient-post-industrial esoteric scene and I'm sure you will agree it emerges also by the musical aesthetic of his works. The positive thing about is works is that he's an incredible taste and he's far from the flashy of the genre, another great quality of his solo releases his the great sound quality of his productions so please don't mix him with many lo-quality sci-fi esoteric new-jacks dealing with power-noise or with the dark ambient thing. "Metamorphic Portrait" has been released with sound sources recorded in the lower Nasilica of Assisi and take for granted the esoteric factor of the whole cd is high on top, but as the artist himself writes in the line note of the release that's part of his personal research and explains the enormous religious feel of which this work is imbued. Despite some characteristic dark ambient sound and distortion I will somehow recognize in other works with the moniker K11, this cd is characterized by a large use of delays and echoes and by many vocal sound, gregorian chants, vocal singing and ancient ritual singing like that, but don't think it may resemble Rison D'Etre, everything is less clean, the original shape of the vocals drifts ashore and in some traces they've been submerged by some power distorsions that after a while live space to what sounds like an organ. The cocktail ends sounding really esthetic which is something that definitely lacks to many releases like that, plus you have to consider Ripabelli really knows how to build an emphatic and interesting structure fo tracks like those contained in this cd. If you've never gave him a listen maybe it's time to check how he sounds like.

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
cover
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!]


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