Music Reviews



SUNKEN FOAL: Fallen Arches

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 20 2008
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Artist: SUNKEN FOAL
Title: Fallen Arches
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu
Rated: *****
Sunken Foal is the project of an Irish guy called Duncan Murphy. He, helped by occasional friends, did a great debut album titled FALLEN ARCHES. Mixing acoustic instruments like guitars, piano and drum with electronic sounds (sometimes, i.d.m. rhythms or rough synth melodies like on "Rikkic"), Sunken Foal is offering a fresh approach to modern electronic music. Duncan composed tracks that sound like experimental folk electronic suites, others that are structured like songs (with vocals and acoustic guitar with electronic inserts) as well as jazz dark instrumental suites that suddenly turns into folk songs. The atmosphere created on the album is difficult to be described but try to imagine an experimental electronic version of King Of Convenience and add a sprinkle of freshness and a bit of craziness to that beautiful melancholy. Try it with after a difficult day and let me know...

POLARLICHT 4.1: Famos

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 18 2008
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Artist: POLARLICHT 4.1
Title: Famos
Format: CD
Label: Funkwelten (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
After their 2006 CD on Zone 30 Records, Polarlicht 4.1 are back with their third album titled FAMOS. Containing eleven new tracks, FAMOS is presenting ten new tracks focused on industrial rhythms and minimal ambient variations. As for their previous "Drittklangtrager" melody hasn't much space into Polarlicht 4.1's sound structure but this time I found that the tracks have widen their ambience by alternating tracks based on harsh sounds/rhythms (like "Planetenjager V.01") to ones more ambient oriented ("Nachdenken", "Transmitter V.01", "Transmitter V.02", track that is based on i.d.m. rhythms with an ambient approach or the 11 minutes long closing "Mission outro"). Polarlicht 4.1 is able to create isolationist industrial cold suites that will excite lovers of old Ant Zen records that are willing to find a new approach to those sounds.

SKINK: 5475 E.P.

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 14 2008
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Artist: SKINK
Title: 5475 E.P.
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
After a couple of years from its self titled debut album, Skink is back with a new EP titled 5475 DAYS. On this one Paul Mulholland brings to the audience's attention seven tracks which dismiss the i.d.m. influences just to embrace a full ambient minimal approach to sound. Divided into seven parts, the main title finds its best moment on the second one as the track grows little by little: distant and delayed trumpet like sounds battle with organ sounds bouncing from one channel to the other clashing. After a couple of minutes the sound blasts proudly sounding like a calling to arms just to losing its volume, but not its tension, after four minutes. The third part is a little too minimal to be noticed while the fourth and fifth create a fluttering effect that hypnotically carries you to sixth part: another hypnotic one which is based on choir layers. The seventh track is totally different as it brings in acoustic guitars and a melancholic synth melody creating an atmosphere which recalls some Current 93 tunes.

reFLEXible : realgar

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 10 2008
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Artist: reFLEXible (@)
Title: realgar
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
First non-Italian band on Amirani and from what I’ve heard it’s part of natural process of internationalization/expansion of their catalogue, I don’t think it’s up to an intentional choice, it probably just happened naturally plus from what I’ve seen Gianni Mimmo (label owner and musician) has been playing quite often up there in Belgium (reFLEXIble home country) so if I it has to be consider it a logical step. "Times are changing" and it’s interesting how beside this new release, the global atmosphere of the label has gone darker and more abstract lately, if you had any suspicion about the fact the jazz background of many musicians of the roster could restrict the range of the label, you’ll probably change your mind about it. This trio combines an alto saxophone, a trumpet/fluegelhorn and a guy on live electronics, they sail a quite calm but misty "contemporary sea". I think they combine acoustic sound and electronics in an intelligent manner flirting with electro-acoustic music, but I’m glad this recording doesn’t present the same interchangeable variety of sounds where you hardly distinguish a guitar a piano and the nature of every sound, infact even when "lost in sound" reFLEXible develop every sentence for the sake of what ends resulting a coherent dialogue, that’s why besides playing those oddly strangulated notes they follow some logical progression or they look for stops leaving epiclesis back home. "Realgar" belongs to the category of recordings where silence has a central function, let’s say a real role as the forth band member, silence is not just the fourth element with which the other members have to confront but weights on the whole recordings giving it its character it has. Also natural live reverb of the location in which it all had been played/recorded paints the music with a strong color and considering reFLEXible is a really measured trio, it may give a big hints of the sound of the whole work. When saying they’re measured I meant this trio belongs to that category of bands that have no rush to push every sound straight in your face and while going for sobriety you won’t have any doubt that every firm or soft sound they play is well pondered. Last and most important: if you’re looking for any traditional form of melody you’ll be disappointed since in these four long tracks they didn’t surrender to any form of traditional music... mittle european abstraction to the bone.

SHINJI YAMASHITA: Niraikani

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 10 2008
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Artist: SHINJI YAMASHITA
Title: Niraikani
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Available as CR-r EP or via mp3 downloads NIRAIKANI is the latest release by the Japanese electronic experimenter Shinji Yamashita. Mixing traditional Japanese melodies with i.d.m./de-constructed rhythms and ambient synth sounds, Shinji creates particular cold electronic experimental moments based on synth sounds. The best track of the lot of three you could check to have a clear example of what he does is "Hakanasa": it starts with a short piano melody just to turn into a '70s electronic ambient tune with jazzy rhythms. Little by little the rhythms increase thanks to bleeping electronic sounds and loud drums. The track has different stops and go where each time it changes a little. The final result is a particular blend of jazzy electronic experimental traditional track. The closing track "Kuroi uta", instead, changes totally the approach with its free core approach where melodic parts turn suddenly into a rhythms orgy. Interesting release for experimental lovers.


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