Music Reviews



FJERNLYS: Beyond The Undulant Quiesceince

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 23 2010
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Artist: FJERNLYS
Title: Beyond The Undulant Quiesceince
Format: CD
Label: Loki Foundation (@)
Rated: *****
BEYOND THE UNDULANT QUIESCENCE is the the second full length album by Fjernlys. Coming from Germany and formed by Knut Enderlein (vision and voice), CKS (arrangements and voice) and Johannes Riedel (guitar and viola), the band recorded ten tracks that are in balance from melodic dark ambient (thanks to solemn atmospheres and tense melodies like on "Involution") and atmospheric dark wave. Some tracks would fit catalogs of labels such as Projekt or early 4AD but luckily enough we have also Loki Foundation that along with the recordings of Inade, Herbst9 and Fir§t Law bring to their fans sinuous synth sounds (see the releases of Antlers Mulm, Bad Sector and this album by Fjernlys). We have instrumental tracks like "Elemental movement" or "A letter to..." that sound soft and calm as well as melodic electronic wave tunes like "Silence" or "Constellation" that merge rhythmical samples, male / female vocals and guitars creating a sort of melodic spoken word ambient song. Layers of synth waves form tiny melodies that will ease your darkest thoughts without dissolving your eternal questions...

PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS: silk-screened

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 19 2010
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Artist: PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS
Title: silk-screened
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Trace recordings (@)
Rated: *****
As usual as soon as the cd comes out of my mailbox I've the time to give it one or two play and I don't pay any attention to the layout, to the musician/band name or to the label, I can't say I follow it as a dogma, but more or less that's my modus operandi. So what's the point?...that's only to say the cd captured my attention right from the early listenings, I've discovered just later that the main author was Philippe Petite, that in case you don't know beside being a top notch musician, is one of the masterminds of String of Consciousness and also the man behind Pandemonium and Bip Hop records. Let's start by saying this' a beautiful and top notch release and if you ask me it's ten thousands times better than Petit's release for the Wire, that doesn't mean the second is not good, but it makes me think that despite the big names involved in some of his past releases, Petit can kick ass by himself or with the help of some old friends from the french independent scene. The trait d'union of many recordings involving this french "dj/electronic composer" is a post-jazz, post-rock feel with an elegant late night mood and here you have it again and at its best. Samples, horn sections, soft guitars, trumpets, drones and similar frameworks laid behind the jazzy arrangements just to lull them on a soft bed made out of "ghost" notes. Petite mixed everything with his usual sense of proportions and took a good care of pan potting of the global atmosphere and sometimes he ended floating there in the calm sea somewhere in between chamber music, jazz and post-rock. A deep Chicagoan feel that brings in mind people like Boxhead Ensamble, Brokeback, Pink Floyd (anybody said Tarentel), Miles Davis, Ecm records and something in the likes. The filmic atmosphere is even more stronger than in many of Petit's work, this time he definitely reclaims the soundtrack status. A simple elegant nightly recording with a lot of melancholic jazzy melodies and a fistful of tears and sadness falling right after the end titles.

Christian Loeffler: Raise EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 02 2010
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Artist: Christian Loeffler
Title: Raise EP
Format: 12"
Label: C-Sides (@)
Distributor: Kompakt
Rated: *****
It’s quite difficult not sharing the ideas by Glitterbug, Ronni Shendar and other lads thickening c.sides’ music hordes about the compositional skills of this 24 years old producer, whose musical path begun on his father’s old-fashioned computer through which he moved his very first steps towards the electronic music potentially infinite planet. The lack of any academic knowledge depending on the circumstance he lived in a secluded region has not been an obstacle for the development of its own (very melancholic) style and after some interesting excerpts on Orphanear (a sort of Dial’s sub-label, founded by Pawel aka Turner) and an astonishing release, Heights EP, for Cologne’s Ki-Records, he finally joined c.sides. The common factor of the four tracks of this ep maybe stands in the fact the listener could easily isolate all the acoustic stimuli combined within a track, but the way Christian Loeffler entwines them makes him powerless in front of its gradual sliding towards the emotive sphere resulting in a deep listening experience, beginning with the fluffy sounds, suffocated chirps, a sequenced puff at the end of rhythmical pattern motioning Cord – a track which is akin to some new definitions of techno (for clubs) recently spread by the legendary Cocoon -, whose initial mechanical gusts are propelled by a floating church organ, conferring a mystical aura to the track, and a clappy ambient-techno programming on drums; a bouncing bass drum, a metallic pit-a-pat, an absorbing monochord ultra-low tone and an impalpable resonance introduce the listener to the hypnotic progression of Glare, while there’s a sense of familiar warmth in the micromelody which seems to be emanated by a childhood memory in the lovely track giving name to this ep, Raise, akin to that kind of mood partially explored in the past by Anthony Rother. Some emotional tears are going to stream down your brain and your soul during the listening of the moving ambient miniature of the closing track, Core, potentially able to reach the core (as self-declared by the title) of the target aimed by Loeffler enchanting music. But don’t hang your head in sorrow please, human robots!
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Artist: D.J. Golubb (@)
Title: Underground Pathos
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: X-Line / Alter-X Promotion Group (@)
Rated: *****
First, I’m always skeptical with DJ’s trying to convince the audiences with self-produced Electronica music, since several results can be called that weak, that a recommendation would be utterly mockery. Secondly, to start an album with a cover version on "Fade To Grey" of VISAGE including the usage of poorly vocoderized vocals, can be called as being the biggest mistake an artist can produce. Luckily the next 2 tracks, aptly titled "2" and "3", are musically far away from plain Tech-Dance music – both can be placed into the wide field of modern IDM/Electronica and giving some surprisingly well-done references. The integration of experimental and noisy FX and percussion elements results in amazed faces of the listeners. At least with the 4th track, "Space", starts Mr. GOLUBb in that expected manner, to produce danceable and consumer-friendly Electronica. Both tracks, "Space" and "Illusion", can satisfy with a well-done catchy synth-play. "Robot Voice" seems to be his best track so far, it features a matured sound environment, well inserted samples, and offers a slightly nostalgic touch to some 80ies revival bands. The following tracks, as well as an alternative version to "Robot Voice" and a remix on an ID MOLOTOV-track, are turning too much into the Techno-/Trance-genre. Diversity seems to be the trademark for D.J. GOLUBb and he has created several right decisions. "Underground Pathos" is may lesser designed for the EBM-purists, but an interesting addition to the X-Line roster.

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Artist: Autoclav1.1 (@)
Title: Where Once Were Exit Wounds
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
A complete new studio album from the UK-based IDM/Electronica-based project AUTOCLAV 1.1 only a year after his last release "Love No Longer Lives Here", but this shouldn’t wonder anyone, because there can be easily drawn a fine stylistically connection between both albums. Tony Young seems to reach more and more trust into a straight and linear rhythm programming, also his usage of orchestral-like strings, acoustic guitars and dominant piano sounds rather speaks for a developing musician. I found myself to pick out one of his older albums to recognize clear the differences. The days of his notorious and abstract IDM-related rhythm pattern programming are definitely over – if there’s still available a glimpse of this past, just check the percussion work of both new tracks "When We Woke Up" and "These Walls Have Seen All". Nearly all other tracks convince through its straight-forward and mostly 4/4-on-the-floor-like pattern structures, as well as the above mentioned instruments offer a lot of organic "life" and catchy moments to the music of AUTOCLAV 1.1. Some guest contributors can be heard too, Rachel Haywire for short introduction of "When We Woke Up" or his long-year friend Jamie Blacker of ESA, who provides vocals and some guitar inserts on "Do You Feel Disposable?". That tasteful black/white photo-artwork got done by Salt (Ant-Zen/Hymen Records), mastering provided by Metarc – well, you’ll get the finest art tools asides nearly 50 minutes of purest audio entertainment. Because of its highly acoustic content, this album differs enormously compared to nearly all other label horses out of the rich Tympanik Audio stable, with the exception to AD-VER-SARY maybe. Someone out there to argue against diversity of the label roster?



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