Music Reviews



Paul Bradley & Cría Cuervos: Moraines II

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 12 2008
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Artist: Paul Bradley & Cría Cuervos (@)
Title: Moraines II
Format: CD
Label: SmallVoices (@)
Distributor: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
"Moraines II" features a re-work of "Moraines" (2006 - Twenty Hertz/Sileat) and a remix by Andrew Liles. "Moraines" sounds went to a major re-process here. Cria Cuervos recordings' are more distinct and fit better with the drifting drone layers made by Paul Bradley. The whole track gains also in brightness, they made me think of getting lost in mysterious organic planets like the one in Herzog's "Great Blue Yonder". The previous "Moraines" was rougher and you couldn't distinguish the sounds. A good setting to tickle your brainmeats with this one, would be a slightly illuminated room and headphones (not necessary, though). Liles' contribution is absolutely brilliant - it is a plodding re-mix ending with a spectral piano in an appropriate dark avantgarde Organum-like sound. A quiet droney journey to "sooth away the pain"...

RUMPISTOL: Dynamo

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 10 2008
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Artist: RUMPISTOL
Title: Dynamo
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Three years after the second album titled "Mere rum", Rumpistol is back with a new adventure in sound. Sounding more orchestral and maybe melodic, DYNAMO, merge elements of electronic music (the use of bass lines), glitch (the many little sounds that enrich the rhythmic structure of the tracks), ambient (see the alternation of atmospheres), soundtrack music (see the opening "Transit" and its capability to create a thick atmosphere that fluctuates and carries the listener through a path made of different images/moments), experimentations (the general approach to sound and music is maniacal if you check the intersection of the different elements but the whole effect tends to destabilize the listener), i.d.m./breakbeat/dub(on many tracks the sounds are stopped, cut, mixed and effected). The melody seems to be used as the glue that keeps everything tight and functional and each time you'll listening to the eight tracks you'll discover something new. Try to follow a melody or an instrument and you'll realize that at the end you're focusing your attention on a different thing. The album will be released on October the 20th on CD and double vinyl.

ALEX TIUNIAEV: I Knew Her

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 09 2008
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Artist: ALEX TIUNIAEV
Title: I Knew Her
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Electronic musician and producer from Moscow, Russia, Alex Tiuniaev with I KNEW HER delivers a really good atmospheric album full of melancholy and with a great cinematic sense of time progression. The album contains only one track that besides having a similar feeling of loss (the melodies and the images of the artwork make me think about a girl who died) for the whole forty minutes of its length, with the hypnotic cyclic repetition of a central musical theme it is able to involve the listener thanks to Alexander's ability of mixing the orchestral elements and the choirs. The suite starts slowly and calmly and little by little the choirs rise from a blanket of strings/synth pads crying out loud the pain and the despair painting everything of the person you won't be able to see again. Every instrument is like a hit of the brush on the painting that represent everything you missed. After a while also the strings duet with the choirs giving to the winds every word kept unspoken. At five minutes from the end the calmness of the music is showing that the energy, that shot of rage, has ended and everything remaining is a feeble sound...

JOHN R CARLSON : recollections

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 09 2008
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Artist: JOHN R CARLSON
Title: recollections
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Parvo Art
Rated: *****
Our second round for Parvo Art, second 3"mcd and yes, second good release. While following Van Der Papen along the way of simplicity John Carlson is considerably different both for the global sound and for the tools but not for what concerns part of the atmosphere, infact as his label mates he’s really relaxed a bit melancholic and well produced. Far from the electronic atmosphere Carlson is much more plunged into modern minimalism and in "writing songs", I don’t write it just for the fact these tracks are piano driven, listen and I’m sure you’ll get why I’m saying that. This American musician really reminded of Keith Jarrett’s "Koln concert" style hybridized with some Satie and why not, Riley when playing piano. Due to its extremely simple nature this effort also bring to mind some music appositely written for children and I’m expressively thinking to Bela Bartok; sometimes I’ve happen to think it’s a pity these tracks have no vocals and just minimal arrangements, since it could have enriched the global listening, it could have been not that far from the solo work of Mark Hollis just way less narcoleptic and less melancholic but it’s not that hard to imagine his vocals on a such a good texture. Forget electronics and ambient meant a la Eno, but if minimal satiesque piano doesn’t leave you unmoved that’s for you.

MICHAEL SANTOS: the happy error

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 09 2008
cover
Artist: MICHAEL SANTOS
Title: the happy error
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
If you go down the modern electronic/ambient lane, sooner or later you'll surely meet Baskaru label from France and they're moving slowly but constantly, probably more interested following their personal trajectory than in the saturation of the market with a bunch of new releases. After having put out cds for japanese, italian, french artists this time is the turn of a portuguish one: Michael Santos, his music has no ispano-american root and could be from England, Japan or Germany, the earth is flat after all...fuck Columbus. With a wonder wheel on the cover it's logical to expect some relaxed ambient influenced work and here you have it, somewhere located in between the constellation of modern ambient-tronic music, the range of which is set by Afx ambient early steps on one side and japanese Neina, Minamo, etc..on the other. Thought Baskaru is developing a clear physiognomy, "happy error" is much closer to the sound of labels like Spekk or Plop, don't worry guys, if you blame me for not having mentioned 12k it just has to do with the cut that's a little bit different, but if you fill the rank of fans of Deupree or Sawako you'll probably like it. Santos makes it soft and classy that's why I could have had several listening while my girlfriend was studying and she didn't even complain even once: a real miracle!. Santos' sound is still in search of his own identity but at the same time he follows all of the unwritten rules of electronic music perfectly and with elegance thus he speaks the idiom brilliantly. Eleven tracks for about fifty minutes of bliss well distributed in portions of ecstatic and melancholic melodies, high-frequencies and digital sounds. I'm sure if only Pessoa could have only put this in his hi-fi set while writing he wouldn't be that depressed and would have been enjoying much more the sea in front of Lisboa.


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