Music Reviews



Troum: Sen

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 10 2008
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Artist: Troum (@)
Title: Sen
Format: 12"
Label: Equation records (@)
Rated: *****
This packaging is so unique, we don't even have a proper category to file it under, so let me start with that: "Sen" comes in three different 2xLP versions, a picture disc set, a 180g virgin tan vinyl with a white record and a black halo and a clear vinyl with sepia haze only available via Equation records or the band. These amazing versions are designed by Eye.Lyft (eyelyft.com) and can/must be seen in more detail at http://www.chronoglide.com/Equation_mc13.html. I am in possession of the first, double LP picture disc set with velcro-fastened semi-circular gatefold PVC sleeve with a heavy-gauge 7" PVC wallet fastened inside and containing three 7" circular 2-sided satin-finish heavy-paper inserts and a sticker, sealed with a hand-numbered oval sepia sticker! Obviously the care that went into this is incredible. Needles to say it is visually absolutely stunning and unique! I haven't seen anything like it in years (Ant Zen and the vinyl-only Drone records used to make beautiful stuff like this, but not anymore... too expensive in this iPod era where the tangible has lost its value). Interestingly I also just noticed that Troum's email address ends in dronerecords.com, so there must be some connection I am not aware of... maybe they even are the founders of Drone records, which would explain the experience in graphically astonishing packaging (but probably not the choice of releasing it on a different label).
But let's talk about the music: Troum (which is an ancient german translation of the word "dream") is an ambient/experimental duo from Bremen, Germany, who also happens to be (previously) known as Maeror Tri. "Sen" is their second album, a re-mastered re-release of what originally saw the light as Staalplaat's 600 copies limited edition Mor Aux Vaches series (of which we have reviewed countless CDs in the past) featuring just one very long piece. For the purpose of this release that one long piece (which had been recorded in the VPRO studios at the end of 1999 in one take, with no overdubs) had to be split into four pieces (the four sides of the two vinyls). Musically completely engulfing and rapturing, these drones layer upon each other as they originate from multiple sources (guitars, bells, voices and of course synths) and build up to transcend to a more grand, lethargic and entrancing state by way of really long and slowly decaying reverbs and sub-woofer friendly frequencies and harmonics. The Cold Meat Industry-like post-industrial infusion blurs the lines between dark-ambient and experimental and expand into a hollow, somber and archaic, almost epic, magmatic universe of rumbling drones.
"Sen"'s four parts remind us of the original musical meaning of the word "drone" and re-define that for us with a contemporary clarity that sadly only a record of the past seems to be able to provide. Almost 10 years later this record still sounds timeless and gorgeous.

Objekt 4: Shades Of Night

 Posted by Marc Tater   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 10 2008
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Artist: Objekt 4
Title: Shades Of Night
Format: CD
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People (@)
Distributor: ant-zen
Rated: *****
A new release by this known Ambient-artist, which at least got released under the collaboration of the 4 different labels Sabbathid Records, Basilisk Productions, Regimental Records and Bugs Crawling Out Of People. Since Bugs Crawling did mail out this promotional item I therefore like to refer on their contact to purchase this item – which is a strange one for the normally-diving-into-the-harsh-Powernoise-genre related Bugs Crawling-label. OBJEKT 4 creates musically ambience with cinematic and static layer sounds, several field recording elements and sounds of the daily life. 5 tracks are on here, which at least come on more than 53 minutes playing time, this documents the length of each track. "Spirits Of Soil And Sea" is available in two different versions. You’ll get the fog horns of a far away based ship, while the birds, winds and the usual sound of a natural field recording creates an own melody. Well, this is stuff for people who like to sink in and who are able to switch off all stress and hectic which comes in all days. Quite to Experimental-minded, I’ll miss some toughness and a break out of the endless repetitions

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO: Autoimmune

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 08 2008
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Artist: MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO
Title: Autoimmune
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****
After the success of 2005 "At The Center", Jack Dangers is back with a new album titled AUTOIMMUNE, released by Planet Mu on CD and double vinyl. The ten tracks base their sound on four things: exaltation of bass frequencies, grime bass lines, dub ambience and distortion. The album opens with "Hold the mic!" which features reggae muffin like vocals of Daddy Sandy. Reverb, picked strings, tight rhythm and upfront bass lines are the key elements of this one. "Children of earth" slow down the rhythm a little bit but it always pushes hard on the the intricate web of rhythms pedal by duetting with the fat and distorted bass. "House of unique stink" (which features Dubloner) sounds more like an upbeat ambient house track with subsequent dubstep rhythms and vocals. "Live and direct" is a live track which is focused on rhythm craziness and reverbered bass. "Less" and "Lonely soldier" are a good mix of fluctuating atmospheres and bass distortions with tight rhythms and vocal samples. "Spanish vocoder" and "Return to bass" follow the same scheme but being more distorted than ambient. "Guns'n'lovers" could be a good hypnotic dancefloor killer with its liquefied guitar/synth lines and distorted drum. The album closes with a distorted dub killer titled "Hellfire".

LYSERGENE: Critical Mass

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 04 2008
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Artist: LYSERGENE
Title: Critical Mass
Format: CD
Label: Aesthetic Death (@)
Rated: *****
After publishing the Dead Beat Project, Aesthetic Death is releasing another solo album by a member of Esoteric. This time we have Gordon Bicknell, Esoteric's guitarist, who under the Lysergene moniker is bringing us a good album titled CRITICAL MASS. The album has nine tracks which are in balance from ambient industrial, industrial e.b.m. and 70's cosmic ambience. The album opens with the main track and just after one minute of tense ambient sounds it literally explodes proposing a multitude of sounds: on the background we have light industrial percussions, upfront we have a drum machine which duets with distorted horns and synth layers which gone mad. An intricate web of sounds which only apparently is chaotic. "Twisted and evil" is less chaotic and it's a sort of continuum to the opening one. It starts like an ambient track just to turn into a rhythmic tribal electronic dance. "Monolith" is pure industrial e.b.m. while "L.s.d." starts like an ambient track just to turn into a cinematic electronic tune. "Neon flow" and "Network tv" are ideally linked to "Monolith" bringing more instrumental industrial e.b.m. to the menu. With "The groke" the album changes and we have a sort of industrial version of Sunn o))) just to turn again on a more ambient industrial e.b.m. ambience on "The becoming". "Shock treatment" closes the album with a blast, proposing a mix of all the above. If you love cinematic tense atmospheres, ambient industrial CRITICAL MASS and 70's electronic as well as kraut rock, try this one...

LUASA RAELON: season of the witch

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 03 2008
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Artist: LUASA RAELON (@)
Title: season of the witch
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip records (@)
Rated: *****
Luasa Raelon is another project involving Harvest Reed that we've recently reviewed with his other moniker Envenomist, and it's a high quality release. Differently from his work title "Abyssal siege" he's put out with Envenomist name, "Season of the witch" is less focused on distant sounds and although you hear he used reverbs, the context is a bit different. Harvest Reed's touch is easily distinguishable and it's still a dark-ambient work, but everything moves essentially "around" you and the drowning sensation this time is not haunting the whole recording. I find this work is less trippy and way more sinister and I got this impression from the early tracks. I don't know exactly the background of this american musician, but differently from many post-black-metal-dark ambient projects, this music is obscure but also incredibly elegant, that's why my hypothesis is he's probably took big doses of industrial/isolationist/experimental listenings. The fact is Season of the witch" reminded me of some of the most intense releases Lustmord, Hafler Trio (when going more ambient), Lull, Eclipse just with a more actual sound. Generally I don't go mad for that kind of works, but Luasa Raelon and generally, everything else I've heard from this Reed, is really intense and the funny thing is its simplicity. After having played this cd several times my impression is that Reed is somewhere among isolationism and dark ambient and that's what probably makes the difference.


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