Music Reviews



KUSH ARORA : Bhang Ragga : Dancehall, Bhangra, In Future Dub

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 06 2008
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Artist: KUSH ARORA (@)
Title: Bhang Ragga : Dancehall, Bhangra, In Future Dub
Format: CD
Label: Recordlabelrecords (@)
Rated: *****
Weird to review this cd here, not cause it’s bad, it’s just weird, I mean Chindlk covers a big ranges of genre but I’d never thought I would have reviewed a cd like that here. Kush Arora play something you may like if you’re into Panjabi MC or something in the likes, but not just that, infact with the minutes running on the display the best songs start approaching, too bad they’ve left the most quiet and interesting part of the release at the end of the recording. Being dub and being modern I couldn’t avoid to think to the most solar material by Laswell or to the lest in your face songs by Kevin Martin The Bug version, but sincerely the two styles are considerably far one from each other. Indian influences, Islamic singing some electronic beats, tablas and some strange instrument from Asia as you could have guessed by yourself. Honestly this not exactly my cup o’ tea and funny to say that for an experimentalist wonnabe like me, when talking about ethnic influenced music I’m quite reactionary, but some melodies are quite catchy and the song structure is generally good. Sometimes it also brought to my mind the most "normal" songs of Trevor Dunn’s Secret Chiefs 3, but if you heard this band you know they’re never that normal and it could be the a deceptive comparison. As I’ve said it’s weird to review this record but we’re a bunch of "freaks" somehow (never forget that "somehow" makes the difference) so why not?. When soft Kush Arora, according to my opinion, are more interesting... but you know we live and die with our own opinions.

VERHÖREN: Death is Safe

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 03 2008
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Artist: VERHÖREN
Title: Death is Safe
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
Verhören was the solo project of US artist Justin Ward, who called it quits last November apparently due to a personal and artistic crisis. That's a bit sad, since this debut (210 copies, pro-looking cdr, digipack sleeve) features some good inputs, and is surely above average. Verhören plays dark ambient in a very musical/melodic way: most tracks feature recognizable keyboard melodies besides the expected noises, rumbles and samples. Ward says he's influenced by doom and gothic as well, and it shows - though still talking of largely droning and instrumental compositions, the names of Skepticism and Lycia have not been tossed in vain. Depressed and elegiac melodies for sure, closer to funeral doom than to, say, Lustmord or Inade. I have appreciated the liquid textures of "Neptune Bleeding", and the captivating keys+drums progression of "Alone in Autumn", while other tracks sound a bit redundant to my ears - but then, it's a matter of tastes, since I'm not a huge fan of Projekt-style wave either. Good depressing background music to drop out for a while, anyway.

M.B.: Regel

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 03 2008
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Artist: M.B.
Title: Regel
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
One of Maurizio Bianchi's most representative works, "Regel" (1982) is finally re-released with a new layout by Final Muzik, re-taking the remastered version issued by Alga Marghen in 1998, featuring the two sides of the original LP and the "Acido prussico" track from the "Neuengamme" sampler (Broken Flag, 1982). Let's say that "Regel" perfectly combines the two opposite/complementary sides of M.B.'s sonic research at that time: brutal noise stabs and cold, deranged machinery-like loops on one side, and dismal synth patterns, with vague melodic hints, on the other. I've written "opposite/complementary" because, while in other releases the characteristics are more polarized, here they frequently collide, giving birth to a monstruous wall of sound. There are some abrupt changes, probably deriving from largely improvised sessions, that make track 1 sound like a broken, out of control mechanism, while disturbed frequencies and echoes streak the dull synth lines of the filpside. As a whole, I can only see M.B.'s early phase as a sick, cancerous organism eating itself out. Possibly the perfect record to understand how the anti-musician Bianchi built a bridge between some of the most autistic performers of the Kraut era (Schnitzler, Kluster, Sesselberg) and the growing industrial circuit, especially the inhuman Come/Broken Flag hordes.
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Artist: Kenji Siratori (@)
Title: Sickness For The 21st Century
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Only a very few months after his debut release "Death Creature" for the German SkullLine label, the Japanese Cyberpunk-/Ambient-artist KENJI SIRATORI returns with a new album. Again strictly limited to only 50 exemplars, KENJI offers a musically onslaught quite different to his mentioned debut. Although "Sickness..." still compliments with long and static Dark-Ambient-like drones, the overall outfit is much harder-minded. He could integrate a wide-ranging distortion/overdrive effect manipulation on his long running tracks, again simply named in a row of "I" to "VI". A nightmarish and yet very sinister sounding experience. Which brings him nearer to some Cold Meat Industry acts, but mainly a sound outfit which avoids to deal with any beautiful thing of the world. No music for the faint-hearted for sure, and the end of the rope still isn’t reached for KENJI. Tracks are ranging between 5 and 16 minutes, this album comes out with a semi-glossy cover and it is hand-numbered. A collectors item soon for sure, so act up ASAP.

YAIR ETZIONY : Flawed

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 27 2008
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Artist: YAIR ETZIONY
Title: Flawed
Format: CD
Label: Spekk (@)
Rated: *****
Hey, it looks like Israel electronic musicians are in full blossoming and if you think I’m exaggerating may the hell bring me if lately I’ve not happened to give a listen to different musicians coming from there and be it harsh-noise or ambient, be it minimal-electronics or experimental whatever, it was always high quality material. This release is on Japanese Spekk records and I’d be a liar if I wouldn’t confess I’ve a crash for their outputs since the first time I’ve put their white compilation featuring among the other Taylor Deupree, Ultramilk Maid, Sogar, etc. in my cd player. After having given a listen to a couple of mp3 I was waiting for a soft release and my expectations haven’t been deluded, but the atmosphere is not as predictable as you may imagine. Yair Etziony sure follows that minimal electronic-ambient route Japanese can’t but be fond of, but he’s also surrounded by a thin grey aura you my detect in the majority of the material here included. "Flawed" is about high sound definition and offers the usual good mix of micro-electronics, minimalism, light-techno, crackles, soft glitch ornaments and ethereal melodies that perceptibly means if you’re into the style you can break your money pig without hesitation. If some years ago you where wondering where ambient, shoegaze and soft electronics were headed with releases like that you have one possible answer, there’s a kind of British music aftertaste amalgamated with Japanese minimal electronics that reminds me of Seefeel, Slowdive, Bark Psychosis meets Yoshihiro Hanno or Fourcolours. "Flawed" it’s dreamy and relaxing as a good electronic-ambient release should be, Yair Etziony has a soft touch and is really refined when chiseling what apparently sounds soft "simple" music. Très bien, très bien!




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