Music Reviews

Greifenkeil: Blood Mystery

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 07 2008
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Artist: Greifenkeil (@)
Title: Blood Mystery
Format: CD
Label: GrenTzwert Musiclabel (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Again sorry for another too late done review, but at least the heap here on my table shrinks a bit. Germany’s Dark Electro/Ambient art-project GREIFENKEIL returns with a new full-length album again signed and published to the Munich-based Grentzwert label. The resume in advance: also this new album requires the full attention of the listener, since the musically course once again draws influences of the darkest music styles electronic music can deliver. A. von Greifenkeil, the mastermind behind this project, has again created a sonic assault, which integrates the darkest Dark Electro, Dark Ambient and Powernoise impressions, at times all styles pressed into a single track ("Vendetta"). New and worth to mention is the fact, that A. von Greifenkeil is able to watch over genre boundaries, also the integration of guitar riffs ("Blood War") is nowadays an allowed stylistically element. If the chosen album-title may suggests a close dedication to some terror-EBM- or vampire-related content, GREIFENKEIL has never been and surely will never be thrown into this redundant field. "Blood Mystery" also hasn’t got anything to do with a normal biologically process, it rather offers a higher, but still mysterious and intellectual content. It’s a bit to keep the inner out, the might of blood seems to have a deeper meaning to A. von Greifenkeil, as he announced, that this will be only the starter for more excursion. Also the length of the main tracks – mostly provided with 8 + minutes playing time - are speaking for a rather artistically content, instead to follow a Mainstream-oriented "chorus-bridge-refrain" kind of work. GREIFENKEIL offers once again an amazing sound excursion, which even has the ability to touch a deeper part of your mind. It’s definitively more than a usual Hellectro act has to offer. A video edit of the audio content on the main title "Blood Mystery" accomplishes this album (watch out at Youtube for this act...), while some first live performances of this project have meanwhile occurred.

ARTRIDGE: Butterfly Wing Theory - Pt.1 (Think Tank)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 06 2008
Artist: ARTRIDGE (@)
Title: Butterfly Wing Theory - Pt.1 (Think Tank)
Format: CD
Label: Interlink Audio (@)
Rated: *****

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Four years after their second album Artridge present their latest one titled BUTTERFLY WING THEORY PT.1 (THIN TANK). First of a two part project, the album has eleven new tracks that musically differ from what you can find on their previous album "Finished Soundtracks For Unshot Films". Dropped the industrial ambient influences Christoph Mainz and Robin Pleil collaborated with Ben Makinen of Area 15 and Christoph Hellmich of Nautilus (they took care of the percussive parts of the album). Recorded during different night sessions the album is keeping the soundtrack approach to sound but adding a jazzy/post rock attitude with sprinkles of dub (see "Milkbar" or the bass section of "Worldpool") and electronic (see the early sequenced bass lines of "Spec ops"). Listening to the album I can't give an exact definition of how it sounds because as usual Artridge like to dare by mixing genres and sounds. The most important thing to underline is that they didn't create a mishmash of whatever music could sound artsy or inspired. They created a good tracklisting of post rock ambient tracks where samples enrich the classic drum/guitar/bass guitar triptych where the unconventional approach to sound makes sense.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 05 2008
Title: As Far As
Format: CD
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Rated: *****
Created for the Alban Richard’s choreographic show of the same name, AS FAS AS is the newest work by Laurent Perrier. Slightly different from it original version used on the performance, the album is divided into six minimal ambient experimental suites. Most of the tracks are based on minimal variations of orchestra strings/choir section and on most cases the final result is quite anxiety-inducing. For example "As far as Pt.1" starts with drones loops creating hypnotic sounds. After ten minutes sampled violins start to play dissonant chords which little by little become more insidious. The second part continues with the hypnotic loop approach using strings but this time we have also treated choirs sounds. The result is quite good and experimental if you think that this has been used on a theater. The third part is the quieter one having slow string variations. The fourth part is one of the scariest of the lot with its use of female choirs and looped strings. Try to imagine opera female vocals reversed and mixed with drones made of choirs and strings. The fifth part is the one I found less interesting because is focused on digital rumbling noises for its first half and then sticks on few strings loops. The closing sixth part is based on strings and orchestral minimal variations and to me sounded a little long with its 10' length. All in all AS FAR AS is an interesting work that will be appreciated by experimental and open minded dark ambient/industrial lovers.

VV.AA: Refractions

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 04 2008
Artist: VV.AA
Title: Refractions
Format: CD
Label: Disasters By Choice (@)
Compilations are often difficult to review because of the differences between tracks and artists. This compilation has the opposite problem; many of the tracks on this compilation could easily have been performed by the same artist. There is some overlap in the artists at times as many of the tracks seem to be collaborations. According to the website, this disc was released for the 10th anniversary of Disasters By Choice and contains tracks by Alog, Encre, Fibla, Flotel, Isan, Layer, Melodium, Murcof, Slow Motion, and TehoTeardo. I was unfamiliar with all of these bands.

As for the sound, imagine a band playing in a coffeehouse. You want it to be just a bit edgy, but not too extreme. I guess if I had to define this sound, I would call it easy listening experimental. Some of the standout tracks include "Minkowski’s Mind" by Flotel vs Melodium, which has a pleasantly repetitive synth line mixed with electronic bleeps and tones, and "Touch" by Encre vs Micro:mega, which reminds me of Coil’s "Unprepared Piano." Overall it’s a nice disc but not really experimental enough for my taste. I’d also be interested to see how the bands function alone. The disc weighs in at around 48 minutes.

HYPNOZ: Breath Of Earth

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 31 2008
Artist: HYPNOZ
Title: Breath Of Earth
Format: CD
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Rated: *****
Active since early '90s Hypnoz is the project of a guy coming from near Moscow (Fryazino) who's name is Dmitry Zubov. Besides from Hypnoz he's also active with different other bands: Zuboff Sex Shop (post-punk / new-wave), Circle Of Iron Tape (harsh noise), BRZB (electronics, with Alexey Borisov), etc. BREATH OF EARTH is his latest album and on this one he presents seven new tracks in balance from industrial ambient and '70s electronic ambient/experimental music (see "Wandering river", track that sounds a little like the Tangerine Dream of the first three albums). Recorded with E. Voronovski in sessions held during the 2003/2007 period BREATH OF EARTH is a good album capable of creating suspended hypnotic moments where the listener is free to float carried by the sound waves. Using tiny melodic sounds along with the dreamy synth lines the duo use also light rhythmic sounds just to give to the tracks' structure a cyclic/evolving feeling (see "Storm" and the following "Secret wave"). The good thing about BREATH OF EARTH is that Hypnoz succeeded into giving to the tracks a richness of sounds avoiding the artsy casual assemblage. Using a cyclic/evolving structure, the track is both involving and experimental.

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