Music Reviews



CYCLOTIMIA: Deja Vu

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 20 2008
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Artist: CYCLOTIMIA (@)
Title: Deja Vu
Format: CD
Label: Shadowplay (@)
Distributor: Small Voices
Rated: *****
Re-pressing two sold out 10" released back in 2002 ("Same Time Same Place" and "Metamorphosis") and adding a new version of "Miserere MMI" which was included into New Death Order" CD EP, DEJA VU is the latest release by Cyclotimia. The CD opens with the digital ambient sounds and chants of "Miserere MMI", a short track which introduce us to the first lot of tracks coming from "Same Time Same Place". You read right, I said lot. Cyclotimia didn't want to reproduce the releases as they were but tried to mix the track list just to give a new structure to the album as it was a whole. The tracks coming for the first 10" are sounding more focused on the digital ambient psychedelic effect made of hisses, synth loops, light rhythms and vocal samples (there are also some exceptions like the semi industrial ambient "Same place" and the electronic gently tension of "Paradise X / Dub"). The tracks from "Metamorphosis", instead are a little more ambient and tend to create a different ambience, maybe more "spatial" with less digital grinding noises. Sometime when I listen to Cyclotimia I have the sensation of something of impalpable which tend to be distant. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I like it less because I'd prefer them to sound also passionate...

ANDREA MARUTTI : The subliminal relation between planets (live in Archiaro)

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 18 2008
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Artist: ANDREA MARUTTI
Title: The subliminal relation between planets (live in Archiaro)
Format: CD
Label: Nextera
Rated: *****
We've already interviewed Andrea Marutti for Chaindl, but for those who don't know him, this' the man behind Afe label, but also a recording artist who's put out material in different format and on several labels using both his birth name and also monikers like Amon, Never Known, etc. Having been active for ages Marutti has developed his own approach to ambient music but differently from several of his past dark ambient releases, with his own name this guy works mainly in the area on the edge between experimental music and ambient works. Despite what the title may suggest, this live recording has the usual top notch sound quality (he's a good sound engineer) even if beside some post production I don't think he reworked the whole matter. You pass from heavy atmospheres to ethereal moods, from thick layering of sounds to quasi-silent "landings", as usual Marutti drags every sound around bringing it to its extreme consequences (that's one of his main peculiarities) but differently from some past works it's not just an heavy trip, but take for granted that it will slow down your heartbeat, above all with the more than twenty minutes of the final track. I've no doubt this is probably on of the best releases he did so far and that's due to the fact even if living patiently the suspension builds through repetitions, it doesn't get boring and those depressed melodies he inserted here and there helps a lot like in that small gem of "Wonderful Ostentation". This track quiets down everything preparing for the narcoleptic grand-finale of "In the fish Trove" where Marutti switches the light while increasingly making his way to the depth of the darkest sea. We're not dealing just with dark ambient but it's magmatic music that makes you feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

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".


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