Music Reviews



The Infant Cycle / Antmanuv: Periodical lll

 Posted by Diane Granahan   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 04 2007
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Artist: The Infant Cycle / Antmanuv (@)
Title: Periodical lll
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Ceiling (@)
Rated: *****
Periodical lll, as titled, is the third from a series of split releases between Jim Dejong of The Infant Cycle and fellow artists in the nearby Ontario, Canada region. Here, Dejong collaborates with Tomane Vinagreiro, better known as Antmanuv, a Portuguese expat now living in Ontario.
The Infant Cycle's 'Unrelated Work Tapes 11/25/06' opens with minimal pulse-like beats that morph into textured rhythms by employing cookery, shortwave, guitar, carved vinyl playout groove, feedback generators, and birds. It adds a nice touch knowing the careful detail behind the instrumentation used here. Antmanuv's 'Beyond the Garden,' strays towards field recordings of birds, trains, and urban movements with an aim to emphasize daily environmental surroundings.
This release is not other than what you'd expect to hear but certainly not anything less, both artists offer promising tracks that leave much curiosity for what's next to come.
Published on Dejong's own label, The Ceiling, this 2 track 15 minute release is only a brief tasting of each artist's somewhat contrasting styles, albeit a pleasant listen, indeed.

JODY CAVE : For Myria

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 03 2007
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Artist: JODY CAVE
Title: For Myria
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
Another fine product on 12k and if you’re into the style of the label you c bet you won’t be disappointed by Jodi Cave. Soft, gentle, ambient electronic not so far from other bands of 12k’s roster and I’m talking about Minamo, Fourcolours and also Taylor Deupree himself (even if his last album is more and more "poppy"). I think you already know Deupree loves japanese musical aesthetics and even if this’ not "japanese electronics", the zen (apparent) simplicity of the music is definitely oriental. The sound of this "for Myria" is a blend of electro-acoustic and ambiental processed sounds on which he superimposed some sweet/simple childish lullabies. Quietness is overflowing from every track but though its relaxed atmosphere the whole listening is far from getting boring. In some ways this’ a good mixture of ambient music and electronics and though Jody Cave’s touch is very light, if listened via headphones you can’t but notice there’s an accurate sound research/rework behind this cd. Vibraphones and keyboards are the main instruments for the melody, while an organ drone creates the corpus of the song "untitled". Sometimes you have soft noises to color the canvas or even a "percussive sound", but don’t worry, label dogma has been respected: there’s still no rhythms. Cave decided to use a main instrument for every song and he concentrated on simple melodies and on sound processing where needed, the resulting album is quite homogeneous then. Without any doubt this music is deeply influenced by minimalism but weren’t minimalists influenced by african and oriental (gamelan) music?. If you’re into relaxing music you’d better give a listen to this as well as to other releases on 12k, it’s music for the soul. Melancholy will prevail...somehow.

Dronolan’s Tower : Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 28 2007
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Artist: Dronolan’s Tower (@)
Title: Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Music by gamers for gamers.

Dronolan’s Tower is the one man project of David Allen Young. His ideas for the soundtrack stile music did not sound as he wanted when making the music by himself so he hired an orchestra and a choir in Hollywood to do it for him. The result is medieval fantasy mood music with more hints of darkness than light.
If you like bands like Erdenstern you will probably drool while listening to Dronolan’s Tower.
When I saw the artwork I thought of Midnight Syndicate but oh so wrong I was. This is far beyond what Midnight Syndicate could even dream of!
It’s actually in the same league as the more experienced top dogs in this genre.
"The Battle of Shadow pass" is without a doubt the best track on the CD and I love it.

I have almost nothing bad to say about this great release. I though would like to hear something a bit more unique from time to time.
David list (on his myspace site) John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Basil Poledouris (and others) as influences and you can hear that in the music. Some might say too much.
To be honest this is a very good and ambitious project which I cannot other than applaud!

LINGUA FUNGI: Tlapallan Pantonal

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 22 2007
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Artist: LINGUA FUNGI
Title: Tlapallan Pantonal
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Started back in 2001 in Finland as a personal musical project by Jaakko Padatsu, Lingua Fungi is releasing its second album titled TLAPALLAN PANTONAL. Based on a personal interpretation of Central American mythology the album is mainly focused on the myth of Quetzalcoatl (from Wikipedia: "In Aztec religion, Quetzalcoatl was a benefactor god, considered a leader among the deities, that would come back after his departure to take back the empire") and a lot of sound used by Jaakko remind of the instruments of American ancient music tradition but they are used into an ambient industrial context which is, in this way, enriched by the contrast of synth pads and noises with flutes, guitars and percussions. The seven tracks of the album are able to involve the listener and carry him through mysterious lands. Sometimes the ambient drones take a hold on the other sounds but once the music starts being joined by percussions and stuff the magic starts again...

SLEEPRESEARCH FACILITY: Deep Frieze

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 22 2007
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Artist: SLEEPRESEARCH FACILITY
Title: Deep Frieze
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Fourth SleepResearch Facility's release and second CD for Cold Spring, DEEP FRIEZE is a sort of concept album based on the idea of creating a soundtrack for an Antarctic scenario (its catch phrase reported inside the foldout booklet is "there is a certain comforting warmth in the encroaching slumber of hypothermia"). The five tracks, which are titled after geographic coordinates (like "79ºS 83ºW" or "72ºS 49ºE"), are long cold minimal ambient suites where sometimes some subtle melodies surface. For sure the aim of creating a sense of cold isolationism has been reached but sometimes I have the feeling that the effect's research made lose the point about the sound. The sibilant sounds are overwhelming and the slow growth of the tracks' structure make you feel them a little static. I'm not telling that this is a weak point but I'd like to point this out just to warn the listener about the experience he's going to have as the tracks are like movements of a long suite which for the whole album length will make you feel stuck underwater, under the ice, struggling for your life where the only sound is created by the pressure of the water and by the moving icebergs.


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