Music Reviews

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Emerging Organisms
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Rated: *****
Also declared under the sub-title "Hidden Forms Compilation Series One", the new US-label Tympanik Audio offers its first release of a well packaged DCD digipak-set. Musically they have collected 29 appearances based into the wide and mysterious fields of Dark Electro, Experimental, IDM, Techno, Dark Ambient and Electronica music. This isn’t that sort of a Harsh EBM collection, which gets often praised and released like sand on the beach, the whole concept rather tends to collect Electronica music with demand – the featured music here requires attention from the listener.
Some international renowned names like the haujobb-project ARCHITECT (with a double-remix-play on here, remix works got provided by DRYFT and DISPLACER), S:CAGE, the up and coming NEGATIVE FORMAT side-project DISTRAUB, TOTAKEKE (Frank Mokros, new signed to Tympanik Audio!), FLINT GLASS, AB OVO, HECQ or MNEMONIC are proof of a diverse and quality-oriented selection. CD 1 is mostly influenced by Dark Ambient and technoid Industrial tunes, but – as strange as this sounds – I tend to say that the most promising appearances got provided by the rather unknown artists of this compilation. ARCHITRAV seems to be a Dark Ambient-inspired side-project of Germany’s MNEMONIC and offer a static and ominous sounding opening track. We had already the Alaska-based project LUCIDSTATIC in our review section on here, but this new tune left me breathless! So it has to sound if multiple programmings can mean multiple drum patterns, this "Night Vision" is a rhythmically bomb and the best piece of work of this project so far. Good to know that Tympanik has signed on them too, a new album should be come out during summer. TZOLK’IN is a mutual project between EMPUSAE and FLINT GLASS and got recently signed to Ant-Zen. Their track comes out quite melodious and straight oriented, while not at all forgetting its musically belongings. There are more favorites worth to be named available on CD 1 for sure, but since this whole compilation is that filled with more than 143 minutes of purest Experimental Electronica music, I just like to concentrate only on the to me very best.
CD 2 offers a decent collaboration between the Ant-Zen AB OVO and FLAQUE, while the Swiss act STENDECK gets remixed by Slovakia’s top-notch act DISHARMONY. FREEZE ETCH and their track "Stalwart" is another straight example with inserting layer sounds. Other highlights I like to name with GINORMOUS (straight and effective) FLAQUE ("Black Shadows In The Fog" – the title couldn’t explain it better how it sounds...), while the Big-Beat- and sample-driven "Witching Hour" of Canada’s DISPLACER causes a smile in the face of the listener. Same judgement like on CD 1, here can be named several other act, which my satisfy the listeners even more.
However, Tympanik Audio have released a full-scale quality compilation which is a feast to all open-minded listeners who get thrilled by some more Experimental-oriented music. Another nice side effect is the fact that this DCD set will never enter the world of legally download portals. Although I have already seen a link available on a well-known illegal Russian downloading portal, I like to forward congratulations to the responsible people behind this label – this may is the right initiative to start a rage against downloading procedures to save the format CD. Soon more with new releases about this fine new label.

Track list:


Architrav: Bewegungsspielraum
Eretsua: Proto-Awareness
Rekt: Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb
Urusai: Slow Forward
Lucidstatic: Night Vision
Architect: Caine in the Brain | Displacer remix
Distraub: Motion Sensor | Recalibrated
Tzolk'in: Imix | Hidden Forms remix
Totakeke: Power of Ideas | Hidden Forms mix
Talvekoidik: Hymn
S:cage: Unearth
Freeze Etch: Irrotator
Architect: Stairway | Stairwell Sidearm remix by Dryft
Unterm Rad: On the Brink (Verge) | remix by Dreams Are Maps

EO¹ - Run Time: 71:30


Flint Glass: At Takwi
Ab Ovo vs. Flaque: Circle of Memories
Stendeck: Like Falling Crystals | Disharmony remix
Freeze Etch: Stalwart
Atomatik13: Traffic Lights
Hecq: Moonkissed
Ginormous: Part of Him Died That Night
N0nplus: In Your Wake | Lying Right Next To Me remix
Phylum Sinter: Shadow Codex
Justin McGrath: The Last Thing You Said Was Fall
Displacer: Witching Hour
Flaque: Black Shadows in the Fog
Nebulo: Reverse | remix
Mnemonic feat. Qasot: Porous Dreams
Aural: Narcoleptic

EO² - Run Time: 72:04

Total Run Time: 143:34

ABBILDUNG: Two Sphere Geometry

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 25 2008
Title: Two Sphere Geometry
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Essentia Mundi (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 100 copies TWO SPHERE GEOMETRY is the latest CD of the Romanian dark ambient project Abbildung. The eight tracks of the album are based on a multi layered structure where drones, voices, treated guitars and electronic sounds (mostly pads) are gathered to form a growing primordial magma made of sound waves. Tracks like the opening "Dark pole rising" or the really good "Decreasing entropy attractor" have a certain viral effect which make them change constantly while the rhythm and the samples make them more "accessible" and less abstract. For this reason I found that they are able to create a better ambience and Abbildung did the right thing by using "Decreasing entropy attractor" as base to the four minutes of the DVD video titled "Two sphere world" (the video is based on the contraposition of nature and electrical experiments visual extracts). Only the fourteen minutes track "Call of the hypersphere" didn't convinced me too much because of the minimal approach which don't give anything else than the usual humming drone structure.

ENVENOMIST : abyssal siege

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 24 2008
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Artist: ENVENOMIST (@)
Title: abyssal siege
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip records (@)
Rated: *****
I could haven’t find any better title for this release and if mighty Jules Verne only could have the chance to choose a soundtrack for "20000 Leagues Under the Sea" I’m sure this release would have some serious chance to win the first prize as official soundtrack for that masterpiece. Envenomist is David Reed you may know for a bunch of releases he’s signed during the last three years, honestly I didn’t know that much about it till a couple of months ago but the while surfing the infamous myspace net I’ve been captured by a couple of tracks. For the simple the sound is, after having listened just a couple of recording I’m not afraid to write in a world overcrowded of noise and neo-industrial artists this guy has something that makes the difference and that I really appreciate. Abyssal siege is mainly based on distant drones, echoes and noises so that’s it all sounds like you were listening to the sonorization of the abyss while in the womb of a submergible. From what I can guess the majority of the material composing this cd is borne out of superimposition of layers, but the work has been done in a really soft way and you always have a dominant sound which usually corresponds to the darkest one. That said despite the odd and grey atmosphere resulting from that stratification you don’t have that never-ending drone effect many newjacks coming out from black metal use with no moderation dragging it around for the whole recording. As you’ve probably understood we’re really far from one of those Sunn o))),Wolf eyes replicants the world never asked for, David Reed works in a really discrete manner and with a really light dark ambient touch that displays he really knows how to reach the climax and when it’s time to do it.

YOSHIO MACHIDA: Hypernatural #3

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 23 2008
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Title: Hypernatural #3
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
While first approaching Machida's release on Baskaru I was quite sure what I was going to review was a good japanese ambient cd but in someway that's a restrictive definition for Hypernatural #3. Infact while working with ambient sound and not betraying her being japanese, Machida joins the aforementioned characteristic with a strong contemporary attitude that's why this work by some means reminded me some of the early ambient composers coming from a learned background like David Cunningham who's 1991’s "water" on Made to Measure label remains a real masterpiece. Hypernatural #3 also reminded me of David Toop and again I think there a thread between the two artist I’ve mentioned so far in this review. On the other hand as I've said he's from the land of the raising sun and you can bet those ambient-japanese electronic sounds you either love or hate are probably part of the DNA and sure I'm in the ranks of those who love them. It's a soft work that despite some electronic aesthetic is much closer to classic ambient than to Minamo, Neina or names like those we've encountered so far. Simplicity and refined gentleness as you probably expect a release like that to be and you won't be disappointed since Hypernatural #3 won't betray those simple but basic rules. What I found quite characteristic of this release and that makes the difference between Machida and many young japanese composers is the fact he has this old school ambient approach that makes it in some way heavier but in a positive way, for example just take the closing tracks of the cd, the music is so low it's even hard to get what's happening you have this really distant sound fading in the background while on the surface you hear a soft and silent field recording of birds singing I'm not surprised he gave this closing track the same title of this release, the fact is it probably embodies the spirit of the whole concept thought It really sounds hyper-natural. Another reason for which I’ve been comparing Machida and Cunningham, despite the fact their music is considerably different, is that they’re both musicians before using electronics, infact Yoshio is a steel pan player, believe it or not from this work is really hard to get this thing and to me that’s another point of interest to give a listen to his last work.

AD OMBRA: Rites of Genesis (equinox tremendum)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 21 2008
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Artist: AD OMBRA
Title: Rites of Genesis (equinox tremendum)
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden (@)
Rated: *****
RITES OF GENESIS is the first Ad Ombra album and if you are a new-classical/dark music lover you'll love the first album of this Romanian band. The CD is contained into a three panel digipack showing paintings (by Luna) which introduce you to the atmosphere of the work. In balance from opera with female vocals and dark orchestral pieces (do you remember Devil Doll?), Ad Ombra are able to create a whole world made of tormented souls. Musically we have frequent ambience changes which seems to follow a plot: the fifteen movements seem to be steps of a story. Trying to figuring it out, it feels like something (an homunculus maybe?) born and this "thing" provoked gods' anger. At this point starts a sort of inner battle where the magician is tormented by the remorse but he also wants to win his fears by imposing his will. Here are the track-list, try to imagine your own story and be sure to check some of their tracks at their Myspace page:
01. Descort (upon the face of the Deep)
02. Tempting the Insolence of Vision
03. Heart Sermons
04. Spermognosis
05. Thanatomia (litania mierae)
06. A pearled Remorse
07. Rituals of the Dormant
08. Exequies
09. Sycomore made Senses
10. Once upon Desire
11. Dusk Vanity
12. Sideranoia
13. Consolatio (Nachtlied der Reinheit)
14. Quarted Divine
15. Verigoplay : Genesis

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