Music Reviews



KORINTH: Sign Of Eternal Return

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 19 2008
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Artist: KORINTH
Title: Sign Of Eternal Return
Format: CD
Label: Construct Destroy (@)
Rated: *****
Inspired by the Nietzsche concept of "eternal return" (only a person who has the courage to live his entire life just like he already did, could break the wheel/cycle and free himself) SIGN OF ETERNAL RETURN is the debut album by Korinth. Already released by Construct Destroy (personal label of the band Phragments which months ago released their latest album for The Eastern Front label) on a limited edition of 111 copies CD-r, the album is now reissued as a real CD on a 500 copies run with a new package and all. Musically the album contains a 44 minutes long suite based on hypnotic structures made of humming sounds and choirs/orchestrations. Despite the long track "double edged weapon" (in my opinion it's difficult to compose a track able to create a good ambience but it's really hard to make it work properly and sometimes is easy to repeat stereotypes and sounds) the track has a lot of good moments where the alternation of choirs/orchestrations/percussions keep the listener's attention awake. Reverbs and the right amount of hallucination help keeping the tension high and this is a good result. I'd prefer different movements rather than a long track but Korinth is worth a listen.

SVARTBAG: Svartbag

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 16 2008
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Artist: SVARTBAG
Title: Svartbag
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The first Svartbag core born in 1996 when the two guitarists of the band (A.REX and Niels Ladefoged) met thanks to a buy and sell ad. They started to work at some tracks and soon realized that thanks to their guitar effects they were able to create loops and thick atmospheres. Since then, they started working at their sound and they were joined by Peter Kyed in 2005, he took care of samples. Their debut album sees also the collaboration of Andreas Hauer-Jensen (Düreforsög/Mit Nye Band/Bleeder Group) on drums on four out of five tracks. With this combo at work, Svartbag self titled album is sounding like a blend of Krautrock and alternative rock noise where the mood changes from pseudo rock rides to spatial ambient tunes where guitars are sounding like the Glenn Branca Orchestra: alienated and multi-layered. "Loop#9", instead, is more psychedelic and it is the only track which doesn't have tension. The closing track "Billy Name" is a mix of psychedelic atmospheres and guitar noise and somewhat it recalled me some Sonic Youth ballads of the "Daydream nation" period. This was a nice surprise from Rump since I was used to their particular jazz/i.d.m. releases...

MAJU : maju - 5

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 11 2008
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Artist: MAJU (@)
Title: maju - 5
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
About a couple of months ago when reviewing the on-line free sampler just came out on Extreme, for the first time I've come into Maju and that song definitely put me on guard for my expectations for their forthcoming effort could have been to high, but here it is and it has blew me away as expected. I tend to be really sensible to japanese electronic music and I think Minamo, Neina, Yoshihiro Hanno, Sawako not to mention Ikeda (who's stile by the way is considerably far from this duo) did and are still doing some heartbreaking releases and yes, Maju can be unquestionably included in this list of "must have" if you're into modern-melodic-japanese-minimal-electronic music. If compared to the most of their country fellows they're probably more minimalistic (except for Sawako) but just cause they put the accent on letting every melody float as much as it takes for it to become narcoleptic. As many japanese artists playing this kind of music they create a dreamy ecstatic childlike dimension and even thought I'm the cynical bastard I'm, God bless the sons of the rising sun for having given us some melancholic but relaxing outputs like this. "Melody diluted in digital beauty" right as you're used to find when listening on labels like Spekk, Plop, 12K or in the likes, no surprise it has nothing to do with the rest of the boundless Extreme roster plus consider it's not even experimental. If you're not familiar with the rest of the material on this australian label or if you find the most of it's heavier than life, don't worry, this one may represent a sunbeam breaking a sky otherwise filled with black clouds (even if I'd better say "brain sticking materials"). Magnificence in simplicity.

Roger Mills: Antipodesia

 Posted by Mike V. (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 07 2008
cover
Artist: Roger Mills
Title: Antipodesia
Format: CD
Label: UnCatalogued Music Production
Rated: *****
The album Antipodesia contains dimly lit soundscapes of earthly and alien origin, many of which are being serenaded or illuminated by Mills' seductive trumpet off in the distance. Intermixed are manipulated samples of a variety of sonic impulses and instrumental performances, most of which are driven by groove-oriented beats and percussion.
The use of voice is dispersed on occasion, as are loop-style programmed sounds amidst live recordings. The melodies are often simple, which becomes effective and evocative over the course of the album. "Brightlands Avenue" is an example of what can result from a captured improvisation that is later touched up and through composed like a soundtrack to a scene in a film.
Many of these scapes strike a balance between natural and surreal environments, acoustic and electronic soundworlds, and often times include layered field recordings from disparate lands. "Zagreb" is a nice example that incorporates industrial or transportation sounds juxtaposed with a drifting and lyrical, Dvorak- style melody. The closing epic, "Sawtooth" commences with a droning pad with granulated noise particles that weave in and out of the foreground. When Mills’ trumpeting reappears it is one of the most thought-provoking and interesting moments on the disc.
For those into audiovisual aesthetics, there is a fine booklet included in the liner sleeve which contains some photography that one might imagine themselves inside while listening to the music. Recommended to fans of abstracted world music, manipulated world instruments mixed with groove, and those on the lighter and hemp-friendly side of Miles Davis’ electric period.

Artist: ROBE
Title: the third cinder
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip records (@)
Rated: *****
Some months ago while on the web I've come into Robe's myspace page and I've been positively impressed both by their sound and by the most of their song structures. This release came out on Snip-Snip that's David Reed's own label and let's say there's a sort of connection: actually Robe' sound, from what I've heard so far, in most of the cases is darker and heavier if compared to the music of Reed, but here it all has become more "foggy" and confirms the impression I've had they like to dissolve the drones in a magmatic scenario. It all makes me think to the movies of John Carpenter or David Lynch, but at the same time differently from many of their previous releases "the third cinder" paints a more abstract portrait of this band from Columbus. A simple selection of sounds and mainly drones surfacing and disappearing in suspension as shadows sucked in the mist, if some of the first noises may give the impression they've been influenced by some of the early experimental industrial masters (I was thinking to Death in June when leaving folk back home), I guarantee later the environment develops into a bad dream gone worse. Beside the peculiarity of having this deep cinematic feel, Robe have an interesting approach to dark ambient and post-industrial music that I don't find in that many bands of the genre. If you've never heard anything of this band from Indiana, remember they're quite heterogeneous thus you have releases where they've heavy guitars revealing Justin Broadrick/Final reminiscences and other recordings you could easily file under dark ambient. "The third cinder" is probably one of their most ethereal work but there's no doubt from what I've heard it doesn't betray Robe's identity and offer a good way to be introduced to the sound of this band.


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