Music Reviews


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 27 2008
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Artist: BISCAVERET (@)
Title: Amalgame
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing their latest album few months ago, here is a new Bisclaveret CD on my player. This time it isn't a proper new album but a collection of nine remixes plus a video of "Insane in God". On the remixing desk we have Moan, Sleeping Pictures, Endraum, Ghosts of Breslau, Loverdozed, God's Bow, Hoarfrost, Horologium and synta[XE]rror. These projects gave their version/vision to "Insane in God", "Ritual of all embracing madness" (two tracks contained into the "Psyche nomine" album), "Duch moj" and "All things lost" (here reworked by Loverdozed which gave to the track an electronic experimental touch). Even if we have different version of three tracks the bands are able to give to the listener a good range of styles and solutions. We start with dark ambient with a bit of goth and pass to ritualistic industrial, e.b.m., minimal dark ambient, electro goth, minimal experimental, industrial dub and bleeping ambient i.d.m.. The best track, in my opinion are the less minimal (basically all but two) because it's really difficult to make an interesting track with few sounds (mostly pads), no rhythm and no melody. Anyway, seven tracks out of nine are worth your attention and if you already knew the ritualistic experimental electronic music of the band here you'll find new interesting interpretations of it.

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS : Red Arc / Blue Veil

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 26 2008
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Title: Red Arc / Blue Veil
Format: CD
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Rated: *****
Generally I’m not a fan of piano works probably cause I’ve been listening too many bad or at least insipid piano works, anyhow some of my favorite contemporary music is written for piano, has been conceived in front of it or evolves around the idea of the instrument and that’s also the case of the oddest pair of all: Cage and Feldman. While as I’ve said many piano works tend to bore me to death, when that kind of releases is expressive I happen to get completely absorbed during the listening and John Luther Adams has captured my attention from the very first listening. I can’t say if "Alaska created the music or if the music created Alaska" as Mr. Adams is wondering in the lines of his biography, but be it suggestion or not, there’s probably a small portion of Alaska frozen in the music of this musician. While I’ve put the emphasis on piano, this cd features some other guest appearances of percussion and vibraphone and they’re not secondary at all above all the percussion infact in the economy of the third track percussion become the corpus of the whole composition. There’s a big ambient feel in the music of this composer but differently from other piano composers flirting with ambient music (for example David Cunningham) there’s no trace of keyboards, piano treatment or post-productive treatments of these recordings. Adams’ music is ambient under a really Satiesque perspective and not just due to the instrument, but also for the fact this composer is not anxious to demonstrate anything, the center of this music is just inspiration and like Carver’s writings surplus has been removed from these compositions. At the same time, despite having no thrills, this music has not much of the american minimalists’ influence, sure their shadow is there but nothing more than that (but which American –an not just them- contemporary composer can say he’s immune from that kind of influence?). "Red arc/blue veils" is simple but vibrant, melodic and intense, differently from what you may think of its simplicity this cd is far from wallpaper-music, it goes deep. If the snow of Alaska creates a quiet atmosphere, this music probably is able to re-create Alaska wherever you are.

SEVEN MILE JOURNEY : The Metamorphosis Project

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 26 2008
Title: The Metamorphosis Project
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Fonogram-Agency (@)
Rated: *****
There’s no doubt Isis (or I’d rather say Neurosis) and Mogwai have become independent standards there days and I dare you to deny that. This Danish band demonstrates once again this thing makes sense and being really melodic oriented belong to the category of bands following the route of the Scottish heroes. Just Mogwai then? No, they’ve melted also a bunch of other ethereal influences and being from the north of Europe they’ve some reminiscences of that all Nordic taste you can detect in Sigur Ros thought they’ve no vocals differently from the island ethereal masters. Atmospherical evocative post-rock with a strong European accent infact while they’ve same evocative inspiration of bands like Gospeed You Black Emperor, they keep far from that coral/orchestral explosions which are one of the main qualities of the canadians. Soft glacial depressive melodies played really well so if they stick a bit too much to their influences, it’s also true they’re undoubtly developing a good songwriting ability. Like in the case of many of the bands I’ve mentioned during the review this music pays an heavy debt to Morricone’s soundtrack or at least to some of the most evocative soundtrack composers fo the last thirty years. Good recording, good technical skill, some catchy melodies... the only possible remark is that concerning the personality, they just need to develop little bit their language to fully become themselves but over all an ok release.

Title: Kakugo
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Four years after "Absurdity" the Japanese duo Jack Or Jive is back with a new work titled KAKUGO. The album takes inspiration from Bushido's "kakugo" concept which tells to think about death differently: Kakugo" does not suggest violence, it tells us to think of death and don't do honor-less acts in everyday life. The album is divided into twelve tracks which during almost one hour of length create tense and melancholic soundscapes made of ambient electronic pads, experimental intuitions and characterized by the presence of the particular voice of Chako. Her voice isn't perfect but it is functional to the creation of the sort of ambience which translate into music people's sorrow. The track I appreciated most is "It can't be reset". A song which recalled me Cocteau Twins atmospheres but here the dreamy atmospheres are turned into nightmares.
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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

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