Music Reviews



Nov 04 2007
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Artist: A_DONTIGNY
Title: Geisteswissenschaften
Format: CD
Label: no type (@)
Rated: *****
Is it possible to have personality and character in electronic music these days? Sure, as I’m sure it will be possible (not just in electronic music) to have both these qualities till this planet won’t be frozen by the next glaciation. After this opening remarking of the fact "everything has been said before" make sense, but it’s not a good reason to sit down and think like you’re ten thousand years old, let’s speak about this cd. A_dontigny mixes many electronic styles with a great and unusual skillfulness and also shows he’s really able both in discerning interesting samples but he’s chosen the right collaborations to enrich this or that passage. I’ve just heard a few releases on this label (and Metaxu is still one of my personal faves), but I’ve had the impression they’re into electronic music almost at the edge of being experimental for what regards artists work on the tracks. This Canadian musician sometimes cuts the tracks by skiping and using glitches, sometimes he breaks everything fragmenting and manipulating a sample in order to make it workable with the superimposition of a second or even third layer. He’s a "perverted" propension for putting together melodies with unnatural electronic manipulations closer to a dj tradition than "contemporary classic electronic". While we’re far from one of those wishy-washy Afx Twin clones, I’m sure dear ol’ Richard D. James would start nodding having an hard-on with these post-jungle, post-classical, post-electronics, lost in acid, fragmented tracks. I think the fact a composer/musician like Paul Dolden is among the guests of this release says a lot concerning the fact Geisteswissenschaften is filled with songs made with heart and brain and not trying to be part of this or that subgenre of music. Sometimes you have chaotic tracks, sometimes rhythmical irregular tempo changes, sometimes it all sounds like your cd player is skipping randomly stroke by a digital tornado, but in the most of the songs you’ve a solid construction and above all after having survived the first blasts big part of the release approaching toward the end becomes softer an more quiet... almost "easy".

MARKUS REUTER & ROBERT RICH : Eleven Questions

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 04 2007
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Artist: MARKUS REUTER & ROBERT RICH
Title: Eleven Questions
Format: CD
Label: Unsung
Rated: *****
I think many have you have probably already heard these names since both Reuter and mr. Rich are two regarded musicians that’s not enough when speaking about Robert Rich, since after twenty years we can openly say he’s a demi-legend. Wandering again in those ambient territories they know so well this joint venture brings you a real ambient masterpiece and the fact I’ve been listening to it repeatedly many times to get if it was just a fugitive impression or not, well to me says a lot. Let’s start by saying this one, under a prospective, can be classified as a "traditional recording", infact it follows the path set by many great ambient heroes back in the eighties when Rich name started becoming quite well known. As said there’s this crepuscular nightly eighties element creeping underneath in the whole recording, but if that normally brings close to passatism, this time made me leave all my reticence back home since it’s damn well dissimulated beside being beautifully married with the whole melodic idea of the release. Take this recording as a whole trip, sure you can also break it into tracks as the same authors did but hell take me if this whole musical flux hasn’t been designed for a unique non-stop listening experience. Sure you’ll find some typical solution of the genre as drones, space-layers, echoes, reverbs but feedbacks, and above all the piano interventions, are stunning and really brilliant. Beside the fact Reuter is a great musician the heavy hand of Robert Rich has a considerable weight in the economy of this work and if you like his previous productions you won’t be disappointed by this one. The fact I put this big emphasis on this old-school ambient feel probably doesn’t pay the right attention to the fact this collaboration avoids the easy trap of sounding simply old fashioned, I think it keeps in contact with the history of the genre but it has his own stylistic identity. This one of those "late at night" releases that makes you feel you’re floating in the outer space forever but you can’t but surrender...we can also steal the definition from a good old Trans Am record and say this work could also have been titled: "Surrender to the night". Intense work that joins tradition, crepuscular atmospheres and personality.

GOGOOO : Long, lointain

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 02 2007
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Artist: GOGOOO
Title: Long, lointain
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
Sometimes the morsel some artists put on their myspace page or even better, a superficial listening of a few seconds can leave you with the wrong impression and in the case of this French musician I’ve been too quick to judge. After a few seconds of fast on-line listening, the acoustic guitar gave me the impression it was another good but anonymous post-rock folkster, shame on me, since the record is not your average folkster wonnabe, plus is damn good. The whole impression is that we’re dealing with acoustic-melodic ambient influenced music where most of the themes are played with instruments and not with a computer, does this fact affects the global result? Sure it does, infact Gabriel Hernandez plays in a really minimalistic way and he gradually melts the music into a sort of harmonic magma. He uses guitar, melodica, carillon, organ, vocals, field recordings and of course laptop, but in this case is just one of the tool and not the main one. I’ve been positively impressed by the relaxing and inspired bed on which Gogooo lulls you to sleep and I’ve to say even without reinventing anything he accomplish the good taste status that makes the difference between normal records and "worth of your money" ones. I like the ambience Hernandez brings you into, it’s melancholic and suitable with this cold season, in someway this guy could be the "light" answer to the less crepuscular litanies of mighty Thor Lundavall, but seen the considerable difference you can guess the music and the artist are quite dissimilar. The whole recording has been mastered by Greg Davis and if for many of you that’s just a name, I’m sure for somebody else it could be a small hint to figure out Gogooo is melodic but not properly easy listening. Some tracks are hella catchy alas even if the snob experimental elitists will be dissecting this or that track for a comparison, those who appreciate music played with heart will simply appreciate. Soft, warm and melancholic.

AUN: Blackhorse

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 02 2007
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Artist: AUN (@)
Title: Blackhorse
Format: CD
Label: Oral Records (@)
Rated: *****
With "Blackhorse" Martin Dumais aka AUN shifts into a more dreamy and less experimental form of music. The overall feel is that the composition is more relaxed and AUN varies in its subtle attack with many different strategies ranging from simple but effective lushy drone pieces to more structured tracks with strings and other instruments always flexing and changing. Dumais wrestles with loops and keeps the listener focused for the whole 55 minutes of "Blackhorse". His tunes evoke both post-industrial revolutionaries and modern artists dealing with experimental music. It's not too far-fetched to think of AUN as the modern Canadian equivalent of projects like Zoviet France or Cranioclast. My highest recommendation for this one.

AUN: Mule

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 02 2007
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Artist: AUN (@)
Title: Mule
Format: CD
Label: Oral Records (@)
Rated: *****
AUN is Martin Dumais (also playing with Les Jardiniers ) - one of the prime movers of the experimental music scene in Montreal - a scene that spawned many talented performers. The music that AUN creates is released via Oral Records, a Canadian label home to projects such as CM Von Hausswolf, Joe Colley and the two superb Monoton re-issues. "Mule" is the first of his works to be published and it can be described as post-ambient with an experimental edge. There's melodies in there too and the canvas is different for every track. This music might be largely reprocessed by a computer but it's paradoxically "authentic" as played on a guitar or a piano and this makes Mule a particularly intense and emotional experience.


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