Music Reviews



Unit21: November

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 07 2007
Artist: Unit21 (@)
Title: November
Format: CD
Label: Lagunamuch (@)
Rated: *****
Unit21 is Stanislav Vdovin and November is an extension of previous releases on net label Thinner entitled "September-October." According to the info included on the insert "the tracks are built on looped micro samples from soviet vinyl records, home microphone recording, drum patterns and processed white noise". As you might expect this has a scratchy lo-fi feel about it in places, but it isn’t all about that. There are tracks that have little or no crackle to them at all. This is post-everything. Droney, noisy (but not overbearing), and, as you would expect from all the loops, very hypnotic. The pieces build layer upon layer creating a sense of expectation, or even creepy dread at times. I particularly like his use of white noise. There are beats here but they do not dominate. Maybe I should change the word beat to rhythm instead. You can hardly dance to it. Maybe twitch a little, but definitely not dance. The feeling here is cold, but not lifeless, like the difference between a winter day in November on Earth rather than on Mars.

Loren Dent : Empires and Milk

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 07 2007
Artist: Loren Dent (@)
Title: Empires and Milk
Format: CD
Label: Contract Killers Records (@)
American sound artist (Austin, TX) Loren Dent uses guitar, strings, sampling, vinyl manipulations, and field recordings to create places to live in. We are presented with 77 plus minutes of sound and light. The only way I can describe all this sound is that it is alive! No weak preset synth tones and aimless doodling. We are in the presence of a major voice in the ambient field here. There are so many layers going on at once and playing it loudly or softly will change the effect, like all good ambient pieces. I recommend this unhesitatingly even though there are a few tracks I would have left out simply because they weren't at the level of the rest.

Damien Olsen : Elecktronische

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 07 2007
Artist: Damien Olsen (@)
Title: Elecktronische
Format: CD
Label: the burgundy chamber
Rated: *****
Damien makes a big deal about being a Buddhist. Most musicians who make a big deal about their religious affiliation seem to be making the statement that their spiritual depth results in better music. Or maybe he just wants to sell his music to other Buddhists. I don’t know. I just don’t see any evidence of any spiritual depth at all. Or maybe I just don’t get it because I’m not an insider. This starts with an attempted marriage of experimental electronics and piano, and like many marriages, these two don’t always get along. There doesn’t always seem to be a good pairing sonically, as if one was simply put on the top of the other (if you’ll excuse the visual suggestion). At times the piano work is more interesting than the electronics and vice versa. In some pieces they don’t seem to live in the same space acoustically, making this a forced juxtaposition (which I have to admit may be the point since I’m not privy to the composer’s intentions). If that was the case, score one for the composer. Much of the electronics work harkens back to pre-digital synthesis or very early digital (or is this just the lazy use of presets?). There are some interesting electronic soundscapes here so its not an altogether waste of time.

VECTOR MUSIK: Interfoliere EP

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 04 2007
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Artist: VECTOR MUSIK
Title: Interfoliere EP
Format: 12"
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Lately Rump Recordings is focusing its releases on music influenced by jazz, lounge and i.d.m. and this E.P. by Vektor Musik follows the same path. The six tracks of the E.P. are built like loops which are enriched by new sounds/improvisations: try to imagine a slow and soft drum line followed by a delicate piano sound which starts to duet with a clarinet while some i.d.m. rhythmical noises play on the background. The tracks have also a certain ambient touch thanks to the drones that you can find here and there which are used to "thick" the sound. Sometimes the sound seems to turn into a sort of dub jazz just to turn into something different. Check the samples at the label's website a be sure to check "Carux".

ORIGAMBIRO : cracked mirrors and stopped clocks

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 30 2007
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Artist: ORIGAMBIRO
Title: cracked mirrors and stopped clocks
Format: CD
Label: Expanding (@)
Rated: *****
With such a weird name I was expecting something ethnical or at least experimental and I was wrong, if you will have the chance to give a listen to this nice cd you'll find it yourself. Tom Hill is the man behind the moniker and "behind the machines", he plays a simple acoustic guitar in the majority of the tracks on this release. Ok I imagine somebody out there is complaining you've probably heard a million releases with acoustic guitar plus electronic but even if may sound boring I think beyond individual taste, and beside the originality issue you always have good and bad releases. "Cracked mirrors..." belongs to the first of the two aforementioned categories, Hill writes simple melancholic songs cast on simple non intrusive rhythmic. This acoustic guitar driven electronic-pop is enriched by an all english taste for melodies, and thought it may sound "weird" believe me Nick Drake would have been proud to see how his countrymen have evolved his "language". Can we say there's a spruce of ambient music to make the listening even more conformable? I think so, at last it's such an obvious (and joyful) marriage. This is the typical cd I can relax myself with without my girlfriend complaining in the back, it probably won’t add anything to the good quality of this work but this’ a good thing, alas: "approved by my girlfriend".




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