Music Reviews



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".


JOB KARMA: Tschernobyl

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 30 2007
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Artist: JOB KARMA (@)
Title: Tschernobyl
Format: CD
Label: Ars Benevola Mater (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Chernobyl disaster has been one of the sad moments of our modern times. Many people died and it is unknown how many have been intoxicated or how many have contracted cancer years after that "accident". After a visit to the city of Prypec and to the places near the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl, Andrej Jozwik wrote the notes you can find in the booklet of JOB KARMA's TSCHERNOBYL. Words heavy like stones which paired to the photos taken into those locations give a different meaning to the sounds produced by the duo. Musically the CD succeeds into creating the right ambience which is in balance from industrial to ambient. The synth pad layers, along with industrial percussions, create eight particular movements where the vocal samples are able to paint a disturbing sensation of despair thank also to the melancholic melodies produced or to the experimental patchwork, where synth waves are coupled to noises and samples coming from the tv news. A really good release...

ZIBIR: Electrodes

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 29 2007
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Artist: ZIBIR
Title: Electrodes
Format: CD EP
Label: Haunted House Records (@)
Rated: *****
A new CD-EP release for the UK-based Haunted House Recordings label, with ZIBIR a debut of a new solo effort of Mat Howlett. We lately have discovered Mat’s other project HAPPY WELLY, a kind of fun and light-hearted Electronica project. But ZIBIR differs musically by offering a kind of instrumental arranged lo-fi dark electronic music and likes to call the works of KRAFTWERK, DAFT PUNK and DEEE-LITE as possible influences. Not very conventionally produced, the provided music here offers rhythmically tunes with a lighter attitude, but also stuff to sink in and chill-out ("Electrodes (Matulator Mix)"). Quite interesting arranged, this 6-track EP offers at all three different tracks, plus three remix works on the title track, one of them created by the label colleague of CREATURE. The "Maximix" of the title track gets my vote for the best piece here, maybe asides the darker sounding remix work by CREATURE. "Electrodes" works well as a convincing background sound design, but offers also several interesting structures and ideas to get checked out under a pair of headphones.

Abnocto: Simon Magus

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 28 2007
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Artist: Abnocto
Title: Simon Magus
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Rated: *****
Abnocto and the debut "Simon Magus" is something I can listen to over and over again.
To say I was looking forward to hearing "Simon Magus" is somewhat of an understatement - amongst the numerous other groups that inhabit the more spiritual side of the dark ambient genre, Abnocto are probably the best of them all!

Simon Heath (Za Frûmi, Atrium Carceri) and Simon Kölle (Za Frûmi, Musterion) have with Abnocto managed to seemingly effortlessly produce yet another stunningly unique and voyeuristic glimpse in their own domain of ultra dark music, which is as you'd expect as perfect as it is haunting.
All ambient/industrial/experimental fans should add "Simon Magus" to their collections.

Abnocto recorded the album 60 meters underground Stockholm. That is something insane but I am sure it gave something to the music. The underground and the solitude bring the recording to very unique level.

The only negative and sad thing with this CD is that it should have been released years ago (as it was recorded some years back). The music is beyond time for sure but I can only dream of what the duo could do with Abnocto today!?

I would consider this disc good accompaniment for reading your favorite horror, sci-fi or fantasy novel.

Ivan Racheck

AMATEUR GOD: Xenofeelia

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 27 2007
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Artist: AMATEUR GOD (@)
Title: Xenofeelia
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
AMATEUR GOD is a duo from Slovenia, formed by Bla Erzetič and Helena Gabrijelčič, and "Xenofeelia, or «Tales of How We Wanted to Fight Our Own Nature in Vain»" is the third album of the band (but until 2004 there was another singer), the second on German label Black Rain. The album is characterised by slow songs, with Helena’s voice laying on a bed of electronic beats and pads, creating a gloomy atmosphere, oppressive and disturbing. Sad emotions pervade your body, as listening to this album is like walking in a dead alley, fearful of the unknown. Voice is sometimes a bit monotone and dissonant, but I think this is just as they wanted it to be, to create this desperate sensation of emptiness; in fact, when she wants, Helena shows she’s able to sing melodically with no problem at all (see "Miss Fortune" for example), even though never aggressively but with a melancholic approach. I do like songs like "Changes", which has also a particular video, or "Garden of Sanity" with its deep and distressing noises, while I didn’t understand why a song with French lyrics has an English title ("Last Winter"). Maybe this album could give its best with few more variations, both in music and vocals, daring to strengthen some noises or beats when needed to emphasize some passages or to better take advantage of vocal extension. Told this, I must admit that if you accept "Xenofeelia" for the reflective atmosphere it creates, it could be a good album for grey evenings when you need to look into your soul. A trip to the sad side of life.


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