Music Reviews

FORMICATION: Icons for a New Religion

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 10 2007
Title: Icons for a New Religion
Format: CD
Label: Lumberton Trading Company (@)
Rated: *****
"Icons for a New Religion" is the new album by Formication after 5 cdr releases on their own Harmful Records. Blending early-Autechre rhythmic obsessions with a thick ritual atmosphere, the Nottingham-based duo create something of fierce originality in their new work. "In the kingdom of the Electronic Eye" is an amazing track where cyclic patterns and whispering voices are worked togheter into the larger, intricate sound matrix.
The album highlight is "Faces of Fire", a piece composed by two tracks: the first part ("The Frictionless Continuum") shows a meandering synthwork over a repetitive rhythmic pounding - the second part ("Introspection") starts with a
Rapoon like hypnotic pattern then develops with some Coil-esque vocals brimming with increased insistence as the track progresses. So, whether you prefer to call it "rhythmic side of ritual ambient" or "magick dance music" (!!!) this record is nothing less than astonishing. After last year's amazing album by Theme, another excellent record from Brighton's Lumberton Trading.


 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 06 2007
Artist: VESTIGIAL (@)
Title: Aeon
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: New Sun Recordings
Rated: *****
Vestigial is a dark ambient project hailing from Naples. Here the hypnotic synthlines are playing a destructive counter-part to the cosmic drones crawling in the background. This one falls right beetween Inade's space voids and Tho-So-Aa (and obviously the most spacey Lustmord) and would fit perfectly in the roster of labels like Loki Foundation or Aural Hypnox. Nothing new under the sun (please note that it doesn't mean lack of ideas or creativity) but extremely well composed and executed - a remarkable mastering work and a beautiful artwork make this 3" a truly competitive effort.

The Infant Cycle / Antmanuv: Periodical lll

 Posted by Diane Granahan   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 04 2007
Artist: The Infant Cycle / Antmanuv (@)
Title: Periodical lll
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Ceiling (@)
Rated: *****
Periodical lll, as titled, is the third from a series of split releases between Jim Dejong of The Infant Cycle and fellow artists in the nearby Ontario, Canada region. Here, Dejong collaborates with Tomane Vinagreiro, better known as Antmanuv, a Portuguese expat now living in Ontario.
The Infant Cycle's 'Unrelated Work Tapes 11/25/06' opens with minimal pulse-like beats that morph into textured rhythms by employing cookery, shortwave, guitar, carved vinyl playout groove, feedback generators, and birds. It adds a nice touch knowing the careful detail behind the instrumentation used here. Antmanuv's 'Beyond the Garden,' strays towards field recordings of birds, trains, and urban movements with an aim to emphasize daily environmental surroundings.
This release is not other than what you'd expect to hear but certainly not anything less, both artists offer promising tracks that leave much curiosity for what's next to come.
Published on Dejong's own label, The Ceiling, this 2 track 15 minute release is only a brief tasting of each artist's somewhat contrasting styles, albeit a pleasant listen, indeed.

JODY CAVE : For Myria

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 03 2007
Title: For Myria
Format: CD
Label: 12k (@)
Rated: *****
Another fine product on 12k and if you’re into the style of the label you c bet you won’t be disappointed by Jodi Cave. Soft, gentle, ambient electronic not so far from other bands of 12k’s roster and I’m talking about Minamo, Fourcolours and also Taylor Deupree himself (even if his last album is more and more "poppy"). I think you already know Deupree loves japanese musical aesthetics and even if this’ not "japanese electronics", the zen (apparent) simplicity of the music is definitely oriental. The sound of this "for Myria" is a blend of electro-acoustic and ambiental processed sounds on which he superimposed some sweet/simple childish lullabies. Quietness is overflowing from every track but though its relaxed atmosphere the whole listening is far from getting boring. In some ways this’ a good mixture of ambient music and electronics and though Jody Cave’s touch is very light, if listened via headphones you can’t but notice there’s an accurate sound research/rework behind this cd. Vibraphones and keyboards are the main instruments for the melody, while an organ drone creates the corpus of the song "untitled". Sometimes you have soft noises to color the canvas or even a "percussive sound", but don’t worry, label dogma has been respected: there’s still no rhythms. Cave decided to use a main instrument for every song and he concentrated on simple melodies and on sound processing where needed, the resulting album is quite homogeneous then. Without any doubt this music is deeply influenced by minimalism but weren’t minimalists influenced by african and oriental (gamelan) music?. If you’re into relaxing music you’d better give a listen to this as well as to other releases on 12k, it’s music for the soul. Melancholy will prevail...somehow.

Dronolan’s Tower : Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 28 2007
Artist: Dronolan’s Tower (@)
Title: Legends of Kitholan. Vol. 1: Tales of the Long Forgotten
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Music by gamers for gamers.

Dronolan’s Tower is the one man project of David Allen Young. His ideas for the soundtrack stile music did not sound as he wanted when making the music by himself so he hired an orchestra and a choir in Hollywood to do it for him. The result is medieval fantasy mood music with more hints of darkness than light.
If you like bands like Erdenstern you will probably drool while listening to Dronolan’s Tower.
When I saw the artwork I thought of Midnight Syndicate but oh so wrong I was. This is far beyond what Midnight Syndicate could even dream of!
It’s actually in the same league as the more experienced top dogs in this genre.
"The Battle of Shadow pass" is without a doubt the best track on the CD and I love it.

I have almost nothing bad to say about this great release. I though would like to hear something a bit more unique from time to time.
David list (on his myspace site) John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Basil Poledouris (and others) as influences and you can hear that in the music. Some might say too much.
To be honest this is a very good and ambitious project which I cannot other than applaud!

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