Music Reviews



Beequeen: Seltenturn Beesides - 1989-2000

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 17 2007
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Artist: Beequeen (@)
Title: Seltenturn Beesides - 1989-2000
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: plinkity plonk (@)
Rated: *****
Trip peacefully along with this 130-minute collection from the cult duo Beequeen - Freek Kinkelaar (also playing solo under the name Brunnen) and Frans DeWaard (Goem, Kapotte Muziek, Shifts, Quest, Freiband ...). Seltenturn is a double cd collection of remastered oldies unavailable for a long a time : 'Mappa Mundi' (cassette, with bonus tracks), 'Fond' (one sided LP), 'Split' (split LP), 'The Surrough Gate' (10"), 'Vault' (7"), 'White Tusk' (7") and 'Dovidzdane Vanja' (7"). "The Surrough Gate" was released on Ant-Zen (!!!) in 1997 and shows them dealing both with concrete sounds and then in a terrific ambient tracks with conversation pieces on the background. The Mappa Mundi cassette was recorded on 1989 and has the lovely psychotic calmness of Cranioclast's first works, alternating typical droney compositions to more abstract ones - "Land above us" is possibily the best track here, slowly exposing the core of the drone with throbbing
analogue bubbles. "Dovidzdane Vanja", which means "The Death Of Beequeen", was a 7" out in 2000 that is the farewell to their melanchonic soundscapes. (The duo recorded many other dronework s under the name Wander - http://www.beequeen.nl/wander.htm ). This awesome collection is both the best starting point for the new listeners that want to know about the more experimental side of Beequeen and absolutely necessary for completists. Ltd Edition of 300.

HALL OF MIRRORS: Reflections on Black

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 13 2007
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Artist: HALL OF MIRRORS
Title: Reflections on Black
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
After the mammoth Amon/Nimh cd on Eibon, Andrea Marutti and Giuseppe Verticchio are back with a collaborative project, which will feature different guests with every release (this time, they are Giulio Baggi/Nefelheim at synths and guitar and Daniela Gherardi at synth and voice). Since it's impossible not to use "Sator" as a reference, I'll start by saying that "Reflections on Black" obviously shares most of its characteristics, but is also looser, more varied and at times unpredictable. There's a feel of jamming that in the above mentioned work was hidden by the monolithic construction of the pieces. In "Entrance", the deep cavernous drones, dotted by electric bursts, give way to a half-buried string plucking, introducing a more melancholic passage, eventually overshadowed by a brooding distorted wall. "Descent" begins with suffocating wind gusts, but a layering of frequencies, upbeat rhythms and higher tones slowly changes the atmosphere from oppressive to cosmic, leading to a second part occupied by a liquid drone. "Transmutation" and "Recovery" stray even further from plain dark ambient territories, the former featuring warm waves of synths and guitar feedback, the latter with Verticchio lingering on depressive guitar picking, accompanied by some weird crackling noises (treated vocals, maybe?).

The Retail Sectors: Life's Ironies

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 10 2007
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Artist: The Retail Sectors (@)
Title: Life's Ironies
Format: CD
Label: october man recordings (@)
Rated: *****
The Retail Sector is the musical alter ego of multi-instrumentist Kentaro Togawa and "Life's Ironies" is a remarkable piece of work. The first track is called "In Scorn" and has an emphatic guitar work resembling somehow Explosions in The Sky gone minimal - after a couple of minutes some thick layers of noise are introduced to your ears. Basically all the tracks on "Life's Ironies" seem to start following a classic ebb & flow postrock to shift into harsher territories not so far from Xinlisupreme's "American Supreme" Ep. October Man is a small UK cdr label with great homemade packaging and a small run of copies, usually 30... so you'd better hurry up!!

THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC: Musicamorosa

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 10 2007
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Artist: THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC
Title: Musicamorosa
Format: CD
Label: Crónica
Rated: *****
Last time I heard from Jorge Mantas was with his cdr on Mystery Sea. I had shared a cd with him on Thisco, and I really liked his dark, concise, sometimes lo-fi approach to digital drones. I've lost traces of him for a while and now I discover he's mellowed out: pink layout, Proust quotes everywhere... what the hell... No, really... This is undoubtedly a new course for Mantas, but it's a great one, and his musical ability has improved dramatically. His drones have turned melodic and moody, and beneath the sugar-coated layout they have maintained an edge that prevents them from becoming dull or nauseous (with the darker "L'amour, c'est l'espace et le temps rendus sensibles au coeur" reminding of his previous production). With its 13 tracks and 65 minutes, it's a quite lengthy work, and my loveless heart forces me to take a break now and then - but the quality is high throughout. Guests like José Luís Merca (Matéria Prima, at electric guitar), Tobias Strahl (Dies Natalis, at acoustic guitar) and Cécile Schott (Colleen, reading Proust, obviously), help make some tracks more varied, and Mantas knows how to dose their contribution. @c closes the album with a glitchy, more upbeat remix, which is ok but maybe a bit redundant. I would recommend this disc to anybody into Dead Texan, latest Beequeen or Stephan Mathieu, and melancholic electronica in general - it hardly gets any better than this, me thinks.

GUSTO EXTERMINATION FLUID: The Cleaner

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 10 2007
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Artist: GUSTO EXTERMINATION FLUID
Title: The Cleaner
Format: CD
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by PT, a guy who in the 90's was playing with Sonic Violence, Gusto Extermination Fluid is his outfit for his soundtrack to a decaying world. Mixing industrial, dub and dark ambient, PT composed the ten tracks you can find into his first album (available on CD and download mp3 files). The tracks are ten nice instrumental soundtracks which mix elements of the above genres trying to creating a new blend. For example, if "Scurvysh" is based on obsessive industrial percussions, "Bee tick" (one of the best ones of the lot), is dealing with slow dub/dark ambient atmospheres succeeding into creating a thick atmosphere. On other tracks, like "Below" or "Horselip", PT tries to find a personal way of dealing with the sounds and he made two particular orchestral/ambient/industrial tracks. The only weak point I found about his compositions is that in the process, sometimes, he lose the power and the ambience peculiar to the genres he took inspiration from. This isn't a great loss if these elements are substituted by creativity. This is the main point, some tracks don't seem to develop the initial idea, so they sound like good intuitions that need something more. His work is to be appreciated anyway, because he tries to deal with known sounds in a personal way. Sometimes he succeeds and sometimes he don't but the album does for sure sounds interesting.


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