Music Reviews



Tor Lundvall: "The Seasons Unfold" Sampler

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (4006)
Oct 29 2007
cover
Artist: Tor Lundvall (@)
Title: "The Seasons Unfold" Sampler
Format: CD EP
Label: Strange Fortune (@)
I am familiar only with Lundvall’s artwork for Sol Invictus’s album covers. However, this gives a pretty good indication concerning what his music would be like. His artwork is peaceful and kind of washed out, like sidewalk chalk drawings after a light rain. This (too) brief sampler gives a taste of what will be on the upcoming 4 disc set, "The Seasons Unfold," providing alternate versions. The best comparison that I can give is Vidna Obmana’s or Harold Budd’s ambient works. Sparse music that fades into the background well. The press sheet refers to Lundvall’s music as "ghost ambient," so I was surprised to hear the vocalist come in for "29" and "The Backyard." Even so, this is not the typical "verse – chorus – verse" style. The words seem almost secondary to the atmosphere that is created. The only drawback I see to this disc is that it is pretty short, weighing in at only 15 minutes. But according to the press release that came with the disc, this sampler is free to anyone who orders something from Strange Fortune beginning the first day of Autumn, 2007. If you were going to order something anyway, this is a pretty good bonus to get.

Dubblestandart: Immigration Dub

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (4001)
Oct 29 2007
cover
Artist: Dubblestandart (@)
Title: Immigration Dub
Format: CD
Label: Collision (Cause of Chapter 3) (@)
I have to admit that I have never been a huge follower of dub. This is not because I have anything against the genre; there have just been too many other albums to buy. My main exposure to dub was seeing Twilight Circus open for the Legendary Pink Dots about 10 years ago and a Zion Train album that I somehow acquired. I’ve listened to a bit of ska here and there andlike everyone else in the worldI have Bob Marley’s "Legend" in my CD collection. All of that to say that this review comes from an outsider’s perspective.

If I wanted someone to like dub, I would give them this album to listen to. It’s a lot of fun (for example, how can you not like a song called "We All Have to Get High"?) and makes you move whether you wanted to or not. I suppose you have to keep it lighthearted; it’s hard to have street cred when you’re a dub band from Vienna. But they’ve been around since 1988, so they must be doing something right.

Here’s how they describe the album on their website: "An incredible fusion of hi-tech, vintage synthesizers and analog effect units, merged with solid dub beats, whilst experimenting with different styles that depart from the reggae norm." As for the music itself, for me the standout track was "Tiny Place Called Earth," which seamlessly integrates Rod Serling’s narration to a Twilight Zone episode ("The Invaders") into the music without sounding forced or cheesyin itself, an impressive feat. Other tracks of note include "When I Fall in Love," the incredibly catchy "This One Is About Flying," and the aforementioned "We All Have to Get High."

There are several covers on this album: "Wadada" (Dub Syndicate), "MPLA Dub" (Tappy Zukie), "Money Money" (Horace Andy), and "When I Fall In Love" (with the original Ken Booth vocals). You can check out some of their music at their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/dubblestandart). This disc weighs in at 68 minutes and even features a video of "Island Girl," which mainly consists of a dancing dreadlocked young woman and island scenes.

Dub Trio : cool out and coexist

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 29 2007
Artist: Dub Trio
Title: cool out and coexist
Format: CD
Label: ROIR (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded live on February 19 and 20, 2007 at Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY. Exhilarating mix of reggae and metal riffing, with some dubby-spacey atmospheres added to spice up the set. No vocals, just playing. I’ve been kind of bored with the rock/metal scene lately, but this marriage of seemingly uncooperative partners has rekindled my interest. Excellent!

North-Without-End : 1940,1944 lp

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 29 2007
Artist: North-Without-End
Title: 1940,1944 lp
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
Minimalist droning loops building layer after layer that slowly fill up every part of the frequency spectrum creating overtones that induce the desire to submit to the sound. Created in four parts, this is music for a quiet afternoon. Another free download from Forty-seven Records
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Artist: DJ? ACUCRACK
Title: Humanoids From The Deep
Format: CD
Label: Cracknation (@)
Rated: *****
After having regained completly their independent status caused through the end of a long-year distro deal with the well-known Underground Inc., here comes a full-scale release assault for the Cracknation-label. Besides this new DJ? ACUCRACK-release also the main project ACUMEN NATION releases a new full-length album. It was about time for new recordings after a long tour with both projects together with FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY and KMFDM. So the first result of DJ? ACUCRACK in form of this full-length album is out now, just one day after the last gig of the own booked "Psychotranshumanoid"-tour with CYANOTIC. That’s for sure an ominous chosen title for this new DJ? ACUCRACK-release and it shall indeed offer some influences out of some horror/splatter movies featuring a zombie-related theme. Globally the musically signature remains the same of this ACUMEN NATION side-project (I name it so, because AN-band leader Jason Novak stands also behind this project...) by offering a hectic rhythm construction taking inspiration out of D’n’B and Breakbeat-styles, some IDM and Trance-related textures, a huge amount of starnge sample manipulations and at times Jason’s insane and mostly distorted vocals. It’s positive that it doesn’t sound at all like an ACUMEN NATION-twin. "Reptilian Race" satisfies with some slower arrangements and quite different moods, while "Destroy All Robots" should be able to storm the dancefloors. But best work to me is "Ice Aces" featuring some melodic Ambient-like layers and a cool female background vocal performance. Although the main project ACUMEN NATION allows only a little change of the musically direction, this project of Jason Novak seems to be a kind of experimental field with which he likes to test different moods, rhythms and arrangements on his audience. Yep – experiment accomplished – keep it on!


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