Music Reviews

Sep 25 2007
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Title: Chamber music for screeching and artificial insects
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale (@)
Rated: *****
Second full length for this artist some of you have probably heard since he’s been used as primary sound source for the recording of Claudio Parodi’s "Horizontal mover" on Extreme records. It’s surprising how some barely unknown artists can put out a cd so intense that blows away bigger productions or even the most famous names, but this’ just one of the many cases I’ve the chance to find recently. Milani’s works present a crepuscular blend of different influences well assorted in what in general can (or should I say "will") be classified as electronic music. My reticence in speaking about electronic music has to do with the fact you can hear many acoustic instruments floating here and there in the magmatic flux, but I still dunno what is played and what’s not: who cares anyhow?. Another weird side effect I’ve sensed is the nocturnal modern jazz/contemporary classic feel that imbues the whole exhibit, be it for the harmonic dissonances or for the soft elegant interventions he’s put parsimoniously during the assemblage of every fragment. The full-length is divided in seven tracks evolving around the same harmonical/musical idea alas the global listening is really homogeneous, despite the long duration it’s not a boring release, sure it’s a intense and heavy trip, but while requiring a lot of attention it keeps the evocative power unaffected from the first to the last second. How does it sounds like? Like a dronical, post jazzy, atmospherical cloud where you have some scattered instruments crossing the scenario very discretely, therefore far from those short rides you hear in the most recent electro acoustic releases. While you some concrete sounds make their guest appearance in some of the acts, many sounds are patiently lead in and out of to the scene thanks to an intelligent use of delays and reverbs and above all thanks to a clever superimposition of layers. Yes, this work is what we may consider a dronical, electronical layering of different things even thought as I’ve already said the result is quite coherent in its elegant crepuscular dress. I’ve had the impression this music could concretize what happened if only David Tibet would have been much more into jazz or contemporary classic music instead of being lost in psychedelia and folk, probably it has to do with the "scattered memories" feel created by the odd melodies plus the field-recordings/samples drowning in the dark pool. Enchanting, odd record here: give it a try.

Destructo Swarmbots : clear light

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 21 2007
Artist: Destructo Swarmbots (@)
Title: clear light
Format: CD
Label: Public Guilt (@)
Rated: *****
Destructo Swarmbots is Mike Mare of Queens, NY, USA aided by various players. Four tracks of guitar generated ambience aided by what sounds like radio sources and synth ambient textures for good measure. Builds nicely in places and then backs off for a while, then builds up again. Good headphone music that slowly shifts between obvious guitar sounds and smeared time dilation. Perhaps the sound one would hear as they approached a black hole, of one could hear a black hole in the vacuum of space that is.

Nature Morte : recluse

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 21 2007
Artist: Nature Morte
Title: recluse
Format: CD
Label: Reue Um Reue (@)
Rated: *****
Layered field recordings and organ tones fill every space in your head in an attempt to produce a changed state of awareness. "Dead nature" is a possible translation of the project name, and environmentalism may be its source of inspiration. Apart from the well-meant philosophy we get another droney release that has countless companions in the drone genre of releases the world over just as good as all the others. So why should we listen? There is some very creepy stuff here. Along with the drones and field recordings we get the sonic equivalent of stasis and decay. This is nature out of kilter, not made with the big statement but with the subtle impression that something is not right. Kind of reminds me of early Tangerine Dream ("Zeit" in particular) in places.

Jigoku Nohara : Seiyaku No Nakani, Shi Ha Otozureru

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 12 2007
Artist: Jigoku Nohara (@)
Title: Seiyaku No Nakani, Shi Ha Otozureru
Format: CD
Label: Thee Disciples Of Penumbra (@)
Rated: *****
Emulating the allmighty Marafura Funfunjiru, here we have another European with a Japanese alter-ego (with super moves and powers I guess) - Jigoku Nohara is a 29 years old Belgian guy named Bert Janssens and plays a strange blend of ethnic ambient with ultra minimal rhythms. Think about mixing Vasilisk's peculiar ethnic side with some more recent minimal electronics - say Sahko or Raster Noton - and sometimes it works but as a whole I'd say that it could result a bit boring (68 minutes is too much for an ambient album). I'd like to hear Bert's further progressions. That review was written by Gurudutt-Barati (my Nepalese alter-ego). Namaste!
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: One Nation Under Surveillance – Arable Farmland Sampler Vol. 3
Format: CD
Label: Arable Farmland
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
I can’t resist to start this review with a warning printed on the backside of this compilation:
"Under the revised Patriot Act, secret Presidential Directives and Orders, and Military Commissions Act of 2006 any person found in possession of this CD can have their mail opened by Order of the President, watched by various U.S. Law "Enforcement" Agencies, and ultimately be charged with a Federal crime. Welcome to the United States. Enjoy your stay."
I’m sure that this warning points out well which politically-inspired content you’ve obviously to expect from the booklet of this compilation CD. Included is a lot of stuff to read, essays and regime-critically stuff on which I can’t judge, since I’m not a US citizen. Only one personal note: that stuff leaves me thinking on...
Chain D.L.K. is a music-related resource, so back to our business: This compilation released by the small Chicago-based label Arable Farmland provides 17 tracks by 11 different artists mostly hailing out of Australia and the USA. Musically the content of this compilation jumps over genre-related boundaries between Dark Electro, Ambient up to Experimental and Ritual tunes. The best known artist here is surely the Australian duo EMPTY, which provides two tracks. Of about all other artists, including the label chief’s own project CRYPTO FACIST, I haven’t heard so far from. PASK is an Australian-based Powernoise/Ambient-artist and opens this comp with an experimental track – this act also has created a remix on EMPTY’s track "Alone" to take part here, which reminds a bit on some classic GRIDLOCK/DISHARMONY works. Also the 3 appearances of CRYPTO FACIST are convincing by offering some eerie moods and foggy voice samples. SEARAD are providing a great electronic-driven Alternative track and have to be named along both EMPTY-tracks to be the highlight here. Two other appearances I like to mention with ROPS56 (a Pop-song with smooth female vocals) and FLOOD OF RAIN (crunchy Metal-like track), because both are representing different music styles. As for a conclusion, this comp works musically well if you’re interested to check out some rather unknown artists, although it is shadowed a bit by the politically message provided by the art.

Track list:

PASK - precursor
SEARAD – remote
SMEA - career politician
METAGNATHOUS - flawed copies
ROPS56 – lament
RDS - heavily redacted
CRYPTO FASCIST - quarantine u.s.a.
MEMBRANE CONSPIRACY - fuel for empire
METAGNATHOUS - neighbors bones
PIN - symbiance
EMPTY – alone (PASK remix)
CRYPTO FASCIST - democracy
METAGNATHOUS - without a word
EMPTY - p.e.r.
CRYPTO FASCIST - controlled cradle
FLOOD OF RAIN - system crash

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