Music Reviews

ST.RIDE: Piume che cadono

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 15 2006
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Artist: ST.RIDE (@)
Title: Piume che cadono
Format: CD
Label: Lixard/Zeit Interface (@)
Rated: *****
Surprirse, surprise! Despite coming completely (at least for me) out of the blue, St.ride played one of the most comfortable trip I've experienced during the last months. Before getting the cd for a review I've happened to see them live and it was good, but "Piume che cadono" goes much beyond my expectations. This duo creates the magic using acoustic instruments, digital music and concrete sounds, it's more or less electronic music married with acoustic sounds (but not yet electro-acoustic" music) but with a sincere personal touch. St.ride's own peculiarity on this album the skill with which they stitch this analogue-digital texture on a quasi melodic framework, and in the most of these splinters "experimentalism" is subdued to a something that goes really close to what we may call a song. Sometimes they have simple rhythmical pattern that's coming and going (Domenica mattina), somewhere else they play with the softest reminiscence of a childish sound a la Matmos/Mouse on Mars, (Il periodo delle h messe) but there's a lot more to be found between the twenty particles of this recollection. The micro, post-morriconian fragments reminded me of Tortoise in an avanguardist salsa (Se perdo me), and why not, ad some early isolationist influences Mainesque atmospheres (La tromba della pace) and you have a part of the recipe. I think to make a picture of this release you should try to imagine Matmos' "A chance to cut is chance to cure" broken into some minimal and fragmented episodes on which St,ride sprayed an electronic patina and than think there's a soundtrack feeling that brings gently ashore during the sailing. If you've always been joining the ranks of those thinking many experimental musicians are too frigid in the constant strain to make it all sound "bizzarre"...if you're one of those thinking the fusion between experimental music and what can be called "melody" is the hardest path of all: that's an exhibit for your severe judgement.

::thinkstandard::: The Three Enemies

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 13 2006
Artist: ::thinkstandard:: (@)
Title: The Three Enemies
Format: CD
Label: Skean Dhu (@)
Rated: *****
::thinkstandard:: is one Steve Molter. His newest release entitled "The Three Enemies" is based upon a poem by the same name written by poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894, pseudonym Ellen Alleyne). The CD spans the poems three stanzas "The Flesh", "The World" and "The Devil". It's a largely ambient release relying heavily upon unique guitar work ranging from soothing melodies to a much more caustic droning. Unlike a lot of ambient/experimental recordings this never at any point seems redundant. New tones and melodies drift in and out effortlessly while painting audio interpretations of the religious conflicts the poem itself represents. Of the three stanzas "The Flesh" and "The Devil" are my favorites. They seem to work the best as a pair as "The Devil" references "The Flesh" well, recalling previous themes and altering the context. Overall a solid, well-produced piece of brooding soundscapes that manage to cross a diverse range of emotions without becoming overboard or too "cartoony". Molter handles his sound designs well and casts them onto the platter with a delicate touch.
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Artist: KODI & PAUSA
Title: In one week and new toys to play
Format: CD
Label: Kormaplastic (@)
Rated: *****
Man, talking about freakiness, extravaganza or "music out of ordinary" the Kodi and Pausa project is a good example, nothing more and nothing less. I think the fact this cd can be good or bad is a detail, but I dare the average critic to label this cd as "the same ol' shit". Probably what I'm going to say has to do with the fact I've listened to Boredom's "Pop tatari" a couple of days ago, but I guess if ever pop music would have followed the path of these japanese kamikaze, this could have been the euro-pop answer to the demented genius of Yamatsuka Eye and friends. An improvisational cut and lot's of instruments to play may imply influences and ideas can move in this or in that direction, but it can also bring to a delirium where everything flows randomly leaving reminiscences of what lied buried in the subconscious coming out in the open with the consequent result you'll see fragments of subconscious scattered all over the place. Is Kodi and Pausa pure essence of chaos? Absolutely not, but here you've electronic music, free jazzy guitar incursions, shapeless cut ups/pastiches (Boswachter) as well as old electronic mixed with modern hi-frequencies computer sounds, this recording features also minimal keyboard experiments (that reminded me of the early and greatest Pram). What should I say about a defiant cartoon tune like "Flashy toilet"!?...this couple of musician probably has had problems during their childhood. Sometimes it's hard to judge the quality of a cd and when it's "In one week and new toys to play", the idea is that the "subject" is really beyond the boundaries of musical is a nonsense.

TROUM: Objectlessness

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 10 2006
Artist: TROUM
Title: Objectlessness
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
This is the first Mystery Sea release selling out already on pre-order: I guess this speakes volumes for the underground cult that the German duo formed by Stefan Knappe (also mastermind of Drone Records) and Martin Gitschel has rightfully gained over the years. "Objectlessness" features two lengthy tracks of Troum's trademark mind-expanding guitar drones - for those familiar with their discography, they lie somewhere between the first and the second part of "Tjukurpa", i.e. their abstract, oceanic ambience and their more melodic side. What is peculiar about "(Pre)-symbolism" and "Echoes of a boundless existence" (respectively 38 and 30 minute long) is that, given their mammoth length and loose structure, they could well portray what the duo can create in an improvised session or live set. Some minor sound defects could have been erased by studio overdubs and re-working, but "Objectlessness" remains a faithful witness of Troum's evocative, mind-bending soundscapes. For those who have missed it, there could probably be some copies still floating around: try Drone or Self Abuse.

ANDREW COLEMAN : Tony Alva's hair

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 07 2006
image not
Title: Tony Alva's hair
Format: CD
Label: Cocosolidciti (@)
Rated: *****
This autumn I've seen "Lords of Dogtown", an ok movie, nothing special in comparison to the documentary "Dogtown and the Z-boys", but definitely worth of the ticket (above all if you're into skateboard, or underground culture). Even if the average skater nowadays listens to crappy third rate punk bands or even worse to cheap gangsta rap, this work has nothing to do with the afore mentioned categories. Cocosolidciti is interested in high-quality electronic music and judging by they back catalogue and listening to this their costumers won't be disappointed. The menu is: electronic music with a 4/4 relaxed beat, sometimes it recalls some stylish Warp artist like Prefuse 72 or Savath and Savalas minus the post rock/instrumental feel, but that's just one percent of the whole mixture. With a such a cool rhythmical skeleton I was awaiting some rapping and it finally came with the third track ("Not a speculation" where Dose One is the mc!) and the song is a pure kick ass hit. Another interesting characteristic of this release is represented by its heterogeneity, one good example could be the electro-jazzy sketch of "Fingertip control". Andrew Coleman put together a smart tracklist and while listening you won't have the time to get bored by a single kind of song, just give a listen to such another great stylish exercise like the piano of "Rain and dogs" or to the acoustic guitar of "Constraints, huddles and hoops". Melody, melody and again melody, a great dose of class and if you're into hip-hoppish rhythm, electronic music, melody and post jazzy influences I think you outta add "Tony Alva's hair" to your want list.

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