Music Reviews

Feu Follet : Souvenir D'Ermitage

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 23 2007
Artist: Feu Follet (@)
Title: Souvenir D'Ermitage
Format: CD EP
Label: silence-is-not-empty
Rated: *****
Feu Follet is the musical creature of Tobias Fischer ( one of the members of Aalfang mit Pfederkopf ). Souvenir d'ermitage is a 3 track ep ( fully downloadable here : )following the acclaimed debuto 'toi et le sons'. It's Experimental Ambient and there are lots of field recs and weird effects but remains wholly understandable and approachable.
A nice quote about the album by Mr. Fischer : 'it is thanks to pain that we'll find the things we have always been searching for'. i'm lookin forward to hear new progressions from this one.

RADIO KUOLEMA: Symphony No.2 Op.29 For Cembalo And Dying Children

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 23 2007
Title: Symphony No.2 Op.29 For Cembalo And Dying Children
Format: CD
Label: Ars Benevola Mater (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
SYMPNONY No.2 Op.29 is the third Radio Kuolema release. The CD openes with a couple of minimal ambient tracks ("Overture" and "Allegro") which alternate their ambience from melancholic orchestral movements to more dark industrial moments where subtle drones are coupled with harpsichord or violins. On these ones I must say that the melancholy was overwhelming but the musical score was a little simple (it was based on a couple of sounds only). On "Adagio" the industrial part starts to take a hold and the magmatic noises start to paint the picture you have finally with the fourth movement "A gothic romance". On this track we have a good dark ambient tension where different kind of drones (hisses, treated synth pads, etc) are layered to form a good moment. This scheme is followed also for "La muse venale" where there's alternation of dark industrial moments and calm orchestral spots just to end with the sum of the two. On "Nocturnal" Mauro worked on industrial ambient sounds composing an isolationist track which is able to create a good effect. The last one "Der wille zur macht" is the only track with a rhythmic section (even if distorted and treated) but, just like the other tracks, it turns into something different when the rhythm stops and a treated guitar sounding like a distorted wind blow take its place. The track changes again when the orchestral sounds starts its calmly melody just to turn into an industrial minuetto when the orchestra is joined by the guitar. The track ends with a chaotic suited performed by guitar and distorted/treated drums. I appreciated the dark industrial moments and some moments of tension where Marco was able to create the most effective ambience but there were also some other moments when I feel he lost the point and the melancholy or the nihilist approach took his hand.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Document A
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine Mailorder (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Another new output of the German SkullLine Mailorder, this time a compilation which features all current label artists providing new, unreleased or hard-to-find tracks. For all of you who still have resisted to buy one or another of the amazing and extremely limited label releases, this compilation offers the welcome doze to get some deeper entrance and introduction to the roster. Both projects, TT and TRITON 83 are heavily dedicated to the rhythmically Powernoise genre and can service here the full range between Minimal, Noise and Experimental styles. "Tanzteufel" by TRITON 83 can be named as possible favorite for some Pogo movements on the dancefloors, while the track "Kindstod" with its tragic voice samples rather makes you think on the subject. Another favorite out of the label roster is SHIFT 69 offering a refreshing mixture of Electro/EBM and 80ies-inspired Pop/Wave attitudes. "Alles dreht sich im Kreis", well, it’s fantastic to see and hear how many different ideas especially regarding the used effects on the vocals the track "Im Kreis" has to offer – what a fine old-school inspired work! BLEIBURG – partly amazing if drifting into Experimental/Ambient/Noise drones, partly ridiculous if falling into minimal pre-80ies Kraut-Electronica, can convince here too, simply because Stefan Rukavina’s tracks here are returning to paths of Experimental/Ambient and Ritual-Industrial music – definitively his better side. So we have at least MANMACHINE, a German solo project which still can’t look on an own release for SkullLine, this project has only co-produced the BLEIBURG DCD "History In Flames". So it’s a bit to describe the provided music style – Minimal/Experimental/80ies/Electronica maybe? I guess there’s more to come. Ah, and wanna hear a really sick piece? Check out TT’s "Leichenliebe", which concludes this compilation... As usual for SkullLine release, also this compilation comes out extremely limited to 100 pieces and with an extravagant package. If this compilation draws a real dedication to the world-wide renowned art exhibition Documenta, which takes place all 5 years in Kassel/Germany, and in this year again, is rather questionable. Nevertheless label/mail order chief Harald Jarosch has picked up some quality recordings out his stable and this comp is a perfect invitation to grow deeper in the often harder to discover music stuff of the SkullLine label. More than 77 minutes of some fine and not to underestimating music rather based in experimental genres, get it!

track list:

01.Bleiburg - Guilty by association
02.Trition 83 - Tanzteufel
03.TT - Täuschung
04.Shift69 - Im Kreis
05.Manmaschine - Covered in Blood
06.Bleiburg - Lament of Irish Immigrant
07.Triton 83 - Kindstod
08.TT - Start - Sequence
09.Shift69 - I love it
10.Manmaschine - A peace of life
11.Bleiburg - Cthulu rising
12.TT - Biggi
13.TT - Leichenliebe (slow)

REALGAR: Promo 2006

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 21 2007
Artist: REALGAR (@)
Title: Promo 2006
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
REALGAR is a new project formed by Claudia Florio and Roberto Marino: she was the singer of LUPERCALIA while he played guitar and flute for some time with ARGINE. The monicker comes from a mineral that is an arsenic sulphide (the same in the cover) and I’m quite curious to know the reason of this choice.
This is only a demo, but the quality of compositions makes me think they’ll soon release a full length with a good label.
The first track "Dello Ascoso Secreto dell’Alchimia" starts with a mix of electronic beats, orchestral pads and some astral noise, with a light remembrance of Vangelis or J.M. Jarre. A sort or bagpipe precedes a recitation in Italian, and the result is a track filled with an intense sense of sadness.
"Finis" shows the mix of electro and ancient music that it’s the mark of REALGAR (if I must compare them with other bands maybe there are references to DEAD CAN DANCE, QNTAL, or even ENIGMA). When I say "ancient" I’m not referring to the usual medieval atmosphere now in vogue in the symphonic dark scene: this track reminds me the music that ethnomusicologists are rebuilding basing on two thousand years old Roman or Jewish traces, so the feeling is to be in a dusty and magnificent tomb, or in an old pagan temple. The use of female voice is superb in this song.
"Brüke" is a track that alternates a recitative voice to a soprano singing, while the programming is a strong contrast with its progressive/trance influences and rhythmical beats.
"Blandizia di Giusarma" is based on the composition "A che più l’arco tendere" by Stefano Landi, a XVII century musician, and also in this case the sweet melody of the singing has a counter-attraction in a noisy music.
"Piroclastic Dance" it’s an instrumental track that will confuse you like taking a trip: with its dreamy pads and sitar-like notes, if you close your eyes while listening you’ll start to fly.
Definitively, this Promo 2006 it’s a really good work, and as I noticed during a live exhibition of REALGAR, Claudia Florio’s voice is even better than before: more spontaneous and intense than in the past, I think it fuses better with music and it’s more passionate. Very good job is also made by Roberto Marini’s instrumental work, who shows noteworthy composing skills. A better production, filing some crude sounds or giving more profundity to some pads or atmospheres, and this will become a great album.

Sun Rushing In: Sound Collage for Live Performance

 Posted by John Gore   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 20 2007
Artist: Sun Rushing In
Title: Sound Collage for Live Performance
Format: CD
Label: Postdawn Nurseries Music (@)
Rated: *****
This has been classified as ambient psychfolk by the label and I guess I can see why. There are quite definitely elements of ambient soundscapes, attempts at perceptual expansion by means of altered location recordings and electronic tones, and folk, in the form of vocal stylings. The project is the collaboration between Susan DeLeo and Lauri des Marais, who work mainly in a live performance mode. "Sun Rushing In is a hybrid of Lauri's musique concrête sound design and Susan's acoustic guitar and vocals, creating an atmospheric melancholy and joy. Along with Susan's almost post-rock folk/country stylings on the six-string goes Lauri's progressively textured soundscapes, a haze of quiet low frequency aura projecting the listener into a state of neither/nor Zen. Lauri has also integrated a form of slow movement which she terms Movement So Still With Sound (similar in many respects to Butoh dance), fleshing the act out as an avant performance art session. While Sun Rushing In is mainly performance-based, Postdawn Nurseries Music also has the honor of offering the backing tracks to their performance as an exclusive CD, Sound Collage for Live Performance, making for a perfect listen for homesick or distant memory moods." (from the label site) I think this works best used on the level of background music, not in the sense of being ignored but just under the aural radar, quietly but still audible. Just loud enough to fill the silence with slight vibration.

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