Music Reviews



Gods of Electricity: Sundiving

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 16 2006
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Artist: Gods of Electricity
Title: Sundiving
Format: CD
Label: Faith Strange (@)
Rated: *****

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Gods of Electricity is one of those projects I would love seeing coming through my studio, but in a big city like NY for some reason I end up working with completely different type of artists most of the time. Think about the electrified air and the mellow moods of endless hours of sound manipulation and knob tweaking mania in the comfort of a dimmed light recording studio with two creative talents such as Mike Fazio and Thomas Hamlin. Think about the moods that can be created in the making of a record like "Sundiving", with ambiances spanning for anywhere between 2 and 38 minutes: stretching, modulating, oscilating, vibrating, morphing from sound into sound, from light into dark, from silence into noise, from rhythm into layers, from sounds into rawness. Engineer, guitar player, sound designer, producer and composer Mike Fazio (also creator of the orchestramaxfieldparrish processed guitar project) has put the greatest attention in the smallest of the details of this recording, attempting to recreate his own vision of electro-acoustic ambient-electronica, aided by drummer Thomas Hamlin (previously with World One and still with Black47), who adds his swing and his delicate touch to these compositions in a way that only few percussionists can. Eerie low deep drones, layers of ecstatic pads, a wide sonic palette borrowing from everything from traditional to modern... rhythmical elements that transcend beat to turn into an expression of the piece itself, migrating from a enhancment of an even otherwise tribal atmosphere to the mere juxtaposition of percussive ear candies in symphonies of mystic and aural states of mind... all of that and more comes into play in this beautiful CD, which is so multifaceted and gorgeous that you can hardly even reference back to other artists without having to mention a bunch of them, who don't even necessarily have all that in common with Gods of Electricity, when considered as a stand-alone reference... Try to think of a blend of Clock DVA, Synaesthesia, Manuel Goettsching, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Young Gods, Vision of Excess, Artemy Artemiev, Mana Erg, Richard Bone, Victor Cerullo, Gabor Csupo and so many other excellent artists who have given so much to the art of making good and heartfelt soundscapes. You'll get a vague idea, but you'll still need to give this hi-definition audio masterpiece a try and see/hear for yourself... Highly recommended.
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Artist: YUKI KAWAMURA - YOSHIHIRO HANNO
Title: slide
Format: DVD
Label: Lowave (@)
Rated: *****
The joyful wedding between Yoshihiro Hanno's musical gift and the enchanting images of Yuki Kawamura gave us a pure piece of art, I still can’t say if this a must have but it’s top class for real. As many of you can probably deduce a series of clips appropriate for Hanno's melodies necessitates a couple of important characteristis: the first one is an strong lyrical power, the second one is an (apparent) simplicity with which the afore mentioned power is articulated. Different videos for different atmospheres, but there's a "file rouge" that links the nine videos (ten including the bonus one) of this dvd, here your eyes are gonna meet sliding doors, the womb of a void warehouse, breaking pieces of glass, leaves...beautiful leaves, clouds and an ocean of colours. If you think (like I do) some contemporary japanese electronic music is strongly emotionally charged but also gentle and shy (think of Sawako or Minamo for example): the images featuring Kawamura's clips are made out of the same fabric and embody the same spirit. It's hard to choose between the different clips but it's also so easy to fall in love with episode like "Slide" or "Jour de reve" or "Play at dusk"?!...above all in the last case how can you resist to dive plunge your thought s into such a good-looking cumulus of clouds?. When the images aren’t rendering beautifully the unseen passing of time they will guide you into the secret life of elements (take "Ve" for example). In the last case the view I probably really close to that of a an insect or a rock thus we can say the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hanno's music keeps its enchanting effect intact but with the aid of Kawamura the inward eye experience brings into another dimension.

Rapoon: Alien Glyph Morphology

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 09 2006
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Artist: Rapoon
Title: Alien Glyph Morphology
Format: DVD
Label: Caciocavallo
Distributor: Soleilmoon
Rated: *****
Rapoon, a.k.a. Robin Storey, has been releasing records after records for over a decade, but until now he has kept his film-making pretty much to himself and the only visual contribution he has shared with us was in the form of paintings on the covers of some of his releases.This DVD seems to be the perfect medium to showcase all his talents, because of how they all come together: "Alien Glyph Morphology" features six of his short movies made with montage, slides and slow-motion techniques and of course musically supported by his haunting and droning dark-ambient compositions. The movies don't really have a storyline per say, they are much rather a show of ancient (or alien) looking geoglyphic shapes and colors, slowly morphing into each other, hence the perfect title. In addition to that, Storey also included 20 tarot cards featuring his paintings and finally the DVD extras feature two slide shows and a very short film, all, again, an offspring of Storey's infinitely creative mind.A complete artist with a complete vision that thanks to modern mediums can finally be shared as one.Region Free NTSC. Enjoy.

ROBERT NEITELER: ihbaiklhikö

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 09 2006
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Artist: ROBERT NEITELER
Title: ihbaiklhikö
Format: CD
Label: Einzeleinheit (@)
Rated: *****
Damn, the world is not always round as it looks, this cd is not definitely the kind of music I would have expected from Einzeleinheit, but it's good to see you don’t have to take anything for granted. Robert Neitheler plays electronic music with a rhythmical edge and with a crippled feeling for abstract melodies, I think if it would get improved a bit and with an addiction of more rhythmical asymmetries "ihbaiklhikö" wouldn't be that far from some releases on Planet Mu. The most of the sound made me think to analogic sources processed through a laptop, Neitheler keeps the beat going on and rhythm is the main thing on which these six tracks are fixed (but some acid melodies appear every once in while). The beat in many case gets even hypnotical or acid (track 4 and 5), therefore take the "Rave is on!" as a direct consequence of this mixture, at last I think also Afx wouldn't dislike this idea. Even if that's not properly 80's influenced electronic music there are some reminiscences of those sounds, but at the same time this product probably owes much more to the rave culture than to Warp records' back catalogue. I don't say the melody is completely absent from this record but I'm sure this electronic musician is much more into "dance till you drop", at the same time he likes to move the rhythmical ground that you walk upon. Not always incisive but interesting.
Mar 09 2006
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Artist: MODERN INSTITUTE
Title: excellent swimmer
Format: CD
Label: Expanding Records (@)
Rated: *****
That's definitely a blast from the past, but from the most recent past since Teho Teardo after Meathead, Matera and Here kept playing and putting out records like his new solo cd (out on Nail records), like Operator and he’s worked with many other projects. As you will discover by reading a forthcoming interview for Chaindlk this musician has also earned a living by composing soundtracks for movie directors such as Gabriele Salvadores or Guido Chiesa and if you ask me I'd say this cd is deeply influenced by his job. The personal touch and the melodic taste of Teardo are kinda similar to Here's masterpiece "Brooklin bank" and that's truly recommended to those who loved that project with Phyler Coleman because this could be the natural evolution of those ideas. The spine of this record is rapresented by some texture elaborated mainly with electronics and/or on the classical-chamber cello playing of Martina Bertoni, the marriage is enchanting and really soft as you can guess. A soft and dreamy listening: "stairs", "not a word manni", "munibabe" are just some of the potential hits included in "excellent swimmer" (and it also comes with a nice clip for "munibabe"). Take it with the usual grain of salt, but I think this cd stands in between the Bermuda triangle the angles of which are Album Leaf, Rachel's and latest and most manipulated Hood without vocals. There's a whole list of adjectives suitable for "excellent swimmer" like elegant, easy listening and refined; if that's what you looking for get it.


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