Music Reviews



DJ OLIVE: sleep

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 21 2006
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Artist: DJ OLIVE
Title: sleep
Format: CD
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
I know it's a shame but the only Dj Olive’s release I own is the project on SYR where his comrades are Kim Gordon, Ikue Mori and Jim O’Rurke. Sleep is a really long suite that respects the premise of its title, and that does not mean this record is boring, no way!. I can imagine it may induce many listeners to fell Morpheus’ kiss but in a really delicate manner, like the gentle breeze that carries dead leaves on the floor. The effect of this melodic and melancholic drones will make it in the heart of those who loved Andrew Deutsch's "summer" and I write it cause music like that makes you feel warm inside. Nothing gets out of proportion and even if the world is overcrowded with drone music this' definitely inspired. An ambiental mood and a minimalist aesthetics both on the cover and in the music, probably DJ Olive intended this record for a private and patient listening, when somebody talks about music therapy I happen to think of something like that. Even if all of tempo/note changes are easily discernible, it's quite clear they're complementary parts of the same whole. For those of you who've experienced Brian Eno's soundtrack of Glitterbug...well, I'm sure if Jarman would be alive he would have loved to work on the visuals for "sleep".

CLOAMA: self-titled

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 17 2006
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Artist: CLOAMA
Title: self-titled
Format: CD
Label: New Old Sentinel/Neuroscan
Rated: *****
Though Finnish project Cloama has an increasing series of cd/cdr/vinyl under its belt, this is my first exposure to it - and while I can hardly make any comparison, I guess that many of its works are far harsher and noisier than this one. Cloama's eponymous disc, coming in an A5 jacket, is an interesting mix of dark ambiences, throbbing synths and noises (though quite far from power electronics industrial), and manipulated samples, be they vocals, field recordings or stolen music (I even recognized some jazz in the fourth track). In this sense, the five tracks are quite similar to each other - all are quite cinematic and well constructed, with an interesting use of layers, but at the same time, and that's my main quibble with the work, they don't show much variation, composition-wise. Nevertheless, this remains an enjoyable release of post-industrial ambient, evoking some kind of nuclear dumping ground instead of immaculate landscapes.

VEILED ALLUSIONS: Visions of the World

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 17 2006
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Artist: VEILED ALLUSIONS
Title: Visions of the World
Format: CD
Label: Trinity Records
Rated: *****
Out of the recent batch of Karsten Hamre-related projects, Hong Kong's Trinity Records has also re-released his solo outfit Veiled Allusions' first cd, recorded between 1997 and 2000, with four bonus tracks recorded in 2002 and 2004. I'll get straight to the point: I find this record as unsatisfactory as many other releases by Hamre's. It could be me, but I can't really get into his production, save for a few tracks or the Defraktor disc. Veiled Allusions are more minimal dark ambient with standard synth patterns and reverberated noise loops. Most tracks are just not memorable, but there are also a few I can't really stand (like the grotesque "Mephisto's Waltz", which seems to last forever). Sorry, not my cup of tea at all, and 68 minutes of it are way too much.

YANNIS KYRIAKIDES: Wordless

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 16 2006
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Artist: YANNIS KYRIAKIDES (@)
Title: Wordless
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
I'm always happy to hear something so good that comes completely out of the blue... but are we sure Yannis Kyriakides is a "new-jack" for real?!. Obviously the answer to the previous question is "no", and I think if you'll visit the Unsound website you'll find it yourself, but to understand this guy is a top class musician, you just need your own ears and a bit of attention. This work is based on material segmented and manipulated from interviews to twelve Brussels' residents, and it all has been taken from the BNA-BBOT archives. The final result could be "easily" labelled as experimental electronic music, but I can guarantee "Wordless" sounds unlike a standard electronic release. For those who need references (that in this case could be also very deceptive), Kyriakides’ "artefact" is by some means really close to some of Elio Martuscello's work with Z_e_l_l_e or with Metaxu, but could be also compared to Jorg Piringer’s "vokal". Also Piringer decided to rework/reshape radio/tv sources even though the result is fairly different, but consider these two musicians had different intentions and different approaches. The music sometimes is glitchy and makes you feel like the cd skips furiously as if it were damaged, but there’s also melody in "DJ_0617" or in "Music sales person_0618". In the most of the tracks "Wordless" is the son of a juxtaposition of sound and silence, its forged by cuts and proportion, by hook or by crook it goes really close to concrete music. Abstract? Avant-garde? "oui" but not just autistic...bravo!.
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Artist: FLYNT GLASS (@)
Title: Nyarlathotep
Format: CD
Label: Brume (@)
Rated: *****
This a glacial cd right from the first sight, an frost-blue colour that domains everything with ice pics both in and out of the digipack. Weird or not Brume is putting out some industrial oriented electronic musicians, it means they’ve a clear perception of where to go and who’s better for their release schedule. Flint Glass has a good amount of echoes and drones ordered on a rhythmical skeleton, but good taste blessed this release and while being obscure it really sounds "melodical". Can you remember Afx's darkest episodes featured on the second double cd of "Selected ambient works"? Well add some straight tempos (really well programmed) and a load of drones counterbalancing some acute sounds and here is your cocktail. But a good cocktail should be accompanied by some sneaks and let's say the salsa is a nordic one: a bit of Biosphere and a grain of Pan Sonic so that you can even feel the taste in your mouth. "Nyarlathotep" is a record perfectly focussed, a bit too long maybe, but I think that's the problem of many electronic releases. While the lay out may lead to think this cd is meant for "industrial listeners", the music can be appealing for a wide spectrum of electronics fanatics, it accomplish the good result of mixing a night feel with an all electronic ambiental mood. Good and definitely well produced.


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