Music Reviews



Nov 03 2006
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Artist: Marvin Ayres (@)
Title: Cycles - 12 Sketches For Recycling Piano Harmonics
Format: CD
Label: Burning Shed (@)
Rated: *****
The British Ambient/Avantgarde artist Marvin Ayres has released another experimental CD and the title gives you already an idea on what he has worked this time. For this release he has placed two grand pianos in different locations with different rooms, hall and reverberation effects. One piano got immaculately tuned in a big orchestral studio, the other was out of tune in an empty room. He has done several experiments with the key sounds, speed, kind and conditions and has recorded only the harmonics of the chords. The recordings of both pianos got merged and reassembled. Marvin could so "win" several resonant overtones and subtle quartertones – a real psycho acoustic experiment which he couldn’t ever expected has happened. So the here presented sound collages are hardly to understand as real compositions, this is a real acoustic experiment after a lot of work and effort. Nobody – including Marvin – could ever expect how this experiment would have been sounded before – so here is the result of Marvin’s very own world of static noise collages. A real companion to his "Scape" CD.

CRUISE [CTRL]: Garmonbozia!

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 02 2006
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Artist: CRUISE [CTRL] (@)
Title: Garmonbozia!
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The newest Cruise Control (now Cruise [Ctrl]) is a CDs titled GARMONBOZIA!. On this one John Cult and DJ Gore are giving to the audience a taste of what’s next on their first full length release (which will see Jean-Luc Demeyer from Front 242 on vocals on one track and C-Drik remixing "Eat my fear", track that you can find on their previous MCD "No Hay Banda") with three new tracks of their granitic mixture of industrial noise, techno and drones. The first track "Black lodge" seems to be a techno remix of a Godflesh track where the remixer took off the guitar parts replacing them with guitar drones. The following "Smoke and nude I" is more minimal with its hisses and dark ambient noises while the closing "Crow’s nest" introduce again some rhythm and also a bit of melody creating a sort of electro industrial loop. The tracks sounds great on the short distance and I’m curious to see how the duo will deal the whole album length.

OVRO: Mosaick the Serpent / Vipera Aurea

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 01 2006
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Artist: OVRO
Title: Mosaick the Serpent / Vipera Aurea
Format: CD
Label: Some Place Else (@)
Rated: *****
The name Ovro materialized on my way just a while ago, when I've been given a live Hæretici 7o74 where she was playing together with Niko Scorpio and now here's her new solo release on Scorpio's Some Place Else. There's a double booklet coming with this cd since you can read on the label's website it features two different but still linked works. Even if I've started listening to Some Place Else releases just recently I'm tented to say they could be classified as one of those label that's partially influenced by industrial music but in freaky way. What do I mean? I mean the release I've heard on this label could be compared to the most abstract, odd and psychedelic works coming from the early industrial scene alas I'm referring to NWW, Hafler Trio, the most experimental Current 93, Tibet, Stapleton and so on and that obviously means it could be scary/dark experimental music with an edge of psichedelia. The first half of this cd is drony, haunted with delay/echo-effects and it's the result of a duel between odd barely spoken vocals a la "I'm gonna enter in your head and go down to meet your inner self" and a soft dark ambiental scenario. The second part of this collection of tracks (that's the one titled "Vipera Aurea") is not discontinuous at all, nay, it's really homogeneous just a bit less discrete, cerebral and a bit more outspokenly physical. The vocal-loops increase and become more pounding while the music is less ambiental and definitely more scary. Good debut.

Northaunt: Horizons

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 30 2006
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Artist: Northaunt (@)
Title: Horizons
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
This CD weighs in at just over an hour, which gives enough time to sink into the soundscapes. Overall, there is a lot going on in this disc. Noisy elements are woven through a sea of heavy bass drone to create a complex tapestry of sound. It isn’t noise, but it certainly isn’t the easy listening kind of dark ambient until the second half. The disc is almost like listening to two discs – the first half is pretty aggressive in its use of noisy elements, while the second half is a bit more peaceful. Luckily, both styles are done very well.The disc opens with "Until Dawn Do Us Part," which combines noisy drones, clanking metal, and a simple synth line melody that creates an atmosphere that will continue throughout the disc. "Night Came to Us" is the longest track on the piece (14:17). Heavy bass drones with undercurrents of pulsing sound. This is the soundtrack to a threatening alien landscape. Dark stuff. When it ends, you notice it. This is one of the standout tracks on the disc. "Horizons" continues the noisy drone feel with a lot of clacking – like someone is dragging a can slowly down the road – that builds slowly over the song. "Night Alone" seems to mark a shift in the feel of the disc. It starts quietly and subdues the noisier elements that permeated the first half of the disc. This track reminds me of Troum - kind of peaceful. A nice change of pace from the more relentless noisy ambience we have had until now. "With the Stars as Witness" continues this atmosphere until we reach "The Wilderness," which brings back a bit of noisy elements, but not quite as aggressively as in the first 3 tracks. This track incorporates what sounds like source recordings of someone walking in crunchy snow layered with synth drones.There is also a video for "The Wilderness (Alternate Version)," which is mainly video of landscape with swirling clouds. It’s a nice touch and fits well with the music, but not terribly engaging. Overall, this is really good drone / dark ambient music – the kind we’ve come to expect from Cyclic Law. Another excellent release.

Steve Roach and Loren Nerell: Terraform

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 30 2006
cover
Artist: Steve Roach and Loren Nerell (@)
Title: Terraform
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Rated: *****
I had not previously heard Loren Nerell's work, but Steve Roach should need no introduction. Here’s how the Soleilmoon website describes it: "Heavily textured and mood altering, the long uninterrupted flow seemingly slows time down by way of the surreal dark ambient soundforms found in much of Roach's work. Nerell brings the steamy, evanescent blend of his mutated Indonesian sources, a signature sound that defines his previous releases for Amplexus, Side Effects and Soleilmoon." This is an interesting mix. The drones are familiar – it’s what I expect from Steve Roach. But there is a lot happening beneath the surface (that I assume is the work of Narell) which adds a lot more complexity than I am used to hearing in Roach’s work. The tracks bleed into each other, providing a good sense of continuity. And at almost 74 minutes, there is plenty of time to sink into the atmosphere.Overall, I am partial to the first two tracks on the disc, Cavity of Liquids and Ecopoiesis, which comprise about half the disc. The atmosphere is engaging, if not overly challenging. Sounds like there are natural sound source material woven in like crickets chirping, for example. Long drones with sounds emerging at times, only to resubmerge back into the sea of drones. Next up, we have Texture Wall, which, weighing in at over 28 minutes is the longest track on the album. It is also a shift in the feel of the disc. There are moments of sparseness that contrast with the complex, almost busy feel of the two preceeding tracks. But still, there are moments of underlying activity that keep it interesting. Paraterra is a nice conclusion to the disc, but by the time we reach it, Texture Wall had made the music fade into the background of whatever you were doing.The disc comes in DVD digipack packaging with postcards The artwork seems to be slot canyon stone imagery. Overall, this is a good release. Recommended.


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