Music Reviews



3EEM: Essence of 3EEM

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2526)
Feb 17 2006
image not
available
anymore
Artist: 3EEM
Title: Essence of 3EEM
Format: CD
Label: SmallVoices
Rated: *****
3EEM are an atypical instrumental trio formed by Fabrizio Bazzoni (tenor sax, with a past curriculum in various prog/noise projects), Danilo Corgnati (electric guitar and effects, currently also involved in the post-punk band Isobel) and Valerio Zucca Paul (electronics), who has released three solo records as Abstract Q (two of them being on Staalplaat/Bake). Together, they play a dark, cinematic blend of techno, dub, hard boiled jazz, psychedelia and -ahem- some "rock" as well. Rhythmic electronica is generally just not my cup of tea, but "Essence of 3EEM" has a remarkable set of tracks, manages to be extremely coherent yet not monotonous, and shows an uncommon good taste in mixing different genres and inputs. Take the skeletal dub of "Dilate me", the exotica-gone-crazy in the second half of "In the beginning it was an accordion", or the romantic drift of "Kinfu": it all works very well even after repeated listening sessions, i.e. when boredom usually starts to crawl on me. If I had to choose one standout track, I'd surely opt for the 24-minute tour de force of "24 apes", where dub beats slowly melt into mesmerizing looped guitar ambiences. The ingredients that 3EEM work on are surely well-known and widely used (and abused), but they are surely graced with the ability of skilfully arranging them. I'd recommend this record to fans of artists as different as post-"LSD" Coil, Bill Laswell, Muslimgauze, Almamegretta, Massive Attack or Morphine, and to anyone into noir-tinged atmospheric music.

NETHERWORLD: Eternal Frost

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2525)
Feb 17 2006
image not
available
anymore
Artist: NETHERWORLD
Title: Eternal Frost
Format: CD
Label: Umbra
Rated: *****
Netherworld's "Eternal Frost" was released in 2004 by Gianluigi Gasparetti's Umbra, so it's older than "Otherworldly Abyss" and "Six Impending Clouds", the two cds I raved about a couple of months ago. This could explain why this cd is a bit less mature than the aforementioned ones, while still maintaining an excellent quality level. As I wrote in the previous reviews, Netherworld's isolationist ambient has been a perfect soundtrack for this snow-heavy winter. The ultra-slow and rarefied drones that Tedeschi generates using synths, field recordings and voice, have the same mind bending effect of staring at a never ending snowfall. And while "Before me, the Eternity" adds some faint melodies to these deserted soundscapes, titles like "Hallucinations in fog", "The glaciers beast" or "Gliding down a frosty hell" are indeed accurate to describe the respective atmospheres. Take my rate only as a comparison with the following more refined releases, as this cd easily buries many standard dark ambient releases around.

OLIVIA LOUVEL: Luna Parc Hotel

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2524)
Feb 16 2006
image not
available
anymore
Artist: OLIVIA LOUVEL
Title: Luna Parc Hotel
Format: CD
Label: Angelika Koehlermann (@)
Distributor: Monkey, Universal, Brokensilence
Rated: *****
Olivia Louvel is a trained singer that on year 2003 decided to start her own project. Since then she worked at her first album with her laptop and the Mbox running Pro tools, an old generation Yamaha PS 20, a cupboard big enough to record her voice where she put a little soundman microphone, a mini disc, etc. She accessed for ten days to the Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode, Recoil) studio in Sussex with Paul Kendall on production and additional programming (he's a famous producer that worked mainly with Mute. He also produced four "Parallel Series" album for Mute and then other titles for 0101). The duo already collaborated in 2003 as Digital Intervention and they recorded the album "Capture" (one of the "Parallel Series" released for 0101). LUNA PARC HOTEL contains ten original tunes plus a cover of David Bowie's "The motel" (from "Outside"). Musically Olivia recalled me some ambient Björk tracks while her vocal style can remember an hybrid of French singers (like famous Chansonnier Serge Reggiani or Yves Montand) and a whispering jazz singer. The music follow the same style by creating ambient pop songs where what is missing is more important than what is shown. I'll try to explain: there are different vocal tracks that duet with the music that is formed by ambient layers, broken rhythms, light sounds. The elements are chosen randomly (apparently) but they create a rich texture that sound empty or essential but it is not. The slow rhythms help into the creation of an anxious atmosphere that make you think about an abandoned Luna Park. Charming album but it needs the right mood to be enjoyed.

ST.RIDE: Piume che cadono

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (2520)
Feb 15 2006
problems
with image
availability
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
 Edit (2515)
Feb 13 2006
cover
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.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha