Music Reviews



BELONG: October language

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 15 2006
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Artist: BELONG
Title: October language
Format: CD
Label: Carpark (@)
Rated: *****
His name is Turk Dietrich, he collaborated with Telefon Tel Aviv and with Nine Inch Nail (he remixed "the frail"), therefore I think that's enough to have your attention, isn't it?!. Can you imagine a post-Kranky sound mixed with a big imprint of My Bloody Valentine? C'mon it's not so hard and I think they go pretty well together. Warm pastiches imbued in distortion, but here comes the main shoegaze factor: the music sounds like it's coming from far away. Fading images of fields in a sun bath?! But for it may be contradictory these fields look in the middle of a winter dawn. If you're into quiet droning and soft psychedelia probably Belong "has it!" (whatever it is). Melancholic music for a daydream, can you picture the traffic of a big town moving in slow motion?. Dietrich is without any doubt refined and even while molding the structure of these apparently shapeless tracks, he never stretches everything too much. The shoegaze comparison describes vividly the lowest common denominator of the majority of the tracks. Sometimes I've had the impression I was listening to the droned/electronic reincarnation of Swervedriver (that to me it's enough to justify the order of this cd). Sweet like a sugar cane and diluted like plankton into the depth of the sea: indie-rockers and electronic-elitists it's time to sacrifice your money pigs.

ANDREW COLEMAN: Tony Alva's Hair

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 12 2006
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Artist: ANDREW COLEMAN (@)
Title: Tony Alva's Hair
Format: CD
Label: Cocosolidciti (@)
Rated: *****
Titled after the 70's skateboard legend Tony Alva, the new Andrew Coleman album "Tony Alva's hair" is a mixture of ambient sounds, hip hop / break beat rhythms and modern classical music structure. Also active with the Animals on Wheels’ moniker, Coleman collaborated with Dose One’ of Anticon’ outfit cLOUDDEAD’ on the track "Not a speculation". The result is a particular hip hop track which sees Dose One rapping on the jazzy / ambient / dub background created by Coleman. Each track has got its peculiarity: for example "Finger tip control" starts as a piano suite just to find rhythm thanks to a break beat tempo and recruiting oriental melodies on its way to the end. Even if every track has got a different approach to melody or rhythm there is always a certain melancholic sense created by the atmospheres: it's like there's always something in suspension or like there is something that is still to come and that will break free into the track and it never arrives. My favorite ones are "Rain and dogs" (where you can find a beautiful piano and no rhythms), "Not a speculation" and "Miles won't answer". To my ear sometimes the tracks sound too clean and this could make the album result as a good style exercise while with some wilderness here and there could help emphasize the geniality of the composer.

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: The Proposition (original soundtrack)

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 11 2006
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Artist: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Title: The Proposition (original soundtrack)
Format: CD
Label: Mute
Rated: *****

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Chain D.L.K. is proud to present to our faithful readers the latest release by Nick Cave (with Bad Seeds member and The Dirty Three front-man Warren Ellis), to be released on Mute February 21st: "The Proposition" is the original soundtrack to the movie of the same name, accepted into 2006 Sundance Film Festival; and what is so special about the movie and the soundtrack is that they were BOTH written by Nick Cave himself. Cave is, needless to say, a prolific and extraordinary writer; as in songwriter (obviously, with The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party), book writer ("And the Ass saw the Angel") and now screenplay writer (even though "And the Ass saw the Angel" actually was initially meant to be a film script, and he had also written some dialogue for Hillcoat's previous "Ghost... of the Civil Dead"), in addition to soundtrack music writer ("Ghost... of the Civil Dead") and actor too. An all around outstanding, super-talented artist, who, when faced with the challenge to write an entire film's story and dialogue, masterfully rose to the occasion and delivered an intense, extremely well articulated and well told, interesting, engaging and beautiful story that takes place in Cave's very own lawless Australia of the 1880'es, where two out of three brothers wanted for rape and murder are caught by a local law enforcer who jails the youngest and offers the other the option (hence, the proposition...) to save him from death sentence by tracking down and killing the oldest, yet uncaught, renegade and violent-perpetuating brother.

Before we dwell into more information about the movie, I'd like to spend a few words on what most of our readers are probably most interested in ultimately: the music. We all know that when Cave and Ellis work together magical heights are seemingly effortlessly reached, but in this case they possibly went a step further together to re-define the spontaneity of raw beauty and the realism of timeless interpretation. Ellis' violin arrangements are devine and sophisticated, yet minimal and primitive, even slightly de-tuned to enhance that specific quality that remains with the music of our ancestors. Their melancholic and evocative essence majestically balances out with the minimalist choice of instruments and arrangements that the two composers wholeheartedly adopted and perfectly adapted and synced to the on-screen action and tale. Cave's muttered vocal contributions are few and far between to interact with the dialogues that he wrote for the story, a job that he has performed outstandingly, in respect to accent-specific localizations and the time-sensitive historic placement. String arrangement intensive, very acoustic, hardly ever electric or even "digital", deep, powerful, rattling, cycling, improvisational and fragmented, droning and theme-recurring, ancient and ghostly, sad and perpetual. For those who expect a Bad Seeds or a Dirty Three record, "The Proposition" will reveal itself as a surprisingly different, and in my opinion, not nearly disappointing effort at commenting the landscape and the fury within. For those who can read the beauty in the minor keys, "The Proposition" has so much to offer and so little to disappoint you with, that you won't be able to take it off your CD player.
I basically have nothing bad good words for this movie or its soundtrack.

I thought my John Wayne days were over, but this film made me re-discover the beauty of the old western movie tales. It was directed by Cave's friend John Hillcoat ("The Blonde's Date with Death" and "Frankie and Johnny", as well as music videos for Cave, INXS, Depoche Mode, Robert Plant, Placebo, Muse, Manic Street Preachers etc) who did a great job (together with the director of photography) at capturing the hot, dry and lonely land of Australia, with its yellow-ish/sepia colors, its unbearable heat, its dust and sand and its flies... His stunning vision, which bends and adapts to the raw and realistic violence and to some of the movie's crudest blood-splattered scenes, was complemented and aided by a crew of five exceptional mostly Australian producers with experience in the music industry, photography and the film industry.

The amazing (almost entirely Australian) cast includes: Guy Pearce ("The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", "LA Confidential", "Memento", "The Hard Word", "Seven Years in Tibet", "The Time Machine", "The Count of Monte Cristo", "Two Brothers"), Ray Winstone ("Quadrophenia", "Nil By Mouth", "Face", "The War Zone", "Sexy Beast", "King Arthur", "Ripley's Game", "Cold Mountain" and several TV shows), Danny Huston ("The Constant Gardener", "Alpha Male", "Marie Antoniette", "The Aviator", "21 Grams", "Silver City", "Fade to Black"), John Hurt ("The Dwarfs", "Krapp's Last Tape", "Crime and Punishment", "The Naked Civil Servant", "Midnight Express", "The Elephant Man", "Captain Corelli's Mandolin", "Love and Death on Long Island", "Miranda", "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", "Afterplay", "Shooting Dogs"), David Wenham ("Lord of the Rings", "Van Helsing", "Moulin Rouge!", "The Brush Off"), Emily Watson ("Breaking the Waves", "Hilarie and Jackie", "Wah Wah", "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" as well as TV and theater).

PAUL BRADLEY: Liquid Sunset

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 07 2006
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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Liquid Sunset
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
Bradley is tirelessly putting out new releases, and, when the quality is this high, prolificacy is welcome. His new full length, "Liquid Sunset", is probably one of his best solo releases indeed: its two parts remind of his most abstract guitar-based works, like "Sepulchral" or the first Dronework, but with the more serene and airy feel that was already present in "Anamnesis". The guitar inputs are thus transformed into warm floating clouds of sound, slowly lulling the listener - perfect evening soundscapes, just like the title evokes. And besides the inherent beauty of the work, one notices Bradley's increasing mastery of the tools of trade, as his releases keep getting more and more refined.

NETHERWORLD & FIORENZA GHERARDI DE CANDEI: Lost

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 07 2006
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Artist: NETHERWORLD & FIORENZA GHERARDI DE CANDEI
Title: Lost
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Penumbra
Rated: *****
Penumbra is a new sublabel of Oophoi's Umbra, releasing shorter works by ambient musicians. "Lost" is a single 22-minute track of Alessandro Tedeschi's extraordinary project (here at processed field recordings, loops and voice), with Fiorenza Gherardi de Candei at chant and lyrics. The experiment (i.e. adding sung vocals to an isolationist ambient soundscape) is quite risky, but the two artists luckily match very well, and Tedeschi has skillfully chosen how to distribute Gherardi de Candei's distant vocal melodies and the anguished spoken text which dominates the last minutes. I know the "mix X and Y" thing is lame, but try and imagine Mick Harris' desolate drones in the "Murder Ballads" series crossed with Lycia at their bleakest, and you'll get close to the atmosphere of this successful ep.


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