Music Reviews



URKUMA : Rebilding Pantaleone's tree

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 03 2006
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Artist: URKUMA (@)
Title: Rebilding Pantaleone's tree
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
It's not the first time I hear Urkuma's name, but finally I hear a whole record, nice discovery! What else can you say about that!?. Stefano De Santi's (aka Urkuma) music is a good paradigm of listening where nothing really happens, but at the same time where nothing is the same for a long of time. An electroacoustic experience but in a way truly different from the music of people like Evan Parker, Birgit Ulher or other by the Creative Sources’ catalogue in general. "Rebuilding..." is much more electronic oriented but at the same time as I’ve just said it maintains a "ambiental/acoustic" feel. You can perceive there's just one person behind the entire audio-collage of every track, every single sound take slowly/gently place in the scenario not with an irruption, but with the precise intent of becoming a complementary colour. Beyond the mere strength of proportions I'd say this release somehow sounds psychedelic... nothing induces properly to trance, but this complementary idea behind single parts make me think of a trip with landscape alternating in front of the windscreen. Probably that's the worst bullshit I'm gonna write in ages, but it really make me think of Pink Floyd's live at Pompey...take the parts where those old freaks don't play proper song, imagine a similar stream of consciousness and above all take the whole idea as it was Christof Migone's reinterpretation of it all and that's probably what could cone out of it. Soft, cold, difficult but intriguing.

ASHIS MAHAPATRA: orange of

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 29 2006
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Artist: ASHIS MAHAPATRA
Title: orange of
Format: CD
Label: True-False (@)
Rated: *****
This' a double debut: both for the label and for the musician, this' a drony experience hence if "lysergic emanations" is what you're still looking for, well go on reading, please. The genealogic tree of drone-music could be divided in different categories and "Orange of" could be filed under the "melodic" one... like Kranky? yesss...the good feature is the same, above all if you have in mind the most electronic oriented releases of their catalogue but it’s more melodic and lass psychedelic, I’d say softer than many artists on Kranky. Who knows, probably this record is an electronic oriented one more than a "dronic" one but I think by what I’ve said you got more or less what kind of listening it is. I don't know that much about Ashis Mahapatra but he's been able to amaze me from the very first listening, his music is cerebral but not depressive at all and has a touch of "joyous eternity" which fits really well with summer's stillness. Too bad the layout is ok but as good as the cd, cause this berlinese? indian? american?...no I’ve not gone completely out of mind, this release has been composed and recorded between Brooklyn, Berlin and New Delhi. You think this particular in itself is irrelevant? No way, this music is borne out of a mind trip and really helps to trip away.

Ariel Kalma: Osmose

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 28 2006
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Artist: Ariel Kalma
Title: Osmose
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Distributor: Massive Music
Rated: *****
Hailing from the realm of Tangerine Dream is this pleasant collection of original synth music paired with nature sounds, from French ambient pioneer Ariel Kalma. In 1977, the year of its original release, the recording was sophisticated enough in both concept and execution not to be at all your typical space-trip. The music on each track is blended with rain forest sounds from Borneo brought back to Paris by composer/recordist Richard Tinti and layered in tastefully, if not artfully. On certain of the tracks different instruments are featured, such as soprano saxophone (track number one, "Saxo Planetariel"); harmonium (number three, "Planet-Air"); flute (played modally through "Forest' Ballad"); and guitar and organ (the also-remarkably-titled "Orguitar Soir"). Kalma himself claims to have employed a "circular breathing" technique whilst recording his wind instruments, a physiological twin to the classic technique of tape-looping, which is also featured in spades. The overall effect is eerily terrestrial and space-age at the same time. This can take you back to a blissful, pre-digital era just before the 1980s -- when the Yamaha DX7 took over all synthesized sound, and the terms "New Age" and "Rain Forest" came to mean phony crystal magic and overblown, insincere environmental causes. (And by the way, don't let that soprano sax scare you away -- this is a safe distance from Kenny G territory, so indulge yourself without worry.)

(etre): A post fordist parade in the strike of events

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 26 2006
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Artist: (etre) (@)
Title: A post fordist parade in the strike of events
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
Hey, there're two remarkable points concerning Baskaru catalogue so far: one is the fact at the moment the label seems to be a kind of italian colony, but second and most important, the high quality of their releases is surprising. I was amazed by Ent but with Urkuma and (etre) I'm unquestionably convinced the label is one of the most interesting european electronic oriented one. Coming down to (etre), the "freeglitch" word in the net address and the beginning of the cd could be a good suggestion "glitch" is one of this musician’s favourite weapons, but he's been able to work differently from the average pointless glitchy release. In "A post fordist..." glitches are nothing but a platform from where to leave to get somewhere/nowhere, cyclical structures quite often get violently stopped or are subjected to a gradual transformation, the juxtaposition of glitches and psychedelic (?) influences helps to digest what otherwise could result obsessive. Yes, as you can guess the most of the tracks have a definite rhythmical cut, but (etre) added melody (he's italian for God’ sake!!). Great production, good taste and some intense tracks (Considering the hypnosis of the stone, When you cry for the first time on this heart) after some private and net release that's a confirmation for those who believe it in his qualities.

MASSA ÚLTIMA: The Void Reflex

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 26 2006
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Artist: MASSA ÚLTIMA (@)
Title: The Void Reflex
Format: CD
Label: Self-released
Rated: *****
Reviewing music on a regular (ahem! Not that regular lately) basis is great because you basically get to hear many records you would never cross with otherwise. Sometimes they're crap, sometimes they're pleasant surprises. Massa Última (aka Portuguese Rui Almeida)'s self-released cdr surely belongs to the latter category. Almeida, joined by Luís Couto on the title track, uses a lot of field recordings, mostly taken in Ireland and the Aran Islands, along with instrumental sources like guitars, keyboards, mbira, drum loops etc. For a debut, his style is already remarkable, though a little rough at times, or just a bit dispersive. But there are little gems like the droning title track (with bowed strings which could definitely appeal to those into guitar-based ambiences, à la Aidan Baker) or the equally captivating "Change Resistance" (a composition for radio waves, massage chair, broken drumpad and keyboard), which are very convincing in their fresh, handicraft approach. At times the used of looped concrete sources, as in the opening "Quiet Stratagem", reminded me of Murmer, though on the whole Massa Última relies more on electronics and instruments - "Opposite Reverse", for instance, is structured on a backward melody, though I must say this is the track I liked the least, as I found it a bit predictable. But as I wrote above, this is definitely a promising and at times original debut - let's see how Almeida evolves.


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