Music Reviews



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.

PAUL BRADLEY/DAVID WELLS: Heart of Embra/Op. 5

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 12 2006
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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY/DAVID WELLS
Title: Heart of Embra/Op. 5
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Twenty Hertz
Rated: *****
UK dronemakers Bradley and Wells had already published each other on their respective label (Bradley's little gem "Immure", on Wells' sadly defunct Locus of Assemblage, also being my first exposure to his soundscapes), so it's only logical that they now carry out this collaboration/split project, both using and mixing each other's material. Oddly enough, Wells sounds a lot like Bradley and vice-versa, which made me wonder if I had got the track list right. Wells' "Op. 5" is a very austere and convincing piece of vaguely metallic drones, low-end tones and looped field recordings, while Bradley's "Heart of Embra" is based on similar elements, but in a more fragmentary and collage-like way, with field recordings soldering the various movements - much in the wake of Wells' contribution to the "Drone Works" series. I slightly prefer the first piece, which sounds more cohesive, but the second one has a nice cinematic quality, which also proves Bradley's dexterity at mixing. Fans of both artists take note - there is also a new full-length work by Wells in the pipeline.

KONAU: Speech from the Shadows

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 07 2006
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Artist: KONAU
Title: Speech from the Shadows
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records
Rated: *****
Konau is the joint project of two of the most remarkable Italian newcomers in the dark ambient field, namely Andrea Freschi (Subinterior, and member of Canaan and Weltschmerz as well) and Stielh (New Risen Throne), both of them with several remarkable cdr releases on their curricula (search the review archive). What else to expect from their collaboration than brooding, siderally obscure soundscapes? The musical aspect is kept to a minimum (just a suicidal melody in "Contemplation"), and the two choose to work on manipulated field recordings and expanded drones, with a few vocal samples adding an extra dose of despair here and there. I think the final result is a perfect balance of Subinterior's ghastly "concrete" compositions and New Risen Throne's solemn pitch-black ambient (for those who are familiar with his releases, the God Is Myth cdr is a good companion to this). The nice photographic layout dwells on religious imagery, but you can hardly find any earthly or otherwordly light here. Fans of projects like Svartsinn, Caul, Nordvargr or Megaptera will probably dive into this black hole with the utmost pleasure.


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