Music Reviews



VV.AA.: The eternal present

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 12 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: The eternal present
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
This' the second sampler of Elvis Coffee records I review and as I've said the last time this' a strange kind of label. The most of the music they put on their sampler creates a really uniform collage and nothing better than a collage epitomizes the approach of many modern/contemporary artists, uh?!. Drone music? Space music? Probably both of them...at last England is the cradle of many different genres of music one of which is psychedelia? (... bye bye Syd!!). When it's not "drone-odd" music, it indirectly (or directly who knows) pays tribute to people like early isolationists or to beautiful/degenerated minds like Nurse With Wound, weirdest Current 93 or something in the vein but everything here is more softly . Sideral music for odd people? Maybe... even if I don't know much about the most of the bands (apart those included in the first compilation) I'm sure some of them are definitely mature for some official release. Relaxing? Acid? Probably I'm writing this for the second time reviewing Elvis Coffee releases but that's acid music for modern fre-e-aks. Weird and interesting.

GODKOMPLEX: Audial Apostasy

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 11 2006
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Artist: GODKOMPLEX (@)
Title: Audial Apostasy
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Noise Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Some of you may have discovered this Californian act on some magazine CD compilations of the well known Industrial Nation, maybe also from the well done "Wetworks Compilation III" which was online available from this now defunct webzine. Here they are back with a new 12 track album and all of you who have expected a music style like the compilation appearances mostly based on classic US-Industrial anthems will be surprised. Some far away possible comparisons to the old KEVORKIAN DEATH CYCLE maybe come to mind ("World Below"), but GODKOMPLEX have much more to offer. Some tracks turn into an Ambient-like style ("Not Human", "The Final Act"), while they mix perfectly in some cool Dark Electro tunes ("Kill-4-God", "Diminutive"). Conspicuous is the fact that this act has fine abilities to integrate complex rhythm patterns featuring several D n’ B and or IDM flavors – not everything here has that 4/4-marching-forward feel. I’m wondering a bit that there are only three tracks which feature the pregnant vocals of Daron A. Case ("All Or Nothing", "World Below" and the already discovered but still amazing "Intentional Disarray"). All other tracks are instrumental, but therefor voice sample-driven. It would be easy to advise them to write more tracks featuring some male or female vocals for sure, but on the other side I have to admit that this missed part doesn’t make the other nine tracks boring. GODKOMPLEX set the music in the center of their work – and their work is marvelous here! Distributed by the cool DSBP label/mail order should make it possible to get this fine item easily and to a fair price. A band to follow immediately!

Michael Vernusky: Blood That Sees the Light

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 09 2006
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Artist: Michael Vernusky (@)
Title: Blood That Sees the Light
Format: CD
Label: Alas Seis Music (@)
Rated: *****

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Let's face it, it's extremely hard these days to make palatable "experimental" music in any genre, or even develop a unique style. Under the aegis of award-winning composer and full-time music instructor Michael Vernusky, however, there just may emerge a perfect variant in the realm of "serious" music. This young and accomplished classical/noise-collage artist has turned in an ambitious and impressive array of drone-and-klang-accompanied chamber pieces -- a side of rusty razor wire with your filet mignon, if you will.

In fact, let's imagine that this is one such dinner party, at which the first thing everyone hears is the title track, a swelling barrage of ambient menace, bringing to mind (for those of us with Industrial leanings) Reptilicus and maybe some of Laibach's Macbeth. But then track two, "Tanah," surprises us with a hissing alien demon who leads the way through a futuristic chamber piece for "flutes and electronic sound." "Arc," an intensely moody, brooding piano solo, has intricate and interesting modern phrasings in six movements, which means we've made it to the main course without too much wine and hors d'oeuvres. For the next course, "Means and Meditations," we've now left the chamber and stumbled out into the aliens' subway system, with snapping, spitting third rails and groaning vehicles howling electronically by -- and then on our way back in, we stop only to listen to a solo classical guitarist playing a somber prayer ("Selah") amid the sound of the otherworldly metropolis thrumming in the background.

Now we've come to dessert, the live orchestral "Drawn Inward." There unfortunately is some dissonance in the performance of this last track, but kudos must be given to Vernusky for not copping out and doing it all on synth. In any case, by that time you and your dinner guests should all be in a catatonic stupor of pleasurable, drunken angst. I'm putting in my RSVP for the maestro's next soirée, which should be sensational, if this foray is any indication.

Centrozoon: Angel Liquor

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 06 2006
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Artist: Centrozoon (@)
Title: Angel Liquor
Format: CD
Label: Divine Frequency
Rated: *****
Centrozoon is a German-based electronic trio revolving around touch-guitar player Markus Reuter (Europa String Choir), painter, synth and percussion player Bernhard Wöstheinrich (The Redundant Rocker) and singer Tim Bowness (No-Man). Since 1998, they have been delighting us with fine electronic ambient music and their latest record "Angel Liquor" contains five tracks spanning over one hour in lenght that cast a hi-pitched cloud-flavored veil of ethereal synthscapes and atmospheric guitar sounds. In this particular record, Tim Bowness' voice is either not present or has been treated, just like the guitar, to the point where you cannot even make out what the original source of the sound was. In other words you won't be hearing any singing and the percussive elements are also very few and far in between. This sporadically paced approach makes for a very cinematic experience that you'll probably best enjoy in a lowly lit and quiet environment. In other words this is not your average hop-on-the-train iPod record. Try to thoroughly enjoy these hovering and hypnotic thin-layered patterns and you just might be discovering and re-discovering new subtle nuances with every new listening pass.

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.


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