Music Reviews



SCI-FI INDUSTRIES: The air cutter

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 21 2005
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Artist: SCI-FI INDUSTRIES
Title: The air cutter
Format: CD
Label: THISCO (@)
Rated: *****
Cool!! According to the good remarks I've wrote in the review of three way split cd on Thisco, here it is, Sci-fi industries which features Luis van Seixas (one of the founders of the portuguese label). Believe it or not this "picciotto" knows how to do it and the result is delicious: rhythmic electronica with heart-striking melodies. I'm sorry to repeat myself again but here we have another guy who's probably grown breathing air and Warp and it enlightened his brain enough to give us a juicy fruit like "The air cutter". Pulsing electronic music with a foot in the nineties, comparison could be misleading but it gave me the same beautiful impression of Black Dog, somewhere else it was like giving a listen to Two Lone Swordsman at their top (damn what a band they were!!!). I've happened to listen bands that were good but a blatant replica, for Portugal sake, Sci-fi industries is not a clone but a sort of re-edition, since you hear this' not old fashioned music but just something loyal to its root but at the same time the songs express a strong personality (like the english debut of Passarani). Electronic lover from the old school will love this for sure.

CONTRASTATE: Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 19 2005
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Artist: CONTRASTATE
Title: Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers
Format: CD
Label: Fin de Siècle Media
Rated: *****
Re-released by their hardcore fan Magnus Sundtröm on his Fin de Siècle, "Seven Hands Seek Nine Fingers" was Contrastate's 1989 lp debut, self-released on their own label Black Rose Recordings. Disbanded in 2000, Contrastate were then a duo formed by Stephen Meixner and Jonathan Grieve, and their first recordings haven't suffered from the ageing process - on the contrary, it's astonishing how some characteristics of their sound seem to anticipate the cold and obsessive blend of ambient and industrial of, say, many Cold Meat Industry projects. The three quite long tracks are built upon a minimal but carefully structured set of sounds: half of the opening "As time began", for example, is based on a cyclic loop (a bass guitar or some industrial machinery?), before evolving in more creepy ambiences. All very simple, but skillfully laid out and terribly effective. Also, the use of the spoken voice (as in "Thirst for knowledge") is in my opinion less obtrusive than in later releases of theirs. As a whole, the work has a solemn and sombre, but not entirely bleak atmosphere, and is probably one of the best examples of '80's mix of ritual industrial and dark ambiences.
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Artist: REMAIN SILENT (@)
Title: Dislocation
Format: CD
Label: Axesscode (@)
Rated: *****
Okay, get-hard-be-strong Electro artists, keep your fingers away from your equipment and give your attention to this new and second release by this French project, because THIS stuff will teach you a lesson. This 76 minutes long conceptual release can be easily seen as a textbook about how to produce complex and innovative soundtrack music stylistically designed for a never released Science Fiction movie. This is the impression I had by listening through this album. Also a feast for the eyes is the excellent artwork which shows diverse industrial landscapes and machine impressions. Musically this album offers a wide range of diverse styles almost based on Dark Electro structures while integrating elements taken out of Industrial, Electronica, Ambient up to Powernoise. It is an instrumental album filled with uncountable FX samples, atmospheric layers and a depressive mood. The programming abilities are a next outstanding point, I have found here some references to FLA, SKINNY PUPPY or NUMB and it is not too far away from this handicap. Think about FLA’s track "Infra Red Combat" on the first half of this track and you maybe get an idea how this release will be. 12 tracks are here, and all have the name "Dislocation", no any other name. My favorites can be found with the tracks # 2, # 4 for the Dark Electro style with a light Powernoise touch, while # 7 and # 9 feature some guitars and break beats as well in this two overall very danceable efforts. This release is created as a whole floating unit, that means, the are no empty spaces in between the tracks. Please make sure to check this band out, it is a kind of demonstration and you won’t regret it. Get this sci-fi odyssey!!!

KOJI ASANO: Final Insurance

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 15 2005
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Final Insurance
Format: CD
Label: Asano production (@)
Rated: *****
Believe it or not it's "Asano-time" again, the more I give a look at his discography the more I think he's probably one of the most prolific and eclectic artists coming from Japan nowadays. These sessions see Koji playing the protagonist role mainly behind his beloved laptop and I think that's his most congenial dimension, the range of the recording goes from 1992 to 1994 and the locations are/were London, Tokyo and Saitama. The final result is really good, but considering the fact most of this recordings are ten years old, honestly some of them are incredibly ahead if compared to many of his contemporaries then. The first couple of tracks based in London is laptop "pushing till it gets almost distorted" music (imagine those "ass kicking" Mego releases) while the rest of the british compositions is mainly oriented toward "experimental laptop rumorism" versus ghosts of melody underneath. The following "songs" located in Tokyo have own much more to "electro acoustic music" or to "concrete" music that vaguely reminded me the 3"mcd on Metamkine ("Corridor" could be a composition signed by Chion). The closing session of the cd is the one recorded in Saitama, the oldest one (1992) but the also best: it reminded me of the cd "Sanctuary" where Asano was manipulating one of his classical composition through a computer, the minimalist feeling is the same even when he's not working with a piano and what a good taste!. If you never heard anything by Asano maybe this could be a good way to introduce your ears to his polymorphous musical dimension.

PFM: pre FM tracks

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 14 2005
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Artist: PFM
Title: pre FM tracks
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: No Ground (@)
Rated: *****
For all of the "prog/fusion lovers" out there: this is not Premiata Forneria Marconi, the famous bestseller of italian fusion-prog rock italian combo (together with Demetrio Stratos' Area) from the seventies, PFM stands for Poor Father Material. The music is even more different, Myk Thomas could be filed under "ambient music", sometimes the keyboards reminded me of the best works recorded by mr. Eno, but this' not another "music for airport wonnabe". While the first track sounds really "old school" ambiet, "Prophet making" owns much more to movie soundtracks and to minimalism while the keyboards at times sounds like they've been stolen by some records came out on Warp during the Eighties. But mr. Thomas probably loves being heterogeneous and the final track is again different, this time his "calm and rural" (?!?) soundtrack get fused with "shoegaze" music and its like hearing Swerverdrive or Bark Psychosis diluted into an "empyreal-echo". This tracks should be nothing but an extract from an album from 2000, sincerely I can't imagine if in the economy of a long release it could be boring, but on a 3" mcd it's really good (damn I'd like to listen to the whole record). If ambient and shoegaze for you mean something I think you will appreciate this 3"mcd.


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