Music Reviews

BEYOND: Houkai

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 06 2004
Artist: BEYOND (@)
Title: Houkai
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
A sort of experimental ep for Beyond, who usually plays straight dark ambient drones (see the review of "Shadeworld" in the archive). "Blightsrider" is actually a very obscure industrial-ambient track, with bass-heavy synths, ghostly voices buried within the mix, and metallic clankings. Pretty well done, and truly oppressive - if you like Nordvargr and the likes, you'll probably dig this one. The other two tracks (one being a remix of Stijn van Cauter's "In pain", the other of Beyond's own "Torn") are less appealing to my taste, being overloaded noise versions of droning tracks - they're probably ok for what they are, but they're not atmospheric nor rabid enough to make them stand out. I definitely prefer Beyond in his dark ambient vein.

VV.AA.: Rump Comp Volume One

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 02 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Rump Comp Volume One
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing about one year ago the first Rumpistol album, Rump recordings entered on a hiatus preparing its come back. After a year, thank to RUMP COMP VOLUME ONE, we can finally be aware of the label's rooster. The compilation contains twelve tracks by bands (eight on the vinyl version which does not include Zoffmann, Kriipis Tulo, Pellarin and Prinz Ezo) which made of electronic music their meaning of life. Most of them are newcomers while others like Manual & Syntaks and Prinz Ezo have already released stuff for other labels (the duo is active since 1992, first in the experimental post-rock band Limp and then as a duo while Prinz Ezo, a.k.a. since 1995). Since every band is coming from Denmark this compilation could represent a good way to test the state of electronic music on that land. About the compilation, I can say that the label tried (with success) to give a form to the CD by picking up tracks with a similar approach to electronic manipulation. The label put a condition to the bands: "come up with something melodic yet experimental". Each band produced tracks with a bit of that characteristic Nordic melancholic vibe but giving their personal interpretation of the initial request by focusing the structure on rhythm, melody, atmosphere or a mixture of the three. Bleeps, alternative dance, electronic experimentations and a bit of melancholy will entertain you for about one hour.

Salvatore Marascia: Interstellar Soundwaves

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 22 2004
Artist: Salvatore Marascia
Title: Interstellar Soundwaves
Format: CD
Salvatore Marascia's gentle prog-ambient on "Interstellar Soundwaves" is a fine example of space music with classical influences. Marascia has married quiet classical stylings with the subtle vastness of space music in what makes me think of Jean Michele Jarre if he pursued ambient and sometimes pseudo-experimental stylings rather than his driven synth tunes. Marascia moves the listener fromone element to another, making his transitions with kid gloves that help make the experience smooth in its transitions, to the point that a solid, whole sound isproduced. In no time I found myself lost in "Interstellar Soundwaves". This disc is truly a fine accomplishment, using synthesized sound to craft music that is trippy but has just the right amount of organic elements. Completing the flavor are some groovy jazz side trips and minimal vocal pieces that don't interfere with the escapist taste of the music.

VECTORSCOPE: Monitoring The Blind

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 15 2004
Title: Monitoring The Blind
Format: CD
Label: Maor Appelbaum (@)
Rated: *****
Vectorscope is another musical project headed by Maor Appelbaum.Respect the CD I reviewed the last week (the one by Screening), this one is based on ambient magmatic sounds and bleeps. Since the eleven tracks are based on the same solution and since sometimes the effect of the used sounds is similar I've got to admit that I preferred the music that Maor is producing with Screening. Even if he used only the bass guitar I've got the feeling that he dared to experimenting more with sound and melodies. With this one he had plenty of synths to use and maybe he lost the point. I'm not telling that Vectorscope sucks, but even if tracks like "New art", "26 century machine" or "No way to deny the dream" have got good parts, most of the tracks start with hisses and digital noises that after the first minute make me lose my attention.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 12 2004
Artist: SCREENING (@)
Title: Low End
Format: CD
Label: Maor Appelbaum (@)
Rated: *****
Screening is one of the personal projects of Maor Appelbaum and LOW END is his first album. First of all I've got to underline that the sound produced is really various and catchy if you think that he used only a treated bass guitar to do it. The tracks sound like ambient/experimental suites which sometimes remember me big names as J.M. Jarre, Vangelis and also Coil. If it wasn't written, it is impossible to guest what instrument you are listening to as the sound differs from track to track. Sometimes more layers would enrich the sound which is basically based on isolationist solutions but all in all the whole atmosphere is functional to titles such as "Experiments" or "Alone suffering and screaming".

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