Music Reviews

Ah Cama-Sotz: Ghost in the Shadow

 Posted by eskaton   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 06 2006
Artist: Ah Cama-Sotz (@)
Title: Ghost in the Shadow
Format: CD
Label: Spectre (@)
Rated: *****
This is what all live experimental performances should be like. The previous Ah Cama-Sotz material I have heard has been on compilations such as Crunch Pod’s Battery Sentinel 2, so this was my first exposure to an album length work. This is engaging material. Littered with samples from horror movies, these samples help set the atmosphere. Most importantly, they are not readily identifiable, which keeps them disembodied from their original context and allows them to coalesce with the music. Most of this album consists of dark soundscapes, but some tracks combine ritual ambience with noisy elements ("Virgins" and "The Howl of the Werewolf," for example). The tracks flow into one another, giving the album a sense of coherence. For me, the standout track on this disc is Lix Tetrax. Combining dark ambience with synthesized strings and beautiful female voice, this is a track of haunting beauty. This track would be right at home on the Hyperium "Heavenly Voices" compilations. Someone needs to use this as the soundtrack to an H.P. Lovecraft movie. After all, it has a track named "Yog-Sothoth"! According to his website, "Ah cama-sotz will transport your subconscious in a mythical universe where his alter ego ah cama-sotz’ haunts the night and proliferates anxiety amidst every living creature." (Ah Cama-Sotz is named after a Mexican mythological creature, a giant bat which used his extremely elongated sharp claws to decapitate his victims.) As you may have gathered, this is not easy listening dark ambience. This disc is limited to 515 copies, so if you want it, you should probably get it quickly.

Sote : Dastgaah

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 03 2006
Artist: Sote (@)
Title: Dastgaah
Format: CD
Label: Dielectric
Rated: *****
Sometimes categories become useless or even better some musicians make it inadequate. Sote's "dastagaah" sure can be filed under "ethnic electronica", but I'm not sure it really paints the proper image of what Iran original Akta Ebtekar plays. Together with the blend of this two different elements we should consider a top notch "deviation" factor. Honestly is one of the most bizarre record I've been listening during the last months, I don't even know if the mixture of iranian music and laptop elements fits perfectly in all of the tracks, but believe me, I hardly happened to hear something like that. If you're an electronic fanatics I'm sure you already know this guy’s earlier mini cd was on Warp... tip of hat to him!. For a few seconds it also reminded me of some Black Dog middle-est influenced harmonies, but "Dastagaah" is located somewhere else, take the fifth track: how can you define that if not "Odd"?. A-rhythmical or at least forget you're Panjabi Mc indian beats, Sote effort is mystical and directed to your grey matter, if I knew much more Middle-est philosophy/religion I'd say that Sote stands to sufism as "ordinary" middle-est influenced music to orthodoxy. Not always easy to be digested but definitely unconventional and personal.

LEEZA: Living in a pixel

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 03 2006
Artist: LEEZA (@)
Title: Living in a pixel
Format: CD
Label: Afe (@)
Rated: *****
I think lot's of our readers know Afe for the xperimental-electronic-ambient-weird-odd-mistique roster but Leeza has not that much to share with the afore listed categories. If a cd can stick to a good definition, you can bet "Living in a pixel" fits perfectly with the "Intelligent Dance Music" classification. If you've ever been into the glory days of Warp and you think Autechre before becoming a "total defragmenting machine" and Afx before getting fond of Satie and bored by the whole world were great, I think you'd better give a listen to this. Passatism? Mere revivalism?...A friend of mine would answer: "who care unless it sounds good!?" and he’s probably right. Leeza is perhaps a fan of that synth/keyboard sound that marked so deeply the tracks on the Artificial Intelligence samplers, while that's much more than an impression, rhythmically the song are quite simple but really straight to the point. Sometimes it was like listening to the "dearly missed" Black Dog but also to L.F.O. and in my book that's a good thing. Leeza is probably into building up good danceable tunes much more than trying to sound cool at any cost (listen to "Dav_home" or "Ermos" for exemple). An honest release that reminds when a "block party" was still a "rave" and not a "cheap" band on Mtv


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jun 01 2006
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Title: Oneiric
Format: CD
Label: Planet Mu (@)
Rated: *****

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Coming from Ireland, Boxcutter present his album titled ONEIRIC, a double 12"/CD (the CD has four bonus tracks) released by Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu. Barry Lynn has chosen the right title for his album, because ONEIRIC is a blend of dub, i.d.m. and ambient where the reverb is the main effect used. The effect created is similar to certain isolationist records (some of the latest Scorn releases) but with the rhythmic attitude of break beat. Each track has a different flavour (for example see the jazzy "Mossy", the grime bass of the opening "Tauhid" or of "Hyloz" and the 60s soul r’n’b attitude of "Bad you do") and Boxcutter is able to switch through different genres with easiness giving to his first album a good balance for an hour of ambient danceable cuts where the bass is always pumping and the tension is always at the top!

EMEME: plague and bloom

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 27 2006
Artist: EMEME (@)
Title: plague and bloom
Format: CD
Label: Japanoise (@)
Rated: *****
It's the first time I hear something recorded by Hiroshi Nomura and above all about Ememe, but from his press sheet he should be a relatively active musician. "Plague and bloom" is a really melodic listening right from the first tune ("raindrops") that's nothing less but pop. Ememe's electronic music has always an eye opened on melody and that's the one of the main characteristics of this homogenous release. Sometimes I got the impression this’ not that far from Mùm, but there's no female litany and Hiroshi's voice (when not effected) has a distinctive style that's close to british new wave. Probably the "wonderland/childish" air is the only thing that links Ememe and Mùm, infact the music has a "bubble bubble-videogame" feel that makes me think of the great Plone on Warp records. I'm sorry if I’ve been confusing but the last element you lack is Mouse on Mars ("niggun..." era), even if honestly "plague and bloom" is less chaotic but still really funny. Coming Ememe from Japan and not denying his roots there's an all japanese melodic attitude behind the scenes, but if that makes you think of Sawako, Minamo, Eisie you’re completely out of place.

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