Music Reviews



Adipocere: Promo

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 01 2005
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Artist: Adipocere (@)
Title: Promo
Format: CD
Label: Death Wax Records
Rated: *****
This self-released gem is a promo compiling random bits of the live work, demos, and past/future tracks of Adipocere. Adipocere is the solo project of Keith Dylan, founder of Death Wax Records. His work in Adipocere is a complex mixture of dark ambient, powernoise, IDM, and all things relatednever remaining in the same genre for long, and always demanding attention.

The promo starts out easy with two tracks that are so relaxed and soothing you could almost drift off to sleep; shifting into a screaming hell reminiscent of the New Blockaders or Masonna without warningripping away the deception of peace and replacing it with a world of comparable torment. From there the promo calms, but the promise of serenity is gone, leaving the listener aware and ready for anything. The promo then shifts from atmospheric themes and scattered beats comparable to Download’s later work into heavy dark ambient/powernoise pieces that snatch away all semblance of tranquility and feed the listener, instead, the abrasive sounds that make this genre great.

Adipocere mixes elements of IDM, ambient, and noise with an unforgiving precision. This promo holds some of the best intelligent powernoise I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this year. Tracks like "The Trenches of Reality" and "Dysplasia" are so catchy they have become staples on my playlist. If this promo CD-r is any indication of the quality of work to be expected from Keith Dylan’s Adipocere, then I am convinced that anything he releases will be worth picking up.


Scott Solter: The Brief Light

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 26 2005
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Artist: Scott Solter (@)
Title: The Brief Light
Format: CD
Label: Manifold records (@)
Rated: *****
Every once in a while, rarely, somebody comes along that doesn't abuse the "ethno-ambient" label by just releasing a cheap drone with a royalty-free tribal chant sample; somebody that actually has that thing called talent, that many seem to have forgotten when cheap DAW's gave everybody the illusion that now they are engineers, producers and musicians. This is one of those instances: San Francisco sound engineer and recordist Scott Solter (known to me for his contribution in Tarentel and Spoon, and probably to some others for his hands in Court And Spark, John Vanderslice, Okkervil River) decided to pick up where he left off in the nineties with O Yuki Conjugate and The Hybryds, by creating a beautifully sophisticated and enchantingly relaxing record where the human factor of performance still plays a major role and underpins its very rhythmical foundation with percussions and other world instruments and field recordings. Hovering over this solid and, to use a record label's expression, "third-world ambience" structure, is a whole new other world of dub bass lines, electronic sounds, breath instruments, manipulation of sounds and recordings. Strictly instrumental, altough you might hear some sampled voices here and there, "The Brief Light" explores many of the world's corners with the swift and delicate fast-traveling movement of a highly technological machine but with the respectful and considerate soul and approach of an exploring pioneer. If all of that still doesn't give you enough of a clou about what you're dealing with, try thinking of this as comparable to an enigmatic, eclectic, emotional, exciting blend of Muslimgauze, Shinjuku Thief, Pink Flyod, Skuli Sverisson, Pat Metheny, Peter Frohmader, P.A ONLY, Rob Levit, Bill Laswell etc. The album is packaged in a light hand-crafted Indian burlap fabric wrap and a folding cardboard sleeve with deep letterpress printing done on antique equipment. Looks very raw and authentic, gorgeous and original.Enlightening overall quality.

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!!!


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