Music Reviews



JGRZINICH: Equal and Distant Lines

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2012)
Jun 26 2005
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Artist: JGRZINICH
Title: Equal and Distant Lines
Format: CD
Label: Cloudmirror
Rated: *****
As in "Intimations", which was one of my favourite 2004 discs, Jgrzinich takes a limited set of environmental, site-specific recordings (here, stones and water, I suppose) and merges it with the prevailing element in his music, i.e. deep organ (or definitely organ-sounding) drones. Except for the metallic rumblings of the fifth track, everything sounds in constant suspension, as if bathed in the pure light of a mountain top. While working with a similar raw material (field recordings and drones), Jgrzinich is probably the most "ambient sounding" artist in the remarkable Cloudmirror catalogue. His form of ecstatic drone music is heartily recommended to everyone into the likes of Ora, Monos or Mirror, and this album proves him one of the best in the genre.

SPIRACLE: Iris

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2011)
Jun 26 2005
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Artist: SPIRACLE
Title: Iris
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cloudmirror
Rated: *****
I don't know much about this Switzerland-based project, except that he's involved in Cloudmirror and is going to release a cdr on Mystery Sea anytime soon - but this mcd is surely enough to make me drool for more! Apparently inspired by an Eastern legend, this quite lengthy single track is a hypnotic power drone probably originated by manipulated string bowing. The repetitive playing tecnique is nerve-breaking but also exhilarating, creating a fine example of hardcore minimalism lying somewhere between La Monte Young and a less electronic Colin Potter.

DavidR-XV: Le Funeral Lounge

 Posted by Shaun Phelps (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2009)
Jun 26 2005
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Artist: DavidR-XV (@)
Title: Le Funeral Lounge
Format: CD
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
DavidR-XV seemingly comes from nowhere with the album Le Funeral Lounge, the second release by the obscure prodigy known only as DavidR; recording, mixing, and mastering this wonderful work of technoid IDM and meeting standards well beyond what I’d expect from a self-released artist. From the very beginning there is an uncanny sense of familiarity and comfort. Drifting ambient textures, grooving beats and an overall grasp of what makes a song enjoyableLe Funeral Lounge sounds and feels like a long lost album that I’ve always loved but never heard.

DavidR’s sound is very close to, and I’d venture to say heavily inspired by, early 90’s IDM. Le Funeral Lounge reminds me of Warp/Wax Trax’s Artificial Intelligence series, mixing the jazzed grooves of B-12 with the complexity of early Autechre, atmospheres of Polygon Window, and the perpetuating beats of Black Dog Productions. Le Funeral Lounge is the perfect compliment to this series, and a welcome return to more listener-friendly IDM. In Le Funeral Lounge DavidR manages to pay tribute to the strongest era of IDM while keeping his sound fresh and interesting.

DavidR-VX’s Le Funeral Lounge is the perfect IDM sound for anyone. Intricate and layered enough for the smart listener while retaining enough structure for the average ear. Le Funeral Lounge is an excellent album that, unlike many IDM releases I own, plays from start to finish every time I listen to it. If you have the means I strongly suggest adding this to your collection today.

RICK COX: Fade

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2005)
Jun 24 2005
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Artist: RICK COX
Title: Fade
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cold Blue
Rated: *****
US multi-instrumentalist and composer Rick Cox has focused over the years on prepared electric guitar tecniques, and worked with the likes of Jon Hassell and Ry Cooder (on the soundtracks of "Last Man Standing" and "End of Violence"). "Fade" is a 25-minute piece where Cox, at electric guitar, is teamed by acclaimed score composer Thomas Newman (piano) and bassist/producer/engineer Peter Freeman (bass and signal processors). Melancholic and drifting in the most pure Cold Blue tradition, "Fade" is probably also one of the titles of the influential Californian label where electronics play a prominent role. The sparse, delicate playing of the three instruments is blurred and diluted by the processors in a drifting soundscape, reminding at times of Eno's masterpiece "Music for Airports". Music for bright afternoons with lots of clouds.

KYLE GANN: Long Night

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (2004)
Jun 24 2005
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Artist: KYLE GANN
Title: Long Night
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cold Blue
Rated: *****
Coming with a particularly beautiful cover, showing two wooden huts burning in a barren field, "Long Night" is a 25-minute piece for three pianos, composed by renowned musician and journalist Gann in 1980-81, and here executed by Sarah Cahill, who has previously worked with the likes of Terry Riley, George Lewis and Pauline Oliveros. The composer regards this as "the most successful piece from [his] early, Brian Eno-influenced, ambient period, a variable-length piece for three non-synchronized pianos at different tempos". Far from being jarring or chaotic, the piece is indeed very "discreet" music, with clusters of notes and recurring patterns layering and going adrift - much as when you try to remember a beautiful and long-lost melody, its contours and details blurred and faded.


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