Music Reviews



NEW RISEN THRONE/CRUEL HARVEST: Shadows over humanity

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 20 2005
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE/CRUEL HARVEST
Title: Shadows over humanity
Format: CD
Label: God is Myth
Rated: *****
A new split release from Italy's New Risen Throne, this time with God is Myth in-house project Cruel Harvest. The title and the bleak pictures of ruins clearly convey what's this all about: dark, desolate soundscapes. New Risen Throne basically follows the style of his previous cdr, "Chants for the cold and dying sun" (on God Is Myth as well): ultra-cold dark ambient, never too aggressive but with a distinct industrial feel, with creepy low-pitched vocal samples floating over (or beneath) low-end electronic drones. A special mention goes to the remarkable metallic dirge of "At the shadow of the gates", but as a whole New Risen Throne has apparently found his favourite style, and the constant quality of his releases show how he's very good at it. Cruel Harvest is pretty good as well, but he still has to develop his dark ambient pieces into something more mature. His tracks are generally more musically-/melodically-oriented (so to speak) than New Risen Throne's, with some more humane synth patterns, but I think the best results come from the underwater minimalism of "Haunted by the same dream". Promising, but possibly still a bit uncertain.

RASAL.ASAD: Lahva

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 20 2005
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Artist: RASAL.ASAD
Title: Lahva
Format: CD EP
Label: Thisco
Rated: *****
Third release from Fernando Cerqueira's solo project Rasal.Asad, one lengthy 20-minute track, curiously called "Anomia", not "Lahva". While surely being no dramatic departure from the previous records, Cerqueira's cosmic ambient has apparently become more minimal, and I think this change works fine. The electronic element, with ethereal synth sounds, is still prevailing, but merged with deeper, less recognizable frequencies (field recordings of a seashore, perhaps). The whole track has a dreamy and nostalgic feel, and evokes blurred images of deserted, yet not hostile places.

CISFINITUM: VS

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 20 2005
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Artist: CISFINITUM
Title: VS
Format: 7"
Label: Drone Records
Rated: *****
More obscure Russian industrial-ambient courtesy of Drone. "Curve" features rattling metals, menacing synth sounds, distortion and manipulated vocals, leading to an almost ritualistic second part. "Curse" is the other way around, beginning with vocal samples giving way to a more bombastic and aggressive explosion. Another good, sturdy record, coming on marbled black vinyl with some crazy handmade wool covers (!).

BATTERY OPERATED: Re. Cord

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 18 2005
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Artist: BATTERY OPERATED (@)
Title: Re. Cord
Format: CD
Label: C0C0S0L1DC1T1 (@)
Rated: *****
Battery Operated are a group who consist of musicians, video producers and web designers. They have been working together since 2000 when they met in Melbourne, Australia. Made up of Tomkz (sound), Wade Walker (sound) and Beewoo (video) the group reached their fourth studio album and with this they also made an ambitious project. RE: CORD is a multimedia project which consist of a CD and a video DVD. For the whole project Battery Operated used different collaborators (BCD, Richard H. Kirk, Mathias Delplanque, Freiband, Kurt Ralske, Identification, Digital Cutup Lounge, Kim Ki-Chul, Sachico. M, Gate and Pretty Boy Crossover). They sent to each of them (forming a chain mail) a black box of an aircraft and asked them to use it and to send back their favourite conspiracy theory in form of sounds, visuals or writings. When the group received back the various pieces they used them to do their own remix album based on those sounds. On the DVD you can find the ten original tracks along with visual works by Emma Mcrae, Beewoo and the collaborators themselves (videos or images). Musically the CD sounds like an ambient / electronic glitch album made of different sounds/moods. Interesting and creative but, in my opinion, enriched by the whole creative steps and by the DVD which take back the recordings to their basic form (more experimental than the final result). On the DVD you can also find the whole reference material (visuals, writings, etc) that made all this possible. Really interesting: it's like having an installation at home!

BEYOND SENSORY EXPERIENCE: Pursuit Of Pleasure

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 10 2005
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Artist: BEYOND SENSORY EXPERIENCE (@)
Title: Pursuit Of Pleasure
Format: CD
Label: Cold Meat Industry (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
New chapter for Beyond Sensory Experience after the end of their trilogy (ended with a fourth chapter titled "Korrelations" which was containing unreleased and mixed tracks) and first release for Cold Meat Industry. With PURSUIT OF PLEASURE, B.S.E. explore the realm of pure dark ambient and if their past works where based on rhythmical manipulations and ambient research, this one is based on pure psychotropic sound with humming sounds, long hisses and distant melodies. Only when we arrive to "Advanced human sexuality (AHS)" we find a lushy sound within slow breaths and creepy atmospheres that change a little the sound approach. The following "Craving the touch" is based on the concept that less is best and here the silence plays a big part. The closing "Hold your breath and close your eyes" follows a similar scheme of "A.H.S." and of the opening "Pursuit of pleasure" with a slow picked contrabass (or something similar) and a loop (a sort of scratched recording of a whale calling) that form a hypnotic mantra made of low frequencies. Musically I preferred the old albums because they had different sound solutions for each track while PURSUIT OF PLEASURE is like a long suite where B.S.E. focus their effort on the effect more than on the style but if you are looking for a nightmarish ambience soundtrack, this one is for you!


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