Music Reviews



NADJA: Corrasion

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 13 2005
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Artist: NADJA
Title: Corrasion
Format: CD
Label: Foreshadow Productions
Rated: *****
I suppose most readers know Canadian musician Aidan Baker for his solo activity as a prolific drone/ambient composer (with several releases on Public Eyesore, Drone, etc.), but Nadja is a self-defined "drone metal" one-man band where Aidan plays guitar, bass, drum machine, violin and heavily filtered vocals. All tracks are lengthy, from 8 to 21 minute, and indulge in very repetitive riffs, merging the characteristics of doom, psychedelic rock and droning minimalism - a crossover which has given some brilliant results (see Earth and Sunn 00))) and is maybe not that uncommon these days. While the tortured sludge riffs of "Amniotic" sound like a cybernetic update of Eyehategod, Nadja's quite original sound generally has an emotional vein, both epic and melancholic, due to which Godflesh, Loop and, now and then, Isis - i. e. a lighter, more "rock" influence - come to mind. I suppose that for most people, as with all kinds of truly heavy and monotonous sounds, Nadja will be quite "love it or leave it" - I definitely belong to the former, especially thanks to the almost romantic feel of these songs (they're love songs, after all).

VV.AA.: Muzick out of open windows

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 11 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Muzick out of open windows
Format: CD
Label: Field Muzick
Rated: *****
Field Muzick is a new-born label run by Marcus Obst of Dronaement fame, and is focused on, surprise surprise, field recordings and music. Hardly a new concept these days, as the idea of mixing sounds with what one can hear out of his/her window. This said, the sampler is really good, offering strong pieces by all projects involved. I have to say the phonography aspect is not that remarkable to me - you basically hear very similar sound phenomena throughout, but that's unavoidable I guess. The musical aspect, on the contrary, is much more interesting, sometimes brilliant. Oddly enough, Dronaement doesn't use the drones he's rightly known for, offering a piece of rhythmic, spacey electronica, and along with Frz w/ Imagho's acoustic guitars it's the only non-droning track here. Some great, sombre ambiences come from Aalfang mit Pferdekopf, Alio Die, Andrea Marutti (aka Amon/Never Known etc.), Logoplasm and The Infant Cycle. Sébastien Roux seems to reduce everything to pure frequencies and digital crackles, and offers a powerful throbbing soundscape. A very cohesive and rewarding sample, as all projects are well represented and surely offer no filler.

PITA: Get Off

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 11 2005
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Artist: PITA
Title: Get Off
Format: CD
Label: Häpna
Rated: *****
This is the fourth album by Peter Rehberg aka Pita, and the first one which is not on Mego, a label whose trademark sound he surely defined. Well, to be blunt I don't really like this album. As always, Pita ranges from minimal drones to an inferno of distorted frequencies. Partly ambient, partly harsh noise, partly glitchy electronica... The matter is, none of the tracks really stand out for me. I like the softer, more meditative ones like "Eternel" and "Retour", but I wished they were more elaborated - as they are, they sound nice but offer no variations, and end up sounding like good sketches to me. But the main problem is with the noisy pieces. Some of them ("Resog 45", "Babel", "Luzthm") really sound like a bored tweaking with some effects and plug ins - uninteresting noise, and there are literally DOZENS of projects doing it better. The disc is only partially saved by the crisp quality of some sounds and certain successful parts... but I definitely expect more from such a recognized name.

Sons of Armageddon: The Softest Touch

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 08 2005
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Artist: Sons of Armageddon (@)
Title: The Softest Touch
Format: CD
Label: Magic Pony records
Rated: *****

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SOA is an adept seven-piece band from Denver, Colorado, who're into stirring up a blend of dub, acid jazz, electronic music and funk. You have your traditional jazz/funk line up (bass, drums, guitar, alto sax, trumpet, percussions) with the addition of lots of electronics (synths, theremin, turntables and computers). They define their sound as "post-apocalyptic electro-jazz for the pre-apocalyptic listener" and they'll appeal to fans of Bill Laswell's deep-bass dub experimentations, King Tubby's dub delays mastery, Thievery Corporation's downtempo, Miles Davis' early stuff, Norwegian Jaga Jazzist's free-jazz, Beck's casual exoticism, Low Pressure System's electronics or Bigga Bush, Emo, Zentropia, Deep Dish, Rhythm and Sound, Al Haca Soundsystem etc. Urbanly inspiring, naturally relaxing, it all goes down with pleasure but doesn't quite leave a mark...

Novachild: Traveller

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 07 2005
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Artist: Novachild
Title: Traveller
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
"Traveller" is the second full length release from the Tulsa, OK. project Novachild. Revolving pads, textures, smooth transitions, the occasional guitar and well constructed beats are at the core of this disc. However, what separates this disc from the legions of other ambient releases birthed into the world is it's excellent tone. "Traveller" is not without purpose and as it's title suggests, the music is on it's way somewhere and in no rush to get there. Whether on that long road trip to nowhere or just watching the sun go on about it's business... "Traveller" is an excellent accompaniment to the passage of time. While the tempo may vary from a brisk clip to a slower pace, make no mistake: this disc was made for chilling. My only complaint about the disc sits entirely with one track and it's a shame because most of the track is well executed. The excellently titled "Yesterday is a Lonely Place" is, for the most part, a good song but it's bogged down part way through with the annoying auto-tuner/vocoder effect hammered into history by the Cher track "Believe". Not that it's anywhere near as obnoxious but nevertheless, the effect is noticeable enough to get in the way. That aside, "Traveller" is an excellent release for any fan of laid back grooves, ambient textures and creative song writing. Fans of Tangerine Dream, Drome and µ-Ziq will find a lot to appreciate with this release. Stand out tracks: "Late Sun Smooth Asphalt", "Memories and Dreams" and "Two Days Ago the Sky was Blue". The CD "Traveller" is available for purchase through Novachild's website.


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