Music Reviews



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!

CYCLOTIMIA: Eschaton

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 09 2005
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Artist: CYCLOTIMIA (@)
Title: Eschaton
Format: CD
Label: Stateart (@)
Rated: *****
After their previous MCD released in 2003 Cyclotimia just released, always for Stateart, their second full lenght titled ESCHATON. Referring to their music as "L'electronique mondial" the Russian duo perform eleven new tracks which define at the best their apocalyptic experimental / ambient music. They have always been against the modern business world and the ESCHATON's cover, which represents a sort of mix between Wall Street meet the Hieronymus Bosch inferno, show really well this concept. The music "paints" a tense scenario where samples (news report, Pope Giovanni Paolo II, etc) help defining the players of the imaginary movie that see Cyclotimia playing its soundtrack. Most of the tracks use rhymths to underline the dramatic issue of titles like "Leviathan", "Shelter", "Crusade" or "Gloria" while synth pads are like death whistles of crushing planes. Along with the music tracks you can also find the beautiful video of "Some place" (track coming from their 2002 E.P. "Same time same place")where you can check how well Cyclotimia music works as a soundtrack of our modern sad times.

ENCOMIAST: Mers de Sommeil

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 08 2005
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Artist: ENCOMIAST
Title: Mers de Sommeil
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
I was not familiar with Encomiast, which, started as a trio, is now the solo project of Colorado musician Ross Hagen - and, by the way, US label Absolute Zero Media has just released his brand new full-length, which is his fourth one, I think. I'll surely want to dig deeper in Encomiast's discography, since this limited cdr, aptly titled "Seas of sleep", features some beautiful, trance-inducing drones. I venture Hagen's starting instrument is a guitar, or a string instrument, then streched and manipulated into slowly changing waves of sounds - mostly lulling and subdued, but with some well-controlled moments of billowing noise ("Somnebula"). Everything sounds carefully conceived and assembled (a big plus in times of instant records), shifting from darker metallic rumblings to passages of rarefied melancholy. Encomiast's approach to ambient minimalism reminds of Troum's, True Colour of Blood's or Moljebka Pvlse's best moments, and invites to frequent listenings.


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