Music Reviews



MOAN: Clear your consciousness

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 02 2003
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Artist: MOAN (@)
Title: Clear your consciousness
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records (@)
One very long track (43') of top-notch dark ambient from this Polish artist (with other records on Soulworm), released by AFE on a limited run of 100 copies. Rafal Sadej/Moan takes the classic - and ultra-abused - "The Monstrous Soul"/"The place where the black stars hang" sound but manages to build a remarkable work of ultra-heavy drones, subterrean rumblings, hidden melodies and disappearing swirls. Perfectly balanced, it mesmerizes you but keeping you awake and alert at the same time. Excellent sound, and an uncommon control on the dosing of patterns and atmospheres. Since this was recorded back in 2001, I can't wait to listen to his upcoming new work which will soon be released by AFE. A pity that the layout is a bit flat and unattractive, because this is truly a little jewel.

COMA DIVINE: # 10110

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 02 2003
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Artist: COMA DIVINE (@)
Title: # 10110
Format: CD EP
Both Coma Divine members, C768 and Nox, also belong to Weltschmerz (one of the few good dark acts in Italy - see archive for reviews of their last work on Eibon, "Capitale de la Douleur"), respectively on drums and keyboards; in Coma Divine the former switches to "software, processing and noise search". Born in 2001, C.D. now debut with this self-released cd-r (with good pro-printed layout) offering 8 tracks for 23' - an uncommonly short length for the genre, but a good sign since they keep their music tense and to the point. 8 movements, or rather fragments, of obsessive dark ambient drones, at times verging on industrial for the heaviness of their textures. Clean keyboard patterns mixed with heavily processed samples, probably even some mangled field recordings. All sounding very digital and cold. The result is pretty good, though at times I craved for something more organic and distinctive - but a good debut nonetheless, let's say it's in the vein of Bestia Centauri, or Acherontia Styx to stay in Italy.

Chandeen: Echoes

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 28 2003
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Talking to Harald, the mastermind of Chandeen, on my messenger last week, he told me this CD would be a good bit more organic than "Bikes And Pyramids". So naturally, I didn’t expect another pop journey, given that and Harald’s massive palate of musical skills (hence my nickname for him, "Der PopMusikMeister"). The CD takes a much more classical approach to the Chandeen formula, yet still has that same beautiful kind of wave undertone. And Antje’s vocals are solo this time, no longer accompanied by Stephanie’s harmonious pipes. But that also helps give this CD it’s emotional edge, as the music would not quite mix in with dual vocals. It would simply overwhelm such delicate and fragile melodies, which are to be the full cast of actors, not hiding behind a curtain of vocals. Many ethereal groups make that mistake, yet Chandeen did their homework not to fall into it. Antje’s vocals have also improved, as if there was much more improvement needed! The more laid back tone of this music gives her more power to show off her real vocal talent, which is an effortless flow from key to key. It’s as if she sings scales on a wavelength rather than having to divide notes and separate them. And not one crack in her voice to be heard! Her voice is perfection, like a wine aged through centuries and centuries.Much of the keyboard work of "Bikes And Pyramids" you’ll notice has been replaced by piano and guitar, with the subtle keyboard-aided backdrop breezing on by like a playful ember on a cool spring wind. It could be safe to say Harald has learned his fair share of instruments through the years, and has perfected the one man band style (well one man if you take out vocals). The style reminds me of his Lowy/Javelin project gone through a classical filter, with a touch of Opeth’s folk moments. Literary fans will notice a song version of Edgar Allen Poe’s "A Dream Within A Dream" (oh if only Poe were alive he’d be a happy 160 year old man hearing this haha), as well as song versions of William Blake and Oscar Wilde. Could this get any better??!?! Well, if Anne Sexton poems were on there, but eh you can’t ask for the world you know ;-). Plus her poems would be a bit gruesome for this. Pretty solid CD throughout, as well as any of Lowy’s works.Rating: 10.

IN THE NURSERY: An Ambush Of Ghosts

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 28 2003
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Artist: IN THE NURSERY (@)
Title: An Ambush Of Ghosts
Format: CD
Label: ITN Corporation
Distributor: Audioglobe


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First issued in their Third Mind period back in 1993 AN AMBUSH OF GHOSTS has finally been reprinted by In The Nursery's own label ten years after. Released between "Duality" (already reprinted a couple of years ago) and "Anatomy Of A Poet" the album has got the same imprint and musical atmospheres of the mentioned albums even if it's a musical score. ITN were commissioned to write the filmscore after the director Everett Lewis heard some of their music and decided that it was perfect for the psychologic drama the movie was about. The film presentation sheet talked about it as a dark, hallucinatory voyage into the mind of George Bets (Stephen Dorff), a Los Angeles teenager who ten years before witnessed the accidental killing of his seven year old brother by their mother Irene (Geneviève Bujoid). The following years where tough for a youngster who had to face his mother's insanity and his own fears. George's ineffectual father, Bill (Bruce Davidson) is often forced to rely on restraints and sedatives to subdue his wife. Even if George tries to lead a normal teenager's life, he is unable to escape from his past. Just like his mother, George goes over into his own internal world - a world where he can protect his brother. The Humberstone brothers wrote the whole score helped by oboist Jill Crowther and cellist Catherine Bassill. Even if they had the complete control over the soundtrack (in fact they recorded everything on their own studio in Sheffield) the movie production hired a producer and a musical adviser to oversee the final mixing session. The twenty tracks are dreamy and disturbing at the same time as the duo wanted to preserve the movie's atmosphere. In "White Robe", for example, the tension grows little by little with a percussion crescendo which explode in the initial part of "Cop Shed". If you already know the other In The Nursery soundtracks as "Hindle Wakes", mind that this is a totally different one and you'll like it if you dig the dark side of the band. P.s. This reissue has got also as a bonus track "When I Write To You".

ALEX M. OVER: Postscript

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 25 2003
Artist: ALEX M. OVER
Title: Postscript
Format: CD
Label: Self Released (@)
Alex M. Over is a musical project of Aleksej Maldorov, a guy coming from Russia who produced a couple of interesting works full of pathos and atmosphere. Thanks to the interest of an Italian guy called Luca Bionda, the last two work recorded by Alex are gathered in one CD and made available for Italy. POSTSCRIPT and ANOMALOUS ZONE are two particular works, which move from industrial/experimental tracks to neo classical movements really intriguing. The seventeen instrumental compositions give to the listener a strange sense of suspension because Alex alternate intense moments to light melodies (like on "Shadow Measurement" or the following "The White Pink" where he lightly paints rarefied tunes mixed with bleeps and distant noises) and to powerful rhythmical parts. I liked most the intense parts like "From Here To There" or "Goldsiana" where in my opinion he does his best creating intense pieces of music. The other parts (maily coming from POSTSCRIPT) sometimes sound a little too ambient/new age to me but the whole CD is for sure interesting.


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