Music Reviews



Habeeb: Il Cancello di Morte

 Posted by Eric Crowe   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 26 2005
Artist: Habeeb (@)
Title: Il Cancello di Morte
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Somnambulant Records
Rated: *****
This 3" CD-r is a tranquil yet desolate, and I mean complete desolation. The feelings flow from grating Dark Ambience, light atmospheres and back to cold feelings of contempt and solitude, not to mention the beautiful layout that enshrouds this work. The artwork is very light in contrast to the sounds within, but still ties in the overall feel. This is a short but dynamic disc, one that is for those into Dark Ambience and textured drones. I have had this playing a lot over the past few weeks and think that it is great work, something very worth your time and dollars getting a hold of.

MOLJEBKA PVLSE: The leaves of their songs

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 26 2005
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Artist: MOLJEBKA PVLSE
Title: The leaves of their songs
Format: CD
Label: Fin de Siècle/[inhospitable]
Rated: *****
Most people probably know Mathias Josefson's solo project for its monstrous single-track drone "Sadalmelik", released by Cold Meat Industry a couple of years ago, and even that isolationist black hole was a far cry from the standard CMI-style dark ambient. Over the years, Moljebka Pvlse has apparently expanded his sound palette quite a bit, and "The leaves of their songs" will probably be a surprising album for many. While still quite sombre, especially in the first half of the work, Moljebka Pvlse's emotional drones, generated by filtered guitars, frequently evolve to ecstatic melodies: of the whole work, "Chorei" and the lengthy "Anzan" are probably the most successful mix of misty ambiences and melancholic guitar riffs (yeah, riffs). Judging from these remarkable results, I hope that Josefson further explores his more serene and melodic style. I'd easily recommend this work to fans of Troum, True Colour of Blood, Stars of the Lid and Growing.

DARREN TATE/PAUL BRADLEY: Sometime today

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 24 2005
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Artist: DARREN TATE/PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Sometime today
Format: CD
Label: Plinkity Plonk
Rated: *****
2004 was an incredible year for the Twenty Hertz/ICR partnership, as witnessed by an amazing series of solo and collaborative cds. "Sometime today", released by Beequeen's Plinkity Plonk, closes the circle with the only missing combination, i. e. Darren Tate (Monos, Ora) and Twenty Hertz's own Paul Bradley. A perfect companion to Monos' "Landscapes", "Sometime today" is a lengthy, multi-layered and shifting track where the two UK soundmakers weave the best meditative drone work I heard last year. As expected, sound sources are stringed instruments, electronics and field recordings, in the best Ora/Monos tradition - but once again, what is really astounding is the organic cohesiveness, and the emotional power, of the resulting sound mass. The piece harmonically shifts from an initial blissful suspension to the final startling vehemence of low-end drones and scraping recordings. Not a minute is wasted or redundant. Pure droning bliss.

VV.AA.: Electronic Thisturbance

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 20 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electronic Thisturbance
Format: CD
Label: Thisco (@)
Rated: *****
The new sampler from the ever active Portuguese label Thisco is largely based on the interaction between sound and the human voice. Most artists, like Von Magnet, Rasal.Asad & Sci-Fi Industries, Wild Shores, Phil Von and Telepherique combine spoken words and vocal samples with lightly rhythmic electronica. On the other side of the spectrum, GX Jupitter-Larsen (The Haters) offers a nice track of heavily crushed moans ("Her moans were grinding against his utricle"). Terre Thaemlitz and Jarboe (of Swans fame) are those who stick more explicitly to the spoken words formula, the former offering a kind of cover version of Rod Mckuen & Anita Kerr's disquieting "Nightwatch" (previously used by Boyd Rice/Non in "Music, Martinis & Misanthropy"). Finally, Francisco López is oddly featured with a noisy piece (in a harsh-noise style, actually!) based on contact mics and feedback, but (quite predictably for him) with no vocals at all. I have mixed feelings about this sampler: on the one hand, it's quite nice and flowing, but on the other hand I'd have expected more thrilling or daring contributions considering the very inspiring starting concept.

DANIEL LENTZ: Los tigres de Marte

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 20 2005
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Artist: DANIEL LENTZ
Title: Los tigres de Marte
Format: CD EP
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Distributor: Allegro (USA), RSK (UK), Silenzio (Italy)
Issue # 2 in Cold Blue's recent series of mini cds, Lentz's piece is also the most agitated and least explicitly minimalist one. Played by Marty Walker (clarinet), Brad Ellis and Lentz himself (electronic keyboards), Peter Kent and Robin Lorentz (violins), Maria Newman (viola) and Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cello), "Los tigres de Marte" is indeed a powerful, exhilarating and bright composition, which tends to ravish rather than lull you. Lentz himself talks of "tight clusters, glissandi, and even some bebop-driven rhythms". Quite a beautiful work, but when it comes down to personal tastes, also one I find less emotionally engaging than other Cold Blue titles.


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