Music Reviews



Paolo Di Cioccio: Logos

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 24 2002
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Artist: Paolo Di Cioccio
Title: Logos
Format: CD
Label: Musica Maxima Magnetica (@)
I haven't heard from Paolo Di Cioccio since his great album "Images" (at least a couple of years ago, I'd say) but now theis contemporary Italian composer and master of Theremin ceremonies (you might know him from his work with Theatrum Chemicum) is back with a new work of love (which by the way comes as a really beautiful white digipack with blurred images in primary colors that perfectly match the disc's contents)."Logos" (the highest form of knowledge in Greek philosophy) is an awesome concentration of cosmic electronics, classical elegance, esoteric atmospheres. The interaction of Theremin with his other primary instrument of choice, the oboe, present us with estranged sonic images of timeless beauty. Graced by soft rhythm textures of 309 and warped by synthetic patterns of moog, mellotronium and other vintage and non-vintage gear, Paolo Di Cioccio's music is a gateway to eternity and a voyage through time and space, closing the gap between ancient and modern and bridging Vangelis, Vidna Obmana, Artemiy Artemiev, Stockhausen and others in a unique time-bending and intimate research along a starry milky way leading to unknown places. You can hear his experience in scoring visual material reflect on his songwriting and the extreme visionary appeal that a record like this has only further enhances the evoking of images. In one song Di Ciccio even pushes the boundaries of his unique ambient/classical/cosmic electronic music stepping into a new dimension of Mego-ish minimalistic experimental techno made of up-tempo pounding beats, vanishing samples sparkling the tense atmosphere and traces of oboe floating around in the air with a nonchalance that stands opposite to the post-modern picture that the rhythmical repetition is drawing out. But that's just a brief parenthesis... By the time you get to the closing track, it'll be set back to tranquillity.

S. Gears: Dip

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 23 2002
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Artist: S. Gears (@)
Title: Dip
Format: CD
Label: Musica Maxima Magnetica (@)
The elusive Manchester-based Steve Gears has been around for a while as B-Dum B-Dum Sound and 7% Solution (perhaps you may have heard about him from collaborations with the In The Nursery brothers' Les Jumeaux side-project and Wire's Colin Newman) and "Dip" is probably the sum of all these experiences and the exteriorising of all the sensations he gathered. A deeply emotional album that has the loaded tenseness of 80's post, the otherworldly floatation of dub, the artsy atmospherics of some mainstream-outsiders, the architecture of a electronics, the liberty of experimentalism and the mysteriousness of dark. The beautiful and entrancing peace of "Dip" is shared and contended by a lush feeling of loneliness and a tasty aesthetic of romanticism. In no specific order a list of influences may include David Byrne, Daniel Lanois, David Bowie, Gary Neuman, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Mick Harris, Deadbeat, Minimal Compact, Wire and many (and I mean MANY) others but, then again, it is all vague and mystified, restrained and evened out. Smoothing the edges and straightening the surface to allow for the softest ride along the waves of stringed arpeggios, the intimacy of a small orchestration, the coagulation of ethereal loops, the laid back and shy beats and the visionary vocals (his very own warm and lyrical interpretations occasionally caressed by female background), who are really the focus of this modernized-retro'-beauty compositional effort.

REGIVAR: Colonna sonora per un film immaginario

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 20 2002
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Artist: REGIVAR (@)
Title: Colonna sonora per un film immaginario
Format: CD
Label: S'Agita Recordings (@)
"Colonna sonora per un film immaginario" ("Soundtrack for an imaginary movie") is Raffaella Graziosi's debut as Regivar. With a background in photography, Raffaella has been one of the main promoters of the brilliant Oltre il Suono webpage and forum (http://web.tiscali.it/oltreilsuono/); now her 1999 recordings see the light on Logoplasm's S'Agita Recordings, with the usual care for visual presentation (this time it's a minimal layout on cream marbled carboard) and a limited edition on 150 copies. "Colonna sonora..." is a fascinating work mainly based on synth waves and loops, with a kind of free-flowing stream of different fragments and atmospheres; at times concrete sounds (a rewound tape, drops of water...) crawl in, contributing to the feel of mystery... I like to think of this cd as a kind of intimistic sci-fi soundscape: the sense of wonder, subtle bewilderment or trascendental peace is all there, but moving within an inner universe... Sharing some "poetic" similarities with her label-mate AAL, especially in his more "cosmic" side, and I'll repeat myself for the 100th time by quoting Tarkovskij as an ideal counterpart for these dream-like sounds...

Amateur God: Near Life Experience

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 16 2002
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Artist: Amateur God
Title: Near Life Experience
Format: CD
Label: Wampus Multimedia
Amateur God is listed by Wampus Multimedia as an ambient techno artist from Slovenia as in compared to a possible soundtrack should David Lynch have directed a postmodern remake of Frankenstein. The artist himself lists several Goth, Rock, Electronic, and Industrial influences and calls his music dark-qausi-gothic-semi-vocal-ambient. The artist claims his project is sort of about closing your eyes, imagining the worst possible things you can, and mocking them. What Amateur God has produced is a type of industrial ambient similar to the Industrial equivalent of what Ethereal music is to the Goth scene. Standard hard metallic beats, droning ambience, mild vocal sampling, mellow acoustic guitar rhythms, piano, ambient electronica, and other eclectic elements combine to create something that might be like a softer Godflesh, darker Neubauten, harsher versions of Ethereal and even New Age elements - all combining to create an eclectic blend of dark mood music. It has the effect of what would probably make good horror film music and is sort of a milder version with a more industrial flavor of the type of mood you would get from Midnight Syndicate only not nearly as 'produced' and much harsher sounding. It's not a bad release but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Interesting musical concept but still in the amateur stages. I guess even gods can begin as amateurs huh. Maybe when this god is a bit more matured we will shiver in his presence - but not yet. Until then we will listen with anticipation.

Languis: Untied

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 15 2002
Artist: Languis
Title: Untied
Format: CD
Label: Simball
Distributor: Integrale Muzique
Six-year transplants to LA from Buenos Aires, the Languis duo merge a sixties aura with a nineties experimental voyeurism made of abstract loops, improvisation, caressing lines and raw distortions, all in a wash of reverb. There is not much of a definite rhythmical idea, which is kind of a shame, but it is interesting to see how what is usually the floor of beat-focused releases is brought out in the open and enlightened by discording harmonies and solid balances. The presence of guitar (which is not necessarily the source of the distortion mentioned above) and vocals makes it a record that zooms in on the electronic music conceptualism with a different approach and an eclecticism that draws from various assorted places and genres. Contrary to many other bands similar in line up, these guys perform live a lot too, so why not challenge yourself with some genre-bending stereotype-untied new vintage electro'n'roll music?


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