Music Reviews



METALYCÉE: Another white album

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 20 2004
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Artist: METALYCÉE
Title: Another white album
Format: CD
Label: Mosz
Rated: *****
Metalycée is a duo formed by Armin Steiner and Nik Hummer, both involved in the electroacoustic trio Thilges 3 - but this new project is another pair of shoes, being focused on "metal and its salvation using sampling in the style of hip hop". Hmmm, at least that's what the band's self description states, and I was way ready to headbang on this one, but alas, it falls short. The metal is actually limited to some power chord which is fragmented and autistically looped in "Slaughterdijk", and re-programmed in a liquid dub form in "Slaughtered, cut and filleted", the last and arguably best track of the cd. A fairly interesting, but not entirely successful deconstruction of heavy rock. "Swing low" and "Coprario" are not memorable ambient pieces, "Lost in castings" is a hot funk/electronic thing with some annoying spastic vocals, and "21h39" and "5h17" (featuring John Norman from Radian on bass, Didi Bruckmayr from Fuckhead on vocals, and one Sami on guitar) are very reminiscent of Coil circa "Horse Rotorvator". "21h39" is actually a good dark ballad, but as a whole, I find this album pretty disappointing: it lacks power and focus and it often sounds like some half-baked intellectual joke. Its redeeming quality is that it contains a lot of good, if under developed, ideas - leaving you someway wanting for more (with a more serious dose of metal, maybe).

HENRIK N. BJÖRKK: I End Forever

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 20 2004
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Artist: HENRIK N. BJÖRKK
Title: I End Forever
Format: CD
Label: Horch! (@)
Rated: *****
Henrik Nordvargr Björkk is a multifaceted modern musician and with this latest work he shows that he's good at doing different stuff respect the industrial noise style he used to explore with his main band MZ 412, since the beginning of the '80s. I END FOREVER explore the ambient/I.D.M. fields creating fourteen tracks which work well without losing the tension (thing that is really easy when you deal with tracks based on crackling sounds and multy layered rhythms). This is evident when you listen to tracks like "Patterns emerging I" (you can also find the Maximilian Jänicke's video of it into the CD extra track) where along the rhythm textures you can find a main simple melody with ambient pads that helps following the track developement. "Patterns emerging II", which follows the first one, is a variation which is focused on pulsating sounds istead of being focused on the ambient ones. Sometimes the whole album seems to be a natural following to the work started years ago by Adi Newton with his Anti Group project. In my humble opinion with a little more melody, like on "Patterns emerging I", the result would have been more "catchy" without losing the experimental touch but this is a CD you should check anyway if you love these sounds.

GRUNDIK + SLAVA: ...For Electronics And Birds

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 18 2004
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Artist: GRUNDIK + SLAVA (@)
Title: ...For Electronics And Birds
Format: CD
Label: Stateart (@)
Rated: *****
Based on cyclic and light sounds the fourth Grundik + Slava album gently explore new solutions in experimental music. "Lost fado" for example is based on percussive sounds, pads, Asian choirs and could explain really well what I mean. The title ...FOR ELECTRONICS AND BIRDS and the cover art, are both a good hint about what you will find as the tracks have got a lot of chirping samples and twittering sounds. Even if by saying this you could think this is a really light and happy release, the music feelings are wider than you could expect: the duo experiment new solutions mixing simple melodies with different kind of sounds and at the same time the experimentation isn't the main thing. The atmosphere created is light and bright but there's always something (like on "Song for dong" or on "Rain music") that make you feel the dark side of Grundik + Slava's music. You know, when light hit something, it creates always also a shadow...

BRIAN AND CHRIS: 3

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 17 2004
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Artist: BRIAN AND CHRIS (@)
Title: 3
Format: CD
Label: Dielectric (@)
Rated: *****
Some months ago, I reviewed Brian and Chris' "Palimpsest" 12" ep, which was quite nice. But this full length (featuring "Crossing", which was on the aforementioned vinyl, and 5 more tracks) is way more stunning, and definitely one of the best instrumental post-rock albums that I've listened to in a while. Switching a theory of instruments (the "rock" ones plus organs, pianos, Russian dulcimer, electric tanpura, pan pipes...), this impressive duo writes, to put it bluntly, memorable songs. Arrangements are complex and refinate, but melodies and rhythmic patterns always emerge as prominent features, while the electronic programmings (which were more evident in the 12", I think) are used with taste and skill. I know that the term is abused, but "cinematic" came to my mind quite often (ok, note that the project was actually born to score a friend's movie). Brian and Chris are gitfted with the one true standpoint in all good post-rock bands, that is, visionary synthesis: the result is a sort of modern easy-listening rock, and the main reference would be Tortoise circa "TNT" and "Standards" (though "3" is far more successful than the latter). Two thumbs up for this one.

L.E.T.O.: Underwater Circus

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 12 2004
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Artist: L.E.T.O. (@)
Title: Underwater Circus
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
We already met L.E.T.O. months ago when I reviewed the "Noizzze.just do it" double compilation. This time I've got a whole demo, with four tracks, to review. UNDERWATER CIRCUS opens with "Nonsenseland", a track full of jazzy electronic sperimentations which turns into a cool movie soundtrack at the end. Since the first track L.E.T.O. is convincing me but with "Iridescent" atmospheres thickens a little bit bringing us a track based on dark ambient solutions which turns its experimental side with light noises and free improvisation moments, soon. "Underwater circus" is more focused on rhythms and melodic improvisations with some moments of calmness while "Strange ways to say goodbye" is a sort of melancholic track with weird sounds and melodies. It is a really way to say goodbye, indeed. Listening to L.E.T.O. seems to listen to a version of Jean Michel Jarre on acid and that's so cool. Watch out for his "Burn all the bridges down" album which will be released at the end of 2004 by DTA Records.


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