Music Reviews

DAEMONIA NYMPHE: Daemonia Nymphe

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 14 2002
Title: Daemonia Nymphe
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie
Distributor: Audioglobe
As you already know Prikosnovenie is a label dedicated to ethereal sounds and dark folk culture. Well this first Daemonia Nymphe's album couldn't fit this genre in a better way. The band is composed by Spyros Giasafakis and Evi Stergiou and for this release they have been aided by seventeen other musicians. The sound of the band is really particular because they wanted to base their sound on their Greek roots using uniquely reproductions of ancient instruments. Everything in this CD is based on ancient Greek culture, also the lyrics talk about ancient Goddesses, Nymphs, etc. Also from the titles you could get some hints. "Message Horn's Enchanting Echo", "Ida's Dactyls", "Summoning Divine Selene", "Hades", "Dance Of Satyrs", "Korai Rejoicing In Antron", "Nymphs Of The Seagod Nereus", "Hymn To Bacchus" and "Invoking Pan" are the titled of the inspired tracks of this Daemonia Nymphe's first album. You know that I don't love that much folk music and dark folk in general but I assure you that this CD contains nine thrilling tracks and if I say so, you've got to trust me! :)

Stoa: Zal

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 10 2002
Artist: Stoa
Title: Zal
Format: CD
Label: Alice In..... (@)
Distributor: Projekt Records
It's good every now and then to take a break and revel in the joys of classical music, and I do this more often than no! I am a firm believer you can do anything to Beethoven's 5th and 9th symphonies! ANYTHING!And my worship of Das Ich is only further proof,and the almighty Helium Vola and Deine Lakaien.Two things are obvious with this group: (1). They have more melancholy than the usual classical group (2). They have all had some pretty thorough training to have done this. The man behind it spent several years in the oldest and most respected line of choir in the world, and it shows why they'd pick him. This music is very moody yet beautiful on top of it all, perfectly flowing and catching you in it's spell of violins and piano lines before you even notice it, you're jsut a little more peaceful. My favorite track is their splendid cover of Black Tape For A Blue Girl's "I wish You Could Smile", with it's plinking keys and ethereal atmosphere perfectly complimenting one another. Track 4 also is a highlight with it's Baroque style of playing, which seems to me like a lost art. Great little CD to listen to in the park or when you're meditating or just relaxing. Even for classical purists it's a pretty solid bet. Just gorgeous music for those who appreciate it! Rating:10. Recommended for those into Black Tape's "As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire" and neo-classical in general.

Spellgate: Legends of Ardigm

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 20 2002
Artist: Spellgate (@)
Title: Legends of Ardigm
Format: CD
Spellgate is a project whose sole aim seems to be to create music of fantasy and imagination. Every song is based on a storyline which they claim will span through subsequent releases. All the music is synthesized and they claim it has the speed and power of metal music and is called synth metal but I personally don’t see this at all really. To me it sounds like epic styled synth works and there are no metal sounds, styles or anything in my opinion at all. It seems that their previous works were known under the name Chivalra, at least the musical aspects by Darynlard. Dosashlia is the vocalist and the two entities seem rather well matched. Both artists have been composing for at least five years before they came together it seems. Vocally the only comparable similarity I can think of is Kate Bush. Musically there is a bit of range just from the first to the second track. The first track is very epic sounding and the second very dark and the supposed metal’ elements I can almost’ see but only in the rolling drumlins and the grinding synth pieces. The last piece is just plain happy synth music sort of like the pop-like New Age stuff that has dance beats and sing-songy melodies and rhythms. With only three tracks to judge from I’m not sure what I think of this project. I like the concept but since there are no lyrics in the inlay it will take some time for me to figure out the story scenarios. Also in all honesty the vocal style is not personally appealing to me, style-wise, however the singer does have a talented voice. While I’m curious to find out how this project progresses, especially to figure the story as it develops, I don’t think this is something that would be in my normal listening stack.
*NOTE: You can view the lyrics at the band’s website.

Artemiy Artemiev & Phillip B. Klingler: A Moment of Infinity

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 18 2002
Artist: Artemiy Artemiev & Phillip B. Klingler
Title: A Moment of Infinity
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
The prolific Russian musician, composer and producer Artemiy Artemiev continues his collaborations with other musicians from all over the world. "A Moment of Infinity" showcases five long experimental and artsy suites with e-orchestral backgrounds and noises worked out with Phillip B. Klingler, whom we are used to refer to as P.B.K.. This is Artemiev's second collaboration with him (the first one being "Dreams in Moving Space", 2000) but the overall sound differs from the first one as it is more atmospheric and less "noir". There are practically no electronic beats and actually no definite rhythmical structures are to be found (except for a short percussive pattern in the last and darker composition), yet there are a number of weird tribal sampled percussions that give it a truly native and distant appeal. The Russian coldness of deserted landscapes covered in snow is only one of the virtual places you will visit when travelling this musical journey... On the other hand percussive (mainly metallic percussion) sounds sometimes almost recall African shores, like a warmer wind blowing through the snow and melting the snow... Clearly, it is a very visionary album. Industrial drones interwove with ritual field sounds, atmospheres of stillness and infinity are the playground for spacey and drifting experimentalisms that remind me of a bunch of releases from Extreme records I once reviewed, which included Skuli Sverrison's all-bass "Seremonie" album and a Shinjuku Thief work. Almost 70 minutes of glacial and noble avant-garde sounds for the true lovers of envelope-pushing.

Butt Boy: Visions

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 17 2002
Artist: Butt Boy (@)
Title: Visions
Format: CD
Label: Butt Boy Music (@)
This 2002 release of Butt Boy seems to have a general theme of fairie bondage. The first track "Walz of the Imps" is supposed to be an obscene night forest dance of imps. Given this you can easily see how the music fits this as it is visual music much like "Night of Bald Mountain" is. This album already shares certain trademark sounds like the usual 'ahs' found on previous albums and various purcussion instruments such as xylephone and various bells and woods. "Riding Centaurs" slowly builds a pace until you are virtually 'galloping' musically.
"The Ritual of the Whip" takes on a wholey different pace and atmosphere and seems a bit more suspenseful with some minor bit of bass beats. There is one sound that travels the speakers so that you feel it is passing or circling you. Tension slowly builds in this track as does the overall composition. The fourth track also begins at a much calmer pace but then builds into a bizarre combination of thumps and growls. It's interesting at the least.
Track five uses some interesting sounds to begin with and the composition is a bit unorthodox but the following bassline is very casio-box to me. The concepts behind the music display the artists creative thinking - unfortunately the synth sounds used detract from the overall sound of the compositions. The best part I like on this track is the nearly orchestrated sound it builds into.
Hmmm, Succubi on a gay man's album? Okay if you say so! Personally I feel this composition is too light and floating to fit the presence of the succubi. Also, the militant snares don't fit the atmosphere either. The concept is interesting, the music track is okay but the two do not seem to match in this case, at least not to me. I think the ritual dance of the Satyrs may be something this artist would more likely associate with and the musical composition tends to imply the same in that I can feel more passion of the artist put into this one. Personally I think this is the best composition on this particular release.
The only thing I can say to the artist is invest in some new equipment. The compositions and concepts are very interesting but sometimes get lost in the nearly 'video-game-like' sounds which many of the currently used synths for these compositions have. I also like the 'Conundrum' release better than this one as this one has too much of what I would consider standard 'factory' keyboard style, technique and sound to it.

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