Music Reviews



TRUE COLOUR OF BLOOD: [absence]

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 12 2004
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Artist: TRUE COLOUR OF BLOOD (@)
Title: [absence]
Format: CD
Label: AFE Records/Eibon (@)
First official cd release for both True Colour of Blood (after two acclaimed cdrs on AFE and Soulworm) and AFE Records, here co-releasing Eric Kesner's new effort - an excellent step for both for sure. Kesner maintains processed guitar sounds as the only source for his rich droning textures, and while certainly obscure - often pitch black, actually - in nature, "[absence]" manages to avoid dark-ambient clichés - I do think that TCOB is often closer to minimalists like Main, Stars of the Lid and the Kranky-kin, or post-shoegazers like Aaarktika, than to the typical Lustmord clones. This is especially evident in the melodic drifts of "Anamorphoris", "[absence]" and "My favourite streetlight", but also in the strummed ghost track, which really sounds like an outtake from Slowdive's "Pygmalion". Though perfectly fitting in the ambient category, this album has its roots deeply immersed in indie/post-rock. Also considering Kesner's brilliant debut in the glitch/microsounds field as Rensek (see archive), I'm looking forward to hearing TCOB's further evolutions. Excellent layout, as expected from Eibon.

Decomposure: Taking Things Apart

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 02 2004
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Artist: Decomposure (@)
Title: Taking Things Apart
Format: CD
Label: Unschooled records (@)
Rated: *****
Whoa! I am starting to think we have all overlooked an extremely valuable and remarkable record label for far too long, an outlet that obviously knows quality when it sees (ehhm... hears) it! Among new findings proving this is the release of Decomposure's "Taking Things Apart", a full lenght CD that probably shines the brightest light with the piece "Speech", that is basically just a cool and dynamic beat with Georgy's post 9/11 speech... While others overdo what's been done a million times already (I haven't taken my best shot at it yet, because of that), Decomposure just exploits the obvious idea to its full extent taking it to the next level. W is extremely well treated and edited and becomes one with the track, so rhythmical and groovy that I "almost" liked him for a minute there... Thankfully I came back to my senses with the rest of the album which never refers back to the ugly Texan voice but still very often refers back to similarly excellent rhythm-noise. Decomposure's theme revolves around repetition, and specifically its antithesis, the relationship of percussion to music and to silence and the deconstruction and re-arrangement of every day sounds into fragments of metropolitan-paced breakcore, outdoors ambient anti-muzak, indoor ambiences and more sonic transitions between space and time, or more like, location and its environmental pace. "Taking Things Apart" is a bold and exceptionally gifted attempt at taking the background and turning it into the foreground, at taking the un-important sounds of you ever day life and process them into music you can focus on. The album has definitely some really outstanding highlights but it doesn't seem to always be able to keep up with that level of quality, nonetheless it is a great friggin' piece of music that you should explore at your earliest convenience.

Invercauld: Tiamhaidh

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 01 2004
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Artist: Invercauld (@)
Title: Tiamhaidh
Format: CD EP
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Montreal, Canada, based label Cyclic Law's sixth release comes from American dark-ambientalist Invercauld, a project that has released a few CD-Rs but never an official debut, such as this one. "Tiamhaidh" is "inspired by the rain and fog ridden landscapes and history of his Gaelic ancestors". It's easy to make you think of rain, sound-wise, but harder to give an idea of the sound of fog. Invercauld, however, does a very good job at painting a dark and wet and cold atmosphere where nothing moves, except for air and humidity, through, across and beyond the leaves and branches of the forest's tree. Even the name sounds like it has something to do with the word "winter".In line with the tradition of Cyclic Law, this CD comes in a beautiful textured trifold sleeve whose graphics really aid those visuals.

Gustaf Hildebrand: Starscape

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 01 2004
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Artist: Gustaf Hildebrand (@)
Title: Starscape
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Swedish ambient-musician Gustaf Hildebrand (possibly better known as Lithivm, whose "Threshold to Disharmony" came out on Cold Meat Industry, or for his collaboration with Karjalan Sissit) takes a step into the starry nothingness of space with his "Starscape", a dark, mysterious, aural, astral journey through the artistic interpretation of the silence, absence of atmosphere. The visionary content of "Starscape" draws you along in this journey of deep sonics and fleeing hints of harmony. It's like floating somewhere and observing, speechless. Inspired by the great names of oneiric, visionary and aural isolationism, such as Steve Roach or Vidna Obmana, Gustaf is not far from the quality that those masters have accustomed us to. The art work of this beautiful textured trifold sleeve (limited 500 copies edition) aids the interpreation suggesting a nebula of light, planets, swedish skies, aurea borealis type of images etc. Beautifully haunting.

DIELECTRIC DRONE ALL-STARS: Dr.one

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 26 2004
Artist: DIELECTRIC DRONE ALL-STARS
Title: Dr.one
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Dielectric Records (@)
Rated: *****
Whoa! Incredible droning sonatas from an ensemble featuring Karen Stackpole (40" symphonic gong), Bill Noertker (double bass), Garth Klippert (accordion), Tony Cross (violin), Ben Hayes (didgeridoos), and Drew Webster/Die Elektrischen, Dielectric co-founder, here at electric train (!) and mixing, besides being responsible for putting up this amazing big band. The players, who had never played together as a group before (something difficult to believe in, really), improvised in studio, then the sessions were digitally edited. Atmospheres vary from soothing, peaceful moments to menacing sound-masses - the effect is hypnotic and mind-entrancing, and textures are blurred and layered at the same time: instruments are both heard in their individual playings and dissolved into the misty collective soundscape. Think of the very best in acoustic-generated drones: the Deep Listening Band, Organum, Pelt, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Annea Lockwood... This 2-cd set is a joy to the ear, don't miss it.


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