Music Reviews

öND: For Influence Blooms of the Subtle Wing

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 06 2003
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Artist: öND (@)
Title: For Influence Blooms of the Subtle Wing
Format: CD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse recordings (@)
öND joins the Somnambulant Corpse recordings family with a dark-ambient creation holified a by ritualistic approach and roughed out around the edges by processed noises of all sorts, but still minimal in a typical American style and isolationist in a cold Russian way. Hard to describe really, but essentially gloomy, sad and huntingly sparse. Expansive drones disturbed by suffocated distortions drowning in a fluid magma of retro-looking soundtrack material. Sometimes hints of shy electronica appear in the foggy background and remind of Germanic or Russian dark-electro-ambient artists that would fit in the Electroshock catalog. Teutonically scary and most definitely cold and isolated vibes that diffuse and swim through the environment this CD-R is played in. Nicely packaged in a DVD case with a beautiful color cover illustrating a total solar eclipse in a surprisingly bright cloudy sky.

Amish Rake Fight: Fellow Prisoners

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Aug 07 2003
Artist: Amish Rake Fight
Title: Fellow Prisoners
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Distributor: Positron
Amish Rake Fight is Mike B. Fisher, former keyboardist/programmer from the industrial pop band The Machines Of Loving Grace, who gained success back in the early 90's and whose video "Butterfly Wings" was in rotation on MTV 120 Minutes. ARF debut "Fellow Prisoners" is the best ambient cd for the year 2003. Pure and beautiful soundscapes with driving beats. Six tracks with four remixes. My number one top track is "Remembrance." It reminds me of some of the tracks on The Future Sound Of London 1994 album "Lifeforms." A feel of trip-hop ambient. Many times I've listened to the instrumental piece, I picture it as a theme for a police or doctor/hospital drama television show. My friend, Bryant, who is a producer, likes "Sonda." I myself also because it have a traditional edge. Maybe world music describes it best. "Yes Josephine" is catchy with its jazzy style. The T10D mix on final track 10 is more danceable than the original version. Although I do like both and have listened to it again and again. Amish Rake Fight is brilliant and will grab your ear with just one listen. ARF sounds resemblance stands along side with The Future Sound Of London and Massive Attack. A recommendation to go and purchase "Fellow Prisoners." It will take your mind on a journey. 10 stars.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 27 2003
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Title: Ethnic
Format: CD
Label: Trostlos (@)
Shiva In Exile is the solo project of Stefan Hertrich, vocalist of the German bands Darkseed and Betray my Secrets and ETHNIC is his first album under this monicker. ETHNIC contains fourteen suites of atmospheric dark gothic music deeply influenced by middle Eastern melodies and contains also Arab, Indian, Malaysian, native Canadian and Thai vocals. The result is for sure particular as the ambient ethnic sounds are in contrast with the goth influences. The result is like a soundtrack of a National Geographic documentary: do you know that kind of music they play when they show landscapes like the Peruvian pyramids or other mystic places of the middle East? Stefan Hertrich to get this effect used, along with synth, percussive instruments, various electronic sound effects, loops and female/male vocals from all over the world, including Nepalese shaman percussion recorded by the German author Dr. Phil Christian Raetsch who lived in the Rain forest for many years and regularily visits exotic countries. In my opinion this kind of sounds are functional if associated with images or movies but it's also true that you can prepare yourself a place where listening to this record with the right attitude. If you don't like exotic ethnic music don't approach yourself to this CD, but if you are curious enough here you can find particular sounds and atmopheres. For my tastes there are too many exotic chants / vocals but, you know...

Beautiful Assassins: Preamp

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 18 2003
Artist: Beautiful Assassins
Title: Preamp
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Distributor: Positron! Records
BEAUTIFUL ASSASSINS is Matt Walker, a multi-talented drummer/programmer who played with Impossible Recording Machine, Filter, Garbage, and Smashing Pumpkins. His first debut "Preamp" is blend of industrial, ambient, and electronics. Two guest vocalists appearances, Michelle Cross, who have a voice that sounds like the female singer from Garbage, and Preston Graves, lead singer for the band Cupcakes, sings on some of the tracks. There are some tracks that I really dig. Let's start with "Unraveled." It have a trip-hop feel and a simple bassline. Morelikely reminds me of Portishead, which I am a big fan of theirs. "Inertia" is an instrumental that is ambient and techno. My number one favorite is the remake of Sting's "Bed's Too Big Without You." Both Michelle and Preston share vocals on this electronic pop track. Preston's vocal brings the song out 100%. His voice certainly have that Sting's similarity. Another fave is "Hellbent." A love song with an industrial feel sung by Preston alone. Mostly the line you'll hear is "I want you/I want you so bad." Michelle sings on "Generator." This track resembles Garbage pure sound. Kinda industrial rock that will be good for the mainstream audience and radio. "Preamp" is a good cd with electronic mayhem and intoxicating vocals. Hopefully we get to hear more from BEAUTIFUL ASSASSINS in the future.

David Thrussell: The Hard Word (Soundtrack)

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jul 13 2003
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Artist: David Thrussell
Title: The Hard Word (Soundtrack)
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Kind of off the beaten path for Metropolis, which is more into electronic, goth and industrial tracks, this is their first soundtrack release, done by Dave Thrussell of Snog. To me, given I’m not really into soundtrack type CDs at all unless I’ve seen the film, this one seems to paint out the film for you. If not paint out a whole film for you in your mind. It’s very laid back, with a sort of jazz and lounge principle, reminding me often times of Henry Mancini’s famous "Pink Panther" soundtrack (though nothing like the "Peter Gun" music, mind you), more than anything Snog or Black Lung ever did (which is much more electronic based, respectively). It’s a pretty good CD for simply relaxing to, for those who haven’t seen the film or who have seen it and perhaps not liked it (I haven’t seen it myself, so it’s good, mellow music to me). Rating: 9.

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