Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Komposi 002

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 20 2004
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Komposi 002
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Komposi 002 is the 2nd electronica compilation from Chicago, Illinois based, Positron! Records. Industrial band SISTER MACHINE GUN record label that features known and unknown artists doing their own thing. Artists you'll find on disc are Sister Machine Gun, Amish Rake Fight, Beautiful Assassins, Micronaut, Christ Analogue, Manufactura, Impossible Recording Machine, Scanalyzer, Bizarbies, Self Defense Force, Die Warzau and Broken Fabiola. All types of electronic music can be heard here; industrial, techno, drum 'n' bass, trip-hop, ambient, and experimental. It' enough to soothe everyone's taste and worth listening to.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Jan 03 2004
Title: Elements
Format: CD
Label: Somnimage (@)
Different State is a band coming from Poland but which recently moved to NYC. ELEMENTS is their newest release and it has been a surprise for me, because it sounds like a slowed down version of Scorn and Godflesh mixed together like on a sort of ambient limbo where Marchoff and Greg (the guys behind the project) research the right potion to keep their music so magic. The eight tracks of the CD are stated by the band as "eight prepared alchemical songs" and if what Paracelsus was looking for was a right mixture of experimental music, ambient drones, d'n'b rhythms and inspiration, well, Different State reached it bringing tension to the top and playing their tunes. This is one of the best records of the past year!

AIN SOPH: Ars Regia

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 29 2003
Artist: AIN SOPH
Title: Ars Regia
Format: CD
Label: Athanor (@)
Much awaited re-release, in the usual Athanor quality packaging, of Ain Soph's masterpiece, released by Zero Kama's Nekrophile on tape in 1986, then in cd in 1992. Still in their ritual/exoteric period, AS conceived "Ars Regia" as a sound document of alchemical rites and studies, and the 36-page booklet of this new version features short essays about magick, cabbala, sorcery, etc. - the "theoretical part" that was actually an important side of Ain Soph back in those days. Also featured are a historical interview for Maelzel magazine, by our own Maurizio Pustianaz, and a more recent one by Marco Deplano (Foresta di Ferro), the editor of this reprint. Sound-wise, though the cd has allegedly been remastered, the quality remains pretty much the same, with raw under-produced recordings; but the substantial beauty of the work is indisputable, with immensely solemn hymns like "Credo" or "Honorii ponteficis evocatio" or the ritual-ambient abysses of "Lapis niger", "Gradalis" and "Apathanathismos", gems only equalled by the contemporary works by Zero Kama and putting to shame most of today "industrial". This mandatory cd is completed by an up-to-date discography of the project.

MASON JONES: The crystalline world of memory

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 29 2003
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Title: The crystalline world of memory
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
A solo release for Mason Jones, member of Subarachnoid Space and Culper Ring, based on live guitar solos later edited and reconstructed. Strangely enough, it could be one of the "least weird" releases in the crazy Public Eyesore catalogue. Jones seems to draw his influences from '70's psychedelia with some roots in blues and rock as well - so these live improvisations are somehow "recognizable" even in their more spacey and abstract moments. At times ("...It’s all final?") it's like listening to a freak version of Ry Cooder, at others ("What if...", "The difficult life of the interstellar loner"), as the opposite end of the spectrum, the sound matter gets more obscure and paranoid, with noisy passages and psych delays. Still, a kind of "retro" aftertaste creeps in.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Dec 23 2003
Title: Salmo Salar
Format: CD
Label: Fario (@)
A nice add-on to the series of collaborative/split cds realeased by Fario (label of the Fear Drop mag staff), this 2003 release features two projects from the realms of ambient and experimental trance-electronica which complement very well each other. Veteran Robin Storey/Rapoon displays his usual top-notch quality array of mesmerizing loops and drones, melting ethnic acoustic instruments into currents of digital lava. His two solo tracks are further proofs of excellence and inspiration within an already impressive discography. Désaccord Majeur, with a remarkable list of releases on his side, proceeds along similar guidelines, but with a more definite rhythmical side, patent in the technoid "L'ogre éthérique" and a bit more subdued in the others - reminded me, at times, of Muslimgauze. The core of the cd, i.e. the eponymous collaborative track between the two, shows how the coupling was well-thought and effective, mixing Rapoon's trance ambiences with Désaccord Majeur's more prominent pulses.

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