Music Reviews



The Flying Dutchman: Pathfinder

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: The Flying Dutchman (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
First time I've heard The Flying Dutchman it was through Staalplaat I think, in fact, as the name might imply, The Flying Dutchman is a project by a Dutch producer, Mr Hanyo Van Oosterom. When a producer makes an album on his own, you know it outta be good (or at least it should sound good), and I wasn't disappointed throughout the twelve trip-hop and ambient songs. In association indie rock group Spot members Ciska Ruitenber (whose voice reminded me of Jane Siberry, maybe with more vibrato) and Edwin de Herder (guitar), the collective co-wrote many of the songs on this record and performed a well worth blend of ambient and trip-hop. They've been compared to mastermind Bill Laswell as well as to Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack and Lamb. This record sounds great, I really enjoyed listening to it and you should definitely check it out as soon as you get a chance.

DITHER: Urei

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 18 2002
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Artist: DITHER
Title: Urei
Format: CD
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
If you liked the last Autechre's E.P. titled "E.P.7" you'll definitively love this one! This is the first time I listen to Dither even if UREI is its 3rd album. Marc T. aka Dither created a charming CD which merge ambient electronic, ambient dub (a la Scorn) and techno extravaganza a la Autechre. Pratically, he took the best of each genre to make his own...smart, eh? Anyway (sorry for the joke), the ten nameless tracks of this CD create a sound which wraps you and leads you into his personal realm done of micro sounds, electronic rhythmical hiccups and dark tension. Thumb's up!

VV.AA.: Syntonic Waves Vol.8

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 12 2002
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Syntonic Waves Vol.8
Format: CD
Label: Spheric Music (@)
Juergen Kern was the man behind vol. 1, back in 1991, and 11 years later, vol.8 is compiled by Lambert Ringlage, and puts together unreleased tracks of new synthetic electronics by Klangwelt, Michael Obermeier, Jonson, Wild Element, Gunnar Spardel, Gianfranco Grilli, Erik Seifert, Deep Tune, Palantir, Carloa Kern (I think I can guess who she is related to), Lambert, Faralley and Foreign Space. This compilation reminds me of some synth-scapes collections I used to get almost 10 years ago, maybe because it has a non-linear and different approach. There are no vocals and it makes you think about music for films. Even though I guess I am not supposed to think about it in cinematic terms, I do think that "Syntonic Waves" primary goal is to stay true to what electronic music once was and to re-present it in a more modern key... Think of Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Can, Goblin, but don't try to think of these as models that have been emulated, rather think of them as patterns that seem to re-emerge from a new-born and more experimental breed of musical layers of synthetic, breezy and soft ethereal soundscapes. You may now enter the starship...

Aphex Twin: Drukqs

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 09 2002
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Artist: Aphex Twin
Title: Drukqs
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Warp (@)
When my cousin played me Aphex Twin's newest double CD I was amazed... I didn't even know he had this new one out, I was still blasting "Come to Daddy" and yet I was so much into this already... It's been 5 years since his last album "Windowclicker" and here is a 2CD set with more than a 100 minutes of music. Maybe a step back in terms of "violence" but a step forward in terms of his musical evolution that has reached a new hi. Sound got more intricated, frantic, convulsed and amazing... One of the key elements here is the piano, from melodic to fonky, an instrument which takes an important role, played both in a very standard almost ballad-like fashion, as well as hammered (probably with something else that the piano's hammers) on its very strings to produce a quite disturbing and awfully cool fucked up honky tonky kinda sound. I loved it! This piano-concept is further stressed on the front cover as well as on the new amazing flash website (where piano hammers and string pictures make you feel inside a piano). The other tracks reminded me of his previous material as well as of Italian ambient musician Rodion, but we don't need no damn comparisons here, we are talking about the master himself! If there is a new school of ambient music, we owe it to Richard James, the man who, as far as my knowledge goes, has no rivals yet! Nobody beats him, nobody touches him, nobody equals him! He is just plain unique! On a bad note I have to warn you that unfortunately this CD is one of those stupid new copy-protected CDs which will prevent you from playing it on a computer's CD ROM drive: so if your music system is based around your computer, sorry, forget it!; or if you were ready to rip it to mp3 to cruise town on a sunny day with your bike and your Rio mp3 player (which by the way is perfectly LEGAL and sold by the same music industry that now came up with this stupid bullshit!) you are in bad luck too! So, it's your call, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to let Warp know that you did not appreciate, especially because the new copy-protection standard actually makes the sound of the CD worse!!!
PS: More info at the two websites above as well as at www.theaphextwin.com and www.drukqs.net

Black Faction: Internal Dissident Part 1

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Apr 09 2002
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Artist: Black Faction (@)
Title: Internal Dissident Part 1
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat
After studying it in school I have always wondered what it'd be like if a band would put Dante Alighieri's wonderful poem "the Divine Comedy" in music, and now I have Black Faction's interpretation of that in my record collection. The sound designer behind this name is Manchester-based Andrew Diey, a british dude that makes music for Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's XBox and other PC titles. Besides making your gaming experience more interesting, creating sound collections and working for a couple of UK's main TV channels, he's been releasing CD's since 1998, under the monikers Foreign Terrain and Black Faction. "Internal Dissident Part I" works like a bridge between nations and stories. It travels from scenes of Florentine poet's visionary trip to hell (with mentor and guide Virgil) to Arabia, Afghanistan (a tribute to Muslimgauze), Persia... Audio goes from electronic beats, pizzicato cellos, electronica, noises, experimental etc. I would have preferred him to focus and exploit the ultimate poem's interpretation, but it's an interesting musical voyage even without sticking to that theme. I'll be looking forward to the limited edition LP "Internal Dissident Part II: live in Vienna" which will be the live version of this.


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