Music Reviews



PORTABLE PALACE: Emit

 Posted by Julia Soultanova (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 28 2002
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Artist: PORTABLE PALACE (@)
Title: Emit
Format: CD
Label: Gravitonium (@)
Nicola Tesla, The godfather of electricity became the figure that served as an inspiration for the trio Portable Palace to create their «Emit» album. The album includes 8 compositions, united organically by the theme of electricity, presenting itself via sound on this record.«When I close my eyes the first thing I see is a plane dark blue background similar to the color of the clear starless sky. In several seconds this picture is revived by numerous shimmering green sparks, approaching me layer by layer. After that the right side is lit by a beautiful decoration consisting of two parallel systems of tight right-angle lines. These lines are brightly colored but the dominating colors are yellow-green and golden. The lines are immediately increased in brightness and everything sparkles with shimmering portions of light. This whole picture slowly passes through my field of vision...», - these are the words that Tesla used to describe his imagination in action while coining his next invention. And this is the picture that comes to life with the first sounds of «Emit». Head-spinning whirlpools, sea tides, sand dunes rich with shell pearls, whispering of the wind and the diversity of living world follow. Everything seen through alien eyes. The galactic evaporation of earthly dwelling, the round and spiky figures fill the space of «Emit». Various rumbles are seamlessly integrated with ordinary sounds wrapping the listener with the light shroud. Moon shimmerings of the daylight, the voices stretched, coming from the outside, The plasma spheres of raindrops - this is the vision of the world seen through this synthetic shroud.The spinning of atoms and molecules becomes audible. The secrets of creation are not known yet but each single second of «Emit» draws you nearer to the final solution. The last composition «Data Link» fades out - one pressing of the «repeat» button - and you’re in the beginning once again. The beginning of the CD, but not that of understanding. The understanding develops along the spiral and becomes clearer and fuller with each coil (or listening). Is it the Jacob’s stairway ultimately leading to God? «When an idea appears it is immediately finished off by my imagination: I change the construction, «switch on» the device while bringing it to perfection, making it alive in my head. In a similar way I’m capable of bringing the idea to perfection without even touching anything. Only then I give the final shape to this product of my brain. All of my inventions worked in such way...» - Tesla, the «inspired prophet of electricity» wrote. «Emit» stimulates the listeners imagination in building complex and whimsical constructions of biblical stairway and who knows, maybe one day comes the hour when this ideal image finally materializes.

PORTABLE PALACE: POLUS

 Posted by Julia Soultanova (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 28 2002
cover
Artist: PORTABLE PALACE (@)
Title: POLUS
Format: CD
Label: Gravitonium (@)
The album «Polus» released in 2001 is a stunning example of psycho-acoustic music. Creators of the album - the trio Portable Palace do not limit themselves to just the acoustic media. Instead, they employ various chemical reactions and optical phenomena that nature is so rich in. The music on this CD is only one side of Portable Palace’s activities.Close the windows, leave yourself to your own devices, concentrate and insert this CD. This is the only way to notice all the nuances of musical compositions found on «Polus». The sound on the very brink of human perception, never fading out completely while never developing it into a crescendo, without any jumps or frantic rhythms. The long curve of otherworldly energy is constantly crossing the composition cutting out anew the settled outlook.So, the lightning must exist. The primordial energy of the Cosmos. It leaves its stamp in the eyes of those who have seen it, like a permanent photograph stuck in one’s memory. The real event with a definitive form gains mythological shades in the music of Portable Palace. This is not a punishment or a sign from heaven telling us about the imminent apocalypse. It’s the encyphered message to the world, concealed by its own shell. The strictly underlined electrical zigzag that has ripped through the sky and is now hurrying towards the earth with the need of a quick kiss. The visual flight of this rocket lightning lasts for a few seconds, nevertheless, it holds another dimension within itself, where the seconds will last for an hour. An hour of musical metamorphoses and transfiguration. An hour of an alluring diffusion of the sacred and the profane, the serenity and the passion, the suffering and the purification, the anxiety and the tranquility, the languor and the sweet bliss. Its falling is not useless, because the finale will occur as the union of all earthly elements. It will be the time of universal harmony and the final crystallization of the ideas but the listener is here to finish off this moment with his/her thoughts. «Polus» is only a way to the truth, but it should be traveled very carefully, not missing any little change.The cosmic sound of «Polus» is a concentrated expression of the participants’ inner worlds, a musical projection of three separate individuals - those of Alexander Kalin, Eveline Domnic and Dmitriy Gelfand, hence the three-dimensional feel and the fullness of sound. The cold suspension is laid on top of the squelching surface of the dwelled landscape as the air is filled with the enveloping mist of cavernous silence. The clearness and pastoral gentleness, run through electronic millstones, is turned into a diamond-field of coloured pieces, and each piece filters the magnetic light of celestial bodies. That’s why with all of its strictness «Polus» doesn’t feel empty and homeless. It’s akin to the initiation process after which the world is never the same again.

NNT: C:/My Documents/MyMusic

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 17 2002
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Artist: NNT
Title: C:/My Documents/MyMusic
Format: CD
Label: Capp Records (@)
This CD is the most schizophrenic album I listened recently, for sure! The twenty two tracks of so called "breakz / elektro / experimental" music are full of inventiveness and freshness and are capable of catch your attention in a second. Each track seems to have been composed by a deranged robot while he was trying to perform "Radioactivity" being on acid. Also the r'n'r reverbered/distorted guitar on some tracks plays slowed goth/surf tunes while electro bleeps jumps here and there. It's a shame I haven't got any news about the guy who did all this and also his webpages at www.nnt.edu.gr and www.iroiro.gr aren't reachable: it's a total mistery. Listening to "C/My Documents / My Music" it's like to listen to the whole Warp records discography pouring out of a blender having a genial cowboy as barman. Give a listen to this one if you are searching for new stimulating weird delicatessen.

BENJAMIN STAUFFER: The Tears Of Things

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Oct 12 2002
Artist: BENJAMIN STAUFFER (@)
Title: The Tears Of Things
Format: CD
Label: Somnimage (@)
Has been a pleasure for me to listen to this CD. You know, I studied piano when I was nine for five years and that has been useful to play my own composition later. Well, when I listened to THE TEARS OF THINGS I felt the same sensations of when I was into a dark room playing my piano. Stauffer's composition are light and gentle but suddenly they goes epic (like the second track "Imaginosis" which remembered me the soundtrack of the video game Warcraft) just to explore different atmospheres, where the piano is the main instrument while in the background synth pads write sinuous tunes which are capable to stop the time for fifty minutes. The tracks are someway linked one to the other and all of them are instrumentals. If you love Wim Mertens' music and you want something darker, try this one and let me know...

VV.AA.: We're on the Planet (Commemoration of the Dead by Creepy Awesome Predacious Prelacy)

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 30 2002
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: We're on the Planet (Commemoration of the Dead by Creepy Awesome Predacious Prelacy)
Format: CD
Label: Capp-Glaufx (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Greek label Creepy Awesome Predacious Prelacy's "Commemoration of the Dead - We're on the Planet" is a compilation CD with mainly local contributions of dark bands featuring The Narrator Mr. Cricket, Decadence, Ding An Sich (cmp review elsewhere on these pages), Into the Abyss (with two songs), Glaufx Garland (the main project on this label), Snowskyn, Density of State, Viridian Green (cmp review elsewhere on these pages), Alpha-Omega, Slow Motion and Cpinalonga. As I have no background info about this record, I don't know where the title originated from, but I have reason to believe (and hope) that all these people/bands ain't dead yet. The spectrum covered is wide and goes from long-pad synthetic soundscapes (The Narrator and the 14 minutes long "Sequent C" suite by Cpinalonga, offering ethnic, natural, acoustic, ritual and electronic sounds in a meditative frame); dark-folk songs in the vein of World Serpent or Kirlian Camera (Decadence, Into the Abyss); deep dark ritualistic sonorities (Ding An Sich, Glaufx, Slow Motion); my favourite three songs of the record, covering the experimental droning ambient-electro-industrial end of the spectrum (like with the murky Snowskyn composition or the great piece by Density of State sounding like :W: or the Viridian Green who here sound like a heavily pounding angry version of Dirk "Dive" Ivens meets Richard "Aphex" James); old-time dark-electronic material (Alpha-Omega). You've got it all here.


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