Music Reviews



Ulrich Troyer ft.Vin Gordon, Didi Kern & Kassian Troyer: Deadlock Versions

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8984)
Nov 05 2015
cover
Artist: Ulrich Troyer ft.Vin Gordon, Didi Kern & Kassian Troyer
Title: Deadlock Versions
Format: 12"
Label: 4Bit Productions (@)
Rated: *****
It's not casual that a sonic gourmand like Dj Marcelle inserted the album version of "Deadlock", one of the finest dub tune by Wien-based producer Ulrich Troyer, in the release "Another Nice Mess meets Most Soulmates at Faust Studio Deejay Laboratory" on a double lp by Klangbad we talked about on the occasion of a chat we had with that brilliant lady some times ago. Ulrich reprised the track on his own imprint 4 Bit Productions by means of four good new versions: my favorite ones are Vin Gordon Version and Talkbox Version, which features the collaboration of Did Kern, one of the most prolific and skilled drummer in Wien and long-lasting friend and collaborator of Philipp Quehenberger, who added some sounds including the amazing vocoderized vocals (sounding like Kraftwerk in dub!) on the uptempo Talkbox version, and the likewise prolific Jamaican trombone player Vincent Gordon, but the "un-reagged" Nyabinghi and grounations nuance you can feel on the narcotic Melodica version and the more introspective and deeply emotional canter of the re-construction by Kassian Troyer, who supervised the whole release together with Paulus Rainer and mastered it with cut at Calyx in Berlin, are highlights of this authentic dub little pearl.

Lars Graugaard: Venus

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8983)
Nov 04 2015
cover
Artist: Lars Graugaard (@)
Title: Venus
Format: CD
Label: Dacapo Records (@)
Rated: *****
The use of computer by Professor Lars Graugaard on this collection of four suites, that he mainly composed for the emsembles of New York University Steinhardt in the (successful) attempt of searching a new way to melt classical composition with the sensorial and emotional spheres, is limited to the role of "connector" between the elements of this huge musical patchwork, whose sometimes puzzling complexity, I like to think, could render the likewise puzzling complexity of human emotions. The four amazing compositions on this CD, which got financially supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, are based on instrumental textures, which often tap and reinvent a series of sonic strategies from movie soundtracks, improvisational and chamber music by recurring changes of sonic density, emotional setting, playing speed, tonal scales and counterpoints, are not just based on conventional compositional techniques as they are mainly based on new findings in IT research, cognitive and ecological musicology that tend to assign a rather important role to space, single performers and audience in the compositional process within the definition of the so-called absolute music, closer to listener's perception and emotions and more distant from commercial or other functional formulas of music itself. Lars Graugaard experimental studies into the correlations between score notation, performance qualities and audio attributes with emotional recognization led him to the design of the software "Score Emotion", which manages to display a particular musical emotion's delimitation in score notation and symbolic performance instructions, which allows the composer to establish sequences of emotional significance and steer the composition on apath of real emotions. According to the brilliant and thourough explanation by Chilean composer Alejandro Guarello, "music is a sonic stimulus that primarily speaks to a listener's emotions, eliciting a response according to expectance and previous experience, in very much the same manner as any experience will move us. [...] What Lars graugaard seeks, and of which the compostions on this CD are examples, is to enhance the composer's options as a sculptor of sound by systematically incorporating empirical information on notational delimitations of emotion responses into his software, so that it in turn will allow him to safeguard the consistency of his compositionalideas and materials on the one hand, while at the other to hold it within the range of the present emotion and its proper transtion, as the musical proceedings unfolds.". The aim of the game could seem quite challenging, but check the result before stating that.

Seba: Jungle Music

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8979)
Oct 30 2015
cover
Artist: Seba
Title: Jungle Music
Format: 12"
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Brilliant Swedish drum'n'bass producer Sebastian Ahrenberg aka Seba extended the wingspan of his creative flair by means of a couple of good tracks on his own imprint Secret Operations. Seba lets his polychromatic plumage flow both on the seemingly definitive lemma of jungle on "Jungle Music", where in spite of the chopped amen break and ruffed percussive embellishments, that he masterfully manipulates, and samples that could surmise old glories of late 90ies such as Flat Liner, Chronicles or Endemic Void, the Mephistophelic voice seems to refer to the envorin/mental entities of a concrete jungle by repeating the sentence "his is jungle" (...and "this is jungle music"!), and on the lovely tune "Cloudless", where Seba seems to order to his winged entity to leave the ground by flying over the previously rendered jungle by means of sonic tricks that are more immediately recognizable by Seba fan-base. The flight, more than mere exercises of style, is what really matters...

David Borden: Music For Amplified Keyboard Instruments

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8977)
Oct 28 2015
cover
Artist: David Borden (@)
Title: Music For Amplified Keyboard Instruments
Format: CD
Label: Spectrum Spools
Rated: *****
Editions Mego sister label Spectrum Spools keep on exploring somehow hidden paths and difficult-to-find stuff by the true forerunners of electronic music. This time, the historical scouting of the label venture into the private archive of Boston-native minimalist composer David Borden, whose pioneering role in electronic music could be testified by the fact he was one of the beta-testers of the glorious Modular Synthesizer systems and MiniMoog instruments by Bob Moog, who also lent out his prototype synths to Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, the ensemble that Borden formed in 1969. After Mother Mallard disbanded in 1978, Borden experienced some delays and troubles in spreading his solo compositions, which got grabbed by some lucky collectors, so that the re-release of "Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments" (1981), a proper rarity whose original copies on the used market are maybe so expensive that you have to starve in order to grab one. Three players and six keyboard instruments was needed to record the four tracks on this output, which saw the light 33 years ago and included two (parts six and nine) of the 12 part cycle for synthesizers, acoustic instruments and voice "The Continuing Story of Counterpoint" - David worked on them for 11 years and the beautiful computational complexity of the melodies, the impressive key changes and time signature manoeuvring of these two assays, which went far beyond the imagination and the compositional skills of American Minimalists of those days, could explain such a lenghty period for processing them -, the polychromatic textures of the opening track "Esty Point, Summer 1978" and "Enfield in Winter", whose softened pad sounds and slowly changing pattern are closer to ambient music before the ever-changing elements lead to a sublime plaiting of chord progressions and glistering patterns.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Sicario OST

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (8976)
Oct 27 2015
cover
Artist: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Title: Sicario OST
Format: 12"
Label: Varèse Sarabande
Rated: *****
When I saw Sicario at the cinema, the last movie by Denis Villeneuve, that I compulsively decided to see as it features Benicio Del Toro, one of my favorite actor of the jetset, I didn't know who made the soundtrack, which managed to catch my sense almost more than the plot and the other elements of the movie. By some kind of freakish coincidence, I noticed the soundtrack of Sicario in the huge pile of releases to listen andm, wondr of wonders, I could explain the reason of his remarkable quality when I read its author is Berlin-base Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson, who is not a newcomer in this branch of composition - he already composed the soundtrack of another well-known movie by Denis Villeneuve, "Prisoners" and recently signed james Marsh's "The Theory Of Everything" OST (definitively not my favorite kind of movie, but that's it!), who was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Film Score and eared both Oscar and BAFTA nominations for best original score -. What mankes this soundtrack an enthusing listening experience for demanding eardrums got explained by Johannsson's own words: "I was partly inspired by the spectral writing of composers like Gerard Grisey and Horatiu Radulescu while the percussive aspect of the score was partly inspired by the group Swans - I wanted to capture a kind of relentlessly slow and mournful but still ferocious and brutal energy; I used a combination of 65-piece orchestra and individual soloists, combined with extensive electronic manipulation of the recordings , to create the score. The orchestral writing is textural rather than melodic". Featuring players like long-lasting partner-in-art Hildur Gudnadottir (cello), Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (vocals, modular synthesizer), Skuli Sverrisson (bass) and Shazad Ismaily (guitar, percussion), this OST is a real delight even for all those listeners, who didn't really like soundtracks. It's available on CD as well.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha