Music Reviews



Rowland Yeargan: Close Your Eyes

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 14 2018
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Artist: Rowland Yeargan
Title: Close Your Eyes
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Silber Media
Silber Media’s ongoing and always intriguing ‘5 in 5’ series- where an artist offers up 5 tracks with a total running time of exactly, and only, 5 minutes- offers up another interesting nugget here. Made up of five diverse sonic ideas, like working prototypes of longer works, “Close Your Eyes” distinctly feels like a sampler, but it’s a sampler leaving you wanting more.

Between the distorted drone noise of “Make Haste”, the optimistic layered-up piano of “Breathing In And Out”, the organ drone and throat singing of “Everlasting Heart”, the avantgarde-jazz-esque cymbal work on “Look Into My Eyes” and the synthetic semi-alien choral tones of final track “One Day Today”, this feels like a showreel for a film soundtrack.

A really intriguing listen, if something of a tease!

deNeuve: Light Heeled Fleet Footed Cheap Artists

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2018
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Artist: deNeuve (@)
Title: Light Heeled Fleet Footed Cheap Artists
Format: CD
Label: Blowpipe Records (@)
Rated: *****
If there's one thing you can say about deNeuve's André Bach & Mark Tegefoss is that they have a pretty cool warped sense of humor. Just take a look at the mugs on these geezers the CD cover with its title - 'Light Heeled Fleet Footed Cheap Artists'. What deNeuve have come up with here is 10 tracks of looped madness. Conceptually, the elements employed consist of some sort of rhythm, or rhythms; some electro-acoustic ambience; film dialogue samples (which the one-sheet described as "cinephonic voices"), guitar samples and sometimes something resembling a melody. Not really much more than that. The results are often quite beguiling, likely because the way these pieces are constructed. No two pieces are alike, and each seems to resemble a different mood or concept. While some might feel these tracks are experimental, I can tell deNeuve have done plenty of experimenting in their time, and by now their modus-operandi is time-tested and their methods are sound. Put simply, this is just what they do. To an extent, this is similar to Brian Eno's 'Music for Films' but filtered through the lens of The Residents. On each of the tracks there is plenty of repetition but certainly that is the point. It is not always done in the same manner, and they seem to strive to make it as interesting as possible. The flavor can range from alien/abrasive ("Four Bouncers in the Alley"), to strangely eerie and foreboding ("Red Kiloherz"), to weirdly bizarre ("Gorky Toys"), to hallucinatory jogging ("Very Happy"), to bad band night at the Haunt ("Cheap Artists"). Okay, well the last one is sort of an "in joke," but you get the drift. Those cinephonic voices samples used in these pieces were never meant to be understood in their original context here, and are usually manipulated sonically well beyond comprehension anyway. They're just another element of the track they are incorporated into. While not every track is a fun-filled phantasmagoria (some are creepy to the point of perhaps being evil), this may be as "pop" as deNeuve ever gets. Six of the track off this album are remixes of the LP by the same name deNeuve released last year making it a fresh product from the original LP. Playfully industrial, and definitely worth a listen or three.

dormir dans la chambre froide ?: Taboulet Razzia

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 30 2018
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Artist: dormir dans la chambre froide ?
Title: Taboulet Razzia
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
The band describes themselves as psychedelic / no wave, and their biography states, "Oublie tout. Ce sera mieux que de tout oublier," which Google Translate tells me means "Forget everything. It will be better than forgetting everything." So let’s get into this and see how this translates into sound. If the description was supposed to set us up for weird, I was a bit unprepared for the level of weirdness I was about to encounter. “Le Monde A Grandi” opens the disc with a slow moving, grooving track. Slightly distorted spoken word (in French?) permeates the track, as the bassline is punctuated by analog sci-fi bleeps and squalls. “Rewind Me” keeps the weirdness coming with more of that analogue goodness with a heavy dose of reverb for good measure. It sounds like they decided to sample an old 8-bit video game soundtrack and reconstruct it in new and different ways through a circuit bent Casio synth. And, of course, there is the obligatory cassette rewinding sounds in the middle. Overall, this is a lot of fun, and fun is sometimes in short supply in the experimental scene. All I can tell you is that I had a smile on my face listening to this, and I suspect that they put on a great show. The closest comparison that I could come up with here is The Residents. I totally didn’t expect to find something like this among the Inner Demons roster, but that is certainly not a bad thing. For a good time, pick this up. This album weighs in at around 19 minutes and is limited to 42 copies.

prd: LEGO Amy Hair

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 30 2018
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Artist: prd (@)
Title: LEGO Amy Hair
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
prd is the work of Oakland based Dave Oleksy, who describes this as “‘Music’ project dedicated to live studio recordings with no overdubs in the noise and dark ambient traditions.” The liner notes explain that this was recorded live in studio with no overdubs, so let’s see what happened. This album consists of one 18-minute track, entitled “LEGO Amy Hair,” which opens with a quiet drone punctuated by evenly spaced tones. This soon gives way to drone with just a hint of dissonance. This then shifts to deep rumbling soundscape with hints of noise emerging from the dense fog of drone. Overall, this was excellent soundscape that would be right at home alongside bands like Terra Sancta and Yen Pox. If you like your dark ambient with a jagged edge to it, this is definitely one to pick up. This disc is limited to 42 copies.

Narishkeit: s/t

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 28 2018
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Artist: Narishkeit
Title: s/t
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Inner Demons Records
Rated: *****
I had heard Narishkeit when they submitted a track to this past year’s Zaftig Research holiday compilation entitled “Fonduen in een Bioscoop.” Other than that exposure, I was unfamiliar with this project, so I was interested to see what a longer release would be like (as sometimes people can do drastically different kinds of work for compilation tracks). “Dr. Sylvia” opens this up with a scraping metal sounds buried under a wall of noisy drone. Hints of voice peek through the noise and become more pronounced as the track progresses. Still, you cannot make out the words that the man is yelling, but you get the sense that this is some kind of political rally, as the noise shifts to have a marching feel. “Worn Out And Washed Up” shifts things considerably, with piercing tones that sweep across an octave and back. This evolves over time, with buzzing drones and warbling tones keeping the whole thing moving. As with the other track, we hear a man speaking towards the end, but cannot make out what he is saying. In each, the voice seems to be just another sound in the composition, and functions more as atmosphere. Well done. This disc weighs in at around 17 minutes.


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