Music Reviews



Saw: No Way Black

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8997)
Nov 13 2015
cover
Artist: Saw (@)
Title: No Way Black
Format: 12"
Label: Lamour (@)
Rated: *****
SAW is the work of a Norwegian duo consisting of Tomas Järmyr on percussion and Eirik Havnes on guitar, electronics and amplified circular saw-blades. Järmyr has worked with a wide array of bands, including Yodok, Sunswitch, Doffs Poi, ESP and duos with Kenneth Kapstad and Eldbjørg Raknes. Havnes has performed sound art installations, music for deaf people and 50 hour long improvised concerts. So there are the players; what happens when we bring them together? Here's how the label describes the album: 'In the northern parts of Norway, a place where the sun either never sets or never rises, time and landscapes and sound are static things, that change too slow for anyone to notice. During the endless summer sun of 2013, the drones and musical landscapes of No Way Black was recorded. A record with slowly evolving music, from almost nothing to walls of sound.' Sounds like a good time. We start off with 'No,' which comes in slowly, like listening to distant music underwater. This builds slowly with heavy drone and sparse improvisational percussion. This is nice and calm, but as 'Way' will show, this is only the calm before the storm. At this point, the music gets more aggressive, with loud grinding drones and louder percussion which rises to a beautiful cacophony. Finally, we flip the record over and are treated to 'Black,' which is one, long track of improvisation, which shifts slowly over time. Overall, this was noisy without getting too harsh and the variety in the music kept even the most grating parts from becoming boring. If you like harsh improve, this is one to check out.

Thomas Tilly: Le Cébron / Statics And Sowers

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8996)
Nov 13 2015
cover
Artist: Thomas Tilly (@)
Title: Le Cébron / Statics And Sowers
Format: 12"
Label: Aussenraum Records (@)
I was unfamiliar with this French artist, but Thomas Tilly works in the area of field recordings. For this album, there are two specific sources. 'Le Cébron' is based on recordings done on a frozen lake and 'Statics and Sowers' uses recordings from beehives and feedback from a mixing board. Let's get into the music. 'Le Cébron' features a lot of rumbling and cracking, making it sound less like a frozen lake and more like an earthquake. This would begin to get dull were it not for the variety in volume and timing which kept things engaging and interesting. Flipping the album over, 'Statics and Sowers' definitely gives the impression that you are trapped in a hive of angry hornets, with a lot of high pitched buzzing. However, at times the sound shifts to the low end of the spectrum where you can imagine the low hum of a machine. Overall, this was pleasant listening and well-executed field recording. That said, I would much prefer to see this as part of a sound installation, rather than listening to it at home in my living room. This album is limited to 300 copies on transparent 180g vinyl and weighs in at around 33 minutes.

Brett Carson: Quattuor Elephantis

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8995)
Nov 13 2015
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Brett Carson (@)
Title: Quattuor Elephantis
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records
Rated: *****
Quattuor Elephantis is the work of four musicians: Brett Carson on keyboard and compositions, Robert Lopez on drums, Mateo Lugo on electric guitar, and Scott Siler on vibraphone and percussion. This gives some indication of what we're in for. The label description seems a bit pretentious. 'A project of pianist Brett Carson, Quattuor Elephantis represents an intelligible entirety, dynamic and volatile, perceived through the kaleidoscopic effluence of the Four Cosmic Pillars. A brew of primeval energy is parsed and made available for consumption. Four musicians navigating constructed worlds. Psychic debris accumulates in corners of sound-space and crystallizes into intricate compositional/improvisational structures. Creation appears to organize itself, only to return once again to the Void.' Let's see if it holds up. After a long fade in, 'The Crater' unleashes a chaotic piece where different instruments come to the foreground at different times. The one that really shines here is the vibraphone, while the drums come in short bursts and everything just barely holds together. So far, we're off to a good start. 'Aluminum Elephant Machine' provides a 48 second intermission where they play a staccato piece generally in unison. 'Death Drives A Porsche' brings back the dissonance as vibraphone gives way to grinding, distorted guitar. But there is a lot of variety here, as everything goes quiet, with sparse, dreamy tones before taking off again. Next up, we have the radio-friendly title 'The Silver Amoebas Were Silent Yet Lovely in Their Exquisite Passion,' which is more sparse than the previous tracks, with bits of guitar and drums. At times musicians seem to jump out, play a bit, then recede into the background. As a drummer, I was happy to hear an honest to goodness drum solo toward the end. 'Inside Darkness / Wet Fins' is the most 'normal' composition on the track, and continues to illustrate the ease with which these musicians shift styles. The move seamlessly between dreamy, contemplative drone to spastic improve to some funk. 'And Thus The Fuzzy Trapezoid Was Born' finishes it off with sparse, staccato stabs in unison, which eventually opens up toward the end. So what do we make of the label's description? Perceived through the kaleidoscopic effluence of the Four Cosmic Pillars? Perhaps not, but they definitely fit the bill of 'an intelligible entirety, dynamic and volatile' with 'intricate compositional / improvisational structures.' If you like experimental jazz, this is one to check out.

Oa: s/t

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8994)
Nov 13 2015
cover
Artist: Oa (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records
Rated: *****
Oa is the work of Hugh Behm-Steinberg and Matt Davignon, who are assisted by a host of individuals who provided spoken word for this release. The label describes the album as such: Oa 'uses spoken stories, phrases, words and phonemes as the building blocks for improvised experimental music. Matt has been electronically manipulating sounds for over 20 years, including building an organic voice for drum machine,' and 'Hugh's poetry has been published in [various] books... Oa's debut CD compiles improvisations for samplers and digital turntables, mixing all the voices into a musical soup with ebbing and flowing narratives.' Sounds promising ' let's get into the music. We start with 'George,' which features spoken word about a 7-year-old, non-verbal, autistic boy. When it begins skipping, I first thought that it was a problem with the disc, but as it became increasingly glitch I realized that this as intentional. The voice slowly becomes enveloped in drone and vocal tones as it drags you into its disjointed narrative. 'Horsehead' features a different voice and a more processed, less lucid feel. Buzzing drone wash over overdubbed voices that tell a vaguely sinister story in which we find that she gave a horse head as a gift. 'Travel' continues this trajectory toward noisiness with a pulsing, repetitive melody over a story about a cat which becomes processed beyond recognition. The rest of the album follows a similar track between these extremes of clarity and noise, all with stories that you wish you could hear the end of. Overall, this was an interesting album and the stories, which range from the typical spoken word already discussed to the distorted answering machine messages of 'I'll Wait' provides a nice thread of continuity throughout. Well worth checking out.

HATI: Metanous

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8991)
Nov 09 2015
cover
Artist: HATI (@)
Title: Metanous
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
In this release, based on recording made in 2011-2012, HATI performed as a trio with Robert Darowski and this change from the usual duo formation permits the insertion of wind instruments with the usual barrage of percussions. As RafaÅ IwaÅski and RafaÅ KoÅacki are now the only members of HATI this album is mainly a document however it's an hypnotic release as the insertion of Dabrowski's drone creates a particular musical configuration.
When "Cascades" starts, it's almost clear that the rhythm is the basic elements of this release but, instead of being a fixed element, it's slowly but inexorably moving. "Thalu" is instead based on a didgeridoo used as a canvas colored by the metal percussions. "Passage" is an almost silent track that uses resonances of the bells and quiet rattles. The flute and the didgeridoo of the first part of "Alpha at Omega" are mirrored by the cymbal and bells of the second part. "Fusion" is a dialogue for didgeridoo and percussions. "Wangga" is a dialogue for didgeridoo and flues in the first part, for didgeridoo and rattles in the second part and for percussions and horn in the third part. "Purga" is an exploration of the resonances of metallic percussion above wind instruments.
An hypnotic and charming release revealing how percussions could create a sort of spiritual music environment and escape the feeling of repetitiveness with the use of flute and the didgeridoo but mainly treating the rhythmic pattern as something to evolve rather than something to follow. A must for fans of the genre.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

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