Music Reviews

Ame Zek: Rostfrei

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 07 2015
Artist: Ame Zek (@)
Title: Rostfrei
Format: 12"
Label: Keep it Business
Rated: *****
Before we even get to put the album on the turntable, you'll notice that the back of the album cover points inside, stating 'sick mirrors see.' There are words printed on the inside of the sleeve, such as 'mercy,' self-confidence,' and 'purity' printed backward and upside down. I'm not really sure what they are supposed to mean, but they seem positive for the most part. As for the music, the label describes his work thus: 'One of the biggest challenges of electronic music is to give a unique voice to the machinery that is used to create it. One must dive deep down into the hidden possibilities of hardware and software, learn to understand their functions, and discover the peculiarities of each tool and how each device interconnects with others. Ame Zek has gone down this route, developing his own deeply-personal musical language through years of experimentation.' Putting it on the turntable is a challenge, as the only clue as to which side is which is in the etching on the vinyl, which also informs the listener that it should be played at 45RPM. Had I not seen this, I would have thought it was a mistake, since the first track was filled with static and was nice and glitchy. Indeed, this is the hallmark of Ame Zek's work, as everything is covered in a thin layer of hum and buzz. But this is not really noise; rather, it uses the digital static as just another layer of sound. The synths themselves seem to have been circuit bent beyond recognition. Digital tones and buzzing are deliberately added, so as to appreciate each one in its isolation. At times (e.g., track 4), Zek seems intent on irritating the listener, but not in a heavy handed way. Rather, it is in the choice of tones and the heavy dissonance. Still, this is interesting work and well put together. This album weighs in at around 26 minutes. It's pressed on 180 gram vinyl and limited to 300 copies.

Colin Potter: Rank Sonata

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 05 2015
Artist: Colin Potter (@)
Title: Rank Sonata
Format: 12"
Label: Hallow Ground (@)
Rated: *****
The quasi-pastoral echoes, the festively electric intermittencies, a rising march-like ascension fuelled by a straight 4/4 beat, a popping set of wood sticking and the surprising suspension that all those flowing elements reach at the hands of their wise director on the 19-minutes lasting deranged techno track "A Wider Pail of Shale" could be ideally matched more to the buds that blossomed from stylistical territories where artists like Four Tet, Gold Panda or Fuck Buttons browse on than the ones where the name of the legendary Colin Potter, well-known pal, producer and collaborator of Nurse With Wound, Organum and Current 93, and miliar stone of the whole indipendent UK post-industrial scene since late 70ies by means of his appreciated imprint ICR - a stylistical laboratory where The Instant Automatons, experimental composer Trevor Weshart, Chris & Cosey, Bryn Jones (better known as Muslimgauze), Darren Tate and others begun to vanish the fences between contemporay electronica, post-punk experiments, crude pop and Krautrock-inspired drone music -, got commonly matched to.Colin's skills in fostering hybrids between two seemingly different sonic sets, as shown on the above mentioned suite where soundscapes intersects beats, got confirmed by the shortest tracks on B-side: the abstract start of "And" sneaks in nearby dub frontlines and field recordings got cycled as if they were part of an industrial process on "Knit Where?", before the initial mechanical loop of the suite on the other side got reprised and centrifuged on "Beyond The Pail". After years of DIY strictly limited editions on cassettes and digital, Potter's solo circuits got finally imprinted on vinyl!

Visionist: Safe

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 29 2015
Artist: Visionist (@)
Title: Safe
Format: CD
Label: PAN (@)
Rated: *****
While dubstep scene seems to having been disintegrated, there are some grimers which keep on exploring more experimental stylistical pathwayss and a grime producer who showed a penchant for experimentation like Louis Carnell aka Visionist, belonging to the second generation of that scene that begun developing in South London suburbs, cannot but undoubtedly be one of the most interesting explorers. After many clues Visionist, who recently joined Bill Kouligas in the interesting attempt of revamping his own imprint Lost Codes, left on many single tracks, he definitively venture towards quite bizarre sonorities as it's clear since the opening "You Stayed", where he crafted a sort of alien melody by heavily pitched chords and deformed vocals before sliding into the circling set of ghostly voices weighted by fractured metallic bumps of "Victim" and the same voices keep on shaking the faint atmospheres (that "hey" you'll listen seems coming from an agonizing imp) on the following track "1 Guarda", where many listeners could perceive a certain similarity to some stuff by Burial and feature the short lasting interplay "I've Said", the broken suctions of "Vffected". An hypnotical carousel of delayed echoes of chiming sounds, vocal atoms and toy-like sombers fills the icy void of "Sin-cere" whereas the bass-driven tremors on the title-track "Safe", the more urgent pressure of "Let Me In", the whooshing electronic fogs of "Too Careful To Care" doesn't really disrupt the fragile balance evoked by mainly vocal elements, which seem to render the defense mechanisms of a fragile psyche in the attempt of wuthstanding external attacks before recovering a sort of lost balance on the painfully entranced "Tired Tears, Awake Fears", the shrivelled bass hits of the interplay "Constraint" and the anesthetized quietness of the final "Sleep Luxury". Grime seems having performed phagocytosis on mental diseases and anxiety on this interesting sonic experiment by means of the lucid cryonics of grime of Visionist.

Georges Forget: Le dernier présent

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 25 2015
Artist: Georges Forget
Title: Le dernier présent
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
Georges Forget could be considered a proper poet of sound and field recordings as you can easily infer since "Urban Adagio", the first long suite that opens this collection, where he inspires the poetic description of an urban environment and a city as a tired woman at the end of the day in opposition to the typical saying that some cities never sleep: "My own city is very tired when evening comes, weary of the uproar and hubbub. I can see her struggling to accompany citizens to their final occupations. Here she is, streets and boroughs blinking as she yawns and stretches out at the bottom of streets that are emptying slowly... my city falls asleep; she quitely lets erode away the forlorn destinies of the handful of souls still up to contemplate her, their shadows fading away under the pale light cast by the lampposts", according Wahed Gotref's introductory words. Premiered on April 23rd, 2010 as part of the concert "Con sordino" by Code d'acces, which commissioned it, at Relais Mont-Rotal in Montreal, the suite renders such a portrait in a very astonishing and somehow cinematic way, but it's only the first assay of the remarkable skills of representation, transfiguration and translations into sounds that got displayed on "Le dernier present": the following suite "Metal en bouche" - awarded at the 25th Concorso internazionale di musica elettroacustica e rumore Luigi Russolo-Rossana Maggia at Annecy in France and at the 3rd Destellos Electroacoustic Composition Competition in Mar De Plata, Argentina - seems to render an attempt of asphyxiation of someone by means of faggots made by impressively resounding minced metallic objects; the noise of creaky boards, forestays and shroads could surmise the physiological outputs of a living entity on "Une ile", the suite that precedes the narrative one "Orages d'acier", whose alternation of moments here violence becomes hallucinatory and suspended anxious moments of emptiness render the inspiration that Georges took from Ernst Junger's novel "Storm of Steel" (published in French as "Orages d'acier"), where the author releates his combat experience in World War I, and the more recent motion picture "The Thin Red Line" by Terrence Malick. Forget quotes the translation by Jack Collings Squire of the first stanza of "The Invitation to the Voyage" from Baudelaire's "Fleurs Du Mal" as framework of the more intimistic suite "Seul et semptembre" (2008) and an extract from Melville's "Moby Dick" - 'Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from eliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off ' then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.' - as a description of "L'appel", the acousmatic masterpiece that closes this collection.

-EMERGE-: Indulgence

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 16 2015
Artist: -EMERGE-
Title: Indulgence
Format: Tape
Label: attenuation circuit (@)
Rated: *****
This new release by -EMERGE- on Attenuation Circuit hasn't any liner notes so there's any viewpoint from the artist or the label to approach this release. Indulgence is a long electro acoustic track divided in two parts: "indulgence 1" starts with static crackles which ebb and flow like the water's sea then this small sounds are echoed and layered to obtain moving masses of sound using an high level of dynamics to use moments of almost silence interleaving the track parts; "indulgence 2" starts along the path of the first movement but it slowly evolves by accumulation until the parts raise a continuous wall of sound, a short quiet interlude introduce the listener to the final part based on a reverberated drone ending in silence.
The overall result is a work exploring the complex acoustic environment that could be created by small noises immersed in a quiet silences, so it's a difficult release which challenges the listener to have a conscious ear to follow the small variations in a continuous sound palette and this is adverse to the actual trend of distracted listening. All fans of electroacoustic music will enjoy this release.

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