Music Reviews

Yann Novak + Fabio Perletta: Liminality

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 06 2015
Artist: Yann Novak + Fabio Perletta (@)
Title: Liminality
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Dragon's Eye Recordings/Farmacia901 (@)
Rated: *****
The aesthaetics of Yann Novak, mainly based on the transformation of field recordings into immersive ambient drones, got applied to a series of sonic stuff that young Italian sound artist Fabio Perletta grabbed at Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris on April 19th, 2013 for this entrancing 45-minutes lasting suite. Its title refers to the anthropological concept of liminality, the transitional moment when someone taking part to a ritual experiences the "rendering" of the cathartic effect, the in-between state of mind before the ritual itself and its ultimate achievement, when the connections between thoughts and beliefs of a pre-existing "order" disappear little by little. The breeze - you won't easily understand if it was an environmental element or the final result of the dilation during sound processing -, which blows over the sonic clues of the liminal place like a cemetery could be in fact, is a constant presence of this process and its circular convolution of delays, echoes and gentle saturations sounds like an amorphous soup where sonic connections to reality denatures till the moment when that wind turns into a sort of breathe and the first atomic collisions in the middle of the track begin to dig into the bowels of consciousness. They demonstrate that amorphousness doesn't have to be bereft of true substance.

Németh : Koi

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 05 2015
Artist: Németh
Title: Koi
Format: 12"
Label: Sonotope
Rated: *****
This interesting experiment of derivation and re-morphing of a soundtrack, whose breaking of the initial matching with images is the sparkle of the compositional process, comes from Stefan Nemeth, one of the three brilliant heads behind Radian. The connection with the experimental short movie 'Koi' by Tina Hochkogler aka Tinhoko has not totally dissipated, but Stefan rather tried to re-adapt the soundtrack he forged for a movie, whose introduction ("a rhythmical arrangement of residual thoughts and images of a short moment") could fit the idea behind this sonic tidbit, to the perception and the interpretation of the menmonical traces those images left on its consciousness of the observer/listener. This is the reason why the original soundtrack sounds like somehow cushioned and "uterine". It's like an OST composer has decided to make something for the "follow-up" or even the eureka moments which follows the enjoyment of a work of art in order to keep the enchantment intact! Have a listen of both versions of "Koi" in order to understand Stefan's output.

rodach-schlothauer-weiser: Fuzzylogics

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 03 2015
Artist: rodach-schlothauer-weiser (@)
Title: Fuzzylogics
Format: CD
Label: Timescraper (@)
Rated: *****
Self-confident people often use their face to intoduce themselves on a picture: a model or a product spokeperson do that for money, politicians show dazzling smiles and fake teeth for their puppet shows, so that I think that it's by far better when a musician puts his face on the cover artwork, particularly when they're remarkably experienced like these three gentlemen. I'd say 1957 was a a good year as they were all born when Lennon and McCartney or Simon and Garfunkel began to co-sign some songs or they would probably prefer to remember those year as the period when Berthold Brecht and his wife Helen Weigel were working at Berliner Ensemble as two of the three musicians of Fuzzyogics - Burkhard Schlothauer (electric violin), one of the founder of minimalistic Wandelweiser composer grup and long-lasting member of Zeitkratzer Ensemble, and Michael Rodach (electirc guitars) - used to play there in 2005. Even though they could fell they've already reached their apex, I won't say they are at the twilight of their artistic paths after the listening of this awesome record. Do not expect something revolutionary or miracolous, but I'm pretty sure that they are aware their way of being revolutionary lays in their absence of aim as they just dive into music, which sounds mind-blowing for its androgynous equidistance from any kind of labelling. More or less distant echoes of classical music, jazz, progressive rock, dub and even blues or country (check the cradling metamorphosis on "Work On!" if you don't belive me) harmoniously clot on pleasant sonic cauldrons, which often smell like de-harnessed reveries or mystical flights ("I have a Dream", "Pulse Streams", "Sirene"), dadaist profiling ("Last Exit") or untiring rituals ("Miles Groams", "Pulse Streams"). Smartly fuzzy!

tētēma (Mike Patton & Anthony Pateras): Geocidal

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 31 2015
Artist: tētēma (Mike Patton & Anthony Pateras)
Title: Geocidal
Format: CD
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Rated: *****
tÄtÄma is a new duo formed by the unstoppable and untiring Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Mondo Cane, Tomahawk, John Zorn interpreter) and Australian pianist Anthony Pateras (Thymolphthalein, Pivixki, Pateras/Baxter/Brown, Beta Erko).
I have seen Pateras solo opening for Patton's Mondo Cane in Australia a few years ago I remember being impressed by the vigor with which he beat the shit out of the grand piano on stage. I knew they were friends, but that Patton would find the time to write a whole record with Pateras, all the while writing the new Faith No More record and doing a million other things was undoubtedly a surprise!
"Geocidal" is a concept record about the killing of a place, maybe because it was a created in so many different places, since the two artists live half way across the world from each other and most everything was recorded in a different country (mostly France, Australia and the US). It is an incredibly interesting, original and exciting concentrate of raw power, evil chants, shamanistic percussion, mysterious atmospheres and violent eruptions of screams, distortion and instrumental abuse.
The album features a cast of 12 special guest (including drummer WiIl Guthrie) and is just another testament to the originality, versatility and pipes of the amazing Patton and the quality of the collaborators and co-writers he surrounds himself with.
Absolutely not to be missed!

Francisco López: The Epoché Collection vol. 1 & 2

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 31 2015
Artist: Francisco López (@)
Title: The Epoché Collection vol. 1 & 2
Format: CD
Label: Nowhere Worldwide
Distributor: A Closer Listen
Rated: *****
I have very mixed feelings about these two releases. Here is why:
Francisco López's "Epoché Collection" is an ongoing series of untouched environmental field recordings from tropical forests all around the world.
Volume 1 ("Hyper-Rainforest") contains a continuous one hour long mix of recordings made between 1990 and 2010 in tropical, sub-tropical and cold rain forests in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Gambia, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, USA and Venezuela. These recordings also were the sonic part of a 2011 installation of 82 speakers at the EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) in Troy, New York, where these sounds have been played back to an audience in the dark at the facility's large concert hall.
Volume 2 ("Yanayacu") contains unadulterated environmental sound matter from the Peruvian Amazon and is divided into 5 pieces totaling 51 minutes.
Both CDs are limited to 300 copies and their sonic imagery are as absolutely beautiful, soothing and relaxing as they come. I've listened to these CDs multiple times, at home and in planes, letting myself be transported to these remote locations and imagining the humid and lush vegetation surrounding me in this auditory voyage.
The reason I initially said that I had mixed feelings, which is also why I have given this 3.5 stars and not more, is that presenting non-transformed field recordings does not really require any particular artistry or skill, other than the skill of recording them properly and managing one's travel expenses to reach all these far away places. Of course I do appreciate the fact that Lopez has traveled far and wide to collect these sources and document them. Without him, there might be no such pristine recordings in the first place! But can one sound artist and composer really claim these as his own creations? Isn't it just the creation of nature that Lopez simply recorded? Isn't he just the recording engineer? The fact itself that he points out himself that these recordings are non-transformed, further validates my doubts about the artistic validity of such exploits. They certainly have historic and geographic validity, but their artistry is questionable in my opinion.
All that said I absolutely love the recordings and Lopez did a fantastic job capturing them and mixing them together on these CDs and I, for one, will continue listening to them over and over. Whether to waste mental energy over validity and purpose, I will leave up to the hopefully many other listener who will get to enjoy the sounds of these forests.

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