Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Munich Style Battle

 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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Sep 14 2014
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Munich Style Battle
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Broque
Distributor: Beatport
Rated: *****
After listening the five versions of "Munich Style Battle", a song which portrays the Bavarian metropolis by means of the sonic filters of five voices of Munich musical underground, it's not easy to say if its lyrics could belong to a declaration of love or hatred instead as well as the spoken words come from an alienated mind or rather a soul which is so assimilated by that urban life to understand its inner dynamics where sounds move the compass needle towards differnet emotional poles in this bipolar suite: the opening "City of Dekadenz" version by The Hermit highlights the paranoid nuances of the lyrics by means of a clipped downbeat, dreary whistle-like sounds in sync with the noise of means of urban transport before the less anxious final stanza while the toytronic electro-pop of the following "Pop City" version by Heiko "Granlab" Schwanz sounds like a freshet which follows the initial semidarkness. Dirk Martin Lamprecht, one leg of netlabel Grunfeld Tontrager, draws an aesthetically pleasing electronic dub movement - close to some stuff by Daniel Meteo or Fenin - from the city that according to speaker's words "skips the beat" where "the river in the middle, people disunited, silent line of life, always moves on", while dusky resonances come back on the following "Munich Bells" version by Volker Selzner which precedes the bipolar neutrality of spoken words and field recordings of social life on the final "City Of My Heart" by Zweileen. Munich: city of their hearts.

CRÆSHER: [π]oise (self-incestuous noise inception)

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 12 2014
Title: [π]oise (self-incestuous noise inception)
Format: CD
Label: Stridulation Records (@)
This release by this new label devoted to artists they love is from one of the mind behind this site: Marc Urselli. According to the press release this album was created without 'human intervention except for the creation of the algorithms and signal processing which perform the noise generation'. This idea is a typical idea derived from Cage and is a twofold concept: from one side is a act of faith in music, from the other it requires a careful listening.
Almost all tracks are based upon basic form of looping and a clearly understandable idea of acoustic space. Tracks like '1' features some noises upon a loop moving across the stereo channel so this is not the classic 'in your face' noise album based upon the visceral impact but is an intellectual impact when it's taken the risk of being boring i.e., tracks like '2' as everything is developed in the details. So a track like '9' that has to be heard in a quiet environment to be appreciated without being mistaken as a void track closer to minimalism and a track like '11' with his hypnotizing loops could be understandable in the light that this release is courageous as it take noise as a concept rather than a genre.
This is not a fully enjoyable release not a completely crafted one as it flows between boring moments and enjoyable one but it's a release that reveals a composer that put his ideas on the line forcing the listener to reconsider his ideas on noise and it's something not to be underestimated. It's really worth a listen for everyone committed in experimental music.

Xavier Charles: 12 Clarinets in a Fridge

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 09 2014
Artist: Xavier Charles (@)
Title: 12 Clarinets in a Fridge
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
French electroacoustic musician and clarinet player Xavier Charles probes his skills and his living and practising space on this interesting release where he decided to complement the sound of his beloved instrument with voices of home appliances: even he freezed melody, the 12 clarinet lines that he defrosted from his resounding fridge sound like hypnotical vibrations from ice crystals on the opening title-track "12 Clarinets in a Fridge", the 10 lines that he loaded on the amazing "10 Clarinets in the Washing Machine" follows a 6-minutes lasting washing cycle that remives any harmonic stains from the score, while the surviving 6 clarinet lines echoes the heating of the sinusoid electric resistence and the agitation of water molecules inside a boiler on "6 Clarinets in a Boiler". All the above-mentioned aplliances are so integrated in each track that it seems that Xavier just tuned clarinet in with their sonic display. Likewise the clarinet sound like a tuning fork on the two long tracks that he placed in between his domestic experiments where grafts single tone of clarinets, which often fan out over harmonious sonic lumps, entrancing vibratoes and puffs into a miscellany of field recordings and external interferences ("Heterogene") or circular or gurgling mesmeric eddies ("Materiel"). Even if you got fascinated by Charles' experiments, don't try to melt your clarinet in the microwave oven!

Chris Heenan, Ernesto Rodrigues, Alexander Frangenheim, Ofer Bymel: Berlin

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 07 2014
Artist: Chris Heenan, Ernesto Rodrigues, Alexander Frangenheim, Ofer Bymel
Title: Berlin
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The four blurred vertical lines on the cover artwork, which look like scuff marks on an asphalt-like homogeneous surface or possibly waveforms which crosses a silent space, could be a good graphical condensation of the umpteenth finding in the basket of recorded improvisations that Creative Sources decided to release and entitle by means of the names of the locations where they got recorded. Each line could be matched to the involved musicians: Ernesto Rodrigues, whose fanciful oestrus on viola should be known by my followers, talented double-bass player Alexander Frangenheim, that I already introduced here ad there, Israelian drummer Ofer Bymel on percussions and Berlin-based American saxophonist and clarinetist Chris Heenan on alto saxophone and contrabass clarinet. Besides the usual striking parade of odd techniques and dynamics, the first two parts of this suite let prefigure that no particular variations on a musical "organization", where all elements sound like strangled into a web of feeble interactions where no one can really stand out, could occur over the release and both the third and the fourth parts are in keeping with the previous expectations, but waters begin to get rippled in the final part of Part 4 and Fragenheim and Rodrigues begin to hit and scratch auditory nerves and strings on Part 5, before that sleeping wildness, which sounds like anesthetized in the previous parts of the record, explodes on the sixth final part of this session, which got recorded on 25th April 2010 at Studioboerne45, Berlin-Weissensee.

Tarab: I'm Lost

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 07 2014
Artist: Tarab (@)
Title: I'm Lost
Format: CD
Label: 23five (@)
Rated: *****
Some people are interested in shredding the veil of Maya, while other ones could be ideally more interested in breaking the windscreen or the rear-view mirror of their own car as a deforming lens or misleadign diaphragm between sentient individual and surrounding reality and the skilled Australian sound artist Eamon Sprod aka Tarab, who builds visionary mosaics of field recordings and focused on the perceptional prophylaxis of mass transit on his previous release "Strata", seems to follow this spiritual and artistic path. Noises (mainly those ones which come from technological devices, artificial objects, traffic, social environments) got placed in Tarab's puzzling patchworks as disturbances which heavily influence the perception of reality, whose "natural" elements are just like insignificant entities, as it's clear since the first of five tracks of "I'm Lost", which could vaguely resemble some neurotic sequences of sketches of movie makers like David Lynch or Darren Aronofsky. The second track features claustrophobic entities over an almost silent blown stream, which precedes the oppressive grid pattern of radio frequencies, confusing sonic objects, squeaking sheaves and disquieting trembles of the third track and the very high frequencies and the electric stridencies of the fourth one. The final track, the longest one, got filled with outlines of social sketches which seem to get exterminated by an electric buzz getting out of a broken pressure relief device. Besides any implied interpretation of the title, Tarab seems to pinpoint his grabbed disturbances and heterotopic non-places as possible sources of (spiritual, geographical or sensorial) bafflement.

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