Music Reviews



Inner Vision Laboratory vs Nepenthe: Ambit

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 16 2014
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Artist: Inner Vision Laboratory vs Nepenthe
Title: Ambit
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from this polish artist in collaboration with Nepenthe took "3 years in the making when they were searching for a common language and [..] created a [...] symbiotic world". Tracks have no title so suggesting that this release has to be considered as a long track in seven movements and, effectively, this album has a remarkable consistency.
The opening movement, "I", is a dark drone that acts as a canvas for sparse noises and a distant voice. The second movement, "II", is based upon the development of a drone while "III" develops a sort of background noise and "IV" develops a form of field recordings or, in cinematographic term, foley art even if sparse notes of piano closes this movement. "V" is the more dark ambient oriented and menacing as is features heavy bass. The distant voices of "VI" marks a return to more evocative musical paths that finally resolves his path in "VII" that seems a musical representation of the cover art, a black rose on a white surface, as it based upon the juxtaposition of a dark soundscape and bright noises.
As previous releases this is not anything ground breaking or something that I would remember in a end of year playlist but it's something that regularly is played on my stereo as it's a sort of technical "state of the art" dark ambient and it's developing his own style in the path of tradition. Highly recommended for fans.

Alphaxone: Living in the Grayland

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 16 2014
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Artist: Alphaxone
Title: Living in the Grayland
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber
Rated: *****
This release is presented as a soundscape that flows "between the ancient and the futuristic and inspires for internal stories about the path of mankind". Musically speaking it's an almost classic album but it's constructed with an overall direction, so it's not a void research for an enchanting sound.
"Awakening" opens this release with layers of atmospheric synth depicting a sort of dawn while "Cold Spring" introduces the listener in a darker territory using lower frequencies that, while listening in an open space, allow natural sounds to enter into the music. "El shadows" starts as a continuation of the previous track and ends in the same mood of the opening track. "Darkscore" continues in the use of higher frequency and a broad sound spectrum while "Interface" returns to depict a more menacing sound constructed upon small noises upon a dark soundscape. The quiet drones of "Overwhelm" opens the second part of the album and features more evident field recordings. So "Into the Silence" seems almost constructed upon small field recordings of a cave (or so it sounds). Whit "Foresight" the drones start to enlighten and slowly develop in a canvas for the field recordings. As the title suggest "Melancoly" is a static track that acts as a prelude to the last track "Grayland" almost entirely constructed on a bunch of drones slowly developing as in a spiral that quietly ends.
This album features an unusual quality in this field: the drones, instead of creating a static mass of sound, depict a form of storytelling so it's really enjoyable and engaging. A really nice release.

Arnold Dreyblatt: Choice

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 16 2014
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Artist: Arnold Dreyblatt (@)
Title: Choice
Format: 12"
Label: Choose Records (@)
Rated: *****
Personally selected by Choose label boss Jorg Hiller aka Konrad Sprenger, who is also a mate of its author, and mastered by Rashad Becker, this anthology of ten tracks by Berlin-based composer and media artist Arnold Dreyblatt, one of the most influential musician of the so-called second wave of New York minimalism, whose personal approach to composition - mainly focused on mesmerizing harmonics and tuning of strings by means of unusual bowing techniques - made him distinguish from other notorious (real) classmates such La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier and Pauline Oliveros. The glue highly hypnotical elements of the first four tracks are hurdy gurdy, excited string bass and Peter Phillips' miniature princess piano, while other instruments got emphasized on the other amazing tracks such as the entrancing mellowness of cello, violin and trombone on the excerpt from "Flowchart", the most recent recording of this amazing collection, Jason Kahn's cimbalon and Pierre Berthet's percussions on the lively "Sideband", the frisky mood-enhancing twine of excited string bass, pipes, French horn, trombone and miniature princess piano on "The Odd Fellows", the Tibetan-like hits on Wolfgang Glum's snare-drum of "Surfacetones for solo snare drum", the awesome "organ" octet of "Organmusic for Sixteen Hands" (maybe the track which is closer to the contemporary idea of "experimental music") as well as Arnold's solo playing on excited string bass on the final "Brushtones", the oldest track (it was recorded at Fulton Street Studio, NY, in 1977) of this good "Choice". Most of the tracks feature elements from Dreyblatt's legendary The Orchestra Of Excited Strings, which can reasonably be considered an essential "biographical" element to understand the artistic path of this great composer. If you never heard anything about him before (what a shame!) and you like to understand his influence on contemporary music, I could recommend to have a listen to his masterpieces "Nodal Excitation" and "Animal Magnetism" after this well-done anthology as well.

Laurent Perrier: Plateforme #1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 15 2014
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Artist: Laurent Perrier (@)
Title: Plateforme #1
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
The ability of a chef consists in making some palatable course from any kind of available ingredient. You have just to change sensorial channel (auditory nerves and eardrums rather than taste buds) in order to have an idea of what renowned French electronic musician and collagist Laurent Perrier, the man behind one of my favourite French electronic acts Zonk't, made on this release, where the providers of aleatory units of these sonic recipes are the German outlandish electronic composer Felix Kubin, the esteemed Italian sound artist Gianluca "Kinetix" Becuzzi and the Australian media-artist and composer Lawrence English. Even if I can't say this kind of experiment where electronic composition sounds more like an assemblage of tiles of known origin is totally new, Laurent Perrier let leak the source so that I'm pretty sure that all those listeners who know involved seeders would easily match each track to them. The first track got fed by Felix Kubin, whose anarchical "concretist" outspurts are listenable in the sequence of pointy saturations, flickering gurgles and nervous abrasions by Laurent, which could be suitable as a possible soundtrack for a reprise of Lynch's "Inland Empire", while the second track sinks to the bottom of the trench, which got evoked by icy sonic depressurization and minimal opalescence by Gianluca Becuzzi, and the intriguing organic textures by Lawrence English on the third collage sound like getting pulverized and sprinkled over nebulous ellipsis.

Reinhold Friedl/Franck Vigroux : Tobel

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 15 2014
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Artist: Reinhold Friedl/Franck Vigroux
Title: Tobel
Format: CD
Label: Alamuse (@)
Rated: *****
Premiered at NK Berlin and at Anis Gras le lieu de l'autre and re-recorded in Luc Ferrari's studios La Muse en Circuit, National centre of musical creation, in Paris, "Tobel" is the first collaborative recording by German experimental pianist Reinhold Friedl, also known as Zeitkratzer, whose name appeared on our space on the occasion of another collaborative project, P.O.P, together with Denseland's bassist Hannes Strobl, and French avant-arde electronic musician and guitarist Franck Vigroux. They let meet their different sonic languages - Franck's eectronics and tape recorders and Reinhold's acoustic instrument and prepared piano techniques - in an imaginary ravine ("Tobel" is the French word for this small valleys caused by streamcutting erosion), which got rendered by sudden uproaring crashes, uneven electric gales and claps of thunder on almost thready ultrasonic drones, screaming metals and menacingly rasping undercurrents. Even if such a collision could sometimes five rise to stifling and harsh sonorities, "Tobel" is a really adventurous listening experience.


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