Music Reviews



Morten J. Olsen: Bass Drum!

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2014
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Artist: Morten J. Olsen
Title: Bass Drum!
Format: CD
Label: +3db (@)
Distributor: Musikkoperatørene
Rated: *****
The fourth chapter of +3db's series "Music for One" bears the signature of one of the most brilliant percussionist of present improv/experimental scene, the Stavenger-born, but Berlin-based Morten J.Olsen, a leg of the fast-running duo MoHa! with guitarist Anders Hana as well as member of the highly energetic free jazz/rock quartet Ultralyd, Berlin-based improv-focused Splitter Orchestra and satellite of the so-called critical newism of Dybdal's N collective. Morten manages to disclose the somehow inimaginable ample performative scope of a seemingly limited instrument like bass drum by trascending the idea of bass drum as a simple percussive element. From the sinister tolling and the concave resonances of the opening "Ejected Objectives", which could remind some explorations by Z'Ev, to the twin symmetrical ending "Objectives Ejection (hi-tech dying room)", he dishes out an impressive pile of ploys on tensioned calf skins and plastic of bass drums and its parts, which range between abstract drones to possible sonic translation of delusional thinking over intriguing buzzes, adventurous dynamics, tonal excavations, echoic ululation-like sounds, sudden knells with wide sets of encircling erratic resounding feedbacks, which reach an almost epic tone on thoroughgoing sonic poems like "Sawtooth Model and Nonstandard Deviation" or "Pure Tone Attraction", which are some of the most fascinating moments of really recommendable listening experience!

Deadwood: Sheolic

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 30 2014
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Artist: Deadwood
Title: Sheolic
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This new release from Daniel Jansson's project is presented as a blend of 'dark ambient with black industrial and power electronics' but is a sort of dark ambient close to black metal in the construction of a sound that evokes dark realms and more carefully developed than the average of the releases of this musical genre.
The noisy field recordings of 'A.V.E.' open this release and transports the listener in a desert landscape where everything seems a menace. 'Pulverization Pause' is another soundscape constructed upon noises and drones while 'Compound 4080' is developed upon, apparently, quieter sounds and features even voice samples heavily filtered. As the title suggests, 'Traditorem' returns to the darkest musical path obtainable without noise sources. 'Dissolution paradigm' is a noisy interlude to 'Malum in Se' that closes this release with layers of small noises that seem quiet but reveal the search for an uncomfortable soundscape.
This is that kind of release that has to be listened in a quiet environment and with attention to appreciate the subtleties of the sound design. Recommended for fans of the genre.

Aeoga: Temple Treye

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 29 2014
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Artist: Aeoga (@)
Title: Temple Treye
Format: CD
Label: Aural Hypnox (@)
Rated: *****
The piercing sound of a theremin on the opening track (or I'd better call refer to tracks as "telemorphic sonic formations", as they call them) "Feast Of The Stance" instantly immerses the listener into the hallucinatory sacredness of the listening experience that Finnish duo Aeoga provides on this entrancing release. Its pealing resonances as well as the sepulchral afterglows on the following "Between The Crescent Hooks" seem to evoke the reawakening of dormant supernatural being, whose first yawning got hailed by hypnotical tribal drums, and could mark the resurgence of this project, even if "Temple Treye" was already recorded and performed on live stage in 2006 and got de-iced after eight years of hibernation by Aural Hypnox, the discographic display of the artists of the Helixes collective and their thelemic entities. The menacing opacity of lo-fi synth murmuring and the crystalline tinkling of "Telemorphic Cuts" draws obscure diagrams around listeners before the spooky roaring, the ominous pace and the other-worldy invocations of "Temple Treye" lets distinguish its appalling lineaments, where the vividly sketched ascetic exaltation of this sort of sonic rite becomes blurred on the magnetic soup of "Transparallel Mist" and reveals unexpected phosphorescences on the final "Feast Of Te Trance", the conclusive phase of an unmissable release for lovers of drone-like dark-ambient sonic substances.

VV.AA.: Traces Three

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 26 2014
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Traces Three
Format: 12"
Label: Recollection GRM/Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
The series "Traces", which collects authentic pearls from more or less unknown pioneering scholars of the legendary Groupe de Recherches Musicales, come to the third act and strenghtens the remarkable appeal that Recollection GRM, Editions Mego's auxiliary label whose main aim is to dig into GRM archives in order to spread forgotten artifacts of this group of proper innovators of sonic science, is inspiring between more demanding listeners. Besides the choice of grouping four different composers and sound engineers from four different corners of the planet, who attended this memorable community, the four works cover a period between 1975 and 1979. The first one in chronological order is maybe the more "conventional" track of the selection: "Hypnos" (1975), an extract from Slovenian composer Janez Maticic's "Trois Visions", is a set of really hypnotical sonic paregoric from masterfully steered oscillators, which are going to carry listeners into an entrancing parallel universe that could resemble that branch of ambient which got spread by Cascone's Silent years later. The immersion of a plenty of concrete resounding objects (metallic hits, helicopters, cars, grumbles, engines, rotors, breaking glass and maybe some captured goblins as well) into a magnetic pool of white noises on "Impresiones Fugitivas" (1976) by Venezuelan composer Servio Tullio Marin evokes those sund effects that featured many horror movies of the 70ies, while the opening "Ruptures" (1978) by French scholar Charles Clapaud could let you think to some obscure abstract sonic material where sudden bursting manages to make the listening experience more adventurous and somehow creepy that many contemporary electronic musicians keep on spreading today. The final "Moulin Diabolique" (French for "Evil Mill") (1979) that Polish composer Eugeniusz Rudnik dedicated to his daughter Kamila Maria rebroadcasts the anti-military spirit of late 70ies by a brilliant assemblage of six different sequences, where the semantic contrast between its weird sonorities and the ludicrous cornerstone and intrinsic stiffness of military logic has been brilliantly rendered: according to Rudnik's own words, "the basic material of this work consists of military orders in different languages and of the sounds (voices) of a human group (soldiers). through editing, the sense of military discipline was removed from the ordering sentences, thus enhancing the grotesque and terrible content of the order itself".

Claudio Parodi: Heavy Nichel

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 26 2014
cover
Artist: Claudio Parodi (@)
Title: Heavy Nichel
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I could guess that Claudio Parodi was sitting in his room different from the one you are in now. If you know some past stuff (in particular a release on Extreme that he tributed to Alvin Lucier...) from this Italian pianist and composer, who decided to focus on free improvisation, you fully understood my opening word. This release on Creative Sources opens the "Sound is my shelter" series by which Parodi is going to apply his personal stylistical imprint on single instruments: "the only rule I will follow is to record when the kairos (ancient Greek for "the right moment") has come, in terms of practising and reflecting". There was a Turkish clarinet in the above-mentioned room and Claudio cannot but squeeze it in order to extract four long-lasting improvisations with an impressive number of variations, tonal choke points, muffled phrases, stylistical ramifications and some occasional hooks to makram and traditional jazz, even if it could give the impression it's an end to itself and I cannot exclude that some iterations could sound heavier than nickel to listeners who are not accustomed to this kind of experiments and sonorities.


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