Music Reviews

Seth Cluett: Forms of Forgetting

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 26 2014
Artist: Seth Cluett
Title: Forms of Forgetting
Format: CD
Label: Line (@)
Rated: *****
A feeble undertone where a pure hypnotical frequency and a flickering noise which is similar to the sound that paper produces when it got flapped by the blades of a working blower fan opens this long psychoacoustic and psychoactive suite by American photographer, essayist, professor of sound art, musician and performer Seth Cluett, who joined the three parts of his sound installation Forms Of Forgetting together in this one-track release. The interfering element of the above-mentioned paper gradually blend in the seemingly monotonal drone that got dilated till the moment when it seems to flicker by its own while resounding filaments peel the main frequency off by reaching the saturation peak after half an hour and getting gradually dried out till the final return of a popure frequency. Besides the interesting listening experience that can be amplified by a pair of good headphones, this release that Seth tributed to American composer and professor Lee Hyla, who recently passed away, comes after two years of live experimentation related to cognitive investigations about memory/forgetting and attention/inattention, which resulted in the employment of "techniques that aim to explore the fallibility of sound memory as a component of saturated, immersive listening over substantial elapsed time", according to the words of Paul Ricoeur, where forgetting should not be considered as oblivion, but as a process that "designates the unperceived character of the perseverance of memories, their removal from the vigilance of consciousness". That's not just a sonic piece for eraserheads!

Tengil: Stanni Altah

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 25 2014
Artist: Tengil
Title: Stanni Altah
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Tengil released their debut album "Stanni Altah" in August just to be discovered by Waerloga Records in September. Tengil landed themselves a record deal in a month!

Tengil is a Swedish medieval folk band much in the style of Cultus Ferox and In Extremo but without the metal parts. For me that is a big plus as I never where a big fan of the metal in those band even though many seem to like the blend.

Tengil is much darker where Cultus Ferox (which is one of my favorite bands!) is more pirate romance. Tengil is groovier where Cultus Ferox is hard and Pirate party music.

I think of bands such as Cultus Ferox because of one of the two band members in Tengil where playing in Cultus Ferox in Germany. I like that Cultus Ferox has a gimmick, a show and I don't really find that in Tengil.

The debut album is sometimes awesome and sometimes a bit boring as I have to check if the CD is on repeat. However that might sound harsh I truly believe in Tengil and think they show what they could be on the track Tamfanae. If they try more to mix things up and don't have the bagpipes shouting at me all the time I think Tengil could be among my favorites!

I liked the early Cultus Ferox the most as they were less metal then and more medieval. In Tengil I see a lot of potential if they stay away from metal.

The drumming on Stanni Altah I like a lot and also other weird sounding instruments and voices. The bagpipes are beautiful but as I mentioned before they are way to repetitive to be awesome.

Tengil could EASY be a 5 star band in the future and maybe they will be that under the Waerloga banner? Right now they are at best 4 stars but never 2.

The Highpoints of Stanni Altah is magnificent!
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: The Waerloga Journey - Compilation vol. 2
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Finally Waerloga Records are back with a release. This time a compilation only released on Band Camp. Bands like Za Frumi, Arcana and Cultus Ferox are on the same album as some of the most talented upcoming stars in film score composing and composing for great video games. Waerloga celebrates their 13th year with a compilation with both old acts and new.

The album starts off with a beautiful piece of the American Sean Beeson. This track fits any major soundtrack & set the tone for the whole album. I think of movies such as Breveheart when I hear this track.

Bjaran was unknown for me but they knock me out with a song called "Babba". This is some high caliber Nordic Folk Music which make me think of trolls and dark forests of the north! One of the highpoints on the album!

Erdenstern's "Age of Adventure" brings us classic Erdenstern Fantasy music surely inspired by Game of Thrones and other more new films/series in the fantasy genre. This is one of the better songs of Erdenstern which says a lot as they have some true gems in their discography.

Za Frumi is of course heard on the compilation (as Waerloga is their home) as well and the song "Immra - Alternative Version" is stunningly beautiful. This is an alternative version of the song Immra from "Shrak Ishi Za Migul - Chapter 3" and as always with Za Frumi it's really good.

Tengil was the second band I never heard off before in this compilation (also see my review of their debut album) and like Bjaran I am presently surprised. Tengil perform a bag pipe driven song called "Tamfanae" and it's for sure the best one from their debut album "Stanni Altah". Swedish Tengil is a band we will hear more about in the future as they have signed with Waerloga Records. A cool move from Waerloga Records and Tengil.

Simon Kolle known from Za Frumi and his film scores contributes with a song called "Drakar och Demoner: Giltes Bane" which is a Swedish version of the game Dungeons and Dragons made into a couple of Swedish films. The track is fantastic and carries you to other worlds!

Jeff Broadbent is a skilled film/game composer from USA that contributes with a Hans Zimmer inspired piece which is awesome! "Ultimate Sacrifice" is the name of the song and in my mind it's more or less a trailer score. I want to hear more with Broadbent.

Pawel Blaszczak's track is really cool and not fantasy inspired but Sci-fi. The track is inspiring and gives us hints were Waerloga Records are going. Great track!

Eerie Caffer takes the album to a nature setting and with only the close sounds of guitars on a what sounds like a porch I see a swamp in front of me. Eerie Caffer's minimalistic song with a lot of nature sounds and guitars grows on me and I really enjoy it.

Joel Forssell & Simon Kolle made a song called "The Monitor Celestra" for a big Larp in Sweden inspired by Battlestar Galactica. Joel and Simon made this track for the larp and you surely can hear that the two composers where inspired by Bear Mccreary's original song. In my mind this song is actually better than the famous theme of BSG.

Hans Lundgren brings us a track that gives me memories of the film "Leon" at first but later on it burst out into a even more wonderful piece. Marimba, bass and flute are the main instruments heard. I had never heard of Hans but I will for sure listen to more of his film scores! Talented guy.

Gargrim the Liar with the song " Carmen ex Miragliano" really make me dream of dramatic theatrical worlds. It's like music made for Romeo and Juliet.

Joel Forssell with "Outside the Place" is all about thriller and drama. The song never really takes off even though I like it. Joel is for sure talented and parts of the song is action oriented which seem to be his strong suit. I would like to hear more of the work of Forssell.

Abnocto, Lost Kingdom and Encryption all three are presented with each track from their old albums. I like them all and they fit this compilation's purpose well.

Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg are the crazy Swedish brothers always giving us some strange tunes. Here their choice was the title track from their Soundtrack "Anton". This is strange cinematic jazz/fusion and old school film scoring from the 80s. I wrote this about the track when in my review of the complete soundtrack: "The cue Anton I really enjoy as it also is way out there with the Fusion and strange elements of musical geniality.".

Apocalypsis Cum Figuris is compositions made by Simmon Kolle written for guitar and violin. Very beautiful.

Cultus Ferox was one of my old favorites a couple of years back. Tengil remind me Cultus but Cultus often takes it to rock and Tengil stays in the historical music genre and cinematic genre (without rock). The track "Mutter Erde" is one of Cultus best song and I Love it!

Aardia with the song "Legion of Darkness" is the 20th song on this epic compilation. Aardia is all about epic power and this song is maybe their best? Pure, raw and powerful are words that describe this track.

Arcana are heard with their old song "Song of Mourning" which gives me memories of my youth in the 90s. I think Arcana are one the best bands in the world.

The last song on the album is Simon Kölles Musterion. I wrote this in my review of the Musterion album: "From the opening moments of the first piece "Elevator Down" it becomes evident that Musterion possesses a special demeanor via his ferocious line of attack, spiced with verve and a robust tone. Coupled with fluent lines and a few technical nods to the psychedelic years of the 60s, the artist snags your attention, and sails through these largely, original pieces with equal doses of fire and grace!".

"Only great poetry can describe the music on this album" was something I wrote in my review of Musterion "The Wondrous Journey Through the Catacombs of Life" and I think it is suiting to write the same about this wonderful compilation.

Waerloga Records has never been more interesting. They are a taking their beloved label towards Band Camp and digital releases and it will be interesting to see if the fans of the label follow them there?

Overall this is a great compilation, maybe the best 2014! I am stoked to hear more releases from Waerloga Records 3.0, as they call their new great webpage (

Great work Waerloga

1. Sean Beeson ' Rod or By Dagger
2. Bjäran ' Babba
3. Erdenstern ' Age of Adventure
4. Za Frûmi ' Immra (Alternative version)
5. Tengil ' Tamfanae
6. Simon Kölle ' Drakar och Demoner: Giltes Bane
7. Jeff Broadbent ' Ultimate Sacrifice
8. Pawel Blaszczak ' No Escape From Here
9. Eerie Caffer ' Bombina Cries in the Rain
10. Joel Forssell & Simon Kölle ' The Monitor Celestra
11. Hans Lundgren ' Lou
12. Gargrim the liar ' Carmen ex Miragliano
13. Joel Forssell ' Outside the Place
14. Abnocto ' Spiritus Arma
15. Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg ' Anton
16. Lost Kingdom ' Collection
17. Apocalypsis Cum Figuris ' The Forbidden Chamber
18. Encryption ' Cold Skin
19. Cultus Ferox ' Mutter Erde
20. Aardia ' Legion of Darkness
21. Arcana ' Song of Mourning
22. Musterion ' Elevator Down
Sep 18 2014
Artist: Metalycée (@)
Title: Expat Blues
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar Records (@)
Rated: *****
The sinister and fascinating sound of Telharmonium, the electromechanical organ developed by Thaddeus Cahill more than a century ago, immediately sets the mood on the opening track of "Expat Blues", the third album by Austrian project Metalycee. which inserted one of the forefathers of synthetic instruments in their line-up and I have to highlight that such a choice doesn't misfit their style at all. It rather emphasizes the catching tone of their songs to such an extent that it could surmise the forgotten tradition of radiophonic tales. Besides putting the evocative voice of Melita Jurisic in the limelight, Metalycee's tales don't weave plots about adventurous love affairs, schmaltzy proto-soap radio operas or martian attacks, but sounds like portraying sweltering urban settings, ghoulish borderline entities, suffocating diving into miry ponds of conformed society, strategies of escapism and self-liberation and other psychodramas which reaches the best moments on tracks like the oppressive "Ballad of the Half Orphan", the tormented compulsiveness of "Torturer", the shaking jeremiad of "Everything" and the tricky mirage of emancipation that gushes from the final "The Right Track". The eminent forefather of synths squirms into clots of hard-hitting abrasive rock, gunky electronics, nettlesome trip-hop hooks and clattering grooves which could surmise some stuff by Metalycee's fellow countrymen Sofa Surfers, whose make is so good that some listeners could hope they won't wait five years before coming back on the scene, even if everybody knows that good dough requires long leavening times...

Andrew Weathers & Seth Chrisman: Louella

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 18 2014
Artist: Andrew Weathers & Seth Chrisman (@)
Title: Louella
Format: Tape
Label: Full Spectrum (@)
Rated: *****
Named after the name of the wife of Forest Service guardian Cheney, who built this guard station in 1912, Louella is a four-room cabin in the thick scenic Olympic National Forest nearby Sequim, WA, where this graceful recording by Seth "Widesky" Chrisman and Full Spectrum label co-founder Andrew Weathers was born. Besides drinking water (not available according to the the recreation section of US Department of Agriculture website), whiskey and hot dogs, they brought guitars, banjo, cheap synthesizers and microphones in order to grab the resonances within the cabin and some sounds from the stunning natural set of its surroundings for their 3-days lasting stay in the middle of many majestic Douglas firs and shrouded by Cascadian mist, which inspired two suites where they wove their sonic arts together: I could guess that the field recordings they grabbed in Louella cabin got recorded on tape in order to evoke the rusticity of their makeshift recording studio and such a concept could have inspired the choice of monophonic electronic sounds which are sometimes similar to those chimes and accordion-like sounds that feature contemporary reprises of Americana folk music - you could imagine a dreamlike version of Badalamenti's soundtrack for Lynch's "The straight story" in order to have an idea of what you're going to listen -, the fragmented folk motifs on guitar that often wrap the drone-like stream and a certain "frugality" and lukewarm intimacy which make the mild listening experience more intense. Available on strictly limited edition green cassette and as a digital download.

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