Music Reviews



Ernesto Rodrigues - Louis Laurain - Guilherme Rodrigues - Ricardo Guerreiro: Alba

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 18 2014
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Artist: Ernesto Rodrigues - Louis Laurain - Guilherme Rodrigues - Ricardo Guerreiro
Title: Alba
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I have lost count of the number of collaborative releases on Creative Sources where Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues got involved, but I'm often surprised about the fact I have not get bored by them yet as they maybe managed to involve many different collaborators. The two other musicians who took part to the four long-lasting improvisations they recorded on 9th June 2012 at Tch3 by Joel Conde are Louis Laurain on trumpet and Ricardo Guerreiro whose computer darned the sounds so masterfully that it's really difficult to understand when each instrument got filtered or not. The introduction of each track sounds like the awakening of an instrument after some centuries of hibernation and each musician could act like a cronics technician so that you are not going to listen to a series of abstract detained impulses, but the four parts of "Alba" sounds like the troublesome rescue of the decreased metabolism of improvisation after excessive sedation which often results in trembling tonal muttering that each instrument manages to find as if it renders an almost completely trophied muscle which begins to move again after endless seasons of idleness.
Dec 16 2014
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Artist: HHY & The Macumbas (@)
Title: Throat Permission Cut
Format: 12"
Label: Silo (@)
Rated: *****
The first ring of Silo, the brand new label by Raz Mesinai aka Badawi and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha aka HHY, one of the founding member of Soopa collective and one leg of Fujako, the abstract-hop project I spoke about on the occasion of "Soul buzz EP" a couple of months ago that he leads with Nyko Esterle, comes from the collaboration of Saldanha and The Macumbas, a Porto-based underground collective whose number of people varies even if some musicians such as self-taught drummer and percussionist Joao Pais Filipe and trumpet player and vocalist Alvaro Almeida are almost permanent. The mesmerizing intro of the opening track "Isaac, The Throat" as well as the distant horns and the dub-like obsessive delays whose sound seems to be enveloped by clouds of desert sand could let you imagine that the following sonorities comes from a broadcasted nightmare where they wisely spinned dub, tribal drumming - closer to bedouin trance dances -, screaming jazz/funk, electronic fibres and occasional diffractive sonic elements that could sound like a possible crossbreed between Muslimgauze, The Master Musicians Of Joujouka and Le Sony'r Ra's mystical tangents as well as amazing hooks to 7'ies blaxploitation sonorities on tracks like "Barbaron" and "Lewopa De Kristal". A very interesting debut, even if I can surmise that one of their live exhibitions - I think some people who heard them at Sonar and Primavera Sound can confirm my assumption - could be much more engaging.

Lawrence English + Werner Dafeldecker: Shadow Of The Monolith

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2014
cover
Artist: Lawrence English + Werner Dafeldecker (@)
Title: Shadow Of The Monolith
Format: 12"
Label: Holotype Editions (@)
Rated: *****
Lawrence English, who recently told some adventurous details about this release, and Werner Dafeldecker, who came back after a period of fallowing, joined their interest in the combination of electroacoustic and acousmatic techniques in order to lead listeners to explore some sonic crannies in Antarctic Peninsula, a place which most of people won't visit every day, by means of a paraphernalia of hydrophones, aerial and contact microphones. The recordings they collected while staying in those regions got later reassembled in Brisbane and turned into a soundscape, where the almost total absence of human elements matches the somehow dashing desolation of the most inhospitable place for human settlements on our planet, which nevertheless keeps on inspire many musicians and sound artists. Since the opening track "Fathom Flutter", where you could imagine that these artists managed to ignite ice blocks while listening the frozen crackling over the first five minutes of this polar scanning, the listening experience on "Shadow Of The Monolith" is so weirding that even the occasional clues of human activity on tracks like "Marambio" that they supposedly grabbed inside the Argentinian Antarctic base, or "Fall", where they seems to have taken the noises from attempts of anchorage of underwater probes, as well as the coring out of glacial gusts of wind in "Mapping Peaks" and frozen waters of "Rio Gallegos" seem to belong to other worlds and such a sense of immersive estrangement got reflected in the only two "musical" tracks, "Intake" and "Outtake", where Lawrence and Werner hybernated abstract chimes that brush against deafening silence.

Rapoon & Promute: Machine river

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 10 2014
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Artist: Rapoon & Promute
Title: Machine river
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This new release by Robin Storey is a collaboration with Shaun Sandor and is described as something that 'generated notions of timelessness and seductive landscapes'. Even if the base was done by Promute, the Rapoon manipulation is something so personal to develop something in the tradition of this project with his focus on meditative and hypnotic moods.
The oriental mood of 'the calling flood' is something that recalls the well known best pages of Robin Storey and, with 'the edge of rain', there's also the return of the percussions and a sitar to enhance the hypnotic properties. This instrument is also the basis for 'the calling deep' that acts as an introduction to 'touch transparent' focused on voices and filters. 'A breath on glass' is based on the resonances of the sitar while 'words on tin' is developed as an ambient track. The last two track is the longer ones and, so, are the most representative: 'the calling river' is a quiet and meditative tracks where all the resonances of the instruments used in the previous track emerges and a piano in the last part evokes a sort of nostalgia. 'Smoke temple' closes this release with a bright drone colored by smart inserts of samples and resonances.
Sounds as a return to a classic form for this artist and is something that could sound as boring or conservative but the charm of this form is timeless. Recommended for fans.

Glue: Chats With The Real McCoy

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 04 2014
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Artist: Glue
Title: Chats With The Real McCoy
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
It seems that a rusty gate got opened by a mischievously alluring shadow who invites listener to play some games in its manor on "Fallen Lucifers", the opening track by which Glue, a brilliant Berlin-based trio comprising of British trumpeter Tom Arthurs - I previously met his name as a member of Julia Huelsmann quartet -, Canadian rising star Miles Perkin - a real talent on upright and acoustic bass of Montreal music scene - and Greek drummer and percussionist Yorgos Dimitriadis, ignites this chat with The Real McCoy. The eight funny improvisations by these musicians aggregate free-jazz modus operandi and bizarre performative techniques to dark-tinged jazz so that you could have the impression that they sometimes dissolved sonorities a-la Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensmble in highly-corrosive acid which managed to break subatomic bonds as well as hierarchical connection as there'a no leading instrument in each track: a seducing trumpet sounds like searching its leak in a funnel which got obstructed by popping drums on "Washington Mint and Blushing Cherry" before the title-track "Chats With The Real McCoy" got the meaning out the name of the band as the trumpet seems to get played as if someone sticked Arthurs' lips by some glue before he managed to articulate some proper tone and a temporary atrophy seems to increase friction for drums and upright bass before they begin to tune in. The lively instrumental scolding on "The Wrong Food Buy" and the shimmering nuance of "She is The Queenly Pearl" precede the funny tightrope walking of "The Tragic Jester" - in order to highlight the portray of such an imaginative character, drums sound like proper eyesores! -, the strangled sonorities of "Split Ink" and the entrancing final "Red Dawn and Blue Denim", where they reaches the highest peak of the release. As they pointed out on the cover notes, it' "best heard with headphones or in an undistracted listening environment".


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