Music Reviews

Emanuele de Raymondi: Ultimo Domicilio

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2014
Artist: Emanuele de Raymondi (@)
Title: Ultimo Domicilio
Format: CD EP
Label: ZeroOKilled Music (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Process scheduling of music market is sometimes unintelligible to me as the second release by Italian sound artist Emanuele de Raymondi arrived weeks after its release date. Anyway such a delay cannot prevent me from advise it after we appreciated his debut album "Buyukberber Variations" a couple of years ago, where he delvered some improvisations by Turkish clarinet virtuoso Oguz Buyukberger by discosing a remarkable "fluency" with different musical languages. On "Ultimo Domicilio" (Italian for "the Last Domicile"), Emanuele's sonic arts got interlaced with the photographic set by Lorenzo Castore, who developed the concept of individual and collective memory (or I'd rather say individual and collective oblivion...) by some snapshots taken inside 5 forgotten or abandoned domiciles in 5 different towns (Finale Ligure in Italy, Fontenay in France, Brooklyin, Sarajevo and Krakow). His pictures got assembled in a 18-minutes lasting documentary by Daniele Spano', while the musical translation of these five places got committed to Emanuele: his meticulus textures of samples, piano and guitars - in-between chamber music, acousmatic and ambient - manage to render the overlap between places and non-places of memory and oblivion as well as the emotional core of memories by alternations of lulls and "waggles" of different sonic inputs, as if he tried to translate the effluence or even the metempsychosis that emanate from portrayed objects. Check out the documentary on the web in order to have an idea of the relevance of his sonic cameos.
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Artist: Alberto Ezzu - Lux Vocal Ensemble (@)
Title: Il Fuoco del 6° Armonico sulla Luce della Dominante partendo dalla Madre Fondamentale (con in mente Zarathustra)
Format: CD
Label: Hic Sunt Leones
Rated: *****
"Il Fuoco del 6° Armonico sulla Luce della Dominante partendo dalla Madre Fondamentale (con in mente Zarathustra)", which sounds something like "The focus of the sixth harmonic on the dominant light starting from the fundamental mother (having in mind Zarathustra)", is the latest album by Alberto Ezzu Lux Vocal Ensemble but as project born in 2001 at the early days of the ensemble. Alberto Ezzu Lux Vocal Ensemble born that year to perform compositions and improvisations using mainly overtone singing. If you don't know what kind of singing is that, think about the traditional Mongolian chants where one performer emits two tones at a time. To that, they add traditional European instruments (synponica, micanon, viola and lute), classic instruments (cello and oboe), oriental traditional instruments (tampura, sitar, Indian harmonium and percussions) plus electronic instruments. On this album you can find a one hour suite where different overtone singers focus their performance following a synth frequency which slowly changes creating, in this way, a minimal multi layered experimental suite which is able to hypnotize the listener. This album is a step into Alberto Ezzu's path as music researcher, music therapist and, for the listener, is a chance you can take to focus your attention on your inner self using these sounds as a tool.

Jojo Hiroshige, Pika, Paal Nilssen-Love, Lasse Marhaug: Osaka Fortune

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 27 2014
Artist: Jojo Hiroshige, Pika, Paal Nilssen-Love, Lasse Marhaug
Title: Osaka Fortune
Format: 12"
Label: Premier Sang
Rated: *****
The Norwegian half of this new sonic explosive on Premier Sang has already been sprinkled from my headphones and loudspeakers: Paul Nilssen-Love collaborated with a remarkable number of free-jazz oriented and experimental collaborative projects - I remember the ones with James Plotkin and Mats Gustafsson, but I'm pretty sure that I could find something else if I check my overcrowded archive -, while I found the name and the noisy mark by Lasse Marhaug on some releases by Smalltown Supersound, one of my favorite Norwegian label. Both Paul and Lasse recently co-signed a tip-top release with Jim O'Rourke, "Love Robots", which is going to meet the taste of noisy jazz-spiced stuff lovers. On the other side of the boxing ring, we find a veteran of Japanese noise scene, Jojo Hiroshige, founder of the seminal group Hijokaidan and Alchemy Records, and the young Japanese drummer and vocalist Higashi "Pika" Mineko, whose shouts sound like yells of a child while going hog wild for a slide or an amusement ride during the hyper-energetic stuff that this quartet recorded at Osaka Chika-Ikkai on February 10th 2011 and delivered to the French label. On the first half of this session, listener have to weather the storm that drummers generated by trampling on their instruments where they perform different tasks: while one drummerviolently clobber the skins, the other one finishes drum off by subtleties which are close to jazz drumming techniques. "No Drums This Time" is the first part of the second half and as you can easily imagine, both drummers take a rest, but the scorching distorsions that Lasse and Jojo gave off are too tempting for Paul's and Pika's fuming sticks so that they keep on hitting by pushing the blazing fire ball towards savage directions, which sound less jazzy and more acid-rock steered this time. Thats's the most blistering pace that I can even see fit to a snobbish jazz club.

Pinkdraft: 2010

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 25 2014
Artist: Pinkdraft (@)
Title: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The sonorities, that this quartet made up of Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Nuno Torres (alto saxophone), Nuno Morao (percussion and objects) and Travassos (analog electronics) explores on this record, could maybe inspire odd images: after the breaking of the sonic eggshell on the opening track "Luminous Vacuum", the following "Wrong Obstable" could let you envisage a fatal exsanguination which got caused by a stuck zipper caught on chin or pubis, while the amazing "The Missing Train" seems to render the last ditches by an artificer, who tries to deactivate a time bomb which got bottled inside a receptacle whose cork was stuck. Likewise I'm pretty sure some listeners could imagine some ham-fisted attempt of drawing a musical box out of a suction pipe while listening to "Blended Strangers" or a surreal journey inside a twin bell alarm clock on "Heavy As A Floating Mountain", but the most interesting aspect of Pinkdraft is the theatrical way by which they wisely interposed reductionist audiomatics in betweeen improv and post-free jazz ramparts, where Travassos piercing electronic frequencies played a very important role as it seems to highlight (sometimes by slithering on the threshold of silence) the dramatic purging of this record.

PARA: Ligo

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2014
Artist: PARA (@)
Title: Ligo
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Another very interesting project from the Portuguese label Creative Sources, a well-established reference frame for lovers of so-called New Music and improvisational scene, comes from Para, a trio of young musicians made up of Greek-Austrian french horn player and performer Elena Margarita Kakaliagou, Austrian pianist Ingrid Schmoliner and upright bass player Thomas Stempokowski. After the harrowing solitary phrasing and the first intertwining by each instrument on "Heinz", which is the preface of "Ligo" (Greek for "slightly"), "Vulgo Eipa" opens the way for a really dramatic integration of a series of extended techniques and cinematic suggestions: Ingrid's convulsive tapping on very low tones keeps listeners in suspense before Elena's horn gradually shrouds listening sphere before the "barney" against Stempokowski's double bass, which could mistaken for an awakening fiend. Even if I don't really understand Greek, some words I understood let me think that Greek words by Elena on the following "ti ine?", where some resounding object could resemble the opening and the locking of a door, belong to a sort of explanation of what these musicians are performing. The lethargic "-1ð" precedes "Sandra", where the motif of the opening "Heinz" seems to get reprised, and "Canidae", my favorite track, where the instruments seems to imitate yelps, howls and barks and even the movements of a dog, while the sinister gabbling of Elena's french horn, the grim austerity of Ingid's piano chords and the writhing sounds that Thomas extracts from his double-bass on the final "Ihabkafoelagsen" could let you imagine the murder of a sleeper by means of the spring of an animated mattress. You'll find the very last death rattles of each instrument on the unexpectedly surrwal bonus track "Juvetsi me porta".

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