Music Reviews



Tmymtur: Kooh

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2013
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Artist: Tmymtur (@)
Title: Kooh
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ENSL AMDC (@)
Rated: *****
This is an album of remixes of Tmymtur's 'Yusei.' The original project used layers of 5000 voices to create shimmering drone. Unfortunately, most of these stay pretty true to the original, to the point where I had a difficult time distinguishing them from each other. Except for the tone that they chose to pursue, they were stylistically similar. Only one really stood out as taking a different trajectory from the original. Stephan Mathieu made these voices more jagged and abrasive; his stood in stark contrast to the others, which were much more calming, like the original. Overall, this was not nearly as engaging as the original, perhaps because of the length of the album. The original stood at around 22 minutes, and this was almost three times as long. I would just get the original and skip the remixes. This album weighs in at around 65 minutes.

Tmymtur: Yusei

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2013
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Artist: Tmymtur (@)
Title: Yusei
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: ENSL AMDC (@)
Rated: *****
According to the press sheet that came with the disc, this project focuses on the elements of ultrasonic waves included within the voice by using recording equipment capable of recording inaudible frequencies over 20Khz. 'By layering over 5000 of these voices, they blend organically, and form the sound creation called '湧声 (Yusei)' which is one of a kind, made just of voices. It is a composition where people can feel beyond their territories of consciousness, a kind of feeling as if everything is connected and shared.' The concept is interesting, so let's see what this sounds like. This is one 22 minute track of long, ever-shifting, shimmering drone. The closest comparison I could come up with would be Jliat's 'The Nature of Nature' or Margrit Rieben's 'Brückengesang.' Interesting and engaging. This album weighs in at around 22 minutes.

Alexander Vatagin: Serza

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2013
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Artist: Alexander Vatagin (@)
Title: Serza
Format: CD
Label: Valeot Records (@)
Rated: *****
Austria-based Alexander Vatagin is a busy man. In addition to running Valeot Records, he has also played with acts such as Port-Royal, Tupolev, Quarz and several other projects. And then there is his solo work, of which this is his third release. According to the label, Serza features 'a huge spectrum of common as well as unusual instruments, it takes you on a thirty minute trip full of delicate melodies, pushing drums, gentle noise, swirling celli, warm vibraphone chimes and sweet piano tunes.' I found this to be a strange mix of This Mortal Coil-like orchestrations mixed with noisy elements. It never gets too in your face with the noise ' just noisy. We have here a nice blend of calm, peaceful music and dissonance coexisting nicely together. Nice work. This album weighs in at around 30 minutes.

Total Normal: Tales of the Expected

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2013
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Artist: Total Normal (@)
Title: Tales of the Expected
Format: CD
Label: Momental Records
Rated: *****
I always read the press sheets to get a sense of what the artist thinks that their music is supposed to be. Sometimes I read it before, sometimes after. This time I read it before, and had to call BS on this line when I heard the album: 'his composition methods under Total Normal can be considered acousmatic. Sampling is used for a found sound's intrinsic qualities, as an objet sonore, and not for its anecdotal or referential value.' Um.... yeah. That's why you lifted large parts of Bill Cosby's 'Junior Barnes' routine. Don't get me wrong ' it's a great sketch, but between that and the heavy sampling of Mr. Sandman (on the appropriately titled song) and more Bill Cosby with 'Froofie the Dog,' I could almost hear the cease and desist letters being written. Of course you're using it for its referential value. Plunderphonics is fine on its own merits without trying to sanitize it. That's what makes Negativland so brilliant ' they repurpose that referential value. So now with that rant out of the way, let's get to the music. Total Normal is the work of Paris-based Thierry Vaudor. As you may have figured, sampling plays a big part here. The press sheet describes the album as 'on the fringe of experimental, electroacoustic, post-rock, psychedelic, exotica and spoken word.' There are several different styles here, but all of it has a kind of retro feel to it. The opening track sounds like a modern day Henry Mancini, which then in the next few tracks adds a touch of Meat Beat Manifesto. 'The Trip to the Moon' has a lounge feel with a touch of acid jazz, while others ('Better Tell Me John' and 'Soft Cage') go for a more exotic feel. 'L'orfeo' takes us on a weird pitch bent and reversed trip. Overall, this wasn't bad, but didn't really blow me away. If you wish that Negativland was more retro, this could be up your alley. This album weighs in at around 61 minutes.

Djam Karet: The Trip

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 14 2013
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Artist: Djam Karet (@)
Title: The Trip
Format: CD
Label: HC Productions
Rated: *****
You have to love a band who draws inspiration from 1970s 'stoner albums.' Djam Karet has been around for 30 years now, providing their take on the jam band. On this album, the press sheet states that 'The Trip' 'takes listeners on a psychedelic journey through the mind's eye. The unique offering is literally the soundtrack of a journey to places both familiar and otherworldly.' This is one 47 minute track of everything you would imagine. Improv jazz, mellow guitar, space age bachelor pad music with some electronic bleeps and bloops thrown in, and some prog rock guitar solos thrown in for good measure. About a quarter of the way through we kick into a pretty rockin' section. To paraphrase an old commercial, 'You got your prog rock in my jazz!' 'No, you got your jazz in my prog rock!' But like the aforementioned commercial, this is two great tastes that taste great together. This is a fun ride and it hangs well together. I can't help but think that this would be even better live. This album weighs in at around 47 minutes.


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