Music Reviews

Gintas K: Nota Demo

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 10 2014
Artist: Gintas K (@)
Title: Nota Demo
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
I was a little surprised to find a release by appreciated Lithuanian electronic producer Gintas Kraptavicius - we interviewed him on the occasion of the release of "Slow" for Baskaru - on the pack of records from Portuguese label Creative Sources, even if this record could be thought as an interesting assay of computer-driven improvisation. Most of the sounds have been squeezed from Bidule, an amazing modular environment by Canadian audio software company Plogue Art et Technologie Inc.: the sonorities are closer to some 60ies electronic music, but in between more or less regular computational sequences, which sometimes sound like having been crumbled, other sonic entities such as bells, spurts, gushes, gurgles and rifts suddenly appear and stain any electronic eddies. You could imagine this release as the workout of a lively kid who plays on a gigantic control panel with a plenty of mysterious knobs, bright buttons and levers or you could imagine it came from the translation of the sonic language of a computer, who got drunk after its liquid cooling system was filled with vodka.

Austin Buckett: Grain Loops

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 08 2014
Artist: Austin Buckett (@)
Title: Grain Loops
Format: 12"
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
This collection of 30 electromechanical one-minute lasting loops could sound a little bit hyperbolic, insomuch as its continuous listening without showing any manifestation of temporary imbalance could be something miracolous: if uninformed listener emphatize with what is going to listen, I'm pretty sure he/she could feel like his/her head falled into an industrial laundry machine, a planing mill or a belt sander or maybe could feel a modish pleasure in feeling like a sentient grain of wheat while he got transformed into a crunchy flake - an industrial process, whose understanding is one of those childish unsatisfied morbid curiosity of myself! -. These bizarre "Grain Loops" actually got inspired by an introduction to the German word "rauschen" (a verb meaning "murmur", even if I'd rather say that Australian composer Austin Buckett meant to say "rausch", meaning "intoxication" or "ecstasy") by Austrian composer Peter Ablinger, who wote "Rauschen (White noise) is the totality of sounds - 'everything always' in its acoustic representation. Comparable to white light that contains all colours, white noise contains all frequencies, and - poetically speaking - all music.". According to such a perspective, these 30 loops, whose building comes from some sonic aggegation of techno and hip hop. could be thought as the physical output of a series of meaningful compressions, which got built by means of four snare drums, sandpaper and close mics, where each cluster of noise is like an exercise in control and repetition as well as an interrogation to listener's perception.

Mesektet: Towards A Bleak Sun

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 07 2014
Artist: Mesektet
Title: Towards A Bleak Sun
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This album is presented as an 'Ancient Egypt inspired, monolithic drone/dark ambient' but the drones features in this release seems too focused on their exterior impact than in a proper musical meaning that tries to emerge in a field with too many artists working with the same palette.
The deep drone of 'Aken' opens this release evoking an void habitat and 'Silent Giants' and 'Sea Of Dust' continue in this musical path revealing a musical research completely focused on sound. 'Burial Of The Sun' starts to reveal a form of musical development while 'Hollow Monoliths' return to more static soundscape. In the same vein, 'Forgotten Tomb' closes this release.
Technically well constructed, this album is perhaps too focused on minimal timbral development than on a focused musical development or in an engaging soundscape. Only for fans or collectors.

Morten J. Olsen: Bass Drum!

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2014
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.

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