Music Reviews



Luca Forcucci: Fog Horns

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 28 2013
cover
Artist: Luca Forcucci (@)
Title: Fog Horns
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa (@)
Rated: *****
The premise that half Italian half Swiss young sound artist Luca Forcucci made about this surreal release, the 14th chapter the prestigious Belgian label Sub Rosa added to his limited-edition Framework series, could let you surmise the initial title-track and the following two long lasting suites could belong to a sort of sonic document about sensorial hallucinations that tiredness could cause; he spoke about "twelve hours of flight and some sleep deprivation" before his landing in San Francisco. So Luca explained, "Because of or thanks to my state of consciousness, I heard a distinct and beautiful sound. It took me a while to understand if I was really hearing it or dreaming it: the sound of the fog horns". The field recordings of conversations by anonymous pedestrians, chirping birds, delayed noises of a train trip and other sonic clues intertwines with the sound of distant fog horns he listened after he landed in San Francisco in Spring 2011 and those fog horns have been turned into the cement of endoplasmic reticulum of sounds, including some hip-hop scratches by Le Gooster on "Fog Horns", which sound like unexpected reminiscences resurfacing from inner depths or frenzied parties, the occasional metallic hits of crockery, other hip-hop morsels and the mesmeric over-stretched cello by Michael Kott on the somehow disquieting and hallucinatory atmospheres of the final track "Winds". On the central track "L'Ecume des Jours", fog horns became the imaginary vertex of a mysterious building who got erected both in the spacial and the sonic dimension, whose architectural principles lay on the sound of crashing waves, puffed electric distortions and scorched reedy samples which chorally becames headier and headier by emphasizing the artistic metamorphosis of this device that warned vehicles of navigational hazards or boats of the presence of other vessels or other obstacles in foggy condition into a presence, which is both reassuring and unsettling as it succeeds in evoking an impending danger by means of his orotund heavy "voice" and his effect on sonic sphere which seems to be covered by a sort of camouflage mantle.

Norbert Möslang: Killer_kipper

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 28 2013
cover
Artist: Norbert Möslang (@)
Title: Killer_kipper
Format: 12"
Label: Cave12 (@)
Rated: *****
We're surrounded by a plenty of sounds and waves we don't really care about during our ordinary day as they're often overwhelmed by inner sounds or noises or just because they acclimatize within our sensorial sphere. Nevertheless, we're immersed into clouds of microwaves, light and sound waves, magnetic fields, which are sometimes close tot the threshold of perceptibility or silently cross our bodies and interfere with our neuroelectrical activity. The sonic research of Swiss improvisor, clarinetist and saxophonist Norbert Moslang seems to be focused on the channelization, the moulding and the organization of those sounds and grated this bump on his past collaborative projects such as Voice Crack, an interesting experimental free jazz collaboration with Andy Guhl, or the amazing quartet Poire_z. This performance has been recorded on 23rd September 2011 after the Cave12 and fmac associations invited him to perform in the conporary art festival Mac 11 in Geneve and gives a remarkable sample of his performative art. Compared with other Moslang's recordings I listened before, noisy sneaking movements of "killer_kipper" sound less random and better organized: there's an inner syncopated pacing which often resurfaces and more or less silently control the traffic of noises and electrons Norbert grabbed by cracked everyday electronics. The 27-minutes lasting performance has been splitted into two tracks and sides: on side A, this regulatory function got fulfilled by a subtle low frequency which gradually turns into a sort of pumping machine and the reaching of saturation levels seems to be more gradual than the dynamics on side A, where the constant flow of electrons rolls on a sort of hiccuping knock. Very interesting trial of noise manipulation.

Springintgut: Where We Need No Map - Remixes

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 25 2013
cover
Artist: Springintgut (@)
Title: Where We Need No Map - Remixes
Format: 12"
Label: Pingipung (@)
Distributor: Kompakt Distribution
Rated: *****
Even if the return of the inventive cellist and composer Andi Otto in the guise of Springintgut is still fresh, Pingipung decided to release a collection of remixes of some tracks from "Where We Need No Map" by whom he successfully tested and implemented his new invention, a cello which got enhanced by movement and accelerometer sensors he called "fello". I could surmise such an operation could be related to the intent of make the above-mentioned release more accessible to dancefloors and more recreational contexts as well, even if Andi's tracks could sound ductile enough to whet remixer's attitude. "Dizzy Heights", the collaborative track Springintgut built on the voice of Sasha Perera from Jahcoozi got filtered by warping knobs and acidulous pitches of London-based rising star of the upcoming Skweee scene Luke Sanger aka Luke's Anger, who signs his dental impression of chopped beats, clappy stepping and tailspins by the alias Duke Slammer, and precedes a couple of lovely dub rehashes of "Ode To Yakushima": the first remix - the one I like more - comes from the Alpine Dub pushers Hey-O-Hansen, who extracts a skinny and attractively sketchy dub song, while the second one got reshaped by Nils Dittbrenner aka Peter Presto and could let you imagine a session of oral hygiene by a forgotten gringo, who emulates his sixshooter by a swig of mouthwash, but the less distinguashable light-bending camouflage of "ode To Yakushima" comes from Hamburg-based dj and producer Tilman Tausendfreund, who turned it into a daydreaming dancefloor lullaby by expanding cello pads , cutting Japanese vocals and adding crunchy claps and gleaming sounds. The tribal and somehow tropical flavour that Hamburg-based dj trio RSS Disco adds to "Bangalore Kids" is really nice as well as the drum and pizzicato whirlpool that Icarus (Leaf Records) adds to "Incentive Pizzicato", which comes as a bonus track for all those who will purchase the digital version.

Rob Mazurek Octet: Skull Sessions

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 16 2013
cover
Artist: Rob Mazurek Octet (@)
Title: Skull Sessions
Format: CD
Label: Cuneiform Records (@)
Rated: *****
The strong assonances between this impressive release by Rob Mazurek, who shuffled his cards of talented collaborators to give birth to a majestic octet, and monumental sessions like "the notorious "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis are fortuitous as the sparkle for "Skull Sessions" came when the We Want Miles exhibition at SESC Sao Paulo asked Mazurek to highlight the propinquity of his musical research with the one by the legendary Miles Davis. Instead of recreating themes of that great jazz innovator, Rob revamped some compositions by himself by rearrangement which could fit the peculiar features of each musicians and the whole sound of the octet. The final result goes beyond any better expectetions and the different stylistical drives he managed to aggregate in this octet sound so perfectly balanced that you could have the impression to listen a proper crossbreed between Sao Paulo Underground's rhythmical tropicalism, Exploding Star Orchestra's sonic orbits and Starlicker's mesmerizing energy. Such a motley metabolic variegation derives both from the "syncretic" attitude of Mazurek's compositional approach and from the different "alma mater" of each musician of the octet, who already belong to the above-mentioned ensemble and come from North and South America, including drummer John Herndon, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, whose finespun hits play a key-role to bridle listeners in the charming weaves of these sessions, Guilherme Granado on electronics and keyboards, skilled flutist Nicole Mitchell, guitarist Carlo Issa, Sao paulo Underground's Mauricio Takara on percussion and cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele) and Thomas Rohrer on C melody saxophone and rabeca (a rustic viola from North-eastern Brazil). The role of Mazurek's cornet is somehow close to Davis' trumpet in the above-mentioned "Bitches Brew" as it often seems to tune other instruments on a melodic sketched line before giving emphasis to the sonic spirals they generate by means of a ring modulator, which seems to function as a catalyzing agent together with the fleet of drums and percussions. This coagulant effect is quite clear in the opener "Galactic Ice Skeleton", a wonderful piece Mazurek composed for Exploding Star Orchestra where cornet seems to direct the ebullient molecular soup of the other voices, which sound shaking within a plasmatic cloud, and the following "Voodoo and The Petrified Forest", an elemental dancing whirlwind whose main theme seems to resurface from rough water, even if it often runs into the highly energetic whirling impetus the octet succeeds in bursting forth as it happens in the amazing crescendo of "The Skull Caves of Alderon", which follows a pacific entrancing introduction on a disabled vibraphone which sounds like a Balinese gamelan, or unleashes other elements like in the lopsided ballad "Passing Light Scream", a composition Rob tributed to the legandary French/Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose initial folk theme and elaxing chimes turn into a mindblowing twist. Some surreal setting of Jodorowsky's movies could be resembled by the final gossamer improvisation for flute, rabeca and electronics of "Keeping The Light Up" as well. Strongly recommended listening.

Innode: Gridshifter

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 09 2013
cover
Artist: Innode
Title: Gridshifter
Format: 12"
Label: Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Have you ever thought that grid could be one of the apterrepresentation of the point of intersection between human and non-human, organic and inorganic, natural and artificial? We drive on grids of asphalt, we grab energy from electricity grid, we delimit properties (one of the most artificial and intrusive human inventions...) by grids, we are nothing but points on grid lines to the peeking eyes of a satellite, we adore our favorite actors and actresses over grids of pixels, we listen our favorite musics throughout grids, we live into grids of steel and reinforced concrete and so on. We even eat grids if you think about Belgian waffles! Jokes aside, grids could be considered as the visual display of ordering human-like principle and its almost unavoidable imperfections as its intrinsic phallacy. The above-mentioned bugs could be the conceptual framework, the nous or maybe the cognitive compass of this project by Radian and Lokai co-founder Stefan Nemeth, which blends silence and noise, electronic and acoustic, human and not-human together with the support Bernard Breuer (Elektro Guzzi, Tumido), whose mechanical drumming overlaps the geometrical drum machines and the sudden crackles by Nemeth on the two parts of "Dedispersion" and Steven Hess (Locrian, Pan-American, Cleared), who extemporizes impressive drumming sets by hitting objects within clumps of granular sounds and raw waveforms on B side. There's not a really audible discrepancy between instruments and electronics over the ten tracks of this wisely titled "Gridshifter" even when the sources are clearly distinguishable so that this elemental amalgamation of rhythm and noise, where the knitting of electronic and human seems to slacken the illusory rigidity of the grids, sounds cohesive and somehow intriguing, paricularly on tracks where this sort of sonic deixis and noisy epistrophe is more accentuated such as the above mentioned "Dedispersion I" and "Dedispersion II" (all titles are somehow related to navigation systems), "FS Revisited", "Gridshifter 05", the burnt hypnotic circling saturations of "Cumbre Vieja", the oblique glossy sonorities of "Skatterakt" and "Peano". Nemeth himself describes the idea behind Innode in his description of the cover artwork: "These arrays, or biochips, are samples of DNA laid out as a series of microscopic spots bound to a small glass slide. Corresponding images look highly organized, but show a lot of tiny imperfections at the same time...this fact makes them especially interesting for me". That's a quite fascinating way to contextualize Innode's catchy sonic dynamics.


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