Music Reviews

R.Stevie Moore: Personal Appeal

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 22 2013
Artist: R.Stevie Moore (@)
Title: Personal Appeal
Format: CD
Label: Care in the Community (@)
Rated: *****
According to the plenty of definitions which tried to describe the majesty of Robert Stevie Moore, this living legend could be considered as a standard bearer of DIY ethics, a craftsman, a weird stylistical blender of pop inputs, an incontinent melodic juggler, the provider of "the template for the entire movement currently known as Hypnagogic Pop", the "godfather of the home recording movement with the same uneasy appreciation that Neil Young brought to acknowledging his title as the godfather of grunge" and so on. I personally trust more his own explanation which describes his fervid flair (more than 400 hundreds homemade albums on tape and 30 songs a week on the average before senility by his own admission) as a sort of stream of consciousness and his music as a weird mixture between commercial pop and avant-garde. If you're asking the reason why such a vulcanic music mind and chamaleontic artist, who inspired an embarassing number of musicians including Sonic Youth's Thruston Moore or King Ariel Pink, just recently drew the attention of part of the so-called mainstream (his nice round face which could resemble a mixture between an imaginary Santa Claus, who decided to breed American buffaloes after retirement, and the reigning champion of whisky drinking competition appeared on the cover of Wire, he recorded an astonishing session for BBC and toured Europe), you'll find a possible answer in the lyrics of the first song "Why Can't I Write A Hit?" of this selection where the voice of a possible decrepit vampire, the perfect avatar of some so-called art director of a major label, repeats "the songs are too weird" and the following "Make Up Shake Up" whose arrangement is Mozart's Divertimento No.17 in D Major, k.334, no less, could adduce further evidence, but the 15 tracks of this great selection, taken from a period between 1973 and 2001, during which he developed a strong connection with New Jersey after he moved there from his native Nashville, Tennessee, where he came back in 2010, show his impressive stylistical versatility as he manages to juggle with surf rock, Californian music, freak folk, bluegrass, country and much more and spice his juicy musical potages by a distinguishable mixture of cheeky humour, melancholy and humanity. While listening this record, you'll fully understand Stevie's a genius and there's nothing he can do about it!

Meridian Brothers: Devoción (Works 2005 - 2011)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 21 2013
Artist: Meridian Brothers (@)
Title: Devoción (Works 2005 - 2011)
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
The Three Wise Men in the guise of outlawed thieves ("Los Falsos Reyes Magos"), old-fashioned spectral dames and her tempting suitors ("El Enamorado"), Catullian pot-bellied matron with gold teeth and her retinue of desperate pretenders ("Te Odio, Te Amo"), the disguised colonial dances of mere devilish mortals, who got masqued as a fake angel-like saviour ("Sostengan Al Angel Entusiasta"), seemingly candid bloodthirsty templars who makes waves of his special divine license to kill by singing ("Cancion Del Moderno Templario"), the misleading elegance of ocillas which become hypnotical and loyal comrade-in-arms ("Escuchen El Grito Del Tigrillo") and a carnival caravan of highwaymen, guzzler, singing serial vampires ("El Jazz del Chupasangres"), everybody's fools, old and young exotic hens, bovine storyteller ("El Ganadero Del Futuro"), tokens of God's mistakes in his legendary parthenogenesis, wonky miners ("Sigan Al Minero Hasta La Escala Amirbar"), penniless abandoned hubbies ("Coplas Para Cantar Al Atardecer") populates the lyrics and the cameos of this funny Colombian live band, which whisks Colombian and Peruvian cumbia, Ethiopian music, surf music, salsa, jazz, morsels of American rock, tropical and obscure cinematic atmospheres as well as distorted sounds and electronic vocal variations in a gorgeously picaresque manner. German label Staubgold decided to offer a cross section from Meridian Brothers' releases between 2005 and 2011, which is going to tickle the interest of a wider audience around their melting style, where evil seems to dress up as good and vice versa and the bitter sweet whirlgig of life permanently gyrates.

Guns of Brixton: Inlandsis

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 17 2013
Artist: Guns of Brixton
Title: Inlandsis
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This new release from ÃNTITAINMENT is the fourth, and perhaps final, release from this band that disbanded those days. The linear notes describe this album as focused on "post rock tinged with punk and noise" influenced with dub influences. The listening reveals an album whose musical direction ebbs between post rock instrumental tracks and rock songs.
The sharp guitar line of "Hibakusha" opens this release and evolves in a noisy way until some seconds of silence introduce the listener in the second slow part of this track. "Du bist mir vollkommen egal" starts as a post rock track and ends in a dreamy way. "Il ne restera que des silhouettes" features an almost screamed vocals and "Tephrás" is coloured by a piano line. "Retour du Japon" is a slowly evolving tune based upon a small melodic cell. "Porte close" is another vocal track and more song oriented in his structure. "1104" is perhaps the rock oriented tune with his crescendo and the sample of police siren. "Alger" start as in instrumental track, has a spoken words interlude and end as a song with the double registro vocals similar to bands as Lacuna Coil. "Terraform" closes this release with an almost classic post rock instrumental track.
The variety of the musical development reveals the search for some new directions and even if not all ideas are well focused, is an enjoyable listening. Nice.

Didges Christ Superdrum: Alien Technology

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 14 2013
Artist: Didges Christ Superdrum (@)
Title: Alien Technology
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure that Brian Johnson of AC/DC, who caught one half of this project, Shawn Bowen, while playing together with Kelly Shaefer for Neurotica and decided to produce their first album when he used to live in Sarasota (Florida), wouldn't be disappointed by the costume Shawn "Obishawnkenobi", talented didgeridoo player Jeremy "Lembonius" Lembo with the support on drums and percussion by Julius "Caesaronius" Mendoza and James "Bezl" Labonte which could someone think about four possible fathers of Iron Maiden's dummy Eddie. Jokes apart, this record by Didges Christ SuperDrum, which could be considered as a sort of side project of World Collision, shows a remarkable sonic understanding and complementarity of its columns and an interesting crossover between didgeridoo dance and ritual music and electronic rock song typical structure, whereas even if the conceptual framework, if we could call it so, draw on aquarian/new age beliefs, the ritual pep often got tempered by a shrouded and thought-provoking irony and vitriolic sideswipes against reigning capitalist contours, particularly on tracks like the clotted gore-spotted "Black Is The Colour", the appropriate venomous "Grind To The Slaves" (lyrics like "The ideology of ideocracy/You've been hypnotized/by your own demise.../.../The system that you foster/isn't built to last" could echo more some furious industrial or metal song than a ritual-oriented set), the non-confessional "The One True Devil" or the final sabbatical stage "Snake Oil" - one of the highlights according to my ear response -. All things considered, "Alien Technology" is a very good release, but I imagine that listening or taking part to some Didges Christ Superdrum's live exhibition (or I'd rather call it a rejuveneting rite of passage!), which features interpretative dances and fire manipulations by Skyedancer as well as some fluorescent body painting, could be head and shoulders above an ordinary listening by headphones.

P.O.P.: Täbriz

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 08 2013
Artist: P.O.P. (@)
Title: Täbriz
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
Both the title tracks which refer to different kinds of Persian carpets, the finest ones in the world, and the bizarre sound experience this collaborative project by Hannes Strobl (bassist and composer of Denseland) and Reinhold Friedl aka Zeitkratzer rendered could surmise not only the elegant motifs of Iranian carpets, but also their weaving. The incessant movement of rods, shuttle, heddle, lathe, treadles of a loom, the asymmetrical knotting and the gradual braiding of the motif could be evoked the strictly interconnected elements, the rolling variations and repetitions, the rubbing and the striking on expanded piano strings, the clenching of electric bass' strings and the other impressive and wisely inoculated sounds which suddenly insinuate into sonic sphere. That's the way I decoded what P.O.P.'s explicative manifesto names the acoustic cryptogram in order to let listener understand the meaning of the programmatic anagram (P.O.P. stands for Psychology Of Perception, but such an abbreviation has a richer aftertaste by far within the fences of a wider thinking cap about the perception of arts), but the motifs that eack listener could draw from P.O.P.'s slowly mutating patterns could be totally different from mine, so that "Tabriz" could be considered as a somewhat original sonic work by an eulogizer of subjectivity in the translation of sounds into mental images and emotional projections.

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