Music Reviews



Maile Colbert: Come Kingdom Come

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 16 2014
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Artist: Maile Colbert (@)
Title: Come Kingdom Come
Format: CD
Label: Two Acrons (@)
Rated: *****
The "Ouverture" for the so-called Dies Irae (the Day of Anger, which should the biblical Last Judgement), which somehow reminded me of the very first moments of Mozart's "Requiem Mass in D Minor" (K 626) besides electronic sounds and modified field recordings, introduces listeners in an experimental opera, whose mode of expression counterbalances a conceptual framework, which is so recurring and overworked that could sound banal. The most relevant aspect of this release, named after the notorious invocation "Come, Kingdom Come", is the intersection of sonic skills by intermedia artist Maile Colbert, who is currently director of Cross the Pond, an organization based on arts and cultural exchange between US and Portugal and contributes by her own writings on Acoustic Ecology and Sound Studies at "Sounding Out", and the celestial voice of classically trained soprano Gabriela Crowe under Colbert's direction with contributions by Christophe Giraud aka Tellemake, singer Jessica Constable and RUi Costa's electronics, who dabble in a sort of sonic exegesis of "The Book of Revelations", which got turned into a sort of score as well as a source for inspiration. The transfusion of apocalyptic and millenialism-related themes into clots of Latin medieval monophonic chant, instrumental suppurations, subcortical harmonies, ancestral calls, lyrical contributions by poet Ian Colbert, psychotic reversed sounds and a number of befitting field recordings such as the ones grabbed before, during and after natural disasters, VLF recordings of sun storms while hitting Earth's magnetosphere, bird calling from endangered species, the other-worldly quiet in Chernobyl, the seismic activity of an earthquake and so on, makes the listening experience constantly fluctuate between mystical nuances and thin apprehension, exstacy and anxiety, longing and catharsis, which cannot but come to a conclusion which refers to the end of time by means of barely audible raptured chants and agonizing sounds.
Jan 13 2014
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Artist: RLW & SRMeixner
Title: Just Like a Flower When Winter Begins
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
"Wie eine Blume am Winterbeginn / Und so wie ein Feuer im eisigen Wind / Wie eine Puppe, die keiner mehr mag /Fühl ich mich an manchem Tag" (meaning "Just like a flower when winter begins / And just like a fire in an icy wind / Just like a doll that nobody wants anymore / That's how I feel on some days"), said the first strophe of the song "Ein bisschen Frieden" ("A little bit of Peace") by which Nicole Seibert, better known as Nicole, won Eurovision Song Contest 1982, rised UK single chart up and became quite famous due to a number of translated versions. This buttery and somewhat controversial (just check lyrics) song became the emblem and the title of this lampoon of pop hit songs - mainly German schlager, but there are also quotes and samples from other traditions together with some German musical atrocities which could have been exported by immigrants, such as the sample of Italian song "Mamma" by Claudio Villa in the disturbingly funny "Old Hearts Rejuvenated" - by Ralf Wehowsky aka RLW, member of the forerunning collective P16.D4, and Stephen "srmeixner" Meixner of Contrastate. Their humorous collage which turned a set of samples from a number of gutted pop hits, plunderphonics, industrial-like sonorities, electroacoustics and vocals which sound like radiophonic captions into a sort of creepy show, whose core elements are srm's meditiation on sentiment ("Old Hearts Rejuvenated"), which are somehow closer to his "permutative distorsions", and rlw's textual pieces ("Definition (Konsumation)", the disquieting swarm of "Alle (Everyone)" - it's really funny the list of names of German pop stars, where the female speaker turns into a devilish one -, the initial "Blumen fur den Prachtjungen") as well as some instrumental forays ("Gummidorf", "Spassbremse") or post-industrial unnerving activated sludges ("Wishing To Be Entartained", "The Man with the Sunglasses"). I could imagine that what you're going to listen on "Just Like A Flower When Winter Begins" if you woefully end up in a German schlager with drunken cockscomb, nazi loggers, twinkly blond milks and a lot of cholesterol while you were searching for a loo in order to sober up after a pitiless barman put an acid pill into your glass of milk.

Enough!!!: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 12 2014
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Artist: Enough!!!
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Monotype Records (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded at The Issue Project Room in Brooklyn on 20th December 2011, "Enough!!!" is a stunningly psychotropic live recording which grouped together three experienced sound and noise artists, who have a penchant for the intersections between juggling with electrons and frequencies: many readers of Chain DLK maybe will easily recognize the name and the imprint of Swedish noise artist Joachim "The iDEALIST" Nordwall - we recently spoke about his collaboration with his sonic majesty Mika Vainio and many entries in the reviews section came from his label iDEAL - as well as the ones of his fellow countryman Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who shares the regency of the imaginary Royal Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, a self-proclaimed never-never land which groups geographical, mental and digital border territories together, whose community got often delighted by CM's mind-altering electronic drones, tape-conceived ghostly entities and drilling venues. The third leg of the tripod is the one of Jason Lescalleet, label head of Glistening Examples and former collaborator of Aaron Dilloway, Graham Lambkin, Jason Kahn, Joe Colley, Phil Niblock and other big names of the scene with a penchant for the exploration of natural magnetic phenomena by means of old open-reel tape recording. This trio can almost be imagined as a group of paranormal investigators of experimental scene whose research paradoxically leads to the discovery of the physical properties of sound and this 49-minutes lasting suite is an exhaustive assay of their aptitudes. From the initial warm-up where it seems that they describes the frostbite of an undefined environment by means of an over-stretched flat frequency whose tiny variations enclose mesmerizing modulations, subcortical icy flurries and breaks, which sound like chorusing a magnetic storm with haywire Geiger counters or magnetic detectors before reeling listeners in a flow of pulsations, grazed piercing sonic specks and feedbacks. The cover image, a snapshot by CM Von Hausswolff of the meaningful and somewhat disquieting sculpture "Mother Earth" by Icelandic artist Einar Jonsson could frame "Enough!!!" into a sort of planetary thinking cap. Enough said.

Coen Oscar Polack & Herman Wilken: Fathomless

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 11 2014
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Artist: Coen Oscar Polack & Herman Wilken
Title: Fathomless
Format: 12"
Label: Narrominded
Rated: *****
Co-founder of the Narrominded label and a member of Living Ornaments and Psychon, Coen Oscar Polack with his solo work creates musical ambience that is formed by layers of field recordings and abstract noises and harmonies. He's first release "Psychic Investigations" is dated 2008 and since then he released other six albums of which "Fathomless" is the second with Herman Wilken. Inspired by the Barents Sea, which is a small sea in the Arctic Ocean, the album opens with a track having the same name. It begins with little crackles and noises which help into giving you a idea of the desolate waters north of Norway and Russia. In the eighteen minutes of its length, it slowly grows thanks to multiplying layers of icy drones, white noise and tiny harmonies. The second side contains "Sundarbans", a twenty minutes tracks which takes inspiration from an area of the east of India which is known for its rich fauna with colorful birds, crocodiles and snakes and it is notorious for its maze-like structure. On this one, the duo manages to create a different sound experience using sounds that are reminiscent of water noises, wind and birds chants. Also on this track we have an evolution which is more likely a de-evolution of sound, since it gets thinner and cold as the minutes pass by. But... as life taught us, things aren't always the same and suddenly the sound changes, turning into a throbbing icy drone where melodies and crackling noises submerge from the wall of sound. The album is available in a strictly limited edition of 100 transparent vinyl lp's and 100 black vinyl lp's and you can check it here http://narrominded.bandcamp.com/album/fathomless
Jan 05 2014
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Artist: Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg (@)
Title: Anton (OST)
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: Waerloga Records
Rated: *****
Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg are the brothers behind the band called Lost Kingdom and they also compose music and perform music in other settings in different genres. The brothers have only breifly before ventured into the world of film scores but for all of us who listened to the brothers before this was the obvious step. The same goes for several other Waerloga Records artists such as Simon Kolle (www.simonkolle.com) in Za Frumi who happened to master this album brilliantly.

Daniel & Mikael have outdone themselves really with this soundtrack. The name of the film is Anton and the film is in the sci-fi genre. Here you can find a teaser from the movie http://vimeo.com/visualcooks/antonteaser and here you can find an awesome promo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRUK0jfWLGA

As far as my opinion on the music goes I have to say I am very happy that Daniel & Mikael for real evolved their sound in this way. The Chronicle of the Black Monks, which were the brothers soundtrack debut, was also good and more in the vein we come to know Lost Kingdom. With Anton the brothers have become way whole so to speak.


Daniel & Mikael turns up the power for the release of Anton. Stoked by a vast combination of percussion, horns and really strange and cool fusion jazz elements. It does not end there as the brothers freely and with great result also experiment in genres such as classical and ambient (of course Dark Ambient).

For all you that like Post Apocalyptic soundscapes you should check this out as it! Orchestral mastery interwoven with strange and sometimes surrealistic outbursts of jazz! While achieving malevolent drama with the cue Hunt the track that I love the most is Out of Hand as it is so strange and yet thrilling. The cue Anton I really enjoy as it also is way out there with the Fusion and strange elements of musical geniality. The cue Heartbeat is beautiful and dark but it's the track Atmospheric Toxicity (and it's reprise) that really give me chills and make me think of spy thrillers. The emotion truly comes when we reach the climactic cues, the sweeping strings tugging at the listener's heart in the way only great composers can achieve.

This strange album is the best so far from the duo!


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