Music Reviews



Robert Hampson and Mark Spybey: The Blizzard Ring

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 10 2013
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Artist: Robert Hampson and Mark Spybey (@)
Title: The Blizzard Ring
Format: 7"
Label: Tourette Records (@)
This is another in the series of Dead Voices On Air collaborations, this one with Robert Hampson. I was familiar with Hampson's work as Main from quite a while back, but after hearing this he is back on my radar. Mawsons Will is a kind of harsh droning piece with some ethereal, almost unearthly sounds to it. There are moments of dissonance, but it works well. In Martz-Main-Base, the same melodic themes permeate the track, but more stripped down. This is interesting instrumental, and a good collaboration overall. A strong entry into this series.

Edward KaSpel and Mark Spybey: The Bowles Given

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 10 2013
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Artist: Edward KaSpel and Mark Spybey (@)
Title: The Bowles Given
Format: 7"
Label: Tourette Records (@)
You know why you got this one. It's two amazing artists collaborating. The pedigree is there and if you are reading Chain DLK, you already know each of these artists. For those not in the know, Edward KaSpel is the vocalist and ringleader of psychedelic ensemble extraordinaire Legendary Pink Dots and Mark Spybey is the man behind Dead Voices On Air and a former member of Zoviet France. So let's get right into the music. The Bowles Given Self-Loathing By Numbers features KaSpel's cryptic vocals with a swirling soundscape. The Bowles Given on Air is more along the lines of KaSpel's spoken word work mixed with a piano line and field recordings. The vocals are interesting, with him repeating 'Please help me ' it's my birthday and I need to get home....' In each you have a definite influence by the other. The first would sound quite at home on a LPD album, while the second would be at home on DVOA. This is a great collaboration and would be of interest for fans of either. The only real drawback is that there are only two tracks. I would love to hear this collaboration extended into a full length album. Quite good.

Mr.Vast: Grievous Bodily Charm

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 10 2013
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Artist: Mr.Vast (@)
Title: Grievous Bodily Charm
Format: 12"
Label: Spezialmaterial (@)
Rated: *****
The apparent absence of complementarities between the jumble of shuffled styles of this funnily boozy record cannot really be considered a shortcoming or a bulge of kitsch pop mannerism, an inappropriate association that the hubris of some silly reviewers (there're still a lot of this kind of dummy sample around) could foster as the inebriated sarcasm, half-serious self-irony and the amused and somewhat poisoned persiflage by Mr.Vast, alter ego of Henry Sargeant, frontman of electronic band Wevie Stonder (!), cannot be but protean and nimble like a quick-change artist dealing with a time bomb. Funk, soul, country, dubstep, house, junk, hip-hop as well as a lopsided romanthicism, outburst of shoegazing rage, pastoral lyricism, theatrical makeups, likeable straightforwardness, healthy nonsense, quotidian surrealism and motley coxcombs don't dry out on Mr.Vast's palette, so that he alternatively clucks with funk and toy sounds ("In Terms of Ease and Speed"), laser surgery and hip-hop chops ("Buttercyde"), scorched spicy slapped rock ("The Rug"), occasional everyday (but not ordinary) life idylls (the funny "Bliss" about domestic bliss!), wired "exotic" atonement ("Atlantis"), stylistical adaptations which could make you chortle ("Teflon Country" or the amazing opener of B-side "Process of Illumination", which unhinges a sort of gospel by means of house and tropical cliches in order to describe the ascension of a discotheque-addicted and a possible religious ravishing on the following erotically ironic "First Class"), licentious mock-heroic vignettes such as on the sidesplitting electro-pumping "Family values" or the hilarious lanky metal "Henry the 8th" (an eloquent parody of an historical character and certain stylistical machismo!), unexpected suave summery chilling soul on flip-flops ("Elemental"), imaginary street parades of cows and romedaries ("Ecstatic Caravan"). The digital version includes a couple of remixes (an harsher one of "Buttercyde" and a funny Spanish farce, more than a remix, of "Ecstatic Caravan"), the electronic raspberry trash-disco of "Sticky" and the grief-stricken (in a manner of speaking) final "Where I'm From"! Keep you feet up in the air!

Mountains: Centralia

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 09 2013
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Artist: Mountains (@)
Title: Centralia
Format: CD
Label: Thrill Jockey (@)
Rated: *****
After listening this graceful release by Brooklyn-based duo of Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg, I dare to say that if hills have eyes, mountains have certainly ears! Named after the desolate ghost town of Centralia (Columbia County, Pennsylvania), where a large undergound fire (still unextinguished) of anthracite coal mine acted as a depopulation bomb due to air pollution and excessively hot temperature in 1962, a somewhat tragic event which tickled the imagination of many writers, musicians, directors and other creative flairs, this release could give you the impression these musicians turned into transducers of that surreal land, lying on a brazier which scared away the sacrilegious asinity of its previous usurpers (it seems that the abandoned mine was set on fire by dumping of hot ashes during landfill) nd will last for centuries to keep them at a safe distance. The static appearance of electronic mantles almost evokes the quiet grandiosity of a massif, which overlooks its surrounding realm, whereas computational sparks and the extreme cleaness of both electronic and instrumental sound seems to mirror the purificatory and slowly pervading action of that fiery furnace which managed to melt pavements and asphalt and undoes chasms, rifts and cracks on the ground. A certain sense of tragedy of some overstreched frequncies and decomposing sounds oddly coalesces with organic splendours of instrumental parts and over the album, but the first weight, under sedation of heart rending cello and strings ("Sand"), lulling or entrancing guitar arpeggios ("Identical Ship", "Circular C"), pastoral-like symphonies ("Tilt"), lukewarm psychedelic suites ("Propeller"), bubbling springs of electronic gleaming ("Liana"), could be more clearly felt in the final lovely hesitant "Living Lens". Tragically soothing.

Schloss Tegal: Oranur III

 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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Mar 06 2013
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Artist: Schloss Tegal (@)
Title: Oranur III
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Many gourmet of electro-industrial dark ambient don't really need any introduction of American sound project by Robert Schneider and Mark Burch, named after a castle near Berlin which was formerly a psychiatric clinic for military people, where they got treated by means of music and art therapy. I surmise they have a reputation as many critics and reviewers consider Schloss Tegal as the founders of so-called dark ambient, whose main features were hovering since their electro-industrial debut release in 1989, a 7" single which was properly titled "Procession Of The Dead". They planned a series of reworks of some albums of their discography. This one by appreciated label Cold Spring is a digtally remastered version of their "The Third Report", a record inspired by the apocryphal scientific matter of orgonic energy, theorized by the controversial Austrian psychoanalist Wilhelm Reich, who made some researches of this supposedly existing cosmic energy during the years he spent in the United States. The concise, but exhaustive dissertion on Reich's experiments and beliefs about Deadly Orgone Radiation, Cosmic Orgone Engineering, Cloudbuster, Electro Magnetic Fields and its relation with the so-called "emotional plague", Oranur experiments, bio-weapons and other similar matters you can delve, with old pictures of Reich's cloudbusters is the conceptual framework of this album, which sounds like a sonic transducer of that theorized energy. Its magnetic flux density got emphasized by vocal samples, which seems to be taken from descriptions on tapes, noisy excoriation, abrasive insertions, toned-down obscure frequencies, piercing rumbles, which keep on putting a steady strain, which is somewhat uncommon for many dark-ambient contemporary releases, on many tracks such as "Coital Affirmation", the long-lasting initial "Oranur II "the Third and Final Report"", the disquieting "Dark Eyes", the creepy cryptic "Beyond The Wall Of Sleep", the subterranean clashing gusts of "Orop Desert Eas 1954-1955", the shivering phantasmagorical breeze of "Orena "Orop Terria"", the ethereal carnality of "The Core Men". This final report is supposedly the final warning to the sleeping beings of the Earth, according to their own (Schloss Tegal or some multidimensional being?) words!


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