Music Reviews



Bobun: Suite pour machines a meche

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 27 2012
cover
Artist: Bobun (@)
Title: Suite pour machines a meche
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
In addition to their passion for genetical engineering and defiling of respective musical instruments, viola and cello, as well as a decade of duetting, French-Japanese violist Frantz Loriot, whom I already introduced on the occasion of a review of his collaborative project Viola Two Viola with Cyprien Busolini, and French cellist Hugues Vincent have in common the teachings by Joelle Leandre, one of the most renowned improvisational master. Her Cage-inspired approach to composition, her precepts about the importance of solid classical compositional prep even for the most ungodly improviser who wants to build a bridge between improvisation and composition seem to resound in this "Suite pour machines a meche" (translatable as "Suite for drill machines"). The introductive tuning of "Immersion" with their two instruments which seem to follow opposite directions on musical scale - viola (getting more and more piercing) towards higher pitches and cello, which looks like an emulation of binaural tones of a brain machine, towards very low ones - and the final "Emersion", a sort of ballad where a certain declension of harmonics unexpectedly features in a lead role, could mean to suggest there have been some intent of describing a sort of journey into the abyss of respective performative language with some topical phases such the total approach on the threshold of silence on "Shizuka na yume", whose woody stripping of bark and gunky sliding on strings are maybe the most bizarre moments of the release, the mechanical assemblage, testing, timing and calibration on "La Machine", the neurasthenic and enervating scraping on the eruptive "Un certain agacement se faisait sentir parfois" (transl."A certain irritation sometimes makes itself perceivable") and the minimalistic harmonic germ of "Nitescence". This release by Bobun packs so many sonic hints that it easily manages to attract listener's ear.

PascAli: Suspicious Activity

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 21 2012
cover
Artist: PascAli (@)
Title: Suspicious Activity
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The cover artwork of this funny release by PascAli, collaborative project of Sean Ali and Pascal Niggenkemper, seems to suggest the source of raw materials for the preparation of their enhanced double-basses, which lie in respective cases on a wheelie bin! Even if they avoid any kind of processing, effects and electronics, they manages to keep their sound genuinely acoustic and impressively descriptive, so that you don't really need a review to understand what you're going to listen to! You just have to read the titles, even if some allusions are just ironic, provocative or jeering ("Britpop", "Perpetua", "Pavarotties"). The mere listening of a CD could deprive the listener of the pleasure of their bizarre ways for the transfiguration of double-bass, as I'm pretty sure you'll wonder about the techniques and objects they used to turn their musical instruments into squawking chickens ("Chicken Talk"), shredders ("How Long Does It Take Styrofoam To Become Earth Again?"), power saws ("Sawing Logs"), angry dogs ("Dog Bite"), beloved fetishes ("Kissing F-holes"), resounding behives ("Buzzing Bees"), innuendos ("Serene Moment", "Bonanza's Nuts", "Witch Tricks") or authentic sonic set designer ("Highway To Hell", "Industrial Romance"). I've just listed a part of the wide sonic mimicry this creative couple of musicians collected in 22 wacky sketches. I'll leave you the pleasure to explore the remaining sketches of pure sonic camouflage.

Christoph Schiller/Lea Danzeisen: 47°13' N 7°E

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 20 2012
cover
Artist: Christoph Schiller/Lea Danzeisen (@)
Title: 47°13' N 7°E
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Another uncommon sonic wringer from Portuguese label Creative Sources has been signed by a couple of Switzerland-based (as you could easily surmise from the geographical coordinate, which point to a place the district of Franches-Montagnes in the canton of Jura in Switzerland, they used to name this release) musicians, Lea Danzeisen and Christoph Schiller, who decided to squeeze the spinet, the little brother of harpsichord and piano, whose sound got totally transfigured by meticulous modifications on strings, jacks, dampers and plectrums. Given that they marked their collaborative work by highlighting the place it was supposedly assembled and recorded, you could imagine them as a couple of clocksmiths while grappling with a ginormous broken clock, whose resounding coil springs, bellows, rollers, wheels and screws become parts of a huge orchestra over the two long-lasting tracks of the album with moments when their seemingly perfect mechanism suddenly busts. It's quite amazing to imagine their sonic reactions after their nerve-racking assemblage got harmstringed by this unexpected crashes as well.

Bleak House: Dark Poetry

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 20 2012
cover
Artist: Bleak House (@)
Title: Dark Poetry
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This is certainly not the first attempt of rendering a narrative or thespian declension of the so-called musical indeterminacy, but the intrinsic heterogeneity, the wise literal references and the bizarre orchestrating techniques, which have been showed on "Dark Poetry" by this trio of Norwegian musicians made up of pianist Dag-Filip Roaldsnes, alto-saxophonist Kim-Erik Pedersen and drummer Tore T.Sandbakken, makes it one of the most interesting attempt, which tries to follow such a direction along with many quotations and references. After the introduction of the three ideal narrating voices on "Entrances", they seems to offer a potential sonci translation of the notorious novel "Bleak house" by Charles Dickens on the homonymous track, whose constant creaks, tottering and groggy sonic structures and wobbly melodies manages to evoke the cutthroat and sadly realistic plot of the novel, which has still been considered one of the best indictment against law, lawyers, red tapes and nitpicking aspects of many civil jurisdictions, a shadow play for the filthiest side of human nature. The intense low-key broken melodies on "Short letter, long farewell" and their tacit sketchiness seem to evoke another moment of that novel. I mentioned Dickes' novel, but their sonic exploration could be perfect to set to music many other bleak houses from other arts: I could remind the house described by Shirley Jackson on "The Haunting of Hill House" or the imagined houses where characters portrayed by Schiele could live into. Their music sometimes sound deliberately a sort of mirroring of impossible geometries, weird-looking corners, crooked rooms, cramped cells, even when they seek for similar structures in the organic world ("Tweak peak", "Jakla"), within sonic ("So low", "Graph", "Etude I", "Etude II") and literary ("For sale: Baby shoes, never worn", quotation of the known flash fiction by Hemingway). The dedication to Morton Feldman's "Trio" on "Trio for Morton Feldman" cannot be but dutiful to one possible source for inspiration of "Dark Poetry", even if an attentive listening could remind techniques and sketches from John Cage, or Henry Cowell.

Synapsis: Officina Ferraria Reworked

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 18 2012
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Artist: Synapsis
Title: Officina Ferraria Reworked
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
his release is a compilation of remixes from the first album of this polish band that, according to the linear notes, stand "firmly in the industrial stylistics with hints of dark ambient and noise" but is not the band to be reviewed but his remixers.
Starting with the dark ambient oriented remix made by Wolfram of "Illuminacja W CiÄgarni" and ending with the quiet almost lowercase Tomasz Krakowiak's treatment of "Sill Weave" the card played by this kind of release is variety and, so, there's remixers that emphasize the industrial aspect as GEttNER's remix of "Opór Materii" or the noise one as VilgoÄ's remix of "Pater Noster" or, even, the field recordings aspect as the remix operated by Tyko Ching.
In my opinion this is an enjoyable release but this kind of release are material for djs rather than objects for fans as they suffer the lack of an unifying tract for all the tracks. Nice but, musically speaking, only for collectors.


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