Music Reviews



Piotr Kolecki & Molok Mun: The Spices

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 06 2012
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Artist: Piotr Kolecki & Molok Mun (@)
Title: The Spices
Format: 12" vinyl + CD
Label: Noisen Records (@)
Rated: *****
This release is the result, almost apparently, of the collaboration between Piotr Kolechi, a well known name in the polish experimental scene, and Molok Mun, another polish experimental project. Unfortunately the album linear notes, written in polish language, aren't comprehensible, at least for the writer of this review, but the important thing is the musical result.
"The Spice" opens this release with spoken words above a sparse sounds made by the instruments aiming to create the atmosphere for the text. "Salt" is based on long notes and resonances until the trumpet of Robert Zelewski take the scene. "Pepper" is based on guitar lines above the small noises made by the extended techniques used by the other members of the band. "Chili" is a solar interlude that color the atmospheres depicted by the previous tracks. "Curry" is a rather short interlude to "Rosemary" that is a quiet soundscape with an oriental flavor while "Curcuma" is an uptempo interlude to "Thyme", the longest track of this release, based on a long drone colored by sparse sounds made by the various instruments used by the band. "No sugar, no meat" is a short clear drone that close this album.
This album is enjoyable as is, in a certain sense, a classic and well played album, as this could be concept of experimental music. Nice for everyone.

Roedelius + Chaplin: King of Hearts

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 06 2012
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Artist: Roedelius + Chaplin
Title: King of Hearts
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa (@)
Rated: *****
I'm getting into the habit of blindly listening upcoming releases by playing them without worrying about the author or the label: it happened during this kind of random listening that when my eardrum met the first track of this release "Comme Ãça", some scenes from Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights" and the moving poetry behind his tender awkwardness and his touching care in the love affair with a blind flower girl, in the attempt of collecting money for an expensive sight-saving operation, have been immediately rendered into my mind. You can just imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the co-signers of this graceful release is no less than Christopher Chaplin, the youngest son of Charlie Chaplin, who remixed a live piano set by another musical living legend as it is the German avantgarde composer and krautrock pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius for Fiona Talkington's "Late Junction Session" on BBC Radio 3. When Roedelius was invited to choose a musician to remix his live set, he opted for Chaplin, whom he first met at the "Gugginger Irritationem 2", a festival in Wien, focused on Art Brut. I've not read anything about source for inspiration and themes behind "King Of Hearts", but the title could let you imagine the tale about a dethroned noble-minded and big-hearted king, who decides to return to his previous kingdom in order to restore justice and peace after hearing and ascertain his previous beloved subjects in despair. The first part of the album seems to evoke a grim reality where oppression and covetousness muted poeple's souls, whose gravity resounds with the sad piano arpeggios and anxious bells on "Autrement", the menacing atmosphere evoked by "Mais oui", the solitary remembrance, which seems to be activated by electronic chirping birds, on "Tout à fait", the aching emotional outbursts on the catchy tangle of a torn and disquiet piano melody, an afflicted violin in "Parce que", which precedes the consciousness raising, the recovered temperament and the declaration of intent by this imaginary king, whose heartbeat and voice first appear on the amazing "Evidemment", whereas the slow slapping on lead guitar and the organ on "Bien Sur" evokes a cogitation about a strategy. The delicate cover of notorious "By This River", the song Roedelius co-wrote with Brian Eno and Moebius, on "Aussi Bien", the regal portamento of jazzy "N'est-ce pas", the sliding joint between a distorted guitar and faltering piano melody on "Tant mieux" and the amazing final track "Voici", a sort of crossbreeding between improvisational jazz techniques and suffused lights Roedelius applies on sounds, are going to let you imagine how the story could end. A somewhat unorthodox piece of good contemporary classical music.

Lata: Starlings

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 03 2012
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Artist: Lata (@)
Title: Starlings
Format: CD
Label: Exotic Pylon Records (@)
Rated: *****
Thirty-six hours on a train could become a so mind-altering experience for the most inveterate traveller that you can easily argue it could be a prodrome for mystical experiences and result into a safe-conduct for any kind of barrier, which locks any door of perception. Jacob Burns, former bass player with Scottish band Damn Shames and one of the youngest force of post-punk experimental band Cindytalk, was none the worse for such a train travel across India (hopefully not for a delay or I could surmise this record could have been more harsh and bloody furious than it is...) and maybe he couldn't imagine after he stepped down the train, the sensorial feast he experienced inside Tundla Station could be so inspirational. According to his own words "the arches of the place were alive with birds, flicking off the walls and the top of the crowds, delicate bodies who seemed drawn up, in ever more numbers, to the vaulted roof, where they were coming into roost. The host of them were all singing, in a high, pure pitch that was contained and multiplied by the masonry of the station into an incredible noise, loud but not painful". The second source for inspiration Jacob poured into "Starlings" was his toing and froing over East London Line. Both of these two excitements astonishingly merge on this one-track album, whose 9 parts are easily recognisable while sliding on impressive sonic interbreeding between tweets and chirps on one side and mechanical clattering, puffing brakes, jumps on rails and other typical noises the ear usually grab during a train journey. An appetizer of "Starlings" already delighted eardrums of all those who bought the July edition of The Wire Magazine's Tapper CD, who could confirm the remarkable way this sound designer followed to encapsulate two of the most proper juggernauts and inspirational sources for many contemporary electronic jugglers: transport and birds!

Blue Sausage Infant: Manitou

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 02 2012
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Artist: Blue Sausage Infant (@)
Title: Manitou
Format: CD
Label: Alrealon (@)
Rated: *****
I had previously reviewed Blue Sausage Infant's 'Negative Space' album, so I was interested to see how this one would turn out. With guest artists wielding 'turntable bacon shortwave,' 'fire extinguisher,' and 'beer glass,' we should be in for an interesting ride. Here's how the label describes this: 'Following the long-form kosmische excursions of 2011's 'Negative Space', Blue Sausage Infant's new CD recalls the ruthless energy and shorter attention span of BSI's cassettes from the 1980s. 'Manitou' is a wild ride: a patchwork of huge analog drones, mutant caffeinated space-punk, musique concrete, krautrock-style jams, distorted industrial stomp, and deep electronic mind candy. This collection includes a new remake of the classic BSI track 'The Moss Takes Over' which first appeared in the 1990 cassette 'Infinite Sky.' Guest musicians include members of Insect Factory, Pilesar, Violet, Tag Cloud, and Timmy Sells His Soul. The result is an hour-long celebration of reckless improvisation and joyful nightmares.' I have to admit that I was not sold at the beginning. To me, 'Afflicted by the Wind Disease' and 'Hosebag' were a bit dull. However, it does get better from here. One of my favorites here is 'The Moss Takes Over,' which sounds like a cross between 80's buttrock and a videogame soundtrack from the same era (think boss phase). 'Aphid's Lament' is a nice slab of slow moving distortion and feedback. 'Catoctin' is almost mellow. 'Abdominal Frost' is an interesting cinematic soundscape. For me this is more of a mixed bag, although some of this may be by design. As he goes from style to style, there are sure to be hits and misses. For the most part, the hits outweigh the misses though. I would definitely see him live though, as it seems like it would be a good show. This album weighs in at around 57 minutes.

Alberto Boccardi: s/t

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 02 2012
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Artist: Alberto Boccardi (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: fratto9 under the sky records (@)
Rated: *****
Alberto Boccardi is an Italian electronic musician and aerospace engineer. This is his first solo release after some collaborations. Here's what the label had to say: 'Soundscapes that alternate unstable vibrations of the earth's surface to static animal references. Acoustic instruments, electronics, voice and field recordings, in the first work by Alberto Boccardi, tell emotional phases grown from the memories but living in the present. The use of sound is purely functional to instinct, and to the desire to define the boundaries of otherwise ephemeral images.' Now on to the music. It makes sense that he has done work for dance and video installation, as this music seems designed to fade into the background. In some ways it is a bit too minimal, moving at a sometimes glacial pace. However, 'Desolate Red Fingers' features minimal atmosphere with female vocals that remind me of Sara Lundén. 'Clocking the Time' finally releases some sense of emotion with squalling saxaphone and grinding feedback, if only for a moment. Overall this wasn't too bad, but it doesn't really stand out. I would place this among those that I refer to as good CDs to give to those who are beginning to dabble in experimental music. Limited to 300 copies. This album weighs in at around 27 minutes.


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