Music Reviews

Therradaemon: Den mørke munnens språk

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 14 2012
Artist: Therradaemon (@)
Title: Den mørke munnens språk
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Therradaemon is the dark ambient project of Hærleif Langas, better known as Northaunt, and, according to the linear notes of this record, the tracks were composed during a five years period (2005-2010) revealing, depending to the point of view, his status of side project or the will to constantly craft all the sounds that built this remarkable release.
"Levende Sort" open this album with frightening layers of noises, slowly evolving, that in the second part of this long track get substituted by deep drones evoking obscurity. "Ildspor" is an almost isolationist track made out of small noises above an immersive dark soundscape. The title track, translating to "Language of the dark mouth", is characterized by an almost religious slow deep beat coming back and forth during all the track and acting as a gravity center for the noisy background. "Et arr av lys" close this release with carefully crafted layers of noise that slowly decay as an autumn leaf.
This album could probably not be the most original album of this genre but the overall quality of this four tracks let this album candidate to the status of state-of-the-art in dark ambient. To be heard.

candlesnuffer & Lukas Simonis: Nature Stands Aside

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 12 2012
Artist: candlesnuffer & Lukas Simonis (@)
Title: Nature Stands Aside
Format: CD
Label: Hellosquare/Z6 (@)
Distributor: Korm Plastics
Rated: *****
Unquestionably, curiosity for the sonic expectoration by this duo made up of two eccentric and inventive guitarists and performers with a remarkable background and an intricate web of collaborations and projects in different art/punk constellations like the versatile Dutch music "activist" Lukas Simonis, also known for his tireless work in the field of organization of music festival (he recently collaborated for the setting out of WORM, a multimedia centre for experimental arts in Rottardam), and David Brown aka candlesnuffer, skilled guitarist coming from the fertile Melbourne art-punk scene with a meaningful experience in film score composition, might be aroused by the intellectualist framework they find for their bizarre experiments on prepared guitars: while being aware of cultural diktat of the so-called capitalist civilization and neoliberalism's pretensions to set a strict universal (and somewhat natural) order during an historical moment where anyone's aware of its detumescence, they build a conceptual bridge with "Special Cases", which is not the notorious song by Massive Attack, but an interesting art book by photographer and collage artist Rosamund W.Purcell about a peculiar human obsession with monstrosity which features an approach, remarkably differne tfrom the grotesque one pervading most of last century's literature, where monstrosity is not related to external aspect, but it's more something cognitive, so that a monster could just be something we don't know and we don't understand. The manifest lack of regular rhythmical and melodies structures, the abundance of jumps from one scale to another one and chaotic arrangement of cracks and nice sonic creatures (I particularly liked the moment when they jump from saturations of plinks, so that sometimes listeners could imagine guitar cases have been overfilled with marbles, to detonations and somewhat molecular sonic decay as well as those ones when disruptive scratches, cracks, rumbling thumps and other timbrical trifles look like jamming rusty mechanical cogs like in "Morph My Logic", "A Happy Life At The Expense Of Others" and "Hottentot Venus"...and the final lovely divertssment "Mermaid Giving Birth To Twins While Kissing Her Consort"...what a title!!!) could have fed this conceptual link with those natural anomalies explored in that book (even if I'm more inclined to associate it to another art-book by the same author, titled Bookworm, where there's a bizarre re-interpretation of a French economics text by imaginary termites!). Such an intellectual approach could eclipse the musical content of this release, which could sound like a frivolous oddity, but I'm pretty sure many listeners will discern in these abstract improvisational knick-knacks more marvels than monsters!

Ass-Olo: La pinacoteca invisibile e altre schifezze

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 12 2012
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Artist: Ass-Olo (@)
Title: La pinacoteca invisibile e altre schifezze
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Do you know what "easy listening is"? Well, Ass-Olo not. This is a project by Madrasko of Barbarian Pipe Band, and this is something that I would not define "entertaining". I have a wide concept of that, to me even Masonna is entertaining because it has some organicity, it has a mood, it has aggression, it has headache. I don't mean that Ass-Olo has nothing, it actually has too much! The 10 compositions follow the path of a dadaist collage, spoken vocal parts (sampled and not), noises and oscillations coming from digital and analogic machines, classical music samples, some occasional deep rhythm beats (usually stopping before you can get used to them), concrete music'¦ all mixed together not randomly I guess but "dadaistically" at least. I have the feeling that sometimes samples and layers are kinda stuck on the rest like some "Post-It" sheets and not really blent in the composition, it's like windows opening suddenly and then closing. The tracks I like more, and it's not a case, are "EsEmpire" and "HoMe", though a bit flat they succeed in creating an atmosphere because they take the time to do it. I expect better stuff in the future.

Sonolumina: Solar Logos

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 11 2012
Artist: Sonolumina (@)
Title: Solar Logos
Format: CD
Label: Symbolic Insight (@)
I have been a reviewer for ChainDLK for seven years now and I think this is a first: belly dancing music. Here's how the press sheet describes the album: 'Nine unique tracks take the listener on a journey from modern American belly dance fusion around the world to Eastern inspired IDM grooves, drawing from both current electronic trends and ancient tribal traditions.' Evidently Jewl Pettaway, one half of Sonolumina, is a dancer as well as a musician, so this makes some sense. There are some hints of their influences, specifically Muslimgauze in tracks like 'Hado,' which is somewhat reminiscent of 'Curfew, Gaza' off Zul'm. However, where Muslimgauze pushed the envelope, about half of this album seems like the kind of thing that you would expect to hear at your local Moroccan restaurant during belly dancing nights. It does seem to get progressively more experimental as the album goes on. There are some subtle nods to experimentation, with some staticy beats in 'Fatima' and 'Ganges' (it's a bit difficult to read the track listing because of the font ' I had to go to discogs to get the track listing) throws in some spoken word, but it isn't really what I would call experimental. Three tracks come closest to this though: 'Sengali,' which brings in some distortion and noise, and 'Moodi' and 'Tablaji,' which are both much more of an ambient middle-eastern excursion with some subdued percussion and field recordings. Had the entire album been like the last 22 minutes, it would have been a bit more on the experimental side. It was a fun listen though. Get it for someone who is interested in trying out belly dancing. This album weighs in at around 67 minutes.


 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 11 2012
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: E:MF3
Format: CD
Label: PAS Records (@)
This is a pretty good use of a compilation. According to the labels, 'This compilation showcases some of the acts for the Experi-MENTAL 3 Festival taking place on August 5th through August 7th at Goodbye Blue Monday, in Brooklyn NY. We are trying to raise money through selling this compilation to fund the festival. All donations for this compilation will go toward artist transportation, housing, and food.' On to the music. This is a various artists compilation, which are almost always a mixed bag, so I'll mainly touch on the high points. Some of the standout tracks are 'Justine' by Blue Sausage Infant, who throws down a heavy slab of electronic rumble with some spoken word. 'Cloud' by Richard Lainhart is a nice piece of shimmering drone. 'Blatta Blyad' by Violet brings the harsh noise to the compilation. 'Socrates Speaks' by PAS is just plain weird, but in a good way. 'Friday Night' by Use Other Door was nice minimalist soundscape that makes good use of dynamics and quiet. Some seem to not quite fit, like 'Bubble Wrap' by Carey Burtt, which sounds like it would be quite at home on your local college radio station. 'Experimental' by Black Saturn is kind of an odd rap (although let's face it ' it's still better than most of the 40oz driven crap out there these days). Overall, this sounds like it would be an excellent show (although it has already happened). Still, if you see something like this it is a good reminder to support your local experimental music scene. This disc weighs in at around 58 minutes.

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