Music Reviews



Clara Engel: Tender

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 24 2012
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Artist: Clara Engel
Title: Tender
Format: 12"
Label: Backwards (@)
Rated: *****
Clara Engel is a Canadian singer with an expressive voice. As all artist with this particular feature is musical output is entirely based on the voice as instruments has the responsibility to create a quite impalpable background that has the function to close the void create by the natural rhythm of the verse.
"O my love is Hurricane" opens this release with a song based almost exclusively on the particular voice of this artist with only some sparse sounds as texture. "Illuminate me" is a folk song where the guitar has the role to rule the rhythm of the lyrics. "White elephant" features a jazzy instrumental landscape to the voice. "I wear your coat" is a lyric ballad for voice and guitar. "Opium song" opens the second side of this album (is released as a vinyl only) with an ethnical fell given by the percussion as a coloring element. "Why for an hour" is an evocative tune for voice and guitar while "How many horses" is instead for voice and piano. "Do you know how it is?" close this release with a folkish mode done by the mandolin.
This album is obviously not recommended for everyone searching for novelty, avantgarde or the next big thing however the simple form of a couple of instruments and a voice has a sort of charm that it's not easy to explain. It's that sort of beauty a down has, it's the thing you see everyday but it's the thing you cannot live without.

Emanuele De Raymondi: Buyukberber Variations

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 24 2012
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Artist: Emanuele De Raymondi (@)
Title: Buyukberber Variations
Format: CD
Label: ZerOKilled Music (@)
Rated: *****
Many people, who are digging the improvisational soils and their exotic seeds, could be conversant with Turkish born clarinet virtuoso Oguz Buyukberber for his nice tapping style and his musical syncretism, which aggregates elements from American jazz, European classical music and Turkish traditional one, but they supposedly ignore the talented Italian avant-garde sound artist Emanuele De Raymondi, who recently recorded his debut release in an inspirational loft in Kreuzberg, Berlin, in spite of his remarkable collaborations and performing experiences and just chose Buyukberber's improvisations to give proof of his acquaintance with electronic compositional techniques. Clarinet, "extended" techniques and electronics have never been in cahoots like in the most recent years - think about known and unknown musicians such as Milos Sugar, Karlheinz Essl, Georg Antoniv, Harold Rubin and many others -, but the sublimation of this nice member of winds family, which manages to produce "rissoles" of amalgamated high frequencies and bizarre harmonics, by De Raymondi sounds focused not only on different treatments of its sound - I particularly enjoyed the ones when Emanuele seems to stretch clarinet's voice and Oguz's breathe like in the second (superb!) and seventh variations as well as those ones when he "pricks" frequencies or manages to make them hiccup as he emulates a sort of cutting edge -, but also on a careful and extremely clear study on spatial placement of sound, which could be helped by the location he chose for the recording. The dedication of this debut release to Giorgio Mortari, the head behind the highly regarded and notorious festival Dissonanze, which he successfully organized in Rome by inviting very important names of different stylistical fields of electronic music, is really moving.

Bernard Parmegiani: L'Oeil ecoute/Dedans-Dehors

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 23 2012
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Artist: Bernard Parmegiani (@)
Title: L'Oeil ecoute/Dedans-Dehors
Format: 12"
Label: Recollection GRM/Editions Mego (@)
Rated: *****
Recollection GRM is the worthwhile new project by Austrian label Editions Mego focused on the forerunning sonic research of legendary Groupe de Recherches Musicales, the hyperactive collective of sound artists and researchers created by Pierre Schaeffer, whose releases are authentic miliar stones for the development of the so-called musique concrete and electroacoustic music. Peter Rehberg's label should have justifiably thought that the reprise of some sonic jewels kept in GRM's archives could be a useful anthology for all those people, audiophiles and musicians, who are seriously approaching electronic music, so that Francois Bonnet and Christian Zanesi, coordinators of Recollection GRM project, decided to sift through them in order to reprint some of the most meaningful finds. After the reissues of GRM founder Pierre Schaeffer's "Le Triedre Fertile" (previously released by Philips in 1978) and "Granulations-Sillages/Franges Du Signe", one of the first release by Guy Reibel, first assistant of Schaeffer's electroacoustic composition courses at the Conservatoire de Paris, the third release of the series has been dedicated to a couple of astonishing sound collages by Bernard Parmegiani, the protean sound engineer who's expressly been numbered in the list of sources of inspirations by some effulgent star of contemporary electronic music scene such as Autechre and Aphex Twin. Named after the oxymoronic title of an essay by French poet Paul Claudet, "L'oeil ecoute" (meaning "The eye hears", released in 1970) is a majestic intertwining of concrete and electronic sound, one of the first release which was recorded in GRM's Studio 54; it begins with field recordings which sound grabbed during a train trip (according to many essaysts such a preface should be a tribute to Pierre Schaeffer's "L'Etude aux chemins de fer" (The Study of Railways) and carry on impressive sonic sketches, where you could easily recognize some of the sonic tricks which are still used by many electronic musicians. On the other side of the record, you'll find "Dedans-Dehors" (1977), an impressively realistic field recording-oriented long composition focused on the notion of metamorphosis, which, according to the explanation by Parmegiani himself, "is one of the principles that leads the course of the musical suite, reflecting changes (fluid-solid passages: water/ice/fire) or movements (ebb/flow/wave, inspiration/expiration) or inside-outside passages (door/individual/crowd). Thus, the perceived object is not entirely what we would have liked it to be. Our music brings us closer to some whilst it takes us away from others: each with their own inside.". Both of them are not just collection of stunning sound effects, but the words used by Parmegiani to introduce them seems to subtend some authentic aesthetic and ethic fundamentals as well as a sort of teaching about the infinite possibilities offered to our sense organs by stimuli whose existence often gets ignored by sentient beings, even just in order to feed and drive its imagination. Definitively a must-listen.

Axel Doerner, Ernesto Rodrigues, Abdul Moimeme, Ricardo Guerreiro: Fabula

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 22 2012
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Artist: Axel Doerner, Ernesto Rodrigues, Abdul Moimeme, Ricardo Guerreiro
Title: Fabula
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The fable which could come to my mind after the listening of the very first seconds of this collaborative release, performed and recorded by this strong quartet of improvisers in the cine-theatre Curvo-Semedo in the Portuguese town of Montemor-o-Novo could be one from Kipling's "The Jungle Books" due to the bizarre sounds produced by Axel Doerner's trumpet and Ernesto Rodrigues' viola, which could let the listener's think about a chorus of animal cries, but the sound gradually becomes more amalgamated and somewhat venturesome by means of occasional, but incisive guitar clutches by Abdul Moimeme, and computer filtering, sonic thumbnail sketches by Riccardo Guerreiro and kinky mutations of original sound of each instrument - appearances of each instrument have never been so deceptive! - so that it seems that it chips into multiple rivulets which crumbles the barriers between musicians and listeners as well as the ones between sense organs and environment. Stuart Broomer's quotation of Plato's "Republic" when the great Greek philosopher wrote "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city will tremble" while speaking about the political importance of music and the cogent description of the above-mentioned erosive process, which this combo manages to sparkle off little by little, in the linear notes totally recall any moment of this magnificently atmospheric proof of collectively performed improvisational aesthetics as well as its inner dynamics.

Barberos: 000

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 21 2012
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Artist: Barberos
Title: 000
Format: 12"
Label: Human Feather
Rated: *****
Formed by three mysterious guys from Liverpool, Barberos started their mission on 2008, after a party. They decided to give form to their ideas using two drums and a synth. PL, UJ and OD wear their white spandex suits and started touring Europe and UK sharing stages with people like Charles Hayward (This Heat), Melt Banana Capillary Action , Poil, Action beat, Ruins, Common Deflection Problems, UltraZook, just to mention a few. 000 is their first album (a short one, since it lasts 23 minutes) and contains five tracks. The album opens with "Hot Squash", a mix of tribal psych cinematic madness. The peculiarity of this recordings is that they chosed to panpot a drum for each channel. In this way we have a sort of 3D sound which is able to captivate the audience. Mixing jazz, post-punk and progressive, Barberos has convinced me immediately and they recalled me also the 70s B-movies soundtracks in balance from kraut-rock, psychedelia and experimentation. If you love Zorn as well as Magma or even if you don't give a damn about those two, check the whole album here http://humanfeather.bandcamp.com/album/000-2 and support Barberos!


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