Music Reviews



Marek X.Marchoff & MJ Caroline Rider: Voxfields

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 11 2012
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Artist: Marek X.Marchoff & MJ Caroline Rider (@)
Title: Voxfields
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
The fifth chapter of Zoharum's ongoing IYHHH (anagram of Into Your Hands Hearts Hallucinations) series coincides with the first album by Different State's head Marek Xavier Marchoff, entirely based on field recordings, taken from the east and west bunkers area of Fort Tilden, an abandoned army base, built together with Fort Totten in order to defend NYC from airstrike attacks, whose vestiges are hidden by pines, coastal overgrowth and wonderful dunes, so that it's a sort of surreal paradise nearby New York, where old wartime structures (barracks, nuclear missile silos, underground artillery shelters, observatory outposts and so on) jars on natural coastal set, different from common muddy beaches and murky waters of other American beaches on Atlantic Ocean. Marek and Mj Caroline Rider proposes an immersive guided tour of this strange place just some miles out of the chaotic Big Apple, whose emotional hooks and power of suggestion have been amplified by some inserts, which look like a projection of authors' feelings since the beginning, where an obsessive clinical pulse together with a kind of keen electric buzz and air raid warnings highlight mental images while these sonic grabbers walk at a rattling. Listeners are going to keep on strolling over claustrophobic clashes, chirping birds, seagulls and insects (sometimes getting quite unnatural), rusty tanks, sinister trills, bare echoes, heavy footsteps, rustle of dropped leaves, disquieting gurgling and even human clamours - appearing on stage just in the final track, which features interesting manipulations of them - and other elements, which have been "organized" by Marek and MJ Caroline in a "musical" way, just like notes on a pentagram. Very atmospheric exemplar of sonic psychogeography!

LUCA SIGURTA': bliss

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 08 2012
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Artist: LUCA SIGURTA' (@)
Title: bliss
Format: CD
Label: Fratto9 Under the Sky (@)
Rated: *****
Some years ago Luca Sigurtà has been brought to my attention from my Chaindlk-mate/musician Eugenio Maggi aka Cria Cuervos, Eugenio gave me some of his early releases, later I've bought myself his cdr on Afe records, his cds with Pocket Progressive, Harshcore and so on. We're not writing about a newjack since the guy has an intense touring schedule both alone and with bands like Harshcore or Luminance Ratio, he's also been sharing splits or collaborative efforts with Andy Ortmann, Claudio Rocchetti, To Live and Shave in La, Slicing Grandpa and Fhievel just to name a few. For this second chapter of Fratto9's Microcosmos series Sigurtà has shaped his best work so far, finally enriched by a boombastic production with the aid of Giuseppe Ielasi during the mastering process. This piemontese musician has put together a release that is intriguing, meditative but at the same time relaxing. Always close to the border of ambient music, this crepuscular collection of drones is really inspired, by some means I've been quite surprised during the early listenings and it has to be addressed to the fact Luca has basically worked with weird, noisy, electro-acoustic projects and his live acts, without being exactly "power-noise" oriented, are physical and angular (whatever it means). I think despite the many influences you can perceive here and there the sound of this music is really "american", I mean even if this music sometime may suggest you comparison to Oren Ambarchi, Brendon Labelle or similar artist, Sigurtà stylistically is probably closer to John Wiese or Aaron Dilloway and this' more evident if you have the luck to see one of his shows.

FABIO ORSI : the new year is over

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 08 2012
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Artist: FABIO ORSI
Title: the new year is over
Format: 3 x CD (triple CD)
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
Along with Giuseppe Ielasi, Fabio Orsi is probably the most talked about italian musician that surprised me the most release after release. Differently from Ielasi, despite some different works, Orsi has more stylistic continuity infact if we have to draw in some comparison to picture what kind of artist we're in front of, he could be the italian answer to Aidan Baker. Even if both Aidan and Fabio are crossing a post ambient music field their approach is considerably different, infact the italian artist relocated in Berlin has a less depressive e more ambient feel that doesn't remind anything in particular. Release after release and after several collaborations, many of which see him involved together with Gianluca Becuzzi, Orsi developed his peculiar musical language and beside melancholia I'd add his modus operandi is high emotionally charged. This new triple cd came out on Silentes (if you've never given a try to this label you'd better check it) shows this guy is in full blossoming and after having seen him live (a less than quarter of an hour minutes blast) I can confirm he's a real talented musician. Even if I was afraid three distinct cds were just too much, after having experienced all of them one after the other I can truly say while they can be listened as three episodes of the same movie, there's no superfluous repetition and considering it's post ambient music it's surprising. Why do I define this music post ambient? Cause Orsi added an electronic percussive beat that animates the first cd, he's also add some dark passages that later leave room to dreamy and almost evocative feelings and everything well mixed in a really relaxed mood. I really don't know if this the apex of Orsi solo carrier but I'm sure this' one of his best works so far and like Aidan Baker it amazes me how he managed to maintain such a high quality considering they both are unstoppable under the releases profile. Believe it or not this' probably one of the few triple cd releases you can repeatedly listen without finding everything excessive. The general atmosphere of this album made think to this french sentence "le ciel bleu est plus joli après la pluie"

UNDER THE SNOW : the other room

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 08 2012
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Artist: UNDER THE SNOW
Title: the other room
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
This project involves Stefano Gentile himself, he's the head-chief of Silentes records, one of the most renowned italian label for what concerns ambient music, field recordings, soft electronics and anything in the likes. His cohort in this band is Gianluca Favaron who has a few ambient, experimental releases out on several labels. This' an equilibrated duo considering Gentile takes care of objects, guitar (he's already played guitar for other projects including his all star "band" called Maribor) while Favaron uses microphones, electronics and loops and both are credited for the field recordings. Considering one of the members is the man behind such a label I don't think you'll be surprised to discover the release has been somehow influenced by ambient music, but beside that obvious conclusion I wouldn't define "the other room" as an ambient recordings, this music has much more to share with minimalism. I guess the most learned now reading will be thinking by some means minimalism and ambient music have always been linked by an umbilical cord people like Brian Eno has never tried to hide. As said this' minimalist music to the bone and with a strong relaxing edge, don't expect something explicitly melodic, but no doubt this' a soft blanket to get asleep while catching a train of thoughts.

Matteo Uggeri | Luca Mauri | Francesco Giannico: Pagetos

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 04 2012
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Artist: Matteo Uggeri | Luca Mauri | Francesco Giannico (@)
Title: Pagetos
Format: CD
Label: Boring Machines (@)
Rated: *****
It's 4.56 AM, the trampling onto an icy ground under the heavystep of boot-covered feet breaks the silence and in the meanwhile the observer pushes off the slush and the smashed ice, he goes a few paces before stopping and staring at the enchanting fixity of a snow-white homogenous scenery in the middle of boundless steep slopes and the almost surreal nocturnal glow of the omnivorous whiteness, emphasized by gentle piano strokes, crystalline guitar plucks and soft plonks. So it begins the fourth and supposedly final act of the tetralogy "Between The Elements", based on an interesting concept, a variation on the typicial and almost cliched seasonal theme, based on tangencies and intersections between natural elements (Pagetos is the Greek word for hoarfrost, the meeting point between earth and water), developed by MB (Maurizio Bianchi), Hue aka Matteo Uggeri and Spyros Abatelios and musically dramatized by talented pianist Francesco Giannico aka Mark Hamn, guitar player Luca Mauri and cello samples by Andrea Serrapiglio this time. It's just gone half an hour, it's 5.34 AM, the temperature is falling and while the rime looks like covering everything, cold gets bitter and bitter so that it pierces the body without any wound by making it blue from cold, teeth are chattering (as suggested by field recordings), the mute melodies of "Calaverna" flows into the solitary contemplation of "Icy Leaves", whereas even the trumpet solo by Uggeri crystallizes while blowing on piano's wavering. It's 7.27 AM and the cold has become so severe than the silent hero of this winter tale takes refuge in a mountain shelter (you could hear noises which look like coming from inside of it), but just after one hour he cannot resist to the inviting symbiosis offered by the natural show surrounding him, so that the track "Cold Air" sounds like the highest peak of such an idyll, but after the entrancing lights of aurora, the light warmth of the morning begins the frost and puts an end to the temporary stand-by of frozen passions and compulsions, which dramatically resurfaces with their burden of frustration and suffering in the final track. I didn't devised a nice way to review this record by an imaginary timeline, but tracklist (and its imaginary plot) evolves on a time span between late night and first hours of morning, emphasizing the synaesthetic appeal of the listening experience.


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