Music Reviews



Michael Bisio: Travel Music

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 14 2011
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Artist: Michael Bisio (@)
Title: Travel Music
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Michael Bisio is a rather accomplished bassist. One thing that stands out on this album is that it seems to only be Bisio on the album. Although this can be a disadvantage, especially with an instrument so accustomed to accompaniment, this was not too much of an issue. At times it sounds like there are other players there, but it is all bass. Imagine almost an hour of nothing but bass ' but it didn't get boring. However, it also tended to fade into the background because it also wasn't as engaging as a more expanded group might have been. Part of this stems from the fact that he seems, for the most part, to stay true to the traditional uses of the instrument. As a comparison, consider Architeuthis Walks on Land, a bassoon and viola duo that force their instruments into making fantastic unconventional sounds. This album didn't really seem like much of a fit for ChainDLK readers. It's nice improv bass solo with covers of Human Being by Charlie Haden and Alabama by John Coltrane, but not really too experimental. This album weighs in at around 54 minutes.

Kronomorfic: Micro Temporal Infundibula

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 14 2011
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Artist: Kronomorfic (@)
Title: Micro Temporal Infundibula
Format: CD
Label: pfMENTUM (@)
Let's begin with the obvious. This is pretty much straight up jazz. Luckily for Kronomorfic, I am a fan of jazz, but let's just say that this album really doesn't belong on Chain DLK. Since one of the main members of Kronomorfic is David Borgo, who is also an Associate Professor of Music at UC San Diego, we'll use an academic analogy. When one writes a book on art criticism, they typically do not send it out for review at a physics journal. Pushing the envelope with time signatures, which is what this group focuses on, does not really put it into the realm of weirdness most Chain DLK readers are used to. OK, now that the curmudgeonliness is out of the way, let's talk about the music itself. It's pleasant jazz, and the vibraphone player is fantastic, giving it a space age bachelor pad feel. Borgo is an excellent saxophonist as well, with a flair for improvisation. Jeannot's Knife does, seem to push the envelope a bit, but much of this would be right at home on your local jazz station. It has a pretty good groove overall, but if you're looking for the next Sun Ra (and aren't we all?) you'll have to keep looking. This album weighs in at around 60 minutes.

Legendary Pink Dots: The French Collection

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 14 2011
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Artist: Legendary Pink Dots (@)
Title: The French Collection
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
I have had the pleasure of seeing the Legendary Pink Dots live, so I knew what I was in for when I got this set. I would put them in one of my top five favorite concerts that I have seen, so they definitely have a powerful stage presence. The press release for this set states: 'It started with a dusty box of DAT tapes. Perhaps it was years since anyone had listened to them despite the tantalising labels, "Paris #1", "Paris #2","Paris #3'... these tapes were a document of the Dots' one and only 3-nighter from the 10th to the 12th of March 1994 at the delightful Theatre Passage du Nord Ouest. For this special occasion, HOURS of material were prepared and delivered in the certainty that quite possibly the same 300 or so people would turn up each night. . . Sometimes the band was a little shaky but songs were played that were never heard again on a stage. . . What you hear on this collection is all from that 1994 tour culled from shows in the French capital, Marseilles and Toulouse.' This set is an excellent representation of the live experience. The songs range from raw emotion (the screams in Greengang and Premonition 13, for example, are visceral and raw) to moments of haunting beauty (such as the mournful vocals on Bella Donna and Hotel Z). The selection of tracks showcases the variety of moods that LPD are able to evoke. But overall, there is a raw quality to it that gives us a reason to go to the live show in the first place. The tracks have an improvisational feel, which allows them to sound like a psychedelic jam band at times. If you haven't had the chance to see the Legendary Pink Dots live, this is a good indication of what you're missing (but you don't see things like Niels Van Hoorn playing two saxaphones at once, as you would if you were there). It also helps those of us who can't keep up with the overwhelming discography (over 30 regular albums and counting, not including live albums) hear something new. Disc 1 weighs in at 77 minutes and disc 2 weighs in at 72 minutes.

Troum: Seeing-ear Gods

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2011
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Artist: Troum
Title: Seeing-ear Gods
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is a remastered reissue of an album issue in 2006 and featuring a composition recorded live for a radio broadcast. According to the linear notes "You are about to embark on a plane-transcending journey into the world of sound" and this album is an almost one hour immersion in truly experimental dark ambient territories.
This album opens with an atmospheric ethereal movement based on subtle synth drone creating an hypnotic loop of resonances, the subsequent movement is based on a bright synth drone shored up by a slow melody. The third movement return to almost dark ambient territories while the fourth takes the listener by hand towards a states of peace. The last two movements are an exercise of quiet lowercase dark ambient slowly movements challenging the listener to be able to be in a course of attention to subtle details.
This issue is an example of how a band could stay in an established genre and create a work escaping all the quicksands of the genre. Truly recommended.

Doppelgänger: s/t

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2011
cover
Artist: Doppelgänger
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Buh Records (@)
Rated: *****
Efrén Castillo and Giancarlo Rebagliatti is the duo behind Doppelgänger, a musical project between psychedelia and punk. Despite his cover, a bloody Mickey Mouse with a knife covered in blood, this album is less an hardcore punk album than a dark psychedelic rock album. Oddly enough there's a real connection with punk: this album is recorded in lo-fi and, this is a real add-on to the overall sound.
The longest (almost one quarter of the overall length of this album) track "Whatorik" opens this record and states that guitar, with an impressive use of effects, is the leading force of this album. The sound is dry, compressed, unclean and basic with no room with any sound esthetic other than the love for 78 rpm sound. "Pre ritual" is a noise miniature opening for ritual, a repetitive (or ritualistic) drum and guitar mess after a shoegaze garage intro. "Frash back 7" is a mesmerizing track made out of guitar feedback and a drum lines driven by cymbals giving light to the darkness of the other instruments. "Humanoide nueva" is a punk song with the use of vocals and heavy use of reversed tape. "Fin del fin" add to this formula the use of some other effects opening for the last two track "inicio" and "fin" more doomely influenced by dark wave.
This is not a simple record, but is written with a real knowledge of the dynamics of this type music. Nice.


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