Music Reviews



Fabrice Favriou: Phases

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7152)
Aug 03 2012
cover
Artist: Fabrice Favriou (@)
Title: Phases
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Even if in the very first seconds of this album, you could think about someone in the act of fixing a broken intercom, this eccentric multi-instrumentist was meddling with an harmonium when he recorded this release at home-garage-studio. Due to its quite high cost of maintenance, the resulting disappearance from chuches (where it was mostly used) and the coming of more cheap electronic or electric instruments, this fascinating instrument close to accordion, but completely different from the technical viewpoint, maybe lost its notoriety, even if many musicians know its particular acoustics, its piercing timbre. Moreover harmonium's feature of keeping distinguashable different tones, even when they are played together, was particularly appreciated by tuning testers. On "Phases", Fabrice Favriou manages to extract six very interesting pieces, mainly based on modulations and microtonal variations through changes of pumping pressure, and you could be astonished by the impressive timbral possibilities as well as by similarities with other instruments which can be emulated by harmonium, so that while listening some of his six phases, you could even think that Fabrice is playing a distorted guitar or a brass. From the stylistical viewpoint, "Phases" sounds consistent with previous collaborations or releases by Monsieur Favriou, who seems to compel listeners to a sort of sound-induced trance through proper drones, untiring perforations or long-lasting dilutions of single note.

Kiko C.Esseiva: Droles d'Oiseaux

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7150)
Aug 01 2012
cover
Artist: Kiko C.Esseiva (@)
Title: Droles d'Oiseaux
Format: CD
Label: Hinterzimmer Records (@)
Distributor: Experimedia Ltd
Rated: *****
After some incidental releases following his "Sous Les Etoiles", the skilled francophone "hispanoswiss" composer Kiko C.Esseiva signs his third album, which confirms his talent in putting a cinematic narrative cloth on thorough electroacoustic unconventional pieces. Even if a certain bond with some "canons" of Schaeffer's musique concrete could lead some self-important listeners and reviewers to confute the groundbreaking extent of his sonic conduct, it's impossible to consider "Droles d'Oiseaux" as a properly mannered oeuvre. To be honest, such an aesthetic dispute is not so relevant as the above-mentioned cinematic hook is the most prominent aspect of this composer's style, who manages to fuel suspense and unexpected and somewhat ironic twists to his sonic amalgams of vocal experiments, subtle drones, field recordings, horror movies atmospheres and acoustic fragments whereas he inserts some human actor who get inside their part in the sonic scenes. The one played by Priscille Reymond-Finger on the long-lasting suite "Safe'n'Sound" is particularly absorbing: she rapidly changes from a suffocated trepidation to a terror-stricken peep and an heavy snoring coming after the crush of a thunder which suddenly shatters the nightmare, which sounds crowded with frightening metallic noises and cramped dump infested with rats, so that it seems the track is a description of a turbulent sleep, concluding with a restoring bath! The presence of sonic twists brands all tracks: in the initial "Epigraphe Et Ouverture" a field recording which evokes an idyllic excursion in the wood with many chirping birds suddenly closes with the appearance of a chainsaw, which could explain the references to epigraphs ("Droles d'Oiseaux" could be roughly translated as "crazy bird", so that you could imagine the cutting of a tree could mark the tragic collapse of its nest...), but the funniest and most meaningful contemporaneously is the last suite "Je Vole", whereas the happy-go-lucky flight described by the daydreaming spins of Alexandre Esseiva got broken by a disastrous fall, so that it seems the suffumigation of a Pindaric flight caused by the frustration of daily life.

Altieri/Balestrazzi/Becuzzi: In Memoriam J.G.Ballard

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7148)
Jul 30 2012
cover
Artist: Altieri/Balestrazzi/Becuzzi
Title: In Memoriam J.G.Ballard
Format: CD
Label: Old Europa Cafe (@)
Rated: *****
Simon Balestrazzi, Corrado Altieri and Gianluca Becuzzi, three of the most creative heads of Italian electro-industrial scene shared their sonic machines and intuitions for a due sonic cairn dedicated to an authentic forerunner of post-modern literature, J.G.Ballard, whose extravasion of symbolist, dadaist and surrealist psychological approach and subtly slashing social and cultural critic marked an important step of sci-fi literature, which Ballard renewed by focusing on inner universe, more than on aliens, monsters and bizarre planets or creatures from outer space. His characters are often alienated people, close to social misfits, almost always unsatisfied in spite of being protagonist of appearantly perfect societies, whose moral and ethical code were often rearranged so that what is considered a malaise could find its "codified" placement. Interferences and inferences between inner states of consciousness and external world, which often looks like a conformation to inner space (I'd say there's nothing so fictional in this statement...do you think fences could ever exist if mankind didn't have lust for money and possession?) in Ballard's novels permeates any onset of his possible worlds, where even music and sounds had a prominent role (think about plants who reacted to sonic stimulations, singing statues and other wise literary inventions by this British writer, who inspired many musicians and directors) as well by partecipating to personal conflicts and psychic life of Ballard's anti-heroes within their aware interactions between "real" world and its distorsions, their striking and sometimes perceptual dilemma between true and false, which subtly manages to contaminate or even destroy inner space. The critical ciphers of modern values, sometimes predicted, challenged, dramatized and exacerbated by Ballard through his unforgettable anti-heroes (Kerans of "The Drowned World", Sanders of "The Crystal World", multiple identities of Travis-Trabert-Tallis in "The Atrocity Exhibition", Vaughan of "Crash" and other embodiments of the social and "biological" intuitions in Ballard's rich bibliography) and pitiless descriptions of decadence, cruelty, dehumanization, cultural manipulations, consumerism, sex within futurist worlds have been wisely translated into electro-industrial code by this trio throughout a binding of white noises, corrosive buzzes, static drones, psychotic sonic architectures, serpentine paths of beats and pulses, which sounds like a musicalization of the perpetual dumping (congruent with Ballard's narrative production) from the inner space to the outer one. I cannot but recommend to enjoy the listening of this release while reading some Ballard's novel.

Philippe Petit & Friends: Cordophony

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7145)
Jul 26 2012
cover
Artist: Philippe Petit & Friends (@)
Title: Cordophony
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Hyperactive Marseille-based composer (or "musical travel agent", as he likes to be qualified) Philippe Petit's wit, label owner and manager of the appreciated BiP_HOp and one of the key element of Strings Of Consciousness, flows into an astonishing collaborative project based on the intertwining of his eager approach on sound art (he delights listeners with processed acoustics, field recordings, electronics, turntables, glass manipulations, percussions, synth/piano and balloons -!- on "Cordophony") and a number of expressive declensions of string instruments, as the title suggests ('cordophone' is a French word to name the big family of musical instruments whose sound derives from the vibrations of a string), played by a remarkable number of guest musicians, whose different backgrounds concur to give a motley style to the release. Besides his Stings Of Consciousness mates Raphaelle Rinaudo and Herve' Vincenti (in spite of its dusky tones, their duet in "Motion-Pictured" is one of the most suggestive moment of "Cordophony" together with the moving "Eugenia", where mutual musical acquaintance marvellously meets Rinaudo's electric harp), Philippe mustered many talented and esteemed colleagues such as Nils Frahm (his distinguashable touch combined with the vitreous and gloomy cello by Alison Chesley, cryptic processed guitars, whooshing vynils and electronics by Philippe Petit himself marks the emotionally purging feeling of constriction evoked by "Succumb To Gravity", one of my favorite track of the album), Bela Emerson (her floating cello with hypnotic vibraphone of Els Vandeweyer on "Eunoia" sounds so halcyon that listeners could be caught off balance by synesthesia while listening to it...), German pianist Ulrike Haage (she co-signs "The Modern Dance for the Advance in Age", the most nipping and apparently light-minded moment of "Cordophony", together with Monsier Petit and Perceval Bellone), Adrian Klumpes (member of 3ofmillions and Triosk, who affixes a mysterious phrasing on his grand piano to the epic closing track "Oneiromancy: A Dream With A View" together with prolific Canadian musician Aidan Baker, Perceval Bellone, who plays sanza, an African lamellophone instrument also known as mbira, Petit, who processes found sounds and acoustics, and Vincenti, whose tentacles hits a conque shell, a guitar, a keyboard and some percussions). James Johnston and Reinhold Friedl (appearing on the initial "Gli Occhi Freddi Della Vendetta") and many more. A really striking project issued by small but worthwhile Japenese label Home Normal with many cinematic hooks and imbued with lovely motifs for the likes of fans of Efterklang, Tunng, Brian Eno, Max Richter, Kronos Quartet, Tom Waits, The Books and similar musical acts which I cannot but recommend!

ET - Elisabeth Flunger & Tomas Tello: Labor

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (7143)
Jul 24 2012
cover
Artist: ET - Elisabeth Flunger & Tomas Tello (@)
Title: Labor
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Springs from old mattresses, dented cowbells and trychels, corrugated metal sheets, old-fashioned boxes for candies, tea bags and truffles, rusty harpoons, zappers, a wide assortment of gimcracks and electronic toys combined to roughly effected guitar ennoble the funny equipment of this bizarre release by Tyrolean (but Luxembourg-based) drummer, percussionist, performer and composer (a list of emeritus qualifications taken from her website) Elisabeth Flunger and Luxembourgian "electrician" Tomas Tello, who named their eccentric project E.T. (supposedly from their initials). Their "Labor" shows neither an obsessively epic nor an academic approach, it could be rather qualified as recreational: weird echoes and sounds on metallic hits of the first track "Miracle Merchants", the electric brushes and bleeps on sci-fi/lo-fi sounds which sounds coming from rudimentary theremins created with radio antenna on "Closer To The Sky", the acute electric peeps on percussive sizzles and grumbling of sonic waves on "Tar and Feather" are going to catch listeners' attention and persuade them to keep on listening their funny fumbling with objects and electrons, which sounds engaging even when their weird collages becomes more brooding and nervous ("Otra Tormenta"), frightening ("Se Fue'", "Imminente") or abstract ("Katze Was Tust Du?"). Their nice and eccentric tracks will implicitly strike a blow for all those people and loyal supporter of recycling who prefer to spare any kind of odds and ends and rattletrap insted of throwing them away while foreseeing a certain undefined utility related to their preservation! Have you thought about the possible existence of an authentic orchestra inside a rubbish bag? E.T. are aware about it! Have a listen!


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha