Music Reviews



LA MORT DE L'HIPPOCAMPE: Symphonie Neuronale

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 18 2012
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Artist: LA MORT DE L'HIPPOCAMPE
Title: Symphonie Neuronale
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
La Mort De L'Hippocampe was the next Jerome Fontan's project after he wrote the music for a silent film (El Sexto Sentido, Spain 1928), after he stopped playing under the Porn.Darsteller moniker. Sadly, Jerome passed away the last year. "Symphonie Neuronale" will be released posthumous by Enfant Terrible and a second release will be released in conjunction with Verbascripta, the new label founded by Jerome and now continued by the other La Mort De L'Hippocampe band members. This album, released on a limited of 250 copies, will be on white vinyl with a deluxe printed artwork and contains two suites which are quite different from what we were used to listen from Porn.Darsteller. "Die Sonne" and "Der Mond" are quite experimental and mix minimal synth melodies/noises with creepy atmospheres and acoustic sounds (it could be a piano line as well as a treated trumpet or a picked viola). Improvisation and theatrical approach seem to be the key of the project, as we have a very interesting mix of recitative/lyrical German vocals, synth sweeps, piano improvisations and modern classical influences. On their blog we can read that: "Combining philosophy and science, this music goes directly to the part of the brain known as the "hippocampus". Related to the memories, memory loss in Alzheimer's patients, it is also the place of receipt of dissonant frequencies". For that reason they called their music "neuronal" and by listening to the nine movements or, as they call them, chants of the album, you can realize that they are right. Really interesting release.

White Load: Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV

 Posted by J Simpson (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 17 2012
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Artist: White Load
Title: Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV
Format: 12"
Label: Load Records
Distributor: Carrot Top Distribution
Rated: *****
White Load run the gamut from Black Flag to Big Black; Minor Threat to The Melvins - a event horizon of hardcore, condensed and delivered like a blow to the sternum. Listening to Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV is like having a load of gravel poured down yr ear canal; it is like remembering a blackout. Twelve inches, twenty minutes, twenty-five songs, this manic outburst from this Providence, RI trio will push all the right buttons for those that prefer the original Iggy Pop mix of Raw Power, to those that like to listen to chopped & screwed Cypress Hill remixes. For those that like their rock dirty, drug-addled and rude, this will make yr summer.
The two sides of Wayne's World III & Godfather IV are interchangeable - the guitars churn along like a piranha tank at feeding time, the vocals gibber unintelligbly, there's hardly even a break between songs, just a frantic '1234' click of the sticks, White Load stick to the Ramone's school of Blitzkrieg bop, the songs so fast and blaring they border on grindcore but sounds like classic Punk Rock or Hardcore, catchy rhythm guitar, powerful pounding percussion, chanting vocals that sneer and snarl. The classic formulae are smeared with a viscous layer of fuzz, distant-sounding and captured in a hurry; it sounds like it was recorded live, and if that be the case, this band must be a force of nature in concert. Beneath the dirt and grit and don't-give-a fuck -sarcasm, though, you can tell this band clearly DOES give a fuck; beneath the oil-slick swims a very tight and focused musical leviathan - there's enough drum breaks, guitar fills, build-ups and breakdowns to show that this band has practiced A LOT, and that kind of dedication is what makes or breaks a recording, even of dirty garage punk.
Its refreshing to come across a slab of authentic, demented rock 'n roll with the murky production style making Wayne's World III b/w Godfather IV seem mysterious and intriguing, something to be re-visited and re-evaluated. It comes across like a legitimate lo-fi punk record from the mid '80s, the kind of thing you'd find at the flea market for .50 cents five years ago. It is unpretentious and the music speaks for itself, these 25 tracks become like a sugar dependency - once you've tasted a little, you'll keep coming back for more. This record makes me want to drive really, really fast - and possibly cook meat. It's a true work of art.

K.: There's a Devil Waiting Outside your Door

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 13 2012
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Artist: K.
Title: There's a Devil Waiting Outside your Door
Format: CD
Label: Ur Muzik (@)
Rated: *****
I'm pretty sure after reading the title of this release by the mysterious Polish producer K., who puts in an appearance on a number of different compilations and on the occasion of the issue of a mini CD on a Chinese label, most of readers who have some confidence with Nick Cave's songs could have striken up by murmuring "How much longer?" according to the notorious lyrics of "Loverman". There could be some conceptual link with that song, but K.'s music is remarkably different and somewhat more visionary. In the attempt of making any filing easier, Ur Muzik mentions Bohren und der Club of Gore and Heroin and Your Veins (even if I think a comparison with Janne Perttula's project sounds more reasonable than the one with that German band), but while listening the 11 untitled tracks (maybe to give the freedom of choicing titles to the listeners on the basis of their mental movie), other cells of the musical memory could be activated since its beginning, whose first moments could recall the mood of some jazzy contemporary stuff such Ian Simmonds, Xploding Plastix, The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation or Angelo Badalamenti's scoring for Twin Peaks even if K. avoids overloading any tune with too many frills or preciosities, so that its sound results somewhat austere and pithy, but sonically impressive and magnetic. You could experience the feeling of having a thoughtful cigarette with Sam Spade or other tobacco-addicted Bogie's character during a break from investigations (particularly on 7th track which starts with the sound of someone who strikes a match), breathing heavy fug in a labyrinth of muddy streets of some ill-famed district in search of clues related to an unsolved homicide case, walking arm in arm with a femme fatale who whispers her plan to kill her rich husband in your ear or snapping your fingers white getting entartained by a swinging dwarf getting out of some red silk curtain adorning the walls of some lodge. K.'s music so seducing that listener cannot make devil wait outside door for a long time. Be polite!

El Torpe: Movin’ On

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 10 2012
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Artist: El Torpe (@)
Title: Movin’ On
Format: CD
Label: No.Mad Records (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this 'electronic blues' project, but the artist explains the album thus: 'Movin' On is a title that carries all of the blues' ambiguity. One day it sounds like an enthusiastic exhortation, the next it has the bitter taste of disillusionment.' With covers of such luminaries as Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy (and an interesting rendition of Sixteen Tons, which is one of my favorites), El Torpe pays tribute to some jazz greats while still making the tracks his own. Only the first track is his own creation. The instrumentation is spare, with atmosphere and heavy percussion, but this helps draw attention to the voice'which is almost always the hallmark of a good blues musician. On the other hand, the songs start to sound a little repetitive. However, this was an interesting disc and I think this would be great live. Think of this as experimental blues. This album weighs in at around 36 minutes and mine came in a cool recycled handmade package sewn together. The disc is limited to 300 copies, so get it now for your favorite blues aficionado.

Wold: Badb

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 10 2012
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Artist: Wold (@)
Title: Badb
Format: CD
Label: Crucial Blast (@)
The last thing I reviewed from Crucial Blast was the amazing Theologian CD, so I was interested to see what this one would be like. The label describes it thus in one incredibly long sentence: 'The nine tracks featured here revolve around the mythology of the war goddess, the spectre of doom that lurks at the edge of the battlefield, and begins at the heart of a roiling black blizzard and proceeds through a charred nightmare soundscape of icy corroded black metal riffs, fractured blasting, melancholic melodies blurred and smeared into malevolent new shapes, and scathing distorted witch-screams ripping through the blackness, all doused and drowned in Merzbowian levels of feedback and distortion abuse.' This is some heavily distorted screamo metal. I'm not sure how the vocalist can even speak now. Keep in mind that I also listen to noise and some Power Electronics stuff, so it's not like screaming and distortion are foreign to me. The grinding guitars are pretty good and there are some decent noisy soundscapes interspersed, but this was really not my cup of tea. However, since there is no accounting for taste, I gave it to one of my graduate students who plays bass in a metal band for a second opinion to see what he thought. He also wasn't too into it, so maybe it isn't just me. Your mileage may vary. This album weighs in at around 29 minutes.


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