Music Reviews



Tecumseh: Return to Everything

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2011
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Artist: Tecumseh
Title: Return to Everything
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
There are only 3 tracks on this disc, but they flow together as if they are one. 'When We Loved' is the shortest, at 3.31, with plenty of gritty atmosphere punctuated with distorted beeps and whining tones. I really wanted this to go on for much longer ' definitely my favorite track on the disc. 'Apophis' brings in some nice drone before busting out some nicely distorted guitar, which serves more as atmosphere than as a guitar solo. If you like Fear Falls Burning, this may be up your alley. The label states that this is for fans of Earth, Sunn0))), Lustmord, and Organum. That said, it just doesn't strike me as atmospheric enough to fit in with Lustmord. For me, it got a bit repetitive after a while. 'oakca' finishes the disc with a 13 minute track that takes us on a similar trajectory with slow moving guitars and noisy atmosphere. Overall, I would have to say that this was decent, but it didn't really do much for me. I get the sense that this would be much better live. If you like guitar drone/noise, this is worth checking out, but BlRR has much more interesting offerings to choose from. This disc weighs in at around 25 minutes.

Inien: Favoriten

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2011
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Artist: Inien (@)
Title: Favoriten
Format: CD
Label: Schraum (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this project before receiving this in the mail. It's a duo consisting of Axel Haller on Bass and Johannes Tröndle on Cello. Now if you think that this is going to be peaceful chamber music, remember where you are reading this review. This is interesting experimental classical. One gets the sense that they are playing the wooden bodies of their instruments almost as much as the strings, as the entire album is washed in a layer of heavy grinding static. At times the bass comes to the fore for some heavy droning resonance. The only issue I saw with this is that it is a bit too minimalist for my taste, as the compositions become repetitive, which is likely a result of having only two artists. If you think Kronos Quartet is too mainstream, this may be one to check out. This disc weighs in at around 47 minutes.

May Roosevelt: Haunted

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2011
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Artist: May Roosevelt (@)
Title: Haunted
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
It really isn't too often that I get something to review that prominently features theremin. As usual, I had not heard of May Roosevelt, but I had to admit that when the press sheet busted out the work of Jacques Derrida, I had a suspicion that I was in for a pretentious album (at least it wasn't Lacan). Thankfully, it wasn't. Here's how the press sheet describes the album: 'May Roosevelt's new album "Haunted" opens doors to phantoms of the past. The work's eight musical compositions are supernatural entities of modern technology that hover in the air, bursting open the chest of rustic tradition only to be transformed into rhythms of Greek dances.' I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. I had expected some heavy electro-experimental knob twiddling with a lot of bleeps and bloops. This was quite well orchestrated work in which the theremin was simply another instrument in an ensemble of synthesizers, drum machines, and vocals - the main instrument, of course, but this wasn't just some person making science fiction sounds. Rather, she plays the theremin with skill. Nicely packaged in a foil embossed folder. This album weighs in at around 37 minutes.

Arturas Bumšteinas: My Own Private Bayreuth

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2011
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Artist: Arturas Bumšteinas (@)
Title: My Own Private Bayreuth
Format: CD
Label: HMK { HotelMariaKapel } (@)
This album has an interesting premise behind it. According to the label, 'In 2009, Bumšteinas ordered tickets for a well known Wagnerfestival that's held every year in Bayreuth, Germany. Upon his request for tickets, Bumšteinas was placed in a nine-year queue. He then decided that, every year he would spend on the waiting list, he would perform his own version of Wagner's 'Ring der Nibelungen.'' I saw that the album was mixed by Jos Smolders, so I was expecting a more experimental feel to it. Bumšteinas brings in a host of other musicians to create his own ensemble, complete with excellent vocals. The overall effect is quite nice, but it is mostly straightforward classical music with some minor elements of noise thrown in. Think of this as the remix of Wagner's Ring Cycle and a condensation of 15 hours of opera down to about an hour. This album weighs in at around 63 minutes

David Stackenas, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, Nuno Torres: Wounds of Light

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 25 2011
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Artist: David Stackenas, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, Nuno Torres
Title: Wounds of Light
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
For some mysterious reason, the first six minutes of this recording call those unwelcome awakenings begun with vexing headaches or those terribly sickening hangovers to mind and you could imagine why all the following mental images by such a listening could have been influenced by this first impression so that I could link the six minutes left over to nothing but the effect of an analgesic pill! ...and you'll understand why the harsch viola by Ernesto Rodrigues, that sort of gumbling and snoring by other sonic objects, the metallic scratching and the obstinate sawing by Guilherme Rodrigues' cello, the steady reverberating by David Stackenas'e-bows and Nuno Torres' alto saxophone of the second track could be linked to the interference in such an anguishing state of mind by some coercive "needs" as well as the third 15-minutes lasting track could be considered as the difficult attempt of rebalancing or recovering from such a condition or maybe it could just be the attempt of finding some relief out...finally! The description of an ordinary day which isn't deserving of some lines in a personal diary at all. I could be more assertive and even show off some learning by trying a comparison of the title of this improvisational issue with the notorious sentence by William Blake according to which "colours are wounds of light", but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground today! Just enjoy this listening in accorrdance of your situation or your speculative knowledge...it's up to you!


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