Music Reviews



Orphx: Radiotherapy

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 14 2011
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Artist: Orphx (@)
Title: Radiotherapy
Format: CD
Label: Hands Productions (@)
Rated: *****
A new Orphx release is always, and has always been a feast for Hands and the fans out in the wilderness of the IDM/Electronica scene. 'Radiotherapy' isn't an exception and offers all the good ingredients, which made Christina Sealey and Richard Oddie that famous. Now active producing music for longer than nearly two decades, they provide us another opulent album their hypnotic Electronica sound design unites elements out of Techno, Dub, Industrial, Noise in a special manner. 'An Orphx track is always unmistakably Orphx', I agree completely, although I quote quite seldom the content out of label info sheets. 'Radiotherapy' continues the musically course of Oddie and Sealey and offers us another 9 outstanding tunes, which let the listener astonished and full of amazement sitting in front of his/her home entertainment. Their unique hypnotic sound explores on this album repetitive Electro-like percussion elements ('Tensile'), or it focuses to spin a balance between dark, synthesized atmospheres with the rhythmically efforts of such cult projects like The Klinik/Dive (outstanding tunes: 'Future Past', 'Dead Zone'). At short moments, you'll get the impression, to be able to foresee the next part in an Orphx-track, but at the very next moment, Oddie/Sealey have meanwhile installed a completely different sound or fx-element and nothing sounds like before. 'Radiotherapy' is your ideal therapy, to fire all pseudo-aggressive EBM or Powernoise impressions out of your mind, and I would recommend listening to this marvelous release under a good pair of headphones. Although they are already veterans in the scene, they are proving once again technical superiority to many, often overestimated colleagues.

Orryelle & The Hermaphroditic ChaOrder of The Silver DUSK: 156=Musick=Babalon=Kaos

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 10 2011
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Artist: Orryelle & The Hermaphroditic ChaOrder of The Silver DUSK
Title: 156=Musick=Babalon=Kaos
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
The HermAphroditic ChAOrder of the SILVER DUSK is an international network/webplay of artist-magickians, employing musick, visual arts, theatre, ritual, and various other multimedia as menstruums for earthing magical currents. The tracks of this record are, at least apparently, recorded in ritual context or with invocational intent and then treated by the members of this collective.
"156" opens this album with atmospherical synth and harmonic chant while "EquiNOXULiuqE Circle" relies on chant upon, almost apparently, field recording. "Line by the Nile" is a track that could well fit in a world serpent (rip) record with his chant and religious organ creating a magickal soundscape. "AZOTh" is one of the two longest track of the record and seems the registration of a ritual, a really strange track. "Daleth" is another long track where layers of vocals are juxtaposed above the soundscape. "ssSOROBOROSss" is a popular dance while "She Shall Ride He (Parzival and the Holy Grail)" close this release with all the experimental aims of this outfit.
This album is a completely un-easy listening demanding an unusually commitment by the listener for the strange musical result of the process used by this collective. A must have for the musical curious.

p.s.: this album has no rating because, as your musical curiosity could suggest, this album could be rated as 1 star, if you consider the formal qualities, or 5 star, if you consider personality and intent. Just make your choice :)

Gurun Gurun: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 10 2011
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Artist: Gurun Gurun (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Japanese musicians are normally known to be imitators of Western musical styles. Good imitators by the way as they often reach very high quality tops by adding some frenzy stylistical elements, so that they cannot be considered plagiarist. However in the last decade, some of them elaborated pop and rock standards through a wise combination with electronics and a bizarre approach to composition, which is not averse to glitch "philosophy", based on the preservation of mistakes, which have gradually been turned into proper compositional elements, and fuzzy vocal experiments, partially drawn from other performing arts, resulting in a style, which lives on its own. Just think to innovating musicians such as Takagi Masakatsu, Cornelius, Shugo Tokumare and similar ones dealing with the above mentioned pop and rock standards in order to find confirmation to my consideration. It rarely occurs that a sort of inverse imitative process happens, as not so many Western musicians get really influenced by Japanese style, sometimes for an excessively conceited attitude. It's not the same for Gurun Gurun (name taken from the fictional planet of an old school Slovak children's sci-fi TV series titled "She Came Out of The Blue Sky"), a trio made up of the Czech guitarist Tomas Knoflicek and keyboardist Jara Tarnovski, who later involved Federsel in the band as well as a plenty of collaborators who are normally pleased to add their recipe in the boiling pot of this folks, who melt together Japanese music, glitch sketches and even some electroacoustic, after wearing their nice music in a lovely indietronics' suite. In details for this release Gurun Gurun called to arms the uvulas of three talented vocal performers, the soft one by Moskitoo from 12k label, who gives her lovely voice for the most daydreaming tracks (Fu, Ano Uta), the astonishing singer Sawako (maybe you know her name for some collaborations with Taylor Deupree) emitting astonishing sounds on tracks like "Yume no mori" and "Yuki ~ Hawaiian Snowflake", and the talented Rurarakiss aka Aki Tomita, lovely intepreting the most glitchy and noisy stuff, who have all been hired with a relevant group of performers, including Opiate (a notorious name from Berlin music scene, having signed many releases for Morr Music, City Centre Offices and Raster-Noton) and Kora et le Mechanix, Irena and Vojtech Havolivi (aka The Havels), Daniel Meier, Floex, Artem Vartanian. Most of the songs' spinal column rests both on the Japanese vocalizations intertwined with ethereal wailing and on a limited micro-sound palette whereas instrumental punching by guitar, brass and some wind instruments stains the sound space in a way which could be compared to painting technique of pointillism. All these elements have been combined in a way, which is less stereotypical than one can expect from bands who adhere to some kind of existing genre, even if they cross more or less the same stylistical territories. I personally appreciated the moments when the electric gentle activity gets on edge till something close to electroacustics pieces (have a listen to "Io"), so that it turns into a sort of disturbing element within such an overflowing melodic delicacy. I reccomend to purchase this album from Home Normal store so that you'll receive a bonus disc for free, including remixes by .Tape., pimon, Zavoloka, Orla Wren, Hearts+Horses, offthesky and Part Timer.

Newton 2060 : Shot

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 10 2011
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Artist: Newton 2060 (@)
Title: Shot
Format: 12"
Label: fRatto9 uNder tHE sky records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis | The Shop
Rated: *****
Newtone 2060 is an Italian trio consisting of Marco Albert (voice and electronic effects), Cristiano Calcagnile (drums, objects, table-guitar), and Salvatore (old vinyls and old turntables). 'Shot' come in LP form limited to 100 copies, but mine was a promo CD, probably one of only a handful made. I suppose you could call what they do avant-garde jazz, or just plain weird, which it really is. It started out sounding like a Tuxedo Moon improv, and only got weirder as it progressed. The effect is deconstructed cut-up old jazz records and other musical snippets with freestyle jazz drumming and freestyle vocals, and a lot of unusual effects. Granted these 8 tracks are rich with all sorts of unusual elements, at times a hodge-podge collage of many disparate music elements- ostinato guitar chords, banging and clatter, a wailing operatic voice, broken piano melodies, pink noise sweeps, jazz horns, processed breathing, spacey guitar effects, analogue electronics, effected scat and freestyle vocals with abstract, nonsensical lyrics, and other strange sonic effluvia. Somewhere in this stuff extracts of Charles Bukowski's poetic works are interwoven into the fabric of the music. Lost on me though as I'm no fan of Bukowski. Newtone 2060's version of 'Goodbye Porkpie Hat' would have Mingus rolling over in his grave. Sparse cut-up snippets of piano on vinyl, electronic drone tones, low moaning drawn out vocals on the lyrics, the crackling of a scratchy record, and not a whole lot else makes this pretty abysmal. The last track, 'Every Time She Calls You,' with its military drill samples did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't even care what the singer was prattling on about ('how many cigarettes') over it. Some people might call this stuff great eclectic avant-garde or even art. I call it sonic garbage.

Pascal Savy: Liminal

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 09 2011
cover
Artist: Pascal Savy
Title: Liminal
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Feedback Loop (@)
Rated: *****
More than just a title, Liminal looks like the brief and thorough description of the main property of Pascal Savy's last exploration, a sort of metalinguistic digression about liminality, that psychological and neurological state of being or feeling on the threshold, on the limen in between two existential phases, two different perspectives or states of consciousness. A liminal being according to an interesting essay doesn't avoid to choose between yes or no, but simply denies any positive responses considering it negative and viceversa, a state close to the garrison on a narrow line gradually turning its settlers in the line itself and partially reflected by the narrow tonal range inside which the composer let its creature oscillates as well as in the grey filter he lays over his shots. This Uk producer packs together four different stages of such an exploration of this concept by giving priority to eye, ear and imagination (as there're some short hermetic little poems by Leonardo Rosado "attached" to each track of this ep) and it's astonishing to notice that each vision, phrase or blend of frequencies interrupted by field recordings, crackling vibrations could be thought as perspectives from some boundary line which ideally detaches what can be perceptible or intelligible from whatever looks normally hidden from consciousness or perception till the moment when there's a kind of osmotic process, extraordinarily expressed by a line of the first poem attached to Falling Inward, the initial as well as the less contaminated track, saying "Dreams imitate reality/Opaque/Empty/My body crushed", which seems to establish the interchange between concreteness and abstractness, tangible and intangible, illusory and authentic. The other three movements have similar structure, based on the inoculation of different audible elements into a stream of slow-pitched semitonal transitions, gradually getting darker and darker, till the final Lying/Drifting whereas the process of disgregation of the two dimensions before and over that threshold appears to be completed, as suggested by the related poem: "Vertical building/Comatose/In my naked escape/My peripheral dreams turn into ashes". If you want to buy the physical copy of this release on 3", you've to hurry up as the label just issued 60 copies.


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