Music Reviews



Kammerflimmer Kollektief: Teufelskamin

 Posted by Evangelos   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 29 2011
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Artist: Kammerflimmer Kollektief
Title: Teufelskamin
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Staubgold
Rated: *****
"Teufelskamin" ("Devils Chimney" in english) is Kammerflimmer Kollektief's ninth album (sixth on the german label Staubgold). Although a follow up to the trio's best offering so far (last year's "Wildling") and thus a work of great expectations, this long player deserves nothing less than flattering comments, as it features 10 carefully crafted pieces of KK's hybrid sound, a sound that ranges from free-jazz, psychedelic and post-krautrock to neo-folk, ambient and experimental electronica. Starting with the dreamy "Coricidin Boogie", in which the reverbed guitars of Thomas Weber (founder of the group) are blended perfectly with the ethereal vocals of Heike Aumuller, "Teufelskamin" continues in calm waters with the percussive beauty of "Never Collapse, Always Dazzle!", to unleash tension on the excellent improvisational "Teufelskamin Jam#1", a 10+ minutes glitchy track, in which Heike's keys and Thomas' guitars and loops become one, creating spooky soundcapes of a unique organic feel. "Shangrila" could be a wonderful pop song if it wasn't surprisingly... short (1:43!). "Soft Machine" is dominated by Johannes Frisch's bass and it is very atmospheric, like "A Different Karmic Thermat", a melancholic piece of pop (and one of my favourites in this record). "Teufelskamin Jam#2" is weird and stressful, being a free jazz improvisation, while the instrumental "Nearly Able To Fly" is a fine example of experimental ambience with jazzy touches. On "New Ghosts" the trio's flirting with noise, as Thomas drops high doses of abstract electric guitar and Heike's singing sounds at places like a female... Johnny Lydon. The album concludes with a short tweaked lounge track with the significant title "The People United Will Never Be Defeated".
Kammerflimmer Kollektief have cooked (with a little touch by the devil himself?!) a really great album which grows and grows with every listen. Highly recommended not only to the fans of Can, Robert Wyatt or early Pink Floyd (some obvious references), but to everyone who has lust for real music, made by real instruments by real people. Available also on vinyl, go grab it in your prefered format.

Obsil: Vicino

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 27 2011
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Artist: Obsil (@)
Title: Vicino
Format: CD
Label: Psychonavigation (@)
Distributor: Psychonavigation
Rated: *****
'Vicino' is Italian electronic music composer Giulio Aldinucci's third album under the name Obsil, and from the one-sheet that accompanied the CD, in a similar vein to his previous works. It has been compared to the work of Japan's Susumu Yokota and Austrian guitarist/composer Fennesz, but as I am unfamiliar with them I can only give you my impressions. 'Vicino' is a brief album with nine tracks clocking in at only 36 ½ minutes but it quite an interesting excursion. Beginning with what sounds like a collage from the toy chest from a variety of vintage windup toys, xylophones and thumb-piano kind of things, sweet string lines and maybe a muted oboe wave throughout giving an impression of childhood nostalgia and wonder. This carries over to the next track ('A Smile in Summer') where the sound of a cuckoo-clock appears at one point. Classical orchestral instruments (but as far from traditional classical music as you could imagine) are integrated providing a wistful feel. Obsil's use of repetition is more along the lines of gamelan, quite playful.

Things turn a bit darker on the fourth track, 'Lenti Silenzi,' where what sounds like filtered sustained mellotron chordal drones comprise most of the piece. It does lighten up and climb into sunny territory as it progresses, like the parting of clouds. Field recordings and found sounds also play a part on 'Vicino'; well meshed with the music and never obtrusive but a natural part of it. This is an element that makes the album highly intriguing. Sonically, there are a lot of different things happening throughout but it never devolves into chaos or loses its focus. It is also quite mellow without being placid, and on some level, psychedelic too. I've played this at the bookstore that I manage and have had customers asking me about it. (That's always a good sign.)

To me, it is rare that you hear an album that is as experimental as this yet unequivocally enjoyable and evocative. 'Vicino' is a brilliant departure from what may comprise most of your music library but well worth seeking out. Eclectic to the max, and fascinating to the ears.

EUGENE S. ROBINSON + PHILIPPE PETIT : The crying lot of 69

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 21 2011
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Artist: EUGENE S. ROBINSON + PHILIPPE PETIT
Title: The crying lot of 69
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
I love spoken words, nay, I love good spoken word performances and as you can easily imagine Eugene Robinson vocals alone on this recording were worth the price of the ticket. The fact is that Philippe Petit has done a great background work for Eugene, therefore the whole effect is a mix of weird sounds and deep as fuck vocals. The french electronic musician has melted together a mixture of concrete noises, jazzy horns, scary dark ambient drones and post contemporary assemblages. Robinson's vocals float on this odd ocean of sounds as an apparently self bored Buckowsky alike reading that makes you feel like you still a kid listening to some scary tales. The chapters of this recording speak about modern obsessions, about real things. Differently from his previous releases with Oxbow, Eugene's voice is much more relaxed (and obviously also the music follows that trajectory) like it was some thoughtful post-coital conversation. There's something very crude in the stories here performed and even if the music is never that heavy it feels really cerebral and like it was coming from behind the twilight zone, that's why here and there it gave me the impression this recording was hiding some early industrial, Current 93, Nurse With Wound, Hafler Trio influences. Despite the many parallels I've been drawing during this review, this cd has a strong personality and brings back to life the old spoken performance formula with a new restyled image.

MOLJEBKA PVLSE, CRIA CUERVOS : Vid Vägs Ände

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 21 2011
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Artist: MOLJEBKA PVLSE, CRIA CUERVOS
Title: Vid Vägs Ände
Format: CD
Label: COHORT RECORDS (@)
Rated: *****
An odd pair we should know quite well, infact on this very webzine you can read an inteview to Moljebka Pulse and at the same time we've been reviewing the majority of Cria Cuervos releases so far. Given the fact we're dealing with two top notch musicians, I had great expectations for what concerned this collaboration and I'm glad I've been disappointed by the final result infact in someway it puts together the best of the two works. As some of you could have guessed this work mixes two characteristic shared both by the italian and by the swedish musician and so here you have drones and soft non melodic and quasi-concrete sounds. The global work give the impression to sound as an oniric trip in which this organ like drones playing sad melodies lull the ship through the waves of memory. The two long tracks (about 24 minutes each) won't escape that post dark ambient edge both the artist have kept in their music. If the opening suite has that melancholic ambient feel the closing closing half reinforce the idea this quite sad feeling works as 'a trait d'union' between the two artists. If compared to their last releases I've listened this cd is softer and mellowed down to reach a more listenable level, infact even if despite heavy works they kept a certain amount of melody for what regards the music, this cdr could be accessible for a different range of listeners.

Cultus Sabbati: Descent into the Maelstrom

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 20 2011
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Artist: Cultus Sabbati (@)
Title: Descent into the Maelstrom
Format: CD
Label: Buh Records (@)
Rated: *****
The title of this album came from a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In the tale, a man recounts how he survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool. According from the linear notes this album is conceived as "a reflection in the aftermath of devastation". The style of this band a doom drone with sharp noises giving the desired atmosphere.
"Adrift at Sea" opens this release with a calm soundscape and a quiet guitar coloured by sparse noises. "Tempest's Edge" is an intro constructed by harsh noises and doomy resonances behing filtered vocals. "Mouth of the Beast" is based on the same structure but with more emphasis to the noises and the vocals, ending with "Walls of the Abyss" an more ambient track rhythmically coloured by sparse noise and the quite black metal vocals. "Beneath the Waves" is a noisy interlude to "Descent into the Maelstrom" with a quite intro similar to the first seconds of the opening track, o noisy black central part and a calm, with a little sorrow, end.
An uneasy listening but this record has the courage to escape the simple search for noise with a wide musical plan, almost an unique track than a record as the musical elements are well developed during all the phases. Could be quite a surprise for fans of black metal and experimentalist.


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