Music Reviews

Urban Electronic Music: Science Can\'t Explain It

 Posted by Barton Graham   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 12 2011
Artist: Urban Electronic Music (@)
Title: Science Can\'t Explain It
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ambient feedback flowing elegantly through the air, spiced with fluttering digital runs dance with each other, building slowly to climax and eventual descension. This is
how 'Science Can't Explain It' opens with 'Ragabhara.' This evolves into 'Fermet's Last Theorem' which is comprised of field recordings nestled perfectly beneath ominous textures and seemingly (yet perfectly) random piano lines. The eeriness works its way into paranoia, just in time for 'Mathematics of Truth' to bring with it the first signs of true 'percussion.' This blend of new, live and remixed recordings takes quite the journey across varying sonic landscapes, from more gentle and beautiful dissonance to more harsh, and even sound effect-like pieces. The entire record is grounded in the use of the Kaossilator and while it's more apparent in some pieces than others, it couldn't have been more masterfully employed than here on 'Science...'
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Surge & Subside
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Aphotic Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
How pervert is this? Millions of Germans have been sitting in January evening by evening decadently in front of their TV sets to watch the 'drama' of a group of wannabe-prominent people 'trapped' in an Australian jungle camp.
The real drama though has happened to the same time only a few miles away in the Australian state of Queensland, which has been punished with a millennium-tide. It has been a historical high tide, which Australia hasn't seldom seen before. Uncountable people lost all of their estates, several had to fight for nothing more than their naked survival.
I'm ashamed by our TV-watching (de-)generation, which is seemingly impressed by the childish behavior of these half-prominent jackasses, which have played their role well in a faked show. Simply to say 'sorry' for this unbelievable and disrespectful kind against those Australian people fighting for their existence sounds like utter mockery. However, there are people over there in Australia making the right decision about charity. Help in any form is required and any idea, which promises only a small doze of relief, is an action to follow and support.
The same thoughts have had the people of the label Aphotic Audio (EMPTY), even more regarding the fact, that with Ken Evans of the Synthpop-project TYCHO BRAHE, one of their friends is directly affected. So with the support of the Australian Crash Frequency community, they've sent out their call for help and support to international-based artists, friends and band-projects, to provide tracks for this charity DCD compilation set, which can be purchased directly via the Aphotic Audio website.
All proceeds extracted out of the sales of this DCD compilation will be forwarded to the flood victims in Queensland. The response has been amazing: You'll get global scene-players like PSYCHE, ANGELSPIT, DISMANTLED, ASSEMBLAGE 23, SKREW, or COLLIDE asides hard-working independent contributors like DIVERJE, LUCIDSTATIC, I, PARASITE, ANDROID LUST, AUTOCLAV 1.1, ANGEL THEORY, and of course the complete roster of the Aphotic label (among others EMPTY, M(I)LKRUN, IAMMYNEWT...). By checking the mouthwatering track listings stated below, it's nearly forbidden to rate any of these fine contributors for their good intention, as they all offer the best they can - what counts is the will to help and to support the victims of this tragic flood.
All purchasers of this DCD set via the Aphotic Audio website will be specially rewarded with an additional Download-pack consisting out of 9 additional tracks (see below...). More than ever before are you, dear listener of Electro-/Industrial-/Alternative-music, asked for to purchase this compilation set. As the current dramatic happenings in Japan and Libya additionally prove, there can't be enough action available to relief suffering. So now it is on you to show your support ' illegal downloading of this DCD set is strictly forbidden and similar pervert, than the behavior of all participants of the TV 'drama' mentioned above! Go ahead and buy this one!

1-1 Sensory Gate - Ianus 2:46
1-2 Angelspit - Cold Hard Cash 4:05
1-3 Empty - Drift (Ginger Snap5 Remix) 5:25
1-4 Bound In Oblivion - Pain & Suffering 6:32
1-5 Psyche (2) - The Beyond - Live (Flood Relieft Edition) 5:32
1-6 Streak (3) - Groovey Booty 6:06
1-7 Diverje - Suffer ( V2 Remix) 4:08
1-8 Dismantled - Dead On Impact 4:23
1-9 Lucidstatic - Operating Directive 7:18
1-10 Mangadrive - 67 Gemini Starglider 5:49
1-11 NVEiN - All So Wired 5:02
1-12 Skrew - Universal Immolation 5:38
1-13 Tempest & The Diaspora - IO 3:42
1-14 Viral Millennium - Vomitosis 3:47
1-15 In-Fused - Misplaced (Iammynewt E-rage Mix) 5:26
1-16 Maximum Sexy Pigeon - Tunguska! (Water Retentive Mix) 3:29

2-1 P45K - Adrift 3:15
2-2 Assemblage 23 - Raw 6:47
2-3 I, Parasite - A Violence At Rest 7:43
2-4 Android Lust - God In The Hole 3:49
2-5 Soulchasm - My Facade (Empty Remix) 4:35
2-6 Autoclav1.1 - Waxing 4:45
2-7 Anhedonia - Rain 5:23
2-8 Motion Fused - Reflection Of Madness (Extended) 4:37
2-9 Angeltheory - The Wind 4:12
2-10 Headdreamer - Colder 5:22
2-11 Collide - Ocean 5:26
2-12 M(i)lkrun - Lard Ram 3:48
2-13 Dark Territory - Trista Me (Angeltheory Mantra Mix) 4:34
2-14 Iammynewt - itHURTS 3:55
2-15 Flood Of Rain - Grey Sky 5:34
2-16 Blast Radius - To Find Them Frozen 5:07

MP3-1 Sensory Gate - Purgatory (Marco Zanza Devoted Mix) 5:17
MP3-2 Empty (3) - This Regret Redux 5:29
MP3-3 P45K - Before Dawn 5:55
MP3-4 Blast Radius - Sight Unseen 4:53
MP3-5 P45K - What Have I Done 6:06
MP3-6 Tempest & The Diaspora - Jasmine 4:34
MP3-7 Iammynewt - Egor (Version 2.0) (Skullduggery Remix) 3:56
MP3-8 Disharmony - Evolution 8:12
MP3-9 Betty X - Shoot'em Up (Fury Road Mix) 3:04

Soufferance, Vision: Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The Mind

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 01 2011
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Artist: Soufferance, Vision (@)
Title: Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The Mind
Format: CD
Label: Valse Sinistre (@)
Distributor: Aliens Production
Rated: *****
We are relative aware about the fact, that most music based out of the gray area rather represents niches asides the so-called Mainstream. But these niches seem to grow anywhere, as this label, Valse Sinistre, hails out of Romania, an Eastern-European country, which has been a white spot on my world map so far. Musically, as far as I can rate this after three discovered releases, they are about to present Experimental, Abstract and mostly Ambient-influenced styles of music. This Canadian artist named Peine isn't an exception and presents a pure Dark Ambient album, which musically quells can be named with dark and haunting drones full of experiments, quite often supported by psycho-acoustic inserts. This album rather acts like a soundtrack into far, far away discovered areas of a human mind, it is music to sink into. It therefore fits, that this album consists of only 1 track, which clocks 65 minutes. No pauses in between, special 'sections' with different instrumentation got faded in or out. The possible comparison to some Cold Meat Industrial projects, taken out of the info sheet provided by the label, isn't that far away to start a description of this project. A lot of praise also for the stunning artwork of this album, which offers a book-like design with a size of a DVD box, filled with drawings, texts and illustrations.

The Silverman / Edward Ka-Spel : The Thirty Year Itch

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 31 2011
Artist: The Silverman / Edward Ka-Spel (@)
Title: The Thirty Year Itch
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
If you are not familiar with these two, they comprise the core of the Legendary Pink Dots. For thirty years, in fact. The liner notes say that this is issued 'to celebrate 30 years in the dots together for Edward and Phil.' The fact that they have managed to stay together is amazing enough, but the fact that they have remained relevant is that much more remarkable. This album demonstrates why this is the case. The album is broken up into two sides, as with an album, making the tracks blend together. The album opens with 'Katrina,' which is fantastic as spoken word of love found and lost while soothing drones provide atmosphere. 'A Splash O' Blue' takes a similar approach with Ka-Spel speaking over synth and what sounds like a diesel engine starting up. Although you know that you will have some noisy elements when such items as cassette recorder and toys are mentioned in the instrument section. 'Space Is Cheap' finishes out the side with another spoken word track that would be right along with David Bowie's 'Space Oddity,' with the story of an astronaut left in space. And Ka-Spel certainly can tell a story, drawing you in. The track builds slowly and at the end you wonder what happened to that poor astronaut who was left adrift. According to the liner notes, 'Slogans On A Cold Steel Canvas' is a 'finished piece adapted from a live improvisation in Limburgia, August 2009' that takes up an entire 22 minute side. This is a lot more experimental than the previous side, with more cut up noise and randomness, as can be expected from an improvisation. Overall, this album demonstrates what makes these musicians so compelling after 30 years ' the ability to tell an interesting story, the skillful mastery of sound, and an element of chaos that keeps things interesting. We can only hope for another 30 years'¦. This album weighs in at around 51 minutes and is limited to 400 copies (350 of the LP) so you'll want to pick this one up as soon as possible.

Edward Ka-Spel: Chyekk, China Doll

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 31 2011
Artist: Edward Ka-Spel (@)
Title: Chyekk, China Doll
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
With Edward Ka-Spel at the wheel, you know that you're in for an interesting ride. However, when you throw Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound into the mix, you know that there is no hope for normalcy. If you have even a passing acquaintance with Ka-Spel or Legendary Pink Dots, you already have an idea of what you're in for, and this album does not disappoint.

The first thing you notice is the structure of the album, with short interlude music separating the longer compositions. This reminded me of This Mortal Coil's Filigree and Shadow album that took a similar approach with similarly beautiful results. These short pieces kept the album connected while being quite nice in their own right. Some that stand out include 'Beautiful, Naked,' partly because of the dissonance between its almost jazzy feel and the dark lyrics that inhabit the song. We also see Lisa featured in two songs here (we get to experience both her Christening and her Resurrection). Who else would have the line 'Handel blew 'Messiah' on Kazoo!' ' you'll hear it in Lisa's Resurrection (although I still have a soft spot for her Separation). Many of these songs, I'm sure, have specific meaning, but the one behind Infinity Waltz is amusing enough to relate here. On the Legendary Pink Dots' website, they inform us that the new number of the beast is 834, relating a tale in which the devil appears to them as a result of a ritual gone awry:

"Hey Terrible One", he volunteered, "Why don't you choose a number more in keeping with your dark and terrible methods? After all, 666 reminds me of three little ducks swimming across a pond..."
The Beast was scowling. "Ducks?!" He scowled, but Stret bravely continued. "How about 888? Twist that on its side and you have infinity - multiplied by three! Yowza!"
A perverse smile spread across the Terrible One's face. He liked the idea.
"I like the idea," he cackled, "but it does not let you off the hook... how can I devise a fitting eternal punishment for you who caused me all this inconvenience?"
It was Patrick Paganini Q. who reluctantly provided the answer. "We shall make our music for you alone, Terrible One. We shall create... an Infinity Waltz!"
And so it goes. The number is 8, the time is 3/4. Endlessly. 8-3-4, 8-3-4, 8-3-4. Endlessly.
Will you spare a tear for us as we bid you farewell?

All this and it's a good song to boot. But the outstanding song on this is the instrumental 'Film of the Book (The Forgotten Version),' which is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity. In short this disc was as good as I expected it to be. If you like happy music with dark lyrics, this is definitely one to pick up. The disc weighs in at around 51 minutes.

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