Music Reviews

Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Manuel Mota, Gino Robair & Ernesto Rodrigues: Our Faceless Empire

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 12 2010
Artist: Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Manuel Mota, Gino Robair & Ernesto Rodrigues
Title: Our Faceless Empire
Format: CD
Label: Pax Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Out of all of these artists, the only one I had heard of was Ernesto Diaz-Infante, but you never quite know what you will get, as he tends to vary his approach. But you know it's going to be an interesting ride when one of the artists, Gino Robair, is credited with the instrument 'Energized Surfaces / Voltage Made Audible.' The others are credited with steel string acoustic guitar (Diaz-Infante), electric guitar (Mota), and viola (Rodrigues). Put it all together and you have an interesting improvisation-fest. At times it is minimalist, at times it is noisy, and at times it is reminiscent of Cage's experiments with treated piano, but for the most part this is engaging, interesting stuff. Maybe it's me, but I got a whimsical sense in the music. The only drawback is that at times it seemed to blend together and become a bit repetitive. I get the sense that it would have been a lot of fun to watch these improvisations live. This disc weighs in at around 49 minutes.

Kinetix: Final Archives

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 09 2010
Artist: Kinetix (@)
Title: Final Archives
Format: CD
Label: Silentes (@)
Rated: *****
After going out of Limbo (that's the name of the forerunning electronic darkwave project he conceived when he was younger in the fertile cultural ground of Florence in the glorious 80ies, which excepting its esoteric ecchymosis can be considered one of the most stylish and innovative Italian act of that scene), it seems Gianluca Becuzzi made a pact with ethereal beings in need of musical voice, an agreement kept by the Italian sound forger through the exploration of really interesting experimental forms. Under the moniker Kinetix, whose excerpts I already heard here and there, he signs some good DSP sculptures and on this occasion he scrutinizes his filling cabinet full of recordings to let them issue to Silentes' imprint, one of the truly minimal record label, being the adjective "minimal" inappropriately used to label camouflages of trance music nowadays.

Final Archives can be ideally split into three parts: the first track Absolute Grey was made for one of Gianluca's sound installation, helded at the sound art festival PX2_Piombino_eXperimenta_2006 - the festival he successfully organised amidst the clouds of iron powders of Piombino in Tuscany -, whose set was made up of ten grey scale serigraphies on white PVC forex sheets and amplified from two loud speakers and one woofer covered with grey powder on the top of a white cube, a sometimes frightening microsound sculpture with interesting examples of outstreched sine wave manipulation whose tense atmosphere has been highlighted by a male modified voice - saying something I've not really understood... -, which seems to come out from the sink! In the middle of this release, you could appreciate some noisy splinters and raw stuff recorded between 1999 and 2002 among which there're some appreciable exercises of DSP with some really scary and catchy moments (I don't know why some of theme loaded some releases by Francisco Lopez from my listening memory...), whose only flaw is the decision to preserve some harsh excerpts...I admit I cursed against Becuzzi when he fired my ears by the typical annoying noises you can ear when you wrongly try to listen a CD-Rom track on your hi-fi...! The final 20-minutes track, Resounding Sculptures, concerns with the concept of "compositionfor blocks of sound", introduced in the 50ies and 60ies by Iannis Xenakis, and act as a dedication to the Greek composer's genius, sampled by Kinetix. A really interesting collection of tracks for fans and for electronic music scholar, not intended for those ones easily suffering from claustrophobia, paranoia or schizophrenia...they could be excessively impressed by such a record, especially if they unfortunately listen to it in a dark room!!!

PAS : Pure Energy Output Session

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 09 2010
Artist: PAS (@)
Title: Pure Energy Output Session
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hailing from Brooklyn, Post Abortion Stress are one of those bands not-so-easy-to-be-described cause despite their many references to music from the pas, they're not exactly old fashioned and at the same time they are reinterpreting influences quite personally and that's good. I've read sometimes they've been described as a "dark ambient" combo, but honestly I find they're thousand times more freaky then the average band playing this style of music, by some means they reminded me a lot Nurse With Wound and also Faust, but also Popol Vuh and Gong updated to the current millennium. Being from Brooklyn I happened to think even if considerably different they reminded me a lot of when I first listened to Aa from New York, they are equally as freaky even if more odd, with less vocal and above all without the drum, but the sound aesthetic is not so different. Synths, a massive use of echoes, loops and delays, sometimes the mixing of different sound-layers creates that trip through the canyon effect from the seventies, just think to Michelangelo Antonioni and you get the picture. As I've said I would speak more about new psychedelia rather than dark music, above all if you consider some of the melodies are not exactly obscure or heavy digestible (8, 11,15). I've seen they've collaborated and they keep collaborating with Philippe Petit and played at the Faust festival which itself says a lot to know more about their activities. Not all of the tracks are completely focused, but after all it's an interesting listening.


 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 09 2010
Title: scuff mud
Format: CD
Label: Journal of Experimental Fiction
Rated: *****
Ever heard jazz poetry? well, the genre took it's leave from reading performances from back in the days and quite often it mixed live free-jazz vanguards and poets/writers/performers of different nature. Shelf Life is not exactly a jazzist since his releases are on Eh? records (a division of Public Eyesore) but the global result is quite similar to some of those weirdest reading from the seventies be it for the american accent of mr. Gerdes, be it for the weird stories he tells or for the strange electro-acoustic music full of live sounds here played but that's the impression. The interaction of music and words is quite often well balanced equals the reader is not doing is rap without interruptions and killing your attention with his protagonist manias. I'm sure many of you remember the beatniks and their many collaboration with musicians, the music creating the scenario here's more electro-acoustic and probably more dynamic than many of those performances but if you keep that in mind more or less you may have a global idea of the "music". Some episodes like "New president" are more catchy than the other tracks but the global result is nothing but ok and keeps a live affect that makes the whole sound matter more vivid. "Hey kids do you wonna hear a story?.." Gerdes and Shelf Life can tell you a lot's of interesting stories.

Kirchenkampf: Lowland

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 06 2010
Artist: Kirchenkampf (@)
Title: Lowland
Format: CD
Label: Cohort Records (@)
Rated: *****
Long time Chain D.L.K. contributor John Gore has quietly kept busy releasing his own music and that of others through his outlet Cohort Records. Even though he's been supporting the scene by releasing artist's music on Cohort and reviewing artist's music on Chain D.L.K., he was so shy or modest that he didn't even send us any of his releases until I asked him to. So here I am, finally, listening to our friend Gore's latest album. His main project, Kirchenkampf, is focused on a combination of radio waves and synth/sound effects. I'm not very familiar with his earlier releases, but I've read that they used to be a bit more extreme. "Lowland" is a very quiet, relaxed and subtle concentration of sounds. It's experimental dark ambient music that weaves in and out of the more noisy and more musical permutations of that combination of genres. There are seven tracks totaling 55 minutes of delicate soundscapes with the right amount of roughness around their edges to keep the listener from getting too comfortable.
The CDR release comes in a beautiful hand-folded, hand-painted, hand-stamped gatefold enclosures in vellum sleeves with a tree printed on it.

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