Music Reviews



KINETIX : final archives

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 10 2011
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Artist: KINETIX
Title: final archives
Format: CD
Label: Silentes
Rated: *****
This release has come out almost simultaneously with the split release with Pylone we've reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Differently from the split cd, this work is a collection of old materials came out on cdr and an old net releases and despite the fact not all of the tracks have been composed during the same period of time this slab of plastic offers a homogeneous listening. If you ever had the chance to taste Beccuzzi' solo releases you know we mostly deal with cold electronic post-industrial avant-garde music..are in you in need of some references to file the music here contained? Let's say it's mostly post-cotemporary classic music with references to Thomas Koner, Richard Cartier, Pan Sonic and their related projects in general, Zoviet France, and anything following this route. Final archives offers a full range of high and low frequencies, sharp sounds, raw materials, squared low beats, concrete sounds, electronic versus music concrete, soft-crescendos and sudden peaks of noise and silence, just to show Becuzzi knowledge of electronic/installation music has matured along the way. I can grant you both the minimal compositions and the sound installation materials have that common heavy, post-industrial feel that characterizes the majority of Kinetix solo works but overall this cd is on Silentes and obviously if you know the label I doubt you won't like its sound. To emphasize this last conclusion I should add beside minimalism sometimes Becuzzi has this quasi-isolationist post-ambient feel that many fans of the genre will surely appreciate. Honestly it took me more than one listening to get how much I was into the work, but after several listening I'm convinced this collection of recordings puts together some interesting compositions, maybe one of the best work of Kinetix so far.

Spirit of the Matter: Zuble Land

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 03 2011
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Artist: Spirit of the Matter
Title: Zuble Land
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Rated: *****
Here's bit of retro for you; a psychedelic rock outfit from France called Spirit of the Matter. Maybe if they weren't so odd, they wouldn't be reviewed here on Chain D.L.K., but odd they are, and hence the review. Formed in 2007 by Ian Marek ((guitar, violin, theremin), El Jibi (keyboards, electronics), and Remi (drums), these guys do improvisational instrumentals in the old-school psychedelic mode. Think of Krautrock in the vein of Can, Cluster, Guru Guru, Neu! etc., and you'll get a pretty good picture of what we have here.

The cover of the CD looks like an early Gong album in its flying saucer alien goofiness, but you won't find any twee Daevid Allenism on this album, except for the song titles. Being entirely instrumental (except for the occasional mostly French dialogue vocal samples), there are no vocals to get in the way and color the music into something that might be off-putting. That the music is improvised and the tracks don't drone on like some boring jam is remarkable. There is actually quite a bit of inventiveness and interplay between the musicians. True, there was some overdubbing involved, but that just goes with the terrain of making a decent studio album.

While Marek is no Jean-Luc Ponty, but his violin work is competent enough for the material here. There is plenty of wah-wah guitar too, if you crave that sort of thing. Only a few tracks have much more than a skeletal song structure and some are very 'out-there.' Opening track, 'Space Cheap Trip' begins with burbling electronics and has a theme led with psych slide guitar and violin, enhanced by a bit of theremin. Obviously Remi subscribes to the Lieberzeit school of drumming and it shows, although Jaki has nothing to worry about. Although the first track sounded a bit generic, the rest seem to show more spunk and oddity, and most of the improvisation is remarkably interesting and engaging, even when it wanders into abstract reions as it often does. Track #10, 'Ublaie Stoned' has a pretty cool sci-fi sounding theme and seems to be the least improvisational song on the album.

Some people who dote on this old school style Kraut-psyche are really going to love this album, and it's eclectic and multifaceted enough to stand up to repeated plays. I'd like to see what would happen if they added some actual structured songs with vocals to their repertoire. I think the right kind of female vocalist might really work well in their sonic environment, but that's only my opinion. Worth a listen if you're craving Krautrock-style psychedleia.

VV.AA.: Ekhnaton

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 02 2011
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Ekhnaton
Format: CD
Label: Silentes (@)
Rated: *****
This compilation, originally released in 1984 on vinyl by Multiple Configuration, in collaboration with the ADN label, has finally reissued in a completely remastered version on CD. EKHNATON collects tracks recorded by the most important and remarkable bands that were active in the experimental Italian scene during early 80's. "Simple Italian Research Vol. 1" was (and still is) the subtitle of an album which includes two tracks from each of the following bands: Maze 1066, Tasaday (whose "Implosione tra le pieghe dell'anima" has recently been reissued by Silentes), Evitaxal - which was a Roberto Marinelli's alias, active also as Laxative Souls - and the more well known TAC (TOMOGRAFIA ASSIALE COMPUTERIZZATA), band that are still active nowadays.
The first two tracks, by Maze 1066, blend sparse guitar parts, "musique concrete" sounds and strange electronics/synth sounds, with a jazzy touch. The sound is obsessive, mysterious and surrealistic, comparable to Biota and the first Mnemonist.
Tasaday was an experimental / noise/tribal/postrock/industrial music band, located in Brianza, Italy. Active since 1982 and formed by the blend of two bands named Die Form & Orgasmo Negato (changed in Die Form & Nulla Iperreale in 1983), the band chose the definitive name Tasaday in 1984. Their sound is mysterious and obsessive in the tradition of early industrial music. Evitaxal was an Laxative Souls's side project, active during the 1984/85 period. The sound is inspired by minimal/trance electronics and by the drones from the La Monte Young school. Marinelli mainly worked with raw electronics, distorted vocals, concrete sounds, self assembled electronic circuits and sample sources.
Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata, frequently credited as T.A.C., is a post-industrial, experimental and electronica group, originally known for making a crossover between experimental music and avant rock, using treated tape loops, custom built synthesizers and metal sheet percussion but also guitar, bass and drums. '¨The whole cd is an unmissable view on the first intuitions and experimental methodologies that shaped their times, leaving a permanent mark - in Italy and abroad - on the following generations.

MICHAEL VORFELD : Flugangst

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 21 2010
Artist: MICHAEL VORFELD
Title: Flugangst
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
Monotype has put out some interesting releases so far and this definitely fits in the category, infact Vorfeld gave us a interesting proof of how one can put together an unconventional drumming/percussionism and sound installation style, in case you've never seen or heard anything by this german musicians he has many releases out on label such as Creative Sources, Trente Oiseaux, Rossbin, Esquilo and similar labels. Is that an hint to identify this work? More or less infact it would extremely reductive to paint this release as the ordinary electro-acoustic cd, it's a solo recording and it's a great thing since it proofs that sometimes to reduce the players and the instruments is not a bad thing but a good option. That could suggest minimalism is the thing, but it's not, not exactly that...it's sound art that goes really close to concrete music and if you remember the Metamkine serie of 3" mcd you know "the rules of the game" and probably the fact he's collaborated with Bernard Gunter may help to make it all clearer. The kind of instrument may introduce an easy parallel with Eddie Prevost but is no truer than an easy comparison to Bailey for every acoustic guitar improviser, so take it with a grain of salt. Vorfeld plays skins and stringed instruments with a different style if compared to Prevost and goes much closer to music concrete, electronic, post-industrial music than to any average electro-acoustic work. Why? the answer is there in the performative/ambient structure of every track, every suite is evolving around sound, a particular sound and it is developed to full blossoming. Flugangst is not far from some other releases like that, but compositional-structure and experience of this talented percussionist make the difference. If you add the recording give a vivid picture of the live session you know why I enjoyed so much this solo work. Sound plus space and the ambient of a room still makes the difference between a good solo work and a boring one. Somehow it also reminded me Enrico Malatesta a young talented drummer/perfomer from the north-east of Italy. Thumbs up!.

KINETIX + PYLONE : sonology

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 21 2010
Artist: KINETIX + PYLONE
Title: sonology
Format: CD
Label: Soun on Probation (@)
Rated: *****
It's passed quite a while from the last release featuring Gianluca Becuzzi's release I've heard and now he's back with two brand new album. This collaboration ties the knot wonderfully with wintertime and that's has to do with the cold sharp sounds used by the duo and to the dark aura of most of the compositions. We are in front of a long long record since it features one hour and twelve minutes of music, but I think it has a lot to do with the "path of resistance" intrinsic nature of a release like that. While the first of the two twenty minutes long tracks is based on a monolithic drone occasionally pierced by acute frequencies and field recording, its twin track is not exactly different in nature, but the spoken word parts and the fact is more based on voice samples and less oriented on droned movements in some ways introduce some consistent differences even if the deep introspective feel of the opening suite is here maintained. While the opening piece of this work may suggest a drone based release most of the tracks deal with a sort of "cut up and reassemble" process, everything is done with a good craftsmanship so they usually avoid that "all of a sudden effect" (if no intentionally). The nature of the tracks and their shape has brought to my mind names like Zoviet France, Richard Chartier, Hafler Trio and some other post industrial sound artists. An abstract work with some interesting intuitions.



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