Music Reviews

TIZIANO MILANI: Riflessione Compositiva di Assemblaggi Possibili

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 01 2010
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Title: Riflessione Compositiva di Assemblaggi Possibili
Format: CD
Label: Farmacia 901 (@)
Rated: *****
Tiziano Milani is an acoustic architect with different releases at his active: CD-Rs on Setola di Maiale and A.F.E., free Mp3s on Chew'z net-label, etc. He collects casual sounds and in some cases they are generated by touching, beating and breaking contact-miked objects. His works are the results of an alchemy produced by the mix of many layered sound sources. Also the track you find on RIFLESSIONE COMPOSITIVA DI ASSEMBLAGGI POSSIBILI born in that way and even if by saying that the result is a mix of tiny elements, it doesn't sound like an experimental casual mishmash of things. Tiziano is really good at using cracking noises, hisses, metal clanging sources and droning or humming sounds and the fifty four minutes of the track form an interesting and always mutating suite where noises and melodies coexist. The CD-r is limited to 50 copies and you can check an excerpt at the label's website.

Hioctan: Under Control

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 30 2010
Artist: Hioctan (@)
Title: Under Control
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
When you’ll insert the brand new workout by Hioctan inside your CD player, you’ll maybe be tempted of warning your little sister for having tricked you by interchanging labels of Under Control and Roman Total War or Age Of Empires CD-ROMs, as the introductive Pax Veritas is musically quite close to those easy tunes you generally hear while playing war strategy videogames and you have to forward to the next track to avoid any undeserved telling-off and recognize this "exocrine" German band by their typical style, a sort of peeling patch scratched from the rustiest irons of EBM pots treated with dark-electro anti-rust lacquers! Maybe originality is not the key point of this release as Hioctan style could be easily traced back to Front Line Assembly or Suicide Commando ones, but it’s polite enough and without too many gewgaws in keeping with their intent of telling stories about history (the German one) by a language (and distorted vocals targeting different socially attainable entreaties and pre-packed conventional beliefs as well!) as direct as possible and even their battle against the so-called Hell-Electro, that side of EBM (a degeneration in Hioctan’s viewpoint) whose "anti-system" messages looks more as attempts of seduction on dance clubs than deriving from serious aims merging nowadays, could contain something in common with Neo-Classicist (but firmly Anti-Restoration!) artists. Don’t expect dance trank, but just some rushing and short-tempered tracks which could arguably be written and sung by that Old Boy born from the wicked fantasy by Park Chan-wook, if the first thing he had read a book on German history after his "awakening"! My personal favs are Pretender, Pax Americana (what an impressive desperate weeping sample as intro... !), Sonderbehandlung 14f13 (the name for the so-called special treatment sadly introduced in Bernburg concentration camp for the selection of prisoners according to eugenetic criteria... as you could imagine it’s a ferocious track addressing genocide during WWII), Passion of Cruelty and the Oriental-tinged Sacrifice My Fear. When referring to their music, Hioctan says it’s honest music for honest people ("Ehrliche Musik für ehrliche Leute!" in German). I wonder how an old German precept sentencing "erlich währt am längsten" (honesty is the best policy and pays at the end!) is fitted for Hioctan’s Under Control! Who can say?

Frogwomen & Superfreak: Allegretto

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 29 2010
Artist: Frogwomen & Superfreak (@)
Title: Allegretto
Format: CD
Label: Lepers Prod. (@)
Distributor: Hysm
Rated: *****
"Allegretto" is a record spawned by the deranged minds of Frogwomen & Superfreak ( togheter they recorded also "Fallen In Love" in 2004 ), members of the Lepers Prod., a collective hailing from Bari – Italy. This record has a vivid basement naiveté and garage/punk sound esthetics blended with an excellent confidence with instruments playing and singing. The main influences here are the 90s and bands like Six Fingers Satellite or Steve Albini's Rapeman.
"Driving Licence" is a pretty damn effective track and reminded me of Stretchheads's "Everything's Going to Brake in a Minute". "Sunshine" has a pounding guitar bass and it's a downward disturbing rock'n'roll in the vein of Feedtime or Fear ( and now someone should be drooling all over the keyboard while reading this ). The last one is called "Safety" and it is different from the others, laid back and weirdly melanchonic it might fit among the latest, post-shitgaze albums on Sacred Bones.
The Lepers Prod. is for sure one of the most intresting realities out of the Italian underground, way ahead from the stagnant indie scene and the pretentious avantgarde-rock trend. Be sure to check them out. "Allegretto" is available on cdr for HYSM and for free on their own website

CESAR BOLANOS: Peruvian Electroacoustic and Experimental Music

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 27 2010
Title: Peruvian Electroacoustic and Experimental Music
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Pogus (@)
Rated: *****
"The more I know, the more I don't know", Cesar Bolanos is a good example of this assumption. Born in Lima, Peru in 1931 Bolanos had the chance to blossom in a South America still not devastated by an heavy economical US interference. Even if this' not the right place to speak about it, I'm sure if we could take the time to study the phenomenon it would be interesting to rewrite the history book of composers coming from South America and other non-occidental areas and discover to hear what we were losing so far thanks to the many omissions caused by our euro-american way of thinking. This collection of recordings ranging from 1964 to 1970 blew me away from the very first listening, Bolanos deep musical introspection and his use of tape was really inspired and never too scholastic, add when dealing with the electro-acoustic composers of the time he was projected into the future and you'll get why I've been so amazed by this series of compositions. While the influence of other composers like Xenakis, Nono, Maderna and Copland can be easily detached here and there, we're not in front of another clone: after forty years many of this works sound much fresher than many musicians writing contemporary score nowadays. Strange how, according to the inner booklet, Bolanos after the seventies started concentrating more on his passion for pre-Hispanic music and instruments, it somehow reminded me this' not the first time I read of some researcher who's so deeply into contemporary studies that all of a sudden gets absorbed into the historical/traditional researches. The two "Divertimentos", "Intensidad y Altura" or "Flexum" are different but betray the mark of the same mastermind and bring forth a reflection concerning the fact this Peruvian composer incorporated some influences of his forerunners in what was still a new language and at the same time shows how despite the abstraction of some of his works his music was still warm. If the context is influential for what concerns the end result of the performance, it's nice to hear the crowd laughing and clapping during the premiere of 1970's piece for piano and recitator mime actor in Buenos Aires. Some compositions picture a composer ahead of his time or at least well established in what was the new avangarde movement of the early seventies, I think "Cancion sin palabras" alone (for piano and tape) could erase any doubt about the fact even if coming from a peripheral places for what concerned contemporary music this man was "at the core of the changing of times". I think the closing track of the second cd deserves a special mention for the mere fact the reciting voice reads some passages of a guerrilla diary of Ernesto "Che" Guevara the piece is interesting and the text has that magic feel of seventies political involvement, unfortunately even if ok, the recording of this live track is so and so and doesn't pay the right homage to the idea. I'm glad Pogus pressed this double collection of works by Cesar Bolanos it reminds us how the beauty is/was out there beyond the border of our small world, it's a strange sensation it makes you feel both amazed and both disoriented at the same time.


 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 19 2010
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Title: clan
Format: CD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
"Rock'n'roll!!!!"...hey do I sound like Lester Bangs?! way, and by the way this' not exactly wishy washy seventies revivalism even if the influence comes from there. The rock elements is definitely part of the lot when dealing with The Hitchinson, let's say their music is somewhere located between math-rock and noise-garage rock'n'roll. Highly melodic and never too cerebral the band works on mid tempos and strong epic passages without sounding cheesy while incorporating those "historical" riffs all the rockers out there wonna bang their head while listening to. A good recording and a good technical skill save them from getting boring like many instrumental bands dealing with this kind of shit. I'm sure the best possible fan of a record like this should be a classic strong melodic rock listener or a mid-late nineties independent rock (not indie rock) fan and it has to do with the fact they're not soft arty of pseudo-intellectual but they are there to make you move your ass and sweat to the rhythm of the drum. Even though they tend to be a bit vintage math-rock-n-rolla I dig their sound and if you were the "cocain on tits motherfucker" you claimed to be last night at the pub, well...I think you should let this record its say!.

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