Music Reviews

Noblesse Oblige : Privilege Entails Responsibility Re-Release

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 07 2009
Artist: Noblesse Oblige
Title: Privilege Entails Responsibility Re-Release
Format: CD
Label: Repo Records
Rated: *****
The British-German duo consisting of Sebastian Lee Philipp and Valerie Renay presents these days their newest work. Well, it isn’t that new after all. At least on the British Isle it was already released once. Now it’s about time for the rest of the world to have an opportunity to enjoy "Privilege Entails Responsibility", rereleased with no less than ten bonus tracks.
This is really difficult to label the musical genre the two play. It ranges from chanson (Offensive Nonsense") over electro killers (Bitch", Fashion Fascism"), Indi-Blues (Nervous"), alternative Avantgarde (Bite Back", Surrender"), incestuously disturbing (Daddy (Don't touch me there)", genius (Was keine Zeit zerstört") to a French-German Popsong (Quel genre de Garcon") everything is just there. The intro rehandles a theme from Tchaikovsky’s ballet "Romeo and Juliet".
In the first part of the CD Valerie and Sebastian help themselves with various instruments (synthesizer, guitar, bass, piano) and vocals-wise the spectrum ranges from whispers, shouting from the top of their lungs, clear and brazen and all that in three languages by both artists. Simultaneously or interchangeably. You can never anticipate what the next song will bring upon you.
Liking the album is a matter of taste, but the duo is undeniable creative, non-conformist (even for an independent kind of a band) and artistic, while they show a serious portion of potential. The artists seem to be totally confident about their diverse style.
Part II of the CD, the bonus tracks, are ten remixes by renowned artist e.g. Mona Mur, En Esch, Toulouse Low Trax, Musiccargo, Laurent Ho, Avius, Mark Reeder and by Sebastian and Valerie themselves. On this part the styles are just as diverse as in the first one, ranging from Postpunk to Wave, Trance, 70s, 80s to a bongo song. Anything a heart (better an ear may desire). The last two songs are from the previous Noblesse Oblige album "In Exile".
All in all "Privilege Entails Responsibility (Re-Release)" is a well done album. The artists worked really hard and showed themselves and their skills from numerous sides. They work on every single detail. There is lots of power, art, expression and pleasure in making music. The album is very diverse and for that reason can be played in whole range of different situations and places; on a dance floor, high way, kitchen, bed room etc. Let’s see what their subsequent releases will bring.

JeFF: In and between

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 05 2009
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Artist: JeFF (@)
Title: In and between
Format: CD
Label: Altsphere (@)
In the middle of the so-called "Blue banana" '“ a wide economical conurbation going from Lancashire to Milan area - there's a small village with a coke mine called Seremange, a place where carbon clouds and factories caused a mutation of the landscape by giving eyes to hills and trees (!), and in the middle of Seremange, there's JeFF's world, an almost unknown place depicted as full of madness, sadness and despair... Well, it's not a fairytale as you could imagine, but it's just a vivid way adopted by this Frenchman to describe its unpredictable style featuring a bizarre fusion of dark, gothic, industrial ores, aggregated by a metal seneschal and distributed according to punkey marketing principles (as Maurer Jeff manages its own label, Altsphere, and releases devotionally following the Do-It-Yourself way... printed cover art, mastered cdR copies...and obviously cheaper prices... if you want to have a copy of In and Between, you have to pay 3 dirty euros and maybe you'll get a discount on a glass of Belgian beer as well!!!), confirmed by some references even in the music style to Global Genocide Forget Heaven, a legendary Californian industrial music band which moved its first steps by producing '“ strictly on tapes - a plenty of demos . and gradually gaining respect by a lot of zines. Even if there're some recognizable influences by Nine Inch Nails as well as the most depraved French dark-industrial scene, Jeff's music is not easy to categorize for different reasons as he used to change musical idioms in the same track as well.

It seems he sometimes tries to give voice (funny the way JeFF play a multitrack to juxtapose vocal layers giving the illusion there are two or more singers, even if this effect combined with Monsieur Jeff's French stress '“ easy to listen if your ears are quite trained in recognizing different ways of pronunciation of English language... ) to emotions such as despair, "death-in-life-and-life-in-death" and angriness till the point they rise turning into wall of sounds... .from gloomy piano melodies to furious rages of distorted guitar, from atmospheric lo-fi synthetic organs to depressed vocal emulsions, from funeral marches to dancing beats... style changes are really unpredictable and sudden... In and Between is just apparently illogic, but it's not in our opinion and even Jeff's unconventional way of singing alternative spoken words makes sense. Some highlights amidst this 12-track CDR are An active creation '“ it makes me think about an imaginary mad scientist's laboratory -, the metallic experiments (even on voice) of the terrificly depressed Years Ago (the nostalgia evoked by the title itself is not so casual... ), the frenzy hebephrenia of Serialfucker's beat patterns, Dead Star (a track which could be subtitled "the dark side of a rock/pop star"!) and the oppressive Tell me why. I've found it very funny some 8bit sequences such as in DWDY and Whiksey Talks (I couldn't imagine a bottle of Jack uses to put a potato in the mouth when speaking... !). By the way (In and Between), it seems there's no hope. Be aware and prepare to lick Jeff's despair!

Lyrics (totally crazy...!) available on the website.

MOODRING: Scared of Ferret

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 05 2009
Title: Scared of Ferret
Format: CD
Label: Silber (@)
Distributor: Carrot Top, Darla, ToneVendor, Soleilmoon, SquidCo, n5MD
Rated: *****
Born as a side project of two Oregon guys who play under the Rollerball moniker, after growing to a quartet, Moodring has landed on Silber with their newest album titled SCARED OF FERRET. After a couple of listening, the eleven tracks of the album made me recall the atmospheres of old Kraut rock records. You know, stuff like Amon Duul or the first Kraftwerk but in this case Moodring succeeded into mixing the tribal attitude of the tracks with the space trip mood by using also free jazz influences thanks to the use of piano and clarinet. Tracks like "#9" or "Shaker tab" are a good example of what I'm saying because of their oblique approach to melody and sounds. Keeping high the level of experimentation the band didn't compose tunes without sense of melody by producing a drugged mishmash, they approached the track list like a long session were there's an overwhelming feeling of alienation (psychic kind of) produced with the use of rock language where here and there female vocals lead the dance. Nice one...

Lazyfish/Mewark: s/t

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 23 2009
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Artist: Lazyfish/Mewark
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Lagunamuch Records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Good friends can produce together – Alexander Petrunin (MEWARK) has invited his colleague Alexander Potekhin (LAZYFISH) to produce a mutual album. And somehow – the result is quite remarkable! It seems a bit that the appearance of LAZYFISH has added a doze of Vitamin C to Petrunin’s efforts, this self-titled album turns more and more into a great Synth-Electronica-album, which adds multiple experimental sound sculptures into the mix. The very first tracks of this album can be strictly related to MEWARK’s solo album "Little One", while the latter ongoing tracks offer never-heard-before sound experiments and a bizarre sounding outfit
But also for Potekhin this collaboration seems to be a quite fruitful one, as he’s known especially in his Russian homeland to produce quality Techno-/House-tunes. Thanks to the highly featured experimental content available in here, those styles can be hardly recognized. As for some highlights to mention out of this album, "Tpahc-Topm03" or "Restorun" with their complex IDM-related percussion programmings have to be named. As for some darker and more subtle oriented tunes, "Include" with its brilliant piano inserts sets standards. I hope for both artists that they can decide to continue this collaboration one fine day –and that this album reaches higher attention of the international IDM/Industrial scene, because the talent well balanced on this album deserves to get discovered.

VV.AA.: XVI reflections on classical music

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 17 2009
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: XVI reflections on classical music
Format: CD
Label: Decca / UNiversal
As some of you probably know, usually I’m not the greatest fan of samplers but every once in a while I’ve the indisputable luck to review some collections I couldn’t but describe by using the word "outstanding". Me Raabestein from Nonine has sent us this fresh masterpiece that testifies both the fact Rabenstein (featured here with Slowcream and in the role of compiler of the tracklist) is slowly climbing the ranking of post-contemporary music and at the same time it proofs a cd full of big names doesn’t necessarily mean: "second rate quality songs from A-class composers". Hell knows how listenable and relaxing is this sampler and you have a bunch of really well-known artists like Philip Glass to Gavin Bryars, from Sylvain Chaveau to Akira Rebeldais. I will intentionally avoid to speak about some specific song, what makes this cd incredibly good besides the fact the one hundred percent of the songs are beautiful, is the fact Rabenstein has put together a smart playlist and as you know the tracklist represents the keystone of the vault in a sampler more than in the full length of a single author. The title is quite explicit, this cd brings forth the central reflection on the evidence that "classic music", above all "modern classic music" (whatever it means),is changing, and yes, you can take for granted the presence of compositions with beat plus strings a la Murcof or piano and electronics a la Alva Noto and Sakamoto. What I find really interesting about this brand new collection of "second millennium classic music" is the fact not everything is that predictable, you have many non-electronic compositions, a track with vocals (Slowcream) and the only evident "fil rouge" is neatness. Don’t expect it to be such an experimental compilation, this’ "just" a refined collection of enchanting tracks.

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