Music Reviews



JACQUES DEMIERRE : one is land

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 03 2009
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Artist: JACQUES DEMIERRE
Title: one is land
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
When approaching to cd I’ve to review in most of the cases during the very first listenings I don’t pay attention to the cover, to the line up and above all to the press sheet (and to be honest I never give that much about press sheets!), everything sounds like a good o a bad surprise, sometimes it’s just weird and this solo-piano cd belongs to the last option. When after several listening I went back to the cover of the cd I’ve found the solo pianist was Jacques Demierre, not that I know his discography that well, but I think I’ve heard him on some releases but sure you can bet I know this composer-musician from Geneve has played with many musicians and has been collaborating with some big names like Berry Guy just to mention one I guess many of you out there know quite well. Believe it or not I’ve been surprised by this swiss musician, I’ve to warn you this won’t be an easy listening but sure he did something quite unconventional. The first of the two compositions featured on this cd is a sort of warzone where Demierre turned the piano into a ruining factory: forte, fortissimo, louder than a drummer beating the shit out of his drum-kit, mid and low registers mixed in dissonance, no dynamic diminuendo everything remains as loud as fuck, every once in a while he throws in some quasi-intelligible chord but for the most of the time you’ll feel like the piano is falling from the top of a mountain. I’ve also tried to figure out if he ever played this piece live and if the audience was simply shocked or violated by such a performance. During the second composition the pianist opt for quietness, he probably plays the body of the piano and despite the silent start he keeps following a soft-rumorist edge, far from the first in-your ears total blast everything is more silent and moderated you have breaks, pauses, short phrases, soft concrete noises, strangulated notes but this time he’s never violent. Heavy Harsh work and surely nothing that relaxing but holy shit! Who ever wrote that music has to be relaxing?.

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NICKER HILL ORCHESTRA: NICKER HILL ORCHESTRA All the different deaths....and rebirths

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 03 2009
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Artist: NICKER HILL ORCHESTRA (@)
Title: NICKER HILL ORCHESTRA All the different deaths....and rebirths
Format: CD
Label: In the bottle / Waiting Room
Rated: *****
I’ve read and heard many good things about this band and finally it happens that somebody has sent me their record for a review. If I were mighty Frans De Waard from Vital Weekly you can bet this full length would have been classified as "nothing new under the sun" infact we’re dealing with what some mighty easily describe as a post-rock/post-emo combo, but if you’re used to De Waard’s style as a reviewer, I’m sure you know that doesn’t imply we’re in front of a so and so band. That’s exactly the point: the band is good and sure the music is ok, sure it’s post rock/post-emo with those delayed/reverbered guitars sailing on a emphatic rock drumming, add the music has a slight prog-rock feel and I think you have all the elements you need to identify this unidentified "flying" object. Everybody is always looking for comparisons, I know, as I know musicians hate to be compared to this or that band, by the way this four piece reminds of early Tristeza meets Mogwai meets some soft parts from these quasi post rock bands that were on Temporary Residence, what differentiates them from so many boring imitators of the genre is that they have the strong-rock touch and the trippy prog-feel that comes out quite naturally therefore forget the dead boring side effect you suffered while listening many bands dealing with this style. I like some of their mid tempos with math-solutions you can hear in songs like "Shit you!", the cinematic feel is still there but they remind me also of a bunch of bands from the slow-core era. I think the band should be definitively catchy live, and if you dig the style it’s definitely worth of a try, the song-construction is good and dynamics give more and more points to listeneability of the work.

UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN: Leuchtfische

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 21 2009
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Artist: UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN (@)
Title: Leuchtfische
Format: CD
Label: Valve records (@)
I don't think that many materials for flute and accordion and I'm sorry it took me a while to write about this duo, but this one is somehow unconventional and takes a lot of attention and several listenings. Honestly, the only well-known duo that comes to my mind when thinking of accordion plus horns is Trovesi and Rava (but Trovesi plays mainly clarinet and not flute), but it's more jazzy/traditional music oriented, way more melodic and even if I love their "In cerca di cibo"cd on ECM, Volker/Sheridan have more guts ("balls", if we wonna adopt that old stupid third-rate macho sentence) and seem less scared by the profundity of darkness. As many can easily guess this release not exactly "easy", it features mainly short sketches of the average length of three minutes, the atmosphere is dead serious and these two ladies explore the intensity of team-working for a duo. Contemporary classic scenarios where this couple of musicians cross different registers, different timbers and above all different dynamics, thus you have short sentences, nervous dialogues and soft breaks, I've the impression these two musicians have an incredible control and its surprising, since every sentence is expressed as loud as it requires, no aborted notes, no sign of indecision, these tracks betray the firm voice of the duo. I think sometimes they've this quasi dramatic feel, but the sentence quoted inside the booklet underlines that's probably what they wonna express: "in the depth of the ocean a phosphorescent flash vanishes into unfathomable darkness". Tracks like Corytheola leave no room to interpretation, they reach the bed of the ocean and there light and sound have a different meanning, but that could be said also for other tracks, Andriashevi instead shows how the aftertaste of some of the instant compositions is sadness. Inspired work: tip of hat.



UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN: Leuchtfische

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (5300)
Aug 21 2009
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available
anymore
Artist: UTE VOLKER, ANGELIKA SHERIDAN (@)
Title: Leuchtfische
Format: CD
Label: Valve records (@)
I don't think that many materials for flute and accordion and I'm sorry it took me a while to write about this duo, but this one is somehow unconventional and takes a lot of attention and several listenings. Honestly, the only well-known duo that comes to my mind when thinking of accordion plus horns is Trovesi and Rava (but Trovesi plays mainly clarinet and not flute), but it's more jazzy/traditional music oriented, way more melodic and even if I love their "In cerca di cibo"cd on ECM, Volker/Sheridan have more guts ("balls", if we wonna adopt that old stupid third-rate macho sentence) and seem less scared by the profundity of darkness. As many can easily guess this release not exactly "easy", it features mainly short sketches of the average length of three minutes, the atmosphere is dead serious and these two ladies explore the intensity of team-working for a duo. Contemporary classic scenarios where this couple of musicians cross different registers, different timbers and above all different dynamics, thus you have short sentences, nervous dialogues and soft breaks, I've the impression these two musicians have an incredible control and its surprising, since every sentence is expressed as loud as it requires, no aborted notes, no sign of indecision, these tracks betray the firm voice of the duo. I think sometimes they've this quasi dramatic feel, but the sentence quoted inside the booklet underlines that's probably what they wonna express: "in the depth of the ocean a phosphorescent flash vanishes into unfathomable darkness". Tracks like Corytheola leave no room to interpretation, they reach the bed of the ocean and there light and sound have a different meanning, but that could be said also for other tracks, Andriashevi instead shows how the aftertaste of some of the instant compositions is sadness. Inspired work: tip of hat.



AGNIVOLOK / CHAOS AS SHELTER: Hebane

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 09 2009
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Artist: AGNIVOLOK / CHAOS AS SHELTER
Title: Hebane
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
HEBANE isn't the newest Agnivolok release as it contains the very first recordings of the duo plus the early Vadim Gusis recordings under the Chaos As Shelter moniker. The album has been previously available as bootleg in 1999 with the title "Belena" and this The Eastern Front edition is its first official release. The five Agnivolok tracks mix folk, experimental sounds and tons of melancholy while the four Chas As Shelter ones are based on industrial experimental sounds where reverb and thin melodic sounds create a sort of clashing effect where everything is blent into a nightmarish wave. While Agnivolok, thanks to Vera Agnivolok's voice, to me represent the voice of thousands of souls in pain, Chaos As Shelter's music is the soundtrack to despair and titles like "Alien", "Purgatory" or "The sacrifice" make me think that I'm right. Agnivolok's tracks sometimes sounds like litanies full of sorrow and you have to be in the right mood to enjoy them.


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