Music Reviews

PETER GEISSELBRECHT : Concord Sonata / Musica Callada

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 23 2010
Title: Concord Sonata / Musica Callada
Format: CD
Label: Achulian Handaxe (@)
Rated: *****
It's ages I don't review a contemporary classic piano work like these and every once in a while I'm so glad to deal with such materials above all if the matter is interesting and this is the case. While I had never heard before Mampou, the composer Charles Ives is not exactly new to my ears, his Concord Sonata presents an interesting mix of melodic passage and soft breaks but don't expect it to be something barely close to late Nineteenth century composer like Cage or even Webern. Ives composition reminded me a bit of the half of the works surely influenced by serialism and this need for abstraction of academics but at the same time he's managed to keep a melodic edge. Geisselbrecht interprets wonderfully the four episodes and for what I can understand his technical skill gets really congenial to the fast passages written by the American composer. As I've said I didn't know anything about Federico Mampou, this recording collects nine short compositions that go from one to three minutes, during the first listening the melodic parts really reminded of Satie but later I started thinking something could have been comparable to some piano works for children of Bartok. Both of the comparison could also be quite misleading, thus let's say that this melodic idea of simple piano compositions is meant in a personal way, infact Mampou aesthetic-al taste is less light hearted. If you listen carefully to all of the sketches here included I'm sure you'll notice there's something mysterious rearing its enigmatic head exactly when you don't expect it to arrive in some of the scores. Mampou's style is based on less notes and and a more slowed down attitude and Geisselbrecht has no problem to put himself in this kind of shoes. Some music makes me think are more eternal than others.

K11: Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D.

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 22 2010
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Artist: K11
Title: Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D.
Format: CD
Label: Actual Noise
Rated: *****
This time Pietro Riparbelli as k11 made his transcommunication action in Assisi, more specifically in the Cathedral. He record and document signals and sounds coming through short-wave radio receivers in the oldest area of the building.
The numbers used in the songtitles are chosen with purpose, all related to the Gematria, the ancient system that assigns numbers to words and how they relate to each other. "300=Tau" opens this record with a meditative atmosphere crated by resonances dotted with metallic sinewaves. "888" start with drones that juxtapose until the noise enter as menace to silence, as holiness challenge sin, and drown in the end of the track. "18=lh" is the most solar track of the album and sounds like an hymn. "318" is a synthesis of drone and noise that close almost in peace.
This music has the power to evocate images of solitary exploration of obscure and abandoned fields, because is structured with a clear design in mind and don't try to use simple tactic to frighten the listener.
A note: in the video of this album there's a still when it appear the word silenzio (silence) wrote in a placard... well, this require careful listening to appreciate it. A really good record.

Lugano Fell: Slice Repair

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 16 2010
Artist: Lugano Fell
Title: Slice Repair
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru
Member of the house tech duo Swayzak, James Taylor after twelve years spent with that project, wanted to try something totally different, quieter and more detail-focused. Lugano Fell born for this reason and SLICE REPAIR is their first official release. Divided into ten movements the album passes from wall of sounds to layers of tiny ambient samples mixed with noises and rhythms. Minimal but never sparse the sound palette create a cycling effect like a colored top that hits instruments that James put on the floor. Well, that could be a nice image but the sound is a little more structured than that: you can find alternance of fast forwarded tape sounds, treated samples and also some acoustic instrument creating a surreal soundtrack which time to time could also sound psychedelic. You'll find the sum of it all is the closing fourteen minutes of "Two hundred clocks and a metre", track that sounds like an acoustic version of Glenn Branca guitar orchestrations created with slices of acoustic guitar samples, mixed with concrete noises.

Spherical Disrupted: Quasar

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 10 2010
Artist: Spherical Disrupted (@)
Title: Quasar
Format: CD
Label: Audiophob (@)
Rated: *****
I first heard (and reviewed) Spherical Disrupted on Audiophob's sampler 'Hyperakusis.' I enjoyed his work then and it is nice to actually hear a full length release. Spherical Disrupted is the work of Mirko Hentrich, who is also co-founder and owner of the label Audiophob. He has done remix work for P'¢A'¢L, Xabec, KiEw and Zero Degree and performed at Maschinenfest, so this should provide a sense of what you'll hear. 'Should' is the operative word, however. This is not the drum and noise that one would expect at Maschinenfest. Rather, the best description that I can come up with is a mixture of T.A.G.C. and old Mentallo and the Fixer. There is a beat through much of it, but there is a lot of great atmosphere as well. The music sounds at times ominous, but without sounding cheesy. There are three remixes on the album by Xabec, Empusae, and Spherical Disrupted. Although they are enjoyable in their own right, they do make it sound a bit repetitive at times. It is difficult to pick out any particular tracks that stand out because it really does seem as though it should be listened to in one sitting. This disc weighs in at around 76 minutes.

The Bodies Obtained: Dead Plans

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 10 2010
Artist: The Bodies Obtained (@)
Title: Dead Plans
Format: CD
Label: Finding You Attractive
Rated: *****
I previously reviewed The Bodies Obtained's 'From the Top of My Tree,' and was not very impressed, partly because they compared them to the Residents and brought Throbbing Gristle into the mix. This time, thankfully, the promo sheet resists such tenuous connections, choosing rather to describe it as 'residing in a space where experimental noise and music find common ground ' think melodic dissonance.' I can get behind this description, although for readers of Chain DLK the term 'noise' has significantly different expectations. You will not find anything like Merzbow here, so move along if that's what you are looking for. That said, I think that my original comparison to the Legendary Pink Dots still holds. This is darkly amusing, almost poppy kind of music. For example, 'She Wants What She Wants' begins with the words 'She wants the itch of your crotch.' The music is a mishmash of funhouse organ and distorted voice. You can tell that you are in for a weird ride from the very beginning. Overall, I found this album to be much stronger than the predecessor and a good time. This is not exactly feel good music, but it is enjoyable in the same way looking at a car wreck is enjoyable ' you know you should stop looking but the scene is so compelling. This disc weighs in at 39 minutes.

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