Music Reviews



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.



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.

Mewark: Little One

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 04 2009
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Artist: Mewark
Title: Little One
Format: CD
Label: Lagunamuch Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is a Russian one-man music project consisting of the Moscow-based IDM/Electronica-musician Alexander Petrunin. He normally earns his money to produce some jingles for MTV Russia and after consuming this quite personal album and its featured not-that-easy-to-consume music content, I am able to assure you that MEWARK isn’t at all mass-compatible. The featured music on "Little One" is a sort minimal Electronica with a rhythmically IDM-foundation. You have to be a bit open-minded, since "Little One" doesn’t refuse, also to allow organic sounds and brass instruments to take a niche in the music outfit. "Static" is rather sort of a monotone Downtempo-tune, which convinces, but generally the music misses a bit the target to include more cinematic or thrilling moments. That may belongs on the fact, that chosen sounds out of his Reason-crafted equipment are sounding quite too ordinary and in this playing field are definitely based a lot of more acts, which reach higher attention. "Little One" offers consumable Electronica/IDM-tunes, which doesn’t hurt anyone. But at least this one comes out too much filled with average attitude to impress completely.

HEAL: Supernatural

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 04 2009
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Artist: HEAL
Title: Supernatural
Format: 12"
Label: Sound On Probation (@)
Rated: *****
After two years from the "Starting back" album the next September Laurent Perrier will release on vinyl a limited run of 300 copies of his new Heal album titled SUPERNATURAL. The eight tracks born from Laurent cut and paste and editing of recordings of eleven guest musicians. Mixing jazz/swing elements (the rhythms, the use of bass with xylophone, etc), industrial and experimental sounds the album sounds like a soundtrack to a noir cartoon movie. While side A is more based on treated classic instruments, side B is focused on electronic sounds. "Fille ordinaire", "Bright moods" and "Oslo" (great dub electonic experimental tune) are different from the five tracks of the first side but they doesn't sound strange as Laurent succeeded into keeping alive the same experimental touch with rich rhythmic layers and great sounds. This album made me remember another great album released recently: Laurent Garnier's "Tales of a Kleptomaniac". I know that Garnier's sound is more dancey but in both cases we have great tunes and a rich mix of sounds and rhythms where loops and minimal variations are used with taste.

TONGS : jazz with the megaphone

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 30 2009
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Artist: TONGS (@)
Title: jazz with the megaphone
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Longsong
Rated: *****
Hey what do we got in the toolbox? I’ve the itch to write: "much more than a simple pair of Tongs" and consequentially we’ve an heterogeneous artifact taking inspiration from a bunch of different influences. Forget my crappy humorism but it was just one simple way to introduce the basic concept of bands like this, infact we’re speaking about a sort of advanced fusion or at least about "fusion the way it had to be", somehow we could speak of a sort of Spaceway Inc plunged in a jazzy-rock-electronic salsa, if the sound is not exactly the same the modus essendi is undoubtedly similar infact you hear different quotes coming from different genres scattered here and there in what remains a jazz dough. Soft-groovy parts mixed with jazz-rock rides like, James Taylorian fragments mixed with afro-american venatures, complicated passages evolving into neo-classical music portraits. If a band has a sound and you can bet they have it, imagine a really warm jazzy/rock/groovy double bass (sometimes electric bass) pulsing on a really calculated drumming which according to my opinion betrays a strong rock and percussionist training, saxophonist/clarinetist plays with a strong afro-american accent and they dress the salad with a whole bunch of electronic tricks. Differently from what many may expect from a band like that you hear this is a collection of compositions and not a series of impros, as I’ve said you hear their way of writing songs is very premeditated but still not too angular like early Zu, when they’re soft they have the goddammit jazz feel and when they go for the rock/loud parts they have the volume like Ruins, Vandermark 5 or something in that vein. Despite that many wonnabies out there sold their soul for the last trend (come on, is it black metal?...power-noise?...weird-folk?), this music is the result of several influences and underlines the historical importance of towns like Chicago in crossing the boundaries of genres and styles, we’re talking about the hometown of Art Ensemble of Chicago, Tortoise, Rob Mazurek, Ken Vandermark and a zillion of other great names. Well recorded, well produced and well played, I guess that has to be undoubtly filed under "interesting debut".





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