Music Reviews



GIANNI GREGORY FORNET : guitare solo

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 19 2009
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Artist: GIANNI GREGORY FORNET
Title: guitare solo
Format: CD
Label: Amor Fati (@)
Rated: *****
This one is a strange cd if considered in the global economy of releases on Amor Fati, infact this’ a solo guitar recording with some soft singing, but that’s not exactly jazz or something so closely related as you can guess. That’s not to be taken for bad, nay it feeds my great respect for the label which despite a clear physiognomy is not necessarily cornered into a genre. As I’ve said this’a solo guitar cd as the title itself says, it betrays some jazz, folk, traditional music, experimental music influences, in general it’s a really melodic work and the vocals make it even more listenable, here and there it reminded me of Ex when they were absorbed in their rock-balcanic era or I’d better say Kelekta Red if they were reduced to one instrument, we can also add this cd is not that far from the most traditional tracks recorded by Marc Ribot during his "book of heads" era. Some melodies somehow keep returning in a couple of episodes but don’t worry you experimentalists readers of chaindlk, you have a long impro-drone track titled "Os" where mr. Fornet works on different solutions while playing with some self-generated looped-drones. I’ve also had the itch to mention Frisell and you have his spores scattered in the style of this French guitarist, but Fornet is way more rough (not necessarily in a bad way) and Frisell is really crystalline with his guitar touch, but the post-folk-post-blue-grass-post-jazz influence is there, you can bet it. There’s no doubt this probably the most accessible relase I’ve heard on this label, not necessarily the best and sure not my favorite, but it’s one of those relases I’m sure many guitarists, plus melodic, post-rockers may dig.

GIANNI LENOCI, CARLOS ZINGARO, MARCELLO MAGLIOCCHI : serendipity

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 19 2009
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Artist: GIANNI LENOCI, CARLOS ZINGARO, MARCELLO MAGLIOCCHI
Title: serendipity
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
Ok, it took me a while to review this cd and I’ve an explanation for it, I’ve been so delighted by the very first listening I tried to calm down a bit to understand if it was a great album or just a passing infatuation (and it still had to pass the test of the following listenings). After several listenings I’ve no doubt, this’ not just one of the best releases I’ve heard on Amiran,i but this’ probably one of the best improvisational releases I’ve heard in a long time. This gem features Marcello Magliocchi on percussions, legend Carlos Zingaro on violin and Gianni Lenoci on piano, the recording is great and the trio is driven by pure inspiration and its constantly flirting with dramatic atmospheres. I imagine you may have heard sentences like these many times but if you think that having a improvisational-identity, a sound and being varied at the same time is not that great deal: tell me what should we look for in a recording like this!?. As you happen with many works like that the equipe-work makes it really special, but beside the team-playing and the incredibile numeber of complementary solutions they manage to create in every episode, the three distinc identity of the players turned it into a real jewel. Free-contemporary (vaguely-post-jazz) impro-music where our three stooges play collectively but also singularly waiting in order to leave their soloist role to somebody else, every member adopts several techniques and changes role for the sake of the global result and what a great result!. Carlos Zingaro is great, but Lenoci’s touch and solutions on and inside the body of the piano are more than inspired, to that you’ve to add Magliocchi is one of the most patient and non-intrusive percussionists ever heard on a recording like this. While playing with abstraction and sounding contemporary classical they fight each other, here they follow this high registers there, they go for loudness then they leave the scene to some suspended scales. While painting some really interiorized portraits and keeping their good eye open on a sort of melody, they also work with instrumental dialogues but leaving those scholastic-solutions back home and above all they never forget their performance/recording/tracklist has a global meaning and it’s not a collection of scattered dialogues. This’ not exactly easy, wishy-washy impro-music, but if you’re down with improvisational trios and music in general, this cd shows with a piano, a violin and a set of percussions three talented musicians can still make you taste the magic of instant-compositions.

Seven that Spells: Cosmoerotic Dialogue With Lucifer

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 15 2009
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Artist: Seven that Spells (@)
Title: Cosmoerotic Dialogue With Lucifer
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Rated: *****
Seven that Spells is a band from Croatia that bills itself as "an international commune of psychedelic likeminds exploring the multifaceted cosmos of freak out music and naked women in high hopes of achieving Buddha’s blessing!" All I know is that after listening to the mellow Aritomo CD that Beta-lactam Ring included in the same package, this one was like shifting gears without a clutch – but in a good way. Imagine if Frank Zappa and Sun Ra had a love child that hung out with Nel Cline and Thurston Moore. That love child would play music that sounds a lot like Seven that Spells. The opening track, "Cosmoerotic Giveaway" opens the disc by unloading with both barrels. Although it may just sound like random noise from guitars, it is actually well crafted and has an internal structure that holds it together. "Stara Planina (slight return)" demonstrates that they are not just a bunch of guys who all want to play different guitar solos at once. The track opens with a metal riff that repeats until it dissolves into a peaceful soundscape, only to be destroyed by the noisy guitars once more. "Return Of The Captain Beefstake's Love Apparatus" sounds like a slowed down version of their previous tracks with some ethereal vocals that are almost drowned out by the feedback drenched guitars. "Space Of Eights" is the shortest track on the disc, weighing in at 2.16, and almost has a surf feel. The closest thing I can compare it to is the psychobilly sounds of the Reverend Horton Heat. This track is a lot of fun. "Cookies & Milk / Breakfast With Azrael" takes on a similar feel to "Stara Planina" mixing droning guitars with angelic voice that drones along with the guitar. There seem to be no words in particularthe voice is just another brick in the wall of noise. "Torture Vessel From The Triangle World" is another long track at 13.55, which begins with a completely different feel. It slowly builds, focusing on atmosphere rather than an all out assault, and progressively disintegrates into a boiling stew of feedback and noise but never really unloads. This track must have taken a lot of restraint after the previous tracks! This is for me the best track on the album. I think that this band would put on an absolutely kick ass live show and I would be surprised if all of the instruments made it out in one piece. You can find samples on both the label’s website and on the band’s website, and you certainly should check it out. If Motörhead is too slow and mellow for you, this is for you. And as far as the cover art is concerned, they weren’t kidding about the naked women. First edition of 600 comes in a full color custom made book bound CD case. This disc weighs in at 50 minutes.

Kawabata Makoto & Michishita Shinsuke: Sex,Voyage,and Echo Chamber

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 15 2009
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Artist: Kawabata Makoto & Michishita Shinsuke (@)
Title: Sex,Voyage,and Echo Chamber
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
This is a collaboration between Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple and Michishita Shinsuke of LSD March. Here’s how the label describes this disc: "The reigning lords of the new psychedelic church cross guitars for a super-electric cosmic jam that causes even hurricanes to don ear plugs. More like the paintings of crazed banshees than songs, this shape-shifting set’s loud-quiet-loud transforms the spaciousness of the axe duel into a growling canvas of thunder. Walls of feedback and distortion moan like sinking U-boats." Fair enough - file this under guitar noise / improvisation. The album consists of four long tracks, the shortest of which is "Point to Point," which weighs in at 10.30, and the longest of which is "Rome 9," at 17.42. The disc opens a bit slowly with "Me and Bitter, Psychedelic Tokyo," and I have to admit that I was not terribly into it at the beginning, but it eventually builds to a satisfying maelstrom of guitar noise. "Queen No. 5" behaves like two different tracks, ending a little over halfway through and then starting up again in much the same vein. "Point to Point" is a mixture of jangly chords which are struck on and off the beat seemingly at random while the other guitarist plays over it until it just kind of ends up in noodling. I must admit that this track didn’t really do much for me. "Rome 9" is a long track of wailing guitar and toward the end a lot of high pitched feedback. To me, this track was the best on the disc, because it had a nice texture and I like my noise to be of the solid wall variety. Maybe it’s just me, but this wasn’t really my bag. It isn’t just because I am not a huge fan of guitar noise – after all, I thought that Seven that Spells’ "Cosmoerotic Dialogue With Lucifer" was a great time. I think that what is missing here is some sense of purpose. This album doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and for the most part it begins to all sound the same. Luckily for you the reader, there are samples up at the label’s website so you can see if it really is just a matter of accounting for taste. This disc weighs in at 56 minutes and comes enclosed in a book bound CD case.

Aritomo: Kowai Komorebi

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 15 2009
cover
Artist: Aritomo
Title: Kowai Komorebi
Format: CD
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (@)
Aritomo is yet another artist I had not heard of, but for good reason. It seems that his earlier releases were issued mainly in small edition vinyl. Here’s how the label describes this album: "Aritomo's fragile debut release may just out-psych the freak folk patrol, however, with subtlety. . . . There is an almost naive quality to the way Aritomo's whisper of a voice plays out against his softly lolling acoustic guitar chords. The resulting atmospheres wink at the quietudes of Nick Drake or Ryusuke Seto, though Aritomo is clearly coming from a place all his own. Simplicity is the key stone with Aritomo. His technique slithers between standard chord progressions and more organized Jandekian dissonances." However, I think that Aritomo himself sums it up nicely when he states for his influences: "I like beautiful voice." Certainly, if Hyperium were still doing the "Heavenly Voices" compilations, this album would be right at home. His voice lilts over the acoustic guitar providing more atmosphere than meaning. In fact, the voice is the central element of the music, with the guitar being strummed mainly as a way to keep the music structured. In short, the main feeling that Aritomo seems to be going for is peacefulness, but there are moments of dissonance that keep the music interesting. For example, on "Fearful sunshine filtering through foliages," there is a recorder or flute that is playing a bit stridently, but not enough to make it unpleasantmore as a way to add depth. And it is not all just guitar and voice – "Hakanairo," incorporates some light hand percussion and "In the white shadow which the lily drops" uses the flute to complement the guitar rather than antagonize it. If you are looking for a comparison, the main one that comes to mind is some of Current 93’s more acoustic work like "Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre," but not quite as structured and much more sparse. This album has an ethereal quality that makes it seem like someone has broken down music into its component molecules and transformed it from a solid to a gaseous state. If this sounds interesting, there are samples on the label’s website and on his myspace page. The first edition of 500 is housed in a custom made book bound sleeve and printed inner sleeve and the first 25 copies include an original drawing by Aritomo (which I assume are long gone by now). This disc weighs in at 40 minutes and there are 10 tracks on this disc, but only 9 are listed.


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