Music Reviews



AXEL DÍRNER-DIEGO CHAMY: What Matters to Ali

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 25 2008
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Artist: AXEL DÍRNER-DIEGO CHAMY
Title: What Matters to Ali
Format: CD
Label: C3R
Rated: *****
Recorded in 2006, "What Matters to Ali" features well-known trumpeter Axel Dörner in a quite unusual improvised session with Argentinian drummer Diego Chamy, who also reads a text throughout. In its best moments, the recording has an eerie, mysterious feel, with sparse, subdued sounds and the hardly discernible, rambling vocals giving it an almost ritualistic atmosphere (think of some early Osso Exótico). Dörner plays, as expected, in his usual style made of wails, hisses and gurgles, which, alas, I must say is hardly surprising by now, while I've found Chamy's work on metallic thumps and resonances much more engaging. One track, 45'39", many interesting parts popping out of a rather uneventful whole. Powerful cover photo.

TERMINAL SOUND SYSTEM : Constructing Towers

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 23 2008
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Artist: TERMINAL SOUND SYSTEM
Title: Constructing Towers
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
I wish you already know Skye Klein for this guy, beside being fifty percent of most underrated Relapse band ever (Halo), with his release of the last year titled "compressor" gave us a real masterpiece of rhythmic-electronic music. It’s still hard for me to understand if this "Constructing towers" is better or at the same level of its predecessor, by the way I can assure you Terminal Sound System is the living proof electronic music can still be seductive, interesting and catchy without necessarily being "anal" or experimental. While it’s true that this new release picks up where "Compressor" left off, I think the most interesting quality of this new chapter is the introduction of melody, not the previous Klein’s recording was just cold and ass kicking, but this time some of the tracks are softer and more accessible for an indie customer and not just for a learned electronic/IDM listener. He’s left some of those electronic post jazzy passages intact, you’ve some good examples like "Firefly Butoh" and above all "Duchamp Falls", where it all sounds like after the interreing of Peace Orchestra we have a new Arthur starring "The Sword in the Stone", but my impression is there are a lot of shoegaze/post-rock riminiscences like in "Alaska", "Zodiac" and "Theme for Broken Home" (which is probably my personal favorite of the cd). The atmosphere is nocturne as always and the visionary flag is again high on top but you’d better give a look to the clips with which Terminal Sound System has decided to complete some of the tracks and you can watch them for free here: http://www.terminalsoundsystem.com/towers/. I can’t exactly say Klein opened a new "phylum" in the taxonomy of music, but I have no doubt his personal bland of Drum'n'Bass, IDM, electronic jazz, post-rock, etc. is brilliant, ass kicking and elegant. If you’re one of those filling the ranks of discontent listeners complaining "after Richard D James, Autechre and Seefeel everything had become stagnant" it’s time to stop complaining and to try this 2008 viagra for your ears.





JAQUES FOSCHIA : clair obscur

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 14 2008
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Artist: JAQUES FOSCHIA
Title: clair obscur
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
This’ the first solo double cd I review from the Cretive Sources-area and it’s quite interesting since for many musicians from this odd-music hemisphere their cd on this label is like some kind of nice and well packaged "business card" ready for every listener-reviewer to be reminded. As you probably know every Creative Sources’ artist put the money and takes part to the production of the work, sometimes the outcome is a good business card, sometimes it’s a bad one. This one is good, quite classic in many ways, let’s say "ordinary" in the way it sounds odd and "un-ordinary", even thought it would be too damn reductive to stop our conclusions here. Jaques Foschia (funny name, in Italy "foschia" stands for "thin fog") plays clarinets and combines both bass and eb one in a really interesting way, it reminded me a bunch of good solo works like those done by Kyle Bruckmann, Scott Rosemberg, Peter Brotzmann (mm... even if not as in "your face") and Anthony Braxton but none of them in particular, at last this work is refined and has its own physiognomy. He combined a collection of studio tracks for what looks like the real full-length and an entire disc containing two live sessions, the sound definition of which is not less effective then the studio tracks. His studio work is quite characteristic of this improvisative area therefore if you’re into Birgit Uhler, Axel Dorner, or in the likes, well I’m sure you love "Clair obscure" for the global sound and the waiting games that are the peculiarity that gave this label a clear distinction (and sometimes a bit of predictability) for what concerns the sound matter. Even while acting live you have hissed sounds fragmented sketches and above all some well developed executions were according to my persona opinion Foschia shows his finest traits and I’m referring to the last part of the first live session.




MARINA HARDY : Pink Violin

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 09 2008
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Artist: MARINA HARDY
Title: Pink Violin
Format: CD
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
What have here is a bizarre cdr by Marina Hardy and following the wacky trajectory of this label, it presents a collection of tracks to say it all: "out of ordinary". Honestly I’ve just appreciated a few of them like the ethereal episode of "Apple sauce pudding", or the opening "M kay" where she may remind you of Madame P for those who know her, but I still find it hard to feel really comfortable in a cd where you pass from a the reinterpretation of a russian traditional to an ethereal track, from a western ballad not so far from early Calexico to (nice) melodic harp (?) driven track that probably would have find place on a record of Cynthia Dall. There are bands and project doing this 360° meting pot even more intensely but this release is really well done, maybe just a bit too heterogeneous to the extent it may sound confused. But I have to admit in general Marina Hardy is really able to build "fake instant classics" seen from this perspective this’ probably one of the records that reminded me more about Marc Ribot and his "Book of heads" days on Tzadik. As I’ve said this musician has an incredible heterogeneous writing skill I just think she’s to focus a bit more the global idea of the record but she still manage to be interesting.



SHELF LIFE : Rheuma

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 08 2008
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Artist: SHELF LIFE
Title: Rheuma
Format: CD
Label: Eh? (@)
Rated: *****
Still from Omaha and Lincoln like Gama Goat we’ve another kind of freaks, this time we deal much more with something close to dark ambient even if it would be really reductive above all if considered something close to post-black metal music with which this cd has nothing to share. This is psychedelic crepuscular ambient music the roots of which are so damn planted into kraut-rock that Herzog should bring Kinsky back from the grave and start shooting again the follow-up of Aguirre. Holy shit, Nurse With Wounds, Faust and Popol Vuh would be moved if they’re seeing how they made it into the heart of this present generation of "art brut" experimental artists. No hyper intellectualized shit, just a trip for the mere taste of getting lost, America is on its knees today we’re again so close to the nightmare of Wall-street that the ghost of some suicidal investor of the crack of 29 is probably waiting for his nephews to reach him wherever he’s in his afterlife. The world is trembling in fear these days, dark days "are not coming" they’re already here and this music without being too depressive or too dark-wave is still misty, slow, overwhelming and narcotic. We’re the descendents of the Pink Floyd generation and this’ the logical step into nowhere, this nightly drones and these grey colours won’t probably add anything to your collection but without being a copycat of this or that artist these guy assembled an interesting release above all during the closing episodes.




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