Music Reviews

Zelienople: His/Hers

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 28 2007
Artist: Zelienople (@)
Title: His/Hers
Format: CD
Label: Type Records (@)
Rated: *****
Zelienople are a trio hailing from Chicago, formed by Matt Christensen, Mike Weis and Brian Harding. This is their first release on the eclectic Type label and comes after some awesome releases on Last Visible Dog, Digitalis Industries, Time-Lag and Root Strata. The album fires into action with the most canonical track on the album called "Family Beast", a sludgy and tormented composition. "Moss Man" shows beautifully filtered vocals and overwhelming feedbacks that somehow reminded me of Flying Saucer Attack. A cascading build-up of melted acoustic sources is the core of "Forced March", harsh avant-folk soaked in LSD. And after the freakout of the 4th track things go back to normal with the last track called "Sweet Ali". A 45-minute album that evolves on each track, "His/Hers" can seriously grow on you if you let it. Essential blues-tinged psychedelic folk with a skilled use of feedback - a perfect record for the winter to come.

MARY AND THE BOY: Mary And The Boy

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 27 2007
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Title: Mary And The Boy
Format: CD
Label: Low Impedance Recordings (@)
Distributor: Msen Music
Rated: *****
Formed in 2004 as Mougra Band, Mary And The Boy during these years produced music for dance shows and theater. Coming from Greece the band is formed by two musicians and a dancer. Their first self titled album has a high dramatic and theatrical component and (not only because they're coming from Greece) the female vocals sometimes remember me of Diamanda Galas. The tracks are based on electronics and guitars but the main part is represented by the vocals (both female and male). In this way we have musical experimentations with a melodic structure which is functional to the theatrical aspect of the project. Lyrics deals with sex, death, humiliation and failure and they aren't descriptive of a particular situation, instead they are like flashes. "Black terror" for example opens with: "Oh black terror. Black whore of silence. That man nailed me down. He took his knife and ripped my heart". Musically the album opens with a duet with chants and piano just to explode with the second track, "Death", where a distorted guitar and a bass line create the right background for a crying woman. The band is good at the creation of these particular dramatic atmospheres and they deserve your attention.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: WHW
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Germany’s special mail order service and underground Powernoise-label SkullLine releases only a few month after "Document A" another compilation. This time they like to celebrate their 1st anniversary of the SkullLine label and for this event they’ve invited besides the complete own roster several acts musically based in the wide field between EBM, Powernoise, Minimal, Ambient, Martial Industrial and Neo-Folk. Of course and thanks to the rich amount of acts joining this compilation, this release comes out as a double-CD packaged in a huge DVD case. Also – as usual – it is limited to 200 hand-numbered copies, from which 64 exemplars will be released as a box-set including a T-shirt.
Giving CD1 a first spin, it is already conspicuous how diverse the musically playing field of this compilation will turn. SkullLine’s very own act TT provides an intro-track which comes unusual dark, while KALIBER 9 storming merciless in your brain with a hefty Powernoise tune, a remix of their track "Neurotoxin". Neo-Folk-inspired works musically supported by acoustic guitars you’ll get with the appearances of BERKANA ("Sehnsucht Nach Dem Frühling" – lyrics originally written by August H. Hoffmann, a well-known traditionally German text) or ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI. Rather sedating comes the Dark-Ambient tune of EINHEIT 731, while BLEIBURG surprises once again with an outlook to a coming new album, "Der Meldereiter" comes out as a straight rhythmic-oriented track featuring some amusing German voice samples. In between we have STANDGERICHT, another project new signed to SkullLine, offering Minimal textures with a slight noisy ingredient. Something new also from SHIFT 69, the track "Arbeit" features retro-EBM structures and sampled and vocoderized vocals – WELLE:ERDBALL can be named to be a quell of inspiration. The term "Noise" in a rhythmically form returns with the appearances of both ZYANKALI and TRITON 83, and with LIFE’S DECAY one of the international better known artists joins this comp. MANMACHINE, last but not least, ends this compilation with a rather dark Ambient-tune, also from this act a new release out on SkullLine is in the works.
CD2 got opened by MARK LANE offering a moody Dark Electro/Ambient-driven track entitled "Atomium". Other striking appearances have to be named with LADY MORPHIA ("Widerstand" – something between Goth and Neo-Folk, well-done male vocals and a orchestral-like musically building.), NEJET NOK ("Singen, Lachen, Töten", minimal retro-EBM structures with pitched vocals and German lyrics which cause a smile...) and SCHALLGEWALT ("Electrocabinette", a minimal but speedy rhythmic piece remixed by BLEIBURG). Also a positive point is the fact that especially the second CD of this set doesn’t forget to include some more or lesser known acts like MELEK-THA, HYBRIDS, CONTAGIOUS ORGASM or KENJI SIRATORI, all providing stuff in their representative styles.
Although the second CD out of this set may features the better-known names, the favorites can be mostly heard on CD1, at least to my personal preferences. SkullLine-chief Harald Jarosch has once again concentrated to collect a very diverse and wide-ranging music compilation, on which no appearance sounds like any other on here. Some surprises drifting in unexpected musically regions seems to become more and more a trademark of his work for the SkullLine label as well, so let’s listen and see what the coming months will bring until we’ve to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary.


CD 1 :
01. TT – WHW (intro)
02. Kaliber 9 – Neurotoxin (RMX)
03. Berkana – Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling (Lyric of August H. Hoffmann)
04. Einheit 731 (S.T.A.B ELECTRONICS INC.) – Last Glint
05. Rose Rovine E Amanti – Noi Ritorneremo
06. Von Thronstahl – Returne your Revolt into Style (Boss / Lagerfeld Mix)
07. Standgericht – Total Discipline (V2)
08. Bleiburg – Der Meldereiter (RMX)
09. Shift69 – Arbeit
10. Heiliges Licht – Untitled (only for WHW)
11. Zyankali – Zyklon
12. Triton 83 – Insolent Ungodliness
13. Life’s Decay - Regimental
14. MDMA – Vengeance
15. Bonemachine – Rhythmus der Einsamkeit
16. Manmachine – We Love in Still

CD 2 :
01. Mark Lane – Atomium
02. Genocide Lolita – Haganah Whores
03. Lady Morphia – Widerstand (symphonic version)
04. Melek-tha – Complaint de la Terre Brulee
05. Nejet Nok – Singen, Lachen, Töten
06. Hybryds – Resistance
07. Von Liebenfels – Sailing Homeward
08. Zhark – Eisenzeit (C-64) Dedicated to Josef Maria Klumb/Von Thronstahl
09. Kenji Siratori – Rebirth
10. Exemtum – Tribute to Club Moral
11. Camisole – Recycle the Dead
12. Contagious Orgasm – The Fall
13. Iron Youth feat. The 120 Days – White Comfort (Re-2007)
14. Lonsai Maikov – Coup de Grace (demo)
15. Schallgewalt - Electrocabinette (RMX by Bleiburg)

TIZIANO MILANI : Chamber music for screeching and artificial insects

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 25 2007
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Title: Chamber music for screeching and artificial insects
Format: CD
Label: Setola di Maiale (@)
Rated: *****
Second full length for this artist some of you have probably heard since he’s been used as primary sound source for the recording of Claudio Parodi’s "Horizontal mover" on Extreme records. It’s surprising how some barely unknown artists can put out a cd so intense that blows away bigger productions or even the most famous names, but this’ just one of the many cases I’ve the chance to find recently. Milani’s works present a crepuscular blend of different influences well assorted in what in general can (or should I say "will") be classified as electronic music. My reticence in speaking about electronic music has to do with the fact you can hear many acoustic instruments floating here and there in the magmatic flux, but I still dunno what is played and what’s not: who cares anyhow?. Another weird side effect I’ve sensed is the nocturnal modern jazz/contemporary classic feel that imbues the whole exhibit, be it for the harmonic dissonances or for the soft elegant interventions he’s put parsimoniously during the assemblage of every fragment. The full-length is divided in seven tracks evolving around the same harmonical/musical idea alas the global listening is really homogeneous, despite the long duration it’s not a boring release, sure it’s a intense and heavy trip, but while requiring a lot of attention it keeps the evocative power unaffected from the first to the last second. How does it sounds like? Like a dronical, post jazzy, atmospherical cloud where you have some scattered instruments crossing the scenario very discretely, therefore far from those short rides you hear in the most recent electro acoustic releases. While you some concrete sounds make their guest appearance in some of the acts, many sounds are patiently lead in and out of to the scene thanks to an intelligent use of delays and reverbs and above all thanks to a clever superimposition of layers. Yes, this work is what we may consider a dronical, electronical layering of different things even thought as I’ve already said the result is quite coherent in its elegant crepuscular dress. I’ve had the impression this music could concretize what happened if only David Tibet would have been much more into jazz or contemporary classic music instead of being lost in psychedelia and folk, probably it has to do with the "scattered memories" feel created by the odd melodies plus the field-recordings/samples drowning in the dark pool. Enchanting, odd record here: give it a try.

Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel: Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 21 2007
Artist: Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel
Title: Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records
Rated: *****
Comprised of the duo Aram Shelton (US) on saxophone, bass clarinet, trumpet and electronic processing and Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson (Iceland) on electronic processing and prepared guitar, Son of Gunnar Ton of Shel (an anagram of their last names) we have more free/improvised music from the Edgetone label. The electronic processing (loopers, live sample-based processing via PD and MSP etc.) are used to extend the palette of the instruments, at times giving us clouds of aural haze and at others shards of sonic detritus that fill up every available space in your head. We have the obligatory freak out along with the more subtle meditation, and depending on which you like more this will work for you, or it won’t.

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