Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Revelation

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 02 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Revelation
Format: CD
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
Not the freshest release for sure, but better late than never. The Canadian label Bugs Crawling Out Of People can be seen as the legit follow-up out of TIK Recordings, the label and gig organizer which made itself a fine name with the huge "Saturation Bombing"-festivals. Unfortunately there hasn’t been too many comparable Noise-festivals in Canada, since TIK has called its quit during 2K4. This "Revelation" is the first official release for Bugs Crawling..., a compilation featuring more than 75 minutes Powernoise/Dark Ambient/Martial-inspired audio warfare complimented by some more but also lesser known acts. PROSPERO, during the last year active via the French Brume Records, opens this compilation with a noisy introduction by forming repetitive and distorted samples to an at least straight-forward moving track. The Belgium project NÖRV, which has lately collaborated with H.I.V.+ offers at least that sort of stuff, in which Belgium can offer some masters, "Icon IV" sounds a bit like DIVE with some pounding metallic snares. PNEUMATIC DETACH a.k.a. Justin Brink offers a lecture in "create-multiple-noisy-drum-patterns" which sound complex – technically one of the best, if not the best appearance here. SEDARKA can win an extra price for their enjoyable effect manipulation on some Noise patterns – what an insane track. Mostly the stuff available on this comp deals with static Noise/Martial stuff (LEGION ULTRA, COLD FLESH COLONY...) – so SCRAP.EDX offer the most straight and speedy arranged track on here with "All Those Fucking Eyes". Canada’s ISZOLOSCOPE tends to drift in a comparable style, while offering a rather more subtle and sample-driven intro-phase. Both last tracks got provided by the Dark Ambient-artist NITROUS FLESH, which is a project of James Geist, the musician behind the EBM-related project NECROTEK (official debut "Menschenfeind" out very soon on the Denver-based E.A.R./Vendetta-Music label). Of course, this stuff is quite different to NECROTEK, but still addictive with some slight distortion elements. "Revelation" is a quite entertaining and diverse collected compilation, which should appeal all fans of Powernoise music. There’s more to come out on this label...

track listing:

prospero - through the walls
dead man's hill - heretics look downstairs
casual coincidence - merboso
pneumatic detach - .ryhim.ninept.
legion ultra - mute (demo version)
sedarka - mucus on ice
bETON bARRAGE - devoured by flies
cold flesh colony - hymn of praise
scrap.edx - all those fucking eyes
iszoloscope - a deep cthulhu terror
asphalt leash - something has gone terribly wrong
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 1
nitrous flesh - the return of the dark angels pt 2

MANMACHINE: The Military Death

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4059)
Dec 01 2007
Artist: MANMACHINE (@)
Title: The Military Death
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Although album and band name are sounding pretty much dedicated to the EBM/Electro-scene, the solo project of the German musician A. Schwarz hasn’t too much to do with this style. MANMACHINE stands for a rather harsh and noisy outfit, variable styles between Powernoise, Experimental and Cold Meat-like Electronica can be discovered. As I could see on some photos, A. Schwarz doesn’t seem the be the youngest horse in the SkullLine-stable and has followed the creation of Synth-driven music since the early beginnings. So he has very late decided to record and to release his very own Experimental Electronic-recordings. It shouldn’t therefore wonder, that most of the provided instruments seem to have a veteran and analogue-based background. MANMACHINE’s tracks are pending at times drastically between the styles, even if you think a song would follow a foreseeable line, the complete track fades over to just another quite different mood. Mostly the music is instrumental arranged, even some sparse and pitched down vocals here and there got integrated. "I Have A Dream", aptly named after the legendary words of M. L. King which got sampled here, comes out like a screaming monster with several live improvised noise elements. Even more static and dark comes "Im Fleische Des Krieges", while "Menschfabrik" creates fat sound layers completed with some subtle distorted rhythm patterns. MANMACHINE’s debut surly isn’t the hi-end solution of Electronica arrangements, but a quite fair and experimental-minded kind of work. Strictly limited to 100 exemplars and again provided in a special package, as usual for the most releases of the SkullLine-label.

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Title: Press My Hungry Button
Format: 12"
Label: Vinyl On Demand (@)
Rated: *****
I already introduced to our readers Cultural Amnesia on my Anna Logue Records article and after about a month from that article I'm here again talking about them because there's a new reissue of their old material released by Vinyl On Demand. PRESS MY HUNGRY BUTTON is a double compilation album (their subscribers will receive also an E.P. titled "Still hungry") which after "Enormous savages" bring to the attention of the lovers of the early 80's experimental/wave sound thirty tracks (plus four on the E.P.) which are coming from the three tapes album the band did during the 1980÷1983 period ("Video Rideo", "Sinclair's Luck" and "The Uncle Of The Boot") plus unreleased tracks of the latter period which where intended for their first album "Obscenity" which have never been released. First of all a warning for those of you who want to approach this kind of releases: on this record you won't find a homogeneous track list as well polished sounds. Instead you'll be able to feel three English kids' urge of creating something new and liberating. I remember you that after the hippie movement and after the '77 movement (social and musical), 80's were the Margaret Thatcher years. Years of cultural repression which saw a certain musical grew only during their first half. Cultural Amnesia as well as early Coil, Portion Control, Nocturnal Emissions, etc. absorbed the creative rebellion of early industrial music (T.G.) and if the three bands I mentioned extended their interest on the industrial side, Cultural Amnesia mixed it with the post punk sound/attitude. Any musical instrument was usable someway, no matter if it was a guitar, a synth or a drum machine. Cultural Amnesia embraced totally this kind of spirit and on PRESS MY HUNGRY BUTTON you can find early electronic experimentalism, post punk rawness as well as two covers (a delirious lecture of "Satisfaction" and a short electro/post punk version of Human League's "Being boiled"). Few songs of the previous collection released by Anna Logue are here with a different version and maybe only "Scars for e (alternate take 1)" and "Sacrebleu (original version)" (you find them on the extra E.P.) are the same. I'd like to remember to you that Cultural Amnesia are active again. I checked their new material on their website and I liked the new sound which keep alive the old spirit but updates it with the use of new technology.

JOE GILMORE: On Quasi-Convergence and Quiet Spaces

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4052)
Nov 25 2007
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Title: On Quasi-Convergence and Quiet Spaces
Format: CD
Label: Cut
Rated: *****
Five improvised tracks for solo computer by English audio & visual artist Joe Gilmore (previous releases on 12k, L-ne, Entr'acte, Alku, etc.), here editing recordings from 2004 to 2006. Hard to tell how Gilmore generated his electronics, though we know that many sound sources come from DIY patches initially meant to be used in group improvisation. The result is a flow of sandpaper frequencies, buzzes and crackles, with the harsh and unpredictable grain of live improvisation but also a droning ambience that I've appreciated a lot. The shifts are integrated in a wider texture, which makes this more coherent and eventually enjoyable than most improvised electronic records. At times, Gilmore relies on almost pure sinewave modulation, like in the final piece, "U+221E", which incidentally reminded me of Palestine's "Negative Sound Study" in its severe, claustrophobic minimalism. At the other end of the spectrum, the short "1.0359 8247 9917" seems to be obtained by dragging some heavy object on a metal surface. As a whole, a great record for orphans of old Mego or L-ne microsounds, or even fans of Mattin's laptop generated noise.

NOVOTONO : wanderung

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4050)
Nov 22 2007
Artist: NOVOTONO (@)
Title: wanderung
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
While the cover is really classy and the fact many of the musicians on this label have a jazz/learned/contemporary background might bring forth the idea it’s soft-new age-jazz you can listen while having your macrobiotic meal, the music sails in much trouble waters. The fact all the music is played with clarinets, saxophones and trombone makes the listening not so comfortable above all if you consider this’ not "wallpaper jazz" and as you may suspect by yourself to avoid falling in the sad "innocuous jazz" category they needed ideas. Yes, they have ideas and they probably put it on paper while filling the blacks of the pentagram since the majority of the tracks are composed and by some means quite geometrically that makes it all interesting but on the other hand the side effect is that sometimes it’s really tortuous. As you can guess the recording is quite bright-clean like the majority of the other materials on Amirani but it gets rough just with some low registers and I say cause beside under the decisional profile it means in their compositions Novotono tried to explore every possible sound solution (according to their initial intentions, of course!). It would be easy and above all wrong to compare "wanderung" to the mighty Rova Quartet but let’s do it just to help you (and above all me) to describe further on this release. If compared to the historical releases of the Californians this one is forcedly less choral, more absorbed in abstraction but just here and there when they go for improvisational break in between written solutions. I’m tented to add Novotono sounds also sharper and colder that make me think to a lot of avant white jazzists like Time Berne (he’s not always cold I know shame on me!), Kyle Bruckmann or Scott Rosemberg just to mention some names you may know. I know "mr. know it all" is there complaining Braxton is whiter than the snow said that dear mr. "know it all" you will agree if you’re into horns dueling with contemporary music and above all into jazz trying not to be wall paper music, you’d better give a listen.

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