Music Reviews



Za Frűmi: Barrow Wights

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4541)
Jul 20 2008
cover
Artist: Za Frűmi (@)
Title: Barrow Wights
Format: CD
Label: Tom Bombadil’s Collectors (@)
Rated: *****
Barrow Wights offers listeners a chance to experience the epic first four years of the world of Za Frûmi.

In a visually immersive, specifically designed BOOK (25 pages, A6) the beautiful CD lay like a treasure in the end of it. For you who read other reviews by me you already know I love Za Frûmi as a band and as artists. They are among the best in the genre of dark ambient and fantasy music. I don´t need to repeat that in this review and bore you with endless praise.

This stunning Za Frûmi sampler is released by new Portugal based label (very promising!) Tom Bombadill´s Collectors and is limited to 1000 numbered copies. The disc covers songs from the debut album "Za Shum Ushatar Uglakh" (not my old favorite song but what the hell!) and the second album called "Tach - chapter 2" from the "Za Frûmi saga". Also songs from "Legends act 1", "Legends act 2 - Vampires" and two interesting unreleased songs made during the first four years in the bands 8 year history.

The world of the supernatural has been well represented by Za Frûmi´s wildly imaginative work. To incorporate it with the work of Tolkien and use parts of the Za Frûmi stories to dive into the Barrow Wights is just pure genius.

When you step back and appreciate "Barrow Wights" as a whole, you recognize that Za Frûmi and Tom Bombadill´s Collectors have provided everything that you could ever want in a sampler.

It has a magical element of fantasy in its instrumentation; it has loyal and memorable themes for every aspect of the story, and it builds up to one hell of a tumultuously satisfying climax. In its vast complexity of layers, themes, orchestration and as a collector’s item this album is a magical jewel. A must for the fans and people who want to get to own tracks that are now sold out.

I am a proud owner of the album!
It´s a great gift too. But... I am keeping my copy myself.

MARTIN BAUMGARTNER: Shoot's Huft

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4530)
Jul 15 2008
image not
available
anymore
Artist: MARTIN BAUMGARTNER
Title: Shoot's Huft
Format: CD
Label: For4Ears
Rated: *****
This first solo cd by Martin Baumgartner (nnnj) is not really something I would have expected on For4Ears, despite Müller's evident taste for unconventional and demanding sounds. Composed and recorded over a 2-year period, "Shoot's Huft" features three tracks with a similar structure: they start with clattering electroacoustics, at times accompanied by some kind of tuning bleeps (track 1), then boom, they burst into fierce diginoise that would've fitted the Mego catalogue some years ago. The distortion gets at times more structured in square-waves sequences or loops, gives way to ethereal ambient passages, then returns to sweep everything away. There's a loose structure that I guess derives from improvised sessions, but I could be wrong - anyway, the erratic flow is both positive and negative throughout, as it prevents the tracks from being too predictable (straight-on noise can be so boring) but also detracts a bit from aggressive power and cohesiveness.

MIYA MASAOKA: While I was walking

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4529)
Jul 15 2008
image not
available
anymore
Artist: MIYA MASAOKA
Title: While I was walking
Format: CD
Label: Solitary B (@)
Rated: *****
Four works written by Miya Masaoka and performed by three choirs and nine soloists, it all vividly reminds me of an old work composed ages ago by Ennio Morricone, it was a work for chorus based on a poetry written by Pier Paolo Pasolini and titled "Sciopero" (On strike), I’m quite sure he also reused some excerpts of it in a part of a soundtrack of who knows which movie by Dario Argento. The texture is really different, in someway in the modus componendi of Masaoka reminds really well (even if her name and her favourite instruments are Japanese) she’s culturally grown in the U.S. and as far as I concern I wish nobody will blame me if I say some parts of this piece are really "american". It doesn’t necessarily imply she’s a minimalist, or she’s been influenced by this or that contemporary composer but you can bet beside being filed under contemporary classic music she’s using those long notes, those quasi-frozen dissonance games that are quite a trademark for many american composers. This one has been recorded in a reverbed church or some similar place and if you add she’s been probably influenced by her Japanese origin, it gives all some gentle but also dramatic "siren singing" atmosphere (I’m sure Ulysses will fall in the trap this time!). The four parts of this work are quite varied thought giving an homogeneous shape to "While I was walking", she’s been really able to alternate circular parts and long segments. Despite its contemporary classic essence the whole composition is really really filmic and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it as a soundtrack for this or that tragedy. We’re all in debt with Greeks for our sense of drama, and this composition is nothing but one of the many proof of it.

NORBERT MÍSLANG: header_change

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4528)
Jul 15 2008
image not
available
anymore
Artist: NORBERT MÍSLANG
Title: header_change
Format: CD
Label: Cut
Rated: *****
After developing his own brand of "cracked everyday electronics" with the now disbanded Voice Crack duo and a remarkable series of collective improvisations, Norbert Möslang has been investigating uncommon sound sources in his solo career. His previous full-length on Cut, "Capture", used amplified fluorescent lights, obtaining an alien and austere form of electronics. The same blueprint can be found in this "header_change", which is based on video-stills converted into audio files and then digitally processed. Starting with heavy, grey electronic textures, the album is often hostile and grim in a cerebral way, reminding the vehemence of early Palestine's electronic works (tracks 1 & 3) or even the more recent collaborations of Maurizio Bianchi and Sandro Kaiser/Frequency In Cycles Per Second or Siegmar Fricke (track 7). The peak, or better the bottom, is probably reached in track 5, an aural bathysphere of intimidating pressure.

Sparkle in Grey: A Quiet Place

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (4526)
Jul 14 2008
cover
Artist: Sparkle in Grey (@)
Title: A Quiet Place
Format: CD
Label: Disasters By Choice (@)
Rated: *****
Matteo "Hue" Uggeri is a man of many talents. I first heard some tracks from his In A Voice project that sounded like it would be right at home on the Hyperium "Heavenly Voices" compilations or on Projekt records. Sparkle in Grey takes a different approach and I had to listen to this disc several times before figuring out just what to say about it. According to the label, "The six tracks on this debut album have started off as improvisations on an electronic base, and have later developed throughout live shows in Italy and abroad in squats, clubs, diners, music festivals in the woods and in a kindergarden." The improvisational aspect is certainly present and accounted for (and I would love to see them perform at a kindergarten show). I tend to think of projects in terms of who they remind me of and the only comparison that I could come up with was Nature and Organisation’s "A Dozen Summers Against the World." I made my wife listen to it, who finds Nature and Organisation the only palatable offering from any of the World Serpent catalogue and she also thought that that A Quiet Place was quite nice. All of that to say that this album may be improvisational but it is still very accessible. The various tracks incorporate samples of spoken word, guitar, violin, and field recordings to create interesting soundscapes that at times fade into the background and surface in ways that are not too invasive. Let’s look at some of the more interesting tracks more closely. I especially like the narrative at the beginning of "Limpronta" that notes, "My theory is that if you don’t bring it with you (into the studio) you’ll definitely need it." This track is a bit more free form with some noisy elements thrown in as punctuation until it gains more structure with guitar and violin creating an almost mournful melody. "Goose Game" begins as a study in repetition but then settles into a nice groove with electric guitar dominating. This one kind of grew on me after a few listens. "Teacher Song" would be right at home as an interlude on one of Current 93’s neo-folk albums like "Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre." Overall, you get the sense that this would be a great band to see perform live. The cartoonish drawings (done by Hue) on the cover and liner notes demonstrate that this is not an in-your-face kind of experimental album. Overall, the feeling is quite calm and restrained. If you’re looking for improvisation that seems almost peaceful, this is very well done. This disc weighs in at 46 minutes.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha