Music Reviews



MIYA MASAOKA : For Birds, Planes & Cello

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 24 2008
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Artist: MIYA MASAOKA (@)
Title: For Birds, Planes & Cello
Format: CD
Label: Solitary b (@)
Rated: *****
Second review for this american composer so deeply immersed in contemporary classic music. While her first work on Solitary b (her own label) I’ve happened to review was dealing with a composition for choirs, this time she turned the page and showed how assorted the universe of a talented musician can be. "For Birds, Planes & Cello" as pointed out by the notes is a work for field recording and cello that brings much more the music of Masaoka into a field-recording/experimental context. While the field-recording is quite ordinary for many expert listeners of the genre, don’t look for any particular sound definition or for any sound rework a la Steve Roden or Francisco Lopez, I think for Masaoka is more important to pay attention to the way in which the cello is sailing thru the field-recording. The sound of the planes and some cello’s low registers for example are so similar that’s hard to get if the bow of Joan Jeanrenaud is moving and the consequential mirror game left me wondering if this or that sound were part of the field-location or part of the performed music. I repeat, sometimes it all become really cerebral and it’s hard to get if she’s trying to push the listener close to the border of perception or (as I believe) it all gets functional for the gradual emersion of the cello in the middle of the cd. Right after having left the instrument materialize from the ambience, it sinks again in the depth of the audio context with birds, planes and the rest of this airport environment and it slowly reappears a bit later as something pulsing underneath. I got the impression sometimes Masaoka chooses to leave more cello to have a sort of a contrapuntal use of the different elements, thus the cello is functional for the field recording but it’s also true that the field recording is functional for the instrument as well. During the last section of the work it all becomes really silent and soft I must admit the impression is the atmosphere becomes unreal, but don’t worry while approaching to the end of the work all of the "actors" are on the stage but don’t wait for a grand finale since it’s quite soft an rarefied. Interesting work.

NO XIVIC: Yksityisyys

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 22 2008
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Artist: NO XIVIC (@)
Title: Yksityisyys
Format: CD
Label: Onxya
Rated: *****
YKSITYISYYS is a word (Finnish I believe) that represents a quality of a thing or a person that gives intense pleasure and deep satisfaction to the mind. Well, listening to the seven tracks of the album I can say that the title isn't always applicable to the sounds because if the opening "Kaunotar ruuturouva" is a blend of drones and field recordings (sounds of someone walking into a forest with birds whistling) the second one "Flex dental zwei" starts like a dark ambient track just to evolve into a chaotic throbbing sound pot that sometimes result also disturbing (on this one the field recordings seem to have been taken at a dentist session). "Etelaan" is less chaotic but nevertheless is able to provoke anxiousness with its sounds that make you feel blindfolded inside a carriage. "Koirantappo" and "Pakomatka pohjoiseen" are a blend of the three previous tracks with calm/chaotic moments for the first one and ambient drones for the second. "Sininen" blend piano, reverbered vocals and drones on the last part while the closing "Manala" is the most industrial dark ambient track of the lot. No Xivic is good at creating sound ambients that provoke into the listener violent feelings but this CD is suggested for the experimental/industrial lovers only.
Aug 21 2008
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Artist: NIKO SKORPIO
Title: Half Born In Half Light
Format: CD
Label: Some Place Else (@)
Rated: *****
Visionary, experimental, magickal and evocative, the new work by Niko Skorpio HALF BORN IN HALF LIGHT is a blend of ritualistic scenarios and music experimentations. Spanning from the creepy hisses of the opening "{ monogram }" where the lyrics are invocation of the primal qualities of Self, Air of Water, to the following tense dark ambient spoken word with guitar and drums inserts of "Worm in the foundation" or the tribal experimental "Neither sphere", HALF BORN IN HALF LIGHT is the best label's release of the recent period (I haven't reviewed all their stuff but it's about a couple of years that I do). What impressed me most is the balanced sound mix and the crispness of sounds. This ability into giving the right space to sounds help a lot the creation of a functioning audio world where the listener is surrounded by hypnotic a semi psychedelic atmospheres.
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Artist: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden (@)
Title: Kampstaoff LOST
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
This band name sounds militaristic inspired with a German background taken out of an old folk song, but behind this project we have a US-based duo presenting us their vision of Military-Industrial. It is the debut release for Sean and Jason and they could already earn some attention through some compilation appearances like "Bewein Dein Mädel" (SkullLine). But there’s more than to settle down some WWII-related German voice samples with a repetitive musically string orchestra ("He Will Not Come"), ICH HATT’ EINEN KAMERADEN can integrate different musically styles out of their different influences. Be it a Classic-oriented outfit featuring strings and pianos plus a bombastic drum set ("A Final Movement Forward"), here is also Ambient ("Forgotten"), Martial (He Will Not Come") and at least a small doze of Noise ("Imperium In Imperio", "Like Ashes") included. On a few pieces they also include their vocals, which is rather a speech language instead of singing ("Before The Storm", "Imperium In Imperio"). Published and released by the German SkullLine label, also this edition is strictly limited to 100 pieces available, so if above mentioned genres fits with your taste you have to hurry up once again.

Genocide Lolita: Direkt Aktion Kommandos

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 07 2008
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Artist: Genocide Lolita
Title: Direkt Aktion Kommandos
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
I should admit in advance that the above used link to contact this US one-man-act leads you directly to the brainchild of GENOCIDE LOLITA, Justin O. I couldn’t resist to watch and search a bit at MySpace after this act, since the given contact information I received from SkullLine, the responsible label for this release, led me to a deleted MySpace account. Currently there isn’t any real artist profile available of this act, as Justin slated it on his profile: "I have about 12 musical projects at the moment and none of them have a profile at present because they are a little too adult and truthful for this preschool oriented community." Well, but another truth can be the fact, that the rough politically-driven onslaught of this act pisses mighty against Tom’s wooden leg. Maybe this all has ended before too often in deleted accounts, until Justin got fed up with the procedure to create new accounts as often as possible. The music of GENOCIDE LOLITA can be described as a Lo-fi version of rough Power-Electronics infiltrated with uncountable samples taken out of news flash reports, sirens, trailers, and so on. All efforts are based and intended to add a quite questionable politically influence to GENOCIDE LOLITA. I think that Justin has become to a somewhat public enemy, also some of his racist-inspired ideas to "organize a new separate nation for white people called Vinland" won’t do any good. But back on track since I have to review his music instead asking for his politically correctness. The globally music outfit is quite disturbing, it’s harsh, but only at times rhythmically oriented. Sample by sample got overdriven, repeated and delayed to provide a very own form of Powernoise. A bit more clearance in the production and also on the raw screamed vocals would may do any better. I would suggest to check this stuff out in advance, as there will be hopefully some tunes online available in a "more parental" community. 9 tracks are featured using some self-describing titles like "Guantanamo Bay – Camp X-Ray", "Sharp Shooters" or "Are We Artists Posing As Terrorists Or Are We Terrorists Posing As Artists?" on this limited item, as usual you’ve to hurry up to contact the German SkullLine label, in case you’re interested.


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