Music Reviews



R. Stevie Moore : Disorganized Overactivity or Tabitha Soren

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 29 2007
Artist: R. Stevie Moore
Title: Disorganized Overactivity or Tabitha Soren
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
What we have here boys and girls are 25 tracks (!) of variegated mutant rock/experimentalism by the over-indulgent (in a good way), over-achiever Moore. His web site claims over 400 releases in various styles and formats. Does the world really 400 releases from any one artist, no matter how good s/he is? The answer I guess lies in his fan base. But all this is not a comment of the quality of this release. This is a DIY release with all the sonic limitations that category implies. This guy can sing, play, and write songs well so who’s to complain? The subject matter is definitely not mainstream and there is strong vein of oft times wry crude humor, but regardless, the prankster humor is a strength of the songs (his piss take on Led Zeppelin’s cock-rock silliness on "Hi N Loathsome" is a hoot). The accepted forms all take a hit by Stevie. He just doesn’t care if it doesn’t fit into the corporate categories of what’s cool, what’s accepted, what’s selling. Listening to this causes time warped rebirthing experiences of all the music I’ve heard in last thirty years of my life, all of it pushed slightly off-center somehow. Moore doesn’t try to fit in and obviously doesn’t want to. If you’re that kind of person, or if you want something different to wipe out the cobwebs created by the repeated listenings of the same old crap we’ve heard for the last ten years or so search out these recordings. There will be something there for you to like. Kudos to RSM for sticking to his guns after all this time.

Long Hair : The Rise, Progress, and Termination of Long Hair

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 29 2007
Artist: Long Hair
Title: The Rise, Progress, and Termination of Long Hair
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
Originally the "lo-fi" label was used to indicate that the artist had chosen a certain amount of limitation when it came to sonics. It was an artistic choice made to reduce the number of available choices so that there could be more art as a result. Unfortunately many have used the lo-fi moniker to hide the fact that it was talent that was in limited supply. We don’t have that here. What we do have is an effective study in contrasts played in the arena of the psychedelic, read new psychedelic, since the first manifestation could only exist at that time. Lots of delay and loopy pretty guitar playing contrasted with heavier fuzz induced sounds of the universe. A bit self-indulgent at times perhaps but that seems to go with the genre to a certain extent anyway. The release gives us three longish tracks of lysergic drama. This is all a free download from the label.

Ophibre: Spice

 Posted by Michael Grillo   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 25 2007
Artist: Ophibre (@)
Title: Spice
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Going through the stack of CD’s that are awaiting review I noticed a very peculiar CDR with a small bag of curry taped to it with an index card that simply read "Please consider this for review." The name of the artist is Ophibre and the EP is entitled "Spice." The brainchild of Benjamin Rossingnol, Ophibre is an experimental project known for putting out limited edition hand packaged CD’s and cassettes that are accompanied by various objects from pine needles to condoms. "Spice" is essentially comprised of one thirty-three minute noise workout that fluctuates between low speaker shattering rumbles to high-pitched feedback. Interestingly, the while the noise textures on "Spice" are cacophonous and dissonant, the album achieves a rather calming effect, as opposed to works like Controlled Bleeding’s classic "Knees and Bones" and Merzbow’s "Pulse Demon," which makes one want to jump out of their chair and kill all of the Dave Matthews fans. I actually found the CD very nice to study to. While the concept of "Spice" is nothing new within the realms of noise music, it is a rather decent listen for what it is. Additionally, looking at Ophibre’s website it is apparent that Rossignol is someone who is simply in it for the sake of his art without the least bit of pretentiousness unlike Alec Empire and his tirades on "good" versus "bad" noise music which is almost as silly as his political ramblings.


TONIKOM: Epoch

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 24 2007
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Artist: TONIKOM (@)
Title: Epoch
Format: CD
Label: Hymen Records (@)
Distributor: ant-zen
Rated: *****
First off, the extravagant cover art design by SALT of some icy landscapes impresses extremely and can’t be once again praised enough – that’s maybe another secret behind the success story of ant-zen and/or Hymen Records: the art mostly fits with the musically content and quality of the releases. The mysterious female-leaded project TONIKOM isn’t an exception. Once started under the moniker TONIK the change of the band name into TONIKOM happened in 2K6. After the 2 self-released CDR’s " Tonikom Killed Tonik" and "Ocular Pitch", this "Epoch" marks the first release of this act on Hymen Records. And I must admit that I’ve seldom heard a release with such a huge amount of diversity, which grips in several genres to offer the elements out of several worlds. TONIKOM can be generally sorted in into the styles of IDM and Electronica, while the beats and rhythm patterns take mostly influences out of styles like D’n’B and Breakbeat ("Salvo Infinitum" or "Dark River" work well as references). But that wasn’t it at all. Furthermore styles with Ambient, Trance, Techno or Industrial get touched and extracted to built a very own and unforeseeable sound design (excellent: "Swollen" and "Nightwalk") which sounds new, innovative and intelligent. This music isn’t designed to get consumed as a "Wal-Mart-background-sound", it needs fully attention, the best under a good pair of headphones. If this will be the "truly epoch-making release", which the info sheet likes to suggest, well, that depends on you. TONIKOM has done the best and improved on all thinkable terms of production, so the quality of this release is unquestionable.

VV.AA.: elffriede/soundrawing

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 20 2007
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anymore
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: elffriede/soundrawing
Format: CD
Label: Transacoustic Research (@)
Rated: *****
I’ve just reviewed a couple of releases of this Austrian label, but I can truly say I love it, one was their "hearing" compilation and the other was a vocal based electronic release assembled by that Jörg Piringer featured here among the sound artists appearing on this sampler, last and most important this label put out the Vegetable Orchestra which itself deserve endless respect. While usually I’m quite skeptic concerning samplers I was so well impressed by the first collection put out by these dudes, I was quite curious and yes, my expectations haven’t been deluded at all since this work is damn good. This collection features a good number of electronic musicians to which the visual artist Elffriede asked expressly to compose music inspired by her funny childish, comics-alike drawings. Taken for granted the process of interpretation is quite subjective and also the fact that the Elffriede’s works are quite weird the compilation is homogeneous in a damn good way. The surprise is that this cd coming out in a 7" shaped packaging is filled of musicians I dunno except for Piringer, Murmer and Phil Niblock (sorry if I forget some other "big" name) but the ninety percent of the sketches/tracks are high quality material. The fact is that the abstract, nocturnal electronics feel is a constant thread joining the most of the songs plus the majority of the songs deal with what can be filed as "sound art". The last thing clearly explains why you have such an over-abundance of unconventional frequencies, field/electro-acoustic recordings well married with electronics and just a small dose of conventional or rhythmical tracks. As I pointed out at the beginning of the review, this’ a quite homogeneous compilation be it for the inspiration coming for the drawing or for the fact we live in massified alternative and experimental scene... well... I can’t say why, but what really matters as in the majority of sampler is that the whole cd offers both an interesting and pleasant listening. Sorry for being so boring but again Transacoustic Research gives sense to the adjective "experimental" and considering the incredible amount of cheap garbage passed as "research" or "experimental music" these days it gets five points more.


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