Music Reviews

GROSSE ABFAHRT : luftschiffe zu kalifornien

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 22 2008
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Title: luftschiffe zu kalifornien
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
"Sometimes they com back" and nothing is truer than this that’s why together with Birgit Ulher one of most prolific artists of Creative Sources huge roster is Gino Robair. Ok, I know this an ensemble with no less than eight musicians therefore opening a review like that doesn’t give justice to the other team players, but here following is a list of the other names: Tom Djll, Serge Baghdassarians, Boris Baltschun, Chris Brown, Matt Ingalls, Tim Perkis, John Shiurba. During these five episodes this experimental ensemble plays some of the most silent sounds I’ve been listening after Bernhard Günter. This line up deals with the contemporary thing, but here and there they dive deeply into electronic music. For those of you who’ve heard the release of Sei Miguel, that was one of the few releases who can compete with Grosse Abfahrt for the amount of silence used. Obviously that’s the most interesting part cause eight talented musicians intentionally far from solos and rigorously abstinent from crescendos can create an interesting work. At the same time the question is still if playing keeping far from any sort of melody or just by emitting some soft acoustical noises ends to be just another dogmatic way to approach players’ interaction. This’ one of the most un-played and self-disciplined works I’ve heard recently, the impression is that they develop a real interest in stirring just a few sounds in the performative place, that’s why even if I think the recording is good and the cd interesting it should have been a great session to be seen live. Soft sounds and acute frequencies frozen right under the icepack. If you’re confident with silent music go for it, if not beware of the fact it requires a lot of attention.

Moe! Staiano : The Absolute Tradition of No Traditions

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 21 2008
Artist: Moe! Staiano (@)
Title: The Absolute Tradition of No Traditions
Format: CD
Label: Psychform (@)
Rated: *****
I like percussion music. I like the idea of it and the music itself. I would guess that within the Western tradition percussion music for its own sake is fairly recent, it being relegated to the "primitive" cultures of the world. But thankfully this racist attitude has all but disappeared. What we have here are 10 tracks of percussion music of various lengths and characters. Moe! uses all kinds of sound making devices of the kitchen sink variety. There is also a brief appearance of a guitar loop in the mix, which I don’t particularly have a problem with since I am not a purist. If it works, it works. Over all this is quite enjoyable, the only caveat is track #7 which starts with potential but deteriorates into self indulgence. Other than that, all is well. Recommended if you like this sort of thing and I do.

Lunch With Beardo : Surrealistic Pillow

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 21 2008
Artist: Lunch With Beardo (@)
Title: Surrealistic Pillow
Format: CD
Label: FDH Music (@)
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
I remember headshops. The smell of incense, the presence of drug paraphernalia, glowing posters in black light . All to encourage and support the "headtrip" of lysergic aficionados. The first psychedelic movement was in aid of the expansion of inner space. While this goal is no longer acceptable to most that hasn’t stopped the art form that supported it. Early Pink Floyd and various other free form artists are still the foundational muse for today’s practitioners. This release falls into that school of thought, which they call "spaceadelic," and sound form. Lots of spacey and contorted voices, echoed guitar, strange noises and the distant call of trumpets put us in that place that prefers to ignore the boundaries of time and space. If you like your music spacey and free this is it. Three long tracks designed to play without interruption for you to immerse yourself into the ever present now. Recommended.


 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 19 2008
Artist: FALSE MIRROR (@)
Title: North
Format: CD
Label: Thonar Records (@)
Distributor: Mono Culture
Rated: *****
FALSE MIRROR seems to be one of the first signings to the new Thonar-Records label and hails out of the Southern area of Germany. Musically you’ll get a very own form of Dark Ambient music, which is pretty well presented under a conceptual moniker explained in its title, art and finally the music. The massive interest to take a musically journey into cold and mostly "forgotten" areas on this world like the Russian atomic-test island "Novaya Zemlya" or no-mans-land-like arctic areas seem to have had an impression on the artist. Like the beautiful painted cover already announces it a bit, FALSE MIRROR draw inspiration and power out of this areas and these ideas got transformed into a very static and cold Ambient sound-construction. The 5 presented tracks can be easily processed to more than 10 minutes long soundscapes. Even if conventional instruments asides of some field recordings have been used to give out a possible frequency of the tones, the extra-ordinary effect manipulations on this audio results is a sort of being authentic. This releases really drowns into a massive layer-sound-like effect manipulation and seems to be the right surrounding sound for some dark and long evening in front of a fire-place. An artistically valuable recording, but it requires time and interest of the listener.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: New World Order
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Thonar Records (@)
Distributor: Mono Culture
Rated: *****
First official CD release for this new German label, which got invented by the responsible people behind Klangdynamik Records, a label pretty much dedicated to quality EBM/Electro/Industrial music. But the direction for Thonar is quite different and likes to take the listener into more Experimental-minded music styles like Ambient, Power Electronics, Military or Martial efforts. This "New World Order" comes out as a limited DCD set well packaged in a digi-pack and a decent look. It features several acts, some more, but also many lesser known acts which all provide previously unreleased music. CD1 is definitely the rather calm one out of both and the thinks start with two impressive Dark Ambient tunes provided by THE SOUND OF EARTH and the Ulm-based solo project FALSE MIRROR, which has recently brought out a new CD signed to Thonar Records. Maya Nadir convinces with a sweet vocal performance, a rarity in the above mentioned styles. Things turn into Neo-Folk/Neo-Classic with A CHALLENGE OF HONOUR and the musically best piece here provided by NEBELKORONA. MY ASPHYXIA show a mixture between Dark Electro and Military, also satisfying comes out the Dark Ambient drone of THE ALISON PROJECT. Pretty diverse collection so far, but CD starts like an earthquake with the right doze of Power Noise/Electronics to shock your neighborhood. Names like INSTITUTION D.O.L., FLUTWACHT, NOISEWERRRRK, ATROX, KREUZER or SKM-ETR are all offering a more less merciless sort of noise interferences with radically frequency manipulations. Since most of these acts presenting themselves relatively radical, it shouldn’t wonder you, that most of their releases are mostly hard-to-get-items and all of them can count on a strong fan base. For the second part of this second CD the things cool down, again nearer to some Ambient/Electronica tunes of ATOMTRAKT or SKY BURIAL, to name the most outstanding works here. Completely seen this compilation offers a great diversity and should work well to recruit several newbies to this mostly hard-to-discover, but also intellectual-oriented parts of these Experimental genres. A release which still offers Thonar to continue with several different styles.


CD 1

01. The Sounds Of Earth - Viral Expression
02. False Mirror - Inner Sargasso
03. Maya Nadir - Fingertip Trip
04. Moon - Kyle Of Lockalsh
05. Thomas Nöla et son Orchestre - John Singleton Copley
06. Tonal Y Nagual - Nimnon Soleil
07. A Challenge Of Honour - Mother Earth
08. Nebelkorona - Auf Flügeln des Windes
09. My Asphyxia - Todesstrafe
10. Galaxia Obscura - Demolition Ideals
11. Phragments - Towards A New Horizon
12. The Alison Project - After The Cut

CD 2

01. Institution D.O.L. - Just Cause
02. Flutwacht - New Law
03. Noisewerrrrk - Dystopia
04. Izanami's Labour Pains - Yasukuni Jinja Shall Burn
05. SKM-ETR - Spreading The Disease
06. Invisible Front - 50°18'48.16N - 18°41'20.09E
07. Atrox - The Giants Buddhas Of Bamiyan
08. Kreuzer - Faith, Death And Aggression
09. Brachial Palsy - Accidental Error
10. Atomtrakt - Im Schein des Untergangs
11. Sky Burial - Last Breaths Of A Dying God
12. Camisole - Bonechamber V1
13. Erik Ursich – Sospeso

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