Music Reviews



NOLE PLASTIQUE: Escaperhead

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 30 2008
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Artist: NOLE PLASTIQUE
Title: Escaperhead
Format: CD
Label: Nexsound (@)
Rated: *****
After different net releases and after that Aleksei Belousov joined in what at first was a Roman Kutnov's solo project, Nole Plastique are releasing their first full lenght CD album. ESCAPERHEAD cointains eleven experimental psychedelic tunes that ideally link 60's acid folk music with minimal electronic improvisations. Take "Sunset stripple" for example. It sounds like an acoustic trip with hippie chants, bongos and stuff but on the background you have digital noises, reversed sounds, effects, etc. The idea is nice but sometimes I feel that the duo has been carried away by their own music. I mean, the trip has started and we're still waiting them to come back if they will ever... If you love dissonance, acoustic sounds, minimal sound experimentation and Sid Barret you could try this one.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Spectraliquid: Konkrete
Format: CD
Label: Spectraliquid (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
The debut release for this new Greece-based IDM/Electronica-based label looks a bit like the little twin to the highly anticipated debut DCD compilation "Emerging Organisms" by the Chicago Heights-based Tympanik Audio label. And indeed, some similarities didn’t definitely happened by chance. Behind Spectraliquid stands among others Kostas K., who is also the responsible musician behind the Ambient/Industrial act SUBHEIM, which is signed to Tympanik. And it is the project SUBHEIM, which opens this comp and they can insert the first highlight here. "Howl" is a little Down-Tempo/Ambient-Electro-driven masterpiece in a best GRIDLOCK-like manner, rich in its melodic content and it features the female Katja doing some "howling" vocals. Second appearance of FABRICS isn’t lesser interesting, the monotonous bass line programming reflects a lot of the ideas, which have been provided and celebrated by THE KLINIK. FLAQUE, well, we come to one of my personal favorites, offers the same track like presented on that Tympanik compilation with the title "Black Shadows In The Fog". That’s a great example how to combine lush layers with a hectic rhythm performance, always and ever supported of a steady cardiac-pacemaker-like rhythm. PSYTECH offer a new track, but this one got remixed SUBHEIM, who can show their talent once again. Another Greece-based project named MOBTHROW is currently preparing a debut release for Spectraliquid and also this act is responsible for the mastering of this compilation. "Deathstep" convinces with it’s staccato-like percussive moments, which get more and more raging as long this tracks runs. Second highlight is the calm and melodic instrumental tune by the established act DETRITUS, which can – just like SUBHEIM - count on Katja (www.myspace.com/katjaspectraliquid) providing some smooth vocals. XSOZ stands for the harder IDM/Click’n’Beat-like kind and "Please Wait" can be discovered too on their upcoming release at the German underground label Fich-Art, which normally presents early and revamped works of acts like MORGENSTERN, ASCHE or SYNAPSCAPE...). Last but not least, the Belgian act AH CAMA-SOTZ is to name as being the second better known name besides DETRITUS, and they’ve produced a fair final tracks of this promising compilation. What I said already on that Tympanik compilation, counts for this strong debut release of this Greek collective too. It’s an amazing compilation which should be able to appeal to all fans of demanding Electronica music. A lot of talent is hidden here, so let’s discover some new blood until we have to wait for some coming releases of SUBHEIM, MOBTHROW, FABRICS and/or XSOZ.

Tracklist:

1. Subheim - Howl
2. Fabrics - All Rights Reversed
3. Flaque - Black Shadows In the Fog
4. Psytech - Finding Yeesha (rmx by Subheim)
5. Mobthrow - Deathstep
6. Yttrium - Zeitlicht
7. Desperation & Fugue - Half Of The Truth
8. Detritus - Lead Balloons
9. Throttler & Track Killer - Against The Machines
10. Xsoz - Please Wait
11. Ah Cama-Sotz - Depth Charge


Gilles Gobeil : trois songes

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 28 2008
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Artist: Gilles Gobeil
Title: trois songes
Format: DVD
Label: Empreintes DIGITAles
Rated: *****
It took me a while to review this dvd, but as you can imagine it's one of those releases you need to "understand" and that needs to be listened to really carefully and ma'am, I swear I did it! . Don't misinterpret me thinking it's too weird, for even those who are not deeply into contemporary music and into modern electronic compositions can give it a listen quite easily. In some way the music is really close to some ambient pieces, but that's quite obvious since ambient music has its origin right there in modern classical music. The first composition "Ombres espace, silence" (2005) offers four movements, the opening is quite soft and evocative and I'd add relaxing, but it's right with the second section of the work the "music concrete" nature of the effort really makes the difference with the average and becomes explicit: sudden and unexpected sounds will make your heart stop while you were waiting for a gradual tension-building, the third "act" of this "drama" is nothing but crepuscular, but Gobeil while remaining deeply suggestive closes this suite in a soft and oniric way. While the first part of the work is close to something many ambient listener my dig, with " Entre les deux rives du printemps" (2006) the classical training of Gobeil is much more overt; I'm probably saying something he may disagree with but even if I can't say exactly why this one reminded me of some late compositions of Steve Reich, just brought to their extreme consequences, not necessarily odd or depressive since the music has its relaxing moments, but when Gobeil goes for creating a "hole in the scene" take for granted you won't find ground to walk upon. Every once in a while the composer changes suddenly everything by breaking the continuity of music with some really violent and high volume explosions that made me jump on the chair while my headphones blew apart the few neurons I had left. The closing composition is not that far from the previous two in a sense you don't have to consider this as one of those dvd featuring different works by the same composer where the style is considerably different, this canadian composer works with a clearly distinguishable method thanks to which the music is homogenous. The sound definition is great, that's why this label puts out such releases on dvd and obviously I suggest you to give it a try playing it in your home-theater.

COH + COSEY FANNI TUTTI: Coh Plays Cosey

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 25 2008
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Artist: COH + COSEY FANNI TUTTI (@)
Title: Coh Plays Cosey
Format: CD
Label: Raster Noton (@)
Rated: *****
At first I was thinking that COH PLAYS COSEY was a sort of tribute album, instead, Ivan Pavlov (active since nineties with his project and also as a Coil collaborator) isn't covering Cosey, he's playing her. How? Well, let's start from the beginning. Everything took form from e-mail discussions Ivan and Cosey had about things like human vulnerabilities, their perceptions or reactions to situations, etc. Ivan suggested to Cosey to create a diary of voice sounds that represented and exorcised the clusters of emotional responses to events over a period of time. Ivan took all these sounds and reworked them producing nine tracks. "Closer", "Crazy", "Mad", "Sin-king", "Lost", "Near you", "Fuck it", "Inside" and "Lying" are intimate moments where the listener is taking the role of a peeping Tom due to the personal nature of the recordings. The voice of Cosey has been dismembered and reprocessed and these sounds have been used like a functional background where Ivan pasted Cosey's phrases. Only on "Lying" we have the add of Cosey's trumpet (which can be seen always as a vehicle since it can't work without Cosey's blow) but everything else has been made from sounds produced by her mouth. Musically the album sounds minimal and glitch and silence has an important role. Rhythm is used with parsimony and mostly at the end of tracks when Ivan makes the sound grow. This is the fist chapter of an ongoing project and it is possible that we'll soon see the "Cosey plays Coh" album.

Rent Romus' Lords of Outland: You Can Sleep When You're Dead

 Posted by Michael Grillo   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2008
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Artist: Rent Romus' Lords of Outland
Title: You Can Sleep When You're Dead
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records (@)
Distributor: Independent Online Distrubution Alliance
Rated: *****
Rent Romus’s Lords of Outland’s latest release "You Can Sleep When You’re Dead" is definitely an album that will keep you awake and on your toes with its in your face blend of free-jazz, hardcore, and experimental electronica. The album offers an abrasive collection of tracks that sounds like James and Chance and the Contortions on some dangerous mixture of meth and speedballs. The songs are mostly comprised of noise jazz played on the saxophone, drums, and bass, with electronics being used minimally for added effect. However, as abrasive as the music is, it is much easier on the ears than John Zorn’s hardcore jazz works. And for you Zorn fans out there, this album doesn’t have any Japanese guys screaming gibberish. Additionally, the album also has some more relaxed moments, in that the pace is slower such as tracks like "The Demonic Circus of Certified Insular Asshogs" and "Disturbing Emergence" (FYI, I hear that the process for obtaining Insular Asshog Certification is rigorous). Though, even with these mellower tracks the album as a whole has an intensity to it that makes me fidgety and unsettled, especially with its off-time tempos and cluttered percussion. And this is coming from some one that listens to Merzbow while he studies. So, if you enjoy out there free jazz and noise music, then I would recommend this album. If you are looking for something more electronic, than Lords of the Outland would probably not be your cup of tea.


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