Music Reviews



SHELF LIFE: Ductworks

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 18 2007
cover
Artist: SHELF LIFE
Title: Ductworks
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore
Rated: *****
Shelf Life are an improv quartet featuring Public Eyesore owner Bryan Day jamming with A. Boardman, J. Jaros and J. Schleidt. The cd is a lenghty (78+ minutes) collection of thirteen sessions recorded between February and July, 2006 at Platteform, Omaha. The cover doesn't list any instrument, but my guess is that they used guitars, effects, shortwaves, percussion and maybe some reeds as well. Though it's pretty physical and acoustic/unaltered, it's not that easy to tell what's going on in Shelf Life's music. There's a lot of plucking, stretching and bowing, creating a chaotic texture, which is deepened at times by some drone or feedback or even odd found music moments, like tuning a radio and suddenly unburying an old song from the statics. Despite some more intense moments, and nice start-stop dynamics (track 7, for example), the quartet seems to avoid crescendos or sudden bursts, so the whole disc starts having a humming drone quality after a while. It's a nice radical improv set for the most part, but also a tad too long/uneventful for my jaded ears.

H2S: Proteus Soundtracks

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 15 2007
cover
Artist: H2S (@)
Title: Proteus Soundtracks
Format: CD
Label: Biostasi Rec (@)
Rated: *****
H2S is Fabio Degiorgi's own musical project and if you are an affectionate reader of our magazine you should remember him because of my previous reviews. PROTEUS SOUNDTRACKS is his first proper album printed on CD (not CD-r) which he released for his own Biostasi Rec. The album contains eight new tracks always in balance between experimental intuitions, industrial sounds and also a bit of post punk/new wave (because of some effected guitar sounds). The tracks are instrumental ones but the titles and their atmospheres talk for them. "Proteus Postojna speleological station", "Zimmerstrasse" or "Lunik 15 was watching you" are inspired by 80's cold war while "Thoa", "Disconnected life", "Abyss of existence" and "Humanisphere" are dealing with the evergreen theme of twisted human relationships. There's also an homage to Luis Bunuel on "Les images de Maria Latour" as well as the title of the album is inspired by Chrome's "Alien soundtracks". Fabio is good at creating an ambience in balance from isolationism and experimental mood and he also used some basic melodies which gives to the whole album a different sound paragoned to the usual "world is a shit and we're all gonna die in pain" approach. His music gave me a different feeling that made me think of a post catastrophic soundtrack took under the positive point of view. Instead of de-humanizing industrial music, H2S is humanizing it and Andrea Marutti helped him giving the final cut to the master recording. A really good work that deserves a proper distribution. It will be released on November the 24th and it's limited to 300 copies. Get your own one...

A_DONTIGNY : Geisteswissenschaften

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 04 2007
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Artist: A_DONTIGNY
Title: Geisteswissenschaften
Format: CD
Label: no type (@)
Rated: *****
Is it possible to have personality and character in electronic music these days? Sure, as I’m sure it will be possible (not just in electronic music) to have both these qualities till this planet won’t be frozen by the next glaciation. After this opening remarking of the fact "everything has been said before" make sense, but it’s not a good reason to sit down and think like you’re ten thousand years old, let’s speak about this cd. A_dontigny mixes many electronic styles with a great and unusual skillfulness and also shows he’s really able both in discerning interesting samples but he’s chosen the right collaborations to enrich this or that passage. I’ve just heard a few releases on this label (and Metaxu is still one of my personal faves), but I’ve had the impression they’re into electronic music almost at the edge of being experimental for what regards artists work on the tracks. This Canadian musician sometimes cuts the tracks by skiping and using glitches, sometimes he breaks everything fragmenting and manipulating a sample in order to make it workable with the superimposition of a second or even third layer. He’s a "perverted" propension for putting together melodies with unnatural electronic manipulations closer to a dj tradition than "contemporary classic electronic". While we’re far from one of those wishy-washy Afx Twin clones, I’m sure dear ol’ Richard D. James would start nodding having an hard-on with these post-jungle, post-classical, post-electronics, lost in acid, fragmented tracks. I think the fact a composer/musician like Paul Dolden is among the guests of this release says a lot concerning the fact Geisteswissenschaften is filled with songs made with heart and brain and not trying to be part of this or that subgenre of music. Sometimes you have chaotic tracks, sometimes rhythmical irregular tempo changes, sometimes it all sounds like your cd player is skipping randomly stroke by a digital tornado, but in the most of the songs you’ve a solid construction and above all after having survived the first blasts big part of the release approaching toward the end becomes softer an more quiet... almost "easy".

Kenji Siratori: Death Creature

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 01 2007
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Artist: Kenji Siratori (@)
Title: Death Creature
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
This is surely a very prominent addition to the roster of the German SkullLine label. Audio results and co-compositions could lately be heard very often by this Japanese Cyberpunk artist, at least Kenji Siratori was available as a guest on PRIDE AND FALL’s latest full-length album "In My Time Of Dying". Kenji’s own compositions of course like to drift in different styles and moods. It’s generally static Ambient, which ranges from eerie to harsh-metallic, Experimental and Noise, also comparisons to some Cold-Meat-acts can work as a reference. This "Death Creature"-album offers 4 tracks simply entitled "Zero", "One", "Two" and "Three", and each of them clocks over 10 minutes playing times. All tracks feature a voice performance by Kenji, but it isn’t like singing, it’s rather a kind of imploring murmur by using a stereo effect. While the tracks "Two" and "Three" follow rather the static and harsh path, "Zero" appeals the most with a kind of ominous-sounding melodic and repetitive signature. Since Kenji has made himself a good name especially in the past months, this extremely limited and hand-numbered item (only 50 exemplars) should be gone immediately – in other words: Hurry up, drop a mail to SkullLine and ask for availability of this release.

Aemae: Maw

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 29 2007
Artist: Aemae
Title: Maw
Format: CD
Label: isounderscore (@)
Rated: *****
Aemae is the sound project of Brandon Nickell of Oakland, CA, USA. It lives in the aether world of buzzes, clicks and whirrs of the insect. Sounds flit in and out of our view as flies, mosquitoes and moths dive bomb our heads. It is obvious that the details of each sound has been lovingly painted with the glow of the electron. There has been attention paid to the results here and even though we may not be able to speak the language of the micro-world of the insect, we can still appreciate its beauty.


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