Music Reviews



GREG DAVIS & JEPH JERMAN: Ku

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 08 2007
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Artist: GREG DAVIS & JEPH JERMAN
Title: Ku
Format: CD
Label: Room40
Rated: *****
This collaborative cd by Davis and Jerman could be puzzling if you only know the former's more melodic and electronic works released by Kranky and Carpark, but makes perfect sense if you consider the "Leaves" series (devoted to field recordings and "environmental improvisation") on his own Autumn Records, and of course Jerman's present and past activity (as Hands To and Animist Orchestra). "Ku" features three lengthy track of edited and layered improvisation mostly based on natural objects (sticks, stones, seeds, shells, pine cones... there must be something containing water as well...), plus prepared instruments, some percussion and also electronics, though its presence to the ear remains minimal or barely audible. Things start rather quiet with the first strata, a series of tiny sonic dots which sounds like a warm-up to the chaotic, highly energetic flow of rumblings, falling objects, scrapings and non-conventional drumming (part of Jerman's background, remember) of the second piece. After so much entropy, the third strata puts you in a pensive state with its droning gongs and bowed metals, before returning to a set of more abrasive and convulsed sounds in its second half. Woodland free-jazz, anyone?

NEUMÁTICA: Alud

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 08 2007
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Artist: NEUMÁTICA
Title: Alud
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources
Rated: *****
Alfredo Costa Monteiro, here at "pick-ups on turntable", may well be one of the loudest, meanest improvisers around. Even when he plays a plain accordeon, he manages to raise some serious hell. Here, he teams up with Pablo Rega, at "home made electronic devices", for a wisely short and to the point cd (three tracks, 37'50") documenting a performance given in Barcelona in 2005. If you're familiar with Costa Monteiro's other duo Cremaster, you can have a hint about how "Alud" sounds: a flow of menacing noise, be it hisses, crackles, gurgles or metallic low-end rumbles. It could even be labelled "harsh noise", but bear in mind this has a lot of nuances and microscopic details that are usually lost in full-on noise releases. Again, if you know other releases of Costa Monteiro's, you'll know what to expect, which is the only drawback I see in this powerful and radical performance.

HARSHCORE : the sybian sorority

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 08 2007
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Artist: HARSHCORE (@)
Title: the sybian sorority
Format: CD
Label: Rudimentale (@)
Rated: *****
No, despite their name these guys have nothing to do with harshcore musicwise, but they deal with noise anyhow. After having heard a couple of old songs I had a split sensation probably due to the fact I was expecting close to Luca Sigurtà solo works but later, after having seen them live, I’ve had to change my mind about the band since they’ve something special. Finally this time the recording reflects much more their live performances that means post-industrial-sometimes hip hop rhythms (since in case you didn’t noticed mighty Dalek and mighty Techno Animal took the idea from that scene... well, Techno Animal took the idea from themselves), a soft and odd bass plus a good dose of odd noises underneath or choking the rest of the music. Not all of the songs have the same impact but sure some of them have it, above all when they drown in slow-rip-your-ass rhythms and leave ordinary/bass-lines back home. But being a confused reviewer and a contradictory person: the sixth track is probably one of my favourites and it presents a mechanical drum beat that moves like a two hundred Kilos slug with a melancholic but yet depressive bass at the place of the shell. The noisy/sad closure is another really inspired moment that deserve a special attention when you approach to the release. Some of the atmospheres of "sybian sorority" are strange to say it all and Harshcore has something crippled and out of ordinary in the way they play. Probably their best is yet to come but i n the meanwhile they’ve already floating ashore (if you don’t believe me go and give check out what Vital says), the fact many people have problem to classify them is probably another hint they’re doing a good job.

SHINYVILLE : No Sleep till Babylon

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 31 2007
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Artist: SHINYVILLE
Title: No Sleep till Babylon
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Rated: *****
Wow, I've had more problems trying to classify this cd than reviewing the other weird artists on Public Eyesore, I think it has to do with the fact this release is one of those works that sound almost normal even if it's quite singular. The only similarity I've found immediately (maybe that's just my impression) is the use of the vocals a la Mike Patton, I know it can be misleading therefore let's speak about the vocals included in the whole musical context. Shinyville have put almost everything in the receipt of their soup, I can't say if it's always so tasty but it has its moments. Electronic, dub-rock-dance rhythms, distorted guitars, ethnical music, dance-synths... probably every genre you can imagine but pure metal...well they have it. This' melodic release both for the music and for the modus operandi of the singer, they've this post-eighties aftertaste mainly given by the old fashioned sound of the keyboards. Take it with a grain of salt but I think to give a picture of the music they play I could say this' a mix of Faith No More, Peeping Tom and some old releases on Ninja Tune plus a rockish chugga chugga guitar. To the list of stupid comparisons you probably have to add Living Color, I can even imagine Corey Glover singing on this update/singular version of some of the songs he used to sung back in the days. A while ago this would have been classified as crossover, and that's crossover music indeed.

YAGIHASHI TSUKASA: Automatic

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 26 2007
cover
Artist: YAGIHASHI TSUKASA
Title: Automatic
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore
Rated: *****
I suppose somebody has done that before somewhere, but this is the first solo pen-on-paper+effects disc I come across, and somehow I am not surprised it's from a Japanese artist on Public Eyesore, home of all things strange and rare. Recorded in 2004, "Automatic" features twelve tracks of quite interesting and varied improvisation, given the limited instruments Yagihashi used (by the way, the cover art features two of the resulting drawings, I think). The pen squeals and screeches through an array of delays, distortion, and whatnot; sometimes it sounds more electronic, sometimes it could be mistaken for a sax (maybe not surprisingly, since Yagihashi also plays alto sax) or a trumpet, of course in the played-as-an-object style (think of the Creative Sources roster). My main problem with the disc is that it's frankly too long for me to sit down and enjoy it from start to end; but the central section is really good and successful, beyond the initial curiosity effect.


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