Music Reviews



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Artist: BLEIBURG feat. MANMACHINE (@)
Title: History In Flames
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
This is a new DCD release set out and produced by the German underground mail order service SkullLine. It provides a mutual team work by both German projects musically based into dark and minimal Ritual Electronica, which takes here some influences out of different music styles. BLEIBURG is leaded by Stefan R. who’s very active not only with his various music projects, under the "Dark Transmission" website he publishes also a small online zine. MANMACHINE is A. Schwarz, an experienced musician since 23 years based in various styles. So you don’t have to wonder also to hear some classic Electro tunes ("Deep Down In My Heart" – provided with a "classic" inspired vocal performance) besides further styles like Powernoise ("99 Percent Noise", "About The Nights" or the very chaotic "Hekate Song"), slowly Ambient tunes and - oh wonder – an acoustic Neo-Folk tune ("Fall Apart", a cover version originally done by DEATH IN JUNE) only arranged with a guitar! Some vocals are included as well, but mostly they rather act here like a dramatic news reporter rambling down some lines. This can’t be called a real singing. In all you got a DCD set focusing on dark, minimal programmings and sounds, where it at times wouldn’t be wrong to fill in some more maturity. To lengthen this stuff on two CD’s is also a bit too much, a limitation and concentration of the best tracks placed on one full-length would do better. Designed for genre fans only. Of course, also this item is a special limited and numbered release of about 45 pieces, packed in a carton box with a pin and a t-shirt.

WOMBA: Evidence Of Letta

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 07 2006
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Artist: WOMBA
Title: Evidence Of Letta
Format: CD
Label: R.A.I.G. (@)
Rated: *****
Have you ever had difficulties of falling asleep? There’s a moment when you are almost there where you start to lose consciousness and the sounds are dilated and they tend to become like a distant echo. Womba’s EVIDENCE OF LETTA gave me the same sensation. Now let’s do a step back. Who’s Womba? Well, it is a personal project of Tikhon "Hee Haw" Kubov, a man know into the independent new alternative Russian music scene. Produced by Russian Association of Independent Genres, EVEDENCE OF LETTA is a particular CD presented in a cardboard folder with booklet. It contains 24 tracks of minimal cut ups where radio/tv/record samples are merged with treated voices, noises, etc. The sensation I had by listening to these tracks was also like listening sounds through a fly ears: everything seemed so overwhelming and confused and I didn’t know where to rest. Is it a coincidence if there’s a smashed fly on the cover?

ERIK FRIEDLANDER AND TEHO TEARDO : Giorni rubati

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 05 2006
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Artist: ERIK FRIEDLANDER AND TEHO TEARDO (@)
Title: Giorni rubati
Format: CD
Label: Bip Hop (@)
Rated: *****
Dear readers, did I ever told you I'm completely fond of Pier Paolo Pasolini? (who cares!)...well I'm saying that just for the fact that this’ one of the best tribute to the lover/fighter/movie-maker/poet from Casarsa (together with an old work composed by Andrea Centazzo) The odd pair consisting of well known cellist Erik Friedlander and Teho Teardo (Modern Institute, Here, Matera, Meathead, etc..) plays a mix of chamber-classical music mixed with a soft electronics processing. A while ago we've reviewed Teardo's effort with Modern Institute on Expanding and it was again cello based if my mind doesn't fail me (I think he’s obsessed with bowed music), but this time the context is different. While the only possible "trait d'union" that ties the knot between the two cds could be the soundtrack/filmic mood, "Giorni rubati" is much more contemporary classic, experimental contemporary oriented. It's funny, but while listening to the sad and beautiful litanies created by Friedlander's cello it was like listening to some old David Darling, Kronos quartet performances processed with a light and classy use of electronic music. The most of the songs have that perfect length that makes you feel like everything comes in and out right when it has to. The music is sometimes severe, sometimes gentle, somewhere else aggressive and onirical and that’s what really symbolizing Pasolini's personality. Here and there they've the guest appearance of Scott Macloud from Girls vs Boys that enriches what I consider a little jewel. 44 minutes of intense music that hits you right there where "something is beating". If you think classical music hybridized with electronics can create an incredible atmosphere this record is highly recommended.

Rich West: Heavenly Breakfast

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 03 2006
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Artist: Rich West
Title: Heavenly Breakfast
Format: CD
Label: pfMENTUM (@)
Rated: *****
It seems as though I’ve been getting a lot of jazz recordings to review lately, and I didn’t particularly think CHAIN D.L.K. was much into jazz. But, when you get a CD this good, you have to say something about it. (Besides, they want me to review everything that comes my way.) If you’re familiar with The Monks of Doom or Mike Watt, then you just might know who Rich West is. For the uninitiated, West is an avant-jazz (sometimes rock) drummer whose roots go back as far as Camper van Beethoven. Here, with group comprised of Bruce Friedman (trumpet), Lynn Johnston (saxophones, clarinets), Emily Beezhold (electric piano, Korg ms2000) and Dan Krimm (electric bass) West provides the percussive glue to hold this post-bop free-jazz ensemble together. West also throws in a bit of accordian for good measure, and probably also because he can play it. I’m not sure "Heavenly Breakfast" was the best title for what’s going on here. If your idea of a heavenly breakfast is five kids running amok at the breakfast table, cereal and milk all over the place, jam everywhere but on the toast and coffee percolating to the point of overflowing, then maybe it is. There is an incredible amount of free improvisation, and I’m not sure that all of it works, but when it does, it’s pretty engaging, of you like this sort of thing. There is a lot of contrasting dynamics, tonal shifts, and an undercurrent of tension in what West and his ensemble are doing here, and my gut feeling is that these guys area lot more savvy than they let on. West’s drumming is so sophisticated at times that it almost hardly seems to matter what anyone else is playing. And a good deal of the improvisation has that chaotic playfulness that comes across almost mockingly daring you to imagine where they’re going next. Sometimes the group seems to be in perfect sync in a groove, at other times in full-out frenzy, and still others where they are Sooooo far out, you just can’t fathom where they’re going. Crazy riffs gone wild seeming totally out of control, but then there’s always a grounding point they miraculously find their way back to, in sync, and ready to digress yet again.Some of "Heavenly Breakfast" is about as avant garde as jazz gets (and still be able to truly be called jazz). The individual musicianship is stellar, and when it comes together here on this recording as it often does, it’s a remarkable listen. Assuredly not for all tastes, "Heavenly Breakfast" might better be digested much later in the day.

CO.CASPAR.OSP : Labcopilation #2

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 03 2006
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Artist: CO.CASPAR.OSP (@)
Title: Labcopilation #2
Format: CD
Label: Paranoise Records (@)
Rated: *****
German label Paranoise Records presents a compilation of studio work in the industrial noise vein of spoken poetry set to sound BY German performance artist COCASPAR.OSP from 1998 to 2003. It’s a limited edition of 500 that includes a poster. Other labels have released most of the tracks but this is a good way to get a sampling OF COC.OSP’s (or CoCaspar, as I will refer to him for the duration of the review) work without having to hunt them all down individually. There are 9 tracks in all lasting a little over an hour. Beginning with a big BANG (not unlike a shaken vintage reverb chamber), "Thus Long Lights Light" is a miasmatic mix of strange birds and noise puffs and pops that gives way to a mélange of ambient voices, the kind you might find in a restaurant. One voice, reading a rather morbid bit of prose(?) emerges and takes the track to conclusion. I should mention that CoCaspar utilizes a rather electronically primitive assortment of paraphernalia consisting of tubes, wires, amplifiers, creaking chairs, etc. to generate his sonic atmosphere. This is actually a good thing, as it takes his expression far a field from the usual sampled fare that tends to dominate the dark ambient and noise genres. Some of the spoken word poetry/prose uses electronic voice processing and some does not. Those segments that did use the processing tended to have the voice a little too up-front giving the voice a separateness that I found to be a little too contrived. I felt that the readings worked best when the voice was unadorned and mixed in with the sound sculptures Cocaspar was creating. But hey, that’s just my opinion. I’m sure some listeners might disagree.For the most part, CoCaspar creates some deliciously malevolent atmospheres that rival vintage Coil in sonic turpitude. This can be heady intellectual stuff in a Nietchzean sort of way. The integration of spoken word with the sonics gives this "compilation" a cohesiveness that is often lacking on a regular release by many artists I’ve heard of late. A lot of people seem to have trouble pinning CoCaspar’s sound down; it’s quite unlike so many artists working in the darkambient/indstrial/noise genres. For lack of a better description, I can only say that CoCaspar creates his own reality via an "unreal" set of implements. It is quite nice that an artist like this can thrive (he’s got a LOT of releases out there, both audio and video) in a musical climate that has moved away from the electronic experimentation of the 80’s and 90’s. But then again, he’s a European artist and I’m sure they’re a lot more open-minded over there about fringe music. Fans of Coil’s more esoteric and less commercial ventures may appreciate this more than most.


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