Music Reviews



Feb 01 2008
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Artist: Kenji Siratori (@)
Title: Sickness For The 21st Century
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Only a very few months after his debut release "Death Creature" for the German SkullLine label, the Japanese Cyberpunk-/Ambient-artist KENJI SIRATORI returns with a new album. Again strictly limited to only 50 exemplars, KENJI offers a musically onslaught quite different to his mentioned debut. Although "Sickness..." still compliments with long and static Dark-Ambient-like drones, the overall outfit is much harder-minded. He could integrate a wide-ranging distortion/overdrive effect manipulation on his long running tracks, again simply named in a row of "I" to "VI". A nightmarish and yet very sinister sounding experience. Which brings him nearer to some Cold Meat Industry acts, but mainly a sound outfit which avoids to deal with any beautiful thing of the world. No music for the faint-hearted for sure, and the end of the rope still isn’t reached for KENJI. Tracks are ranging between 5 and 16 minutes, this album comes out with a semi-glossy cover and it is hand-numbered. A collectors item soon for sure, so act up ASAP.

MB-HUE-FHIEVEL : Erimos

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 26 2008
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Artist: MB-HUE-FHIEVEL (@)
Title: Erimos
Format: CD
Label: Digitalis Industries (@)
Rated: *****
Maurizio Bianchi has probably been the "hyperactive child" of the evergreen Dead Kennedys’ anthem when he was a little kid, but Hue was probably following next considering the amount of releases they’re putting out recently, by the way scout’s honor so far the quality is still considerably high: they’re probably in the midst of their golden age. To create Erimos they’ve teamed up with electronic musician Fhievel and did another interesting work. This’ the sister album of Nefelodhis by MB and Hue with Sparkle in Grey (his post-rock indie-tronic combo), both the releases are quite ethereal and soft even if that has to be meant in an abstract way, this one as you may have guessed is more experimental oriented and way more cerebral. I think by some means you can distinguish the three different personalities of the team-players if you’ve heard some of their solo materials, but I’m not completely sure about what I’m writing since the blend is well assorted and they’ve probably took the unsaid mutual decision to act in symbiosis. Drones, high frequencies, concrete sounds, field recording, few instruments to throw you in a dreamlike state across a deserted area (that’s the concept of the release), consequently take for granted you’ve desolated moments, evocative melodies, melancholic atmospheres as a concept like that requires. Anyhow, thought being melancholic and evocative it’s not sad, depressed and above all far from dark ambient releases, it’s soft and it’s really close to some great documentary soundtracks you may have heard. I’m sure if you take Bertolucci’s "The sheltering sky" and you play this one in place of the original soundtrack you’ll probably think they meant it as a re-sonorization.


LLOYD BARRET : mise en scene

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 24 2008
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Artist: LLOYD BARRET
Title: mise en scene
Format: CD
Label: Room40 (@)
Rated: *****
I was looking forward to hear this cd since it was on Room40, I like the label, I mean I know it’s hard to become a quality trademark but their releases I’ve heard so far are well packaged and the music is catchy, add to this they’ve released a masterpiece like Dj Olive’s "sleep" that I highly recommend if you’re into high quality drone music. Honestly it’s the first release I listen to Lloyd Barret thought he’s been pretty active for ages, so shame on me for being ignorant, laying on my bed I was thinking it reminded me a bit of Michel Chion just much softer, later I read in the portfolio and I read Chion is a reference used by the label itself that means I still can detect some influences and that’s good. To clear any doubt, I’ve to tell you the comparison doesn’t say that much since Barret has his own musical character, the fact is that both him and Chion play a sort of sonorization for an imaginary (and not imaginary) movies. That said the interesting thing of "mise en scene" is the fact episodes flow one after the other giving coherence to the whole narrative plot. The release is obviously meant as a single journey and this Australian musician alternates smartly abstract moments to suggestive atmospheres. The ambient/post-concrete inheritance of this music also remembered me names like David Cunningham above all when you have piano parts, but also some soft soundtrack-works by David Shea but in general it pays a direct homage to many classy soundtrack composers from back in the eighties, early nineties. The sound and the music are more than actual so please don’t confuse it with those old fashioned ambient work new or with age wonnabes for it has nothing to share with them. I guarantee the trip-like experience it’s hard to be avoided.

MASUL : arousal city

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 22 2008
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Artist: MASUL
Title: arousal city
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
Wow, even thought I love Creative Sources and even if I think despite its hyper-productivity is still one those labels that deserves a particular consideration for the great mount of music (and musicians) they’ve been putting together. On the other hand the considerable risk is that of an homologated view of the electro-acoustic scenario, but with releases like this one the whole perspective changes considerably. Obviously you have some of the distinctive sound solutions of the label, but Giallorenzo and Mejer sometimes throw in some contemporary classic interventions that make it special. Sometimes I’ve had the impression I was listening to some compositions by Centazzo, Berio or Feldman hybridized with some electro-acoustic ideas. Another thing I can’t but appreciate is that this duo is not afraid of playing melodic though in a minimalist mood, clearly they’ve their personal conception of melody but they manage to build some really suggestive atmospheres. In the third excerpt of Arousal City, when they keep playing a simple melody in this minimal-serial way, you can also perceive some reminiscences of Terry Riley (sometimes it really reminded me so much of "in C") most basic works. This release sounds minimal but really intense and above all it grows during the listening. I’m tented to talk about this work in terms of "strength through simplicity", but I feel I’ve to underline the fact if you love contemporary music with melody and with heart, you should definitely try this out.

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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Artist: GROSSE ABFAHRT
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.



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