Music Reviews



May 22 2007
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Document A
Format: CD
Label: SkullLine Mailorder (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Another new output of the German SkullLine Mailorder, this time a compilation which features all current label artists providing new, unreleased or hard-to-find tracks. For all of you who still have resisted to buy one or another of the amazing and extremely limited label releases, this compilation offers the welcome doze to get some deeper entrance and introduction to the roster. Both projects, TT and TRITON 83 are heavily dedicated to the rhythmically Powernoise genre and can service here the full range between Minimal, Noise and Experimental styles. "Tanzteufel" by TRITON 83 can be named as possible favorite for some Pogo movements on the dancefloors, while the track "Kindstod" with its tragic voice samples rather makes you think on the subject. Another favorite out of the label roster is SHIFT 69 offering a refreshing mixture of Electro/EBM and 80ies-inspired Pop/Wave attitudes. "Alles dreht sich im Kreis", well, it’s fantastic to see and hear how many different ideas especially regarding the used effects on the vocals the track "Im Kreis" has to offer – what a fine old-school inspired work! BLEIBURG – partly amazing if drifting into Experimental/Ambient/Noise drones, partly ridiculous if falling into minimal pre-80ies Kraut-Electronica, can convince here too, simply because Stefan Rukavina’s tracks here are returning to paths of Experimental/Ambient and Ritual-Industrial music – definitively his better side. So we have at least MANMACHINE, a German solo project which still can’t look on an own release for SkullLine, this project has only co-produced the BLEIBURG DCD "History In Flames". So it’s a bit to describe the provided music style – Minimal/Experimental/80ies/Electronica maybe? I guess there’s more to come. Ah, and wanna hear a really sick piece? Check out TT’s "Leichenliebe", which concludes this compilation... As usual for SkullLine release, also this compilation comes out extremely limited to 100 pieces and with an extravagant package. If this compilation draws a real dedication to the world-wide renowned art exhibition Documenta, which takes place all 5 years in Kassel/Germany, and in this year again, is rather questionable. Nevertheless label/mail order chief Harald Jarosch has picked up some quality recordings out his stable and this comp is a perfect invitation to grow deeper in the often harder to discover music stuff of the SkullLine label. More than 77 minutes of some fine and not to underestimating music rather based in experimental genres, get it!

track list:

01.Bleiburg - Guilty by association
02.Trition 83 - Tanzteufel
03.TT - Täuschung
04.Shift69 - Im Kreis
05.Manmaschine - Covered in Blood
06.Bleiburg - Lament of Irish Immigrant
07.Triton 83 - Kindstod
08.TT - Start - Sequence
09.Shift69 - I love it
10.Manmaschine - A peace of life
11.Bleiburg - Cthulu rising
12.TT - Biggi
13.TT - Leichenliebe (slow)

BLEIBURG: Musique Grotesque

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 18 2007
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Artist: BLEIBURG
Title: Musique Grotesque
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine Mailorder (@)
Distributor: SkullLine Mailorder
Rated: *****
The German Experimental project BLEIBURG surprises once with a new release, this time S. Rukavina has decided to expand his newest musically output on a 2CD set. With the limitation of only 50 exemplars this should be another collector’s item in the roster of the Bavarian-based SkullLine mail order specialist. Unfortunately after the highly accepted Ambient/Experimental-minded last BLEIBURG release "Occidentem Appello!", this DCD breaks completely down the discovered paths into an unspectacular mixture of plain synth textures, cheesy kick and snare work combined with the integration of voice samples taken out of all possible situations between movies, entertainment and historically documentation. I have to admit that I don’t have any info on the idea of this "music" – but I expect to hear some experimental tunes generated by very early computer-based tracker programs. A dedication on some early 80ies/Minimal-inspired works is recognizable. I don’t like to reject this tracker community and its effort, since I know very well, that some pieces are featuring excellent sound quells and well done arrangements – but unfortunately BLEIBURG acts here like the elephant in a porcelain shop. Sorry, but this efforts seem to have a strictly conceptual background on which I haven’t looked through so far. Out of range of my personal demand...

Scott Solter: Plays Pattern is Movement: Canonic

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 14 2007
Artist: Scott Solter (@)
Title: Plays Pattern is Movement: Canonic
Format: CD
Label: HomeTapes (@)
Rated: *****
What we have here are 12 tracks of avant-pop cut-up re-mix gratification. Scott Solter (who engineered Pattern is Movement's last record "Stowaway" in 2005 at San Francisco studios Tiny Telephone as well as records for Spoon, Mountain Goats, Two Gallants, John Vanderslice, etc.) took the tapes from that album and with razor in hand re-mixed and molded another disc of experimental tracks full of noise and surprise, rhythms, loops and vocal experimentation. Very few real songs here in the traditional sense of the word, just a spasmodic exercise in the playground of the absurd. A psychedelic treat worthy of any neo-hippie looking for something to help him break on through. I liked it.

Tokyo Mask: Hinterlands

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 14 2007
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Artist: Tokyo Mask
Title: Hinterlands
Format: CD
Label: Low Impedance Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
I don’t know what I would call this or how I would explain it to someone else, but I liked this disc a lot. Here’s how the website describes the album: "Keeping the basic principles of slow rhythms and deep drones intact, 'Hinterlands' adds intricate details and subtleties that reward repeated careful listening. Guitars turned inside-out, mysterious echoes, gloomy drones and minimal dark-hop/dub rhythms are placed around the satisfying rumble of a bass guitar. The minimal approach to composition magnifies each element, turning the slightest change into a radical shift of perspective." This album relies heavily upon repetition, giving it a kind of hypnotic feel. But this isn’t repetition in a boring kind of way. Drones cycle in and out of the tracks, there is a constant beat that provides a thread of continuity throughout each track as elements (noises, occasional snippets of voice, etc.) surface, only to submerge again into the drones. The music is complex and engaging. If I had to give an album to someone who wanted to get into more experimental music but wasn’t quite ready for noise or more disjointed stuff like Bob Ostertag, I would hand them this disc. This is easily accessible, but interesting even for the difficult listening crowd. The disc weighs in at 50.16. I can’t really say that any of the tracks stood out above the others – they were all quite enjoyable. I would highly recommend this disc to anyone looking for something that tries to break out of the mold.

Frank Rothkamm: Moers Works (1982-1984)

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 14 2007
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Artist: Frank Rothkamm (@)
Title: Moers Works (1982-1984)
Format: CD
Label: Monochrome Vision (@)
Rated: *****
This is Rothkamm’s first sound experiments, released almost a quarter century after the fact. I was surprised at how, for the most part, the music still did not seem dated. It reminds me of some of the sound collages of Hafler Trio (Bang! An Open Letter) or Zoviet France (Loh Land). According to the website, "The system consisted solely of a turntable, a shortwave radio, a phaser, an EQ, a cassette recorder and an UHER reel-to-reel tape recorder." This is considerably different from his most recent album (reviewed here previously), "FB02 - Astronaut of Inner Space," which is considerably more well produced. If you are looking for more like that, this isn’t the album to go to. This collection of tracks retains the intrinsic qualities of its lo-fi creation, which seems to be the core source of its strength. Sound sources are cobbled together to create engaging soundscapes. The sound sources are at times easily recognizable, but it is the juxtaposition that keeps them interesting. The only track that really sounds like a traditional composition is "Quartett," with brass and orchestral percussion. Overall, this is an interesting album. I would recommend it to those into musique concrète especially, and experimental music in general.


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