Music Reviews



BIRGIT ULHER-LOU MALLOZZI-MICHAEL ZERANG: Lanscape: recognizable

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 20 2006
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Artist: BIRGIT ULHER-LOU MALLOZZI-MICHAEL ZERANG
Title: Lanscape: recognizable
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
First things first: this gonna be the first review in a serie of three of cd came out on Creative Sources the lowest common denominator of which is the fact they all feature the mighty miss Ulher on trumpet. "Landscape: recognizable" is much more acoustic than electro-acoustic (whatever it means), while Birgit holds back the voice of her instrument, rumorism marries the non-intrusive percussionism-rumorism of Michael Zerang, Lou Malozzi follows perfectly, it's hard to get who's doing what except for the noises/notes "tricks" emitted by the one-lady-horn section. It may sound contradictory but for those who are new to Creative Sources, imagine this "electro-acoustic" music sometimes gives the idea "concretism" reaches its point of ebullition thru improvisation. This cd in particular sounds like it's impro-jazz played without its traditional "dress", what do I mean? Simple, the basic idea evolves around some of the most avantgardist thoughts of Beefheart and Ornette Coleman but don't think the comparison explains it all. Improvisation without emitting classical "notes", but at the same time think of this cd as a "free jazz" ensamble with the antenna oriented toward the action/reaction rail. Impro after impro that "no-jazz" thing arives slowly at its climax (Taming the nobility, Blame Pericles) and the fact the songs become barely structured is nothing but an illusion. Her we've music where something is happening, music without music, somebody will define it "acoustic rumorism" but it would be just too easy.

RANT: seumsund / sundseum

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 19 2006
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Artist: RANT
Title: seumsund / sundseum
Format: CD
Label: Schraum (@)
Rated: *****
Judging from the website I've thought that probably Schraum is mainly focused on post(?)-jazzist coming from Berlin and if that's true, Rant fits in the mold. A guitar and a drumkit taking over on the most of the tracks and sure, the acoustic "shape" of the sound design is respected has it requires. It's great since I imagine most of the people reading "jazz" thinks of a cascade of notes, scales played at 300 bpm, but no way! Rant are located somewhere else. This duo works patiently on simple melodies but also on abstract atmospheres (Nur hier nicht is a good example of it). Slowed down and relaxed, if this music was a bit slower I could also dare to say it brings to mind the style of Loren Mazzacane Connors, but as I've said that's not "american music". Melodic, jazzy and abstract, right? I've heard somebody calls it "cool" and why not?! Let's say it can be cool but with a soft indie-rock attitude...hey!?!...Indie-rock? Jazz? Abstract? Ok, I'll try to describe the cocktail by saying Mazzacane Connors has joined the ranks of Bedhead, they all went jazzy and went for a solitary lane that every once in a while gets crossed by Jeff Muller before June of '44 became more fusion. Winter melancholia for winter snapshots.

The Psychic Paramount: Live 2002 - The Franco-Italian tour

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 18 2006
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Artist: The Psychic Paramount
Title: Live 2002 - The Franco-Italian tour
Format: CD
Label: Public Guilt (@)
Rated: *****
Psychotic Paramount is ex-Laddio Bolocko Americans Drew St. Ivany (guitar) and Ben Armostrong (bass) and Japanese Tatsuya Nakatani (drums). They formed the band five days before embarking on a tour in France and Italy where they recorded the live performances to a cassette recorded with one stereo microphone (performances are from Lyon, Paris, Perpignan and Naples). The result is obviously not as hi-fi, and at times it must have been so loud that the tape recorded couldn't quite take it and the result is very saturated, but at least the separation between the instruments is good and you can actually hear most of what every one of them is doing. In spite of all of the poor sound quality, the sonic aggression is perfectly translated onto tape. The trio played their heart out furiously and fiercely and the outcome is intense and powerful, unpredictable and genuine. The sense of "turbulent emergency" they speak of comes at you in the form of a freight train of distorted bass lines, improvised guitar riffs and super intense restless drumming by the amazing Nakatani (you might have heard of him through Brotzmann, Kowald, Vandermark, Masashi Harada, N.R.A., From Between Trio, Blue Collar, Yukijurushi etc) who is now replaced by another great drummer, Jeff Conaway (from Sabers). This CD (originally released as a CD-R on the band's own label Bewilderment and Illumination) comes packaged in a nice black digi-pack and also contains a very well done and interesting quick-time video-diary of the trip that will give you a better idea of how powerful these performances really were. The band has been busy and several new releases are planned for 2006 so try to catch them live and keep an eye and ear out for them...

Daniele Brusaschetto: Mezza Luna pIena

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 18 2006
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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Mezza Luna pIena
Format: CD
Label: Bar La Muerte (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Daniele Brusaschetto has been touring the world and making records for fifteen years but still doesn't seem to get the proper recognition he deserves in his own country, Italy. The roots of the problem possibly lie in the fact that Italians don't really know what's good for them (after all, they have voted a multiple-counts criminally convicted business man as their prime minister, twice), but can more likely be traced back to the fact that, after all is been said and done, DB's music might still be a little too out there and hostile for the general masses and the main stream market. On the other hand, and this can't really be fully understood by foreign markets and audiences, DB's style and lyrics (most of which are in italian, which should help the cause) are closer than one would think to one of Italy's best-selling and most out of the ordinary singer-songwriter pop artists (that would be Franco Battiato). Ultimately it is probably all about marketing (isn't that always the case anyway?). I don't know what Daniele wants for himself. He doesn't seem to be the kind of person that would care for having his video on MTV, but I can see how after all the hard work and the struggling, it'd be nice to have full tour support, records in store, some sales maybe and the whole nine yards.Anyway, "Mezza Luna Piena" (Half Full Moon) is DB's 5th full length CD and picks up where his previous "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" left off on the path of Daniele's evolution toward a more "popular" sound. No, wait, take your fingers down, this is not a case of selling-out. DB does it with style and definitely keeps more than just a foot in his industrial- and metal-influenced past (if you like Flugschadel, you might just love the down-pitched heavy guitar riff samples in songs like "Criptico" or the classical-guitar death-metal riffs of "Ego Mangiato Crudo"). If you'll hear this record you'll know that when I say "popular" I am being very careful (and a touch sarcastic) and that there is really nothing "pop" in this at all... If it is sligthly more pop-sounding (in the eyes/ears of people who know a little bit about the italian music industry) it only so is because of the fact that people like Battiato have managed (although I'll always wonder how!) to pave the way for more uncommon sounds with the help of strong marketing and what I call "consumer's sheep-ification". I'll probably take DB over Battiato any time, though, as Daniele is a lot less pretentious and a lot more interesting and multi-faceted. Genuine and real, I'd say. An urban poet, a traveller, a yet un-discovered song-writing talent. What we have here is an artist's soul and style taking on a new shape and slowly but surely evolving into a whole new thing that, if you listened closely, you might have been able to forsee all the way back in his "Bluviola". Daniele's lush industrial-noise-pop blend of minimalistic beats, fuzzy distorted feedback playing and strummed/arpeggiato guitars, meshes instantly with his unique lullaby-ish minimal vocal style and his complex, intricated and cryptic lyrics. An artist who disregards trends and is slowly changing, and nonetheless, growing, and who you should definitely keep an ear out for and an eye on.

KOJI ASANO: Rabbit room reservation center

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 16 2006
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Rabbit room reservation center
Format: CD
Label: Asano productions (@)
Rated: *****
While I'm reviewing this as "the last recording of Koji Asano of the year", a new one is gonna be out by the end of the week, just to say that the brain cells of this japanese probably have no rest!. I know "hyper active" and "hyper prolific" are not always followed by "high standard", but Asano is the midst of his golden age, lately it seems like he has the "Midas' touch" or to quote the dear ol' Bad Brains: "the Supertouch". I think the main instrument manipulated on this recording is a big japanese bell (or something similar), those bell-modulations overwhelming the air during the listening from the very beginning give a religious/meditative atmosphere to the three (long) tracks. An all eastern calm gets twisted and redefined thru electronics and you're warned the state of trance is just behind the door. To say it all I think this one of the most relaxing record I've heard lately, ok, sometimes Asano plays a bit too much on each song, but the serialist/minimalist intention would revive the horniest dreams of Reich and Riley. I still can't understand if this "furious japanese" is getting the attention he deserves, but if the word quality still means something: I'm sure he will.


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