Music Reviews



SKAREKRAU RADIO: Feel Pee ep

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 12 2006
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Artist: SKAREKRAU RADIO
Title: Feel Pee ep
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Apop Records
Rated: *****
It's surely not easy to guess what's coming next in the Apop catalogue of oddities, since it's releasing anything (uh, ok, not anything) from all-out noise to sludge-doom, from synth-pop to punk to - the case here - no-wave. This ep was recorded by this mysterious and quite unknown quintet (featuring indicative aliases like Funky Rapture Bucket Tooth or Pvt. Sprinkles) between 2000 and 2001, self-released in a probably awfully limited run, and now brought to new light. Neo no-wave may not be the hottest trend of the day, but it surely has a niche of faithful listeners, and this ep is definitely something they should check out. More often than not, Skarekrau Radio mix a skeletal rock/punk/post-punk structure (complete with occasional catchy refrains) with demented horns, cacophonic violins, and a whole mess of detours and losses of concentration. Some tracks, like the half-litany of "Du Drugs", "Indie Rockk Friend", "Cancer Crawl" and "Succulent Plant", lean more towards a mutated and naughty version of indie-rock (ahem), but the best comes when the guys really lose control, as in "Sun Ra's Interplanetary Music" (a truly out-there clash of cacophonic horns, shortwave noises and drugged singing) or "La La", a disjointed delirium of the above mentioned elements, aborted riffs and vocal spasms. Fans of everything Skin Graft, Six Fingers Satellite, Miss High Heel or Aids Wolf are invited to give this a try.

KOJI ASANO: Baroque Ensemble No.1-No.5

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 12 2006
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Baroque Ensemble No.1-No.5
Format: CD
Label: Asano Production (@)
Rated: *****
You never know what to wait for from a new Koji Asano album. The Japanese composer made us get used to surprises as he’s a skilled musician keen to classical music as well modern/experimental solutions. This time with BAROQUE ENSEMBLE No.1-No.5 he surprises his audience being present on the recordings only as a composer. Performed by the Ensamble Deneb (ensemble formed in 1999 in Amsterdam. they perform 18th century baroque music) the album contains five movements performed with flute, cembalo, violin, oboe and harpsichord. I’m not an experienced classical music listener so I can’t tell you nothing about their style but as far as I can understand Asano compositions are a sort of blend of modern (maybe dodecaphonic music) and classical music played by a baroque ensemble. The effect is pleasant and if you are an open minded listener you can be curious enough to check it out.

Angel + Hildur Gudnadottir: In Transmediale

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 11 2006
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Artist: Angel + Hildur Gudnadottir
Title: In Transmediale
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Oral (@)
Rated: *****
Wow, what if I say somebody in Pan Sonic probably is crossing a cello-fascination lately?. In the late summer I've seen the diabolic Finnish duo live with the young cellist of Sigur Ros and though I was sceptical they blew me away: nothing but excellent, and now even if it's not Pan Sonic this release features Ilpo and a cellist..."1 plus 1 still equals 2?". This’ a live recording, I write it since the sound-quality is so high that the first time I've realized it when I've heard people clapping at the end of the set. Basically the sole suite of this record is a uniform monumental drone that goes straight forward for the whole concert. Unchanged in pitch but slowly growing in dynamics the track passes from a soft sober cello drone to a powerful electronic post-electronic noise crossed by some hi-frequencies. Together with Ilpo and Hildur there's Dirk Dresselhaus on electronics and he fits really well with his concert mate, so much that it's hard to get who's doing what, except for cello bowing. "In trans mediale" makes me think to both state of trance and medium and even if the proper meaning is somewhere else, trance and medianic visions is what you receive after taking this journey lasting for seventy minutes. Here's lies the contradiction of this release: live it should have been heavy but intriguing, but on records it gets a bit boring after a while and when I read "members of Pan Sonic" I tend to expect nothing but top notch.

VV.AA. / Luther Blissett: Whatever happened to Luther Blisset? 10 1/2 Years Later - Che Fine Ha Fatto Luther Blisset? 10 1/2 Anni Dopo

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 10 2006
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Artist: VV.AA. / Luther Blissett
Title: Whatever happened to Luther Blisset? 10 1/2 Years Later - Che Fine Ha Fatto Luther Blisset? 10 1/2 Anni Dopo
Format: DVD
Distributor: Near the Edge editions / Wot4 records
Rated: *****
This is a commemorative DVD to celebrate the 10 and a half years of Luther Blissett. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Luther Blissett is a multiple identity, a multiple singularity, used by a number of artists worldwide as a signature and an identification. This "project" finds its roots in social themes, literature and philosophy, like Guy Debord's situationist thoughts and anarchic beliefs such as for example that without names people are free because if they cannot id you then they cannot jail you (or control you, for that matter). Pier Mario Ciani, a firm believer, avid archivist and a Luther Blissett himself, died during the making of this, which lead to the scattering of resources and information and to multiple versions of this being released in different ways, all in memory of Ciani. This release is also taking on a life of its own in the sense that the original maker(s) always invite(s) any recipient to create her own version of it by adding, removing, cutting, pasting and remixing the one they got. In other words its back to mail art 101, in fact it presents itself as a mail art project almost. This DVD comes with a little magazine that contains articles, pictures, excerpts all cut and pasted, and modified... The DVD itself contains interviews, archival material, situationist street-theater performances, post-industrial noise music with experimental b/w and negative video collages, excerpts from UK television with interviews with or about the British soccer player of the same name and collages of images intentionally un-synched to speech and radio interviews about who Luther Blissett might be.
A very interesting project that a lot of artists have come out of the woodwork for. The version I have features in some way, shape or form, Charlie Holmes (UK/I) and Vittore Baroni (I), who manage the "aleatory distribution" through their outlets Wot4 records and Near the Edge editions, respectively. In addition to them, some other participants are: Al Ackerman (US), Galeazzo Acquabassa (I), Reed Altemus (USA), Lucio Balducci (I), Keith Bates (UK), Lancillotto Bellini (I), John M. Bennet (USA), Blancdesign (JAP), Luther Blissett (I) [of course!], The Blisset of Jes Crew (I), Ad Breedveld (NL), Fabio Bruno (I), Bruno Capatti (I), Servio Cascavilla (I), Charistos (A), PierMario Ciani (I), Jooel S. Cohen (USA), R.F. Cote' (CAN), Florian Cramer (D), David Dellafiora (AUS), Mike Dickau (USA), Duccio Dogheria (I), Luciano Ghersi (I), Ferruccio Giromini (I), Gruppo Sinestetico (I), Vanessa Holt (UK), Styn Huwels (B), Edberhard Janke (D), G. X Jupitter-Larsen (USA), Kiyotei (USA), Little Shiva (USA), Ruggero Maggi (I), Monomarc (NL), Emilio Morandi (I), Neuendeproject (I), Juergen O. Olbrich (D), Marlon Vito Picasso (USA), Steve Random (USA), Alberto Rizzi (I), Claudio Romeo (I), Luigino Solamito (I), Carol Stetser (USA), Emanuele Storti (I), Rod Summers (NL), Suzie 2 (USA), Wu Ming/Giap! (I) and so on... Doesn't get more international than this, really!
Although this is a limited edition of I don't know how many copies, it also happens to be free! So if you are into mail art, experimental video/theater/collage art, anarchism, situationism, palgiarism, Luther Blissett-ism or if you are Luther Blissett yourself, try to secure a copy and keep it circulating afterwards by creating your own slightly altered version!
signed, Luther Blissett

Ascanio Borga: Bad Ground

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 10 2006
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Artist: Ascanio Borga (@)
Title: Bad Ground
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Italian mathematician and musician Ascanio Borga draws no line between harsh and subtle. His somber isolationist post-industrial experimental drone music plays with minimal light and maximal shadow in a way that allows for a deeper exploration of the dark-ambient soundscapes that his musical brush paints. He conquers and masters the ability to create and exploit space and does so with skillful taste. Sounds are few and far in between and only sometimes augmented by the coloration of an underlying background sound, your bad ground, possibly...
"Bad Ground" is a 47 minute long 2 piece suite sub-divided into a total of 8 separate movements, the distinction of which might not always be unquestionable, but aids in the development of an evolutionary thread of some sorts.
Unfortunately my choosy CD player disliked this CD-R release and I couldn't fully enjoy its entire duration, but before it became unbearably skippy, I actually got a glimpse of that random and seldom warpy light I mentioned earlier, a light that Borga might want to further pursue and chase to find an even more interesting dimension where he could possibly not draw a line between light and darkness, just as well as he doesn't between harsh and gentle. Definitely worthy of every dark-ambient-experimental-drone loving listener's attention.


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