Music Reviews



THE SHIPWRECK BAG SHOW : s/t

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 11 2006
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Artist: THE SHIPWRECK BAG SHOW (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Wallace (@)
Rated: *****
A fresh 3"mcd for the endless saga of collaboration relating Xabier Iriondo who's co-pilot this time is Roberto Bertacchini from Starfuckers/Sinistri fame. For everybody out there who's never heard Bertacchini's drumming I recommend to give a pay attention to the unique and incredible work of his original band and to describe it I can only say it sounds like the language coming from the mouth of someone who stutters. On this short collection of tracks Bertacchini's crippled rhythms cross and get crossed by some post krautesque assault a la Iriondo. The global listening could be resumed in: Faust or Can wrecking into a free/contemporary pool. More bluesy than Sinistri and probably closer to Polvere. I almost certainly should say this' a record that's mostly fan oriented and I presume I'm a fan somehow, since I think this mature drummer has his own style in full blossoming. This little slab of plastic contains odd music nervously duelling to leave silence here and there and to put every beat/noise in the place where it belongs. Has it been a victorious battle? Did this electro acoustic experience (cause that's what it is most of the times) went well? I'd say yes in most of the episodes and also thanks to the hand of Xabier in the production of the recording.

FRANCISCO LÓPEZ: Untitled (2005)

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 09 2006
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Artist: FRANCISCO LÓPEZ
Title: Untitled (2005)
Format: CD
Label: Anoema
Rated: *****
As I have just written below, this is the second "Untitled (Year)" release coming out this year, this time on Finnish label Anoema. The four tracks range from 8 to 25 minutes, and are well, uhm... splendid. The opening "Untitled # 177" is based on Bangkok field recordings that I can't really recognize, but the abstract violence of the piece reminded me of the collaboration with John Duncan or the (in)organic reasearch of "Building [New York]". It's a stunning dark piece, but the best is yet to come. Track 2 and 4 are lengthy wild environment-based pieces (with recordings from the Amazon forest and Québec respectively) that instantly plunge you back in the mesmerizing soundscapes of "La Selva" or "Addy en el país de la fruta y los chunches". As layered and complex as only López can be, with an amazing amount of sonic details even in the most minimal passages. Last but not least, there's the "Untitled # 111 [for Jani Cristou]", commissioned and performed by the German ensemble Zeitkratzer. If you're familiar with their works (with interpretations of pieces by Duncan, Ikeda, Merzbow, etc.), you'll know that their strings and wind instruments don't sound like a normal ensemble at all - indeed, while having a power and a sound texture of its own, the piece in unmistakably 100% López. Guaranteed to be in my personal 2006 top-list, for what it's worth.

FRANCISCO LÓPEZ: Untitled (2004)

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 09 2006
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Artist: FRANCISCO LÓPEZ
Title: Untitled (2004)
Format: CD
Label: MoSo
Rated: *****
Along with many lengthy one-track untitled pieces, Spanish absolute soundscape master Francisco López sometimes releases titled-by-year works collecting shorter pieces and collaborations; in the last few months, MoSo has published this, and Anoema the (2005) one. Both feature López at his best, so I'll try to save as many raving remarks as possible. "Untitled (2004)" features nine tracks, most of them based on raw field recordings or sound material offered by the likes of Z'ev, Dimitris Kariofillis (Ilios), Nicolas Rousseau,etc., and none of them is less than very good. The masterpiece is probably the 20-minute "Untitled # 163 (for Pierre Schaeffer)", a powerful and unsettling acousmatic composition with (possibly) train sounds and mechanical rhythms, somehow similar to his recent cd on Unsounds; but also the menacing accumulation of hisses and reverberating drones of # 165 and the sense of unbearable pressure conveyed by # 159 (using field recordings from Singapore airport) could easily be ranked among López's best. The oddest piece is the last one, which uses as a raw sound matter the post-hc/math metal music of Swiss band Knut (the track was also released on their recent cd "Alter", featuring more interpretations by Tietchens, Ambarchi, Broadrick, Harris, etc.). It's not the first time that Francisco uses metal-related sounds (think of his double-kicks-based release on Alien8), but it's the first time, I think, that he keeps sounds so recognizable. I find the moments of chaos quite captivating, while I can't say the same for the repeated mid-tempo chug. But after all, while I easily headbang on insect and water sounds, I've never been a huge fan of Knut's geometric mosh-core. Having said that, it could be an interesting path to follow for López - and the cd as a whole is obviously brilliant.

MIRKO UHLIG: VIVMMI

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 09 2006
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Artist: MIRKO UHLIG
Title: VIVMMI
Format: CD
Label: Ex Ovo
Rated: *****
Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf's main man Mirko Uhlig here debuts both as a solo artist and as a label owner with the Ex Ovo project, which is now planning an interesting drone-related compilation. I'm not sure if AMP will continue or not (probably yes). "VIVMMI", released in a limited edition of 65 copies with hand-painted cardboard sleeves, is a nice piece featuring 5 movements or sub-sections. As expected from Uhlig, it is a crystaline drone-based piece, but it is consistently more peaceful and subdued than AMP's often epic, or intimidating, material. Lots of natural field recordings, like tweeting birds or a creaking door, have been merged into the mix, or used to mark the passage from one movement to the other, while the drones are kept at a low volume, sounding like echoes of ancient melodies. Odd found sounds and quiet guitar strummings pop up here and there, but always floating in a sort of autumnal haze. Let's say that if AMP were close to Mirror, Uhilg's solo experiments have often reminded me of Darrent Tate's intimistic and vaguely psychedelic solo works. Good job.
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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.



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