Music Reviews



UNIFORM: protocol

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 14 2006
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Artist: UNIFORM
Title: protocol
Format: CD
Label: Planet mu (@)
Rated: *****
As I've said before, I've the impression the ranks of "radical electronics" got more and more influenced by industrial music, but in an age where everything get mixed that's not such a surprise. If you add many industrial "musician/performer" were somehow using electronic music it will give sense to the previous consideration, think of Whitehouse, Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, Coil, etc.. It's hard to believe Uniform haven't been influenced by the "grey shadows" of the eighties, consider that beside "the man of the moment" a.k.a. Dalek they feature Lydia Lunch, Alan Vega, Franko B, Terry Edwards, Alice Kemp and Olga Naiman. Do you remember the rest of the Planet Mu catalogue? Ok, forget it! This duo loves drowning in a dark pool where the only things you can grasp are odd cold noises. Can we speak about "post-industrial electronics"?! I think so..."arythmical post industrial electronics"...the bastard son of Pan Sonic and Thomas Kohner? Obsessive nightmares sold as "avantgarde"?. Wolf Eyes on Sub Pop, Protocol on Planet Mu...hey man: something tells me obsession and frustration are "finally back in stock". If you get horny as you hear the sound of Coil and Pan Sonic, I'm sure "protocol" is the right release for you ears...and for those of your psychiatrist.

The Silence Kit: In Regulated Measure

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 08 2006
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Artist: The Silence Kit (@)
Title: In Regulated Measure
Format: CD
Label: Azteca Records (@)
Rated: *****
This 7 track CD by The Silence Kit certainly sounds familiar even upon the first listening. Yet, it is completely something new at the same time. It's like when you hear something familiar but you can't quite put your finger on why it sounds as familiar as it does. Careful listening will reveal varied aspects of influences from bands like Joy Division, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, and maybe even a bit of The Swans. There is still something I cannot quite put my mental finger on, but this is something that will appeal to anyone moved by the barer forms of Gothic rock from the early punk ages. There is something raw and disturbing yet very beautifully revealing within the chords and rhythms of The Silence Kit. Patrick McCay, founder, lead guitarist, and keyboardist for the band, has definitely tapped into the emotional isolation portrayed by the early forms of his genre. However, he has updated the sound a bit with modern electronics but no so much that you would lose the raw, earthy tonality of the DYI rock band sound.

THE PSYCHEDELIC AVENGERS: The Psychedelic Avengers and the Decterian Blood Empire

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 08 2006
cover
Artist: THE PSYCHEDELIC AVENGERS (@)
Title: The Psychedelic Avengers and the Decterian Blood Empire
Format: CD
Label: Fuenfundvierzig (@)
Rated: *****
Hello, you psycho-freak! Try to be straight and clear for a second and read carefully cause here we've something good for your next extra-sensorial experiences. The crew of this spaceship presented this double cd not as a compilation, but much more as a collaboration that joined different musicians or freaks heads coming from different countries like Japan, Greece, Sweden, UK, USA, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Finland therefore we may say that's an international freak allegiance. The release is very varied so much that if you don't read the linear notes coming with the press sheet it all looks like a compilation. One track is quite different from the other even if it's true there’s a psychedelic sensation that permeates the general image painted on the canvas, the cut of the whole project is probably uniformed so to empower the impression it has been manufactured by the same hand. For stupid it may sound to use categorization to separate the different tracks we have ambiental-space-drones, psych-rock-songs, psych-pop-tunes/ballads and psych-electronic-fragments on both of the cds. This double work is rich of echoes and I'm not just referring to space-echoes or echo pedals (that you have to take for granted in some of the tracks), but also about the fact there’s an abundance of influences coming from the Seventies. To say it all the music is deeply influenced by artists like Can, Amon Dull, Faust, This Heat, Popol Vuh, Kraftwerk, Sun Ra (one of the song has his "space is the place" sentence haunting the refrain) Pink Floyd and only god knows what else. "Your attention please!!"... Have you noticed that all of that great musicians I've just mentioned were or have been into the whole idea of space trips or have been considered "avant-garde" during their hey-days. Ok, sorry for the small digression, but I think it could help you to see this delirious project with the right eye, actually the whole idea/mixture has a strange taste if drunk as a whole cocktail. Obviously some tracks have much more appeal than the others, following my personal taste I've had the best trips while experiencing the psych-rock/psych-pop tunes like "As darkness spreads its evil wings", "A little gravitron tells its tale" or "The last space station". The second cd is a bit more rock oriented and homogeneous but absolutely complementary to the first one. Usually when dealing with revivalism I don't go mad for innovative ideas or anything like that, but sometimes this space crew has been really blessed by good taste. Recommended to those into psychedelic music or into the "Seventies", but worth of a check for anybody else into weird projects/records.

JOE COLLEY/JASON LESCALLEET: Brombron 09: Annihilate This Week

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 03 2006
cover
Artist: JOE COLLEY/JASON LESCALLEET
Title: Brombron 09: Annihilate This Week
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics
Rated: *****
How can you go wrong when you quote Black Flag in your title? While Colley is a favourite of mine, I was not familiar with Lescallett's works, and these collaborative sessions, which took place in Nijmegen as a part of the Extrapool/Brombron project, surely make me want to investigate that further. There are no details on who played what, but I guess the two shared a plethora of broken elelectronic equipment and filtered field recordings - ear-piercing bird squeaks and, possibly, a didjeridoo are the only barely recognizable sound sources here. The rest is a mass of metallic drones and pulses which easily reminds of Colley's past work as Crawl Unit, or his less destructive compositions in masterpieces like "Desperate Attempts at Beauty" or "Psychic Stress Soundtracks". A no-frills, non-conciliatory approach to minimalism, full of truly unadulterated tension.

ASHER: Graceful Degradation

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 03 2006
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Artist: ASHER
Title: Graceful Degradation
Format: CD
Label: CONV
Rated: *****
Released on a strictly limited cdr by the praiseworthy Spanish label CONV, "Graceful Degradation" features three (de-)compositions by Massachusets-based Asher Thal-Nir, who has another online work on the same label ("And invariably the blue") and one on 12k/Term ("Two compositions"). Here the artist recorded various piano performances on old worn-out tapes, until the several different layers started to merge and blur; then he edited the raw material, assembling these dusty and drifting pieces where tape hisses and scratches, and re-surfacing particles of previously cancelled music, are as important as every single piano note. Voluntarily monochromatic and static, Thal-Nir's experiments convey a sense of peaceful melancholia, as if looking back to the past from a safe shelter - not necessarily from a pleasant one, but from a shelter nonetheless.


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