Music Reviews



image not
available
anymore
Artist: YUKI KAWAMURA - YOSHIHIRO HANNO
Title: slide
Format: DVD
Label: Lowave (@)
Rated: *****
The joyful wedding between Yoshihiro Hanno's musical gift and the enchanting images of Yuki Kawamura gave us a pure piece of art, I still can’t say if this a must have but it’s top class for real. As many of you can probably deduce a series of clips appropriate for Hanno's melodies necessitates a couple of important characteristis: the first one is an strong lyrical power, the second one is an (apparent) simplicity with which the afore mentioned power is articulated. Different videos for different atmospheres, but there's a "file rouge" that links the nine videos (ten including the bonus one) of this dvd, here your eyes are gonna meet sliding doors, the womb of a void warehouse, breaking pieces of glass, leaves...beautiful leaves, clouds and an ocean of colours. If you think (like I do) some contemporary japanese electronic music is strongly emotionally charged but also gentle and shy (think of Sawako or Minamo for example): the images featuring Kawamura's clips are made out of the same fabric and embody the same spirit. It's hard to choose between the different clips but it's also so easy to fall in love with episode like "Slide" or "Jour de reve" or "Play at dusk"?!...above all in the last case how can you resist to dive plunge your thought s into such a good-looking cumulus of clouds?. When the images aren’t rendering beautifully the unseen passing of time they will guide you into the secret life of elements (take "Ve" for example). In the last case the view I probably really close to that of a an insect or a rock thus we can say the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hanno's music keeps its enchanting effect intact but with the aid of Kawamura the inward eye experience brings into another dimension.

ENT: Fuck Work

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (2571)
Mar 06 2006
image not
available
anymore
Artist: ENT
Title: Fuck Work
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru
Rated: *****
I was not familiar with Italian duo Ent's previous self-released production, and I don't know why I expected a rather typical glitch electronica. This is only true for the fourth track of this work, "Milk Oblò", which is not bad in itself, but is by far the least daring and engaging of this wildly psychedelic album, wrapped in a lush and nauseously coloured digipack (with a sort of giant whale formed by assorted sweets and flowers... ugh!). Using vinyl loops, guitars, keyboards, drums, electronic programmings and whatnot, Ent betray a clear musical bulimia, mixing turntablism, electronica, blues, kraut and psychedelic rock; the results are not always as focused as one would wish, but surely make for one of the most curious and varied discs I listened to in the last few months. All tracks are quite long and composite, with often unexpected and apparently contradictory developments. Take the opening "Beating Cherry Nipples", for example, where plucked string loops match with suspended notes, to be later replaced by tacky space keyboards, until a sparse acoustic guitar picking (somehow reminiscent of their friend Giuseppe Ielasi's recent excursions in "Gesine") closes the piece. Something similar happens with the following tracks, i.e. "All Night Long" (more vinyl loops and crackles, then a slow motion psychedelic blues) and "Eternal Plans" (arguably the best one, with rarefied sounds, micro loops and a dreamy finale, with a round dance of dazed sounds). The last track, "Nothing for Money", begins with droning patterns, then, after some uninteresting digital beats (a bit like the above mentioned "Milk Oblò"), there's a great crescendo with ecstatic drum patterns which definitely reminded me of good old kraut rockers. Though not everything works fine in Ent's poppy cut'n'paste, Scariot and Bortoluzzi surely know how to prevent boredom, with a taste for plagiarism and bizarre collages which could even remind of Nurse With Wound's least solipsistic experiments.

Magicicada: Everyone is Everyone

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (2552)
Mar 01 2006
cover
Artist: Magicicada (@)
Title: Everyone is Everyone
Format: CD
Label: Public Guilt (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of Magicicada before receiving this disc in the mail. Upon opening the packaging, you will find a photo of something I can’t really describe (maybe the underside of a crab?) and extensive liner notes which can also be found on the band’s website. The liner notes are pretty informative - here’s a sample: "4. I Demand My Fucking Cloud: Guitar, found objects, contact mics on faulty electrical lines, shruti box, voice, mics out the window, MARTA, Meredith reading in the corner, and Rob Clemens on 'inside your skull' keyboard. This was one of those days where everything just worked. Recorded in one take. The title comes from when Rob & me were driving about and for some reason, he yelled, "I DEMAND MY FUCKING CLOUD!!!" out the window, which is just such a great thing to say for no reason, ya know?" If this sounds interesting, you’ll probably enjoy the disc.

Overall, this is one weird disc, but I like it a lot. It’s not quite noise, but definitely out there – I suppose one could consider it "experimental." The nice thing about the disc is that the sound is constantly shifting and evolving. There is also a lot going on in the music. The tracks range from ambience to all out noisiness. Plus you end up hearing Steve Brand (Augur) on zurna (a woodwind instrument) – what’s not to like about that? Probably my favorite track on the disc was "For the Father," which had a nice noisy drone going which sort of reminded me of Hafler Trio (Kill the King).

The only track that didn’t really work for me was "Well Below." The music was not as interesting as the other pieces and the vocals were annoying after a while. But overall, this is a good disc with a lot of variety. This would be a good introduction to experimental music – it’s a bit more accessible than most without compromising the qualities that make it interesting.

Les Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites: Friesengeist – Part 2

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (2551)
Mar 01 2006
cover
Artist: Les Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites
Title: Friesengeist – Part 2
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Rated: *****
I had never heard of this artist or the person behind it, Julien Ash. This is part 2, but alas, I do not have part 1, so I have no way of telling how it compares. Nicely packaged, but the liner notes could be more extensive. For example, I really like the woman’s voice on some of the tracks, but there are four different people credited with vocals as well as one person credited with "ghost voice." If I had to classify this, I would put file it under neo-classical. The press sheet states that "his works evoke Michael Nyman’s style, without forgetting Pascal Comelade’s or Jean-Philippe Goude’s universes."Because this kind of stuff is difficult to review, I’ll try something a bit different. After a few listenings, I listened to the track and wrote a play by play action – here goes: Track 1 – Starts off with what sounds like a child singing, blends then turns to nice piano.Track 2 – Piano, guitar, and a woman singing in French.Track 3 – Piano with violin, kicks in with some drumming. Sort of a Muslimgauze feel to it, which fades out just as it was getting enjoyable back to piano and guitar.Track 4 – This is a bit odd – the singing is back but almost reminds me of a weird mix of pop and goth violin. Doesn’t quite seem to fit in with the first 3 tracks. I like the woman’s voice though. Then shifts into a different kind of track about 4.5 minutes in, as if they decided to put two different songs on the same track. The staccato violin plucking on this one starts to wear on you after a while, but then about 6 minutes in, we’re back to the original feel of the track. Track 5 – Back to piano and guitar. Not bad easy listening, but there are a few instances of static interspersed, which is nice. Bells at the end is nice, but almost doesn’t fit with the previous track.Track 6 – More nice neo-classical.Track 7 – At 15:34, this is the longest disc on the CD. Guitars and drums kind of remind me of old Durruti Column, which is never a bad thing. But then at 4:45 in, it abruptly stops, changes gears, goes to piano with spoken male vocals. Then at 7:45, it shifts gears again, loses the vocals and brings in some bells/brass percussion into the mix. I really like this segment. Track 8 – OK, but the chorus of people singing doesn’t quite work for me. Track 9 – Pretty good piano track.The main problem I had with the disc is that the tracks seem to go on past what they should. It is as if they arbitrarily decided a length for a track, but when the piece had been completed and come up short, they added pieces of another track. Don’t get me wrong – disjointed can be good. It just doesn’t seem to work in this case too well, probably partly because of my own classical training and partly because it seems like the sonic equivalent to watching television with someone who changes the channel just as things are getting interesting. I think that there are a lot of good things happening here, but unfortunately the band switches gears just as you’re getting into it.Overall, this is pleasant listening. With the exception of a couple of tracks, it would fit right in with the rest of your classical collection but nothing too groundbreaking on this disc. For my tastes, the segments that were the most interesting were the ones where they incorporated a variety of sounds. The piano / violin combo just doesn’t do much for me. Your mileage may vary.

DAVID WELLS: op.3

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (2550)
Mar 01 2006
image not
available
anymore
Artist: DAVID WELLS
Title: op.3
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Locus of Assemblage
Rated: *****
Scottish soundmaker David Wells has run one of most interesting cdr labels of the last few years, The Locus of Assemblage, which is now sadly over due to his relocation. Luckily, his own musical activity is going to continue, having recently released a collaborative split 3" with Paul Bradley (on Twenty Hertz, review soon), and a "Droneworks" ep before that. "op.3" has been his first self-released work, and, to be honest, it's also my favourite one. Not that the following ones were bad (quite the opposite, actually), but this darker, monolithic track is surely my cup of tea; I've been listening to it quite a lot lately, and it's always a nice 20 minutes to sink in. Wells only, or mostly, uses environmental recordings of water, and, I venture, some natural drones highlighted by reverbs and equalization: a minimal set of elements, but arranged with great skill. After its first more subdued half, the piece slowly billows to a powerful bass-heavy drone; not unlike many "ambient" untitled works by López, surely the best comparison for this work along with mnortham's darker recordings.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha