Music Reviews



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
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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
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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.

JARROD FOWLER: translation as rhythm

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 30 2006
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Artist: JARROD FOWLER (@)
Title: translation as rhythm
Format: CD
Label: Errant Bodies (@)
Rated: *****
Remember, when we deal with Errant Bodies' releases you've always to take for granted we're dealing with unconventional objects in the most noble sense of its meaning. Right lately I've read that great book + cd they did on Christof Migone's works, but Labelle gives another audio exhibit confirming the initial statement I've written makes sense. Jarrod Fowler's work is "rhythmical", yes, that's something you can ear with your own hear as you will play these rhythm borne out of digital skip like in the first and in the fifth tracks, after that this audio "experience" features parts of synthesized vocals dealing with the subjects of the tracks the composer has performed (tracks two and four). Oh sure, there's also your beloved white noise and you can also find the "dear old" field recordings, but the fact is that's a real pain in the ass to review the "music" of a record where the booklet and the concept are indivisible from the "musical" (in the most abstract but at the same time most "real" sense) content. For those who have not understood it yet: this cd is based on studies, thus I think you/we've to view it as a performance or sorry for the repetition: a study. Being the mind-tripper-frigid-nerd I'm, I've found it a pleasant listening/reading since I've happened a few times to read/hear text files translated into audio files, and with references like Cage, Satie, Platone it's easy to be saduced by the concept, you know...The fact is this cd like many other listenings like it goes beyond simple criticism and apart from the performative judgment every other aesthetical consideration becomes useless and above al subjective.

THE SAME GIRL: Spare Parts & The Ideology Toolkit

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 23 2006
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Artist: THE SAME GIRL
Title: Spare Parts & The Ideology Toolkit
Format: CD
Label: Schraum
Rated: *****
Some months ago I reviewed a very nice cd titled "Chessmachine", by Torsten Papenheim (guitar, also playing in the Kainkwatett trio, on Schraum as well), Antoine Chessex (sax) and Gilles Aubry (computer). Here the latter teams up with Nicolas Field at percussion, and while being more disjointed and sparse than the "Chessmachine" sessions, i.e. more typically "improv", their performance features the same physical intensity. I still wonder if Aubry samples and filters what his mate is playing, as what we hear is often a sort of throbbing noise pulp, sounding like a digital chewing of acoustic inputs. Aubry surely works with field recordings and looped music samples as well, adding odd counterparts to Field's frantic drumming. Quite an intense record throughout, one that I'd surely recommend to those into labels like Creative Sources and Charizma.


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