Music Reviews



Cheerleader 69: Godriders in the Sky

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 08 2006
cover
Artist: Cheerleader 69 (@)
Title: Godriders in the Sky
Format: 12"
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Rated: *****
First off, this is a vinyl release, but I cannot comment on the pressing, etc. itself because I was not sent a copy of the album itself, only a CDR of the songs. I know how some vinyl fetishists are (not that kind of vinyl fetish... .) – I’ve heard people describe particular albums as "beautifully pressed," etc. So if you want to know about the texture of the album you’ll have to go elsewhere. The disc I was sent was an unmarked CDR and a bad printout of the cover art. So already we were off to a bad start. Luckily, the music was excellent, even if the first impression didn’t win me over. I’ve never heard of this project or his other outfit, Punish Yourself. The man behind the project states two reasons for creating Cheerleader 69. The first one relates to the music: "I needed an output for this kind of music, because I couldn’t use these soundscapes with my regular band, Punish Yourself, (http://punishyourself.free.fr) - cyberpunk dancefloor chaos can mix with bombastic orchestral stuff, yeah, but only if you use a small amount of the strings’n’brass’n’marching drums extravaganza... And I wanted to use a full blast of soundtrack-like orchestrations." This should give a pretty good indication of what you are in for. But I was not prepared for how well done it was. This is some really good soundtrack-esque kind of work with militaristic percussion thrown in for good measure. From the first track, "Your Book is Full of Killings," Cheerleader 69 manages to keep a nice dark undertone going without it becoming too oppressive. On "Bad Tape," it sounds like he borrowed heavily from The Anti-Group’s "Union With Sirens" off Iso-Erotic Calibrations and anything that reminds me of TAGC is definitely a good thing. When we reach "Godriders (in the sky)," the music completely changes, with heavy percussion, chaotic brass, and what sounds like a choir singing. This track reminds me of the more bombastic elements of Coph Nia or In Slaughter Natives. This is by far the standout track on the album. The rest of the album vacillates between the two extremes of militaristic percussion with heavy orchestration and subdued soundscapes that bury voices and noise just beneath the surface. The final track on the album, "Transgression," is a good example of the latter. Drones and voices mixed with a repetitive melody that cycles through song. It is a peaceful, soothing track that still manages to keep an unsettling vibe throughout. The three tracks available on the limited edition CD also maintain the mixture of subdued ambience and militaristic soundtrack type music. "Rotta Flammis Circumsepta" reminds me of old Laibach, with heavy percussion and orchestration. This is an excellent album and well worth picking up. The other reason for picking it up may be ideological. Cheerleader 69 explains the other reason for forming this project: "I wanted to bring back some left-wing ideas into ambient/industrial/neoclassical stuff, there are WAY TOO MUCH fascists roaming that scene. So if you are one of these nazi fuckheads, or have any sympathy for them, you have to understand this is not music for you. Because I believe in everything you hate and hate everything you believe in." This LP is limited to 500 copies and is available in three versions: Black LP (93 copies), Yellow LP (357 copies), and a Special edition with a CD (50 copies). If you only get the LP, you aren’t missing a lot – the music is similar and the standout tracks are on the LP, but the CD music is not just filler - it is able to stand on its own merit.

Technique Fabriquée Trop Tard (T.F.T.T.): Un Oeil Autre Part

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 08 2006
cover
Artist: Technique Fabriquée Trop Tard (T.F.T.T.) (@)
Title: Un Oeil Autre Part
Format: CD
Label: Paranoise Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is a Belgian artist that I had not heard of before. And I have no idea what the name or album title translate out to. But what does it sound like? This is an album that sounds as if it were made in a junkyard. This is not to say that it is bad music – quite the contrary. But the sound source seems to consist mainly of metal that is struck or scratched. Other sources are not so easily recognizable. There are a lot of pulsing electronics that flutter over drones and the clanking of metal. The label describes this album as a "dark ritual ambient project from Belgium. Dreamlike sequences, spacey drones, rumbling noises and psychedelic tones to infiltrate the depths of your consciousness. Minimal half-rhythmic industrial spheres made with electronics and handmade sounds. Long repetitive patterns based on cold and metallic background." If, like me, you think of "dark ritual ambient" as something along the lines of Hybryds "The Ritual Must Be Kept Alive," you’re going to be disappointed. But the rest of it fits. The tracks blend well together to give the album a sense of coherence. Some of the tracks that stand out are Les Monstres and Les Forges Infernales. Les Monstres consists of steady pounding with pulsing electronics just beneath the surface. Plucked metal strings or wires intertwine with someone banging on metal. There is an odd sort of consistency in the randomness of this track that keeps it engaging. Les Forges Infernales brings in bells and drones but still maintains the noisiness with the clanging on metal that threads its way through this album. However, there are some places where the music begins to become tedious, such as Abscentation, which seemed to go on a bit too long without ever going anywhere. If noise is just too harsh but you want ambient that brings in more noisy elements, this is a good disc to take a chance on.

THE GLIDING CLERKS: s/t

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 28 2006
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Artist: THE GLIDING CLERKS (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: AME (@)
Rated: *****
Changai surprise! AME put out the collaborational effort between Mirko from Wallace records and Paolo Magistrali, the most famous sound italian independent engineer (and ex member of departed A Short Apnea). Be it that I was expecting something like a total joke the result instead it's fucking serious, this' crippled rocknrolla-punk that owes so much to skin Graft that I could see all the demented people pictured on Camp Skin Graft dancing excited to the beat of The Gliding Clerks. In the most of the cases it's a straight beat with that scary/effeminate vocals a la Brainiac or a la Lake of Dracula who's prominent bass seems to be revived fro this special occasion. Drunk music for drunk people?...or drunk music and drunk people? You're free to choose what you prefer but it remains music for a freak show. Odd release but its rock essence makes it almost digestible above all if you were into Skin Graft and if you're into Load. This mini cd is a really good "let's wreck the party" attempt, I ask myself if the duo can also kick ass on a long release but honestly it's been a good surprise. If this recording was a Rorschach test they'd probably would be filed as schizoid subjects

END OF SUMMER : s/t

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 28 2006
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Artist: END OF SUMMER
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: AME (@)
Rated: *****
AME records is the new label created by Mattia Coletti from Sedia fame and here's one of the 2 episodes with which he says hi to the world. End of Summer is an improvisative ensemble (what else can you expect from him!?) including the label owner together with Xabier (his mate in Polvere) Paolo from Uncode Duello and Alessandro (from somewhere I can recall at the moment). The result is close to some Uncode Duello tracks on their debut release and less psychedelic if compared to Polvere. Music from the Seventies and above all kraut rock is an heavy influence for all those involved in this project and if you're into the style I'm sure you won't dislike it. Odd, crippled and angular and above all well recorded and tip of hat to Iriondo for his sound technician skill. While some rock oriented track are a frontal attack the third episode makes me think to Madrigali Magri's depressive/depressed deserted lullabies: it means a repetitive riff floats on barely audible vocals and drums. Right after this quiet episode the improvisors leave us another sonic blast that tributes honour to their rock attitude. If you're into Coletti and Iriondo you probably their sound.

MICHAEL RENKEL: errorkoerper III

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 26 2006
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Artist: MICHAEL RENKEL (@)
Title: errorkoerper III
Format: CD
Label: Absinth (@)
Rated: *****
Tonight I've tried so hard to sleep but it's just so hot that I've been rolling in my bed looking for something to do. Right after the very first listening I was thinking "errorkoerper III" was one of those ghostly records people should definitely listen to at night. I know you may think it could mean it induce to sleep but it has nothing to do with boredoms. Sure this Michael Renkel release is one of those "performance" where barely nothing is happening but in a really Satie-sque manner. Well, if only the french composer could have had the chance to listen to records like this I'm sure he would be touched by the fact "inexpressivity" is finally embodied in modern music and in many living musicians. Ok, let's make a list: this record is inexpressive and "nearly" nothing is happening...yes, but this series of compositions mainly based on a guitar processed through different effects and a laptop is really intense. Renkel minimal embroidery is so accurately prepared that I'm not afraid to say he probably did it with the serenity of a Zen monk immersed in his meditations exercises. Exercises, exercises... is all what this cd is about? I don't think so, while its primary essence is experimental-cold-electronic-music its root is electro-acoustic but for God’ sake not disconnected like many releases of the kind. Bravo, bravo Renkel and give a try to the resto of Absinth catalogue 'cause the label is damn interesting!.


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