Music Reviews



VV.AA.: BääFest - 1stand2nd year diary

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 05 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: BääFest - 1stand2nd year diary
Format: CD
Label: Ebria (@)
Rated: *****
The concept behind this sampler is rather simple, the title says it all: one song for almost every (Italian) artist that took part to this well-known experimental/free-improvisation festival in Milan. After a premise like that I think you know you're going to be submerged in a 17 tracks trip of unconventional/weird music. Some studio recordings and a few live takes (with a superb quality) for some of the most dynamic and technical combos and with that I mean basically Roma's pride Zu, Anatrofobia, Uncode Duello and kraut-industrial legend Tasaday. The pack includes different styles, from Ovo in a singular relaxed salsa to the free splinters of Ben-za!, Freetto Meesto, Tanake, Pin Pin Sugar and I/O. In the middle you can taste some psychedelic "pastisse" a-la Storm and Stress/Sonic Youth (Chuck Norris Zen Solution), the cripple sound of Sinistri, the rough ambient of One By One We're all Becoming Shades and the japanese freakyness of IOIOI. The layout is simple but damn catchy and if you're into the bands included I think you won't be disappointed by their single contribute. BääFest is a unique event and it's a great showcase for music and bands that otherwise wouldn't find the adequate exposure in a country more concerned with soccer and indie rock than with new forms of expression. A good sampler but above all the morsel of a great event.

VV.AA.: Franfurter ahung

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 04 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Franfurter ahung
Format: CD
Label: Sonic Arts Network
Rated: *****
Weird is such a small word to define this "object", but under the artistic profile the mere fact this' an "object" should put the release out of the ordinary "cd-context". This sampler features some of the greatest british improvisational icons of this century, like Lol Coxhill and Derek Bailey but also some new audio situationists, art-terrorist ready to give "out of mind" a new meaning. Together with some electroacustical takes you'll have the luck to meet new improvisers trying to follow the teachings of Ornette Coleman, Zappa, Bailey, Cage, Beefheart and only hell knows who else. 29 tracks of pure brain cell splattering, but that's the way it should be since this post-dada "exhibit" in some way is testing the guts of the buyer/listener. Some great tracks and some weird one, but I'd say that's the typical problem you have with samplers. One of the talented or demented pearl featured on this release (the line is always thin) is the track of Italy's Lendormin that some of you may know for their collaboration with post industrial trumpeter D.B.P.I.T.. Tip of hat to Ben Watson for having put together such a well assorted bunch of fools/geniuses, I’m sure if it was a psychiatric test to verify Watson’ sanity... well now he would sit close to somebody who claims to be Napoleon.

NEC PLUS ULTRA: Nec Plus Ultra

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 03 2006
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Artist: NEC PLUS ULTRA (@)
Title: Nec Plus Ultra
Format: CD
Label: Zona Records (@)
Rated: *****
This is another excursion into Eastern European music efforts, this time published by the Lithuanian / Latvian based label Zona Records. This label is already active since 1991, first of to serve the USSR market with Independent music. After the fall of the iron curtain and the join of the Baltic states to the EU, they redefine their structures now to introduce Independent music to the Western world. Their label program features a huge diversity featuring styles like Hard-Rock, Hip-Hop, Alternative, Ska-Punk, Electronica, yes, and this very extraordinary Russian project named NEC PLUS ULTRA. NPC is the solo effort by Leo Botzmann and hails from Perm, a city based in the Ural mountains (!!!). Life there must be hard, because so is his music. Leo’s music features definitively ideas and structures out of the EBM/Electro scene, but he combines it with several noises taken out of Experimental/Field Recordings sessions. Machines, noisy Industrial areas, driving trains – almost everything can be an inspiration for Leo. He seems to be one of the very few artists on this world who seem to see music still as a kind of art. So this whole album is filled with extremely noisy sounds, which easily can lead a track into a total climax ("Morgen" for example). The other strange point: when Leo integrates vocals into his tracks, he "sings" in German. I don’t know how, when and where he has learned my mother tongue, also it’s mostly quite funny for me to hear his accent and grammar, but I mostly understand what he tries to express. "Der Mensch kaput" gets my vote for the best track, it reminds me a lot on a classic old-school EBM piece, but of course well done with an own authentic touch. If you wanna discover something really unknown and new, then make sure to purchase this release from the growing Zona Records label. I hope the best for Leo and his cool project, that he can earn some international recognition which he surely deserves. Weiter so, Leo!

URKUMA : Rebilding Pantaleone's tree

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 03 2006
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Artist: URKUMA (@)
Title: Rebilding Pantaleone's tree
Format: CD
Label: Baskaru (@)
Rated: *****
It's not the first time I hear Urkuma's name, but finally I hear a whole record, nice discovery! What else can you say about that!?. Stefano De Santi's (aka Urkuma) music is a good paradigm of listening where nothing really happens, but at the same time where nothing is the same for a long of time. An electroacoustic experience but in a way truly different from the music of people like Evan Parker, Birgit Ulher or other by the Creative Sources’ catalogue in general. "Rebuilding..." is much more electronic oriented but at the same time as I’ve just said it maintains a "ambiental/acoustic" feel. You can perceive there's just one person behind the entire audio-collage of every track, every single sound take slowly/gently place in the scenario not with an irruption, but with the precise intent of becoming a complementary colour. Beyond the mere strength of proportions I'd say this release somehow sounds psychedelic... nothing induces properly to trance, but this complementary idea behind single parts make me think of a trip with landscape alternating in front of the windscreen. Probably that's the worst bullshit I'm gonna write in ages, but it really make me think of Pink Floyd's live at Pompey...take the parts where those old freaks don't play proper song, imagine a similar stream of consciousness and above all take the whole idea as it was Christof Migone's reinterpretation of it all and that's probably what could cone out of it. Soft, cold, difficult but intriguing.

SLEPCY: We Are The Newest Battle Models

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 03 2006
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Artist: SLEPCY
Title: We Are The Newest Battle Models
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by the Polish duo Piotr Kurek and Marcin Stefanski, Slepcy have been working on electronic music that had his proper sound. They released few stuff for DJ Scud’s Ambush records, Kool.Pop, and Suburban Trash Industries. Their new WE ARE THE NEWEST BATTLE MODEL mix in a clever and frenetic way low-fi electronic sources along with strange vocals coming from unknown sources. Their tracks span from hardcore electronics to junk electronic operas. The cut and paste style of dealing with rhythm is paired with a dramatic and cinematic sense. If you check "Laurence" the repetitive bass line along with the eerie main melody make me feel that something is going on. It's like they are representing someone’s life and I must say that there’s nothing funny going on. Fortunately the casual rhythm structure is present only in few tracks and most of them are built like weird soundtracks where electronica meet drama. I really appreciated the theatrical feelings I felt while listening to their music and it was something new for me. I hope that they will keep this quality of surprising the audience with violent crazy rhythms combined with particular orchestrations (and if you want a perfect example of this check the main track).


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