Music Reviews

The Infant Cycle/Jared Davison: Periodical I

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 21 2006
Artist: The Infant Cycle/Jared Davison
Title: Periodical I
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Ceiling
Rated: *****
Ceiling, an Ontario, Canada-based experimental label, is the creative font whence cometh this nifty little 3" limited edition CD EP, shared by the two indicated artists. A seemingly arrythmic but irresistible patter of tribal electro-noise pops draws you into a compelling track one (The Infant Cycle's "Unrelated Work Tapes"), while ominous, minimal rumblings from the bowels of an infernal factory chug and churn throughout track number two (Davison's "Phonography").

All you get are only the two tracks, which is a letdown, partly because these are way more pleasing to the ear than anything I have thus far heard by the Hafler Trio, to name one. Another disappointment is that the tracks average only six minutes apiece, and by the time each one finishes, the appetite is barely whetted. These two admittedly similar crypto-noise artistes are on to something, and more, if not longer, pieces by each would have made this EP essential and not merely collectible.

STEINBRÜCHEL: Opaque (+ re)

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 17 2006
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Title: Opaque (+ re)
Format: CD
Label: Room40
Rated: *****
There's an interesting modus operandi behind this remix project by Swiss artist Steinbrüchel: his track "Opaque", composed in 2003 for the two-day music festival Taktlos in Bern, was submitted to five artists around the globe, each one chosen for his peculiar approach to sound. What is interesting is that all of them received different sound files, and none had listened to the original track in its full form. This can explain why the remixes vary even in radical ways, yet with recurring particles and atmospheres in a sort of deja vu feel. Steinbrüchel's original is a beautifully fragile piece made of microscopic clicks and melodic drones; a little masterpiece in its genre for sure. Both Ben Frost and Toshiya Tsunoda underline its darker characteristics, coming up with two hostile isolationist pieces. By adding jarring piano loops, Chris Abrahams (of The Necks fame) transforms the piece in a strange disjointed composition; I've had to listen to it a few times to stomach it, but I admit it's an interesting approach - putting some chaos in the maths laboratory. I admit I expected a bit more from Taylor Deupree, who emphasizes the melodic and rhythmic aspects of the track, and Oren Ambarchi, offering a very short track reminiscent of his "Insulation" times - that said, my partial disappointment only comes from my exorbitant expectations. The whole project is fresh and worth listening time and time again nonetheless: it's worth buying for the original track alone, and as a plus all the interpretations are inventive and well done.

ich niente: ri-tagli

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 15 2006
Artist: ich niente (@)
Title: ri-tagli
Format: CD
Label: into my bed (@)
Rated: *****
A single take collaboration between guitarists Mirco Rizzi and Daniele Brusaschetto. "ri-tagli" is on the whole, an arrangement of extremely creative guitar-based textures and melodies. At many times the sounds sound so unlike a guitar you'd swear you were listening to synthesizers. The CD is very laid back sounding... excellent to chill out to . Very reminiscent of Howard Shores work on the David Cronenburg film "Crash". My only complaint is that, while all of the tracks are engaging, sometimes a couple of them seem to get lost within themselves leaving us, the listening audience, feeling slightly abandoned. Recommended tracks: "lunga 02" and "ghghghghghghghgh".

ST.RIDE: Piume che cadono

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 15 2006
with image
Artist: ST.RIDE (@)
Title: Piume che cadono
Format: CD
Label: Lixard/Zeit Interface (@)
Rated: *****
Surprirse, surprise! Despite coming completely (at least for me) out of the blue, St.ride played one of the most comfortable trip I've experienced during the last months. Before getting the cd for a review I've happened to see them live and it was good, but "Piume che cadono" goes much beyond my expectations. This duo creates the magic using acoustic instruments, digital music and concrete sounds, it's more or less electronic music married with acoustic sounds (but not yet electro-acoustic" music) but with a sincere personal touch. St.ride's own peculiarity on this album the skill with which they stitch this analogue-digital texture on a quasi melodic framework, and in the most of these splinters "experimentalism" is subdued to a something that goes really close to what we may call a song. Sometimes they have simple rhythmical pattern that's coming and going (Domenica mattina), somewhere else they play with the softest reminiscence of a childish sound a la Matmos/Mouse on Mars, (Il periodo delle h messe) but there's a lot more to be found between the twenty particles of this recollection. The micro, post-morriconian fragments reminded me of Tortoise in an avanguardist salsa (Se perdo me), and why not, ad some early isolationist influences Mainesque atmospheres (La tromba della pace) and you have a part of the recipe. I think to make a picture of this release you should try to imagine Matmos' "A chance to cut is chance to cure" broken into some minimal and fragmented episodes on which St,ride sprayed an electronic patina and than think there's a soundtrack feeling that brings gently ashore during the sailing. If you've always been joining the ranks of those thinking many experimental musicians are too frigid in the constant strain to make it all sound "bizzarre"...if you're one of those thinking the fusion between experimental music and what can be called "melody" is the hardest path of all: that's an exhibit for your severe judgement.
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Artist: KODI & PAUSA
Title: In one week and new toys to play
Format: CD
Label: Kormaplastic (@)
Rated: *****
Man, talking about freakiness, extravaganza or "music out of ordinary" the Kodi and Pausa project is a good example, nothing more and nothing less. I think the fact this cd can be good or bad is a detail, but I dare the average critic to label this cd as "the same ol' shit". Probably what I'm going to say has to do with the fact I've listened to Boredom's "Pop tatari" a couple of days ago, but I guess if ever pop music would have followed the path of these japanese kamikaze, this could have been the euro-pop answer to the demented genius of Yamatsuka Eye and friends. An improvisational cut and lot's of instruments to play may imply influences and ideas can move in this or in that direction, but it can also bring to a delirium where everything flows randomly leaving reminiscences of what lied buried in the subconscious coming out in the open with the consequent result you'll see fragments of subconscious scattered all over the place. Is Kodi and Pausa pure essence of chaos? Absolutely not, but here you've electronic music, free jazzy guitar incursions, shapeless cut ups/pastiches (Boswachter) as well as old electronic mixed with modern hi-frequencies computer sounds, this recording features also minimal keyboard experiments (that reminded me of the early and greatest Pram). What should I say about a defiant cartoon tune like "Flashy toilet"!?...this couple of musician probably has had problems during their childhood. Sometimes it's hard to judge the quality of a cd and when it's "In one week and new toys to play", the idea is that the "subject" is really beyond the boundaries of musical is a nonsense.

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