Music Reviews

Many Axes: 2 Many Axes

 Posted by Robert Wolanin   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1755)
Feb 15 2005
Artist: Many Axes (@)
Title: 2 Many Axes
Format: CD
Label: pfMentum (@)
Distributor: pfMentum
Rated: *****
Drumming and instrument circles vary widely across the U.S. Anytime when a group of world musicians pick up their instruments, I grab a drum and am one of the first to join in. This type of jam session is always magickal and fun. The great thing is, that every group’s sounds are as different and unique as the individuals participating. So I am always happy to hear improvisational musicians on world instrumentation playing the entire night away! When I received 2 Many Axes, the second release from avant-garde instrumentalists Many Axis, it immediately went into my player. And I was not disappointed. There is a difference between musicians who play improv and those who record improv. Often those who record are so full of themselves that the recording is nothing more than an exercise in ego maniacal mayhem. But happily, this is not the case with Many Axis. The group plays so comfortably and well within its boundaries that you can’t help but have fun listening to them because it is obvious that they are having fun. Susan Rawcliffe not only plays wind instruments she also makes them. Mother Gaia giving birth to song! Accompanying her on wind instruments is Scott Wilkinson who also plays deftly and energetically. Rounding up the group is Brad Dutz delicate and diligent on percussion. The trio rallies themselves and slowly meld into one. A complex organic structure planting the seed, taking root and reaching toward the sky. I was immediately moved by the haunting opening track "March of Whales" which reminded me more of coyotes or wolfs. Many Axes fashion an acoustic ambient space where the winds gently glide among the cliffs blowing through the rocks and outcroppings giving birth to a chorus against which the coyotes sing. It’s actually track 2, Circuspace, that takes me into the realm of whales. Organic winds blowing out cries of solemn song organizing itself into a calliope of pulsing beats then dementia. A wonderful fluidity which openly states, "our instruments hold us to no boundaries".From the eastern underpinnings of Drama Dairy and Entropy to the singing bowls on Dali Comma, Many Axes showcase their lateral group approach to the myriad of world instruments on hand. If I have one complaint about this CD at all is has to be that too much time dedicated to the rallying of organized musical structure as the band attempts to find their own. While fun in activity, it really is not a whole lot of fun to listen too and these little exercises, though essential to this type of music, should have been edited from the final cut. But by no means does this detract from the raw edge and acoustic grace that Rawcliffe, Dutz and Wilkinson manage to conjure.2 Many Axis is mastered to fine definition. The most lithe breath is captured. As a matter of fact, breath is used as a rhythm instrument as well. The trio indeed uses the most of what they have on hand without muddying the mix. Simple is the key to their success. So build a nice bonfire, take your CD player with you and let Many Axes bring the visions in the leaping flames to life!

Polpetta & i Cani Avvelenati: Riserva di Caccia

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1750)
Feb 13 2005
Artist: Polpetta & i Cani Avvelenati
Title: Riserva di Caccia
Format: CD
Label: WOT4 records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Polpetta e i Cani Avvelenati is a new no-copyright situationist project howling from Italy to shed some light on subjects such as vivisection and animal experimentation conducted mostly in the areas Bologna and Florence. Hence, these ALF-supporters, after their successful performance at the Reading Festival in the UK and the Melkweg in Amsterdam, Holland and a song performed live with Lee Scratch Perry, decided to pack up a great record of catchy noise-injected dubbed-out post punk experimental music that echoes Siouxie, Clash, King Tubby, Bauhaus, Merzbow etc. Weird socially-awakening lyrics in a slange that mixes english and Tuscany's dialect and more. The album comes in a very limited edition and allegedly it is already close to sold-out (because of the illustrious past of the rrrriot singer/guitar-player Peta Lopez/Clark Sinclair and the rare "ethereal" and "wordy" quality of the music), but if look hard enough you might find it (along with t-shirts and more). Luther Blisset lovers will love this. Watch out, don't get tricked! Go, fetch it!


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1749)
Feb 13 2005
Title: Mondo Cane
Format: CD
Rated: *****
What a bizarre cd - definitely apt for the "weird & wired" section. Supercani... are an Italian quartet playing a demented but super tight, bass-driven mix of post-hc, punk & rock'n'roll. Victims Family, Fugazi and No Means No come to mind, but also (Italian readers, does anybody remember them?) the mighty Paolino Paperino Band, minus the smart lyrics. Ach, lyrics and vocals, that's the problem for me... they are pure nonsense, mixing bullshit about dogs, dialect and purely phonetic blurb. Ok, it could be fun for a while, but after 5 minutes it gets on my nerves. A shame, since the musical part is very very good, refined and powerful at the same time. I don't have a clue about this project, really. I guess there was an intention behind the silly vocals, but it just spoils for me. Had they kept it instrumental, this would be a winner.

The Broken Penis Orchestra: Organ Failure

 Posted by Eveski   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1748)
Feb 12 2005
Artist: The Broken Penis Orchestra
Title: Organ Failure
Format: 7"
Label: Hypnagogia (@)
Rated: *****
A kind of hydroponic jazz soundtrack following a trip wandering through the corridors of the multistory multisensory brain park of the Broken Penis Orchestra.
This four track EP is a real gem, a four course audio salad has been put together which reminds me of the anguishes and hilarities of humankind, from the dramatic to the mundane, quirky interceptions may leave the listener perplexed and somewhat thoroughly entertained.

VV.AA.: Muzick out of open windows

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 11 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Muzick out of open windows
Format: CD
Label: Field Muzick
Rated: *****
Field Muzick is a new-born label run by Marcus Obst of Dronaement fame, and is focused on, surprise surprise, field recordings and music. Hardly a new concept these days, as the idea of mixing sounds with what one can hear out of his/her window. This said, the sampler is really good, offering strong pieces by all projects involved. I have to say the phonography aspect is not that remarkable to me - you basically hear very similar sound phenomena throughout, but that's unavoidable I guess. The musical aspect, on the contrary, is much more interesting, sometimes brilliant. Oddly enough, Dronaement doesn't use the drones he's rightly known for, offering a piece of rhythmic, spacey electronica, and along with Frz w/ Imagho's acoustic guitars it's the only non-droning track here. Some great, sombre ambiences come from Aalfang mit Pferdekopf, Alio Die, Andrea Marutti (aka Amon/Never Known etc.), Logoplasm and The Infant Cycle. Sébastien Roux seems to reduce everything to pure frequencies and digital crackles, and offers a powerful throbbing soundscape. A very cohesive and rewarding sample, as all projects are well represented and surely offer no filler.

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