Music Reviews



CAESAR ROMERO: The Grotesque Burlesque Revue

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1481)
Aug 24 2004
image not
available
anymore
Artist: CAESAR ROMERO (@)
Title: The Grotesque Burlesque Revue
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Fin de Siècle Media (@)
Distributor: Cold Meat Industry, Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Some weeks ago, reviewing Monophon's split MCD with L.E.A.K., I mentioned this UK artist's alter ego Caesar Romero, author of self-appointed "beat sleaze horror soundtracks" (kudos for using a photo of Edwige Fenech's on his website!). This 3" cd, properly packaged in a nice lounge-looking layout, features remixed versions of the original soundtrack for The Grotesque Burlesque Revue, a bizarre theatrical piece dealing with a modern Bluebeard, suicidal sea-creatures, shipwrecked vessels and killer prostitutes. The Dragon Ladies, the UK art company responsible for this performance, reached a cult status in only two years before disbanding after the 1998 Lisbon Expo act, allegedly "degenerated into a full scale audience riot" (!). I haven't understood if Romero wrote the original pieces or is just re-visiting them here, but anyway, this kind of sounds must have accompanied the show pretty well. Take circus music, have it played by The Residents or the Los Angeles Free Music Society, add some Barry Adamson-sounding proto-lounge and sprinkle some distorted synth (in "Death at sea"). Cartoon-creepy and naif, but engaging in their arrangements, the seven tracks forming the ep could be well listened to as a single piece with several movements and reprises, and it all flows very well. Not a record I was expecting from Fin de Siècle, and I admit I find this much more appealing than Monophon's.

OVO: Cicatrici

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1473)
Aug 18 2004
image not
available
anymore
Artist: OVO
Title: Cicatrici
Format: CD
Label: Bar La Muerte/Ebria Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe (Europe), SunShip, Radon (USA)
Rated: *****
Fifth release of OvO's, after "Assassine" CD, "Vae Victis" MCD, the collaboration CD with Rollerball and the 3" one with KK Null, and an impressive, ongoing series of tours and performances... For the first time, Stefania (voice, guitar, violin, toys, hair - also in Allun) and Bruno (drums, guitar, bass, pedals - Bar La Muerte boss, and musician in Ronin, Daniele Brusaschetto band, etc.) stick to OvO's ideal line-up, i.e. a duo, with Bill Horist and Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo (Larsen, (r)) as discreet host guitarists in a couple of tracks. So, this time, no winds from Jacopo Andreini, no double-kicks from Capoccia, no additional insanity from the Rollerball tribe. These recordings are a kind of snapshot of their live playing, and a sum of their souls: no-wave (from early No New York to '90's Skin Graft area), noise-rock (Sonic Youth "Confusion is sex"-era in "Ombra nell'ombra"), hardcore-punk ("La saponatrice di Ferrara"), extreme metal, folk, electroacoustics (Stefania's bowed dreadlocks in "Efesto"), harsh noise ("Phiphenomena")... But don't think of a patchwork, as OvO eat and digest everything in their own peculiar style (yes, for once it's true, no one really sounds like them) and compose a sturdy, coherent album. This is a great quality indeed in a sea of redundant records: though caustic and unnerving in its nature, "Cicatrici" is a cd you can listen to in a row without getting bored, and then back again. Carnal, dark but also wickedly childish, OvO play some perfect disaster reports: the title, meaning "Scars", sounds as no joke.

ERBE/MANN/POLANSKY/REPETTO/WOLFF: Trios

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1472)
Aug 18 2004
cover
Artist: ERBE/MANN/POLANSKY/REPETTO/WOLFF
Title: Trios
Format: CD
Label: Pogus (@)
Rated: *****
Chris Mann (voice & texts), Douglas Repetto (computer, electronics, recording) and Larry Polansky (electric guitars) recorded a several hours long improvised session; so did Repetto and Polansky with Christian Wolff (piano, bass, percussion, melodica) some months later. The recordings were then sent to Tom Erbe, who had the delicate task of selecting, editing and mixing down the final result - these "Trios". He was actually quite successful in creating organic-sounding compositions - before reading the notes on Pogus website, I thought these were real-time live recordings. My main problem with this work is the vocal part. Mann's light speed, indecipherable speeches - curiously reminding of one of Clouddead's voices, the Donald Duck sounding one - are just too similar throughout the cd, thus becoming indistinct as a sound component. I don't think even a native speaker can get what he says, and the cd lacks any textual reference, so it's hard to enjoy any "literary" relevance of the performance. But that's actually not the point - the voice just doesn't seem to match with the other instruments. Whose performance, by the way, is quite engaging: noisy improv-electroacoustics with a sharp edge, tense and menacing. The last track, without vocals, is unsurprisingly the most successful one.

CERVIX: Teach children to worship sludge

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1458)
Aug 12 2004
cover
Artist: CERVIX (@)
Title: Teach children to worship sludge
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Improvised bluuurgh sludge doom from this new born (one off?) Italian trio (guitar/vocals/drums). Three tracks, more than 30 minutes. Heavy painful noise played at molasses speed: cross extreme doom à la Southern Lord (Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Burning Witch, Khanate) with the disjointed experimental black of Abruptum, and you'll get a picture. Deliberately horrible recording, with the typical rehearsal sound: loud guitars, loud vocals, absent drums - and a terrible low-end frying distortion. Definitely only for the few & bold conoisseurs of the genre - but there is a certain groove to it, and who knows, maybe writing proper songs...

Sean Valant: The Electronic Symphony Project

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (1446)
Aug 05 2004
Artist: Sean Valant (@)
Title: The Electronic Symphony Project
Format: CDS (CD Single)
There's almost a certain playfulness, in a quiet avant-garde way, to this dish of serious electronica. Roughly speaking, you could call this jazz run through experimental Muzak with a dab of mild industrial. Quiet and non-aggressive but strong in personality, this music finds different little elements vying with each other, much like the different instrumental elements in classical music, which this also resembles in its own strange way. Essentially containing the flavor of classic instrumental compositions (with a touch of exotic world, now that I think about it) but spiced and altered by the outside-the-box electronic experimentation of the artist, The Electronic Symphony Project is one man replacing an entire orchestra and doing so in an engaging and understated way.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha