Music Reviews



JEBUS: The ants are eating my head

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 23 2004
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Artist: JEBUS
Title: The ants are eating my head
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
Jebus are a trio featuring members of Psychic Space Invasion, Green End Listening Station and Directive 4: all of them swapped guitars, pedals, samplers, etc. during a 6-hour improvised session, and this 3-song cdr is the final result. A great trippy start with throbbing, melodic swirls, and there are definitely some excellent intimistic moments throughout which would have been wonderful if further developed. Unfortunately, this suffers from the improvised session syndrome: it was surely fun to play and record, but what about the listener? It comes down to personal tastes, I guess, but I've found many passages of their extreme/psychedelic/delayed jamming (and it's 90% of the record) pretty dull. It's loud, but it's not interesting. Again, this could have A LOT of potential, but needs some skimming and cropping - 66 minutes of this are just too much.

VV.AA.: Strange As Angels

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 19 2004
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Strange As Angels
Format: CD
Label: Failure To Communicate Records (@)
Rated: *****

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'Strange As Angels' is a compilation tribute to The Cure produced by Sheriff Scabs featuring a host of eclectic rock bands I'm mostly personally unfamiliar with. There is one exception however and that is the opening track "Lovesong" by Darkwave humoris Voltaire. Each song on this compilation however is a unique interpretation by each artist. That in itself makes it interesting in my book. My favorite by far, though it's also my Cure favorite as well, is "A Forest" restructured here by Jupiter Blue. It's much more upbeat and rock oriented with sort of a Smashing Pumpkins feel. The song structures on the overall compilation are more rock oriented than the originals, some even sort of 80's punk, like "Plastic Passion" by Sheriff Scabs himself. The only one that really gets on my nerves and seems to not belong here is Nerve Exhibit's cover of "A Strange Day". Their drum machine is off-beat and the vocals off-key. It's almost as if they were making fun of the original trying to be bleak and dreary and show no musical talent. However, that rant ended, Egostatic shows a bit of dreampop with synth textures that are very suitable for their cover of "To The Sky". Who'd have thought "Fascination Street" could begin with a choral? That is exactly what Purple Car does but then pushes it up to a bizarre fuzzbox vocal and guitar thump. Hearts Fail doing "A Night Like This" sounds like what I'd imagine it to sound like if David E. Williams did it. Unfortunately, Venus in Furs does not compare with Robert's original "Burn" from The Crow soundtrack, sorry guys! "Pornography" by Emulsion is a completely restructured version using similar techniques as the original, minus most of the actual music, with new samples to create an unusual spoken word track with sampled and abmient textures. Overall, this project is a very interesting compilation with a few gems and a bunch left up to individual taste. I definitely give it points for uniqueness as most of the bands did not just rehash or duplicate what's already been done with about 3 exceptions not mentioned. I feel it has about 13 solid tracks out of 17, not bad at all!

PAUL BRADLEY: Drone works # 1

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 12 2004
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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Drone works # 1
Format: CD EP
Label: Twenty Hertz (@)
Rated: *****
Paul Bradley starts the "Drone works" series - limited run eps with exclusive recordings - on his own Twenty Hertz with this ghastly 20-minute track, which is a kind of twin release to the "Sepulchral" cd that I've reviewed a couple of weeks ago. What I wrote then could be repeated now: pure solipsistic textures where guitar sounds are trasformed into grey filaments moving at molasses speed. Azoic ambient. Another great release from Bradley, and a promising debut for a series with a HUGE standard quality.

Books on Tape: The Business End

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 11 2004
Artist: Books on Tape
Title: The Business End
Format: CD
Label: Grey Day Productions
Mix only a tad of new wave, a dose of electronic beat-driven music (from Meat Beat Manifesto to mid-tempo dance to electro-industrial), throw in lots of computery electronic music, a huge dollop of defiant quirk, and some of the attitude of Mister Rogers mixed with, you know, those big pointed eyebrows bad people have in movies sometimes and you've got Books on Tape and their new CD "The Business End". Anyway, other than the sheer style of personality that's going to come out at you from song to song, all you can really expect from this music - which maybe could be considered experimental electro-industrial - is ... well ... maybe nothing else. You need to have a fetish for music that is strange but still technically traditional music - not over the edge experimental - to fully appreciate what's afoot here. But suffice it to say, Books on Tape are interesting manipulators of electronic music and worth peering at cautiously from around the corner ... just kidding ... check 'em out.

Piney Gir: Piakahokahoo

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 11 2004
Artist: Piney Gir
Title: Piakahokahoo
Format: CD
Label: Grey Day Productions
Piney Gir's music on "Piakahokahoo" is a bit startling, to say the least. Mostly synth driven and quirkily perky, Piney Gir's songs blend moody, grrl-goth sensibilities and minimalist electro sensibilities ... along with whatever other influences happen along ... to create some awfully unique and surprisingly catchy melancholic meditations. On top of Piney Gir's ability to blend naive perk with subtley bitter observations is her ability to surprise with, for example, a remake - Piney Gir style - of "My Generation" and, get this, a country song - again, Piney Gir flavor all the way - called "Greetings, Salutations, Goodbye". To attempt any further to try and properly describe the original songcraft of Piney Gir's surprising talent would be futile. So take my word for it. No, don't do that. Go see for yourself. And bring an open mind.


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