Music Reviews



LABORINTUS: Stratilico/12riveroll9

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 23 2003
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Artist: LABORINTUS (@)
Title: Stratilico/12riveroll9
Format: CD EP
Claudio Sichel is a young visual and digital sound artist who has frequently worked, over the last few years, on multimedia projects, and is a member of the Italian experimental music collective Ixem (www.ixem.it). This two-track mini cdr is a nice exhibition of Sichel's personal sound lingo. It could definitely appeal to those interested in microsounds, glitches and experimental laptop stuff, but has a kind of warm and bizarre impro slant which gives it a peculiar taste. The two long tracks are improvised sessions assembled using a self built instrument (made with rubber bands, springs, a Jew's harp and an electric motor) filtered through a Reaktor patch with a laptop. The result is a kind of free jazz concert played by moody objects and toys - warm, unpredictable and still very physical and "granulous", thanks to the interaction between the concrete source and the digital filter. Very well done, and definitely keeping faith to the "trade name" Sichel has chosen.

Neon Rain: Dirtier Than the Dirt

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 04 2003
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Artist: Neon Rain (@)
Title: Dirtier Than the Dirt
Format: CD
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
French project Neon Rain (formerly signed to Black Sun Rising) propose a breed of post-industrial dark-ambient with distant distorted voices, mechanical industrial sounds, low rumblings, drones, experimental noises, avantgardism etc. The moods range from loud and persistant to hauntingly and disquietingly placid. This is the first full lenght CD from the Cognac-based french (no I don't mean they're drunks, I mean that they live in Cognac, France) after a demo in 2000 and several compilations, and it also represents the first release on the newly established Brest-based Steelwork Maschine label. The 500 copies limited edition CD comes with a nice bondage cover art work.

Luther Blisset: TheOpen Pop Star

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 30 2003
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Artist: Luther Blisset
Title: TheOpen Pop Star
Format: CD
Label: WoT4 (@)
Distributor: Shellshock (UK) & Audioglobe (Italy)
Luther Blisset is the man! Oh wait, maybe not? Which man? What was my point? Oh yeah, he's this metropolitan situationist figure that exists in multiple places, multiple times, multiple people, multiple versions. Soccer player, anarchic hero, split-personality, striker, missing person, protester, phone pranker, Monty Cantsin, mail-artists, performance-artist, me, hacker, radio speaker, radio listener, you, publisher, everybody, webmaster, writer, bus ticket scammer, musician and many other things at once... The mind-invading culture-filtering concept was brought to mainstream media's attention in '99 after several years of successful underground guerrilla, but after that year, with few exceptions (such as Baroni's record) I haven't heard much about or from the Debordian character... If you are reading this from Italy you might wanna buy the Castelvecchi published books "Lasciate che i Bimbi" (let that the kids) or "Mind Invaders" or read up on him from the web (houndred of websites available for that). Basically he's everyone and everywhere and he is those who realize they're being fucked with every day on this planet and who want fuck back, oops, I meant, fight back... With the same philosophy (anyone can be anybody and without names there is no control) Luther Blisset takes his new shot at making music on WoT4 with "The Open Pop Star", an album that could have been made by anybody, that is out of control, has no names and where all styles of music are just music. If you work in a record store and you have to file this under something or choose the appropriate shelf, then that's your problem, good luck. For the rest of you with different sucky 9-to-5 day-jobs I suggest you quit your job after you used your job's DSL line to download some mp3's so you know what you're dealing with, because this is the kind of record that you really buy for political reasons or because you like to challenge yourself, certainly not because you like the music, unless of course you like everything from radio pranks to native chants, from folk music to electronic music, from talking macintosh dialogues to speeches about anything and in any language, from techno to synth-pop, from lounge to experimental, from weird to wired...For a complete picture (it'll still be fuzzy) go buy WoT4's collection of Luther Blisset audio documents, all collected for your very convenience in a digipack CD with 20 tracks and 20 pages of booklet. Ya can't go wrong. In fact it is one of the best documents about LB's multi-fold production in the field of music throughout the years.And because everything is being redefined as we speak make sure you take every guy who tells you his name is Seppuku extremely seriously. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to the future generations that will live in a world that is 10 degrees warmer and with a ozone hole as big as Europe and Africa... let me rephrase that: as big as Bush's idiocy (yep, we're definitely talking bigger than at least four continets here!). Don't just reclaim the streets, reclaim the friggin planet already!I could go on and on with this review but then I'd have to pay too much for bandwidth...

Margoo: The Lone Solo

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 29 2003
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Artist: Margoo (@)
Title: The Lone Solo
Format: CD
Label: WoT4 (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe & Shellshock
Italian composer Margoo's first full-lenght CD (after his EP "Eh?") is a digipack-ed fifteen track work of love released on British/Dutch/Italian label WoT4 (don't ask, I still haven't figured it out myself...). Hard to file under anything specific, Margoo's sophisticated atmospheres deliver a finely woven melange of jazzy warmth, estranged pop culture, experimental dadaism and progressive lounge music (the chill factor is probably what sets this apart). What makes me a happy man (I know I'll be crucified for this) is that not once would I be able to pin this album on the map (geographically speaking that is), which to me is a plus considering much of Italy's music sucks (plenty of due exceptions of course, but usually you can still hear that "Italian" thing somewhere). Margoo's approach is as diverse and global as it gets and I would even go as far as too say that I'd lean towards the UK if I had to take a wild guess, maybe because of the fact that there's a nice Brit-style trumpet (made in Italy too, played by Giorgio Li Calzi) hovering over some of the most interesting pieces or maybe because of the Warp-style lounge-passages the record is filled with. Worthy of mention is the fact that the title track is based exclusively on samples of the artist's squeaky kitchen door. Why am I thinking about Studio Pagol again? oh yes... might just be logo on the CD, but then again, maybe there's more to that... Other Italian references that might help you here could be Margoo's label-mates Deadburger or the great Vittore Baroni's collage project Le Forbici di Manitu'.

Appleton & Treu: Wunderbra!

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 29 2003
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Artist: Appleton & Treu
Title: Wunderbra!
Format: CD
Label: Crippled Dick Hot Wax! (@)
Distributor: EFA
Ex-Dauerfisch Berliner Achim Treu owns an impressive collection of weird records from every era. Among his records are some of American electronic music pioneer and inventer of the Synclavier (first digital sampler) Job Appleton. When they got in touch last year the collaboration that gave birth to "Wunderbra!" sparkled (if you were to read about all the coincidences that lead to the encounter you too would think that they are highly unlikely and a little to fanciful!).The album is beautifully arranged and produced and brings you into a dimension where time stops and geographical borders stretch. Lush electronica that blends with ambient soundscapes and is enriched by Treu's many outdoor (or indoor for that matter) field-recordings and by Jon's sampling audio wizardy. All of which is spiced up with references to French concrete musique and to maybe Belgian experimental music of dadaist inspiration, but then again with all Berlin has created and produced in the last decades it just maybe is all local inspiration that Treu balances with Appleton's deep knowledge of electronics. Among all the well produced electronische music in this record, there's even a couple of tunes with the voice of Brazilian Native Music icon Marlui Miranda. That just goes to say how complete and borderless this record is: truly amazing!


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