Music Reviews



Lustmord: Heresy

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2005
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Artist: Lustmord
Title: Heresy
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon recordings
Rated: *****
Brian Williams, a.k.a. Lustmord, is a Hollywood-based sound designer whose sonic artworks and abilities were featured and employed in over 40 movies and TV shows, games and commercials as well as in collaborations and remixes with/for the melvins, Tool, Chris & Cosey, Coil, Tangerine Dream, SPK, Robert Rich, Current 93, Nurse with Wound, Swans, Venetian Snares, Lori Carson and Moriis. And if what reads as a who's who of industrial/ambient/dark/experimental music isn't enough, he also run the SPK-founded Side Effects records from 1985 to 1999, releasing more than 30 records. On top of all of that, Lustmord has been making his own scary waveforms since 1981, releasing 11 albums, among which the 1990 "Heresy", a collection of seven frigthening and obscure drone-based pieces recorded in subterranean locations and manipulated in studio by Williamms and the great Andrew Lagowski. "Heresy" almost single-handedly launched the definition of "dark ambient" and all of its offspring, and has been constantly appearing in charts and mentioned by critics, which is why Soleilmoon decided to release the official re-issue, re-packaged and remastered. 15 years later it sounds as contemporary and as effective as it possibly gets and is still able to make a statement and teach a few things to all the kids out there who mimic the genre and the its masters just 'cause they got a computer and a broken microphone to make noise with.

AUTODIGEST: A compressed history of everything recorded, vol. 2: Ubiquitous eternal live

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 31 2005
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Artist: AUTODIGEST
Title: A compressed history of everything recorded, vol. 2: Ubiquitous eternal live
Format: CD
Label: Ash International/ Crónica
Rated: *****
Accompanied by mysterious pictures of nearly deserted places, but with a blurred photo of a cheering crowd in a stadium or concert hall, Autodigest's new installment is a tough one to, ahem, digest. Conceived as a "history of audience applause" ("Somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten what exactly we were cheering for... Until we eventually stopped cheering, as nobody was playing anyway"), the hour-long track is exactly made of that: endlessly looped samples of applauses and cheers and delirious screaming. No other sounds, except for a minimal drone which actually sounds like a kind of resonance or echo of that hyper-exposed apocalyptic mess. Quoting the press sheet, "[The piece] is presented as less of an archive and more of a critical eye loaded with a few conceptual cards as foundations, from Debord to Baudrillard, from Harvey to Adorno". Whatever. It was fun to read a few reviews which have been published meanwhile, as they spanned from "pure genius" to "pure crap" to a more diplomatic "most bizarre record of 2004". I recall listening to an untitled work by Francisco López and thinking it was a bad joke as it was only crickets sounds throughout, then re-listening to it some years later and losing myself in it with amazement. Save for the political/conceptual differences, this is a similar case: it starts sounding like a joke, then it finally makes your bowels churn. The screaming voices, once looped and overlapping in a droning mass, pass from pop hysteria to pure tragedy - this could be a nightmare of Altamont. But on a deeper level, what makes this cd so frightening to me is the sense of futility and loneliness oozing from this sweaty über-audience - Autodigest coldly re-creates and contemplates modern nonsense as in an in vitro test.

UNCODE DUELLO: s/t

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 26 2005
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Artist: UNCODE DUELLO
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Wallace/Ebria
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Adventurous, oblique instrumentals played by Paolo Cantù and Xabier Iriondo (previously involved in remarkable and unique projects like Six Minute War Madness and A Short Apnea) with a legion of friends and guests. Guitars, bass, clarinet, voices, tapes, organs, electronics, etc. collide in these bizarre architectures and ready-made objects - as if the anarchist spirit of the "Faust tapes" was revived by Storm & Stress or their label mates A Short Apnea (minus the tragic feel), Bron y Aur or I-O. A loose, but oddly powerful and cohesive interplay, where melodies and found sounds are continuously shattered and recomposed into new forms, makes this a captivating listen, probably closer, at a skin-deep level, to folk and rock than to academic avantgarde.

DANIEL LENTZ: Los tigres de Marte

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 20 2005
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Artist: DANIEL LENTZ
Title: Los tigres de Marte
Format: CD EP
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Distributor: Allegro (USA), RSK (UK), Silenzio (Italy)
Issue # 2 in Cold Blue's recent series of mini cds, Lentz's piece is also the most agitated and least explicitly minimalist one. Played by Marty Walker (clarinet), Brad Ellis and Lentz himself (electronic keyboards), Peter Kent and Robin Lorentz (violins), Maria Newman (viola) and Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cello), "Los tigres de Marte" is indeed a powerful, exhilarating and bright composition, which tends to ravish rather than lull you. Lentz himself talks of "tight clusters, glissandi, and even some bebop-driven rhythms". Quite a beautiful work, but when it comes down to personal tastes, also one I find less emotionally engaging than other Cold Blue titles.

BUNKUR/MOSS: Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments/Cop

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 29 2004
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Artist: BUNKUR/MOSS
Title: Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments/Cop
Format: CD
Label: Foreshadow Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Both Bunkur (Holland) and Moss (UK) have reached a sort of cult status in the ultra-underground niche of extreme drone-doom, in spite of their relatively limited discography. This anticipated split release is a sort of tribute to two major influences of theirs, i.e., respectively, Burzum and Swans. Bunkur's cover of "Erblicket..." (originally from the gloomy masterpiece "Filosofem") begins with a mess of spacey, disjointed feedbacks, gradually evolving into a recognizable remake - Burzum's trademark riffs are there, though played by Bunkur's peculiar line up (two basses, a synth, screams and drums). Less recognizable is Moss' "Cop", though their desperate, obtuse sludge-doom (reminiscent of Eyehategod, early Cavity, Corrupted, etc.) is a good tribute to the tortured sounds of early Swans. A nice ep thing, though I was honestly expecting something more - I'm now looking forward to Bunkur's anticipated studio full-length (due out next year on Deserted Factory) and for something more consistent from Moss.


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