Music Reviews



Main: Mort Aux Vaches - Exosphere

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 08 2004
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Artist: Main
Title: Mort Aux Vaches - Exosphere
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
Another release out of the VPRO "Mort Aux Vaches" series is "Exosphere", by Main, aka Robert Hampson (ex-Loop). Main evolved his style from layered guitar noises to aural sci-fi minimalism. This CD contains spacial field recordings and offers expansive and meditative atmospheric voyages. The artist taped the ambience of small journeys, usually not considered significant (such as from a hotel to the airport, as opposed to from one city to the next). The nice thing about this CD is that it is so out there that you loose yourself in the visionary soundscapes and the image-provoking sonics, you think you are in a parallel dimension of this world, detatched from it, floating, until you hear something (like a voice) that reminds you of where you are and where these sounds come from. In other words the artist is able to make you loose touch with reality but occasionally, he lets slip through just about enough sounds from the real world to remind you that these are nothing but treated, beautifully treated (I might add), location recordings. The packaging is pretty sleek as well. The disc itself (which, if it wasn't for the printed title, would make you think double-sided CDs finally arrived) is placed inside a 3-face folding carboard that is basically a print of an orange juice and red grape juice cardboard container.

Pimmon: Mort Aux Vaches

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 08 2004
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Artist: Pimmon
Title: Mort Aux Vaches
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Rated: *****
After his widely acclaimed 2003 Tigerbeat CD "Snaps Crackles Pop" (so much for surprising the unaware listener!), Pimmon is back with a live recording, part of the VPRO series "Mort Aux Vaches", endorsed by Staalplaat and recorded at VPRO Studio in Amsterdam. This particular recording dates back to October 2002 and, even though it is a live recording, it portrays Pimmon's signature style of thought-out minimal glitch-ambient music. He is one of the few laptop artists out there that focus strongly on composition. He leaves little to improvisation and always sticks to his chart, with occasional drifts, of course. This method makes him stand out of the crowd but musically there probably isn't enough of a structure to actually think of these compositions as conventional "songs". The CD is limited and hand numbered to 700 copies.

Daniele Brusaschetto: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 06 2004
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Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This is just an update on a review that has already been published when Daniele Brusaschetto sent us an advance promo of this record. "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" has now finally come out.The CD comes with a nice color booklet with lyrics in italian and english that is an experiment of modern cut&paste art (the booklet consists of professionally printed pictures of pages that were cut and pasted with adhesive tape). The CD is co-released by Bosco (Daniele's outlet), DSK (http://space.virgilio.it/sandblaster@tin.it), Radon (www.radonstudio.com), Oggetti Volanti (www.oggettivolanti.it) and Bar La Muerte (www.barlamuerte.com).Here is the review that we had written and published:I wonder if I could get away with saying that the new Daniele Brusaschetto album has a more "squat-friendly sound", but if you know what the average offering of that scene is, I think it is really true, at least to some extent. Maybe he was sick of touring places all alone with his machines and seeing those looks in the faces of those who expected some other crappy hardcore trio (I've seen them myself when playing squats with my band) or maybe it's just a natural evolution for somebody who comes from the bands Whip and Mudcake, but it certainly isn't far off from his original sound and its actual soul. With "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" (Total Poetry of the Muscles) he is turning to his roots and taking a step back from his previous more industrial-loaded sound in order to approach a slightly more easily-listen-able blend of fierce and fiery garagey noise-driven combo playing. The result is strong and powerful. Solid crunchy bass picking, rumbling room-reverberated and heavily compressed live drums, multiple layers of very expressive guitar strumming and up-front deep, doubled and harmonized vocals. I am probably not the ideal person to attempt comparisons in this field, but if you listen to some garage, post-rock, noise-core you'll find plenty of, and considering the affinity with the industrial-electronic sphere you might consider starting from Pitch Shifter or Fudge Tunnel or stuff like that. Lots of the electronics is gone in favor of a more "standard" rock line-up that sometimes sounds Italian, sometimes British, sometimes American. For that matter I think I was more into the older sound but that certainly doesn't mean that the new material isn't worthy of attention, contrariwise I must say I find it quite likable and I appreciate the touch and the tone. Of course he retained his connection with the experimental arts and you can hear that in very ingenious and refreshing ideas sprinkled around the record (such as "Palla Bianca con Scritta Rossa" -White Ball with Red Lettering- where two identical signals feed the board and he occasionally mixes the twin signal in to have that otherwise annoying phasing artifact that is simply cool his way and which I had never heard being used creatively before or thought of using at all) or in the occasional passages of noisy dark ambience and sparkles of floor electronics and distorted sampled sequencing. To honor the past there are even a couple of mainly electronic-experimental pieces, like the last two "Se lo faccio morirei" (If I did it, I'd die) and "Il Bambino Tram" (The Tram Boy). The extended poetic lyricism, the fact that all the vocal parts are in Italian and the way they are singed can't escape from reminding me of C.S.I. (not the American TV show, the Italian band you moron!). It's almost like realizing that he has always possessed some of that specific style but now it really bleeds through and shows big time. If you like Daniele's music you should listen to this because you will find the core of what has always been his signature in terms of vocal style, lyrics and guitar noise-ness, strapped to bone and true in his essence. Minimal in structure, maximal in impact. Less is more. More is Daniele Brusaschetto.

Dj Purry Pants: Free CD

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 03 2004
Artist: Dj Purry Pants (@)
Title: Free CD
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ok, I have no idea who Dj Purry Pants is. Google has no idea who Dj Purry Pants is. And it certainly doesn't help when Dj Purry Pants sends me a 3" mini CD-R with absolutely nothing but his email, the envelope it was sent into, the postal stamp and the NY post mark (which I guess means Dj Purry Pants is in NY). Hell I don't even know if this CD is supposed to be self-titled or if the words "Free CD" that he printed on the envelope are supposed to be the title of this "thing", whatever this is... I hate when people do this to us! Anyway, 5 tracks, one minute each: (1) low-fi bluesy harominca solo, (2) a meowing cat, (3) a crazy string instrument solo, (4) a cheesy radio song and (5) some percussive sounds made with bottles or something... Basically a record that my 4 year old son could have made (if I had one). Am I being too drastic? Too hard on Dj Purry Pants? I wouldn't wanna be and those who read my reviews know that I have NEVER been this outspoken about a record... Maybe if this DJ fellow provided some motivation or some notes about this project I could better understand, thus better explain to my readers, but like this, to me these are nothing more than 5 useless senseless 1 minute takes of bullshit that have no reason to exist. Then again this could be the next Frank Zappa genius out there... You never know!

Liars: They Were Wrong, So We Drowned

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 03 2004
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Artist: Liars
Title: They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
Format: CD
Label: Mute
Rated: *****
There is quite a buzz around the Liars: the formerly artsy-fartsy-Williamsburg-based quartet, now living as a trio in New Jersey's woods, have been riding the wave of success (New York Magazine front cover, world tours with Sonic Youth and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion etc), and on February 24th, Mute released their brand new album "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned". Imagine three post-punkers jamming with Einsturzende Neubauten in the middle of the night and in the middle of the Blair Witch Project woods. With lyrics explicitly inspired by the witches of Brocken (the German location where the Walpurgisnacht legend originated) and convulsionary electro-acoustic out-rock meets art-rock meets punk-rock, they broome out the old stuff and make space for their new found experimental soul. They sweep away what people wanted them to be so badly and start with a clean slate of avantgarde/no wave constructions spiced up by hints to industrial and musique concrete. Weird, wired, odd! All in all it's all a game anyway. All they want you to do is go crazy about them and go crazy trying to file them under something, so that when semantics has been exploited and occasionally transformed enough for the occasion, they can move on to a new project and break out of the new box we've built for them... So what's our role in this game? Should we just mention every genre we know so that they are forced to create a completely new thing?


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