Music Reviews



KOJI ASANO: Final Insurance

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 15 2005
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Final Insurance
Format: CD
Label: Asano production (@)
Rated: *****
Believe it or not it's "Asano-time" again, the more I give a look at his discography the more I think he's probably one of the most prolific and eclectic artists coming from Japan nowadays. These sessions see Koji playing the protagonist role mainly behind his beloved laptop and I think that's his most congenial dimension, the range of the recording goes from 1992 to 1994 and the locations are/were London, Tokyo and Saitama. The final result is really good, but considering the fact most of this recordings are ten years old, honestly some of them are incredibly ahead if compared to many of his contemporaries then. The first couple of tracks based in London is laptop "pushing till it gets almost distorted" music (imagine those "ass kicking" Mego releases) while the rest of the british compositions is mainly oriented toward "experimental laptop rumorism" versus ghosts of melody underneath. The following "songs" located in Tokyo have own much more to "electro acoustic music" or to "concrete" music that vaguely reminded me the 3"mcd on Metamkine ("Corridor" could be a composition signed by Chion). The closing session of the cd is the one recorded in Saitama, the oldest one (1992) but the also best: it reminded me of the cd "Sanctuary" where Asano was manipulating one of his classical composition through a computer, the minimalist feeling is the same even when he's not working with a piano and what a good taste!. If you never heard anything by Asano maybe this could be a good way to introduce your ears to his polymorphous musical dimension.

KOJI ASANO: Takoyakikun

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 14 2005
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: Takoyakikun
Format: CD
Label: Asano production (@)
Rated: *****
Koji Asano it's back and of course here you can get again some unconventional music, but could you imagine Asano in his "rock version"?!. This time Koji is not behind his usual laptop but he's playing the role of the "guitar-hero" in a rock (prog-rock) band. Prog music in Japan has always had a big resonance and that's the last of many exhibit to prove this old theory, infact this trio (based on guitar ,keyboards and drums) plays "old fashioned" songs with some "japanese extravaganza" here and there. Don't think of Boredoms, Yoshimi or Optical* 8, it's more "traditional-prog-rock" stuff, it sometimes reminded me of a free-reinterpretation of the early Crimson or a minimal new edition of the early Soft Machine even if the jazz element in this case is irrelevant. I think this release have a complete japanese use of melody and rhythms but just in a few particular moments (Ruins had the same sort of influence). But with "weird japenese music" (and you can bet with Asano the experimental element is always behind the corner) you always have to wait 'till it's really over. When the sixth track starts you'll be immediately cast somewhere else...Faust? Amon Dull?..hard to say that but whitout any doubt the song is more "experimental rock" oriented (the way Kraut founders meant it): a classical piano, a light drum and a definitely "odd" guitar melody, weird..damn weird! But my favorite track of the whole record. This' not ordinary rock, not even ordinary prog-rock, the result is partially good and sometimes interesting, honestly I prefer much more Asano behind his laptop but there's no doubt this guy has a lot of ideas and energy and of course talent.

WURT ORGANUM: vaqum

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 14 2005
Artist: WURT ORGANUM (@)
Title: vaqum
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Lately every time I come into releases like the last work signed Wurt Organum I'm kinda surprised how the quality of some home-made cdr can be so good. It seems like Cold Meat Industry got popular almost everywhere in Europe (and not just there). In a previous review you can find searching in the pages of this webzine somebody wrote this guy was "promising"...well: it's true and I think he's slowly taking shape in the best way. I think he reduced the distortion from the past works anyhow now it "focussed a bit better his musical target", cyclic drones and mechanical resonances with some distortions crossing the "sea" like ships. Some sharp noises makes a difference in the tracks six and one, but honestly I think the best thing of this cdr is the structure of its track-list and it's also good it ends without getting boring (for patience' sake!!...since lot's of dark-death-ambient releases are deadly boring). A good improvement from the past, even if there's a lot of work still to be done, but future will tell if Wurt Organum will empower his writing skill.

My First Airport: Buzzaldrin e.p.

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 12 2005
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Artist: My First Airport (@)
Title: Buzzaldrin e.p.
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I'm hard-pressed to find anything I don't like about this release. The songs are immediately catchy. The beats know when to stand out and know when to stand back. Quirky, yet in not such a fashion that the quirkiness gets in the way or undermines the songs themselves. Deceptively simple yet effective. The more you listen, the more the smaller aspects of this release come to life. A variation of a theme... a lyric... a beat. Everything is placed amazingly well. Even the 8 minute long track "Elbows" manages to sustain and hold a trance for the whole duration. Despite it being a CDR/home-made release, the artwork is fantastic. The simple white on black drawings are great and reflect the music contained within the disc itself perfectly. Mellow melodies, creative electronic beats all accompanied by droning acoustic guitars. Some people might find his unique vocal delivery on tracks like "Don't get smart with me, Missy" annoying at first but I quickly accepted his approach and it never got in the way of the song. The more chilled out fans of Snog's last two releases night find a lot to enjoy with this release. Ahhh... now the drawback: it's only 3 tracks long. I eagerly await a longer release.

Ethelscull: ribbons into hysterics

 Posted by Tongue Muzzle   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 10 2005
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Artist: Ethelscull (@)
Title: ribbons into hysterics
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Ethelscull is one Amelia Peel. The 20 track long "ribbons into hysterics" is a really hit or miss situation. Fortunately none of the "miss" tracks are overly long. Recorded on a 4-track 2002 to 2003 the albums recording quality is definitely lo-fi but not hard to listen to. "ribbons into hysterics" works it's best when Amelia gets behind the mic and whisps her soft vocal style over her droning guitar melodies. When this is happening the CD is moving full swing at a slow but hardly boring pace with some great stuff happening. The best examples of this would be the stand out tracks ""perishedinfits", "crash" and "strange fatality". However, when she opts to leave the mic behind, the tracks drop a notch and things get a little boring. The droning, heavily delayed guitars and textures aren't interesting enough on their own to fly solo and unfortunately I'd say that describes just about half of this release. So despite the mixed bag with this release it is still, without question, worth getting a copy if you're a fan of chilled out ambient melodic guitar work with extremely pleasing vocals.


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