Music Reviews



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.

JGRZINICH: Intimations

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 07 2004
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Artist: JGRZINICH (@)
Title: Intimations
Format: CD
Label: CMR/Maaheli (@)
Rated: *****
Multimedia artist John Grzinich has a remarkable series of releases under his belt in collaboration with mnortham, Seth Nehil (who indeed helps with some recordings on one track of this cd) and the Frequency Curtain trio, but oddly enough this is his first solo album. Co-released by CMR (New Zealand) and Maaheli (USA/Estonia, where Grzinich currently lives and works), "Intimations" immediately stands out as one of the best 2004 releases. Grzinich reaches a synthesis of field recordings and electronics which is, simply put, trascendental beauty. This kind of delicate, yet extremely powerful "acoustic ecology" reminded me of Lionel Marchetti's "Portrait d'un glacier" - textured organic drones created with a perfect merging of concrete sounds (running water, cicadas, blowing branches...) and electronic processings. The mystical intensity of "Sun in hand, stone in water", based on resonating grand piano clusters, also brinds to mind Osso Exótico's equally moving "Church organ works". Grzinich's writings in the inner sheet also offer interesting insights and theoretical reflections about sound, composition and listening experience. A truly awesome release.

BJÍRG┌LFSSON/PIMMON/THORSSON: Still important somekind not normally seen (always not unfinished)

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 01 2004
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Artist: BJÍRG┌LFSSON/PIMMON/THORSSON
Title: Still important somekind not normally seen (always not unfinished)
Format: CD
Label: Crˇnica
Rated: *****
Coming in a gorgeous psychedelic layout, this cd documents the live performance of Heimir Björgúlfsson, Helgi Thorsson (both from Stilluppsteypa) and Paul Gough aka Pimmon recorded at the Melkfabriek, Den Bosch (The Netherlands) in October, 2002. The recordings were edited some time later by mighty Robert Hampson (Main, Comae, ex-Loop, Godflesh, Indicate etc.) at his Thirst studio. The laptop, etc. trios live recordings have become quite frequent, and sometimes the results are very good, as in the two Fenn'o'berg discs. So now, does the result live up to the names involved? I guess the answer is, unfortunately, no. This is a flow of the usual digital frequencies, glitches, hisses, samples, minimal rhythms etc., but without the coherence and quality that one could expect from these artists. There are some fairly engaging moments (track 1 and 4, for example), but as a whole this is just mildly interesting. Probably the original performance just wasn't that strong, which is not a crime since it's not easy to improvise with this kind of sounds and always have a super-tight output. Not bad, just uneventful.

PAUL BRADLEY: Sepulchral

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 30 2004
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Artist: PAUL BRADLEY
Title: Sepulchral
Format: CD
Label: Twenty Hertz (@)
Distributor: Die Stadt, Drone, Forced Exposure
Rated: *****
Paul Bradley has released a quite impressive series of albums and eps over the last few months, mainly on his own Twenty Hertz and on his usual collaborator Colin Potter's ICR. "Sepulchral" is a limited cdr release (1 track, 38 minutes), and the title may suggest some continuity with the "Immure" 3" on the Locus of Assemblage. In reviewing that nice ep I mentioned Koener and Lull, but this time Bradley's excursions in extreme ambient go even deeper - "Sepulchral" is quintessential solipsism. The sources are "guitars and processing", but as expected from such a title, this is more of a free fall into a bottomless pit. Guitar inputs (feedback?) are expanded into a mist of slowly changing electric drones, assembled in a careful mix: minimal to the max, the work voluntarily avoids peaks or dramatic changes which would ruin the drifting state it creates. It's like watching through a very thick and milky fog - you'll notice lights and shades, but won't recognize any real figure. Terminal ambient from one of the most talented new artists in the genre.

KAGO: Piimas

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 30 2004
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Artist: KAGO (@)
Title: Piimas
Format: CD
Label: Ounaviks (@)
Rated: *****
Released for Ounaviks, a Kohvi Records sub label, Kago's PIIMAS is something you couldn't expect to listen to. I mean, it's the first time I listen to a folkish record with electronic and punk moments. Lauri Sommer created a strange and personal project by melting together really different styles of music. The 26 tracks of the album are a surprise, because you can't imagine what's next. You can find acoustic guitar based songs (which sometimes are treated electronically), choirs sung in Estonian (I suppose), deranged acoustic punk songs and tracks based on Vonnegut´s novels and Brautigan´s poetry where the piano or the guitar create the background. Being particular and really various the album is safe from dullness and if you are into lo-fi music and you appreciate creativity without being afraid of home recording experiments, try this one.


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