Music Reviews



The Saboten: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 05 2005
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Artist: The Saboten
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Kanpai records (@)
Rated: *****
The Saboten is Hoppy Kamiyana, Saguaro and DJ Force, three prominent and ground-breaking japanese artists, whose collaboration turns into frenzy and eclectic electronic music that goes way beyond what electronic music usually is and is contaminated with jazz, rock, punk and experimental music... Stuff like this is usually referred to as no-wave, except these three pioneer's rhtyhmical roots are to be found in the most electro/d'n'b areas of their production and their influences. The album is obviously very varied and multifaceted, but it lacks a little in continuity and results somewhat dismembered and unalligned. But if you are into lo-fi sounds which marry hi-fi beats and into experimenting with all sort of musical genres, criss-crossing between them with nonchalance, then you might wanna give this a try. I don't mind extreme and unusual/out of the ordinary, nor do I mind cutting edge or completely out there, I just think Kanapi can and has done better in the first run of releases.

Black Lung: The Grand Chessboard

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2005
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Artist: Black Lung
Title: The Grand Chessboard
Format: CD
Label: Ant Zen (@)
Rated: *****
The never resting David Thrussell's latest effort as Black Lung is represented by "The Grand Chessboard", an instrumental album of glitchy and saturated electronic textures that comes with or as a definite political statement (Thrussell-style!). Consistently less distorted and dark-ambient oriented, Thrussell's work as Black Lung is much more intellegible and structured. It appears to be increasingly based and inspired by rhythm noise while redefining its musical collocation maintaining an overall endeavoring and challenging free spirit, as one would expect in the least. "The Grand Chessboard" contains no vocal parts whatsoever and comes with quotes of Zbigniew Brzezinski (from his 1997 "Basic Books"). There is a regularly issued 6-page unfolding digipack CD release, but there is also a full colour cover LP and a CD+CD EP slimline case version of it (the latter is limited to 501 copies and contains the CD EP "The Sound of Meat").

Muslimgauze: Syrinjia

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 04 2005
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Artist: Muslimgauze
Title: Syrinjia
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Soleilmoon recordings
Rated: *****
While everybody who ones a master of one of Bryn Jones' recordings is riding the Muslimgauze wave and releasing or re-releasing his uncharted percussive-based music, it's getting really hard to focus on the evolution and style of the artist, as all these "new" releases often overlap each other in terms of creation date. If he was still alive I'd say that he's now flirting with the dub/reggae/dancehall formula and adding that element to his peculiar sonority. Of hourse that doesn't mean he is mimicking Sherwood, but he's definitely trying to make a more dancefloor (or hall-) oriented record, people can actually move and shake to and DJs can actually play. On the other hand this double CD is a re-issue. The original was first released in 1998, limited to 850 copies of a 12" vinyl in cardboard sleeve, and only included the first nine tracks (allegedly Jones' plan was to release the other 11 tracks at a later date on a double CD). In July 2004 a collector's 518 copies double CD edition in embroidered silk bag saw the light and then in October this regular jewelbox version, I guess for those who missed the first two. Beautiful artwork.

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.


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