Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Sensitive Sampler #1

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 24 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sensitive Sampler #1
Format: CD
Label: Sensitive Records (@)
Rated: *****
SENSITIVE RECORDS is a new label with a real open-minded attitude: from rock to avant-garde, to classical music. This sampler shows 14 tracks taken from four forthcoming albums, whose red line is the high quality of music and the capacity of mixing different styles in a charming way.
About NICK GREY & THE RANDOM ORCHESTRA, the ensemble is an international music collective leaded by the Rumanian artist Nick Grey. In these tracks, taken from "Regal Daylight" album, they continuously combine different influences, using soft drum machine, distorted guitars and classical instruments. I'm totally shocked by the first track "thievesamongthorns": starting with a classical intro, with the collaboration of the famous tenor Vasile Moldoveanu, soon shows a soft, sweet and melancholic atmosphere, with a wonderful clarinet leading to a land of memories. "Intruders" reveals a more strong attitude, alternating a powerful electric guitar with piano and violin, while "Parachutes Drops" is a darker song, gloomy with its strings and glockenspiel-like carillon.
EMPI (L’Eglise du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé – The Church of Reversed Peristaltic Movement) is another project which involves Nick Grey, a French speaking ensemble now releasing the second album, a totally mad and distorted mix of romantic landscapes and visions of pain. While listening to their "V" I’m submerged by an atmosphere a la Debussy, with a moving and desperate duo piano-violin. "Pression", instead, with a pulsing beat and a repetitive clarinet is like being closed in an asylum, with people whispering everywhere, knocking at the walls and far machinery noise. "Haiku" is a long walk between moist walls and "Pédagogie du tremblement" is your final arrival to Hell, a nightmare on Earth. PINKERTON & GREY is a collaboration between the Nick Grey and the Armenian pianist and soprano Jasmine Pinkerton. The tracks, taken from forthcoming album "Dress Rehearsal" show melodic and really listenable compositions with piano and voice. "Wheelchair lovesong" is a sad song with some Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" echoes, while the wonderful "Song 6" brings you to a sunny and drowsy Spring afternoon, in the last decades of 800, lay down on the grass reading Verlaine’s verses. "Israël" starts softly, bringing me to memory the best songs of Ashram, to increase in a crescendo that involves the listener in a vortex of emotions and passion.
At last, unusual for CHAIN DLK’s readers, are two tracks from VASILE MOLDOVEANU’s "Arias": this is the reissue of an opera arias album by the great Rumanian tenor. Surely I cannot review the music: the two tracks in the sampler are the wonderful Puccini’s "E lucevan le stelle" and Bizet’s "Agnus Dei" and they need no additional words by me. What I can say is that Moldoveanu is a really great interpreter, with a deep and powerful voice, revealing that classical music has not yet lost its charm and that you can find it only in real artists, far from TV-business "Three Tenors" or "Pavarotti and Friends".
It was really a long time I hadn’t listened to a so touching compilation. Every artist is a must and I’ll wait anxiously the release of their albums.

ANDRE HARDANG BORGEN: Barokken (1600-1750)

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 23 2004
cover
Artist: ANDRE HARDANG BORGEN (@)
Title: Barokken (1600-1750)
Format: CD
Label: TIBprod (@)
Rated: *****
Norwegian artist André Hardang Borgen (involved in several other projects, including the Norwegian Noise Orchestra) collects here ten tracks recorded between 1997 and 2003. As the time period is quite relevant, I wonder if they're presented in chronological order. Anyway, Borgen is into glitchy muzak, very often reminding of Oval in its half detached half obsessive use of minimalist loops and clicks. Rhythms are there, though not obtrusively - "sjSkft" sounds like a crazed videogame, "666+888" is almost "regular", and "just a mouse-click away", one of the best tracks, is hypnotic and tribal. The main problem is that there are good ideas but they almost always remain sketches, which can put off the listener after a while. The last track, "Kunst-hus", is definitely the best one, and a promising direction if it's the most recent by Borgen's: a recognizable, nostalgic (guitar?) melody, gentle crackling electronics and a sweet whispered voice. More "song-like" than everything else in the cd, and surely more engaging for the listener.

TOMAS KORBER/KAZUYA ISHIGAMI: Mistakes

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 23 2004
cover
Artist: TOMAS KORBER/KAZUYA ISHIGAMI
Title: Mistakes
Format: CD
Label: Neus318 (@)
Distributor: C.U.E. Records
Rated: *****
Composed between 2002 and 2003 as a mutual manipulation of sounds, "Mistakes" is an album of (mostly?) electroacoustically processed guitar sounds. The inputs, whatever their original form may have been, were de- and re-composed into a sort of primitive idea of guitar: just metal and electricity. Kazuya Ishigami (aka Daruin, Billy? member and Neus318 owner) offers two tracks: the first one is made of several fragments, minimal scratches and autistic granular sounds. Track 2 begins with a gentle arpeggio (the only recognizable guitar playing in the whole disc!), soon to be smashed into digital particles, loops, drones, reverses and delays. More varied than track 1, but not as cohesive, and unfortunately ending with abused harsh noise. Swiss impro-guitarist Tomas Korber opts for a much more subdued approach: his track opens with almost lowercase low frequencies, to gradually rise up to a droning mass (circa isolationist ambient), and then fall again into silent ashes. An interesting record, with several fascinating moments (especially in Korber's), just not that cohesive throughout.

MARUFURA FUFUNJIRU: Fragile

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 23 2004
cover
Artist: MARUFURA FUFUNJIRU (@)
Title: Fragile
Format: CD
Label: Neus318 (@)
Distributor: C.U.E. Records
Rated: *****
I know absolutely nothing about Marufura Fufunjiru, except that this cdr is released by Kazuya Ishigami's Neus318 - but what a nice surprise it is. Fufunjiru's music is a moody, solemn flux of ominous droning frequencies and soft digital ashes, at times nearly silent, at others building up menacing walls of sound (though not with a brutal harsh noise aesthetic). As this music is obviously nothing new or unheard by now, Fufunjiru's strength lies in his taste and in the care for every single sound particle - there's a lot of discipline behind these free-flowing sonic clusters. I can't compare it to anyone in particular, but an artist who has experimented with a similar drones+glitches sound is Cordell Klier; but you can also think of a mix of performers as diverse as Lull, Asmus Tietchens, Akira Rabelais and Mika Vainio (circa "Onko"). A truly enjoyable release, with a definite emotional impact: glass is fragile, but it can cut deep.

CM VON HAUSSWOLFF: Three Overpopulated Cities Built By Shortsighted Planners...

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 19 2004
cover
Artist: CM VON HAUSSWOLFF
Title: Three Overpopulated Cities Built By Shortsighted Planners...
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa
Distributor: Audioglobe
If I have to be totally honest, I haven't understood Cm Von Hausswolff CD at all! Cm visited different airports in the East area (Bangkok, Laos, Tokio, etc) and he was surprised by the amount of buildings, streets. The effect was awkward because he had the impression that these buildings are like beings that live a life of their own. Later he visited an abandoned church in Chicago and he had that feeling again, because these buldings are like ghosts.Symbols of what people wants to forget because those presence remember us how lousy we are. Too bad these informations aren't printed on the CD booklet! Listening to the four long tracks "Mexico City And Tokio", "Muhammad Murtala or so...", "Bangkok" and "Leftover Gods In Chicago" the only thing I found was noise, feedback and a lot of moments of silence. That's all! The most interesing thing for the moment is the title of the release: "Three Overpopulated Cities Built By Short-Sighted Planners. An Unbalanced And Quite Dangerous Airport And An Abandoned Church". The sounds don't make me feel nothing more than indifference and even if I've understood a little more what Cm meant, I can't say I had enough stimulus to appreciate it.


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