Music Reviews



Daimonji: Improg

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 19 2004
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Artist: Daimonji (@)
Title: Improg
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Distributor: Poseidon
Rated: *****
These guys seem to have been feeding of massive doses of Area (the singer almost sounds like a re-incarnation of Demetrio Stratos) and Zehul. Before getting together as a trio on the occasion of a concert also featuring Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden and Bondage Fruite and giving themselves the name Improg, the members were inolved with Ruins, Altered States and Jun Togawa, and of them is the owner of God Mountain records. After that performance (of which two tracks are featured on this CD) they changed their name to Daimonji and entitled the CD "Improg", which as you may imagine is mostly based on improvised music and performance. A fresh fusion of jazz-prog-rock, jiggling with the oxymoron of nowave structures and the artsy fartsiness of experimental avantgarde.

KOJI ASANO: ZOO TELEPATHY + WIND GAUGE + GIANT SQUID

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 16 2004
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: ZOO TELEPATHY + WIND GAUGE + GIANT SQUID
Format: CD
Label: Solstice
Rated: *****
Released on December 2003, ZOO TELEPATHY, WIND GAUGE and THE GIANT SQUID (A collection of short pieces Vol.1 - Works from 1997-1998) are the new releases by one of the masters of concrete music: Koji Asano. Just like the last three CDs release, also this time we've got three very different CDs. ZOO TELEPATHY is the one I like less as the three suites are based on violin buzzes and computer treatement. WIND GAUGE, instead, contains six tracks of improvised piano suites and summer field recordings. The effect is really relaxing and gives to the audience a sense of peace which gives the impression of being really into a desolate field and to be reached by the sound of a distant piano. We can't understand clearly if there's a melody or not but it's a good effect. The third release is the first Asano's collection of unreleased tracks and collects fourteen of them for a total lenght of seventy three minutes. The tracks haven't been released before because Koji has always been more interested into publishing long suites but these sound experimentations are really intriguing and could represent a good starting point for the ones who are afraid of Asano's gigantic discography or by his severe way of build a musical work, based mainly on one concept. This time we've got the opportunity of listening to the many moods and experiments of Koji and this enrich the listening of an occasional listener or of a person like me who like personal and varied works. THE GIANT SQUID contains piano improvisations, electronic treatments, field recordings, mad violins and distorted extravaganza. You can easily understand that this is my favourite one of the lot and for this reason I'll give to this review an high rate...

TRESPASSERS W: Sex And The End Of It

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 07 2004
Artist: TRESPASSERS W (@)
Title: Sex And The End Of It
Format: CD
Label: Somnimage (@)
Trespassers W are a Dutch band with too many albums under their belt, we lost the count. Trespassers W travel across labels, they are crafty and intelligent trespassers. They sing mostly in English, they use all the instruments they deem useful for expression, a true variety orchestra. They not only engage with music, they engage with ideas and should be not only heard but listened to. "Sex and the end of it" delves into some choice moments and icons of 20th century sexuality, both legendary (Josephine Baker) and everyday, mundane anecdotes of sexual pleasure: Fifties’ Dutch housewives ogling at the ice-cream man passing in the street while their men are at work, barmaids ready for a pick-up in the sexually-charged male bar culture, sexual escapades among ordinary, un-heroic couples in ordinary Halifax... Trespassers W have a talent for accurate detail and look at everyday culture (especially their own, or European and Western history in general) with an ironic consciousness of its historical fragility. Maybe this explains also their loving, sometimes nostalgic glance at our past. Sex not only tangles men and women in all combinations, but also men and women with objects and representations sexually filled with pleasure and imaginary anticipation. Therefore we have songs on sex toys ("Newly in stock"), bananas and double-entendres ("Bananalities"), fetishes ("Stiletto" click-clacking with high heels), sex jokes, visual images (a nude painted by Tamara de Lempicka of a woman reclining in a green Bugatti).Was this the sex that gave birth to us, too? Are we the children of this 20th century sex? If this is so, Trespassers W are right to be curious and enquiring, because after all we were born, happily or unhappily, out of those fantasies. "The end" of sex might mean both the purpose of sex, and the end of a certain history of sex. "Cyberporn revolution" hails a potential new era of pornography: "Porno was a man’s boot on a woman’s neck ... the solution is for women to make porn of a better sort". Having said that, what does the music of Trespassers W sound like? "Sex and the end of it" follows different styles as usual, according to the atmospheres suggested by the songs: there are rockier moments, but the overall impression is one of flexible eclecticism, complex moods. You can take it as a film score, with different songs as in a musical. Sometimes it is sung, at other times half-spoken half-sung. It is not an album that overwhelms you, takes you in, rather, if you are disposed to listen to it a few times.

Hans Teuber: Oil

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 03 2004
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Artist: Hans Teuber
Title: Oil
Format: CD
Label: Jackson Street records (@)


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Seattle-based duo of Paul Rucker (cello/bass) and Hans Teuber (alto saxophone) chose the path of improvised music for their new collaborative effort entitled "Oil" and featuring 9 reverb-dipped compositions made of calm atmospheres, canonical playing and freely performed melodies, various noises generated with the cello's strings, neck and body or the percussive sounds made with the sax's keys. Stockholm-based NY-er double-bass player Jair-Rom Parker Wells has some similar material out, while the brass reminds me of some of Gregorio Bardini's or Parts' experiments with breath instruments. For lack of a better category I had to file this under experimental/avantgarde but it is really an album of free-jazz, maybe with a touch of ambient philosophy, for the type of relaxed soundscapes that it generates. A healthy dose of experimentation is to be found either way though, thanks to the two's continuous pushing the envelope with their instrument and because of the fact the the whole thing allegedly hasn't been rehearsed, so even more so interesting and deserving.

Paul Rucker: History of an Apology - the Tusekegee Experiment

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 03 2004
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Artist: Paul Rucker
Title: History of an Apology - the Tusekegee Experiment
Format: CD
Label: Jackson Street records (@)


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Composer and bass player Paul Rucker's "History of an Apology" is a free-jazz avantgarde classical musical project featuring some really fine musicians from the experimental, jazz and fusion scene of the Northwest (including Bill Frisell, Julian Priester, Michael White, Hans Teuber, Jay Roulston, Jeff Busch, Jovino Santos Neto, Bill Horist, Amy Denio, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, Jeff Hay, Neil Gitkind, Erik Anderson, Isaac Marshall, Jacques Willis, Farko Dosumov, Flora Mcgill, Josephine Howell).
The Tuskegee Experiment is that infamous and scandalous experiment conducted on 600 black men between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service to "study" syphilis. The poor men were never told what they were suffering from nor treated to be cured, instead they were left to die so that data could be collected about their disease. A movie was made about this too. This CD has a ROM track that will give you all the info (facts, photos, audio and more) about these horrendous facts.
Mostly horn-oriented, the atmospheres are chilled and almost claustrophobic, oscillating like a lullaby with Paul's hypnotizing bass lines and dense melodic parts by the horns and a swingy drum set that provides for fluidity across the spectrum. People who loved Moe! Staiano's work but need some degree of "normailty", so to speak, mind find this appealing.


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