Music Reviews

POUSSEUR / MAIN / JECK / OVAL: 4 Parabolic Mixes

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 14 2003
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Title: 4 Parabolic Mixes
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Sub Rosa
Distributor: Audioglobe
Based on "8 ètudes paraboliques" by Henri Pousseur, 4 PARABOLIQUE REMIXES presents four different mixes and approach to what Posseur created in 1972. Recorded live at Le Botanique, Brussels, on November 2001 during the Netd@ys Wallonie - Bruxelles Festival, this double CD presents four interpretation played by Pousseur himself and by Main, Jeck and Oval. All the tracks are digitally treated and each participant to the event gives his interpretation of the original sounds. Pousseur's mix is really chaotic and anarchic while Main's Robert Hampson is more ambient and with a lot of calm moments alternated to powerful ones. On the second CD Philip Jeck is opening with his "Third Parabolic Mix", which is more bleepy and based on drones that are added sequentially creating moments of real noise. The last version is the "Fourth Parabolic Mix" by Markus Popp / Oval, who creates disturbing sequences of hisses and tones but adding also new sounds / samples respect the original sources. This double CD is a document of an interesting event but in this form, it lacks of informations for the people who wasn't there.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 12 2003
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Title: Superfine
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Half Japanese guru Jad Fair teaming up with Jason Willett (The Dramatics, The Pleasant Livers, The Can Openers, The Jaunties, The Attitude Robots...) in this perfect monument to human folly and exhuberance. 20 audio tracks on the cd + 135 (!!!!!) mp3's as data part, so it's like, 5 hours of music, and it IS worthwhile if you can stand the experience. As crazy as the music itself: Fair sings and Willett plays all instruments, and the result, while being adequately trashy and lo-fi, is also incredibly rich and solid - 99% of boring lo-fi slacker balladeurs should study this by heart and try to learn something. Short blasts of deranged creativity, like having Captain Beefheart at a funfair with the Residents, or Alfred Jarry writing folk songs for Syd Barrett to sing. Everything is joyous and out of focus, as in the haze of wine and fever combined. Hand this out if you ever have to explain no wave to somebody. Plus, the layout alone, obviously courtesy of Fair himself, is worth buying the cd.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 11 2003
Title: Vizmilieu
Format: CD
Label: DTA Records (@)
Andrey Kiritchenko is a gifted and rather prolific Ukrainian composer who's put his country back on the map in the experimental electronics field with the activity of his own label Nexsound and, obviously, his releases for appreciated underground labels like Ad Noiseam, Soulworm, Autoplate and, this time, DTA. While releases under his own name delve into the glitch/click'n'cuts sound, Nihil Est Excellence is a weirder, more disturbing creature. "All sound sources recorded with a microphone", but the creepy layout, merging abstract numeric sequences and an underwater larva, gives a more correct idea of what to expect from "Vizmilieu". The expressionistic, non-descriptive use of manipulated field recordings could be loosely associated to López's or Hudak's reasearches, but Kiritchenko's approach is absolutely personal and unique - sound sources are mangled into layers of droning frequencies, soft falls of ashes and echoes, rubbles and scratches. The result is frankly bewildering: these sounds could equally come from a wood, a hospital machinery or a storm of solar winds. Far from being a report of a phenomenon whatsoever, NEX's alien constructions aim to build a world of their own. At times it's like having that larva stuck in your ear, digesting sound before letting it ooze into your eardrum. A strong exercise of discipline and invention; I'm now looking forward to hearing the upcoming collaboration with Francisco López, the meeting of such talents must be no less than fascinating.

BunnyDrums: Simulacra/PKD

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Aug 04 2003
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Artist: BunnyDrums
Title: Simulacra/PKD
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
When first getting into goth, through bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division (as most people are introduced into the whole scene who are actually into the scene not for the fashion haha), I grew up mostly on that charming era we know as post-punk, when the goth bands of yore and New Wave started to pop up. It’s hard to define it as far as a sound as opposed to a feeling defined in an era, but there are those who are just simply post-punk rather than any other genre that came around that time. Happy Mondays, Gang Of Four, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Echo And The Bunnymen,etc. All fit into this mold, and often times the "Madchester" sound-tag. Well, what if I were to tell you that classic post-punk sound that was so clamored in jolly Manchester was right in our backyards in America (in Philadelphia of all places, not New York or even Chicago!)? Well, apparently there was, and a damn good addition at that!Mixing elements of Krautrock, slow funk, post punk rhythmic clashes, and plenty of Phillip K. Dickian psychedelia, and you have the wacky mix that is Bunnydrums. This CD is a re-issue of a couple of their old works from all the way from the mid-80's, which is an unheard of move from Metropolis. You may have heard the comparisons to Joy Division and Killing Joke, but that would be a very loose interpretation indeed and kind of misleading. Imagine taking Talking Heads, Echo And The Bunnymen, Captain Beefheart and Big Block 454 and splattering them together and this would be the result. It’s a very interesting combination, and a good history lesson for those like me who haven’t listened to the 80's post punk sound in some time. And all that lovely 80's production as well! My favorite on this one would have to be the opening track, "Smithson", which I have no idea what it’s about really. But it does sound kind of like the aforementioned Joy Division, with a bit of a Krautrock touch. Rating: 9.

I/O: I/O

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jul 05 2003
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Artist: I/O (@)
Title: I/O
Format: CD
Label: Ebria Records (@)
Packaged in an austere b/w layout, and showing only cryptic tags as a tracklist, I/O's debut cd immediately and stubbornly asks you to focus on (and lose yourself into) sound. A young quartet of drums, guitar, voice and upright bass, I/O (Input/Output) fragment linear playing and rhythm in nerve-breaking sessions of free-form play (in the double sense of the word), recorded live without overdubs. Relying on quiet/loud dialectics, more physical parts emerge from subdued pluckings and sparse sounds, and guitar is then played like a percussion. Voice is no voice but a perfect fourth instrument, with emphasys on phonetic power rather than words or conventional singing - a glossolalia where language is stretched, compressed and finally mangled. Demanding and almost solipsistic in their alchemies, I/O reminded me of Starfuckers (especially those of "Infrantumi") or Storm & Stress, for their oblique but physical approach to improvisation and anti-melodic destructuring, but also of Artaud's and Beckett's experiences in language implosion and revitalization.

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