Music Reviews

Dino Spiluttini: Christmas Drone For The Sad And Lonesome

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 15 2017
Artist: Dino Spiluttini
Title: Christmas Drone For The Sad And Lonesome
Format: Tape
Label: TVEI
It’s like the advert says- “a drone is for life, not just for Christmas”. Or wait, is that “a dog is for life”?... Well anyway just because it’s got the word “Christmas” in it, there’s no law against reviewing it in February, so here we are.

It’s not like there’s anything remotely festive about it. Dino Spiluttini serves up a single-track 51-minute evolving chord, a supremely slow and constant wash of sound that’s part a vocal note, part an organ and part church bell, part industrial echo, but none of the above.

In layman’s terms, nothing happens. Elements recede and return subtly but it’s wholly event-free, and with the rich and broad tone that it sustains, it makes it ideal for drowning out the outside world. Despite this, I wouldn’t describe it as either “sad” or “lonesome”- perhaps this says more about the listener than the audio but to me this is a comforting and deceptively simple aural bath; like being wrapped up warmly indoors on a Winter’s day. Give me this and a crackling wood fire and my next Christmas Eve is all sorted…

My review copy cut off abruptly at the 47 minute mark through a 51 minute piece, so if the final four minutes are a complete U-turn into some sort of electro-swing rendition of the Finnish national anthem performed entirely with spoons, then this reviewer for one didn’t catch it.

Paul Wirkus: Discours Amoureux

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 14 2017
Artist: Paul Wirkus (@)
Title: Discours Amoureux
Format: CD
Label: Edition Beides (@)
Rated: *****
Necessary clarification on the following post: it's not a sort of Valentine's Day, even if we love our followers! This applies a fortiori to a release, whose title seems to quote the likewise notorious title of a book (Roland Barthes' ""A Lover's Discourse: Fragments") that many romantic readers generally buy and read after they get somehow trapped by its title, unveiling a previously unknown universe and all the intrinsic illogicality of what they supposedly said to a partner in life! I'm not sure there's a relation between that essay and Paul Wirkus' output, but its abstract essence and the impressive dynamics you'll find in any of the four long-lasting track of this album could let you imagine a possible connection. If you examine the way the opening track "1982" evolves for instance, you could match the movement from the bowel-like and vaguely percussive aural entities of the first half to the almost ethereal body of slightly ringing sonorities of the second half to the "gradualism" of reciprocal understanding in any process of communication (particularly the one between lovers, one of the more meaningless and easy-to-be-misunderstood human language!). You could imagine the core of an initially misunderstood message wiggling inside the frustrating shell of misunderstanding in the first part before their shaking succeeds in breaking this diaphragm and getting clear! In reality, the information attached to the release refers to other semantic field, as "Discours Amoreux" gets described as "a psycho-acoustic essay, a consciously digital ambient album between laptop electronica and field recordings", where "mental strolls – geographic and historical, musical and philosophical – are combined with the real strolls through the green spheres of the summery, loud city on the search for security, calm, a chance to exhale". What matters is what you are going to listen, and Paul managed to build an enjoyable release, where the sense of the transformation of sonic items underlies the emotional states the music of this Polish musician (you'll easily catch some clues of his involvement in projects like September Collective and Kammerflimmer Kollektief) can inspire. Just keep on listening to fall in love with his sound!

Claudio Parodi: Right Error

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 12 2017
Artist: Claudio Parodi (@)
Title: Right Error
Format: CD + Download
Label: Migro Records
Rated: *****
The first thought on this release is about its relationship with modernity: even if it seems a CD, it's in fact an USB key hosted in a CD case with a stereo, binaural and quadraphonic version on this release; so it's something as a farewell to a way of conceiving the release as something to be heard on an hi-fi system. The three version of this work could be easily associated with stereo, headphones and hi-fi system and, from this perspective, it triggers a refection on the role of the environment in music listening: even the stereo version has sharp separations between channels drowned in uncountable moments of silence as requests to the outside world to enter in this release during the experience of listening which is the other theme of this release whose title belong to an answer by Thelonious Monk to a person asking why he was upset after a performance: “I played only WRONG errors!”. As Claudio Parodi states in the liner notes, he interpreted this phrase as an hint that there's something similar to a right error and this concept makes sense at least at a couple of levels: there's a relationship between what's written in a score and how it sounds and there's a relation between the nature of sounds and the way they are organized in a piece.
The stating point, the pivotal wrong error, is a noise produced by a microphone, the Schoeps CMC6 MK4, perhaps by a coupling with a source during a recording session; as this error were recorded, it was stretched and organized according to the text of "Round Midnight" so to insert moments of silence and moving this noise among the aural field. The result reaches his apex in the part three of the track where, for a large part of the track, only the attack of the noise is audible as a text was made only on dots and commas and this is surrounded by four track where what it's heard is a single cell of noise that is used as a mark of a journey through space and this element triggers the final thought about this release.
This work remind us how composition could be considered as the plan of a path from a point A towards B and this journey is the true content of music that has to be comprehensible at the aural level and the pivotal aspect of this release it that shows this process with a remarkable clarity so, even if most people would classify this release as a boring sequence based on a single noise because they see music as something that has to inebriate the senses, it's a release that shows how minimalism has something important to say even today. It could be really irksome to hear for someone but it's food for thought; almost essential.

Genetic Transmission: Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 12 2017
Artist: Genetic Transmission (@)
Title: Chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: *****
According to the liner notes the title is a Polish tongue twister which means "a beetle buzzes in the reed" and this release is based from sound sources which were only arranged in a suitable structures but without any further post-production. Originally published in 2006, this second release in the GT series by Zoharum has a 9 years span from the debut reviewed last week, which showed a rougher and more impact oriented aspect of Tomasz Twardawa, and this is audible from the apparently complex cut-up of sound which requires a certain attention from the listener to isolate all sources from the apparent mess without an ends.
The first track starts quietly with something as the recording of leaves moved by the wind which introduces some electronic resonances and the interaction within the two elements evolves until the concrète noises became the focus of the second part and close the track. The second one (all tracks are untitled) juxtaposes noises and awkward sounds perhaps taken from recordings at the wrong speed. The modified sound of an organ opens the third track that is a collage of sparse sound giving the impression that he was searching for more developed language instead of the impact of his first releases. The fourth track oscillates between quiet moments based on drones and resonances and furious ones based on small samples which create a sort of organized chaos. The fifth one features samples played at higher speed so there's a sort of thick mass of moving sound until a carillon humorously closes the track. This release ends with the ticking of the clock opening the last track and introducing a sequence of metallic sound reminding the first days of this project and marking a return to his industrial days.
When the process of isolating the elements of the track is finished, the listener is surprised that the sounds where not post produced so this is a raw recording that it's close to a full planned release. Remarkable.

Brume: Mother Blast

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 11 2017
Artist: Brume
Title: Mother Blast
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Grautag (@)
Rated: *****
If we consider the fact that most of the tracks included in this umpteenth release by French wizard of electronic industrial Christian Renou, who resurrected his notorious moniker Brume in 2008, have been composed in 2014 or are old tracks revisited between 2013 and 2014, could let you surmise this album was stored in some drawer before it could have been taken out of it at a moment when it could sound apter to the renewed fears of a forthcoming apocalypse. Nowadays the spectre of a nuclear holocaust got massively fed by a series of doomsayers and catastrophists, who seized the opportunity of spreading panic-inducing and tragic opinions related to the recent political facts, so that this time seems to be ripe enough for a release, that gives an X-ray to the more disquieting trace that mankind left on modern history. Christian always refused to be filed under some stylistic label by means of the same old argument according to which labels are just a tool of marketing (I don't entirely agree with such an opinion, to be honest, as labelling music is sometimes a useful way to give an idea to listeners) and he often succeeds in escaping any attempt of sticking a precise definition by melting techniques and references that belong to many areas (primarily industrial, electronic, dark ambient, musique concrete, but also some outputs by Richard Pinhas' Heldon, Boyd Rice or Death in June), so that I wouldn't mind such an idiosyncrasy is a hoity-toity symptom. Besides such a minor matter, Monsieur Renou masterfully focuses on a sort of soundtrack that could perfectly fit the waiting of a nuclear bombing inside a subterranean bunker since the opening "'Little Boy' Pilot", where he rendered the lucid insanity of Paul Tibbets, the American pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb (Brume included some vocal snippets by this ridiculously heroic US patriot, who showed no regrets for having killed more than 80 thousand people by invoking reasons of state), to the sinister squeaking and the roaring rattling electro-rock of the final "Panzerfaust" - many musical gemstones in between for the lovers of Brume's music such as the sadly evocative "Victorian Washing Machine" and "Ersatz-Stellungen" or the ominous kind of tragic tribalism of tracks like "Sluggy Tango" or "Wish You were not Here" -. The references quoted by Nicolas Moulin, label manager and founder of grautag, who released "Mother Blast" and considered Brume's seminal album "Permafrost" a source for inspiration for the artistic path of the label, are guessed: "Mother Blast could be considerate as the second step of Permafrost - with some updating, but not only- but overall, the eternal state of ultimate cold war music and its endless no man's lands, where rhythms are growing in sound layers like bunkers of Russian Test nuclear site « Semipalatinsk » or those witch haunting the Ireland of JG Ballard « terminal beach ».

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