Music Reviews



Iannis Xenakis: Eonta

 Posted by Chris DeLaurenti   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 14 2003
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Artist: Iannis Xenakis
Title: Eonta
Format: CD
Label: Chant du Monde
Distributor: Harmonia Mundi
Those wanting to investigate the startling sonic galaxies of Iannis Xenakis must navigate a constellation of releases on dozens of small and smaller labels. Where, then to begin? Here. Chant du Monde has reissued a superb out of print recording of Xenakis' early chamber and orchestral music: "Eonta"," Pithoprakta" and his breakthrough piece of 1955, "Metastasis," conducted by its dedicatee, Maurice Le Roux. These three works are essential Xenakis: the terrifying banshee brass of "Eonta" (with longtime Xenakis champion Yuji Takahashi on piano), the layered strings (each of the 61 string players have their own part) of "Metastasis," and "Pithoprakta," whose ferocious eruptions can still - after forty-seven years - teach (or inspire?) makers of Black Metal a thing or two. Along with the indispensable CD "Electronic Music" on EMF, this disc is the place to start with Xenakis. One reservation: given the CD's short (39 minutes) running time, this should have been a mid- not full-price reissue, but it's worth it nonetheless. Recorded in 1965, there is some hiss, but overall the sound is fine.

EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN: 9-15-2000 Brussels

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 05 2003
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Artist: EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN
Title: 9-15-2000 Brussels
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Indigo (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe


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I have never been an Einsturzende fan in the past, I knew them because of my brother which collected their early releases until "Halber Mensch". Anyway, I had the chance to see them live around 1987 and it has been a pleasantly shock. Their power and the sound were hypnotising and they almost made the stage collaps thanks to their pneumatic hammers: really impressive. Since then I never listened to one of their releases. There was no particular reason but I wasn't interested enough, maybe. I don't really know but it's not that important. This 2 CD digipak set features twenty two tracks coming from a live concert they did in Brussels back in September 2000. Including, among the others, are: "Silence Is Sexy" (from "Silence Is Sexy" 2000), "NNNAAAMMM" (from "Ende Neu" 1996), "Zebulan" (from "Tabla Rasa" 1993), "Salamandrina" (from "Interim" 1993) and the beautiful "Yu Gung" (from "1/2 Mensch" 1985). As I was expecting the Neubauten I saw are no more. The chaotic metallic structure has been replaced by a semi structured song based on dark atmospheres. It's like they replaced the noise searching for a quieter sound but trying to get the same result. I prefer tracks like "Yu Gung" and "Ende Neu" for their direct approach but also the others are particular and fascinating. In any case a thing is for sure: there are no other bands that sound like Einsturzende Neubauten. The "collapsing new buildings" are also collecting subscriptions to release their next album with the aid of their fans only. Go to their website for further informations. Notice that if you like in USA you don't have to look for this album as an import because Invisible Records just released it. Enjoy...

Robert Nasveld: Music For After Anything

 Posted by Julia Soultanova (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 25 2003
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Artist: Robert Nasveld (@)
Title: Music For After Anything
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Attacca (@)
Distributor: Muziek Groep Nederland
MUSIC FOR AFTER ANYTHING is a double CD by Dutch composer and pianist Robert Nasveld. The great artwork includes very informative booklet with photos and liner notes written by the composer himself that open the door to his creative laboratory. MUSIC FOR AFTER ANYTHING is made up of diverse compositions that basically explore the possibilities of the piano and present a panoramic view on the historic development of the instrument. Nevertheless, piano is not the only instrument on show here. The core of the composition PREPARATIONS FOR COMA is the chirring of a typewriter which is beautifully augmented by the piano bits played by Polo de Haas as well as bass clarinet of Harry Sparnaay. The oldest musical instrument - human voice - dominates in the second track called IMAGINATIONS I. The three-minute track TRIPLUM (perhaps, the most mesmerizing number of the bunch) simply takes your breath away with its magical energy. The composition consists of three separate parts and is performed by the Utrecht Chamber Choir. A subtle shift of view is perceivable in the title track that opens the second disc. It lets you see the new sides of already known phenomenon and situations. This is music of impressions, granting the epilogues with the life of the main story, turning the after word into the linking plot. This after, or the subtlest aftertaste is brought into focus here. The shift of view also results in our changed perception of the episodes of life. The list of these episodes is also included in the booklet and it numbers 22 occupations, events and states: having one?s teeth cleaned, a visit to the social worker, learning of a grant refusal etc.Space and time are the dimensions in which the composer operates, taking them to a special level - the one of the newborn sonic fantasy. Exceptionally beautiful music, although its beauty is not pastoral, but contradictory, unstable, disturbing, capable of stimulating all spiritual forces of the listener. Going through all levels of music, taking in all of its moods, infiltrating its body, we acquire our own versatile experience which is not only musical. For lovers of modern classical music MUSIC FOR AFTER ANYTHING will be a valuable buy.

T.A.C.: Waiting For The Twilight

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 23 2003
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Artist: T.A.C. (@)
Title: Waiting For The Twilight
Format: CD
Label: Small Voices (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
This is the first release for SMALLVOICES, a new label that seems to be concentrated on the experimental side of electronic music as the second release has been the TH26 CD reviewed some days ago by Marc. WAITING FOR THE TWILIGHT is the T.A.C. coming back after five years from their last release "Apotropaismo". As usual Simone Balestrazzi and his crew (each time a different one) for this release changed the sound and the approach to the project. As far as I can listen this new CD seems to be a sum of the last twenty years of T.A.C. music, merging together acoustic instruments, digital bleeps and isolationist atmospheres. Every track has got a recitative female voice that seems coming from another dimension. At first the general atmosphere is really different from the passionate one of the first band's releases. Albums like "Il Teatro Della Crudelta'" were more direct respect this one but WAITING FROM THE TWILIGHT is a multi layered work which plays with cold moods and sharp noises. Maybe a wider variety of ambiences and solutions could made of this CD something more direct but we know that T.A.C. aren't that simple. The band will release soon a new album coming from the same session of "Waiting for the Twilight". A sort of "twin album" titled "Twilight Rituals".

Daniele Brusaschetto: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Feb 20 2003
Artist: Daniele Brusaschetto (@)
Title: Poesia Totale dei Muscoli
Format: CD
Label: self-released
I wonder if I could get away with saying that the new Daniele Brusaschetto album has a more "squat-friendly sound", but if you know what the average offering of that scene is, I think it is really true, at least to some extent. Maybe he was sick of touring places all alone with his machines and seeing those looks in the faces of those who expected some other crappy hardcore trio (I've seen them myself when playing squats with my band) or maybe it's just a natural evolution for somebody who comes from the bands Whip and Mudcake, but it certainly isn't far off from his original sound and its actual soul. With "Poesia Totale dei Muscoli" (Total Poetry of the Muscles) he is turning to his roots and taking a step back from his previous more industrial-loaded sound in order to approach a slightly more easily-listen-able blend of fierce and fiery garagey noise-driven combo playing. The result is strong and powerful. Solid crunchy bass picking, rumbling room-reverberated and heavily compressed live drums, multiple layers of very expressive guitar strumming and up-front deep, doubled and harmonized vocals. I am probably not the ideal person to attempt comparisons in this field, but if you listen to some garage, post-rock, noise-core you'll find plenty of, and considering the affinity with the industrial-electronic sphere you might consider starting from Pitch Shifter or Fudge Tunnel or stuff like that. Lots of the electronics is gone in favor of a more "standard" rock line-up that sometimes sounds Italian, sometimes British, sometimes American. For that matter I think I was more into the older sound but that certainly doesn't mean that the new material isn't worthy of attention, contrariwise I must say I find it quite likable and I appreciate the touch and the tone. Of course he retained his connection with the experimental arts and you can hear that in very ingenious and refreshing ideas sprinkled around the record (such as "Palla Bianca con Scritta Rossa" -White Ball with Red Lettering- where two identical signals feed the board and he occasionally mixes the twin signal in to have that otherwise annoying phasing artifact that is simply cool his way and which I had never heard being used creatively before or thought of using at all) or in the occasional passages of noisy dark ambience and sparkles of floor electronics and distorted sampled sequencing. To honor the past there are even a couple of mainly electronic-experimental pieces, like the last two "Se lo faccio morirei" (If I did it, I'd die) and "Il Bambino Tram" (The Tram Boy).The extended poetic lyricism, the fact that all the vocal parts are in Italian and the way they are singed can't escape from reminding me of C.S.I. (not the American TV show, the Italian band you moron!). It's almost like realizing that he has always possessed some of that specific style but now it really bleeds through and shows big time.If you like Daniele's music you should listen to this because you will find the core of what has always been his signature in terms of vocal style, lyrics and guitar noise-ness, strapped to bone and true in his essence. Minimal in structure, maximal in impact. Less is more. More is Daniele Brusaschetto.


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