Music Reviews



6-North: I'm here in my Heart

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: 6-North (@)
Title: I'm here in my Heart
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Debut album by this Japanese combo whose offering consists of a beautiful blend of soft electronica, experimental avantgarde music, jazzy fusion and zeuhl music... Robert Fripp, Weather Report, Lyle Mays, Jeff Back's latest, John Zorn, the Legendary Pink Dots, Klimperei and a lot of other musicians could be their references. It's hard to categorize and even to describe this because there are so many influences involved. If you know the label you might have a pretty good idea, if you don't you have to try to image the above and a lot more, all interacting together as it really goes from almost plain jazz Mays-like piano ballads ("Inner Crystal", "Circular Pinx"), to more experimental quasi slow no-wave (the title track), to progressive rock mixed with free-jazz, fusion and small bits of funk ("Silence, Darkness") and beautiful acoustic ballads ("Where No One Has Gone") with Enya-style female choirs. This album has female pop/jazz vocals (in Japanese) in some tracks.

Priority: Life is Decomposed in Fragments

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: Priority (@)
Title: Life is Decomposed in Fragments
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Six North member Takumi Seino's side project Priority is a beautiful and enchanting mixture of electronics and fusion... The guitar playing reminds a lot of Pat Metheny or Allan Holdsworth (mostly clean or slightly treated, but also lightly or heavily distorted, obviously with lots of pedalling, fade ins and fade outs, like in fusion's best tradition!) coupled with a beautifully deep fretless bass and an intense and pretty much cymbals-only drumming create a relaxing environment. Samples and layers of soft synthetic sounds help the electronic side create an ethereal and heavenly blend with melodic, meditative and melancholic jazzy vibes, awesome atmospheres and a terrific dreamlike overall experience... A unique album, so intense, so beautiful and so powerful. One of my favorite electronic/fusion records!

Brand X: the X-Files

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: Brand X
Title: the X-Files
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Musea (@)
Not sure this is actually suitable content for a publication like ours but we'll do an exception because it's a label that usually does different stuff... Not that I dislike it, on the contrary, I dig this stuff a lot personally, but we have made a commitment to our readers to be as true as possible to our initial goal to give exposure to electronic/industrial music and the like... So please, labels out there, take a note and remember we don't review jazz/rock/blues/metal etc... Anyway back to what is important in the end: the music. We hope that readers, the band and the label will excuse if we have used a couple of lines of this space to clarify our goals and guidelines, once again.
So, first off, Moulder and Scully don't have anything to do with this. Brand X is an american combo (I belive they're New Yorkers) with incredibly talented musicians who's been performing a mixture of progressive rock and free-jazz with occasional sprinkles of funk for at least two decades. Almost no vocals (except for guests) these two gifted cats, John Goodsall (guitar) and Percy Jones (bass), supported by a number of likewise hot musicians, basically plays fusion in its maybe truest form. Think Uzeb, Jetro Tall, Earth Wind and Fire, Japan, Gong, Weather Report, Genesis, Pat Metheny and other prog-rock/art/fusion/jazz bands out there...
"The X Files" is a double CD "best of" that collects tracks spanning between 1976 and 1999, including studio out takes, live versions (NYC and Japan Tour), remastered stuff, previously unreleased tracks etc. Special guests include Bayete, Malcom Bruce, Bill Bruford, Mike Clarke, Phil Collins from Genesis (singing through a really crappy mic), John Giblin, Frank Katz, Robin Lumley, Pierre Moerlen (Gong), Morris Pert, Chester Thompson, Danny Wilding and at least a half dozen others.
Considering our audience's tastes not too many will probably run to a store to get this, which is too bad 'cause its a good collection of tracks (both for who simply loves good music and for those crazy about virtuoso, as there is some really dope playing, especially guitar solos and bass fingering...) and according to the band: "this is a much more accurate representation of our work over the past 20 years than anything else that is out there".

VV.AA.: Itself #7 - Ware Ware Ha Saikou No Kyokugeishi Wo Nakushita

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Itself #7 - Ware Ware Ha Saikou No Kyokugeishi Wo Nakushita
Format: CD
Label: Itself (@)
72, 80, 53, 28: these are the figures; respectively minutes, fragments, tracks and artists. Monia De Laurentis, one of the ever-busy key characters of Italy's underground noise scene has been leading her cool small-print-no-spacing-diy-'zine Itself for years and has now apparently decided to put out a CD compilation and call it after her publication, plus some other unpronounceable words. I don't know any of the bands but in case you do here's the list: The Saboten, Yuko Nexus, Ex Girl, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Aki Onda, Astro, Calculated, Love Furniture Lounge Bears, Gaji, Sakamoto Hiromiti, Thermo, Tipographica, Yoshio Machida, Sawai Kazue, Hadiot, Kangaroo Paw, Matsumoto Tadashi, Thermo, Pugs, Animo Computer, Hoppy Kamiyama, Phnonpenh Model, Kirihito, Aki Onda, Cherry & Co., Kazutoki Umezu, Droptone, Freak from Ocean, Lion Merry. Obviously most of these folks are asian and another thing they all have in common is that they play some crazy-ass freaky noise cut-ups mixing fusion, free-jazz, muzak, no-wave, musique-concrete, avantgarde, experimental, bricolant, exotic and other uncured insanity. If you are into any or all of the above this gotta be right up your alley. Addresses included.

Frank Phal & Klimperei: Music for Desserts

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
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Artist: Frank Phal & Klimperei (@)
Title: Music for Desserts
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Distributor: In-Poly-Sons
Everybody knows experimental musique-concrete band Kimperei, but in this case they rather play a role of supporting musicians for what seems to be a project by Frank Phal, previously with the American band Only A Mother, one of the last surviving "mecanic" musicians, or those extravagant, inventive and creative people who build their own weird instruments and then use them to make records. Just reading the extensive list of instrument's names used in this record is almost worth the record itself: buzzsaw uke, microcontrolled air organ quartet, binary doorbell quintet, washing machine, virtual pet, shrutti box, automatic zithers and many more. While Klimperei add more conventional instruments to the ensemble, call me crazy, but I actually think they added that french touch to the work too... I am not just talking about traditionally romantic instruments, but about the vibe... Nostalgic moods, simple melodies, a very orderly petit chaos and that "a la maison" feel. Titles such as "Snow Eggs", "Ladies Kisses", "Cat's Tongues with Cream", "Almond Rock Cakes", "Espresso Cheescake", "Crepes Suzette" and "Melon Sorbet" complete the picture of this random caprices, avantgarde bricolage, appetizing experimentalism and romantic voyerism... Keep room for dessert!


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