Music Reviews



VV.AA: Words Becoming Vol. 1/2

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 09 2002
cover
Artist: VV.AA
Title: Words Becoming Vol. 1/2
Format: CD
Label: Flesh Made Word
Distributor: Flesh Made Word
With song titles like "What is this Dimension Where I am Encased Within A Mile Deep Pit of Feces?" this can only be interesting, even if on the titles alone. That one brought up some images I could have easily done without though! The sound runs the gamut of Flesh Becomes Word as well as some artists from labels like Frozen Empire Media (new home of Gridlock), spanning a large roster of industrial and ambient artists, some combining the two. My favorite is by Cdatakill on Volume one, with it’s classicly analogue keyboard lines plinking over tricky time signatures and sound effects sounding like they came from the game Guardian Legend (my fave game, and my first intro to electronic music ever back when I was 7. It’s still an analogue MIDI masterpiece), definitely something to get tranced out to. Overall both discs back to back have a pretty flowing mood about them, though I prefer Volume 1 and it’s more analogue, ambient sounds to the more quiet sounds of Volume 2.Rating 1: 9Rating 2: 7

VV.AA.: Tel Aviv Aftermath

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 09 2002
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Tel Aviv Aftermath
Format: CD
Label: Topheth Prophet (@)
An interesting compilation of various artists coming from Israel, which inevitably signs the peculiarity of this record in some of its manifestations; track 10 features no artists but "One minute of silence - for the memory of all those who violently lost their lives in the middle east conflict, except those who took other lives while losing theirs". Scars are manifest. The sampler, superbly packaged in a stylish layout with an informative full-colour booklet, ranges from various forms of electronica (Grundik-Slava, Screening, Forma, VectorScope) to rhythmic industrial (New Jerusalem Defense Forces), from ambient (Chaos as Shelter) to avantgarde and electroacoustics (Igor18, HU) to proto-apocalyptic folk (Agnivolok) and a mix of jazz, ethnic music and electronics (the final 17' jam by The Crossfishes). I think it'd be pointless to go into details about personal tastes - all tracks are good in their fields, with a few excellent ones. I'd quote Chaos as Shelter, good as always, and HU as being particularly inspiring - the latter with an amazing concrete track obtained by playing a metal helmet! Both projects are actually manifestations of Vadim Gusis, also in NJDF, Agnivolok (new album just released by Stateart!) and The Crossfishes, and the man who mastered the compilation itself. I'd say, check this release out, the Israeli experimental scene seems to be incredibly healthy and propositive. The cd is also distributed by Stateart.

Mimetic: Data Sensitive/Be-At Sound A

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Dec 05 2002
cover
Artist: Mimetic
Title: Data Sensitive/Be-At Sound A
Format: CD
Label: Parametric
Mimetic is the solo project from Jerome Soudan (drummer of Von Magnet). This project is a rather ambient-trance project heavy on electronic and purcussive rhythms which utilizes many spoken word samples throughout. Catagorically it is somewhat in the vein of Autechre, Sven Väth, Kreidler, and others in the more experimental electronic techno and ambient influenced genres. Like the other Parametric artist Mlada Fronta, Mimetic is very eclectic and experimental electronica that is also very beat heavy and subterranean. Some tracks are very dance driven and others are created with more of an ambient and spoken word structure. Mostly disc one is a combination of late night dance tracks which utilize extremely non-standard sound structures and create a sort of danceable architecture of sound. Heavily industrial and noise influenced there are lots of gritty sounds but not the raw structure of early industrial but instead the heavily self-designed styles of artists like Kreidler and Converter if you can imagine the two combined you 'might' get a mild idea of what this is like. Imagine if Digweed was into Noise as well except that even the 'gritty' sounds maintain a heavily electronic and 'clean' feel to them, nothing too harsh - similar sound structures and ambient electro textures but with more of a trance and dance percussion beat to the tracks. I personally love the 'subterranean' feel many of these tracks tend to evoke. This album is definitely who like unpredictability, heavy creativity in audio structures and sounds, and grooving to some really funky grindy beats. There's also a bit of Kraftwerkian influence to parts of this which are mostly evident in the 'hidden' track at the end of the disc. "Man's attitude goes some ways, the ways life will be. Is that something you might agree with? ..." This is the question posed at the beginning of the second CD. This is followed by heavy throbbing noise rhythms. Amazingly this is also the theme of a book I'm currently reading which was written by the founder of the Science of Mind institutes and churches by the same name. The concept is that what you think becomes your reality. The statement above is almost the antithesis of this stating that your thoughts are drawn from your surroundings toward what the inevitable future holds. Just food for thought when you hear the entire sample which continues with, "Now did you answer because that's what you thought I wanted to hear or did you think about what I said and answer because you truly believe that to be right? What'd I say? So since you agree you must be a person who does not care about the good life. Well stop for a little second, think about it." [this is where track two comes in with heavy beats] Disc two is more of beat heavy Noise-based rhythm and percussion tracks. The first CD being more techno and experimental the second stands out like a separate album based on noise and rhythm. Somehow there manages to still be quite a bit of a Kraftwerkian affair, compare track 3 to Kraftwerk's "Computer World" and "Trans-Europe Express". Maybe it's just the analog bleep tones but that's what it reminds me of anyway. The fourth track does include some vocal sampling and more of an EBM feel to it, sort of similar to Cage Decay's "Radio Penetration". Track 6 just plain bumps, grinds and drives it home! Some of the tracks are droning rhythms but damn if it don't get under your skin and into your psyche', very Converter-like. This disc also has a hidden track at the end of which is composed of almost pure noise and a 'flobby' rhythm that at first seems barely able to function properly. This builds to become noiser, harsher, and more 'cluttered'. This disc is more for the fans of bands like Scorn, Converter, Winterkalte, etc..

David Lee Myers & Thomas Dimuzio: Uncertain Simmetry

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 30 2002
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Artist: David Lee Myers & Thomas Dimuzio
Title: Uncertain Simmetry
Format: CD
Label: Korm Plastics (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De), Digital Narcis (Jp) and more...
San Fran's vintage experimental musician Thomas DiMuzio (read review of his "Mono::Poly" double CD on Asphodel records elsewhere on these pages) and NYC's Arcane Device member and audio/video artist David Lee Mayers, have engaged into the coast-to-coast mail collaboration, which eventually lead to "Uncertain Symmetry", after the two played together at the renowned Tonic club in NYC's Lower East Side. They actually started working together in 1991 for the Generations Unlimited record outlet and eleven years later they picked up the pieces of that collaboration and started all over again. They have been shipping each other CDs with feedbacks and both have been editing and re-arranging all of that into a blend of astral feedback-based music. Mayers is actually the inventor of a portable device he calls the "feeback machine", which he has been playing with since 1987. Obviously to recognize the differences in style between the contributions of one and the other, you'd have to have a throughout knowledge of their music, but even if you do, in this record it is almost impossible, considering the bicoastal ping-ponging has been going on for a long time. Considering the source of the material expect sonics that develop mostly in the mid to hi-range frequency spectrum. What I found interesting is that the result is not harsh material but has rather got a certain "cosmic" feel to it which is kinda pleasant and relaxing. Besides the two URLs provided for your convenience in the header of this review, you may also visit Dimuzio's Gench (www.gench.com) and Dimuzio's personal website (www.thomasdimuzio.com) as well as Myers' website (www.pulsewidth.com).

Roel Meelkop & Tore Honore Boe: Brombron 03: Sovezacht

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Nov 28 2002
Brombron's 3rd chapter (see Bjorgulfsson/Ohlsson review for more info on the series or check out extrapool.nl) brings together Tore Honore Boe (known for choosing unusual formats such as records, floppies, micro-cassettes and somehow involved with the Origami Republika collective) and long time experimenter Roel Meelkop (also one third of Kapotte Muziek and Goem and one fifth of THU20). Their involvement in field recordings and experience with sound manipulation translates into a feast of subtle sound occurrences and mellow ambience. If you listen to this at a moderate volume you won't hear much because the dynamics keep a low profile and rarely peak, but if you turn it up you'll discover a world of small glitches, low rumbles, and mid-range floors that were probably getting lost among the noise of your room's steam heat unit or the outside traffic noise dampened by your closed window...


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