Music Reviews

radian: rec.extern

 Posted by :maleen:   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Oct 06 2002
Artist: radian
Title: rec.extern
Format: CD
Label: thrill jockey
Distributor: n/a
Radian (Martin Brandlmayr (Drums, Vibraphone, Computer), Stefan Németh (Synthesizers, Computer) and John Norman (Bass)) have been associated with the austrian electonic scene around pita/mego for a while, their refusal to be definded as neither nerd/noise/avantgarde nor postrock always made them fall out a bit. Since they moved to Thrill Jockey it seems like they eventually found a home which provides the patience, rapture and support the trio needs and deserves.
rec.extern is Radians 3rd release, it was recorded and mixed by John McEntire in his Chicago studio and is a result of meticulous engineering and a perfectly thought out concept. But all the minimalism and stringency inheres the most passionate and articulate understanding of what sound can be and how far it can be taken. The sinus tone, clicks and cracks now team up with the reinforced audibility of the vigorous sound of the actual acoustic instrument making an impact as fragile and virtuous as possible.
Watch out for Radians US-tour (with Pan American + Signer), it would be a shame to miss "Jet" where Radian almost start to rock in Thrill Jockeys best postrock-tradition. Almost, if there wasn't this beautifully carried out seriousness.

Anatanas Jasenka: Deusexmachina

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 30 2002
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Artist: Anatanas Jasenka
Title: Deusexmachina
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Gamma-Shop, (NL), Cue (D), (US), (US), Marquee (JP)
«Deusexmachina - a denouement which occurs as a consequence of unexpected situation. Sometimes in a scope of antique tragedy the denouement happens after interferation of a god, which appears on stage as mechanical figure (with help of machine)»: this is the definition of the famous latin words that Lithuanian Anatanas Jasenka provides on his first CD on ElectroShock records: 55 minutes that for some weird unexplainable reason are divided into 10 tracks on the cover but only into 3 tracks on the actual CD - 55 minutes of noise ranging from ambient noise to industrial noise. As a matter of fact, if you think about what Electroshock roster of artist is like, it's not easy to file Jasenka in their catalogue. A record like this would probably look better on the shelves of Ant Zen, Staalplaat, Multimood, Drone or other similar labels. But regardless of that, if you are vaccinated for harsh noise but that's not all your are looking for, don't miss out, listen to this as you may find a number of new dimensions usually left unexplored by those who perform the most extreme arts of sound. In fact, even though occasional bursts of violence are part of the wide range of moods to be found, this CD represents much more than just another Masonna album. It's a complete composition of compositions, composed by blasting decomposed sounds and very quite composite noise. For example, beautiful ambience with manipulated and reversed vocals on soft ethereal string-like grounds are to be found at the other end of the spectrum as well. My only discontent is about the length of the tracks, even though the evolution takes place slowly, it is a little too slow at times, in my humble opinion. In other words, dynamism is key here, so be patient and let yourself in on some multifaceted noise art.

SECOND VIOLIN: Hospital Fugue of Mad Nurse + Victoria

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 22 2002
Title: Hospital Fugue of Mad Nurse + Victoria
Format: CD
Label: Zeromoon
Two cd-rs, both dated 2001, from this experimental noise trio also responsible for many other projects (like V.) and collaborations spawning from the active Zeromoon headquarters. Second Violin is Adam Bohman (voice), Zan Hoffman (tapes, sampler) and Jeff Surak (prepared violin, the neck), aided on "Victoria" by Rinus Van Alebeek (probably responsible for the spoken parts in German). Both works share certain basic characteristics, though "Hospital Fugue..." is in my opinion more coherent and better assembled. SV have a quite original sound which is a blend of chaotic industrial noise, minimalism, ambient, impro and eclectic experimentation, sided by spoken/recited tracks. Manipulated string sounds and electronic loops often manage to create minimal, but well crafted pieces like the two "Dinner music on an empty stomach" ("First course" and "Second helping") on "Hospital Fugue..." - there's an hallucinated feel of gratuitous dada craziness throughout, which could remind (as a spirit, not as a precise sound) of some Nurse With Wound record. Sometimes the improvised parts become a bit tedious, though, as in "Victoria"'s last track, really really long and exceedingly solipsistic.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 21 2002
Artist: COMFORT (@)
Title: S/T
Format: CD
Label: Self-released
An extremely mature and challenging cd-r from this Italian post-jazz-rock quartet (guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards). Comfort's instrumental tracks seem to strive between a solid, almost mathematic structure and liquid free-form detours, and the whole work benefits from this demanding and slightly cerebral quest for variation. Possible spiritual references (but bear in mind that Comfort actually sound like none of them) could be DK3, Don Caballero, Lounge Lizards, early Tortoise or Miles Davis in his electric period, and lots of soundtracks. "Cadillac" would be a perfect soundtrack for a noir movie, with its cinematic incipit, but also has impalpable atmospheric breaks, while "Lo spazio vellica" collapses its quasi-caraibic and reggae rhythms to an aggressive rock crescendo, then again to post-rock guitar dilutions. "Privilegio" is a melancholic bridge between silences and organ laments, re-building themselves in a jazzy melody; "Miriam Raving" starts with gentle impro guitar pickings but evolves into a square rhythm. "Lidia" is gloomy and obsessive, crossed by electronic shivers and lost in a paranoid solipsism. But these are mostly partial and impressionistic descriptions, since every track is more of a microcosm with often sudden - though well balanced - changes of tempos, styles and moods; it would take pages to describe the entire work with accuracy. Really one of the best Italian projects in this field, and I do hope that some label officially releases these tracks, because they're excellent.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Sep 04 2002
Title: Act On Impulse
Format: CD
Label: Frank Mark Arts (@)
ACT ON IMPULSE is the first common release by Martin Birke (Casualty Park), Daniel Panasenko (Sandbox Trio) and Roman Leykam. Soon after putting this CD into my CD player a couple of names and album titles came into my mind: Rain Tree Crow and their album and David Sylvian / Fripp album titled "The First Day". I know that thinking about these two albums the first thing you could remind is the deep voice of David Sylvian and in this is a different case because all the tracks are instrumentals (only "Uninvited Guest" has got some vocal parts) but what made me think about those musicians is the similar approach to sound and the particular way of playing instruments. ACT ON IMPULSE is a great CD full of pathos and great atmospheres. The thirteen tracks have been composed between 1999 and 2002 without pre-rehearsals and the tracks have been recorded by improvising (I think that this is the main explanation of why the musicians chose this album's title). Influences of Sandbox Trio merge with the unusual self-willed e-guitars by Roman Leykam, partly rhythmic, partly calm, hypnotic as well as bizarre ambient landscapes and the effect is something you won’t expect because there are no weak moments or meaningless arty experimentalism. If you love these sounds give a try to this album, you won’t be disappointed.

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