Music Reviews



AAL: 13

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 07 2002
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Artist: AAL (@)
Title: 13
Format: CD
Label: S'agitarecordings (@)
First of all, this cd-r has a brilliant packaging: a cloth (hemp?) bag with hand-printed titles, containing the cd-r with a photocopied cover and an A4 sheet with poems and information. Quite simple but elegant and effective. S'agitarecordings is run by Logoplasm, who have some interesting releases out, check out their site for more information. AAL is the solo project of Davide Valecchi, a young musician cultivating both abstract ambient with a Cosmic/Kraut slant (he self-released two cdr's I'll review soon) and electroacoustic compositions. This cd-r belongs to the latter, with really sporadic incursions in the former (see the long final track "Il giorno non è ancora spento"). While it actually features tracks with instruments like synths, guitar and piano, they're used in an expressionistic, unorthodox way (mainly through minimal repetitions and interactions), and perfectly merge with the field recordings. Sounds come from a country environment, but the general feeling – now I talk about personal impressions, but the poems sort of back me up – is not exactly bucolic tranquility. There's a shifting mood between melancholy and a kind of abstract suspension. Possibly some latent anguish, some sense of decay or transformation (ashes, dead leaves, organic combustion). Living in the country, I feel these sounds and atmospheres very close. The work is fairly long (65') and not all the tracks manage to create that mood, but again, it's more something you have to experience and relate to rather than simply "enjoy". After all, this is "cosmic ambient" too – just more bound to the earth than to the sky.

Teleform: Cosine f

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 02 2002
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Artist: Teleform
Title: Cosine f
Format: CD
Label: Domizil (@)
Distributor: Dense
And the swiss folks are back ladies and gentlemen, with an even more radical experimental record. Teleform, aka Bernd Schurer, releases his second CD on Domizil and takes one step further in the un-linear explotation of noise, the un-establishment of traditional song composition and the most uncompromising deconstructivism. Balancing on the thin line between soft experimental and harsh noise, "cosine f" runs over you for 37 sharp minutes with 35 anonymous tracks (playable in shuffle mode, if you please) made up of buzzes, digital distortion, jitter, crackles and other random hardcore noise. And talk about being true to continuing experimentalism, check out their flickering website, if you dare!

Steinbruechel: Zwischen.raum

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 02 2002
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Artist: Steinbruechel
Title: Zwischen.raum
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Domizil (@)
Distributor: Dense
Pretty much your average Staalplaat record, only this time it is Swiss label Domizil (house/location, in german), sent to us by german promoter Dense. I am extremely glad that finally some stuff is coming in from Switzerland, my home country. No rhythm (except for the «rhythm that emerges only out of the nothingness of the silence»), only discontinued found sounds and digital noises, interrupted by silence, whether it be silence within a composition or silence between two pieces). I especially like Domizil's description when they say that «calmly flowing, the sound is capturing a space, then it is compressed and swings in an intensity that leads the listener to the inside of the sounds»: it's one of those times where it's useless to look for better words when the one we got do already perfectly describe it. This Swiss artist, using the moniker of Steinbruechel, has been around since '96 and has released various 7"'s, CDR's and one LP. The person behind the project also runs the Synchron label. S/he makes a rule out of the process of looking for sounds and utilizing them in a certain way, without forgetting aesthetics, you'll never get scared by a burst of improvise loud noise, you'll rather be floating in the wavy white environment that these soft hi pitched sound produce, eventually bouncing off the complex and asymmetrical webbed structures and patterns that he (or she?) has prepared and is developing under you. The nice art work helps imagination. "Zwischen.ram" (space in between, in german) is a 19 tracks 3" CD that you should check out only if you are open minded enough for light but highly experimental collages.
PS On their website you will also find a web only remix (in the mp3 section). Also check out the very cool flash website of the band!

MURMER: murmer

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 31 2002
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Artist: MURMER (@)
Title: murmer
Format: CD
Label: Bake Records
Distributor: Staalplaat
Murmer uses as sound sources different field recordings which are manipulated, processed and assembled with strategies that resemble some kind of ambient orchestration rather than stricter concrete music. There's a lot of composition behind these tracks. Take my favourite one, ".errum": sources are "air vent on a 73 bus, malfunctioning gas heater, feedback, escalator at Pimlico tube station" – the result is a massive work with tribal metal clattering, a tranquil droning passage, and a crescendo of tweaks becoming an ear-numbing noise storm. A similar pattern is used in ".mmeru", which is "air vent in a red austin mini, wind whistling through a 3rd storey window, air vent on a 73 bus" turning into a hypnotic series of loops. At times the feel is almost ritual, like in the percussive sounds and echoes in ".rumme". There are some minor defects (like a cut&paste feel in some passages, where one can sense the gaps between loops) and some arguable choices (I think the 1st track is a tad too long – 25' -, though the loop is pleasant in itself), but this is a truly great work which shows creative genius and good taste in composition.

Muslimgauze: Hamas Cinema Gaza Strip

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 22 2002
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Artist: Muslimgauze (@)
Title: Hamas Cinema Gaza Strip
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Look who's back... From the never-ending stream of old Muslimgauze recordings (these are from 1998) a new CD has been put together. Quite minimal percussion tracks with kick and snare in addition to traditional percussions, arab/indian-sounding string instruments, up-front voices in arabic language, some man speaking in english about freedom fighters, other every-day-life speaking, women singing and laughing and some nice delay plays with the beat that give it sort of a dub vibe at times. But don't worry his usual overdriven slightly distorted percussive sounds with sitar-like instruments in the back are still to be found on this one too. Occasionally the songs get a little more obscure and mysterious, with an electronic drive to it, like a low frequency bass line, whispered vocals, electronic sounds or stuff like that... That makes it more interesting an appealing!
It's also interesting to know that in a time like this, when the world seems to collectively and indistinctly hate the muslims, Sony DADC (the pressing plant who manufactures pretty much all the CDs you ever owned) refused to print the art work of "Hamas Cinema Gaza Strip" because of the image and text on it and because they didn't want to be related to political propaganda (as if if they don't publish other political propaganda CDs already!!!). I don't find anything offensive in the artwork and there is no text except for titles and credits, go figure what these big-ass corporations are afraid of...


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