Music Reviews



Thilges 3: Polka

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (92)
May 11 2002
cover
Artist: Thilges 3 (@)
Title: Polka
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
16th Thilges 3 release and 6th release in Staalplaat's "Material Series" (please read the review of Heimir Bjorgulfsson's record "Machina Natura" in this section to understand what this series is all about and how it is presented to you): this one uses thin polystyrene sheets as the main material for cover and inlay card (so that is way the cover picture is simply white, cause so is the cover, just a plain white thin sheet of polystyrene!).
Thilges 3 is an Austrian trio that started performing live in 1996 experimenting with "live performance electroacoustic installations", which basically is a technology that uses analog synths instead of MIDI to allow different results, such as focusing on quadrophonic performances (instead of stereophonic) where the venue's size, walls, materials and other acoustical parameters define a new environment that, coupled with the listeners position and relative movement, allow for a new way of conceiving sound and rhythm patterns. All their performances are recorded and archived and only recently have they decided to make them public through a CD series consisting of 10 releases with similar 4-colour covers presenting a different concert (unfortunately narrowed down to a stereophonic recording); plus some other individual releases on different labels, among which "Polka". "Polka" is instead their first studio recording and the only instruments used to record it are a Doepfer analog synth and a Moog Prodigy. Like you may have expected they also are into visual arts.

Transgenic (trans-JEN-ik): Transgenic

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (91)
May 11 2002
Artist: Transgenic (trans-JEN-ik)
Title: Transgenic
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
What at first sight may seem to you as post-core band Biohazard's new record, is in reality the newest work by the American project Transgenic, which is packed in a cool red safeguard specimen bag with a big biohazard symbol on it. So what is there so dangerous about this record? Well it is packaged with a sheet of prescriptions (common uses, how-to's, cautions, side effects and the like). It is supposed to be «used to treat symptoms of postrock malaise and other conditions such as extended drumsolos, jazzwank, shoegazing and studiotan». As by doctor prescription, you should also «not take sounds containing verse and chorus within 2 hours of taking this sound» and «not take 2 doses at once». Anyway... while I am going through my first Transgenic morning dose, I can tell you that it all comes down to pulsing experimental music with disturbing low and mid freq loops that serve to the purpose of trans-inducing beats and turn into obsessive repetitions with layers of sounds and other loops (vocals, noises) on top of it. 17 edgy hard-core experimental noise tracks with a sub-electronic soul and patterns of insanity (or sanity willing to cure to verse-chorus-verse insanity of modern popular music).

Akira Yamamichi: Semilogie (de la metamusique)

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (90)
May 11 2002
cover
Artist: Akira Yamamichi
Title: Semilogie (de la metamusique)
Format: CD
Label: FIRE.inc (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat, Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Fire Inc. (Staalplaat network) put out japanese Akira Yamamichi's second record this year. Besides working with Roji Ikeda between 1990 and 1993, this 63-class jap engineer and film editor (graduated at the Institute of Sound Techniques) is also known for his work as Montage, a breakbeat/jazz outfit whose influence you can probably detect on "Semilogie" as well. In fact it all makes sense when you listen to these eight tracks. Even though they are based on experimental sounds, hi-pitched digital noises and percussive elements, there is a inside "force" trying to escape the rules of pure experimentalism to, maybe, move into different realms (if you look at it this way, then the last reverberated piano-only piece would almost seem like the chant of liberation and freedom, even considering it is digitally and intentionally audibly cut and edited to make it keep a certain unconventional breeze)... But I hardly thing that Akira is trying to escape his own barriers, in fact I believe he doesn't have barriers, and he proves it with an open-minded record playing with up-beat pulsing rhythmical patterns and minimal electronics relying on mainly mid, but also high and very high frequencies... The heart of "Semilogie" is really the "beat"... The essence it all comes down to, varying from turntable-like popping-noises to brushed snare (and hi hat) loops, from drum machine patterns to sticking percussion sounds. I enjoyed this record a lot.

Berliner Theory: Live

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (87)
May 11 2002
cover
Artist: Berliner Theory (@)
Title: Live
Format: CD EP
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
This extended CD EP by Sam Auinger and Rupert Huber are probably the pioneers of "art radio". They started their individual journeys in the late eighties and have now extended their exploration to the internet (where instead of worrying about the bad sound quality the focus on what sounds are best to use with real audio technology). Their attitude and their knowledge makes every concert unique in the fact that it lets people have a glimpse of what could be done. This "Live" CD (almost 25 minutes, three tracks) was recorded in Berlin and Linz. The first song constructed around a loop of speech parts that gets so disturbing and obsessive that you might be tempted to skip to the next track, where calmer sounds, light sound waves, distant noises create a ghost-city-like ambience; the third track is built on a windy tone with hi pitch cricket-like sounds... The art work is very peculiar as well: a digipack cd with a screenshot of a Netscape browser opening a page of their website. Inside the CD there are 18 different (mainly austrian, some german) URLs related to "art radio", or like they say in german-speaking countries "kunst radio".

Pure: Low

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (86)
May 09 2002
cover
Artist: Pure
Title: Low
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
This review is part of a bunch of reviews of older material that we haven't had time to review before but which is still available at the label's mailorder. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The ninth release in the "Material Series" (please read the review of Heimir Bjorgulfsson's record "Machina Natura" in this section to understand what this series is all about and how it is presented to you) is Austrian Pure's "Low". Pure is into video experimentation and even released a self-programmed audio software last year.
His stuff is droning experimental music in the best tradition of Staalplaat. He also released vinyl and 3" Cd and CDs on different labels and has been performing live since 1991.
Even though this is part of the "Material Series", it comes as a full lenght CD. The four very long tracks, whose names all start with the word "Low", have looped low frequency tones, drones and hums as their common denominator and have little and slow changes throughout the recording. What is interesting is that in the fourth Low-piece there are hints of orchestral sounds layered over a sweeping analogue sound.
If you are curios about what material has been used for this release you'll be pleased to know that it's two nice sheets of nice and fine copper gauze. What a great idea!


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha