Music Reviews



Akira Yamamichi: Semilogie (de la metamusique)

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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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
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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
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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!

Kozo Inada: []d

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 09 2002
Artist: Kozo Inada
Title: []d
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.
Inada returns after a while (his latest releases include a CD with 0* on V2 Archief, a collaboration CD with Philip Samartisz on Digital Narcis and his solo CDs on Selektion (also distributed by Digital Narics).
This is the eigth 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) and comes in a transparent yellow jewel case with a white plastic web/net in place of the cover and the inlay card. He likes to describe his music as a "perfect flow" because he goes for the beauty hidden in silence, a silence achieved by stressing and polishing quite space until it is audible. For true radical experimental fans only!

Pimmon: Orquesta Del Arrurruz

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 09 2002
Artist: Pimmon
Title: Orquesta Del Arrurruz
Format: CD EP
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. Pimmon is Paul Gough, a sound manipulator that only recently started releasing his many works through Fat Cat, Meme, Fallt, ERS, Static Caravan and of course Staalplaat. His extended CD EP "Orquesta Del Arrurruz" (title means Arrowroot Orchestra) has been created on a PC and bounced to tape and then back into the digital domain and the whole work is inspired by Glenn Gould and contains samples from his recordings. Gough says that he intended to «create some of the social nervousness and fears that he [Gould] exhibited, but also the emotion and joy he was able to enthuse in his playing». Musically, this eccentric artist, focuses on fluctuating creations made of ambience, radar pulses, value melodies, throbbing rumbles, buzzes and blimps and zooms up close on the grainy microscopic outerworlds of the emotive soundscapes he creates...
This is the 7th "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) release and comes as a tempting art work: the AB CD has a layer of tissue on its musical area and the material used for the inlay and cover is sort of a fake grass raw fabric (you may see it on some roofs or sport centers floors). All plastic parts are thus transparent green and the CD is held by a rubber tip! Very original!


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