Music Reviews

Frank Phal & Klimperei: Music for Desserts

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 24 2002
Artist: Frank Phal & Klimperei (@)
Title: Music for Desserts
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Distributor: In-Poly-Sons
Everybody knows experimental musique-concrete band Kimperei, but in this case they rather play a role of supporting musicians for what seems to be a project by Frank Phal, previously with the American band Only A Mother, one of the last surviving "mecanic" musicians, or those extravagant, inventive and creative people who build their own weird instruments and then use them to make records. Just reading the extensive list of instrument's names used in this record is almost worth the record itself: buzzsaw uke, microcontrolled air organ quartet, binary doorbell quintet, washing machine, virtual pet, shrutti box, automatic zithers and many more. While Klimperei add more conventional instruments to the ensemble, call me crazy, but I actually think they added that french touch to the work too... I am not just talking about traditionally romantic instruments, but about the vibe... Nostalgic moods, simple melodies, a very orderly petit chaos and that "a la maison" feel. Titles such as "Snow Eggs", "Ladies Kisses", "Cat's Tongues with Cream", "Almond Rock Cakes", "Espresso Cheescake", "Crepes Suzette" and "Melon Sorbet" complete the picture of this random caprices, avantgarde bricolage, appetizing experimentalism and romantic voyerism... Keep room for dessert!

MERZBOW / JAZZKAMMER: Live At Molde International Jazz Festival

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 22 2002
Title: Live At Molde International Jazz Festival
Format: CD
Label: Smalltown Super Sound (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
"Live at Molde International Jazz Festival" is the recording of the event which took place in Molde, Norway the 19th of July 2001 and the three tracks of the lenght of more of ten minutes each are a massive amalgam of electronica and noise, with some drum inserts on the first track and some guitar excerpt on the third. Merzbow needs no introduction because it's twenty years that Masami Akita attacks audience's ears with different form of noise. Instead Jazzkammer exists since 1998 but it's two members Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre have been active in the Norwegian club / noise scene from different years. The forty minutes of this CD are of no easy listening because massive amount of disturbing noises has been used. I can't tell you if I enjoyed these recordings because usually I use headphones to review CDs. The only thing I can say at the moment is: OUCH!

VAINIO / FENNESZ: Vainio Fennesz Vainio

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 18 2002
Title: Vainio Fennesz Vainio
Format: CD
Label: Sub Rosa
Distributor: Audioglobe
This is the second release in Sub Rosa’s Invisible Architecture series and it sees two masters of the "digital bleeps" manipulation cooperate. Christian Fennesz and Mika Vanio (one half of Pansonic) worked together in this new release recorded live in Brussels at the Kaaitheaterstudio the 29th of November 1999. The slowly evolving drones of 34 minutes 20 seconds’ are kinda chatartic and the duo build a deconstructed suite which has got two kind of treated noises: one part digital bleeps and contorted tiny instant metallic noises and the other one is made of kinda ambient sounds ... Here and there they also used buried melodies which make the suite a little more interesting. Mika Vainio’s solo piece 32 minutes 19 seconds’ is more subtle and fades in slowly with little volcanic like explosions along with hypnotic frequencies. The piece has got less sound interruptions (while the other one was a continuous stop and go of changing noises) and it grows slowly until it explodes into chaotic pads which suddenly dive into monotonous frequencies. An interesting work which request a certain concentration into the listening: you are warned!

Controlled Bleeding: Can You smell the Rain between

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 12 2002
Artist: Controlled Bleeding (@)
Title: Can You smell the Rain between
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Tone Casualities, Pinnacle, Dark Vinyl
Here comes some weird uncontrolled freaky shit! If you think you're prepared, think again! After four years of silence (which is a word I'll never use again when speaking of Controlled Bleeding), Paul Lemos and Joe Papa are back with this new album that opens a new chapter in their evolution. Everything they had so far can probably be found in these fifteen tracks, in some odd way, buried by tons of other noises or clear and out there. Schizophrenia and obscurity alternate, so you won't have enough time to get into the dark moods of songs like "Poisoner pt3" before you're assaulted by the disorienting swing of the free-jazz "Schist" and then the total no-wave freakout improvisation of "Felch Space Scan" (with Ruins drummer Yoshida Tatsuya) and then brought back into the delayed watery honiric dub time of the title track. A highlighted use of electric bass, musique-concrete, experimental, classical, dark, avantgarde rock, free-jazz, no-wave are all mixed together to defy your expectations and remind you of Primus (the male nonsense vocal improvisations in "Felch Space Scan" and the electric bass in some songs remind of Les Claypool), John Zorn, Jacopo Andreini, Post Prandials, Maisie, Klimperei, Parts, Bz Bz Ueu and all these other bands from the no-wave scene. Also present is a Brian Eno cover of "Here Come the Warm Jets" and three bonus tracks after some silence (oooops, I said the s-word again!).

Main / Antenna Farm: Brainbrom #1: AF-M

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Apr 09 2002
They write that the quite beautiful carton sleeve packaging for this CD, developed with no use of neither plastic nor glue or metal, pretty much like an origami, is most definitely non industry standard, but you can say that again for its contents! What is also interesting and compelling about the original artwork is that the tracks are actually show/displayed, rather than listed, in fact you can see the visual layout of the waveforms instead of a tracklist... The five selections have been carefully placed together after analyzing more than three hours worth of DAT recordings which were the results of some joint sound manipulation sessions by Main (Robert Hampson, formerly of Loop and Godflesh) and Antenna Farm (David Howell and Alastair Leslie). The two set ups came together in 2000 for the Brombron project, started by Staalplaat and Extrapool in the Netherlands, and produced almost an hour of audio consisting of rough crackling electric bits, droning noiscapes, digital glitch passages etc...

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