Music Reviews



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Artist: JACK OR JIVE
Title: Kakugo
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Four years after "Absurdity" the Japanese duo Jack Or Jive is back with a new work titled KAKUGO. The album takes inspiration from Bushido's "kakugo" concept which tells to think about death differently: Kakugo" does not suggest violence, it tells us to think of death and don't do honor-less acts in everyday life. The album is divided into twelve tracks which during almost one hour of length create tense and melancholic soundscapes made of ambient electronic pads, experimental intuitions and characterized by the presence of the particular voice of Chako. Her voice isn't perfect but it is functional to the creation of the sort of ambience which translate into music people's sorrow. The track I appreciated most is "It can't be reset". A song which recalled me Cocteau Twins atmospheres but here the dreamy atmospheres are turned into nightmares.

ABBILDUNG: Two Sphere Geometry

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 25 2008
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Artist: ABBILDUNG
Title: Two Sphere Geometry
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Essentia Mundi (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 100 copies TWO SPHERE GEOMETRY is the latest CD of the Romanian dark ambient project Abbildung. The eight tracks of the album are based on a multi layered structure where drones, voices, treated guitars and electronic sounds (mostly pads) are gathered to form a growing primordial magma made of sound waves. Tracks like the opening "Dark pole rising" or the really good "Decreasing entropy attractor" have a certain viral effect which make them change constantly while the rhythm and the samples make them more "accessible" and less abstract. For this reason I found that they are able to create a better ambience and Abbildung did the right thing by using "Decreasing entropy attractor" as base to the four minutes of the DVD video titled "Two sphere world" (the video is based on the contraposition of nature and electrical experiments visual extracts). Only the fourteen minutes track "Call of the hypersphere" didn't convinced me too much because of the minimal approach which don't give anything else than the usual humming drone structure.

CAPRICE: Kywitt! Kywitt!

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 24 2008
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Artist: CAPRICE
Title: Kywitt! Kywitt!
Format: CD
Label: Prilosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Three years after the third "Elvenmusic" part, Caprice are back with a new masterpiece of faerie music. For this new "tale", Anton Brejestovski took inspiration from the Grimm brothers tales translated by Zhukovsky. This time the elves world is seen under the human eyes and for this reason it could seem also more hallucinatory than the usual. Anyway, I was really surprised with the opening song of the album, because "Dundellion wine" is a really good melting pot where you can find progressive rock, jazz, electronic arrangements and, as usual, the beautiful Inna Brejestovskaya's voice. Really amazing. Another track which see the band's members experimenting a little with new sounds is the short "More", where piano soft notes are joined by ambient sounds. Also "Peggy" and the closing "Fae fae fae fae fae fae fae" have an unusual sound for the band, because they are a sort of folk rock ballad with no orchestral sounds (and the latter one has also quite a funny/joyful sound with elves playing around). The remaining tracks have, as usual, a folk traditional musical and lyrical influence with great orchestrations or, as for "Philomel with melody" we have folk melodies played with cello and flute with the addition of a jazzy contrabass. KYWITT! KYWITT! is a less classical sounding album and sees the band reaching a new level into their art.

Down Below: Sand In Meiner Hand

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 24 2008
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Artist: Down Below (@)
Title: Sand In Meiner Hand
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Vertigo / Universal
Rated: *****
No one can seriously expect a filling review by receiving a 1-track SI-CD with a new track of Germany’s Alternative/Pop act DOWN BELOW. Hailing out of the German state Sachsen-Anhalt, DOWN BELOW have taken part at the famous Bundesvision Song Contest which happens year by year as a rival contest to the Eurovision Song contest and it got transmitted via TV through the German TV station Pro7. This happened in the middle of February and – surprise, surprise – Goth Rock seems to get more and more exposure of the audience, since DOWN BELOW could enter a fantastic and non-expected 3rd rank. Congratulations, also it has to be mentioned that SUBWAY TO SALLY, another German Goth-Rock institution could win this contest. "Sand In Meiner Hand" combines all good but also all known ingredients featuring a good composition and production, some orchestral-like string-sounds leading the tempo, some guitar riffs are accomplishing the refrain. Catchy as hell it doesn’t wonder too much that this stuff comes out mass-compatible. I wish them quite more radio inserts, since I would appreciate it a lot if stuff like this would get more attention against the uncountable faceless plastic-pop bitches.
Mar 21 2008
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Artist: DIFFERENT STATE & SIGILL (@)
Title: Spazmatic[k] Spell
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum Records (@)
Rated: *****
SPAZMATIC[K] SPELL is a Different State/Sigill (www.myspace.com/sigill) split CD album dedicated to the memory and work of painter and magician Austin Osman Spare (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Osman_Spare). DIfferent State is a Polish project active since early 90's which released different albums since then. At their beginnings the music was mostly focused on noisy experimentation but slightly it moved on the use of electronic gear. The four tracks of this split ("I hate the eyes", "Ear", "Nose" and "Formal experimentation") see Marek X Marchoff (the man guy behind the project) helped by Laura Marchoff (angelic[k] voice, custom made generator A-23), Tom Westbum (clarinet, sax, alto sax, trumpet) and Janusz Sokolnicki (tube AMP, lead guitar). The combo for each track used a different solution, approaching them from a particular angle. If "I hate the eyes" is a really good spoken word with experimental electronic background, the following "Ear" recalled me a sort of mix between Foetus and Mark Stewart & The Maffia. "Nose", instead, is more melancholic and cinematic, proposing a nostalgic guitar solo overwhelmed by distant and reverbered orchestral sounds. "Formal experimentation" is an electronic/wave experimental track which creates a sort of spatial effect with sax inserts. Sigill approach to sound is a total different one. The Polish duo formed by Brat Salo and Nantur love to create obscure drones with echoed sounds where vocal parts seem to be taken from rituals. "Sunever", "Io Pan'i", "Ashtoreth" and "Moon lore" remember to me some old Endura tracks with that sort of throbbing electronic humming mixed with samples and noises: a sort of ritual dark ambient kind of sound. They sound less varied compared to Different State but their sound is kinda "thick".


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