Music Reviews



COLLECTION D'ARNELL-ANDREA: Exposition, eaux fortes et méandres

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 25 2007
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Artist: COLLECTION D'ARNELL-ANDREA (@)
Title: Exposition, eaux fortes et méandres
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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Each time I have to approach to a new Collection D'arnell-Andrea it's hard for me to find the right way to explain what I listened or read. This time, after experimenting with acoustic orchestrations on "Tristesse des M'nes" or with melancholic ballads on the first part of the previous "The Bower of Despair", Collection D'arnell-Andrea take inspiration to create their music and lyrics from eleven paintings coming mainly from the 19th century. This is the list of the tracks/paintings: "Les sombres plis de l’'me" inspired by "La neige" (1873) from Charles-François Daubigny, "The monk on the shore" inspired by "The monk on the shore" (1809-1810) from Caspar David Friedrich, "Les herbes mortes" inspired by "Femmes portant du foin sur une civière" (ca 1874) from Camille Pissaro, "Les méandres" inspired by "Crépuscule sur la Loire" (1999) from Richard Boutin, "The long Shadow" inspired by "The long shadow" (ca 1805) from Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, "I can’t see your face" inspired by "Twilight fantasy" (1911) from Edward Robert Hughes, "Les catacombes inspired" by "Loire, tristesse des M'nes" (1988) from Nicolas Mecheriki, "Into flowers" inspired by "l'Angélus" (1858-1859) and "Le printemps" (1868-1873) from Jean-François Mille, "Crowns of golden corn" inspired by "Le rappel des glaneuses" (1839) from Jules Breton, "L’eau des mauves" inspired by "Ophélie" (1852) from John Everett Millais and "The island of the dead" inspired by "L'île des morts" (1880) from Arnold Böcklin. On their website you can find the pictures of the different paintings (only "Loire, tristesse des M'nes" is missing). Musically this album met my tastes as it contains electronic arrangements, upbeat rhythms, passionate vocals. The band blend post punk influences (sometimes I heard also echoes of Virgin Prunes), strings orchestrations, electronic layers (see the bassline of "The monk shore" or "Into flowers") and theatrical vocals that will convince you in no time. Since the opening "Les sombres plis de l’'me" I was hypnotized by the string line that recalled me some parts of Velvet Underground's "Venus in furs". Perfect!

BISCLAVERET: Psyche nomine

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 25 2007
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Artist: BISCLAVERET (@)
Title: Psyche nomine
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
First album for the Poland duo Biscaveret released after their debut MCDr "In hortis..." for the Israeli label The Eastern Front. The beautiful package (a three panel booklet and a postcard) contains all the lyrics which along tracks' titles like "Strange way to paradise (Ritual II)" or "Akeldama XIV" show the band's interest into magick. Musically this interest is translated into humming or distant vocals, long synth pads, reverbered percussions and creepy samples. If a track like the opening "Ritual of all embracing madness" and the following "Strange way to paradise (Ritual II)" remember me the early Endura, the 15 minutes long "Voices from another state of... mind, heart, body", slowly grows from a semi acoustic track based on piano and strings just to turn into a semi industrial dark ambient track a la In Slaughter Natives. Also the following "Akeldama XIV" is based on chaotic echoes, distant explosions and humming vocals but there's a thin melodic line that lead the listener through the sound magma created. The closing "The insane in God" seems to be a reprise of another track as I already heard that melody but it develops itself into a dark ambient track driven by obscure string sounds and a piano but this time the vocals are intelligible. This work will be of interest for the lovers of obscure suites even if sometimes the sound tend to create the same effect for the whole album length due to the massive use of reverb.

BACHI DA PIETRA : non io

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 24 2007
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Artist: BACHI DA PIETRA
Title: non io
Format: CD
Label: Wallace/die Schachtel (@)
Rated: *****
In the beginning there was Madrigali Magri, it was a sort of post-rock/alternative trio floating in-between the troubled waters of avant blues, murder ballads and desertic folk, after they split up, their main songwriter joined Bruno Dorella from Ovo/Ronin and they added the world "heaviness" to the vocabulary. I wasn't such a big fun of their debut record even if it really good so much that it got some incredible responses, but it looks this time I've to surrender to the fact this record is undeniably good. Is it so different from the previous chapter?...I don't think so, but the impression is they worked more on melting together the "mammoth" drumming with the dead blues feeling of the songs and for me it woks much better than before. "Non io" mixes this vaguely Nick Cave dead-blues ambience with some "noise-rock" influences and with wave/dark vein (the keyword for the lyrics it's "depression", of course). Hard to say that, but this time the sound of the drum makes me think to trip-hop or to some sophisticated new folk sensation like the Devics, the beat dissolves in the background, it fuels the hypnotical atmosphere of the tracks and clearly in the economy of a "guitar and drums" duo you can imagine how important it is. Strange to see it comes out both on Wallace and on an experimental "non rock/non folk" label like die Schachtel, but tip of hat to the "sacred allegiance" and above all to this elegant, introspective musical collection of failures.

DO MAKE SAY THINK: You, You’re A History In Rust

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Mar 23 2007
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Artist: DO MAKE SAY THINK (@)
Title: You, You’re A History In Rust
Format: CD
Label: Constellation (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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Since Constellation issued their self-released debut album in 1998, Do Make Say Think have made one critically-acclaimed album after another. "You, You’re A History in Rust" is the fifth record and a brilliant extension of the band’s unique sonic narrative. And as the fans know, DMST’s approach to musical deconstruction is never academic, forced, or played merely for effect; it is always a matter of weaving the captured elements together with the mixing desk played like a master instrument. With this record the band continues its simultaneous explorations into the worlds of post-rock, jazz, electronica; there are dark corners and bright splashes, textural murmurs and bright melodies. Adding in saxophone, trumpet and violin to the guitar, bass and drums, DMST doesn’t use vocals to bring emotion into the music and multiple layers of instruments create the mood. The best moments? "A tender History in rust" with his light, folky feel with whistles and whispers and "Executioner Blues" that doesn’t need vocals because its narrative is well-explained by an assemblage of guitars, strings and jazzy drums that ebb and flow before building to a cacophonous crescendo. Highly recommended!

ARDITI: Standards Of Triumph

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 19 2007
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Artist: ARDITI (@)
Title: Standards Of Triumph
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Distributor: Augioglobe
Rated: *****
I know that this one has been released a while ago, but I had the opportunity to have a copy only now and I didn't want to skip the review. Anyway... As you may already know Arditi take their name from a branch of Italian army that were active during the first decades of the twentieth century famous for their efficiency and also appreciated by the Italian Futurist Movement. Nowadays, Arditi, is a duo formed by H. Möller and M. Björkman (active also with Puissance and Algaion). STANDARDS OF TRIUMPH is their fifth release (counting also the split with Thoroid) and it contains nine new epic militaristic suites. The Arditi's sound has the taste of rust and dust and is really evocative. Recorded with a low-fi approach, the album is really hypnotic and when the orchestration duet with distant choirs of unknown provenience you are like charmed. The few sung tracks increase the bitter taste created by the music by declaiming the death of the West. Read the lyrics of "The Sinking Ship". It says: "The world is a sinking ship / Sunk by the weight of six billion people / We were sentenced to this fate / By those who preached that they all / Are as good as you and I / That they all should decide our destination / Though none of them has found a meaningful / Direction for themselves / Now everything we loved will die / Unless we get another go at steering / So here we stand, / On the summit of the aft, / Hurling defiance / at those who are our misfortune". I know that it could sound like the same old Militaristic Neo-Classical soup, but try it and tell me how it tastes...


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