Friday, June 18, 2021
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Music Reviews

Kirlian Camera: Absentee

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Artist: Kirlian Camera (@)
Title: Absentee
Format: CD EP
Label: Radio Luxor, January Zero Productions, E.N.D.E. (@)
The Kirlian Camera collective seems to be expanding well beyond the original nucleus of founding members Angelo Bergamini and Emilia Lo Jacono as a new important role seems to be covered by female singer and keyboardist Elena Fossi and other collaborations include Simon Balestrazzi, Gianluca Becuzzi (formerly with Limbo), Andrea Savelli and Paolo Varola (besides their long time engineer and friend Ivano Bizzi - whose efforts are now shared by Angelo himself). Their long existence doesn't seem to represent any obstacle at all when it comes to create new material and the new dancefloor-proof version of "Blue Room" (a song originally from the mid-eighties). New songs such as "Still Air" seem too to be using a lot more of the pounding beats that the body language folks love, but the martial treated vocals, the punching analog synths, the dominating electronics and the overall feel of increasing paranoia and suffocating claustrophobia is awesome. There's also room for breath ("Stele") or slow minimal but huge atmospheres ("Denied Sky", whose beginning beat made me think of Pink Floyd) or even totally beat-less songs ("Paan NB"). The kings of Italy's best martial industrial electronics returned, and I am so god damn happy about that ;-)


Glis: Extract (promo)

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Artist: Glis (@)
Title: Extract (promo)
Format: CD
Label: ADSR Musicwerks (@)
We received a four track advance promo as a preview of what american m/f duo Glis' next release "Extract" is going to sound like. The finished album will have nine tracks and will be released by Noxious Emotions' label ADSR (great band by the way, we haven't heard from them in a while!). If you're into old-style ebm with dance beatz this could be for you. A mixture of old-fashioned male treated vocals (and some occasional non-heavily treated melodic female vocal lines) that easily remind of the mittle-european school, synth lines and drum machine work that really brought me back, some spoken samples from movies and a more dancey approach to selection of keyboard sounds and beat peace... All in all, this could very well be a german product from the eighties, but probably has a better production and would be easier to find in a Dj's collection, even today. Danceable EBM for nostalgic but moving masses!


Controlled Bleeding: Can You smell the Rain between

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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!).


The Soil Bleeds Black: Quintessence

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Artist: The Soil Bleeds Black (@)
Title: Quintessence
Format: CD
Label: World Serpent (@)
Distributor: World Serpent
When you get something from the British consortium World Serpent you know what to expect, and expectations were met when I started spinning the fifth The Soil Bleeds Black album. Its name, "Quintessence", refers to the elements of earthe, air, fyre, water and essence, considered to be magical in medieval Europe. The five tracks (named after the five elements) present a band that has evolved from 1992 to these days, going from a synth-based trio trying to emulate antique sounds to a capable set of musicians who use different (male & female) chants and voices alongside with naturally sounding traditional instruments such as flutes, various types of percussions, and obviously acoustic guitars, which still give it that classical World Serpent apocalyptic folk vibe that we're used to. So there you have it, a mixture of medieval folk and pagan goth atmospheres, lush melancholy and decadent harmonies soaked in a noir beauty.


Mlada Fronta: Fe2 O3

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Artist: Mlada Fronta (@)
Title: Fe2 O3
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: M-Tronic (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Wow! When I opened the package and saw the name Mlada Fronta I got really excited for a moment, even though I didn't even exactly remember what they played, this band had a particular significance in my memory because they were the first band I ever interviewed in my music writing career ;-). That was back in 1993, "Illusiory Time", but I have totally lost track of them afterwards and from their discography I gather that that was their debut CD and after that two more releases saw the light in '95 and '99, before it was time for "Fe2 O3" to come out. The name of the album is the chemical formula that describes the iron trioxide element (I believe), which basically is one of the last stages of iron, commonly called rust... The beautifully packaged double CD actually has a very nice booklet with lots of pictures from old rusted industrial sites, so I think I got that right ;-). By the way the packaging of this product is absolutely mind-blowing and incredible! A luxurious 3 panels folding digipack with an awesome 20-pages booklet all boxed inside a cardboard shell: you got to check this out yourself! But let's go to the music. The bio tells me that this french one man band (Remy Pelleschi, one of the two founding members, is now alone) has moved away from the sound of their debut (Treponem Pal meet Ministry and Young Gods) already by the time of the second album and has instead developed the electro-industrial side of their soul giving up the guitars and every other traditional/human instrument, focusing on atmospheres and beats instead. The former of these two CDs, called "Fe2", is the more atmospheric one, where floating and extremely cinematic ambient music with spectral stereo-plays meets beautiful dark electronica, while the latter, "O3", presents us with fourteen tracks of rough hardcore industrial beats mixed with hypnotic and pounding dancefloor material. When I say cinematic, I mean it! Not only this music would be very suitable for a number of movies I can think of, but it also is filled with voices from movies that I know I have seen ('cause I recognize the voices and what they say) and it's interesting to hear those little speeches in a record... Also don't think that it's all fancy trancy background music only, there actually are beats and song structures that develop into full body compositions. The really nice thing about it, though, is that the balance is kept all the way through the two CDs and it never gets boring or too intense (is there such thing in music as too intense anyway?), so when you are listening to the first CD there might be some sprinkles of industrial beatz here and there, in the same way as the second one, the more aggressive one, actually opens up to layers of calmer moments of electronica and soundscapes that maybe enhance the hypnosis of the overall experience. The chemical approach (further emphasized by the songs' titles) and the experiments Remy has been doing in his audio-laboratory have definitely lead to a new and exciting formula that I recommend you all to check out carefully! The album is very interesting and multi-faceted and a quality production and very good sound help the impact of such a complex opera as well! By the way, there are five remixes by Orphx, Savak, Dither, Zonkt and Kaltesglas.