Monday, May 17, 2021
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Music Reviews

Mario Verandi: Remansum

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Artist: Mario Verandi (@)
Title: Remansum
Format: CD & 12"
Label: Time Released Sound (@)
Rated: * * * * *
One of the releases hidden by the usual pile of promos, that sometimes cover outputs that deserve attention in the recent months, is this aural pearl that Argentinean Berlin-based composer, musician, and producer Mario Verandi sent to my attention in the last months. Cd edition of "Remansum" (Latin word that can be translated as 'persisting' in English) is currently out of print (but maybe you can found it somehow), but I read the charmingly packaged vinyl (limited) edition, as well as the digital one, is still available. If you belong to the wise group of listeners, who have a fetish for pieces of vinyl (I proudly belong to this group of music perverts), the first one will meet your tastes as it's released by the American label Time Released Sound (masterfully managed by Colin Herrick), that, besides the quality of the music that spreads over the headphones of a niche of music lovers, is known for the maniacal attention of the physical editions, but I can't say that the people who will opt for the digital editions will be disappointed by the aural content, particularly if you appreciate that kind of electroacoustic ambient, that manages to inject a certain jazzy nuance within elegant neoclassical/electronic ambient frames. Mario often manages to evoke a sense of trepidation inside the seemingly ataraxic movements he forged, where the relapsing piano phrasing can partially surmise the minimalism of Philip Glass, the so-called neo-impressionism of musicians like Akira Kosemura, or the more eccentric approach by Ludovico Einaudi to quote some pretty known names, but the followers of the mentioned artists will easily recognize the intrinsic cleverness of this composer while oozing awesome diversified clues in any aural cameo. You could almost perceive a lighter intensity of the same "voltage" of new wave mood in tracks like "A Tear In The Desert" or "Melted Horizon", the sumptuous tenderness that you could have met in some stuff by Nils Frahm or Philip Glass in "Hazy Sun", the entrancing uneasiness of some acts by The Necks in the catchy opening track "Riven In Time", the mystical declension of piano that Harold Budd rediscovered in the late 90ies in lovely moments like "Small Wings Behind" or "Bosque" as well as a bridge to shamanic ancient traditions (particularly evoked by the vocal part) in "Ayse". Sometimes you could have the feeling that Mario forged a sonic monument to the concept of perennial permanency by a more or less clear evocation of some forgotten glorious past, but the daydreaming melancholy that Mario's music can inspire can easily take root in the present time we're experiencing.

Perpetual Bridge: Upon The Deep

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Artist: Perpetual Bridge
Title: Upon The Deep
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released

Swiss citizen Nadia Peter has been already active as DJ and event curator but Upon The Deep is her first outing as solo musician. She works towards an ambience to let the mind flow and as many good ambient releases it's mood supports self-reflection.
The centre piece of this 3 track EP "Nebula" is obviously influenced by an dystopian classic whose importance to todays culture can't be overlooked. With it the music leaves the sphere of the known and starts asking for more attention, a flow into the space of possibilities with a nod to the past. Mastered carefully by Marco Milanesio the sound has an impressive panorama quality which illustrates the additional titles "Blue Orbit" and "Hidden Rivers" as well.
It will be interesting to hear Perpetual Bridge expand and perhaps develope some more longform tracks as this seems to be the most promising forte.

AntiMozdeBeast: The Ritual

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Artist: AntiMozdeBeast (@)
Title: The Ritual
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released

Florida’s AntiMozdeBeast is a one-person avant-garde / noise / industrial / metal project. Gabriel Palacio, the man behind the AntiMozdeBeast, “uses a language in his poetry that is not very commonly found in electronic music”, according to the press release. The idea seems to be to find a balance between electronic dance music, noise music and extreme metal.

AntiMozdeBeast’s latest offering is an EP entitled The Ritual. It has a running time of just under 30 minutes, and consists of five tracks which run seamlessly from one to the next to make up a singular uninterrupted listening experience. The music is harsh, disorientating and unsettling. It is not easy to listen to, and I have no doubt that that is entirely intentional. Demonic and distorted lo-fi screams are a key feature. They are genuinely frightening. The music that pulsates underneath owes a lot to early 90s rave music. There are trance-inspired rhythmic synth patterns and drum ’n’ bass influenced beats. Often the harmonies are unusual and (intentionally, I presume) confusing, but there are also sections where classic psychedelic minor chord synth pads dominate. Sometimes the electronic percussion patterns and samples shift away from skittering dance into industrial territory, with clanging metallic stomping rhythms rising to the fore. There are strange samples including parts that sound like they were from real instruments such as flamenco guitars. Sometimes we hear what sound like weirdly contorted and out-of-key orchestral strings that add more weirdness to the chaotic lunacy. In spite of the swirling madness generated by this noisy mix of disparate styles, the music somehow holds together, albeit precariously. The songs still have a sense of structure and dynamics as opposed to being completely confused. The breaks and dynamic drops that occur periodically are key to preventing The Ritual from becoming too relentless or monotonous. In fact, the music is structured so that each time the screams and harshness return they seem to come back with a renewed intensity and ferocity.

The Ritual will be confusing and difficult for a lot of people to listen to, even if they have some experience with industrial music or similar styles. The experience could be compared to sitting in on some kind of actual bizarre ritual, replete with unfamiliar practices and menacing atmospheres. If the intention is for the music to feel oppressive and constrictive then The Ritual undoubtedly succeeds. Listeners who are able to stomach the dizzying frenzy of the music’s unforgiving exterior will find much to appreciate here.

The Ritual will be released on 23rd April 2021 as a digital download.

Sébastien Guérive: Omega Point

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Artist: Sébastien Guérive (@)
Title: Omega Point
Format: 12" + Download
Label: Atypeek Music (@)
Distributor: Diggers Factory
Rated: * * * * *
After a close listening of this album by Nantes-based composer and sound engineer Sébastien Guérive, he could undoubtedly be one possible suggestion to some moviemakers of the contemporary sci-fi scene, if in need of a score composer. I'm not sure if "Omega Point" belongs to one of those release for an imaginary movie that will never be released, but its listening can certainly feed imagination. Most of the track can easily fit an episode of Black Mirror, including the less disquieting... if you saw this famous TV series, don't tell that tracks like "Minchir", the one that features the collaboration of Manuel Adnot, or "Nashira" - very good choice for the title, as Nashira is the name of a star transitioning to a giant one belonging to the constellation of Capricorn, whose name origin is an Arabian expression meaning 'bearer of good news' - wouldn't be perfect for any tropical reverie of immortality like the one described in "San Junipero". Actually, there's no need to discommode science fiction, considering all the weird facts (not necessarily on mainstream) related to the last months of global history, this album could also be a perfect soundtrack for the pretty dystopian reality we're experiencing almost daily. That black exploding globe on the eloquent cover, but above all the general mood of "Omega Point" evokes that kind of concerned mood of those journeys with no return, which seems to permeate those real and concrete nightmares of ecologists or the likewise scary ones coming from catastrophists and maybe their intimate hopes or mental getaways. There's a certain heterogeneity in the dynamics of each track, ranging from resemblances to the sonic riding by some so-called krautrockers (in particular Tangerine Dream, Cluster and Ash Ra Tempel) to the recent sumptuous electronic diversion of Nils Frahm's pianism (partially evoked by the combination of electronic sequences with the piano phrasing by Cédric Le Guillerm in "Bellatrix") or Moroder-like electronic progressions ("Adhara"), even if sometimes I had the feeling that sound editing tends to be quite recursive, particularly on the different 'Omega' tracks. Such a mole doesn't break the fascination of the evoked atmosphere and a certain visionariness by Sébastien music, that deserves a check by our readers.

Pawel Pruski: Between

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Artist: Pawel Pruski (@)
Title: Between
Format: CD
Label: KrysaliSound (@)
What makes this output by Polish music producer Pawel Pruski so conceptually interesting is maybe its substantial lack of a conceptual framework, that sounds like an invitation to focus on the beauty of sound, described by inheriting the spiritualist suggestion on how to live any moment and what is considered as present. Linear notes by the label clarifies the meaning of the title, as follows: "it is interesting to look for what lies between the words, between the moments, between the first and the next particle of sound", music structure is "no longer linear and the whole thing is freezing over time. There is no earlier and no later, there is no history and no future, there is no cause and effect. There is only a single moment 'in between'. We don't need any kind of language or descriptions". Pawel decides to sow his music into this fertile interstitial metaphysical ground by interesting interbreeding of masterfully grabbed field recordings, overstretched looping harmonies and ambient effluxes, whose function seems not to be the one to slow time down, but rather to distend the time axis in order to let the listener access to an insight of what he meant by the idea of 'between'. In tracks like "In The Evening" or "Moor", the motion of tones itself sounds mired in this sort of inertial friction that seems to retain everything until the last track "I will come tomorrow although I don't know the time", where the template of a brittle piano melody sounds more discernable.