Thursday, March 4, 2021
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Music Reviews

Aphex Twin: Drukqs

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Artist: Aphex Twin
Title: Drukqs
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: Warp (@)
When my cousin played me Aphex Twin's newest double CD I was amazed... I didn't even know he had this new one out, I was still blasting "Come to Daddy" and yet I was so much into this already... It's been 5 years since his last album "Windowclicker" and here is a 2CD set with more than a 100 minutes of music. Maybe a step back in terms of "violence" but a step forward in terms of his musical evolution that has reached a new hi. Sound got more intricated, frantic, convulsed and amazing... One of the key elements here is the piano, from melodic to fonky, an instrument which takes an important role, played both in a very standard almost ballad-like fashion, as well as hammered (probably with something else that the piano's hammers) on its very strings to produce a quite disturbing and awfully cool fucked up honky tonky kinda sound. I loved it! This piano-concept is further stressed on the front cover as well as on the new amazing flash website (where piano hammers and string pictures make you feel inside a piano). The other tracks reminded me of his previous material as well as of Italian ambient musician Rodion, but we don't need no damn comparisons here, we are talking about the master himself! If there is a new school of ambient music, we owe it to Richard James, the man who, as far as my knowledge goes, has no rivals yet! Nobody beats him, nobody touches him, nobody equals him! He is just plain unique! On a bad note I have to warn you that unfortunately this CD is one of those stupid new copy-protected CDs which will prevent you from playing it on a computer's CD ROM drive: so if your music system is based around your computer, sorry, forget it!; or if you were ready to rip it to mp3 to cruise town on a sunny day with your bike and your Rio mp3 player (which by the way is perfectly LEGAL and sold by the same music industry that now came up with this stupid bullshit!) you are in bad luck too! So, it's your call, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to let Warp know that you did not appreciate, especially because the new copy-protection standard actually makes the sound of the CD worse!!!
PS: More info at the two websites above as well as at www.theaphextwin.com and www.drukqs.net


TERMINAL BLISS: Cospiracy Of Silence

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Artist: TERMINAL BLISS (@)
Title: Cospiracy Of Silence
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE is the second CD of the band after 1999's "Happily Ever After". Picking up latest Depeche Mode atmospheres and personal humors the band creates an interesting album with thirteen songs. The only thing is that the songs tend to be a little similar, due to the limited use of different vocal solutions and because almost all the songs are mid tempos. This is a pity, because the band has got good skills into creating atmosphere and melodies. Best tracks for me: "Shame", "Wish You Dead" and "Searching For The Cure".


DJ FACCIA DI MERDA: Body Language

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Artist: DJ FACCIA DI MERDA (@)
Title: Body Language
Format: CD
Label: Mah, Boh, Ohib (@)
DJ Faccia di Merda (DJ Shitface for non-Italians) is Jacopo Andreini, one of Italy's most relevant independent musicians and tireless cultural agitator; you can hear him, mostly as a drummer and sax/trumpet player, in Nando Meet Corrosion, Bz Bz Ueu, L'Enfance Rouge, Arryngton de Dionyso Quartet, Ovo, NEM, Bron y Aur and literally dozens of other projects. This is his solo dj/electronic creature and another witness of his visceral approach to sound. Tons of samples, lots of black music (freejazz on top), cheap dialogues and impossible rhythms all mixed in a crazed melting pot. Some tracks make you sweat just by listening to them (Getting excited, Mantilla), some seem to be frozen in a perpetual wait (Wait, of course) – some have no beat at all and play with rhythm on a different level (Classics, Contemporary Beat). I put this cd in the "rhythmic" section, but bear in mind that this is highly toxic and experimental material: it can shake alternatively your butt or your guts, or both at the same time, with arbitrary whim.


VV.AA.: First

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: First
Format: CD
Label: Operative Records (@)
An excellent debut for this London-based label, run by people behind Knifeladder and Shining Vril. The cd is quite varied, but with a constant high quality throughout and a kind of underlying cohesion – which is rare in a compilation. Antichild League (featuring Gaya Donadio of London's premiere industrial venue Hinoeuma) and Antivalium respectively open and close the cd with their abrasive power electronics/industrial. Along with Muffpunch (ear-crushing harsh electronics) they're the noisiest projects here. Leisurehive offer an ok dark-wave track, while Naevus are a noir-folk duo in the vein of Death In June and Sawns; nothing new from both bands, but they're good at what they're doing. Knifeladder impressed me with a menacing mix of tribal drumming, free-jazz sax and bleak vocals/noises disturbances. John Murphy (SPK, Death In June etc.) at drums is a warranty of good quality. Knives present an interesting improvised instrumental, leading to the core of the cd, which is more or less isolationist ambient with remarkable soundscapes by Ruse, Shining Vril (Murphy's solo project) and Andrew Liles. Emblem's "Azazel", instead, is recited lyrics over a tranquil electronic background leading to an orchestral crescendo, which reminded me of some Current 93 or Coil moments. All in all, a very pleasant selection – I'm now curious of listening to some full-length releases by these acts...


LILAC AMBUSH: Breathe Deep E.P.

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Artist: LILAC AMBUSH (@)
Title: Breathe Deep E.P.
Format: CD
Label: Twisted Spinach
Lilac Ambush is the name of this duo coming from Gluchester, Massachusett. Their second E.P. titled BREATHE DEEP contains four good dark pop (they name their music that way) songs and two radio edit versions of the first two "Breathe Deep" and "One Good Reason". Even if their music is dark new wave they did a good thing by renaming it "dark pop". This because their songs have good really enjoyable melodies and sounds: "One Reason", above all, is the one I prefer even each songs' refrain has got something that makes you remember it. Lilac Ambush is a good band for sure and one that is better of the tons of goth clones that unfortunately don't even try to make their own music! Hey, you can get their CDs for 5 bucks, contact them...