Monday, January 18, 2021

Music Reviews

0x0: Nastrophy

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Artist: 0x0
Title: Nastrophy
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: HUM_an

Zero X Zero is a new project by Antonio Caputo and Marco Milanesio exploring dub industrial with partly added classical structures. Field Recordings are as important as Harmonica, Guitar, Cello, Bass and Synth.
The 4 tracks recorded at home and O.F.F. Studio, Torino during 2019/20 are an serious attempt at fragmented melancholy. Dissected sounds lead to more desolation instead more clearity and melancholy is reflecting itself with an uneasy feeling. The track titles do not give away much either and listening is a surprise.

In "Surgkung" a guitar entering the noisy arena dominates for a little while before getting lost in synthetic ramblings which could go on forever but don't. A straight, dubby beat opens "6602" which is set against a freestyle sound scenario where cello and guitar meet before they get lost again as the beat did.
The title track is the most challenging; an uneasy shade of oriental blues meets a heavy, drunken beat and analouge space sounds aid the impression of altered reality short before collapse.
The final track "6601" is especially impressive; post-hope, post-everything, post-darkness. A longish mainly accoustic intro leads seemlessly into a drone part morphing back again and concluding with a perfect mix of all parts.

In a way Naostrophy is a continuation of the DsorDNE/Onda Lunga release 'Inside' from March 2020 - but less ambient and more organic. For fearless souls only.

A pdf photo booklet is included.

Magic Bullet: Digitalis

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Artist: Magic Bullet
Title: Digitalis
Format: CD + Download
Label: Music & Elsewhere (@)

After getting sidetracked several times Magic Bullet's regular debut Digitalis appeared in late October finally. Not sure what the cover is really about but I guess it hints at psychotropica and a second attempt, but enough guessing here.
Also some of former releases, especially the one hour one track album Solidarietas - gave serious hints this will be really going a road far away from Mick Magic's former band Magic Moments At Twilight Time. No Singer, No Vocals, No Lyrics, No Guitars. "No musical instruments where harmed in the making of this album" can be read in the liner notes.
What is present here begins with an electropunk flair, relentless mid-tempo industrial funk which may be brewed in the same cauldron as 'Drinking Gasoline', leading through the first tracks. Monotounos repetive beats shine through "Single Dimutive Impression" paired with slow drifting sequences echoing through the empty halls of decayed industrial buildings.
With "Chaotic Vector Correction" the intensity reaches back to more raw early experimental electronic before the longish center piece "Sky Dark Shadow" dives into analogue stone age dada chirpings where it captures the listener.
Back in the real World the final trilogy of "In Bitter Repentance", "I Find It Cathartic" and "Crowd Closed Door" rekindles the spirit of the first tracks from a different perspective. A Reflection of the worlds yesterdays and today's electro underground at once. Mankind caught in loops paired with urgent sequences and distorted beats.
Echoes of man in the digital age and heading into an uncertain future; "Where we all going nobody knows, this is the world today" comes to mind. Love And Rockets. No. Temptations. No. This is the other face of space age rock, in a time where no more crowd pleasing is needed.

A limited careful handmade CDR version is also available.

Julia Bondar: Enchanted

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Artist: Julia Bondar
Title: Enchanted
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Production (@)

Julia's new single, mixed and mastered by Glenn Morrison, is an melodic tune between progressive trance and deep techno, a gem for moody late night drifting which more and more becomes her trademark.
An amazing uplifting, etheral and driving track likewise, it keeps in line with the promises of it's title. A great hint that shows Julia is developing her way further and a pleasure to listen to.. sadly a digital only single and in todays fashion there is no 'b-side' nor an remix along with the main track. At least a long live version is featured on the recent full length Video 'Modular Techno Live'.
To be released January, 14th for streaming & download.

DsorDNE: Lontano Da Dove?

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Artist: DsorDNE
Title: Lontano Da Dove?
Format: 12" + Download
Label: Details Sound (@)
Distributor: Rubadub

BUY from HERE or BUY from HERE
This nearly unpublished and lost Mini-Album was conceived during the mid to late 90's and only recently rediscovered. Now remastered and redesigned Lontano Da Dove? could be easily a current release - asking existential questions of the Where from? to the Where to now?
The Torino based Italian collective DsorDNE in this incarnation were Marco Milanesio together with Luciano Gelormino, an early associate and Maisie's singer Cinzia La Fauci.
Musically the four pieces are surprisingly accessible with solid basslines, trip hop influenced beats and most of all the ethereal hushed female vocals from Cinzia. There is even a rare vocal appearance by Marco on 'Zerouno'. Too soon 'Zeroedue' continues upbeat and expands the dreamy side while 'Zerotres' moves on hinting at the more ambient direction Marco soon would take. A well balanced melancholy continues and shimmers through in the last track 'Piano Zeroquatro'. The more experimental sides of DsorDNE's past do show only in small details - an abrupt ending in 'Zerodue', the ultra clear accent when the beat starts in 'Zerouno', a tape ending sound as finale.
Lontano Da Dove? is a bittersweet romance - promising and exciting but also vague and misty.
This was actually DsorDne's final release for close to 20 years - Marco went on to built himself a career with O.F.F. Studio, engineered, remixed, guested, scored videos and produced many interesting projects besides appearing solo and disguised as 9cento9. Since 2017 interest in DsorDNE led to various more than interesting releases and some re-releases from facsimile reproductions up to this LP with completely new artwork.
The cover, designed by the Swiss graphic agency Enea Bortone choosen tastefully by the Label adds another accent of timeless pop appeal meets abstraction.

Julia Bondar: Industrial Symphony

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Artist: Julia Bondar
Title: Industrial Symphony
Format: 12" + Download
Label: Production

To clarify some expectations at first, this is neither Industrial nor a Symphony in the common used sense of these words. From the first hi-hat sounds it's pretty clear where Julia Bondar aims at; the underground dancefloors. Deep Techno with heavy throbbing basslines guides you through the dark of the night. And there are plenty of dark overtones spread on this 7 track album.
"Strength In Softness" is an acidic opener but all doubts are pushed away with the intense bass line. Straight on follows the pre-released Single "Fire" featuring Nero Bellum (of Psyclon Nine and Not My God) with a Twin Peaks reminiscence in hushed Voice and Lyrics. A great track not to be missed.
The tempo given is now even more tightened with the first track Julia recorded for her third album; "Running With The Wolves", 7 Minutes plus and nearly the longest track which could be extended easily into an even longer tribal influenced anthem for my tastes.
A heavy machine beat, delayed echoes of handclaps, an swirling and demanding sequence above an ruthless sub bass. "Power Of Presence" is slightly more playful but again heading straight home, not without giving the listener a memory of euphoria to hold on.
Her sounds are generated nearly complete with a special manufactured analogue modular synth system by productions which is the other side of her interests and adds to the amazing recognisable difference in comparison with many current tracks. The clear production and the full sounds make listening to an audio panorama which reminds me positively of the joy of testing your stereo set-up with the latest Yello.
The broading atmospheres add even more to the movie like experience and I had to take this right away for listening with headphones while moving around the city. While not in Barcelona it was a pleasure as the desire and the urge behind these tracks is capturing and comforting at once.
The second half starts with "Overflowing" which has an unexpected bouncy beat and bumping bass paired with a sequence like a shiny silver-line on the horizon before it gets even more positive with "Best Intentions".
Mellow bouncing beats meet symphonic sounds (finally); all is nice but my attention is getting lost for the first time between synth pop and sci-fi score impressions. A little more vocals could have spiced this up favourable - as it is it's just too longish and then turning sour. The positive up-beat dancefloor is not really her strength and looking at her background from minimal, darkwave to electro and techno it's obvious she's continuously testing out her equipment and possibilities. Remarkably her way of working includes a lot live performing before anything is shaped into a release.
Back to the dark zone where Julia is obviously more comfortable - "Inner" is a mysterious outro, a coming down conclusion without giving any clues away. Like the picture on the cover - this could mean anything or nothing at all, open to interpretations. Anyway, Julia Bondar is an versatile artist shaping her way forwards.
Leaving the distracting title and image besides, Industrial Symphony is a strong Album with only few weak points and a pleasure to listen to.

(The LP is going to be released on September 16t, pre-orders are possible)