Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Music Reviews

Artist: M'Lumbo (@)
Title: The Nine Billion Names of God
Format: CD
Label: Multimood (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
I've been in NYC for almost three years but I still haven't got to catch these highly acclaimed M'Lumbo, who I read play live a lot at the Knitting Factory... Hell, I even worked as an engineer/live sound-manipulator with Jojo Meyer's Nerve, whom they played with, but I guess it wasn't meant to be... I'll be definitely looking forward to one of their shows, 'cause this collective of six musicians, four film-makers and one sound-guy is supposed to be a really hot act, especially on stage!! Try to image what six great free-jazz cats can achieve when they mix their insanity/improvisation/moods with drum'b'bass/techno/electronic/weird beat patterns, bits of sounds, found noises, vocal and non-vocal samples! A true no-wave-state-of-the-art album is what they did, but I don't even wanna think about what I am missing when they do this stuff live with four film-makers that surely do some crazy visuals as well! The jazz element seems to be very present in the instrumentation (lots of brasses); the compositions are fairly free-form, ranging from free-jazz/no-wave to experimentalism, shaped around an orderly chaos of trance-inducing orgiastic improvisarama that hits you like a truck and involves you like an enthralling vortex. This record contains eight tracks of layers of things, hell you might even find a layer of speeches over a layer of noises over a layer of a rock music loop... Possibilities are endless... Press and fans have often compared them to Miles Davis, Sun Ra, The Orb but please let's add John Zorn and his players to the party, I can't image how they could not mention them crazy dudes! M'Lumbo is celebrating their 12th anniversary, and so is their very good label Multimood.

Artist: 386DX (@)
Title: The Best of...
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Assembled with a 40Mhz 386DX CPU with 8Mb of Ram and 40Mb of HD on a Win 3.1 system, the Creative TextAssist text-to-speech software and Voyetra MIDI FM synthesis, this "Best Of..." is really challenging times and technology with an ironic approach!!! They self-appoint themselves a cyberpunk rock band because they play these world famous tunes with this super-crappy totally-synth & MIDI-only sounds, awful sounding dirt-cheap drum sounds and vocals that have never been "sung" by anybody but just "typed"! Can you believe it? The computer would then use the text-to-speech function to "read" it and the MIDI functions to make the read text actually go with the melody. Basically what you hear is a computer singing (that's a new one!!! ;-) MIDI songs programmed by Alexei Shulgin between 1998 and 1999. If these hits don't sound any better than the cheap pre-GM MIDI disks you can buy or download from the net, the fact that a computer is actually singing them makes is so special that the guy even played them at over 40 concerts in Europe and US and as a performing street artist! If you ever wondered whether computer will take over when AI won't be just a movie anymore, then this is the proof that it will happen, cause a 386DX machine is already fucking singing tunes such as "California Dreaming", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Should I Stay or Should I Go", "House of the Rising Sun", "Rock'n'Roll", "Light My Fire", "Anarchy in the UK", "Don't Cry", "My Generation", "Purple Haze", "Imagine", "Smells like teen Spirit", "I shot the Sherrif", "Satisfaction", "Layla"!!!! This "thing" is as much awful crap as it is awesome genius! This is the beginning of the end, but yet it is sooo damn amusing!!! ;-))
PS If you have a Creative sound card you can boot your computer with this CD and use the included software to actually reconstruct this record and play more songs not included in this CD! Have fun!

Artist: Michael Banabila & Hannes Vennik & Bobby
Title: Cards on the Table
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Even though this CD doesn't seem to be part of the "Material Series", it is presented in the same way: the details and the graphic of a hand indicating the shuffle mode are etched on the jewel case. Between the transparent case and the inlay card there is a playing card with a picture of Amsterdam and a Mexican table cloth. Also the CD is a so-called CD AB (3" playing part on 5" transparent disc). When I mentioned the shuffle mode, I wasn't only talking about a picture, in fact this CD is called a shuffle mode CD because there are 18 minutes worth of cut-n-pase music split among 28 tracks which have to be played in shuffle mode, so that every time you listen to the CD you hear a different combination of sounds, atmospheres and beats, like a collage that changes quickly and constantly, which is the whole idea behind the project. in fact the pieces were created using no instruments and assembled on hard drives using a deck of playing cards that was to decide the various possible combinations. The sound material was brought on tape by the three people behind this, sound manipulator Michael Banabila (read reviews of his records VoizNoiz I & II on Tone Casualities elsewhere on these pages), Bobby (architect, drummer, DJ, editor) and Hannes Vennik (poet and musician).

Artist: Dark Star (@)
Title: Travelogue 2
Format: CD
Label: Soleilmoon (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
Wow, lots of things to say about this... I popped it in before even reading the info sheet and I immediately thought (I swear!) that these guys (or at least their vocalist) sound like the Legendary Pink Dots, but then of course I have learned that they sound like them 'cause the singer IS LPD's singer Edward Ka-Spel. In fact this is a collaboration project by Ka-Spel and Wolfgang Reffert (german musician and tour manager for Skinny Puppy and the Swiss trio Young Gods among others), who has been behind the Dark Star moniker for a decade or so. As a matter of fact this very record is a reworked re-issue of "Travelogue", originally recorded in the early nineties with the LPD, Italy's band Technogod and Gotz Adler (who also is on this re-edition). While omitting the last two songs of the original version, four new tracks have been added instead. The material is slow electronic wave music with a claustrophobic experimental vein and slow drum patterns. You can definitely still hear the echo of the eighties but also the ninetees are there. Songs like "Come To" (with the voice of Yorgos DK) might even sound a bit like Depoche Mode, but the rest of the album is less ebm/pop than that. There are more Joy Division/LPD-style beats with drum machines and industrial sounds and electronic synth-pads with a hard attack used to scan the beat and give it a musical entity (somehow Kirlian Camera style). When Ka-Spel sings it's obviously very hard to stop thinking about LPD... String pads and other layered sounds are used a lot too and even a distorted bass "Frantic Upstream" find place. Some lush distorted dark wave guitars are to be found too. There are also experimental pieces like "Solaris I" (which is one of the newer songs; '94-'97) with various sounds such as people playing pool in a bar, squeeking doors and pulsing electronic sounds. Electronic suites with more upbeat rhythmical structures and synthetic patterns ("Belvedere", also one of the four new ones). Of course all pieces feature special collaborations among which Volkmar Miedtke, Wolfgang Bear and the bass player from the german ironic-fun-punk outfit Die Artze (the doctors).
The front cover is by French illustrator Moebius (from the cult comic book "The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius").


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Title: Dust
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
If you listened to Peter Murphy's previous release (the double live album titled "aLive Just For Love") you already are familiar with the atmosphere this new DUST spreads. Finally Murphy found a way to make his definitive record because this album is packed with intense emotions, deep involvement and a bright performance. The nine tracks performed here could be view as a sum of all the influences he had in all these years: Middle Eastern sounds (he lived in Turkey for a long time), little eletronic arrangements, magical and mysterious atmospheres and his deep voice. Composed between Montreal and Istanbul, from July to September 2001, this album born as a collaboration between Peter and Mercan Dede. He discovered Mercan Dede's work via a CD his wife had been reviewing for one of her acclaimed Modern Dance Turkey company pieces, and just as Peter had been wondering who and where this man was, the phone rang and it was Mercan himself, so there begun their cooperation. Just listen to songs like "No Home Without Its Sire" or "Girlchild Aglow" and you'll realize that this eighth album redefined everything that man is. For sure this is a meditative album and you'll have to listen to it with the right mood but you'll find the listening plenty of satisfaction.


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