Friday, August 7, 2020
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Music Reviews

They write that the quite beautiful carton sleeve packaging for this CD, developed with no use of neither plastic nor glue or metal, pretty much like an origami, is most definitely non industry standard, but you can say that again for its contents! What is also interesting and compelling about the original artwork is that the tracks are actually show/displayed, rather than listed, in fact you can see the visual layout of the waveforms instead of a tracklist... The five selections have been carefully placed together after analyzing more than three hours worth of DAT recordings which were the results of some joint sound manipulation sessions by Main (Robert Hampson, formerly of Loop and Godflesh) and Antenna Farm (David Howell and Alastair Leslie). The two set ups came together in 2000 for the Brombron project, started by Staalplaat and Extrapool in the Netherlands, and produced almost an hour of audio consisting of rough crackling electric bits, droning noiscapes, digital glitch passages etc...

Artist: KLAUS BEYER (@)
Title: Hauptmann Pfeffer Einsamer Herzenklub
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Soleilmoon (USA), Demos (Italy), Target (Germany), These Records (UK), Digital Narcis (Japan) etc
When I first saw his picture on this cute 3" CD, I thought: "what a freak!". But I didn't mean to be mean; the funny-looking captain-dressed 50 year old man with a vague resemblance to Benny Hill and Walter Matthau on the picture is indeed german filmmaker Klaus Beyer, who apparently dresses like that to go to parties and sing Beatles songs in german over karaoke tapes! This is what he has been doing since 1980 (besides films, of course). I visited his website and he truly has an impressive discography!!! He doesn't have a great voice and doesn't have a great pitch either, the sound quality is very very very home d.i.y, but this guy is been getting attention from Rolling Stone magazine and even Playboy, tv documentaries and other media! Don't ask me why, but apparently listening to out of tune, poorly instrumented and poorly recorded German versions of "Yesterday" and "Yellow Submarine" is supposed to be interesting, or at least amusing, considering how much fun the folks at the live recording of the fourth song are having... I understand German and I can see how it can be funny, I am an extremely open minded person too (you have to be, in order to enjoy Staalplaat's releases) and I am not evil when reviewing weird stuff either, but in this case I must give a thumb down; I mean, if you ask me, he should stick to films!

Banabila: Spherics

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Artist: Banabila (@)
Title: Spherics
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: FAB
You would expect a Dutch like Michael Banabila to release an album such as this one on the national label Staalplaat, instead he chose Tone Casualities, one of California's most interesting labels for experimental and avant ambient music. This CD, which follows the two Tone Casualities releases VoizNoiz I and II, contains seven tracks of pure textural work, soundscapes that reinvent turntablism through the use of pops and clicks. You feel like you are listening to an old and worn-out vinyl and you are possibly touched by the warmth that those little noises transmit, but instead you are being hypnotized by seven smooth and beautiful compositions whose title, "Spherics", fits right on (maybe 'cause it recalls the very shape of those old records you used to dislike when CDs overtook). Created with editing, splicing and sampling and enriched by Jorien Muste's violin and Piet Lichtveld's guitars (I really like what the guitar does!) "Spherics" achieves some amazing and soft ambience (with occasional cute percussion samples) and goes well beyond the concept of a plain ambient album when it reaches into minimal rhythmical structures and makes it huge with cool deep droning sounds (by some mysterious guy/band/machine called Bobby - there was a Japanese noise band once called Billy, maybe it's a relative) that actually give it a quite a push sometimes. The evolution of a song is real slow, the peace is layed back and small bits of sounds make it cooler every 16 bars or so, but as you all know good things come to those who wait ;-) In conclusion it's a great piece of sounds, I really enjoyed listening to it and I think you will too, especially cause you know you are listening to a CD and so you won't be cursing and getting crazy cleaning the needle, which you would do if this was an LP, trust me! ;-)

Artist: Rain Fell Within (@)
Title: Refuge
Format: CD
Label: Dark Symphonies (@)
Distributor: FAB
Following up to their critically acclaimed 2000 debut "Believe", which sold over 7000 copies worldwide, Rain Feel Within released their second Dark Symphonies album, entitled "Refuge" during February March 2002. "Refuge" features ten dark-wave-metal-new age songs with female vocals and lots of guitars. Atmospheres range from heavy and powerful to soft and ethereal. As you know this is not exactly Chain D.L.K.'s cup of tea, but we enjoy every now and then giving exposure to bands like these, who certainly deserve credit for what they do and how they do it. The music is well-played, well-recorded and well written. Even though I haven't listened to dark-wave-metal x-overs in a while, they kind of reminded me of bands such as Opeth and maybe 3rd and the Mortal. Engineered and co-produced by Ron Vento. The cover design is by Mike Riddick frem the band The Soil Bleeds Black).

GANYMEDE: Euromantique

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Artist: GANYMEDE (@)
Title: Euromantique
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave (@)
At last, thanks to the two Daves (one from Ganymede and the other one from Ninthwave), I finally get my hands on the second Ganymede's album: EUROMANTIQUE.
I've got to thank them both because this is a great one for every Telex and 80's lover as I am. Starting from the main song which recalled me the Telex (which are remembered unfortunately only for their hit "Moskow Diskow") you can listen to a good sequence of potential hits like "It Not Enough", "Are You Falling In Love Again?" or "This Wasn't The First Time". Songs that will light your day with their melodies and analogue sounds. The band improved their songwriting since their first album and EUROMANTIQUE is here to prove that they are a great band. Along with the ten tracks you can also find two remixed versions of "Neon Rain" and "Only Pictures Cry" did by Electroquad and Cruxshadows. They did a rhythmic and kinda dreamy version of the first song and a more electro one of the second, but they respected the songs' structure. I need to suggest you to get this one???


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