Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Music Reviews

Gabor Csupo: Liquid Fire

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Artist: Gabor Csupo
Title: Liquid Fire
Format: CDx2 (double CD)
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
Hungarian-born Gabor Csupo is the founder of the Californian quality-experimental/electronica label Tone Casualities and known for his music work on various TV shows. When he left Communist-ruled Hungary to move to the US he decided not to forget his roots and the Eastern European musical projects. In 1994 he started the label to give exposure to the people whose music he's been listening and have been influencing him. He didn't take too much advantage of the fact he owned a record label, in fact he only put one other record of his own out on Tone Casualities. So after many years he's now back with this ambitious double CD, packaged in a beautiful folding digipack with nice graphics. The two CDs are called respectively "Liquid" and "Fire" and present you with 35 left-field electronica pieces of great impact and quality. Although his extremely wide array of credited sources of inspiration spans from jazz/free jazz/fusion/progressive bands (Brand X, King Crimson, Miles Davis etc) to the pioneers of new music (Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, David Torn, Bill Laswell, Laurie Anderson) to the more modern geniuses of the electronic pop sound (Bjork, Massive Attack, Lamb) without forgetting true electronics-only bands (Skinny Puppy, Leftfield, Autechre, Chemical Bros) you don't really find very much of this. Let's just say those influences are there but they ain't in your face. The list goes on and on and basically most of the folks he mentions are some of my favorite artists, therefore I thought this album was gonna totally kick ass!!! I didn't get what I was expecting musically (I don't really know what I was expecting with a list that big anyway) but I wasn't disappointed at all. It is an original album of sample-heavy inventive music. It's hard to explain. It has that particular "genius-at-work" shadow, kind of thing... It's almost like a concept album but I couldn't find a common denominator to be elected as the theme, expect for maybe his life... His life, his musical experiences, his emotions are probably all inside this, packed and ready to be put on display, so this is Him, this is Csupo, so please allow me to introduce you to Gabor Csupo!

Artist: Klimperei (@)
Title: Tout Seul sur la Plage en Hiver
Format: CD
Label: Musea (@)
Distributor: In-Poly-Sons
This is a re-edition of Klimperei's first ever record, which at the time, or more than 10 years ago, already was just a selection of five hours worth of music. If you are into experimental music, you must already know this prolix french duo (in music and in life) and the fact that they have 28 old songs on one CD will probably be good news to you. Those who ain't familiar with Klimperei should try to imagine a unique experimental voyarism, musique concrete vanguard, baroque, romantic, visionary, old-fashioned (above all in a record with material this old!) and "french"; simple minimalism, short compositions with out-of-tune pianos (or even worse with classical guitars and piano, both are out of tune) and other home made or really weird and unconventional instruments. Forget punk, this is the new do it yourself stream, a monument to home recording as well! Spontaneous as in every mainly improvised record. Klimperei throw everyone off with their stuff. For lovers and people really into this.

Title: Black Smoker
Format: CD
Label: Biophon (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Second release for Geir Jenssen's label, BLACK SMOKER is a very good ambient record. Remembering me the first Biosphere's records the sound of Opdahl is dark, pulsing , hypnotizing, deep and intense. The fourteen tracks melt one into the other in a perfect way (there's no fade in and fade out) and they seems one the direct consequence of the one before. Discovered by Geri Jenssen himself (he listened a demo tape Tom sent him and immediately he decided to produce his first work), Tom Opdahl released a perfect record which balance rhythmic tracks with spacey ones. Mellow sounds, echoes and synthesizer's pads duel with light bleeps and intriguing atmospheres giving to the tracks a touch of mistery which make me like this CD each time more. Try to get your hands on this record because you won't be disappointed: you bet!

Artist: SCENTED MEAT (@)
Title: Music for visual art
Format: CD
Label: Mah, Boh, Oib? (@)
Scented Meat is Giuseppe Leali, already reviewed as Il Salotto di Nonna Speranza (see archive), bass-player and experimental music agitator with his diy label and distribution Mah, Boh, Oibò?. As the title suggests, these three tracks (coming from 100% improvised guitar and bass solo sessions) are a complement to visual installations by the sculptor Massimo Giuliano and Leali himself. "Altered interference 1" is mainly feedbacks and amps noises with a kind of environmental reverb/delay giving a sense of spatiality; I think it's the best track of the work. "Altered interference 2" is pure feedback hisses in their rawer form. "Not at all" is a bass improvisation, sort of quieter stuff similar to the Nonna Speranza cd. The cd is "voluntarily annoying", and besides that I'd be curious of seeing what kind of visual art it was meant to accompany. Approach only if you like extreme improvised sadomasochism.

LYS: Roi-lune

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Artist: LYS
Title: Roi-lune
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie/Lytch (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Lys is Prikosnovenie's producer Frédéric's creature, here issuing its first full-length work (after the Nang-Faa project) on the subdivision Lytch, devoted to electronic, trip-hop, ambient and ethnica. Fred takes care of voice, samples, percussions, composition and engineering, with a tribe of guest musicians including Von Magnet's Phil Von, GOR's Francesco Bianchini and Christian Wolz. I must say I was a bit skeptical when I read the "ethnic-trip-hop" definition on the press-sheet, but the cd is definitely a nice surprise. While it actually has an electronic component, the ethnic characteristic (Northern African and Arabian music mainly, I'd say) is prevalent, and it's played with evident passion and good taste. Think of the non-medieval Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, or Von Magnet – it's remarkable how the acoustic played parts perfectly merge with the programmed ones, and the latter don't sound like an alien element. A good record.


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