Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Music Reviews

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Artist: RASAL.A'SAD
Title: Space.Scape
Format: CD
Label: This.Co (@)
I'm really not sure if Rasal.a'sad are a Ras.Al.Ghul side-project, or if someone else is involved, but besides being issued by their label This.Co, I think this cd does have some link with the typical Ras.Al.Ghul sound. Strangely enough, because along the years RAG have mainly worked with rhythms, skillfully blending kraut-electronica, dub, d'n'b and IDM, while this pleasant cd has no beats at all. What it does have is a true feeling of "cosmic music", in this case stripped of any rhythm and expanded in 4 long tracks reaching 50' of length. "Space.Scape" is a beautiful voyage through gulfs of time-erasing sound movements. Only synthetic layers are used, with slow changes and progressions; no external melody or element comes to break the surface. A really accomplished cd of abstract ambient, in the vein of some '70's cosmic courier or even late Coil.


Artist: CYBORG ATTACK
Title: Blutgeld
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
First full-length cd by this German trio, after a self-released mcd and a few compilation appearances on Black Rain and Nightingale samplers. Cyborg Attack cross electro with low-pitched, quasi black/death metal vocals. My main problem with this kind of crossover is that, besides being not that attractive per se, it seems very, very hard to do it well without being kitsch (while there are examples of good taste and sobriety both in electro and metal, of course). And, moreover, I think this cd gets really repetitive after a couple of tracks, which is not a good sign. Ok, electro is almost always like that, tun-tun-tun etc., but maybe coupling monotonous gruffy vocals is not the best way to make it more varied. Sorry, this was really not my thing.


DAEDELUS: Invention

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Artist: DAEDELUS
Title: Invention
Format: CD
Label: Plug Research
Distributor: Audioglobe
It could be that I'm wrong but I haven't appreciated this record that much. I'll try to explain. All the compositions are made assembling samples of old jazz or lounge pre 70's records (or presumably this has been the main way) and sometimes there's also some trip hop rhythm. The idea is original but there's a general lack of energy during the fortyfive minutes of the CD and this makes of INVENTION a potential good record. For sure there are tracks that are catchy and all (like "Loded" and "Perchance A Bit"), but at the end of the listening I don't know if I enjoyed it or not and this isn't that good. It could be that you'll instantly fall in love with this record or it could be that I'd need to listen to it more than twice but what the heck, a record should have something to catch my attention instantly. This isn't a bad review because I enjoy the rhythmic tracks and the idea but there's something missing and this is disturbing for me...
p.s. Nice the sung versions of "Quiet Now" and "Pursed Lips Reply" thanks to the collaboration with Busdriver and Sach.


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Artist: The Flying Dutchman (@)
Title: Pathfinder
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
First time I've heard The Flying Dutchman it was through Staalplaat I think, in fact, as the name might imply, The Flying Dutchman is a project by a Dutch producer, Mr Hanyo Van Oosterom. When a producer makes an album on his own, you know it outta be good (or at least it should sound good), and I wasn't disappointed throughout the twelve trip-hop and ambient songs. In association indie rock group Spot members Ciska Ruitenber (whose voice reminded me of Jane Siberry, maybe with more vibrato) and Edwin de Herder (guitar), the collective co-wrote many of the songs on this record and performed a well worth blend of ambient and trip-hop. They've been compared to mastermind Bill Laswell as well as to Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack and Lamb. This record sounds great, I really enjoyed listening to it and you should definitely check it out as soon as you get a chance.


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Artist: Laurent Brondel
Title: Weld
Format: CD
Label: Tone Casualities (@)
Distributor: Proper Sales & Dist.
Here's some really cool shit for the intelligent dancing masses... Originally (and still) a talented Holdsworth-style guitar player, Laurent Brondel will now utilize, warp, meld and weld any available instrument to achieve the aural satisfaction he's after. He says he likes it dark and long and even though the songs rarely go over six minutes, working towards that hypnotic musical recurrence seems to be doing the trick. In this album his Dj skills mixed with a couple of occasional special guests on trumpets (Cuong Vu, whose last album Brondel has produced) and guitars (Fred Consavela), and with the addition of lots of sampling, splicing, (re-)arranging, improvisation etc, give it a nice urban feel but also sort of a global Chemical Bros vibe and sometimes the beautiful trip-hop even reminds you of Massive Attack or Portishead (listen to "21st Century Lounge" and its fire organ samples). When the beat gains speed though, he really dives into the drum 'n' bass territories but seems to be feeling right at home and not just visiting... The tracks are powerful and well programmed, they flow and glow like gems in a crowded dancefloor. Alternating really well done d'n'b with more atmospheric chill-out lounge stuff, the album is complete with so much you'll have your hands full for a while... I've gone through the 13 pieces several times and could discover some new things every time. Turned out to be and exciting listening experience. Personally I really like the album and I think he's got great skills and his break drum'n'bass material is extremely valid! Not everything's about breakbeats only! The sounds are truly nice and punching. The stuff's really dope and reminded me of the times when I was mixing that other super cool live d'n'b human-machine drummer that is Jojo Mayer and his Prohibited Beatz band, who I am mentioning because the most beat-intensive songs on this record are really close to what those NY guys were improvising during their legendary shows. I can't imagine what Jojo and Laurent wouldn't put on fire if they'd team up for a gig!
By the way, look out for three more records by this artist on Statra records.



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