lunedì 28 febbraio 2011

Gert-Jan Prins - "Noise Capture"

The solo Prins CD is a different beast altogether and is somewhat an extension of his electronics work on "Is It Elm?". Prins' background is not only in free improvisation and electronics but in rock and industrial music as well. His first important group, Gorgonzola Legs, was an industrial/free-jazz hybrid and he still plays in the experimental rock group Analecta which he has been part of since the early 90's. The edge and raw quality of
these influences is present in 'Noise Capture' which is essentially an organization of electronic and percussive sounds. What begins with three minutes of electronic crackle turns into an intense ten minute repeating hocket of industrial sounds which contains complex and subtle variations similarly found in a
Haino Keiji blowout.
And it goes on from there. Many of the patterns Prins creates
repeat in a driving rhythmic pulse making a very musical and very full sound. Think David Tudor meets Trent Reznor. A very interesting CD and I'm sure glad someone else can add their name to list with Robert Ashley and Nam June Paik of people putting TV sets to good use!


Noctum - "The Seance"

Uppsala seems to be just a perfectly normal Swedish city with roughly 130,000 inhabitants. But when it comes to Rock bands, there is nothing normal about Uppsala at all. It has been the number one breeding ground for great Metal bands over the last couple of years (and quite a few of those acts have been snatched up by High Roller Records). Noctum is the newest sensation from Uppsala, a brand new '70's Doom/Hardrock band of the highest calibre. I asked their bassist Tobias “Tobbe” Rosén why it is that so many great current Heavy bands are coming from Uppsala? He can't really explain the fact: "I can't give you a proper answer to this one. Each band represents itself and I don't really know why but loads of great music is created in our town." So is Uppsala the Rock capital of Sweden? Why are far bigger cities like Stockholm or Gothenburg lagging behind? In this case, Tobbe begs to differ: "I can't agree about this, in 'our' scene (the '70's Rock scene) I would say that Örebro and Gothenburg are the biggest ones but if you play/like Death Metal/Heavy Metal/Black Metal I think Uppsala is the best place and has a lot of bands to check out." So does Uppsala have a lot of great clubs, are there many rehearsal facilities? What's the secret of the city's phenomenal scene? Tobbe does not only play in his own band, he also supports the scene in another capacity: "I actually have my own club in Uppsala called Club Oblivion. Other than that I only pay attention to Club Digger which is a great club. Regarding the rehearsal facilities, I would say that we're lucky, there are loads of good rehearsal facilities and we receive support from our commune." Tobias' favourite band from his hometown is In Solitude. Noctum, on the other hand, are a really new band, they formed in September 2009. "The Seance" on High Roller Records is their first ever album.


domenica 27 febbraio 2011

Maurizio Bianchi/M.B. - "Blut und Nebel"

This CD is a 'de-compilation' of Maurizio Bianchi's first 10 LPs from the early 1980s.
It is an excellent demonstration of Bianchi's skills at dadaistic collage, free-form improvisation and abstract soundsculpting, as accrued over twenty years of electronic manipulation.
Noise is employed like an electric guitar to produce solos of manic intensity.

1 Genocide - Symphonic Holocaust
2 Womenses - Instrumental Secretion
3 Neuro Moerder - Concrete Anamnesis
4 Regole - Physiologic Musicality
5 Mecptyo - Acoustic Contamination
6 Testamento - Electrophonic Ultimatum
7 Endometrium - Haematic Cacophony
8 Carcynosi - Minimal Metastasis
9 Truth - Mutant Sonorities
10 Har-Maghedon - Apocalyptic Dissonance


Squadra Omega - "S/t"

Squadra Omega is a psych/avant/kraut rock collective with former and present members of the Mojomatics, With Love and Be Maledetto Now! devoted to free improvisation, psychedelic jams and mind blow ups.

It is said that all empires are built upon the ruins of previous empires. It is said that destruction breeds construction. In times of deadlocked aesthetics and stylistic stagnation the time is nigh for a destruction of the old and the construction of the new. From the rubble of a post-post modern world, Apollo is rising and he is accompanied by a tribe of psychedelic wasteland fellaheen – the Squadra Omega. The winds are shifting, the fog is lifting and a new age is a-coming. Spaceage Cubist-Free-Jazz clashes with Pygmy-Percussion-No Wave-Kraut Rock causing a sonic fusion leading to a complete derangement of the senses, an assault on the frontal lobe and permanent hallucination. This is music from the Third Eye.


giovedì 24 febbraio 2011

William Basinski - "The Garden of Brokenness"

'The Garden of Brokenness' takes a recently discovered tape loop from his piano and tape experiments (c.1979) then transforms it into a hauntingly hypnotic compisition that clocks in at 50 minutes and more than stands comprison with his 'Disintergration Loops' series. Trying to pin down what it is that makes Basinksi so special is nigh on impossible, but like all true innovators his vision and sound come together to produce something beyond the reach of a whole warehouse of adjectives, and in doing so subtly alter the way you view those things around you. Fervent bollocks you may think, but having submerged yourself in Basinki's beguiling fusion of bellicose aural clouds and distant piano, it's all to easy to become starry-eyed in admiration. Utterly essential.


martedì 22 febbraio 2011

Carl Michael Von Hausswolff - "Rays of Beauty"

This record includes four rare compositions by CM von Hausswolff, published in the early '80s on limited- edition vinyls (originally released on vinyl by Radium between 1983 and 1986). They are in fact some of the first traces of ambient or dark ambient on records. Noted by Andrew McKenzie of The Hafler Trio as an early source of inspiration. McKenzie wrote a long moving piece of fiction text entitled "But Man is Stuffed with Gods" especially for this release (included in the booklet). These recordings are now, for the first time, fully avalaible on CD.


lunedì 21 febbraio 2011

quintetAvant - "En Concert À La Salle Des Fêtes"

Don't you just love super-groups? Whatever musical category you pick, they've always existed and for as long as record companies are willing to look at ways of increasing their cash flow, they always will. Though Quintet Avant is a French music concrete-improv ensemble, I somehow doubt their grand raison d'être is to make money. Lionel Marchetti, Jérôme Noetinger, Jean Pallandre, Marc Pichelin and Laurent Sassi all play a variety of musical objects — from analogue synths, to microphones and reel-to-reels.

Recorded back in 2002, the audio represents what was happening at that time musically, though to be fair, this is still fresh stuff. Sensory overload is what the ensemble does best. Through the squeaks, the furiously paced glitches, the abrasive scratching sounds, through to the turntable sounds of records being manipulated to death, they do it all. Make no mistake; this isn't easy listening by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if anything, it requires that you absorb yourself in the world they've created — fully and completely. On the other hand, there's much humour in their presentation. How else would you enjoy sounds that mimic wind-up toys, shutting doors or sounds of crazy birds chirping up a storm? Even the calm moments sound plausible. Nothing is impossible in the world this quintet has dreamed up. In the name of good fun and under the heading of serious music served up to entertain, anything is possible.

Tom Sekowski- music live report


sabato 19 febbraio 2011

Ekkehard Ehlers - "plays"

In 2001, Ekkehard Ehlers released a compositional cycle of abstract tributes to artistic personalities. Released as a string of five EPs and singles on Staubgold and Bottrop-Boy throughout 2001 and early 2002, they were later culled and issued by Staubgold as Ekkehard Ehlers Plays in May of that year. The album comprises ten tracks, two per artist. Ehlers' music never references the works of its namesakes. Instead it draws inspiration from a certain state that the music of Cornelius Cardew, Albert Ayler, and Robert Johnson, the films of John Cassavetes, and the writings of Hubert Fichte create in Ehlers' mind. Although each set has its own character, associating it with the corresponding artist simply doesn't work -- and to add to the intentional confusion, the order in which the EPs' titles are listed on the front cover and the actual track list given in the booklet differ. Ehlers' music draws on German experimental ambient and minimal techno, but also post-rock melancholy and drone-based improvisation. The best pieces are the two "Ekkehard Ehlers Plays Albert Ayler" tracks, featuring slow cello notes (almost drones) by Anka Hirsch. They sound like funeral marches. The two "Ekkehard Ehlers Plays Hubert Fichte" tracks, with delicate guitar work by Joseph Suchy, also captivate. On the other hand, the dancefloor-friendly beat in the concluding "Ekkehard Ehlers Plays Robert Johnson" brings things to an awkward end. This album generates its own universe of cultural references but, beyond its conceptual side, it draws the listener into a highly introspective sound world, slow-changing and mesmerizing. It eschews the clichés of clicks + cuts, microsound, or any other trend rooted in experimental electronica at the time, making it definitely one of the strongest, most personal artistic statements of 2002.

venerdì 18 febbraio 2011

K11 - "Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D."

Continuing with his interest in cathedrals, with the new K11 release “Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D.”, Riparbelli entered Assisi Cathedral in the Umbria region of Italy, not far from Riparelli’s hometown of Tuscany; the 1230 A.D. in the album’s title referring to the date of completion of the original cathedral. Audio was recorded in the cathedral’s lower basilica, the oldest area where the actual relics of St. Francis Of Assisi are kept.

Again utilizing short-wave radios as his primary “instrument” Riparbelli has captured a haunting array of cavernous sounds, displaced signals and found ambience. With the addition of some voice and organ elements, Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D. sounds not unlike the recordings of experimentalists Philip Jeck and William Basinski under the influenced of Crowleyean Magick and Sacred Geometry. A psychedelic meditation from some medieval crypt captured out of time in the present.

The numbers used in the songtitles are chosen with purpose, all related to the Gematria, the ancient system that assigns numbers to words and how they relate to each other. A video shot inside the cathedral by Riparbelli is included on the disc to give the listener a visual picture of the aging structure. As in all K11’s work, the themes of magick, religion, numerology and esotericism are present throughout this reverent document of aural mysticism.


3/4HadBeenEliminated - "Oblivion"

The group (guitarist/double bassist Stefano Pilia, turntablist/sound assembler Claudio Rocchetti, tape manipulator/vocalist/guitarist Valerio Tricoli and percussionist Toni Arrabito) has created a work wich is at the same time new and refreshing and yet completely consistent with their vision: a deep interaction between human, environment, traditional instruments and live electronics that creates a floating atmosphere filled with a natural energetic flow which borders on the psychedelic. Thanks to the versatile use of the voice, capable of experimenting new solutions and suggestive ways of emission, and to the instrumental and electronic surround, they are able to create a three dimensional space, also thanks to the continuous switch between a concrete, rough world and a dream-like one.
"Oblivion" is their fourth full lenght album, and a further confirmation of the outstanding talent of these Italian musicians.


Ghost - "Opvs Eponymovs"

Standing motionless and anonymous beneath the painted faces, hoods and robes (which their sect demand), the six nameless ghouls of Ghost deliver litanies of sexually pulsating heavy rock music and romantic lyrics, which glorify and glamorise the disgusting and sacrilegious. The simple intention to communicate a message of pure evil via the most effective device they can find: Entertainment. This is Black Metal at it’s most original and deceiving; compositions such as “Ritual” and “Death Knell” majestically weave their melodic spell of evil through the senses until the listener finds themselves utterly possessed and open to any diabolical suggestion.

A daringly beautiful combination of satanic rock music with an almost unthinkable pop sensibility, Opus Eponymous is a must hear for 2010.

For fans of early Mercyful Fate, Angel Witch & The Devil's Blood.


mercoledì 16 febbraio 2011

Oreledigneur - "Oreledigneur"

Oreledigneur is the duo of Giuseppe Ielasi and Renato Rinaldi.
Their collaboration started in 1998 with the release of the cd "may 15th" (Fringes) with Domenico Sciajno and Gino Robair, followed by the first Oreledigneur LP (co-released by Fringes and Fusetron), in collaboration with Alessandro Bosetti.
On this cd, they are credited as playing 'big and small objects and instruments'. We can hear guitars (motorized, activated, and even conventionally played and filtered via tapeloops), field recordings (close miked small motors, working machines, nature and whatever), small percussion. The last section was recorded live in the open air, with the essential contribution of Stefano Pilia on loops and double bass. Recorded between 2002 and 2003 and assembled in the summer of 2003.


venerdì 11 febbraio 2011

Johannes Frisch & Ralf Wehowsky - "Unwahrscheinlichkeiten"

he duo of Johannes Frisch and Ralf Wehowsky has already showed up on the "Tränende Würger" CD (Korm Plastics, 2005). The main instrument of Frisch is double bass, the trademark approach of Wehowsky is pedantic electronic sound transformation aiming towards artifacts and tiny details of sound to be put to the foreground. The collaboration of these two musicians combines modern neoclassical and concrete music with complex psycholigical compositional structure. The album consists of three tracks. The first one was recorded real-time with minimal post-editing. The second one contains two recordings of the same piece, taped after each other during the same recording session. The third track consists of 3 excerpts from one recording, played back in different speeds and layered over each other. Pathologically strange sound of a classical instrument, filtered under a meticulous supervision of a German composer - the accents are put on microscopic details of double bass, all rustles and creaks are put to the front, supported by strange electronic sounds as if sucked by syringes from the wires of pick-ups and effects modules. Recommended to the rare lovers of getting into the very depth of sound.


lunedì 7 febbraio 2011

Low & Dirty Three - "In the Fishtank"

In November 1999 Konkurrent invited Low to record one of Konk's in house Fishtank-sessions. Low, being familiar with the series, accepted. In the spirit of 'In The Fishtank' Low took things a step further and extended the invitation to their friends Dirty Three to collaborate on the session which took place when both bands played the multi-media festival Crossing Border in Amsterdam.
One can imagine that this created quite a hectic scene when the actual recording took place. While Low where soundchecking, Dirty Three got off the plane on Schiphol Airport. And when Dirty Three were busy doing overdubs, Low did a wonderful show at the festival. Through it all both bands kept their legendary cool, and recorded, faster than anyone could have guessed, six basic songs. The combination of Low's open, desolate sound and the melancholic yet folky violin of Dirty Three's Warren Ellis inspired Mimi to indulge in a more crooning way of singing and Alan to play some amazing banjo. Low's open minds and the way Dirty Three perfectly fit in, makes this Fishtank the record you would expect from such wonderful bands.