Reviews: 1/3/2004

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  • John Hegre :: A Nice Place to Leave(Dekorder, 3″ CD)

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    At about 19 minutes, Norwegian electronic artist John Hegre (Jazzkammer)
    sets out on his own in the escapism of A Nice Place to Leave. A
    sudden jolt of pure ambient layered drones build to a volume and drop,
    this is micro-noise at its finest, even though this listener normally is
    a bit reticent about fever pitch. Most of this is pretty quiet and full
    of sheer luster. Separated into three individual tracks that prepare
    the world for its hollow voids and eternal tunnels. The stoic elephant
    on the disc’s cover seems to emphasize the abrupt disturbance to nature
    that is allotted to those who pay admission to see them out of their
    natural context. The music manifestly mimics this theme by leaving its
    devices to their own delicate possibilities of chaos theory. Like dry
    windshield wipers scraping incessantly, in motion like a pendulum,
    Hegre’s atonal configuration is at once uneasy and yet as uniform as
    drive through at McDonald’s. If you enjoy the work of P16.D4 and Brume
    this might be in your best interest.

    A Nice Place to Leave is OUT NOW on Dekorder.

  • Dekorder

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  • Vitamins For You :: I’m Sorry Forever and Always(Intr_Version, CD)

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    Hazy electronics and broken vocals with some trad-drums and the sort of
    feel of a more folky Pulseprogramming. “Ecologie + Histoire Pts. 2 and
    3″ is the result of what might happen if you popped Mira Calix and
    Schlammpeitziger (with essence of People Like Us) in a processor
    together. Pop, hiss, scratch, and these Vitamins may easily be
    served with your favorite breakfast cereal. But rest assured, this
    ain’t the sugar-sweet carbs you resolved to abhor – this is a genuine
    collage of sequenced vocal excerpts and unpredictable ocean waves. Some
    guy is talking about sharing ice cream, some droopy Canadian guitars
    (ala Godspeed…) and some fascinating glitch (on “Losing Everything”)
    make I’m Sorry Forever and Always something of a mixed bag – but one
    you want to continue routing through for surprises. This is like the
    schizophrenic young cousin of an unknown folk artist who discovered a
    vocoder in a grassy knoll while writing in his diary.

    I’m Sorry Forever and Always is OUT NOW on Intr_Version.

  • Intr_Version

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  • Troyer :: Rose De Shraz(Deluxe, CD)

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    This disc has been kicking around and around for a while and I just
    didn’t have the words until now. Guitars, samples, clarinet,
    multi-lingual vocal and lots of super loops make this an eclectic
    mélange of cross instrumentation. With pop hooks aplenty, Vienna-based
    Ulrich Troyer invites musical friends to join him in the cut-n-paste
    merriment. Rose de Shiraz has both studio and street savvy and drifts
    in and out of funky rhythms that are informed by Miles Davis and world
    music alike. Troyer has taken a herd of crunchy lounge-tinged vocals
    with field recordings and just sculpted something quite insightful as
    heard on the laid back “Muhallebi.” It is as if he just recorded the
    sounds of random cafes he traveled to and seamlessly matched the warmth
    of the people to the sounds of the music. On “Teddystep” I expect a
    Madonna vocal to emerge, only to be more pleasantly surprised that he
    plays on territory in the air by the likes of Basement Jaxx and Daft
    Punk, not to mention the past influence of say, Propellerheads. The
    electric diving pool that is “Brunnenmarktremix: Sirine” incorporates
    the casual spoken punctuation of Kurdish Naser Razzazi. For all its
    hooks and lines, throughout Rose de Shiraz we are reminded of the
    power of bass, and of how emotionally connected the low end is. On
    “Sono a Cozze” Troyer presents, in part, allergic reactions in the form
    of sneezing – now that was a first for me – and this disc is filled with
    so many clever rifs and tricks throughout one wonders how his next
    effort will fare in comparison.

    Rose De Shraz is OUT NOW on Deluxe.

  • Deluxe

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  • Koji Asano :: Zoo Telepathy(Solstice, CD)

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    One of three new releases in his “winter collection” Barcelona-based
    Koji Asano is nothing short of one of the most prolific living
    electronic composers. Split into three untitled tracks this 50 minute
    recording is an electro-acoustic reshaping of the instrument formerly
    known as the violin. Asano has treated the instrument in such a way
    that if one were to fiddle with barbed wire and a bow you may get a
    similar result. This sound “zoo” is like a passage into a forbidden
    layer of DNA that has been etched away for centuries. Verging on
    commotion, but shy enough to suppress the edge that is about to burst,
    Asano deals in the tact of tension. At times it is a pale drone, then
    you are in traffic or a a grunting pigpen – in all you may be listening
    to a full symphony tuning their string-based instruments – though there
    is something much more profound here. Call it psychedelic if you will,
    though this winter piece will keep me from hibernating.

    Zoo Telepathy is OUT NOW on Solstice.

  • Solstice

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  • Voks :: Vaks Vanskab Ak(Dekorder, 3″ CD)

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    It’s like a 10-track (all under 3 minutes) mini cartoon album on 3″
    disc! Part Pink Panther, part Mouse on Mars, this is an incredibly
    clever-sweet spin that has a relentless upbeat sense of perky beats,
    almost like a harpsichord in the snow. Shucking out his debut album,
    Copenhagen’s Voks has formerly worked with Goodiepal and V/VM with the
    camaraderie of humor certainly passing hands for sure. Plink, plunk a
    go-go….and here you have one of those special bright spots on those
    nasty gray days – something you can play for friends that may even
    warrant a gut full of laughter. These are little haiku sketches with some
    vague Asian undertones and a connect-the-dots attitude.

    Vaks Vanskab Ak is OUT NOW on Dekorder.

  • Dekorder
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