Reviews: 4/2005

>>> Key

  • . Frozen In Time (10 Below)
  • . . On Thin Ice (Playable)
  • . . . Icebreaker (Solid)
  • . . . . Sonic Ice (Repeat)
  • . . . . .Avalanche (Classic)

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  • CHRIST :: Seeing and Doing EP
  • CD :: Benbecula
  • . . . .

    * SCOTLAND :: In follow-up to his debut album Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle, Christ has risen up once again to bring something slightly more funky and accessible, while still keeping pungently enigmatic overtures in his wake as heard on “Marsh of Epidemics” (the final track is a fortified chill-out mix of the same track by Alias). This five track EP will have to hold people over until a later release of live sessions on the infamous John Peel Show is released in the near future. Sandpapered vocal whispers and maudlin cinema are tinkered with via high-flying fiery static and other knotty chamber rhythms of his “Magic Piano.” Boasting Christ’s funkiest sci-fi track to date, “Alter Boy,” this is a solid little collection that doesn’t shy from the edge of convention, stealing a touch of the best 80s alterna-pop from say Blancmange and OMD. Still as crisp as kettle chips, but goes down like a trancy chill pill!

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  • MAEROR TRI :: The Singles
  • CD :: EE Tapes
  • . . . . .

    1002 image 2 :: By far the most highly anticipated underground release of 2005 has got to be Maeror Tri’s The Singles. With such little material available on disc, the provocatively defunct trio known as Glit(s)ch, BarakaH and Helge Siehl truly stirred the limited edition vinyl and cassette scene of the 90s with atmospheres that are larger than the small island that they must have been on creating this serene psychedelia. Most of the work here is reprised from 7″ releases that floated about for a few months here or there by such notable imprints as Noise Museum and Ant-Zen. These gents take the ear to filthy, uncharted territory. Distant static and rubbery rhythms are double dipped like a tin foil sandwich on the rough-around-the-edges “Exorbitant” which prods along like a bad dream. Gravely, brutal sonic fusions of worlds that are as equally predatory as they are free zones of true experimental exploration. Delivered in a very raw cardboard limited, hand-printed edition of only 525 copies, this release will surely sell out within a few months, as it should. These players have gone on to emerge into a duo back in the late 90s to become Troum who have also gone on to create some amazing textural soundscapes that are as tribal as they are ambient hypnotism. Get lost in the layered bass tones of “Phyein” and stay there a while as all of the tracks are approximately 7-minute plus lengthy and drone-laden epics, so to speak. Meditative and melodic, the vibe may scare some small pets and fans of AOR, but the emphasis is shear inebriation. The Singles plays like a wide-open grande opera stage, naked with a few bare light bulbs casting a slightly off-white hue. Close your eyes and lose yourself for an hour.

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  • CONTAGIOUS ORGASM + TELEPHERIQUE :: Crosses Deeply
  • CD :: SSSM/Coolanatomy
  • . . . .

    1002 image 3 :: Ongoing collaborative efforts from these two veteran experimenters create an aesthetic combo of glitchy hip-hop with a bright beat and lots of gas. And yes, there’s a hell of a lot of noise like that heard on “He Electronic Circuit Which is Played Back in the Trash Box.” It’s a chaotic, revolving merry-go-round where the revelers on this ship don’t seem so merry. They use lots of samples both airy and menacing. At first you may hear yourself at the friendly checkout counter, suddenly you are being followed by a ten-foot tall bball player who has plans for you, and as the old adage goes, your ass is grass and he’s the lawnmower man. On “Time is Necessary to Repair this Machine,” the moogy overtures are purely taken from a lost page that Gary Numan scrapped circa ’81. All along the way Crosses Deeply is a collage of playful indulgence in twangy guitar warble and outlandish birdcalls bleeds rapidly into the slacker percussion that’s jokingly amateurish throughout “An Electric Wave between the Foreign Countries.” It’s the record you always wanted to make as a kid, but never had the wherewithal, just much more complicated than you’d ever imagine. By combining industrial sounds of production with the unwired madman hijinx of some whacko, unbridled dementia this duo has concocted a modern fairytale. Only this is told through the eyes of the cryogenically frozen brain of Walt Disney.

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  • PIRANDELO :: Suona
  • CD :: DSP
  • . . .

    1002 image 4 :: A steely wash of concave stringed instruments warped in time. As the foreground is a love torn droney melodious sorta theme, the background is filled with Christmas bells, loud fun, sorta like two discreet parties at once. Hiss n’ sizzle all the way along, with playful toy-like clamor. On Suona, Pirandelo (Andrea Gabriele) has developed an indefinable signature sound that weaves noise, techno and some funky underpinnings into a frappe of bright spots. “Play with Sand, Like Children (do)” has an open, free-spirit that guides you through a web of beaded curtains and post-Barney flaky, bubble gum melodies. This is a thinking man’s record, with crusty edges and warm insides.

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  • OKAPI :: Where’s The Beef?
  • CD :: Inflatabl Labl
  • . . . . 1/2

    1002 image 5 :: Okapi is Filippo Paolini who just has a bright, bold style ala Senor Wences meets Meco meets Negativland (sans doom) sampling yesteryear’s quirky Paramount production soundtracks and making them his own. Where’s the Beef? plays like a veritable panoply of lil snippets and hanging chads with lots of humor and just enough soul. If you’re looking for something that is both cartoonish and irreverently smart-ass, this will be in your player a good long time. It plays like a 50′s spy themed commercial for dishwashing liquid. It’s a twisted tongue-in-cheek sleeper; Samba here, Road Runner there –just a thrill-seeker’s ear-fest. If you saw the scene in The (remade) Stepford Wives where Nicole Kidman is walking through the technicolor supermarket, yeah, it’s like that! I love the ease that he uses to play time machine, going from the tick-tock time machine, turning back the hands of the clock to the pulse of post 4 a.m. dancefloor sounds of “Stek House” to the eerie Hawaiian themes toyed with on “Spendo Bene!.” These short snippets are like lil’ burlesque haikus, all shortened and to the point. What makes this different than the cut-ups of others is that the samples are well blended, finely integrated, like a sound landscape that is so intentional and prefabricated that it could put SIM City to shame. Ten thumbs up!

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  • OH ASTRO :: Hello World
  • CD :: Illegal Art
  • . . .

    1002 image 6 :: Jane Dowe (a.k.a. Oh Astro) takes a bold-faced turn to blurted hip-hop washes and sheer colorific robotica on Hello World. Jane’s gone wild in this blurification of assumed crappy 80′s faux soul by stripping its centered production for just the ultimate fuck you to industry lipspeak. The result is not necessarily the first thing I would listen to on the Stairmaster – but that’s the point. It’s just a synergistic mess – breaking down the commodification of what makes our time filled to the gills with overly produced fluffy filler, the likes you hear in McDonald’s, elevators and everywhere that is convenient. This is the record’s edge, but it’s self defeat, it just is irritatingly irrational. Tracks like “All My Favorite” finger snapps it’s way to the trash heap of hell. I love to hate it.

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  • PORTABLE :: It From Bit
  • CD :: Sud
  • . . . .

    1002 image 7 :: Portable, by far one of the new fresh performers on the electronic scene, has released It from Bit – new wax that is dripping in twenty-four minutes of beats and belligerence. Not only does this young guy bring us something off the beaten tracks filled with rhythm, it’s sorta grown from a think-tank steeped in harder vibes like those learned from the vaults of Joy Division and various twiddlers from the early 80′s Berlin scene. This is music of the night. Picture this: a smoky dark club, Portable on the deck, some hearty rave revelers, in neon dank spotlit spaces, wafting with hints of patchouli, weed and stale beer. The sound is bare, vague reverb, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz; Trance induced fix.

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