April 28, 2008
how English and Hebrew can co-exist.
Cincinnati quintet Johnnytwentythree are a band intent on taking cinematic instrumental music to the next level.. the shimmering guitars, the bombastic percussion and the orchestral grandeur are all present here.
..back to the glory days of post-rock
April 26, 2008
As such, the majority of Vago comes off as gimmicky. It's taken Jakob years to hone its craft to a true art form, and without the artistic proficiency of Set Fire to Flames, much of Katabatic's material is superfluous. To the band's credit, when simplicity is in sight there is much to love. Moments on "Rising Nebula" and "Midnight Glow" are magnificent, with icy guitar lines and the faintest hints of ambience burning into our hearts. When more ambitious plans are set, an ineptitude in balancing becomes readily apparent. At the time being we can't really appreciate Vago more than just for its theoretical contributions, but perhaps one day soon Katabatic will be more than just hot air - Lee Whitefield(thesilentballet.com)
"Hailing from Melbourne, Laura are one of the few Australian post-rock bands who play in a style that can be easily compared to contemporaries such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions in the Sky. On first examination, their music sounds like the midpoint of those two bands. Closer examination, however, reveals a greater depth to Laura's music and a much broader range of sounds. Laura employ a wide range of instruments on Radio Swan is Down; guitars, synthesisers, samplers, strings, male and female vocals, brass and various percussion instruments all make welcome appearances throughout the record. Released just over a year after their full-length debut, Radio Swan is Down is the conclusion of an enormous amount of work in a small amount of time. Radio Swan is Down is an intense album that deals with a number of different emotional states; depression, paranoia and joy all seem to be fairly strong themes throughout the album."
"Laura was one of the most talked about post-rock bands in the past year with their slightly different take on their music. The formulaic sound that many (not all) bands from the genre have is nowhere to be seen in this album, and what a wonderful sight that is! I've never been this exited about an album from the genre since last year's Enjoy Eternal Bliss by Yndi Halda. Although there's clearly a big difference in their sound. While in my eyes Yndi Halda managed to improve and perfect the clichés about the genre making it look like a it was 2002 all over again, Laura on the other hand are in the vanguard of the genre slowly breaking new walls and opening new paths for other bands to follow. The instrumentation is still common using the guitars as the forefront of their sound while vibraphones, violins, piano ect. help to make their sound as full as possible. The difference is in how they use it. As I said earlier, and probably be saying in the rest of the review, they don't follow any pattern already made by previous bands so this makes the album a nice varied experience. There isn't a single song that sound alike to another, but still it doesn't sound like a mish mash of sounds and its always focused (a thing which many people feel bands from the genre lack). The songs aren't long and they don't overstay their welcome. There's a different variety of themes in the songs all which make the album vary in emotions as well. As we all know post-rock bands are more concerned about making you feel rather than anything else and Laura isn't the exception. From love to hate, to despair, to joy, to anger, to nostalgia, you name it Laura pretty much covers it with its eleven songs and hour and four minutes of running time. My favorite song from the album is the breathtaking "I Hope". I can't really express my feelings I get when listening to this song. It's one of the three songs that uses vocals and the vocals are what makes this song what it is: simply wonderful. There's a bit of a problem though. The album has it's high quality material up front and by the end of the album the difference can be clearly felt with the only exception being the last song. But don't make this comment slow you down, this is still one of the best releases of the last year and one of the better albums from the genre. At the end of the day you'll get an overall excellent album with very little drawbacks and a nice well needed distinctive sound. I strongly recommend this album for fans of melodic prog and post-rock fans in need of a new and refreshing sound."(progarchives.com)
April 25, 2008
This album evokes the magical and serene setting of Good Friday as celebrated in the Eastern Church. Recorded live in Church during Easter (1962-1965). Fairuz's voice creates a meditative atmosphere. (Amazon.)
Artist:Bury The Sound
Album: Autumn Magnets
he Melbourne-based instrumental four piece create an emotionally charged musical landscape rich with possibility. Their sound is a compelling blend of lush guitars, delicate piano, melodic basslines and powerhouse drumming. Bury the Sound’s elegant, cinematic songs steadfastly refuse to follow the well-trodden path of hosts of instrumental bands, weaving a rich musical tapestry that draws as much upon ’70s legends Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd as it does from contemporary masters such as Do Make Say Think and Tortoise.
..wonderfully dynamic slabs of instrumental rock..
"God help me, I love swirling guitars. If all music had to somehow be wiped from the face of the Earth, keeping shoegaze with me would be enough to last a lifetime. There’s enough complexity beneath the vibrant sonic waves, hiding new pieces of songs yet unheard, to keep me fixated for years. Such is the case with Bury The Sound. A new face on Hidden Shoals Records, Autumn Magnets is the Australian group’s debut release—featuring three tracks totaling near 25 minutes of cataclysmic instrumental work. From the haunting piano-scorched landscapes of “Gemini Unbound” – where the guitars glimmer and sizzle behind a driving pulse of bass and piano twirls – to the more traditional shoegaze of “Saratoga” – similar to an earlier Explosions in the Sky or Butterfly Explosion – Autumn Magnets is a glorious snapshot at the enormous potential with Bury The Sound. More friendly to the ear than My Bloody Valentine and perhaps quieter than Explosions in the Sky, Bury The Sound achieve a special niche in the instrumental shoegaze spectrum—one that will surely be gobbled up by music fans waiting for just such a conglomerate. “What Would One Become” settles the matter by achieving that sort of multi-emotional musical composition that Explosions in the Sky does so well. The eerie, irrepressible piano soars above a grounded guitar carefully strumming along to create a mural that could be sorrowful or inspirational—or both at once. That feeling, whatever emotional response is garnered from your ears, is built upon slowly but surely through the song’s near 9 minutes, until finally opening the flood gates and letting all hell through in a massive climax. This is instrumental shoegaze at its best, the kind that makes my mouth water. I beg and plead to the good people of Hidden Shoal Records and Bury The Sound—give me more! The first taste was free, and now I’m hooked."(musicemissions.com)
Album: Piano solos vol.2
ustin O'Halloran is an acclaimed pianist, who has done work with Sara Lov for Devics and has also been featured on the soundtrack for the Sofia Coppola 2006 film Marie Antoinette.O’Halloran grew up as a classically trained pianist but after a relocation to live with his father, he parted from the instrument for over a decade before he would rediscover his passion. After meeting his now other half of the independent shoegazer band Devics, Sarah Lov was the inspiration he needed to begin playing again. Through writing music and playing with Lov, his focus within the LA-based group slowly turned towards the piano. With inspirations ranging from Beethoven and Chopin to Mogwai, he takes his eerily gorgeous music from the Devics and strips it down to the bones. The result is timeless beauty that is full of aching emotion.
".. The album is amazing in many respects and for O’Halloran, I would imagine it was a wild success in composing a lifetime of events and feelings into pieces of music. For his listeners, it really depends on your taste and perhaps even your level of involvement. If you have it on in the background, you may not notice the intricate details woven within each track and the sadness mixed with joy that can be felt throughout. However, if you turn out the lights, sit in a comfortable chair that will allow you to reflect on whatever the music inspires in your own self, I’m willing to bet that you will fall head over heels for Solos and soon find yourself enveloped in the masterpieces so perfectly directed towards the heart."(adequacy.net)
"..Piano Solos Vol. 2 is literally what its title says it is: a collection of piano solos, performed with an acute tenderness by Dustin O’Halloran, fifty per cent of US-born but Italy-based duo Devics. When heard through headphones, it’s music to slow a step to a crawl, to have the eyes finding a previously unseen splendour in something so everyday you’ve only ever overlooked it before now. It’s music that has the day’s star shining that little bit brighter; music that could, if amplified across the park, have pigeons dancing across the brilliant blue sky in perfect slow-motion synchronicity. A ballet set to a score to melt an ice queen’s heart."(drownedinsound.com)
"Piano Solos vol. 2," is a timeless array of concertos that fluidly cascade from serene to demanding, seemingly crying out to tell a story with each note. The cinematic opus unravels as if allowing a glimpse into O'Halloran's soul, or a soundtrack to his memories. The heart-swelling compositions appear fragile, yet haunting, capturing moments of melancholic bliss, brimming with introspection."(pluginmusic.com)
April 24, 2008
Album: The Secret
Of The Semitones.
transcribed for baroque
hen Andrew Lawrence-King -- who leads his Harp Consort and plays with the likes of Jordi Savall -- makes an album of solo harp music, it's always a thing of wonder. His entrancing 1999 DHM set of solo Bach transcriptions,Der Fantasie der Chromatik "The Secret of the Semitones," is one of this listener's desert-island discs (and now a hard-to-find item).
Artist:Joy Wants Eternity
Album: You Who Pretend To Sleep
oy Wants Eternity are a Seattle-based instrumental rock group and You Who Pretend To Sleep is the band’s mightily impressive debut record. The band plays gorgeously shimmering instrumental pieces much in the vein of bands like Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky.
...staggeringly beautiful epic imagery...
"Grinding guitars crunch in a celestial manner, establishing a savage intensity that frequently betrays a peek of heaven. Confused? Don't be. This music achieves a euphoric state through the application of melodic brutality. Guitars blaze with molten fury, expressing chords of searing disposition. The result is so mesmerizing that it's breathlessly hypnotic. And exhausting too. Deafeningly passionate percussion rumbles beneath the layered guitars, providing a suitable locomotion for the grinding tuneage. At other times, the drumming adopts a lazy attitude as it belts out soothing rhythms that gradually amass vitality. A bevy of electronics and effects seethe amid the mix, further cementing the music into a wall of sound that even a neutrino would be hard pressed to penetrate. Ah, but this music is not all brutal and ferocious. There are frequent softer touches that exhibit alluring skill as dreamy passages are crafted, serving as bridges from one pinnacle of intensity to the next. The guitars, however, retain a sense of power that refuses to be suppressed. While displaying restraint, the layered guitar riffs bristle with vigor and soar with majesty. The music possesses a remarkable density that can be exhilarating. The compositions capitalize on this harnessed might, channeling ecstasy into a harsh milieu that shines with the final glory." (www.soniccuriosity.com/sc313.htm)
"The most beautiful thing about bands like Explosions in the Sky, or Mogwai, is their ability to illustrate the entire spectrum of human emotion without the use of words - and Joy Wants Eternity is no different. This 5 piece instrumental group out of Seattle poured everything into their first full length album You Who Pretend to Sleep which is slated for release on May 22 and is comparable to Explosion's The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. Their songs are lush, and full of ambient soundscapes that bend, twist, and mold to the mood of the listener. Every song tells a story, but never the same one twice. Bands like these pour their heart and soul into one song which will have an infinite number of meanings to each individual listener. Ambient guitar riffs brilliantly layered under beautiful keyboard melodies with the a familiar driving drum beat is a sound we've come to know and love. And as long as our imaginations are fully functional, we'll never get tired of it."(indiechristoph.com)
On Vol. II, James turns away from the glut of soulless techno by stripping away its base properties, focusing more intently on mood than on rhythm and melody. Most of the songs rely on eerie synth effects layered within sparsely repeated or sustained notes and blips that pulse like distant stars. Few use beats. Indeed, it's the absence of beats that makes the music so strange and haunting, and when beats do surface, they serve to accent a tone rather than sustain a tempo.
An Ambient Masterpiece!!
"Quite simply put, the greatest electronic CD that I own, and quite possibly in the top ten over all (this is battling with the likes of Mozart and Bach, mind you.) Not only is this the CD that introduced me to Aphex Twin, it is the CD that launched me into a world of experimemtal, ambient, and IDM sounds. Every once in a while you get something that changes your life, and I can honestly say this changed my life -- and it continues to do so, nearly a decade later. I've listened to this one so many times, sometimes all day long on loop. There isn't a single song that gets old for me. Another thing is that it does not feel dated, despite using equipment and techniques that are now inferior -- it is almost as if the hissing and sometimes marred samples were all meant to be that way. Ambient Works I has not aged so well, unfortunately. Part of it has to do with the utter atmospheric quality of the tracks. Some of them seem more akin to forgotten wind chimes on a depression era porch out in the middle of Kansas. There isn't ever a feeling that this is electronic, even though it plainly is. There is no "right" way to listen to this music. I've listened to it in the background with my parents while discussing philosophy; In a hot bath with flickering candles; in the wee hours of the morning writing software; weeping in bed; painting; softly; so loud the walls shake; sitting on the porch; cooking food; making love -- I've done it all, and never has it felt out place. It taints whatever you are doing and enhances it. It is brain food. My best artistic inspirations have unfolded during some of its darkest tracks. It will creep you out. You'll find yourself madly humming its non-sense sonic riddles during the day. It's ironic, the reason I diverged from my prior listening tastes into the word it opened up was to find more music like it. I've found a lot of stuff I really love as a result -- but I have yet to this day found anything like SAW2, and I doubt I ever will. It used to depress me, but now I don't mind. The original craving for more has been fulfilled by the timeless quality it provides."(discogs.com)
"I bought this album not knowing what it was. I had just gotten into several other Aphex Twin albums and thought this would be another of his noisy masterpieces. It is not noisy, but a masterpiece nonetheless. It was my first true introduction to ambient music and it has remained my favorite ambient record ever since. SAWII is a true listening experience. Only a couple tracks (out of twenty-four) contain beats. There are no vocals except for a few muted, muffled samples. The record consists of long, slow repeating electronic tones, bells, piano, static, and odd noises. Each listener has his/her own experience. Like other reviewers before me, I suggest listening to it alone and with good speakers or headphones. I would not say that it is driving music, unless you are driving alone in the mountains in the middle of the night. Put the record on, close your eyes and see the images that the music creates in your head. The music is at times eerie, beautiful, achingly sad, and downright scary. I visualize vast imagery when playing this record: alien landscapes, endless droning machinery, the dark depths of oceanic caves, beautiful mountain sunrises, and sometimes imagery that cannot even be put into words. There is no comparison."(Scott Wejmar)
"As when this collection was released in 1994, SELECTED AMBIENT WORKS VOL. II continues to confound techno fans and musicologists alike. Richard James working under his most famous guise, Aphex Twin, released this collection which is still one of the most significant electronic albums ever released and, yes, RDJ is both a genius and a calculated, smart-arsed iconoclast, but a con-artist he ain't. Many people appear to be so outraged by this album (what no song titles? where are the hum-along melodies? where are the dance beats?) that they are prone to ridicule it with knee jerk 1-star reviews -- you can almost visualize the terror in their eyes when their notions of music have been turned upside-down by this album. Frequently devoid of percussion, the musicscapes and tone poems found here are a mix of the profoundly beautiful, terrifying and dissonant. This album is for anyone with enough musical sense to look beyond standard pop music structure and dance beats and a willingness to explore darker, abstract and frequently microtonal electronic music like you've never heard before. If you can appreciate Xenakis, John Cage, Brian Eno, Stockhausen and other early electronic/ambient/avant-garde pioneers then this album is a must. Granted, a few tracks are downright grating, but even they have their place on this album. Now that electronica is a bonafide genre choked with literally thousands of subpar artists and compilations, this album stands as a rare, mind-altering jewel ... now more than ever."(Michael Paulsen)
April 23, 2008
óhann Jóhannsson (born 1969) is an Icelandic-born musician, composer
and producer. He also runs the record label Kitchen Motors in Reykjavík,
the art organization/think tank/record label which specializes in
instigating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows based on the ideals of experimentation, collaboration and the search for new art forms.
"Jonhann Johannsson's first solo release, Englaborn, is one of the most fantastic and amazing things I've heard in a long time. The only other piece of information I know of Jonhannsson is his eclectic other group, Apparat Organ Quartet, is pretty friggin' good. However, if you like music in that vein, then this is not your ticket. This entire album sounds like a string quartet with synthetic overtones, making me believe Johannsson wrote the music, had the quartet play, and then put his own intricities in.
Needless to say, they are nothing short of fantastic. This entire disc sounds like a desperate movie score for the twenty-first century, with strings haunting back on old and dying memories. Amazingly, this entire cd feels beyond cohesive, with each track playing it's part and paying into amazing songwriting. The true beauty of this cd is the vast space within it: there is so much missing from each song that you are forced to think, and even though you may listen to it passively, you'll never be struck with a moment of dischord. Blissful and amazing arranging of music keeps us going, with only a few tracks incorporating more than just the strings/piano. The emotional content is provided by the listener: the light descends and twinkling tones of the music is entirely conducive to your own emotional status, and therefore, this album is entirely yours, regardless of what other people think of it.
Johannsson has created a real masterpiece here that will be overlooked. If you are a fan of music that exists not just to be beautiful, but is beautiful in every aspect, look no further."(Chris Wren )
"....Above it all reigns an immaterial Nordic aura, something the listener can instantly recognize as Icelandic in essence -- in the tiny trickles of glockenspiel, the solemnity of the sustained harmonium chords, the fragility and beauty that give this music its porcelain doll looks. Englabörn is tremendously cute on the outside, but the emotions it carries have little to do with sweetness. The listener comes out of it with a heavy heart, drenched, happy but surprised by the manipulative power the music had on him or her. Highly recommended.."(AllMusic.com)
April 22, 2008
lowdive were a dream pop/shoegazing band formed in 1989, lasting until 1995. The band was formed in Reading, Berkshire, England.Souvlaki is an album released in 1993. Widely regarded as their best album, it benefits from synthesizer contributions from co-producer Brian Eno on "Sing" (which he co-wrote) and "Here She Comes."According to interviews with the band, the album was titled after an explicit skit on the first album by telephone pranksters The Jerky Boys, containing the line: "My wife loves that Greek shit. She'll suck your cock like souvlaki."
This is one of the best albums of it’s kind and should not be missed by anyone who wants to know anything about shoegaze. Wonderful album and so unbelievably dreamy!!
"Slowdive are, for me, the band that most defines, and are the best representative of, the genre "shoegazer." The name "shoegazer" was originally a derogatory term (like "impressionism" for that French school of late-19th-century painters, interestingly) coined by some snotty British music journalist to apply to a crop of bands such as Ride, Lush, and My Bloody Valentine, that appeared in the early 90's and whose sound was defined by dense layers of guitar textures and that tended to effect a distinctly introverted stage presence. While in the main, shoegaze music tended to be melodic as well as loud and textured, part of what set Slowdive apart is how much more both sweetly melodic and densely layered their music was compared with their contemporaries. They hit their stride with Souvlaki, their second full-length LP, and made the most sonically ravishing and unforgettable album of their ilk. An important part of their sound and unique charm is the male/female unison vocals of singers/guitarists Neil Nalstead and Rachel Goswell, which sounds like it could have been lifted from some sixties folk/pop outfit, only... it's not. It fits in beautifully with the expanses of sound and color wash that fill out this music, though. It all soars and lifts magnificently. There's a good dynamic range between the songs, too, from the yearning, searching "Alison," delicate reverbed-guitar picking of "Here She Comes Now," overwhelming wall-of-sound tsunami of "Souvlaki Space Station," and haunting, faraway, acoustic "Dagger"; the album never gets samey or washed-out as is the distinct danger with this kind of music. Fully-realized and a complete and satisfying experience, Slowdive's _Souvlaki_ is a real treasure. "(Micah Newman)
"Souvlaki is a pretty incredible album, and it certainly contains some of the most beautiful guitar sounds set to tape. Had this record not fallen victim to the usual label nonsense back in the day thanks in part to SBK records (their U.S. label), it might have garnered some more attention. But unfortunately, My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless overshadowed many great shoegazer records of the day, including this one. Yes, Loveless is the epitome of the "shoegazer" trend, easily the best record the movement produced. But Souvlaki is a very close second, focusing on creating a lusher soundscape than Loveless' onslaught of white noise. Mixing the dreamy guitar patterns of MBV with the ethereal ambience of the Cocteau Twins, Slowdive were brilliant in their creation of surreal soundscapes. "Alison" deservedly gets attention as a brilliant pop single, but "When The Sun Hits," "40 Days," and the Eno-touched "Sing" are all not to be overlooked. The strangely-titled "Souvlaki Space Station" is another highlight, a brilliant mixture of white noise, delay, layering, and instrument manipulation creating a perfect soundscape that nobody's really been able to duplicate."(Paul H. "rmj84")
"To call this album merely a fine example of dream pop or shoegazing would sell it short. The guitar work is a cascade of sound. At times it's subtle and sonic, at times it even ventures into Western-esque slide. Underneath is some extremely solid and driving bass work. Goswell and Halstead's male/female vocal mix actually comes off beautifully unlike many efforts of the like. The result is a beautiful wash of spirit that will sweep you into a strange and beautiful place...highly recommended.( Matt Wilson)"
"This album combines the talents of Neil Halsted (singer and songwriter) Rachael Goswell And my favorite Brian Eno who played Keyboards for David Bowie. The album is a mixture of beautiful melodies and Harmonies in the keys of D,B,A & E. The vocal harmonies of Neil and Rachael flows beautifully and it is very colorful in it's unique guitar texture. The song, Melon Yellow has these beautiful cymbals in reverse and the minimal bass lines make this song sound dark and mystical. My personal favorites on this album are 'When the Sun Hits','Dagger'& '40 Days'. Brian Eno recorded this incredible album but he also co-wrote two songs on this album and he played keyboards on 'Sing'. This band is one of my all time favorite bands. I saw Slowdive, live two times before they broke up and the talent in this band is just amazing. They wrote so many beautiful songs and made so many major contributions to the ShoeGazer scene but in England they never were as big as they were here in the U.S. If you have a moment and love Brian Eno's music or even David Bowie, listen to this album. It's a great influence on any aspiring musician."
...and something special for u:-)
SOYVLAKI FOOD REVIEW!! "The most elusive of Greek foods available at your local gyros joint, souvlaki is seldom ordered because it just takes a bit more time to prepare and is just a little more expensive than that chili cheese dog or Italian beef that you could also order. The extra change and minutes add up though, and this ends up being filling, delicious, and satisfying, way more so than anything else on the menu. It is a fairly simple dish though. Souvlaki is seasoned meat, usually pork but sometimes chicken or some other meats, sometimes shredded or as dumplings, either cooked on a skewer with various other vegetables or in a pita sandwich like gyros with onions and tomatoes. What struck me about this dish when I first tasted it was how dense and satisfying the meat was. After eating a souvlaki sandwich (which cost me just under five dollars), which was portioned about the same as a gyros that would hardly fill me, I was completely full and unable to eat anymore, and it took some work to put those last few onions down. This deception proved to be a great surprise, and after eating it only at five in the afternoon, I woke up the next morning around six not really that hungry. Which was bizarre. In any case, it is the kind of meat that is easy to pig out on within the confines of your tray. It’s the meat that you love to bite and taste the marinade off of the rough outer edges on your tongue, it’s the type that you chew more than you need to just to savor how juicy and dense it is, and it’s the kind that you like getting stuck between your teeth. There is just something about this that I love. There is just something about it that leaves me longing for more though… It’s not that it isn’t delicious, it just isn’t interesting. On the other hand, a chili dog is less filling but more exciting. It is worth getting though, and it is way better than Gyros or Italian Beef. A good fast meal the next time you stop by an Greek joint."
Akira Rabelais - Los Angeles based composer and author, was born on his mothers birthday and grew up on a racehorse ranch in South Texas. First instrument; metal plates strung along a barbed wire fence shot with a bb gun. Rabelais bridges classical romanticism and magical realism with his music and software. He has collaborated with various musicians including Björk, David Sylvian, Harold Budd, Nobukazu Takemura, Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers.
"Akira Rabelais, whose very name evokes images of Renaissance alchemists poring over cryptic texts of mysterious rituals and angelic evocations, uses home-built software with very Borgesian names like "Evisceration Reanimation, Morphological Disintegration," "the Lobster Quadrille" and "Argeïphontes Lyre" to give ethereal life to faded voices lifted from dusty reel-to-reel tapes.
While performing archive work on old Ampex tapes, Rabelais discovered a treasure of Icelandic accapella ballads performed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Seduced by the haunting heartbreak of these voices, he embarked on an ambitious project to give these faded and dying voices new life. The result is Spellewauerynsherde, a record of ghostly voices that hover on the periphery of thought and perception. Some of the voices are treated and some are presented in their rarified and naked state. The lengthy track titles hint at other mysteries (and may only be intended as archival notes to be deciphered by Rabelais himself), but a title like "1559 W. Cuningham Cosmogr. Glasse 125 Within which draw an other Circle, a finger bredth distant." will take you longer to say than to listen to its 44 seconds of unadulterated lamentation. "1390 Gower Conf. II. 20 I can noght thanne unethes spelle that I wende altherbest have rad." becomes a duet, the soloist's lament rising above a mist of transparent voices as if her accompaniment is nothing more than the looped echo of her own voice (in
RabelaSpellewauerynsherdeis-speak this would be the result of a "time domain mutation"). The centerpiece of Spellewauerynsherde is the 21-minute "1483 Caxton Golden Leg. 208 b/2 He put not away the wodenes of his flessh with a sherde or shelle." The voices become insubstantial specters, ghostly choirs drifting back and forth across an endless featureless landscape. There is no fixed point, no anchor, and we are set adrift in a sea of harmonic tonalities, flooded with the elongated purity of these simple songs. There is an organic drift to these voices as if the Collective Unconscious has embarked on an iterative exploration of the infinite possibilities of tone and timbre.
Spellewauerynsherde is a record which exists outside of time, a collection of plainchants rescued from medieval obscurity by the pristine digitization of the 21st century and transformed into a ephemeral brume of sublime inflections. Highly recommended." (igloomag.com)
Album: All Our Ancestors
Deep, ancient atmospheres. A rich combination of the exotic and the electronic. A mystical, magical travelogue exploring old, hidden dimensions. Tuu are Martin Franklin on water drums, clay pots, tibetan bells and gongs, Rebecca Lublinski on flutes, and Mykl O'Dempsey with synths and samples.Tuu is an ambient music group, sometimes categorized as new age. The trio emerged from the post Acid House chill-out scene of early 1990s in the UK, blending electronica and the emerging sampling technology with traditional and invented global instrumentatio.
"Put your headphones on, adjust the levels to achieve maximum results, close your eyes, open your heart, breathe deeply and take in all the sensations this disc will provide you. Light a stick of incense while you're at it; it'll enhance the experience. When you listen to this disc you embark on a transcendental journey from within. This is music with an Eastern flair, complete with water drums, clay pots, flutes(Chinese and Bansuri) , chants and various percussion instruments that are blended with samples, synths and loops for an otherworldly experience. Although it is heavy on the Eastern vibe, like meditative monks dancing through your head, the universal appeal of this ambient world music goes beyond religions into the realm of spirituality. This is a good disc to listen to focus your attention within and reach out to the world around you. It is extremely peaceful, relaxing and not in the least bit boring since the exotic nature of the instruments holds your attention quite well. This music shadows the distant past, the unknown future and the mystery of life. Recommended as a backdrop for those meditative moments in life."(Enrique Torres)
Artist: Vangelis Papathanasiou ,
The music of Odes is inspired by and mostly based on tradional Greek folk songs.On ‘Odes’ Vangelis teams up again with an old friend who'd worked with him before on the Aphrodite's Child album '666'. All songs Greek actress Irene Papas sings on this album are Greek traditionals to which Vangelis adds two instrumental tracks. ‘Odes’ is one of the very few projects Vangelis has been involved in that also has any sort of literary component. Greek author turned politician Arianna Stassinopoulos, who wrote books on Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso, contributes some poems and texts along with Irene Papas, which are printed in the booklet. The latter wrote a few rather dramatic introductory lines, in which she relates how the songs were always with her from childhood, how they reflect the emotions and common destiny of the people in the communities in which they survive across time and place. This folk music is rather austere but quite evocative and uses mostly those typically Mediterranean modal harmonies. Vangelis on the whole makes sparing use of his instruments with Irene Papas sometimes even singing on her own or accompanied by a single melody-line. She hasn't got a great voice, a bit like that of Marianne Faithfull, but it’s quite effective and suits this music. And of course she speaks Greek so is able to really “act out” the songs.(vangelismovements.com)
"This is Vangelis' greatest work - it is a very contemporary, well advanced for its time, re working of traditional Greek folk songs from the 19th Century using electronics, operatic motifs and complex arrangements-without negating authenticity. Irene Papas is magnificent interpreter of the emotion, depth of these works. She is a master actor and a brilliant vocalist. All Vangelis' other works pale in comparison to ODES."
"Magic is the word that could describe this album! The simplicity of the melodies and the singing with the modern Vangelis'arrangements create a unique atmosphere. It is a Greek album with a particular modern color thanks to Vangelis and Irene Papas. Even if it was recorded more than 20 years ago sound so fresh and new! Highly recommended!"
"Even if this is an Irene Papas' album, I keep this record in my Vangelis' section, simply because it is the genuine music of Vangelis: like Jon Anderson used to sing for Vangelis, Irene does the same job here, and she succeeds very well. The music is absolutely beautiful and VERY expressive. There are drums & percussions that, combined with the echoed chants, give a traditional character to the music. The music is globally rather mellow and relaxing. There is a permanent echo applied on the instruments & vocals, so that it really gives a concert ambience. The music is probably sung in Greek, and the modern keyboards are not endlessly floating, so that the ancestral & folkloric dimension involved can stay in the foreground. The tracks have elements coming from many of the Vangelis' albums: they have the modern sonority of albums like Opera Sauvage and China, but they also borrow ideas from earlier albums like Earth, Heaven & Hell, Albedo 0.39 and Spiral, among others. On "Les 40 Braves", the voice of Irene Papas and the Gregorian chants act in unison with Vangelis' keyboards: some bits remind me the majestic Mask album! There are many tubular bells sounds, which remind the arrangements of the aforementionned albums. The instrumental "La danse du feu" has a beginning pretty similar to the "Nucleogenesis" track of the Albedo 0.39 album. This album is very underrated. Any serious Vangelis' fan must have it!"
Boston multi-instrumentalist Keith Kenniff's second release under his Helios moniker is a soundtrack of molasses-sweet, midsummer sunset melancholy and pastoral mellifluence.Very underappreciated, extremely artistic album, I would reccommend it to anyone, regardless of what music you listen to.BEAUTIFUL!
"You remember the tire swing that swayed gently from the outstretched arm of her grandmother's oak tree as you sat with her on a hill, on a blanket, calling forth the rapture of one of those endless late July twilights. What could once prolong childhood indefinitely was the promise of staying awake and wide-eyed late enough to glimpse the first night's star with her as it manifested itself far from the city lights.
To the strains and slow guided charge of "Coast Off," you took her hand and both broke off into a gallop into the tall grass below, not so much as a spur of the moment act, but as the fruition of a declaration of hope, slowly gestating since age five when you first recognized beauty as a pair of delicate green eyes. It's not the trembling guitar line and softly scorched drum loop of "Halving The Compass" you're hearing now these many years later, but the flashlight-illuminated creek bed where you gave her an old olive jar as a gift and called it a firefly collector. She poked holes in the top so they could breathe, as you had forgotten to, and it is the essence of this care for the oneness of the living condition that you still search for somehow in every pair of eyes you meet. Time did run out on it all like the never placated bully that it is. Things get complicated. The world and weights and strains.
She fell asleep on the porch swing and you watched her breathe as the sun rose with the last chimings of "Emancipation." What would anything meaningful ever be without the longings of it in its absence? Of course, you were still too young to come to any sort of universal realizations, and still years away from the gradual recession into memory. She just looked beautiful in her slumber, and even if it's all that it ever really was, well, most people should only be so lucky to receive such peace."(tinymixtapes.com)
"...Despite the utopian ambitions and a steely edge I think the record's final effect is one of consolation and comfort. It's the kind of album that makes the world an easier place to be. I'm glad I found it."(typerecords.com)
April 21, 2008
Japanese group Anoice cherish melodies over everything. This, their debut release, doesn’t redefine music but it does carve out its own little space somewhere near the sea and sets up its own nest of ideas. Anoice is not another instumental group with strong rock tendencies and an armchair association with classical music. Unlike numerous contemporaries which they will undoubtedly be compared to, their goal is not to follow the trends and make the soft/loud/soft/loud juxtapositions in every song, but to carefully craft each song with a strong attention to melody, solid accompaniment, and courteous counterpoint.
"Released in 2006, the debut album from Japanese post-rock band Anoice is an aural voyage into ecstasy, euphoria and forbidden peace rarely experienced in 21st Century music. Whereas most new-millenium music focuses on overwrought, dramatic post-9/11 political psycho-babble, Anoice keep their focus on their strong suit: classically inspiried, ambient-infused melodic mayhem. The de-facto superstars of the band, Yuki Murata, Takahiro Kido and Utaka Fujiwara seamlessly create atmosphere after atmosphere of warbling piano, vivacious viola and emotive guitar, erstwhile forbodding the perception that this is esoteric music, only intended for a very small pool of iron-deficient psuedo-intellectuals to appreciate whilst discussing the current international APR trend. From the opening first untitled track, your swept into a 44+ minuet metaphysical oddyssy that would make Chopin blush, Rachmaninov cry and second-hand Mozart Eddie Van Halen wish he were still relevent. Mataku's bass is also commendable, from the opening seconds of Asprin Music, he makes you sense that he far more talented than he lets on, and Yossy's style of restraint-over-flash drums/percussion make you wonder why so many Mogwai-clones emphasize over the top, and often-times ear-deafening pounding of paegan-skins to show their proficiency. The second, third and fifth untitled tracks serve their purpose of setting the atmosphere of the proceeding song perfectly, and are classic tracks in their own right; however, it is Kyoto, Liange and the Three-Days Blow that make you stand and take notice of this shockingly innovative band. One must keep their eyes to Anoice's second state-side release as I'm sure it will live up to the very high expectations of Remmings. A must-have for any fan of Post-Rock or anyone interested in beautiful, aloof and sometimes aggressive music."(progarchives.com)
"Anoice Remmings (Important) This Tokyo-based sextet make some really sublime instrumental music. Monumental and subtly nuanced; they all allow plenty of room for each other. Mixing guitars, programming, viola, bass, piano, drums, mandolin, and synthesizer, into the nine varied sonic excursions presented here. Mesmerizing soundtracks to nonexistant films that bloom in the center of your mind. Ranging from very small and soft spoken, to toweringly grand and vast. Some pieces have the feel of chamber music renditions of Mogwai or Spacemen 3 songs; others feel like an accurate aural description of loneliness." (Dream Magazine)
“Even when all of them are going at it hammer and tongs they act more like an orchestra with each player adding their own element to the melody. Anoice hit all the blissful and joyous emotions and only rarely dip into melancholy like most bands of the same ilk. “ (Brainwashed)
Already as a duo, from the year 2000, they went by the name of A.D.N AnyDayNow"(r) before arriving at the definitive name of Lêndi Vexer defined this way:
Two impelled artists to spill out deep songs about having decided feelings and aspects of life, with intense lyrics, sometimes introspective, full of queries or retrospective with strong critics to human arrogance, the cruelty of the Christianity, the modern man's frivolity, etc...
Always based on the reflexive aspect of the Down tempo and Trip hop with a hypnotic and orchestral tint, minimal and rough at moments, clearly distanced by the soft skin of the chill-out.
The dirt and natural roughness of their sound is invoked with their old school equipment of triphop that they have gone on harvesting minutely from their beginnings.
This environment acoustic-vintage is seconded by the electronics and reinforced with the different abilities in both components, as the orchestrations and programmings of DG and the singular voice of Natalie and their ability with the mystic Theremin. (From mp3.com)
Artist: Greeks & Indians
(ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΙΝΔΟΙ)
Album: Vol. 1
Greeks & Indians is a collaboration project between various classical Indian performers Rakesh Chaurasia (bamboo flute), Shubhankar Banerjee (tabla), Devashish Dey (vocals),Rabindra Goswami(sitar),Daya Shankar (senai) and Greek traditional artists Petrolucas Chalkias (klarino, a slightly altered clarinet), Grigoris Kapsalis (vocals) and Ross Daly (Cretan lyra).
Certain artistic traditions of Greeks and Indians spring from persons that sought the decipherment of various aspects of divine and their transport in earthly and transparent level via the art....In summertime of '99 Saraswati organised the collaboration of leading musics from the oldest improvise musical faculties of world: Greek and Indian. Result was the creation of something new: Issues of Epirus were attributed with the style of Northerner Indian classic music. Elements of Cretan music they were wedded with Indian ragka....The end result is a work of exceptional beauty!
Μια ιδιότυπη συνδεύρεση πολιτισμών, λιγότερο βάρβαρη από αυτή που επιχείρησαν κάποιοι αρκετές δεκαετίες πριν κλέβοντας την ινδική παράδοση προς όφελος της ελληνικής μουσικής.Οι Έλληνες και οι Ινδοί πορεύονται μαζί, όχι αναζητώντας νέους δρόμους, αλλά προσπαθώντας να επισημάνουν τις οργανικές συμφωνίες και την κοινή αισθητική αντίληψη σημαντικών μουσικών τους.....more
April 19, 2008
Artist: Peter Broderick
After a bit of a break the Type label return with this long awaited album from the enigmatic Peter Broderick, an artist who has already been courted by more high profile labels than we care to mention. By the time you'll have finished playing through this incredible album once you'll already feel like you've somehow known this music all your life. Broderick has an inimitable ability to score work that's both technically complex and effortlessly archetypal, so much so that listening to it now im convinced I've heard this music in films, adverts, documentaries - I just can't place exactly where or when.
Piano, violins, cello, drums, banjo and guitar take centre stage, painting intimate pictures with that same widescreen quality that so many of you have loved about the likes of Max Richter, Johan Johannsson, Harold Budd, Alberto Iglesias or Michael Nyman - but Broderick makes more than just a pretty sound, his composition barely believable for a man of his age (incredibly, this guy is just 21 years old), his arrangements handled with a kind of masterly self assurance that's so often lacking with this sort of music.
There's enough substance to offset the pastoral beauty of the music, enough uncertainty to keep proceedings from turning to unbridled romance - Broderick's music is multi-faceted, deep and utterly unforgettable. We honestly reckon this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, grab yourself one of these limited vinyl editions and make your life better...
Artist: Jasper TX
Album: In A Cool Monsoon
Following the lovely and appropriately titled sophmore lp A Darkness, along with various 3 inch and compilations, Sweden's Dag Rosenqvist(aka Jasper TX) graces us with yet another breath-taking full length. In a cool monsoon enriches his already distinguished library of releases, offering 7 tracks of diverse instrumentation in delicate drone and field recordings.
With his latest, Dag expands his sound with a broader array of instruments, arranging each individual track with a unique sound and feel of it's own; trailing one's heart through remorse, into light and every human emotion in between. Dag truly proves his worth among a sea of ambient artists with a record that accomplishes a rarity many artists, of any field, can only hope to one day achieve: a poignant balance of melancholy and hope, into one genre-defining album.(whitenoiserecords.org)
April 18, 2008
Album: Lullaby For Sue
Country: Australia,United States
Clogs are four classical musicians hailing from Australia and the United States.Clogs create music that is highly visual, but the visions they create are of places unknown. Yet for all that they invoke familiar emotions: love, despair, happiness, loss.Think myriad stars in Aussie skies; red desert violins; gnarled attic guitars; medieval bassoons; junkyard metal percussion. Lullaby for Sue is an exploration into sounds that could very well date back to the days of Mozart, but also have the same cinematic scope as, say, Rachel’s or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Regardless of the comparisons, Clogs is a very intricate and sophisticated sound.
"An interesting, and often quite beautiful, record, this. There's in a way too much meat and potatoes here to skate over in a mere review, so I won't try to verbally break it down too much. Clogs play classical compositions that straddle the boundaries with experimental rock, and while 'Lullaby For Sue' often feels like pure impressionism, a constantly shifting atmosphere, there are moments that remind me of the strings of dEUS, some territory between Trent Reznor and Philip Glass, the mesmerising looped motifs of Can, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and even (one particular part of 'Who's Down Now', the second track) 'Soul Bossanova' by Quincy Jones! The soundscapes are mainly created on violin/viola, bassoon, guitar and percussion, though there is a single very beautiful vocal track, 'Gentler We', on which main composer, Padma Newsome sings. The record is often quite melancholy, often abstract and contemporary, as if illustrating a silent movie, and there is a lot of space. It ain't the record to fire you up for a night on the town, but certainly creates a brilliant autumnal atmosphere for naked thought, and crazy daydreams.(drownedinsound.com)"