Category: "Reviews"

SiJ :: The Earth Shrine (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)

The Earth Shrine is not your typical eco-ambient. It pays homage to the global mystic paths once trodden in reverent balance, while hanging like the shroud we may need to wrap the planet if we continue to turn a deaf ear to its cries for more moderate behavior. This Yaroslavl, Russia based label creates absolute […]

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Offthesky & Pleq :: A Thousand Fields (Infraction)

At the intersection between ambient, minimalism, 4th world, found sound, drone, and post-classical composition. Questing ambient and soundscape exponents with previous form over a slew of labels—Home Normal, Taâlem, Constellation Tatsu, Databloem, dataObscura, Ephre, and Basses Frequences, for starters—commune to create a whole beyond the sum of its differently located parts. Product of a Massillon–Denver–Warsaw pact hatched by […]

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To Destroy A City :: Sunless (n5MD)

The effortless combination of post-rock and electronic music; the music of a city in perpetual night, lit artificially and flowing with life and energy. The marriage of electronic music and post-rock has lead to the birth of beautiful music. To Destroy A City joins groups like The American Dollar, God is an Astronaut, and Hammock […]

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Perseus Traxx :: The Magic Garden (Titanic City)

Thick and meaty rhythms, synthesizer spite mellowed by moments of lush pads. Titanic City’s latest press release claims that the new addition to their roster needs no introduction. The Belfast label is probably right. Nigel Rogers, aka Perseus Traxx, has furnished labels like Bunker, M>O>S and Chiwax with his brand of house music. Rogers ferocious […]

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Hinode :: Globular Clusters (Helena)

Globular Clusters collects three pieces of wonderfully immersive works of Detroit tinted techno. Functionality steeped in form. Portugal isn’t famed for electronics. I can’t think of many artists or labels hailing from the extreme West of Europe. But that does not mean that there is no activity. A new label, coming from Porto, has just […]

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Brandon Hurtado :: Other Spaces (Moreau)

After little more than half an hour, an echoing, low-slung guitar just stopping when enough, for now, has been said. Brandon Hurtado’s music has frayed edges, like handmade paper. It feels good to the touch. It soaks up the ink of emotion but never clearly delineates it. Its ambivalence (“waviness,” he calls it) stands in […]

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Squarepusher :: Damogen Furies (Warp)

In its own twisted way, Damogen Furies provides a dialogue between sub-genres where Squarepusher, as one of the interlocutors, swallows whole the other and vomits a severely changed amalgamation between the current ‘popular’ techniques used in the sub-genres and his own personality. Some guy :: “Okay, Tom, how about if for your next album we […]

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Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo :: Doropea (Old Bicycle)

In this craft based minimalist work Palumbo is using a vast array of instruments and effects to design expanded micro-tonal sound sculptures in a quite smoothly, detached and impressionistic mood. Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo is a well known architect of abstract and noisy drone based electronics. In this craft based minimalist work Palumbo is using a […]

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Gacha :: Send Two Sunsets (Apollo)

The Apollo signing, the cover art, the recent singles under his Bakradze moniker, the stunning transparent blue vinyl, all of it struck a Pavlovian string that was left to quaver for months on end. With that level of emotional attachment it’s difficult to render a satisfying verdict. “Duras” makes the entire affair worthwhile on its […]

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How To Cure Our Soul :: Saigon (Audiobulb)

A beautiful sound map made of sinuous and long-form textured ambiences interact with slow moving variations, short fragmented motifs and soothing harmonies, with a vibrant emotional impact on the listener. Italy definitely figures among the most representative and interesting countries when we have to refer to sound design and modern ambient experimentalism. We can relate […]

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Akatombo :: Sometime, Never (Hand-Held Recordings)

This kind of music is ravenous and if you look into its eyes it can turn you into a pillar of salt. One needs to go out armed and you better not run out of ammunition. Paul Thomsen Kirk’s world may be wracked with paranoia, but even paranoiacs sometimes have real enemies. Though his brilliant previous album […]

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Low Jack :: Sewing Machine (In Paradisum)

Low Jack delivers a work bubbling with angst and aggression where only the barest pinpricks of hope are audible. The age of choice has been with us for the last decade. Almost everything is now available. Thai tapas screen wiped to Stalin’s private letters circa 1937. This avalanche of possibility can be as overpowering as […]

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Mohlao & Von Grall | Milton Bradley :: Double review (Deep Sound Channel)

Deep Sound Channel has enjoyed two years of impressive output. As the techno wing of Shipwrec that focus has been on dub, clever club moments and ambient abstraction. The latest duo collect all these divergent elements of DSC. I first covered Samuel van Dijk as Mohlao half a decade ago. Feeling old… Anyway, van Dijk […]

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Islands Of Light :: Ruebke (Home Normal)

Spiluttini has created classic beauty out of a flawed motif—being human—and the struggle to live as one contiguous with others, not as an isolated atoll. Composed and arranged slowly by Vienna’s Dino Spiluttini as a reflection upon time spent in a village in Germany called Ruebke. Wrestling with the nature of nature and the nature of […]

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Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli / Federico Durand :: Double review (Hibernate)

Newly emergent from Hibernate come low-light Tehran tone-tweakers, Shahin Entezami & Kamyar Tavakoli, with an EP, Through the Winter Woods, and bright-eyed Buenos Aires bard, Federico Durand, with a digital upgrade of a limited tape, Música para Manuel. Through the Winter Woods by Tehran twosome, Shahin Entezami (aka Tegh) and Kamyar Tavakoli, previously solo (for example, Night Scenes and “A Glimpse“) and ensemble as Artirial, charts a new communion, ‘looking to branch […]

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Emerge / Holzkopf & Emerge :: Double review (Attenuation Circuit)

It’s abstract art, patterns and shapes. Emerge’s Frown is a scowl of ambient, an extended session spent deep in thought. Imagine The Thinker by Rodin, straining for insight, scouring the far reaches of his mind’s universe, until, like the third track, his mind explodes into a foundary, forging new stars, new globes in bursts of glowing, […]

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Forest Management :: Encounter (Martinson)

Encounter is a sprawl in days of daze, a wallow in hollow, a mope in murk; it suffers gradual dissolution in a torpor of spectral wafts, a recursive refraction of particles; a tired but teeming tide that seems to represent emotional evacuation… The development and implementation of a plan integrating principles, practices and techniques of care to maintain […]

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Max Cooper :: Human (Fields)

A fresh if not utterly unheard-of sound, combining in dynamic equilibrium a rich tradition of glitch and house and melodic electronica, which works especially well on the handful of tracks he shares with spotlight singers Katrin deBoer and BRAIDS. Belfast-born and raised Max Cooper sounds like a really interesting character. He holds a Ph.D in […]

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Biosphere / Deathprod :: Stator (Touch)

Geir Jenssen and Helge Sten, Biosphere and Deathprod, respectively, are two of the most prominent names in Norwegian music. Now, they line up for another round. But don’t collaborate. Geir Jenssen and Helge Sten, Biosphere and Deathprod, respectively, are two of the most prominent names in Norwegian music. Biosphere graduated from an original take on […]

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Area :: One Less Me EP (Sequencias)

One Less Me is an EP that sits on the cerebral side of computer music, the abstract wing of the analogue endeavor. Headphones on, eyes closed immersion. I’ve, always considered Sequencias to be a house orientated imprint. With its back catalog of D’Marc Cantu, Jamal Moss and Perseus Traxx it’s easy to see why. But […]

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Snowbeasts :: Frozen Earth (Component)

An obsessive, oppressive and darkly meditative temple of creepy drones and other sustained electronic textures. Snowbeasts (Raab Codec & Elizabeth Virosa) are back with a blackened corpus of bewitching sound rituals faithful to the true tradition of the genre. The musical obedience and stylistic direction are quite close to the ones developed in the duo’s […]

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Bill & Murray :: Rabbit Hole (Other Voices)

A relevant example of a contemporary electropop combination where our favorite synth machines meet minimalist rockin elements, guitar distortion and sweet pop singing. Somewhere between A Place to Bury Strangers, Depeche Mode and Cold Cave, just to name a few. This new EP is brought to light by the avid and passionate producer Oleg Galay […]

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eyesix :: Eyecanula EP (Self-Released)

Shattered pulses abound, miniscule melodic streams are cast in all direction. Galway, Ireland-based eyesix (aka Jason Dowd) continues to forage for sonic bits and pieces. Usually aligned with distilled downtempo flares, Eyecanula takes on a mechanical slant. Impacting low-end and crisp production from start to end, there’s a clear nod to early Ae on offer. […]

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Kingbastard :: Data (Odd John)

Data is a good mix of harsh sounds, glitch, ambience and solid 4×4 beats that will leave you puzzled if not ultimately pleased. With a name like Kingbastard (aka Chris Weeks) one might expect the music to sound like a cross between Venow and Gwar. But in fact Kingbastard’s Data sounds not unlike the industrial bastard […]

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Chaperone :: P O N D EP (Great Circles)

An electronic elegy for the factories and plants that built an empire, glory refracted in distortion, nostalgia and broken glass. Great Circles made a real impression on me when I covered the Philadelphia imprint in January. Coming from an ashen and disused space, this label of post-industrial leanings has a raw and unrelenting style. Chalked […]

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Dronelock & Ontal :: The Topics (Shadow Story)

A powerful album, showing masters working the deeper realm of atmosphere, soundscapes and subtle rhythms. Dronelock & Ontal’s The Topics expands on their Parallax EP released earlier in 2015 and it’s a major evolution in their sound. Using little or no melodies is one of their major strengths as well as atmospheric and rhythmic elements […]

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Zen Land :: Zen Land (Warped)

The musical strength of Zen Land lies in the fascinating and original use of transporting colorful raga-like patterns in a jazzy mood combined to powerful textured electronics and softly driven ambiences. Zen Land is a high standard musical collective which features a bunch of well known artists from the international independent scene. Michael Zentner is […]

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Summons of Shining Ruins :: Haruka (Moufu-Rokuon)

Buzz saw meditation, a hundred agitated zithers, a seismic hurdy gurdy, in three, roughly twenty-minute parts. It shimmers so, it rejoices prematurely, it turns back in upon itself with a certain melancholy. The name conjures up visions of an overgrown temple, of abandoned, old gods, Nemoto Shinobu’s credo is that music “breathes life and death.” The dozens […]

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Ben Fleury-Steiner :: While The Red Fish Sleeps (Soft Corridor)

While The Red Fish Sleeps is an engagingly queasy immersion in mystery seas teeming with spectral eldritch presence, accompanying text from Beckett providing further anchorage for a hymn to disintegration and transubstantiation. Ben Fleury-Steiner self-describes as ‘an unabashed moody experimentalist drawn especially to flows between hypnotic micro-sounds and vast aural wholes,’ providing ‘opportunities for deep listening.’ His ‘deep listening,’ mind, […]

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