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Daniel Menche and Kiyoshi Mizutani “Garden” [Ground Fault Recordings]

Music concrete sunny side up takes you to visit a garden in the summer time. Insects, birds, wind, are all extensively layered to make this work. One track goes all the way through. Around seven minutes in there is a gong noise and within a few minutes of the end a helecopter can be heard thumping far away. Daniel Menche is credited with low sounds and Kiyoshi Mizutani with the high sounds. This was recorded in Japan in 1996, mixed in 2002 and released in 2003. Joyful yet restive.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 17, 2006 at 5:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Mori, Ikue – “Labyrinth” – [Tzadik]

    Experimental laptoppery with a sound that is constructed, smooth, and articulate, kind of like playing aggressively with glass without breaking it.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 17, 2006 at 5:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Riley, Terry – “Olson I I I ” – [Cortical Foundation]

    This is a live performance at the Nacka School of Music with Terry Riley directing using Soprano Saxaphone.

    Swarms exhibit behaviors that extend beyond what individuals or small numbers can achieve. One voice, one violin, one sax can be enchanting. Here many build something together more complex and constructed that chaotic. Layers, syncopation, transitions that slide throught many measures. There is a quick, stable backbone rhythm throughout that gives the piece a feel somewhat akin to dark techno. This mixes well with a wide range of sounds and works as fill or punctuation. Audience involvement can be heard especially toward the end.

    Starting is slow with low wandering for the first fifteen minutes, then voices and strings phase in and out and back and forth. At fourty one minutes in there is a crash and rising tension. At fourty two minutes there are vocalizations, then shouts and warbling from the audience which rise to meet the end of the piece. At fifty two and a half minutes there is a loud buzz that sounds like a production problem, and shortly after this the piece ends to screams and applause and random horn sounds.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 11, 2006 at 5:59 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Samartzis, Philip – “Soft and Loud ” – [Plates of Sound]

    Environmentally derived composition from Tokyo December 1999 to Melborne August 2003. Music concrete evoking the spirit of urban Japan.

    A side: crackle, clang, pulse, gaps, water, sizzle, clunk, hum, hiss, ploink, pause, whir, chant

    B side: flute, fries, static, birds, 2001, temple, machines, voices, ring, shoot, hai!

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Phon.O – “Burn Down the Town ” – [TIGERBEAT6]

    Techno and trip hop mixed with machine stamped fuzz textures on the sequencer samples and some clever but edgy raps.
    Track 5: “Bitches and Hoes”
    Track 9: “Hoes over Bros”
    Track 10: “Kill”
    Translations of French titles on CD labels.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Jgrzinich / Nehil, Seth – “Confluence ” – [Intransitive]

    Summarizes the progressions of a sound arts team with three tracks each havng different character. Track one scrapes the bottom of the barrel–literally with bonking noises and such. Track two starts to get distant and droney, and track three gets very far away with rumble and hum and heavy depth of texture. Follow the sound artists to find out where they go!

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Doublends Vert – “Doublends Vert ” – [Present Sounds Recordings]

    Accoustic instrumental dronings, no drums. Spaces of energy are invoked, passed around a room of musicians as trance absorbs all. Not gassy or low cloud ceiling like some ambient, nor mechanical sounding. Very human and personal with reeds, strings, and winds coming through very crisp and clear. Like an intense sunny day when looking around and a flash of sun makes your eyes water. Has potential crossover appeal as drones go: Kind of like jazz stripped down, slowed down, trapped in sap, and over many years preserved in amber.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Touch 00 [coll] – [Touch]

    Collection of sounds feels like a modern soundtrack. Includes techno ambient, trip hop, music concrete, tones and pulse, glitch. Several tracks are short filler transitions that are not as good as the core material.

    Some notable tracks:
    Track 1: signals from Matrix by Ryoji Ikeda (this full piece is in the library, but the selection is quite choice)
    Track 3: haunting chant layers with calls to prayer as memorial for a murder in Morocco
    Track 4: Sailsbury Cathedral tour
    Track 11: space reverb mix, flaming marshmellows
    Track 12: glitchy lounge recorded at KZSU 14 Sept 1999 with People Like Us, Jet Black Hair People, and Wobbly
    Track 15: Moscow air traffic control over Siberia Oct 1990
    Track 17: Village crier
    Track 20: blippy bloop from Tobias Frere-Jones with extensive but seemingly incoherent notes in CD jacket

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ult Nusrat Ali Khan V1 [coll] – [Narada]

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, Pakistani master of Qawal, traditional Sufi music, was a musical giant who influenced many, started and ran a school, explored. Lots of information on the CD jacket about him. These early tracks have minimal instrumentation, dominant vocals with occasional accompanyment. Vocal improvisations here are in a way familiar, but more extreme and raw than are heard in his later works. This will be a treat for listeners familiar with his more popular works.

    Tracks on the first CD (20, 30, 20 min) are from 1978 and have the most raw character to the vocal flourishes.

    Tracks on the second CD (13, 15, 15, 30 min) reveal increasing discipline with the last track being a sombre piece with a deliberate feel.

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:24 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Rich, Robert & Boddy, Ian – “Lithosphere ” – [Din]

    Brief and gentle ambient explorations of imaginary places that track into each other. Has a depth and feel similar to other Robert Rich pieces, but more simple, stripped down, and atmospheric than orchestral. Some tracks have lightly plucked strings or ploinked percussion or both while others slide by like clouds.

    Track 1 “Threshhold” spacey
    Track 2 “Vent” guitar, meandering, backround percussion
    Track 3 “Chamber” bells, clank, tapping of strings
    Track 4 “Glass” glooping and spacey
    Track 5 “Subduction” slide into percussive echo chamber
    Track 6 “Geode” glow and rattle–will these pots ever come clean?
    Track 7 “Stone” scrape that transformer!
    Track 8 “Metamorphic” watch the blow dryer races from a distance
    Track 9 “Lithosphere” belly dance 45 played at 33 1/3 in heavy syrup
    Track 10 “Melt” slow, sad humming dirge with vaguely Frippertronic feel

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • My Cat Is An Alien – “Cosmological Eye Trilogy, the ” – [Last Visible Dog Records]

    By Maurizio and Roberto Opalio of Turin, Italy. Includes original volumes one (2003) and two (2004) plus previously unreleased volume three.

    Organic, cosmic minimalism kept loose and dreamy. Humming and whirring in back, some noises on top. Very far out stuff from the unknown depths of space. Haunting tones, echoes, bits of what may be signals revealing mysteries of anomalous trajectories, the unexplained phenomenon subtly warping the paths of the most distant space probes. Not cold and uniform–there are loud sounds of quasars being formed.

    Vol1: 14min spaceflight; 55min space voyage with quiet and gaps only comes alive around 22min

    Vol2: 8min whirr and wiggle; 40min exploration with ramblings around 3min, scary feedback hoot at 5min, intensity at 23min, howling at 38min; 22min far off, glitchy interference at 7min

    Vol3: 33min whirr and buzz, at 2.5min hoots and chips, around 21min monster breathing; 34min with crickets? projector? chirps, beeps, bells, around 15min gets intense and at 30min starts to fade away

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Fursaxa – “Amulet ” – [Last Visible Dog Records]

    Fursaxa is Tara Burke of West Philadelphia. This has self released live work from 2002-2004 including material from “From The Cult of Moon Mountain”. Tracks 5 and 6 also have Michael and John Gibbons.

    Wandering, distan, and yet never out of organ range. Airy vocal layers are joined by organ, flute, modest percussion, strings, and horns.

    Track 1 (9:41) – vocals, blending, flute, percussion
    Track 2 (3:57) – strumming and singing
    Track 3 (13:42) – organ and voice, odd wandering
    Track 4 (13:06) – string strum, rising drone, vocals
    Track 5 (7:29) – horn drones, drums, piping
    Track 6 (8:11) – guitar, organ, vocals
    Track 7 (11:42) – vocals, murmurs, strings

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 4:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bright – “Bells Break Their Towers ” – [Strange Attractors Audio]

    Happy people strumming guitars and singing accompanied by bass, drums, and more–a familiar medium refined with competent musicianship. Feels like 60s psychedelia 45s played at 33 1/3. Gateway to a pleasant space like an invitation to a summer picnic. Touches on modern abstractions and drones, but stays near happy guitar strumming roots. The result is sweet like hot cakes with lots of syrup. Longer tracks can cause a glycemic reaction.

    Track 2: ends hard
    Track 4: brooding “alone in myself”
    Track 5: rough and droney
    Track 6: abstract
    Track 7: vocals lead, transitions
    Track 8: Fripp-ish guitars, instrumental

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 3:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Orb, the – “Okiedokie Itstheorb on Kompakt ” – [Kompakt]

    Practiced, polished, textured, even crunchy, this shows wrinkles and weathering with grace like aging well without face lifts or memory loss.
    Short pieces don’t come up and hit you, but soak in and take you slowly.
    This has the feel of a oft used and carefully tended machine with well developed patina and wear marks.
    Smooth and well mannered to an extreme, this starts you out with dinner and a movie and sets you up with breakfast afterward.

    Track 2: nice “free” vocal
    Track 6: odd “rolo” intro
    Track 10 Russian intro
    Track 12: noisy, ambient
    Track 14: loop: orchestra, squish, repeat; end: mecha cruch

  • Reviewed by Krzton Drda on January 6, 2006 at 3:12 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment


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