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Music - CD Reviews - Review | by SuccoAcido in Music - CD Reviews on 01/09/2003 - Comments (0)
Andy Moor (The Ex)/ John Butcher/Thomas Lehn, Arab Strap, Black Nielson, Daniel Givens, Desormais, Encode, Goodmorning Boy, Hat Melter (Hess/Klatt/Mueller/Turner), Ken Ishy, Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, Oren Ambarchi & Martin Ng, Tujiko Noriko.

Andy Moor (The Ex)/ John Butcher/Thomas Lehn, Arab Strap, Black Nielson, Daniel Givens, Desormais, Encode, Goodmorning Boy, Hat Melter (Hess/Klatt/Mueller/Turner), Ken Ishy, Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, Oren Ambarchi & Martin Ng, Plump Dj's, Radio Magenta, Tujiko Noriko.


Andy Moor (The Ex) - John Butcher - Thomas Lehn / Thermal / Unsounds

Free impro strumental music of top quality leaded by a member of Klekta red (on electric guitar) with a very high respected saxophonist of our time (that is associated with Derek Bailey too) and with Thomas Lehn (playing his EMS analogic sinth from the late 60's): a musician rooted in classical contemporary music and in the new electronic improvisation. Three different musicians, three worlds, three instruments, three experienced improvisers. Everybody of them is a light in the improvisated music scene today and this album gives us an evidence of it. Each one is bringing to an exchange of perspective of his background. And together they mix them very well. After all they play crazy and they play very very free. It's delicious for all the lovers of radical impro and for all who loves a special kind of nervous organic sounds. Above the usual sonic possibilities. A surprising, playful (a serious game of course), at times exciting avenue. It' s good like my glasses of red wine from Amiata Mountain. What a flavour, what a sweet and wild fragrance!

Giovanni Vernucci

Arab Strap / Monday at the Hug and Pint / Chemikal Underground

Surprise of the year. Little surprise. Arab Strap get to the club, e we do "clap clap". Stop with oldish post-rock mastrubation, stop sad scottish boring singing, the first track begins, "The Shy Retirer" and you just find yourself in a world of blinking, colours, drinks, almost-life that you could’n expect just from them. It’s with surprise that I keep moving around the corners and the chairs of this "Hug and Pint". The begin is shocking: who could imagine such a crazy mix of dance, folk and pop? Fulfilled with violins? Congratulations Arab Strap. I don’t like the voice. It doesn’t take me in, it doesn’t give intensity to the music, and it’s a pity because you can find great moments all across the record, starting with the folky-dreamy "Meanwhile" and going on with the almost-industrial (and then almost-emo) "Fucking Little Bastards", from the taste of Fairport Convention of the beautiful and bohemien Peep-peep to the dance return — but someway country — of "Flirt". Well, I just hope they go more often to this kinds of club, and that they could pass from beers to anphetamines very soon! Ps: the cover project is wonderful


Black Nielson / The seahorse boe / Truck

The Black Nielson reappear with their british-flavoured pop-rock two years after the debut "Still life hear me" on Truck Records and also this second album is printed by the Oxford’s label (not still distributed in Italy: visit the site A handful of short songs, well done and mixed by Phil Vinnall (Placebo, Elastica…), that exhaust themselves in their ephemeral pleasantness and that they express the best things when the guitaristic vein of the band comes out ("The human strain", "Dead lucky"). The fans of Travis, Coldplay and Elbow will appreciate them a lot, but it must be clear that the Black Nielson have neither the Travis radiophonic strength, nor the Coldplay composition’s skill, nor the Elbow restless sensitiveness.

Guido Gambacorta

Daniel Givens / Freedom’s Myth / Aesthetics

The new work by Givens, after the hailed "Age", is a 12" containing four long tracks recorded during a sessions in Chicago with the usual names of that scene that on this side of the ocean excite the fantasies of the teenagers (the independent and grudgy ones). The music loops very tightly, added by instruments creating the right propulsional force for crescendos, between sciaman rituality and rhythmed new age. I don’t know. There’s something wrong at the end of the listening. The need of an ingredient at the center of all this, the one polarizing all this appendix in a figure still abstract but dense. This way the compositions (or the tracks, or the sessions) looks like improvisations around a loop, or a couple of sounds, afterwork jam sessions by crafty but not-visionary musicians. Waiting for the album (which already from the title "Dream Sequence" let us imagine more researches in this directions) to see what the man has to say.

Jacopo Andreini

Desormais / iambrokenandremadeiambroken… / intr_oversion

Second work for Desormais that bring inside a drum, a viola, a cello, a piano. Music like a soundtrack motion picture. Instrumental music with feeling of natural melancholy and a certain lightly rage, for example in the second track. The will of play music. Not the ordinary music. Something new, with old instruments but with a new mental and performative approach. The vocal too is present for example in the third track, but is a vocal used in unconventional way. And is a good and strange with the rest of the music. Try the track named "Broken images and rackets of folded lights", it sounds like men playing as electronic brains but you can see a warm light, a natural reflection. Something similar Osianna mantra by Popol vuh. "Brief lights, broken compass" has a sensibility akin to Fennesz last works. In the middle of the listen you know and got to stare the central importance of guitar. Under a watching sky is a meditative and relaxing help, if you want. Good drone music with little glitches. And the title track: it's creeping of pure sound and has something of Radian but with more natural mood. Now I got to find Desormais’ first record. Now I do need it.

Giovanni Vernucci

Encode / Singing through the telescope / Ghost Records

This is another album made in Italy of which to be proud. This is another full of talent Italian band, with enough clear ideas. Encode play a lively and actual music, which links together in this twelve tracks both an intimistic style, typical of some contemporary post rock and new prog groups ("an addition to the family","fading here","unsubstantial love"), both the frantic sonority of noise music made by sonic youth and of electro pop made by flaming lips ("daylight delight", "baretta", "before"). This is a kind of music that don’t forget to show its most ancient roots, as confirm the cover of "white rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, worked out again and enriched respect to the original with some psico rock sounds. Wonderful Elena Ceci’s voice, because of its style and its qualities, is a mix between Patty Smith, Chan Marshall and Dolores O’Riordan Burton. She adds a typical female pop songwriter style to the excellent rhythmical and melodic structure of the songs, songs in wich nothing seems to be improvised and where at the same time all sounds fluently and catchy, free from every established solution. The insertion in some tracks of violin, piano, sinth and keyboards results appropriate and useful ("mother make me pray", "delight daylight", "abatement", above all), tracks that further contribute to enlight the very good bent for composition that characterized this first album by Encode.

Roberto Baldi

Goodmorning Boy / Song = epitaph: outtakes / Urtovox

At the beginning of the year Italian band Elle presented us one of the best album made in Italy during 2003. Marco Iacampo (alias Goodmorning Boy), Elle’s lead vocalist and guitar player, release now a minicd that include some outtakes from his debut album as soloist and some new songs. This is an album full of grace but at the same time full of strength and personality, an example of a great work of songwriting free from the tipical italian cliché usually used to realize this musical genre. "The Soldier Bleeds", with the use of voice and acoustic guitar only, is very charming, while "Snowfall" and "Hannover" sunged by two voices remember us the first Flaiming Lips, still liked at the traditional American country pop style. An album to listen during relax, a musician to follow with attention for the next times, he as soon as his band (the Elle).

Roberto Baldi

Hat Melter (Hess/Klatt/Mueller/Turner) / Unknown album / Crouton

The name of this ensemble is quite literally formed by the names of his musician. The name of this album goes straight to the hearth of his music. What are they doing? What stuff is it? Two cellos and two set of percussions? It's unknown. I don't know. The samples of cellos, Matt Turner is one of the world's leading improvising cellist (all the initial recordings were made in a live setting), seem to do the percussion works while the percussions (both the percussionist are from Chicago scene) do the harmonies and the melodies. Strange but they goal... Only two tracks. Only 35 minutes. But what an experimental sound! A vibrant record with sounds riched and loaded by the textures of string and the strange melody of percussions. It' s strange and so it's the record. Not for a lot of people. To be undercovered but be careful to an unusual emotion. Another example of how today (and for the future always more and more) the free chaotic things made by the soul, the brain, the psyche, the culture, the experience, the abilities of man and their instruments and tool, are rearranged by the use of the artificial intelligence witch is trying to making sense of it.

Giovanni Vernucci

Ken Ishy / Future in light / Exceptional

As well: since today we got our shining Etienne de Crecy giapponipponappon. Tempovision, Future in light. Let's hope will be a well one.

Giovanni Vernucci

Meanwhile back in communist Russia / My elixir; my poison / Truck

The moment in which the pain takes form. In that moment there’s the music of the Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia. Electronic breathes, sampled sounds, dark keyboards, the deep blows of the drums, the monologues of Emily Grays. Without any narcissism. If Lydia Lunch had sung in the Slint. If the God Machine had made a third album. If the Sigur Ros were swallowed up by an abyss. Every single note is a not-cicatrized wound.

"Th5" is the awakening’s torpor.

"Anatomies" is the warm embrace of one’s own obsessions.

"Chinese lanter" is a jump off a spring-board suspended in the vacuum.

"Realization" is an eyelashes’ beat.

"Heliotrope" is the death’s taste in the mouth.

"Cusp" is an incessant crying, absolutely not consolatory.

"Roses for her" is an absurd ballet with the shadows of the night.

"Holomovement" is the blood that flows in the veins.

"New adventures" is a wheezing choked in the throat.

"Heatstroke" is all that it’s impossible to be explained with words.

P.S.: Not yet distributed in Italy, "My elixir; my poison" is an extraordinary record: look for it on

Guido Gambacorta

Oren Ambarchi & Martin ng / Vigil / Quecksilber

First issue for this new german label, the last work of this Australian couple dedicated to the microvariating frequencies. With guitar and turntable they produce a dreamy sound, remembering the experiments of the Sonic Arts Union, resonant and enigmatic. Some zones recall as often the Ligeti’s vocal works, main point for a lot of drone and ambient music. Played four times faster it seems Balinese gamelans. A record that probably must be used more than listened, able to give you some thrills here and there anyway. There should be also two mpeg movies by designer Tina Frank giving lights to part of music, but not in my copy.

Jacopo Andreini

Plump Dj's / Eargasm / Finger Lickin’

How to save the breakbeat from its sure death? The two English Plump DJ’s have the right solution: they give new vital lymph to a genre that is risking the creative collapse finding out again the ’80 electro-funk (…and "The funk hits the fan" featuring Eddie Bo, one of the ‘60 years funk’s father!). Break-electro-funk is a possible definition and the three minutes of "In stereo" is the best ad to promote the Plump DJ’s music. But the tracks that catapult us immediately into the dance universe of "Eargasm" are the initial ones "Creepshow" and "Weighed": thrust a socket in the ass of the Chemical Brothers, have their big beats get a shock and the orgasm is guaranteed (not for the Chemical Brothers, I suppose, but surely for your ears and legs…)! It’s up then to the over seven minutes of "The gate" to get us reach pleasantly exhausted the listening "Morning sun", a typical Lamb-style song with the delightful voice of Lou Rhodes. "Morning sun" and the following "Mantra" act as a traffic island — maybe too much evident — between the first and the second part of the record. A second part that begins extremely well with "Pray for you", an electro-glam track sung by a foaming Gary Numan and candidated to become the dance-single of the autumn! "Something goin’ on", "Contact double zero" and "How much is enough" test for the future a winning formula, while the narcoleptic treatment reserved for the beats of "Cry Wolf" and the electro-sedimentations of "Tilt" operate in conclusion two good thematic variations. "Eargasm" is definitely an important record: if we want to be hyper-critic, we could reprove it only for lasting a little too much (73 minutes) to be digested from the beginning to the end through only one home-listening. But in the dancehalls "Eargasm" sounds like it will make sparks!!

Guido Gambacorta

Radio Magenta / "I am sorry, the am" and some other heartteaching stories / Keplar

"We find ourselves more in the sound of Sebadoh than in the sound of Slowdive". These are the words used by The _Radio Magenta Basti Sentef and Andreas Kurz (two of the five creative minds behind the Keplar label) to introduce themselves in order to emphasize their love for the indierock and to underline their search for an organic sound, warm and full-toned, although generated by computers. The electronic music of _Radio Magenta (this is their second album) is really less smooth and ethereal than the one of other colleagues, also when the tracks become only stratifications and subsequent flakings of digital fragments ("Enchanted place", "I am sorry, I am"). There are four songs and the voices of Basti and Andreas alternate themselves covering a timbric spectrum that goes from Stephen Malkmus of Pavement ("Appearance…not disappearance") to Ronald Lippok of Tarwater ("Don’t trust the love machine"). The instrumental tracks are full of ideas, sometimes jocosely graceful ("Love is been-of-the-art", "Consuming robots will save the world") and sometimes imperceptibly fleeting ("Flying oscillators on their way to flout" and "What did you I give in 96?", this last one soaked with a Notwist spleen). "I am sorry, I am…" is not probably to be considered a front-line record in a so crowded indietronic world, but it would be a pity if it passed completely unnoticed.

Guido Gambacorta

Tujiko Noriko / From Tokyo to Naiagara / Tomlab

Some things coming from Japan they can charme us like anything else. We just knew Tujiko for two past issues of her on Mego, surely characterized by a harder sound. This time, on Tomlab, she looks to better define her own charming melodic trip seriously. The sound production that is round her voice is by the artist craft rich of electroacustic knowledge of Aki Onda. Light feedbacks, oniric dilatations, microdust glitches, downtempo beats, dub basses, slowness of spaces and silence, vocals and vocals in rounded spirals or free casting, a type of sound in free escaping, open melodic singing: all of this goes straight to the search of an adult pop dimension. Not to want to pump a record we liked, but you can try to consider this record like aVespertine, lyrically less powerful and of course easily strange, where all the meet is turn of the bone. If you love Bjork now you know how deceive her. In the record you can find english translation of her singing… for your best smile.

Giovanni Vernucci

© 2001, 2014 SuccoAcido - All Rights Reserved
Reg. Court of Palermo (Italy) n°21, 19.10.2001
All images, photographs and illustrations are copyright of respective authors.
Copyright in Italy and abroad is held by the publisher Edizioni De Dieux or by freelance contributors. Edizioni De Dieux does not necessarily share the views expressed from respective contributors.

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