WOLFRAM: X CD Monotype Records

wolframX

WOLFRAM: X     CD   Monotype Records

It’s been 11 years since Wolfram created an actual ‘new’ album as such; other pieces of work that have been released have been older tracks used for movies and theatre etc.  Either way, ‘X’ is a more than suitable return.

Opener, ‘W:Xswarm’ is a noisy affair that rises into a raging slab of hive activity, fizzling out into a serene ‘Introspektiv’; that teeters on the edges of Dark Ambient, but most likely owes more to movie soundtracks than anything else.

With a seamless flow, track two glides into ‘Exploded View’.  A wiry ambient number that plays on scratching glitch as it progresses into the lighter ambient leanings of ‘N:xizhe’; that throws in a background heart beat to give the essence of pace.

‘X’ finishes on a combination of sounds that represent the album as a whole.  Machine-like in its approach it draws on touches of Industrial; and is a fitting end to the release.

Overall, this is a sold and fine return to making music.  It won’t set the world alight with brilliance, but everything Wolfram has done here, does well as an all-rounder.  The CD has some nice laser etching on the playable side too.

8.5/10

KOMORA A: Crystal Dwarf CD Monotype Records

komoraA

KOMORA A: Crystal Dwarf   CD Monotype Records

An anxious machine head crackle, leads depth charge tones and electronic thumps on the doorway to bleak ambience, upon ‘Waking Up’; the opening gambit of this, Komora A’s second full-length release. Disturbing and ultimately aggressive, this is tempered somewhat by the throbbing generator that is the aptly titled ‘Drone of Reality’.

In an about shift in kilter, ‘Beats and Memories’ brings a welcome light of near IDM sub-textures and skyward sounds that make the listener look upwards for some form of salvation. It’s an effective piece that is a necessary moment on what is an ultimately oppressive album.

The aggravating glitches of ‘Inscape Module’ are an essential ingredient to this release, regardless of the irritation, as they catapult a narrative to the journey onwards into the ‘Drone of Unreality’; and ultimately the relief of ‘Escape’.

It would be easy to dismiss ‘Crystal Dwarf’ and the uninitiated could easily pass it off as a wall of noisy and somewhat pointless electronics. However, Komora A have managed to hold down a concept and genuine knack of storytelling that kept me engrossed from start to finish.

8.5/10

RYDBERG: s/t CD Monotype Records

rydberg

RYDBERG: s/t CD Monotype Records

Nicolas Bussmann and Werner Dafeldecker have individually been releasing work under their own names for a while now; and once again under the collective moniker of Rydberg have formulated a thematically charged three track album, that is as obscure as I expected.

Based on the premise that different sounds change temperature, then this duo have worked with the factor that warm days sound different to cold days as moist air sounds different to dry; yeah, it’s a batshit insane subject matter that doesn’t really translate into the music itself.

What we do have are warm pulsating tones and sub bass throbs, resonating at various pitches and frequencies (on ‘Elevator’, with the odd intersection of electronic mechanics that sit well on the ears. The harmonies and subtle glitches add variation on ‘Gardening’, providing an altogether more industrial/IDM feel to the album and are a welcome change from what I felt would be a solely ambient release.

Jazz percussion slides well into the scratching ‘And the Science’, as drones rise and bitcrushed electronics bleep and buzz in bouncing positivity, providing a surprisingly upbeat yet downtempo end to the proceedings; and ending the album on a quality high. As far as experimental releases go, this self-titled album creates a depth and warmth that engages the listener more than most within the genre; and is engaging from start to finish, with one single hiccup.

9/10

T’IEN LAI: DA’AT CD Monotype Records

tienlai

T’IEN LAI: DA’AT CD Monotype Records

Phillip K. Dick enthusiasts will recognise T’ien Lai as a brand of cigarettes from one of his novels and yes this is where this artist got the name, which translates as ‘Heavenly Music’. Whether this bands music can be described as heavenly is up to the individual. What it is however is a brutal and traumatic voyage into electronic noises, droning guitar ambience and static radio frequencies.

Clever utilisation of melody is what sets this release apart in a lot of ways. There is a touch of the psychedelic that lends a hand in setting this act aside from what I initially expected (because of the press release) and rather than Sunn O))), we have something more alternative than the impending doom and gloom I anticipated.

‘Da’at’ has a sense of ritualism about it and where I would normally find myself irritated, I found myself mesmerised and captivated as to what would come next. This album does have its fair share of the visceral, but is tempered by eastern reverberated chants that meld the entire experience well.

Not for the impatient, T’ien Lai’ move along at a necessarily slow pace, allowing atmosphere to creep into the cracks and crevices of space, oozing generous folds of sound manipulation that build into colossal monoliths of ranging noise.

8.5/10

RLW & SRMEIXNER: Just Like a Flower When Winter Begins CD Monotype Records

RLWSRM

RLW & SRMEIXNER: Just Like a Flower When Winter Begins  CD Monotype Records

The more Monotype releases I get through, the more twaddle I appear to be encountering; and only now and then there is something genuinely entertaining or moderately well done.  This is an oddity that I simply cannot get my head around, or understand why it deserved to be released at all.  The inner sleeve reads like a diary that is too inane and self-indulgent to engage in, the press sheet goes on about how horrible a DJ set was for someone’s 75th birthday and the album itself is hodgepodge tripe.

‘JLAFWWB’ is a collection of random slots of drones and ambient with vocalisations and Jazz improvised nonsense, flirting with electronics.  It’s also complete bullshit.

3/10

ENOUGH!!!: s/t CD Monotype Records

enough

ENOUGH!!!: s/t  CD Monotype Records

Underground composers Jason Lescalleet, CM Von Hausswolff and Joachim Nordwall, may be unheard of to the many that read my reviews; indeed they are to me as well.  Apparently though as underground electronic subcultures go, they’re fairly well known and here is their collective output.

One-track albums can be a real pig to get anything of any relevance from, source wise; especially when the track is untitled.  More often than not, these tracks are a declaration of art as opposed to music and in these instances they usually fall short for me, because I actually like music.

‘ENOUGH!!!’ is a noisy affair as far as feedback ambient goes.  In part, it is caustic enough to keep the PE throng satiated as much as the DA crowd and this in itself is a minor achievement.  As a whole it does offer more to the aficionado as to the random listener, which conjures up the idea that this is seated best with those that ponder way to deeply at what they’re listening to whist stroking their chins.

6.5/10

HATI: Wild Temple CD Monotype Records

hati

HATI: Wild Temple  CD Monotype Records

Here we have the latest studio album from the two Rafal’s, the unrelated Iwanski and Kolacki.  Comprising solely of ritualistic ambient, this isn’t a medium that I find easy to warm to and once again I struggled with this approach.

Percussive instrumentation, heavily reverberated echoes and clangs whilst cymbals crash, do create a form of ambience for distant chimes to resonate across; and this is achieved to substantial effect.  Whilst this is competent there is little on here for me to engage with; I love ambient music in general and whilst there is a crowd (almost a cult) for this type of music, it does little for me by and large.

‘Wild Temple’, would find an easy home for those that waste their cash on the many works by Ze’v.  One thing I will say is, that it does as a whole, have a little bit more to offer the genre than the usual random acts of timewasting that have come before it by their peers.

6.5/10