ZANDOS CORP: Personal Apocalypse CD Signifier
Brazil’s Adriano Machado has been on the circuit producing music since 2005 and being aware of previous works I knew this album wasn’t going to be anything but riotous.
‘Connective Consciousness’ opens up this latest release with a mash of distorted (yet clean) beats and harmonies that gel surprising well considering how little they should mesh individually. These seamlessly work in conjunction with the broken beats and breakcore of ‘Hostile Adaption’, being a prime example of Machado’s programming wizardry, of which is in no doubt once the rollercoaster of rhythms slide along gleeful harmonies and fluttering pads, stuttered to perfection.
If anything, the only fault with Zandos Corp is that collectively, some of the tracks differ little from one to the next if listened to as a whole (once your ears are swamped). Of course there are exceptions to the rule such as the ludicrous ‘Hidden Wings’, teetering on the bat-shit insane; and to be honest, considering the quality of the dance-floor frenzy that is ‘Manasic Fields’, it’s only a minor quibble when you consider each song on a track by track basis.
Notably, Displacer makes an appearance, remixing the aforementioned ‘Hidden Wings’, constructing an entirely new composition, tethering the calamitous rage into a thing of beauty, whilst Hysteresis add their own insanity to ‘Requiem For Matter and Feelings’.
‘Personal Apocalypse’, holds its own against many of the releases from Machado’s peers. If you fancy listening to an hour (or so) of quality breakcore and distorted beat with warped electronics and occasional glimpses of splendour then spend your hard-earned cash on this.
WOMEN SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOL: See You Next Tuesday CD Signifier
I am all too aware of releases that rely on comedy as an outlet and how all of them fail. Many albums of this ilk are steeped in self-indulgence and in-jokes, which, whilst being hilarious to the creator, rarely are to the listener… AT ALL. I haven’t found one that has made me laugh once to this day.
So with some trepidation I pressed play on this collaboration from Noit Excev, Cervello Elettronico, and Sleep Clinic, sighing heavily at track titles such as ‘Hello, I am Eskil’ and ‘He pissed in a Trash Can in Noisex’s Dressing Room’. I am sorry, it just smacks of “HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK AT US AND WHO WE HANG OUT WITH!!!11!!”, reading like some inane Facebook wall post from a drunken night out. I repeat, comedy albums are NEVER funny unless it’s the individuals concerned.
So onto the music, which is fairly steady paced Industrial and electronics, with the occasional jaunt into distorted beat territory; mainly this is instrumental, highlighting my initial case in point. If this has no lyrics, not sung by the likes of George Formby whilst he’s cleaning windows or whatever and devoid of any meaningful sample to instigate any reaction to the titles, or indeed the release at all, then what is the point in the concept chosen?
‘See You Next Tuesday’ doesn’t really offer anything new for the ears either. There is many a moment on the album admittedly that could be mixed in a club to keep the kids dancing and with a little more consideration, there are elements on this that stand out as a precursor to going out on the razzle whilst getting ready. If anything the misguided WSNDA sounds like a slightly less purposeful Powder Pussy, who at least utilised considered hook-line samples alongside a consistent concept. I didn’t laugh with them either.
LAN FORMATIQUE: The Sadness of Distances CD Signifier
It’s seems like its taken an eternity for this debut proper to get a release and one wonders if there isn’t already another album ready in the wings from Lees due a release date soon.
Personally I know the challenges that have faced Gavin and the relationship he will have with this album and the key elements emotionally, have been translated to sound for all to hear; ‘Home? Is Run No More’ probably sums it all up in one track.
LF fuses the dramatic elements of emotional electronics and organic instrumentation into his own style with a nod to other artists out there that have walked this path many a time before. Thankfully though there is more than enough of his own stamp on each track to make it his own, such as the fantastic ‘Airspaces’ and ‘1st March 1990’ with more emotional attachment glued within its DNA than a puppy has for a new found foster family.
As a whole there isn’t a lot to separate the tracks on this release as they all flow seamlessly from one to the next, or to make it stand out from any of the acts that have been doing the rounds for a while, but as I mentioned before this has been a long time completed and waiting for release; therefore there can be no real finger pointing at those that think this lacks anything different when comparing artists within this genre.
On the whole, the grammatically uncomfortable ‘The Sadness of Distances’ is a solid, true to himself, heartfelt release with a couple of mixes at the end from Subheim and Detritus to round things off. Apart from a few production grumbles this is a fine debut. I hope the next one doesn’t take so long to surface.
NXV: Bridging Divisions CD Signifier
Nick Viola of Fractured Transmission provides us here, 13 tracks of dub influenced, Industrial cut and paste rhythmical structures and wire like electronics over a current of ambient pads.
The opening two tracks, although short in stature van easily be paired as one song as they seamlessly flow into each other and only differ marginally in their approach; it’s not until ‘Blind’ kicks in, that we see the true life force of this project. A writhing mass of warm bass synth swirls, dripping through the mash up of breaks and subtle electronics that are left floating around in the ether and ultimately denied prominence.
‘Inversion Dub’ states everything about the song it accompanies by the title in itself; a solid jaunt, but lacking the sub bass hit that is required genre speaking and I feel NXV is best suited to concentrating his efforts solely on breaks, as this is where he excels.
‘Bridging Divisions’ as a whole is a fairly stable release stylistically speaking; Viola has picked a genre and has firmly stood his ground, never straying from the path chosen. Credit has to be given for sticking to one chosen path and when he does it well, he gives the listener a glimpse of what he is capable of achieving. However, Nick stumbles far too often over his own production blocks and a fair amount of this album lacks the razor-sharp scalpel of knife-edge electronica, embodied by the quagmire that is ‘Inversion’; falling unfortunately onto his own sword, as opposed to hacking into the market this is aimed at.
TO TRAVEL WITHOUT ANY CERTAIN DESTINATION: s/t CD Signifier
This is the latest project from Manos Chrisovergis, the man behind Hands Productions acts Libido Formandi and Last Days of S.E.X.
‘Ruins of a Naked City’ opens up with flanging esoteric guitar work leading into urban beats; it’s a different approach to what I expected and although competent does seem ever so slightly out on its timing. This is obviously unintentional and made it a little shaky for me as an opener.
‘Stranger in Common Places’ does pick up on similar beat-work to its predecessor, however has more focus with cut-and-paste IDM beeps and scratches complementing the background ambience; downbeat and effective throughout, the only example where this works on this album.
Thematically this does have an agenda; as stated before, in the manner of which the rhythms are presented this release does have a heavy urban feel and is effective at getting this across. This is cemented with a heavy use of field recordings that thankfully do not ponder like a lot of artists do when utilising such a tool.
This is a solid album knocked with a huge downside; the beat programming is where a lot of this release is let down. It’s an art to get sampled loops working effectively and as I mentioned previously there is more than one occurrence of rhythm cut too early and tripping over itself, lacking any coherence. Either that or the loops picked were a certain length and maybe rushing to completion, insignificant focus was paid to these elements individually.
TTWACD as a project should have avoided anything rhythmically speaking. The use of ambience and general musicianship displays enough talent alone, without the need to pander to any other audience.
OXYD: Liveforms CD Aliens Production / Signifier
Leaning on the shoulders of an ambient soundtrack to film that has not yet been written, comes the altogether different side project of Tympanik Audio’s Disharmony.
If we are to believe the press blurb this was entirely recorded live (hence the title), and I applaud this approach to writing personally; it shows gusto and in some senses, quite daring if they haven’t altered any of recordings once laid down; this is a moot point though as what would be the rationale behind the concept of a live format otherwise?
I am a huge fan of ambient music when it is done well and it pleases me to say that ‘Liveforms’ ticks all the boxes needed to feed my monkey where this genre is concerned. Dark Ambient plays a minor feature, which was surprising considering what others have said about this album; the aural landscape approaches the listener in an almost futuristic machine like fashion, with the focus more on an electronic, nay, industrial backdrop to a bleak horizon of torn down buildings and ravaged steel structures.
Attention to detail is key to the release; thematically this is sound as a whole and could be a bridge for those that tend not dare cross the gateway that leads to other genres of sound exploration; an engaging release that differs dramatically from previous works under this projects main moniker.
THE CARAPACE: Moments in Time DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Signifier
The Carapace is the side project of Scrap.edx front-man Josh Colella running alongside his main musical output in what appears to be his downtime.
Spanning the space of approximately three years the track titles are merely dates most likely sourcing specific moods or life events and thought process and emotions translated through the medium of music.
What we do have on display is a dramatic shift from his main output in Scrap.edx, the consummate professionalism and clean precise beats and electronics are as evident as one would expect from Josh and some of the sounds are ever so familiar to long term listeners of his other body of work; however it’s the mix of the ingredients that make ‘Moments in Time’ differ from anything else he has released.
An intriguing affair none-the-less that glides and moves at a fairly relaxing pace soaring through IDM and ambience with ease, flirting with momentary elements of dub influences culminating at it’s very best with track three ‘12/19/2009’, with its simplistic yet beautiful pad arrangements that give the impression of gazing out of a window on a train journey to some distant location, on a winters afternoon as the sun breaks through the clouds on the horizon.
The Carapace is available now on digital download from the Signifier site, I would have loved for this to be released on a hard copy format, but that’s just the collector in me. Go get it today. You won’t be disappointed.