TASJIIL MOUJAHED: Moussafer CD Syrphe
Tasjiil Moujahed is the collaborative output of Beirut’s Jawad Nawfal and the well-respected C-Drik. Enveloped between the rather jazzy eye-bending cover we have nine tracks of exploratory ambient, and dub-step tinged electronics.
Opening up with the ever so Sci-Fi infused ‘Verlone Zeit’, things step up a pace with ‘Bin Ich Blind’ with its dub bass structure performing the role as the main foundation to an obscure electronic array of electronic blips and subtle pads and effectively unnerving whispered vocals; it’s an effective combination of sounds that provide a sinister feel to the proceedings.
For the most part TM play the same game over and over on the remaining tracks, but when the formula works there seems no reason to break the mould they have clearly set for themselves. Old school EBM even raises its head on the latter stages of ‘Collapsing System’, coming across like an early Skinny Puppy and it’s a necessity on this release to show a slight variation in form.
Overall ‘Moussafer’ is a highly interesting and competent release that relies solely on undercurrents of atmosphere as opposed to smashing the listener in the teeth. This approach won’t be for everyone, but the experimentation that can be a little too much for some to comprehend, has been firmly tethered into a cohesive listening experience for those that require something different.
INFINITE MOMENT OF COMPOSURE: Turbulence CD Syrphe
Tasjiil Moujahed’s Jawad Nawfal joins forces with Liliane Chiela from the dn’B Project to produce a collection of ambient and noise filled compositions. Sometimes this can be a tricky concoction to gel effectively into a whole album that is interesting enough to draw attention for a long duration; but in a lot of respects ‘Turbulence’ manages what it sets out to achieve.
The glitch ridden ‘Flaw’ opens up into the engagingly harmonious ‘Dissolution’, relying on gentle harmonies to pulsate through fluttering pitter-pattering beats on a bed of droning ambience; notably this is one of the better tracks on the album.
There are moments on this release that wander off the beaten path to straightforward Dark Ambient. Whilst this may be a genre I adore, in a lot of respects there isn’t the aspect of engagement I expected to immerse myself within and instead, relished the interruptions of machine head electronics that occasionally rose up to the challenge, coming across in much the same way the excellent Geistform goes about his business.
In short, IMOC have produced a decent, sturdy body of work that upon reflection has its moments of glory. In order to step up to the next level they need to concentrate on emotional harmonies and glitch, which is right up there with the genres best. A satisfyingly solid release which is only let down by its persistence with meandering in its inability to move forwards when needed.
LE DIKTAT / KIRDEC: Mourir de Bonne Heure CD Syrphe
The politically ‘out there’ Le Diktat are an act that I thoroughly relish. Couple this in collaboration with Kirdec (C-Drik) and on paper there are all the necessary ingredients to produce an absolute barnstormer of an album; if not the worry of how the varying styles will work together as one.
More of an intro than an actual song, we have the Cdrk remix of Le Diktat’s ‘Nihil’ blowing the cobwebs away as the opening gambit, perfectly poised for the bizarre warping electronics of ‘Vagues à Lames’, as these two partners in crime construct a clever mash of warm beats and peculiarities.
As always, when you bring Le Diktat to the table there is going to be an element of urban cool that has its toes dangling in the waters of Industrial, whilst retaining the commercialism of its hip-hop peers. This accessibility has a devil on its shoulders however, in the ever-present Kirdec, pulling away at anything remotely mainstream and tossing it down the well of obscurity; the excellent ‘Made of Glass’ and ‘Illusions’ being prime examples of this in action.
‘Mourir de Bonne Heure’, it has to be said is the perfect compliment of two artists working in harmony with each other. When separated this barely seems achievable when listening to each other works independently and whilst the tracks rarely differ from one to the next to any massive degree, the outcome is enjoyable in its entirety.
V/A: 30.2 CD Syrphe
Subtitled ‘Electronic, Experimental, Ambient, Noise artists from Africa’, this is pretty much does what it says on the tin. With nine musicians from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Morocco, Madagascar, Angola, South Africa and Algeria, it’s nice to see what this continent has to hold musically and more power to Syrphe for introducing this to us.
The ethnically influenced glitch induced ambient of Egypt’s Omar Raafat is up first with light electronic stutters in the programming that filter into his second track ‘Egyptian Heritage’, taking his own field recordings and subtly blending them into natural percussive sounds in a more than competent fashion.
The excellent Ynfl-X is up next with a warm blend of warping analogue and electronic smatterings of drum n’ bass. Produced to perfection, the harmonies and beats are blended well, without one overriding the other, providing one of the better tracks on this album; not to mention his more IDM tinged ‘Phreak’, which is no less impressive (and surely now an artist I will hunt out).
The rest of this release provides a more than worthwhile listening experience, another highlight being the synth driven ‘Obdurate’ from Kwerk and the marginally out of place (but no less enjoyable) Power Electronics of Hohner Comet; as with all compilations though, there is the odd booby prize to stop this from being an entirely brilliant selection.
That said, there is more than enough musical input here to make the electronic purist steer their attentions to the output from this mainly ‘unchartered’ location in the musical sense of the word.
V/A: Art of the Muses CD Syrphe
There are reams of fantastic artists from the Far East, the excellent Moph Records holds testament to that; and now we have Syrphe providing us with works from Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Alice Hui-Sheng Chang opens up this release with the ridiculously titled (or excellent depending how you see it) ‘The worlds top destinations for diving and skydiving’. A barking mad array of shrieks and wails, that whilst do show her range, are just appalling to listen to.
Things don’t get any better come track two with Aki Ito subjecting the listener to some cock-handed field recordings. I rarely like the medium, so it takes a fair whack of ingenuity to really get me interested. Along with Itta providing more of the same (on track 3) with whatever analogue instrumentation they are using, this nearly had me reaching for the eject button and snapping the CD in half.
There are electronic intersections along the way, but nothing worthy of note. I am sure there is a market out there and they probably wank off to Z’ev albums. Personally this kind of pointless pissing around infuriates me and I have far more productive things to do with my time (like sitting in silence, maybe) than listen to bollocks like this.
ALUVIANA: Toniča Negibnost CD Syrphe
Hand made artwork so each release will look different is a pretty neat way of going about your work and points to the limited quantities of this Slovenian artists release. Badged as Dark Ambient, this is actually only a minor element to the album as a whole.
When Aluviana concentrates on this medium he does this to great effect; the rich, air driven quality of the pads provide a solid foundation to work on. Occasionally this is abused with Power Electronics, but more often than not, the sounds of harmonicas and such-like; unfortunately this is where it all falls apart.
Too much concentration on dragging the listener into his own psychosis, Aluviana has forgotten that minimalism can be key weapon in any self-respecting DA producer’s arsenal. Faffing around with obscurity and noise steers the listener away from anything tangible; and the unfortunate outcome, is a release that lacks any foreboding threat that they were ultimately trying to convey.