Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2013«

Rael Jones – Mandrake (post-classical)

November 30, 2013

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The running times of the nine pieces collected on Mandrake fall within the broad compass of the usual song lengths of pop and rock music, and they are gathered into a whole which may fall a little short of the usual length of a contemporary album, but whose duration would once have been a quite respectable proportion of the day to find occupied by the contents of an LP. But not all albums are curated on the same basis, some assembling a disparate selection united only by their ostensible author, some evincing a discernible sense of creative coherence, and others united by an overarching theme, which may …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

November 21, 2013

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Twelve minutes is a respectable length for an EP, but with eight tunes on this disc they’re still pretty much crammed in, none of them clocking in closer to two minutes than one-and-a-half. If you think that makes this sound like a sampler, you’d be very wrong: although these bands clearly have much more to say than can be heard here, these eight songs are perfectly concise and self-contained distillations of energy, political rage, atavistic catharsis, humorous aural vandalism or whatever the appropriate term may be (and I’m sure it’s different for each song). What the eight bands collected on Without Kibou …

Mechanimal – Mechanimal (electronic rock)

November 15, 2013

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Produced amidst the collapse of Greek civil society and the evaporation of its economic certainties, Mechanimal looks outwards, fixing its gaze in particular on America and Germany as the source of its musical materials, and by implication (not to mention common consent) significant contributors to the social ills afflicting Mechanimal’s native shores. ‘America, America/ I’ve got your fucking blues’ intones vocalist Freddie F. in ‘Funny’, while the deadpan automated insincerity of the lines ‘You know/ I’m devastated by the way things turned out/ I’m really sorry’ occur in a song titled ‘Motorik’, a term for the characteristic…

Skåglörds – Korea (doom/ electronica)

November 10, 2013

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I don’t know what this has to do with Korea; no more do I know why doom metal (or sabbathcore as it was amusingly described by the label when Korea was submitted for review) represents the north, and electronica the south. I like some enigma in my music, so it’s not keeping me awake at night, and I’m reluctant to ascribe any definitively programmatic meanings to the music. What I think is really interesting about this album is that it juxtaposes two quite distinct creative approaches, and presents them as a single artistic utterance. Whatever meanings the listener might conclude are central to the work must …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

November 3, 2013

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This entire album is performed straight to tape (or whatever recording medium was used) on a Roland MC-505 groovebox; Cory Peak chose to use a particular set of simple, rounded timbres that gives it a distinct 8-bit vibe, although the machine is considerably more sophisticated, and a much more powerful synthesiser, than the devices that gave rise to that genre. The point is a similar one, as well: in an era of expanding technological possibilities, where the range of options available to electronic music producers on even the tightest budgets is dauntingly vast, defining a closely constrained set of creative …