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Vizier of Damascus, Badshahi [Rednetic – RN006, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

vizier_of_damascus_badshahi“Badshahi” is the title of an excellent release and debut from “Vizier of Damascus” on Rednetic (OCT 2005). This release also holds an eerie actuality related to recent events regarding subjects like tolerance, respect and freedom of speech and the confusion surrounding them in the World of today. “Badshahi” is filled with Middle Eastern / Arabic influences creating a thoroughly beautiful and thoughtful album stretching nine songs long. The album starts off with the vocoderized introduction “Lectures” immediately setting the mood (the only thing missing really is a transcript of the text, but then again it heightens the overall mystical feeling in an effective way to say the least.) “Badshahi” is set in down-tempo mode and features tracks based on stunning soundscapes and atmosphere. As with any good piece of music a written account just doesn’t do it justice. This album comes highly recommended and you should investigate it now!

Damien Shingleton/Lum, The Tandem Series 2 [Boltfish Recordings – BOLT026, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

tandemseries_02Another new signing for Boltfish that goes by the name: Damien Shingleton. (Well that’s not entirely true, because he was featured on the “Patchwork” double disc release (DEC 2005) and contributed a remix of Cheju’s “Camellia”.) On what is a new series of split releases aptly entitled “The Tandem Series”. The concept is simple enough two artists co-habiting the same release. Damien Shingleton starts off with a very strong track entitled “Agra”, engineered static, an untreated piano in solitude, flat bassline and beautiful melody creates a hypnotic track with deep reaching bass and original arrangements and venture in to what is almost a patent of Adim’s (Autres Directions In Music) Melodium – guitar based gentle quirkiness in “2 For Joy” bass is thick though. “Art Park Swing” got some treated vocals and simmers along with some reversed guitar action added to the ensemble and a shy four to the floor beat lingering in the background. “Static” is a very short outro containing: static. The other artist contributing to this split is Lum, far from being a stranger in Boltfish contexts and proud record label owner at that. Lum’s first offering is “Miel-Volm” and the characteristic crisp sound production that is a Lum trademark is as audible in this work as it ever was. A virtually beatless track formed by a collection of synthesised sounds makes up this track – a lot of space in this one (in the literal meaning). “Darko” is not only the latter part of a film title (and an exceptionally good 21th century American film at that) it is also the title of Lum’s second contribution, once more leaving the beats at the door and focusing on individual sounds to form musical form. “Cefone” is also deprived of beats and does feature some expertly treated synthesised sounds and vast use of space in the production is effective – contemporary electronic music demonstrated. “Xec 4” ends Lum’s latest contribution to Boltfish, washes of (analogue?) synthesised sounds that would fit the generic description “Sci-Fi” prolong themselves into the void of space. It’s simply masterful “less is more” music and yes it is cold and you are completely alone!

Infinite Scale, Automated Compositions [Boltfish Recordings – BOLT025, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

infinite_scaleAnother new signing and for Boltfish that goes by the name: Infinite Scale. “Automated Compositions” is a 4 track EP with warm lush sounds displaying superb production techniques. The four tracks are: “Leaving for Another Day” “My Aquatic Life” “The Wind Does Not Always Blow” and “The Painted Audience (Never Fail You)”. If I were to single out a track it would be the third “The Wind Does Not Always Blow” for its excellent subbass, crisp beats and massive strings. You guessed it the instant pressing on the replay button is as welcomed as it is an involuntary movement! BOLT025 has arrived and the only question remaining to be answered is: when are you going to own a copy?

Test Pressing/October Man, The Tandem Series 1 [Boltfish Recordings – BOLT024, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

tandemseries_01Another new signing for Boltfish that goes by the name: Test Pressing. On what looks like a new series of split releases aptly entitled “The Tandem Series”. The concept is simple enough two artists co-habiting the same release. Test Pressing starts off the portion of the musical contributions devoted to him with the happy sounding “Veslo”, with straight forward beats, Japanese vocal samples and playfulness and it gets better as the track count progresses. “Dinonoke” is more composed and has an excellent intro, the beat is dry and 4-4 based – yet bouncy and forward moving, then follow the classic take on melody, uncomplicated and very effective in a Housie way. “Sad Stream Which Is Going To Become The River” is not only a good song and very good title for any song it is also the piece the resistance of Test Pressing’s input, simply put a masterful track! The glitchy intro that doesn’t give anything away, the beats that are so well put together, the well-balanced vocal sample and arrangements, the melody, and their painful beautifulness and the track’s metamorphosis when the contra posing elements (literally) break and end the track commanding an instant replay. This track is a perfect example of the middle-earth that “Electronica” constitutes (to my mind anyhow), very beautiful, if you posses dancing ability do it, otherwise all you have to do is listen… Ending the four-track contribution is “Leaving Home” a lullaby sounding sweet track. Test Pressing is a delightful encounter indeed! The other artist contributing to this split is October Man, far from being a stranger in Boltfish contexts and proud record label owner at that. October Man first offering is “Let’s Go Out” featuring lush treated vocals and feather-light beats. Picking up the pace in “Oinment”, but not striving to far from familiar grounds, strings and solid melody fused with an evident beat. “False” “Somewhere To Stay” and “Things to Remember” features more of October Man’s craftsmanship, well-constructed melodies and understated beats. It’s BOLT024 and you know you should investigate.

Depth Affect, Arche-Lymb [Autres Directions In Music – MOULIN011CD, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

moulin011Depth Affect’s latest contribution to Adim is their full-length album entitled “Arche-Lymb” released not so long ago (FEB 2006). Their previous contributions include the “Mesquin EP”, a track included on the massive 30 artists “The Noise & The City” compilation and various remixes. I guess that their original statement about their music is still a valid one: “…our way of proceeding isn’t original it simply consists in exploring the different aspects of electronic hop hop music”. Arche-Lymb also features some non-sampled vocals by Alias (Anticon) and Cyne (City Centre Offices) reinforcing the overall hip hop theme. You get 13 down-tempo leftfield hip hop tracks of the highest quality including a video – all courtesy of Depth Affect and Adim (Autres Directions In Music).

Cheju, A Rainy Mile [Static Caravan – VAN112, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

cheju_rainy“A Rainy Mile” is Cheju’s debut release for the honourable Static Caravan label. The beautifully packaged four track 3″ CD single starts off with “Traces”, Cheju’s signature is clearly audible and it would be the beats that would give him away, however isn’t there a very familiar yet foreign element in this track as well, a sample of another great electronic musician. “Adrift” features devastating vocals and imposing guitars fused with a healthy beat to keep things moving along quite unlike Cheju and at the same time not. “Hikari” brings the big drum and Cheju sounds to go, it’s just a great seminal track. “Prolonged Reflection” is in a sense a retake on one of his own tracks and probably my favourite of the four on this EP. The build-up is superb, beats, melody and bassline to die for and kind of reminiscent of Bauri’s work actually, but still being a Cheju affair. “A Rainy Mile” – a lovely 3-inch release from Static Caravan counting in at 112! It’s only a 200 series’ run, so I suggest you get yourself a copy before it’s too late…

Inch-Time, Icicles and Snowflakes/ Almond Eyes [Static Caravan – VAN098, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

DSCN3465“Icicles and Snowflakes/ Almond Eyes” is the title of an excellent 7-inch produced by Inch-Time and released by Static Caravan. It’s just a pure pleasure listening to and the fact that it is a actual 2005 seven-inch vinyl release is commendable in itself (come to think of it there are actually two 7-inch releases being reviewed at this ED-moment and that moment would be FEB 2006 Anno Domini, how about that!). You get two tracks with warm sounds, ultra rich textures and an expert’s production. Furthermore this release will ensure you the option of flipping the black 177,80mm in diameter vinyl disc from one side to the other for quite some time. “Icicles and Snowflakes/ Almond Eyes” comes highly recommended and it’s severally limited, but the latter circumstance is in no way ED’s responsibility.

Aitänna77, Tiny Structures Vol.1 [October Man Recordings – OCTOBER MAN 9, 2006]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

aitanna77_tiny“Tiny Structures Vol.1” is October Man Recordings’ Aitänna’s latest release, hailing from Spain he does the honours on October Man’s ninth release. The EP contains five tracks “1980”, “Bruno’s Piano”, “Waiting For a Happy-Ending”, “Poor Muchette” and “Carnival of Souls”. This release is similar to the previous Aitänna77 offerings and Aitänna77 once again demonstrates that he is one of the growing numbers of musicians based in the middle-land of acoustic and electronic music. Aitänna77’s quirky little melodies and varied instrumentation, fused and electronically treated, create a sonic landscape that depicts that middle-land perfectly. A final note on the folded artwork, which is really, really good and complements this release perfectly.

Kamotek, Loftway [Low Impedance Recordings – LOZ03, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

loz03“Loftway” is the title of Kamotek’s full-length album released by the Greek label Low Impedance Recordings (SEP 2005). The album stretches 17 tracks long and the tracks collected share the common treat of emphasising the beats – from arcade game to strict format drum’n’bass. There’s an unmistakable playfulness to most of the tracks, maybe a little too much of it actually and in combination with large doses of retro sounds the album is framed thus giving it a somewhat generic feeling. Nevertheless, you get arcade, drum’n’bass, house, electro and electronic based music made for the open-minded dancefloor. There’re some down-tempo moments as well as in “Cresendo Sheep” with atmospheric sonic textures and haunting processed vocal samples and did I mention beats? And the excellent forward moving “Premorning Peeps On The Universe” complete with lush warm bassline and the ending slow moving “Pilgrim Penguim”. The “Loftway” album is a digipack release and it’s designed by Gee-Oh-Dee.

Sensiva, Giosun [Sensotech – ST001CD, 2005]

February 25th, 2006 Comments off

Sensiva-Giosun_CoverThe first release from the Russian label Sensotech is a full-length album “Giosun” by Sensiva (DEC 2005). This album is very well produced and reveals the talents of a contemporary electronic musician, stretching 10 tracks long and set in down-tempo mode. It must be said that the BOArds of Canada influence is very strong and quite impossible to miss. All the 10 tracks have similar characteristics: clear down-tempo beats, organ and many of them contain processed vocal samples. But naturally there are tracks that have a different composition as well. For example the use of beats in “P Deep”, which has straight-forward beats combined with beats gone astray and exceedingly beautiful melody or the use of guitars in “Light Rays Games”. Other examples would be the down-toned beats of “Giosun” or the up-tempo ones used in “Downstairs To the Free Port” or why not the subbass in “Vasad”. Together they make a well-produced album of melodic electronic music package in digi and a beautiful inlay photo. Finally, I would like to congratulate Sensotech on their first release and wish them continued success with the label.