A BROKEN CONSORT – Box Of Birch

(Sustain-Release) Richard Skelton owns a unique style resulting from the conjunction of see-through elements and the extreme care with which he assembles them. That’s enough to warrant sonic poetry of the highest order, and Box Of Birch is the inevitable confirmation of the validity of this process and the depth of the man himself. Already at its second edition – this time limited to 100 copies with the customary individually dedicated manual artwork – this CD features the best music that I’ve heard from Skelton to date, pregnant with the total awareness of an inescapable regret which – creatively speaking … Continue reading A BROKEN CONSORT – Box Of Birch

A BROKEN CONSORT – The Shape Leaves

(Sustain-Release) Given that the large part of this label’s editions comes in extremely limited quantities – from a single copy (!) to 28, to 100 – and that every item is singularly assembled and personalized with a dedication to the receiver, handmade artwork with beautiful leaves and similar preparations plus fascinating graphic design and photos by Louise Skelton, then consider this review a random choice justifying my invitation to fathom the artistic microcosm of a gentleman named Richard Skelton from Lancashire (UK), father of Sustain-Release and – under various monikers – of the music contained here and in other albums … Continue reading A BROKEN CONSORT – The Shape Leaves

ABSTRACTIONS – Ars Vivende

(Edgetone / Pax Recordings) Another example of “Abstractions fury”, this time more violent and anguishing than in their previous Sonic Conspiracy. Mostly characterized by vocal eruptions over deranged rhythms and instrumental torturing upon impossible leit-motifs, Ars Vivende is a record that stands in front of any sort of “gentle” aesthetic with the impetus of anger, poverty, rage against the “perpetual rule” or – simply put – a demonstration that art must not always satisfy educated ears. Like a Jackson Pollock painting, only splashed with blood, sweat and maybe stomach acids, this music will make you feel uneasy. Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rent … Continue reading ABSTRACTIONS – Ars Vivende

ABSTRACTIONS – Novo Navigatio

(Edgetone / Pax Recordings) You could never say that Abstractions are slickers, as their “rags-to-raggedier” kind of artistic freedom makes their sound emissions appreciable by a few stray pigeons and a bunch of lucky analysts (yes, it’s me in there). This collective’s in-yo’-face, politically incorrect lyrics are meshed with rusty needles of disposable improvising sapience and remnants of Beefheartian corpses, poleaxing any concept of nearshore straightness while proudly showing the earmarks of genuine intelligence. The indented poetics of indecipherable sonic stenography offered by these musicians is more than enough to declare them essential in the ever expanding galaxy of West … Continue reading ABSTRACTIONS – Novo Navigatio

ACOUSTIC GUITAR TRIO – Acoustic Guitar Trio

(Incus) The three acoustic guitar anti-heroes featured here are Nels Cline, Jim McAuley and Rod Poole. The “social interactions” among the instrumental entities are conveniently oriented towards controlled dissonance, often opening up to reveal a flourishing variety of arpeggio delicacies and a very careful choice of tunings that will sound “wrong” to the ones whose maximum level of complication acceptance translates as “California Guitar Trio”. But, to yours truly, those strange distinctions of chords and lines are the very essence of the AGT’s musicianship. A concentrated listen will highlight an ever-present fantasy, a bright-minded attack to conventional guitar counterpoint and … Continue reading ACOUSTIC GUITAR TRIO – Acoustic Guitar Trio

A CROWN OF AMARANTH – Love.Lies.Bleeding

(Crucial Bliss) After a few moments of grinding electronic noise and membrane-piercing distortion – both largely dominant characters in this music – I was telling myself “I’m too old for this”. But I stayed and, sure enough, the reward came – under the guise of a structure. Yes – A Crown of Amaranth are not your typical noise bastards but use those unbelievably violent eruptions with a well developed compositional scope, so that you’re forced to follow what happens with curiosity, even enjoying some blissful (pun intended) moment. As a matter of fact, while listening to this volcanic album at … Continue reading A CROWN OF AMARANTH – Love.Lies.Bleeding

ADAM_IS – Moles

(Echomusic) Michail Adamis recorded these sounds during the construction of an underground tunnel in the national road linking Athens and Thessaloniki, the result used as a sonic installation at the planning offices of the involved company. The aim was to highlight the different aspects of the working environments in the realization of the project. On a purely phenomenal basis, this is a potent mass of rumbles, shrieking frequencies, long reverberations and violent thuds. The whooshing presence of the vehicles and the almost scary creaks and chugs bring recollections from the late eighties, post industrial a go-go in my house and … Continue reading ADAM_IS – Moles