Album Review: Cuefx – International Post-War Chill Remixes

CuefxLabel: Export Label

One of the best things about electronic-based music is the remixing. The ability to completely cut up and dissect every bit to a song, mash them up and twist them about has been made extremely easy. It brings an outpouring of inventive collaboration from contemporaries, each with their own style and perspective. 11 different artists have twisted around the songs of unique electronic artist Cuefx into a chilled out series of jazzy tunes slathered in hip hop. The original songs can be found on Cuefx’s latest release, International Post-War Chill, although I must admit I have not heard it. Therefore these remixes have been examined for their own merits with no bias towards the original mix of the songs. The ignorance of this gives a unique perspective on the music itself. Every chopped up tone and sound wave is entirely new to my ears, gently ringing and soothing.

The remixes sample a variety of genres, already found in the original mixes, and meld them together in different ways to form even more innovative sounds. The fusion of nu-jazz and hip hop influences sparks a chemical reaction that freezes your synapses and awakens the beat inside you. The mild relaxing beats add electronic twinges of synthetic bliss. A soft euphoria descends on the city streets, accentuated by a rolling fog that dials the senses into the music. It’s a score for those dark hollow nights in some nameless lounge club in the middle of the city. Smoky, somber tones vaporize into the air and set the mood for unwinding the day’s stresses and readjusting the mind.

These tracks are recommended for anyone who enjoys a chill evening. The dark and morose undertones are no match for the calming effects of the drumbeat. They convey a nuclear winter feel, where everything is destroyed and there’s nothing left to do but enjoy what’s left of the world. However depressing the subject matter is, there is no escaping the music, which is a special hiding place from the negative screaming of the world. The creative endeavor of the remix album has given artists a chance to give their own interpretation of relaxing in a post-apocalyptic world. Something we may have to try and accomplish in our own realities pretty soon. Who knows what tomorrow will bring so until then, enjoy the music.

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Standout Track: Who Wants a Bomb (Nik Laker Remix)

http://exportlabel.com/post/37556361703/cuefx-international-post-war-chill-remixes
http://exportlabel.bandcamp.com/album/international-post-war-chill-remixes

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Album Review: L_coma – Unwanted Noise

Floating on a rippling pond, gently rocked away by a placid lullaby. Layers of treated guitars are carried on the wind, entwining with the sweeping tears of distorted water. A column of dense echoes wraps around, different colors swirling into a vortex of soft noise. A whirlpool begins to twist, silently absorbing all the essence of life. A watery black hole inhales all existence and keeps it safe beneath its glassy surface. This is where all unwanted noise goes.

Descending deep into the gleaming crest, soft trembles of sound emanate from walls of water. A lustrous world is revealed where lucid dreams go to sleep and unchained spirits roam free. All the unwanted noise discarded by the world is recycled in the deluge and transformed into a soft stream of calming drones. They slowly flow past, trickling away from the pond into the forest to merge sounds with the outside world. Something that was once undesirable to the ear is now a pleasant ambiance awash in smoky aquatic reverberation. It has made its cyclical journey back to the source only to be regenerated and sent out again. A continuous flow of enchanting sound designed to cleanse the mind and relax the soul.

L_coma’s dreamy world blocks out all distractions. It is very easy to get lost in this music and forget about everything. All negativity is washed away, all sense of time and reality put on hold while the encompassing soundscape caresses the body. Drowning in ringing murmurs and guitar twinges is almost suffocating and when the surface is broken and air fills the lungs once more, there is only a thick fog full of arresting sound, forcing the body to return afloat. Once again suspended and lulled by the embracing water as it slowly returns the brain to the conscious and dreary world.

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Standout Track: Released Anxiety

http://lcoma.bandcamp.com/
http://soundcloud.com/lcoma

Album Review: Somnambuliya – Sleep Deprivation

Label: Trippin’ the Rift

From deep within the dense forests of Russia a subtle frenetic beat begins to pound. Augmented by a wave of dreamy harmonies, a deep and sullen voice croons in its native language. The piano hums a somber melody as the snow lazily drifts down from the sky. Lack of sleep has taken over and a waking dream assaults your senses. A new world appears and there is no way of knowing if it is a tangible presence or merely a tricky phantasm sent here to fool your perception. In this state of conscious hibernation the music has complete control over you, making you see whatever it wants you to.

The piano cuts into you like an icy wind. Taps and clicks accompany the wind and stutter out a lazy and comfortable pattern. You wrap around the slowly winding curves of the beat and let it take you. It sails across a desolate winter, drifting smoothly past snow drifts and icicle-draped evergreens. It is all so beautiful yet melancholy. The soft singing hypnotizes your sleep impoverished mind, massaging your synapses and reviving weakened cells.

You can’t understand what is being said but this ignorance has an added aesthetic benefit. The Russian lyrics have a disorienting effect in this dismantled state. The emotive inflections are understood but not the actual words; all meaning absorbed in a deep cavern somewhere inside your head. Somnambuliya’s dark textures are a morose experience that fuel your emotions with deep disconsolate moods. It’s all laid out on a waving tapestry that plays beautifully sincere music. Together they can be ridden to the edge of consciousness, the music guiding you towards sleep.

Rating: 4 Stars
Standout Track: Winter Song


http://somnambuliya.bandcamp.com/album/sleep-deprivation

Album Review: SYNEK – Paradiba EP

Paradiba is a short and sweet preview of the foreboding world where SYNEK resides. Consisting of two original songs and one remix, it catapults us on a dark and menacing descent into blackness. The first track, “Fathom”, is a slightly disturbed symphony of industrial sounds saturated by metallic reverberations. They unceasingly bounce off each other until they crash into a point directly in the center of the tunnel we are falling through. The tunnel presumably leads to the center of the Earth but we have no way of knowing. It is simply constant darkness and a lifetime of plummeting.

“Paradiba” is a 13 minute minimalist measurement of atmospheric pressure that lifts us out of the tunnel into the light radiating from above and further. We continue to rise and gently float in space toward a set destination far beyond the galaxy’s horizon. Off in the distance sharp screeches of painful echoes can be heard, though they are not threatening. They still send a shiver down the spine as they inject a fearful strength into your nerves.

The third track is a remix of “Fathom” done very well, with layers of punchy noise strangling the dense clanking echoes into a beautiful and harrowing drone series. It captures the essence of a deranged descent into madness whilst creating a dreamy atmosphere that comforts the tortured mind.

This debut is an excellent starting point for such dark atmospheres. Hopefully we will see more from this artist very soon.

Rating: 4 stars
Standout Track: Paradiba

http://rano.bandcamp.com/track/fathom

Review: If This Is a Man – Random Acts of Kindness Have Saved Lives

A somber reel of psychedelic guitar strings is cast into the pond of the soul. Tiny ripples break the surface and cascade outward, sending a solemn vibration to the senses. The sound waves lure positive organisms to the air and repel all negativity, creating a submerged cocoon of safety.

If This Is a Man are giving new definition to the word slowcore. They learned from the masters like Low and Red House Painters and added shoegaze influences to send us down a swirling vortex of beautiful sound. Subtle echos and kaleidoscopic guitar manipulations flutter about the brain, breaking the emotional dams we have built for ourselves. The vocals are soothing and consolatory but at times they become obtrusive and too present. When this happens a barrier is put between the mind and the music and you do not get the full experience.

Random Acts of Kindness Have Saved Lives
. The title is very fitting. This album is a bandage for the broken heart, a blanket for a frozen body. Listen to this when your soul is ready to scream and give up and somewhere among the guitar strums and piano strikes you will find the strength to keep going.

Standout Track: Nostalgic
Rating: 4 stars

http://ifthisisaman.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ifthisisaman

Mystified / w.x – Chemical Landscape EP

In August 2011 I began a collaboration with artist Mystified. I sent him three tracks and he mixed and throttled them into deep scores of sound. They race through your veins and send mesmerizing sensations to your brain.

Download Chemical Landscape at Bandcamp.