Album Review: Steven R. Hess / mise_en_scene – Non-Distinction

Label: Los Discos Enfantasmes
Catalog No: LDE 030

We all thought the days of cassette tapes were over but like vinyl it’s trying to make an artistic comeback. The economic world has no use for this obsolete medium; it doesn’t make enough money. Creative people who care about the essence and art of things rather than their dollar amount can still find a sense of joy in such outdated material. It brings back a whim of nostalgia, a distinct smell that only tape conveying past metallic heads can make. This vintage sensation creates a unique experience for the music featured on the tape. It is a transatlantic collaboration featuring Chicago drummer Steven R. Hess and Israeli minimalist mise_en_scene. The project was recorded and edited on tape with some sounds added later. The textures and deep vibrating motions circle and hover around, asphyxiating the listener with extended drones. A translucent cocoon is sonically woven around the body. Heavy rumblings sneak through the membrane and gradually make their presence known, filling the chamber like a soothing vapor.

These distinct artists have forged a delicate intertwining of industrial and organic noise, melding into one uniform whole. Waves of oceanic distortion crash into silvery drones, ringing beautifully for an eternity. The hums of machinery constantly whirr behind the subterranean growls protruding from the purgatorial underworld. All life suspended in mid air while an aural tapestry unravels a minimalist arrangement. Harmony resonating from the convergence point of two different worlds. A new perspective is presented as another chemistry experiment is performed. From halfway around the world a sensory collision fused this impressive display of sound. The density from such cavernous thunder weighs deep into the body; it absorbs it like some therapeutic balm. This intense release is a reassurance that there are still people out there willing to take great risks in music.

Rating: 4 Stars
Standout Track: E.g_3

http://losdiscosenfantasmes.blogspot.com/2012/03/sten-r-hess-miseenscene-non-distinction.html

Album Review: Schemawound – They Want to Make Your Body Move. I Want to Hold You Perfectly Still

Label: Waxen Wings
Catalog No: wwa0000

Schemawound is the brain child of J. Siemasko and employs a variety of electronic genres. Ranging from ambient, glitch and IDM to noise and industrial, his works has broken the genre rules. They stand alone as being completely unique, impossible to categorize. This has given him the freedom to expand his sonic horizons with every new release. Being confined to the strict criteria of a specific can often be a creative hellhole where you end up creating the same songs over and over again. Schemawound’s newest release They Want to Make Your Body Move. I Want to Hold You Perfectly Still breaks free from the musical canon, fusing genres together while simultaneously inventing new definitions for what we perceive to be music.

Grains of synthesis sprinkle on the ceramic counter as a lightly jarring ambiance pulsates through a fuzzy television screen in a beige waiting room. Meticulous drones crawl across the hospital floor. A completely clean and sanitized noise slithers through the air vents, wafting into the nearby surgical suites. The room becomes a foggy chamber, encasing you in fragments of sound ricocheting back and forth. Subterranean vibrations and high-pitched chimes descend from above like a flying saucer coming to take away our dead. The whole experience plays trick with your mind as time, perception and intonation morph into something new and frightening.

The songs fluidly blend into each other, seamlessly bound together by an intricate stream of ligaments and tendons. You don’t know where to begin or end; you simply continue. Life goes on and as one thing ends you drift into the next one without even realizing. The concise rigidity to this album is due to the fact that it was composed entirely from code on a computer program. The technical aspects are awe-inspiring. Such fastidious generation takes hours of precise calculation and detailed analysis. The end result is an avantgarde robotic composition that is devoid of emotion.

There is very little human expression; it all sounds so cold. The bleak empty cavity is instead filled with a revealing creativity. Siemasko has shown us the computer’s soul without its heart. It’s a very stark display. The entire ensemble has a very otherworldly quality making it strange and intriguing. The computer, though artificially powered, is still a living being. It’s thoughts might be programmed but it still has spiritual vibrations. This is a glimpse at the capabilities of metaphysical computer music. Deeper exploration will reveal entire new dimensions of music and sound to our senses.

Rating: 3.5 stars
Standout Track:

http://music.schemawound.com/album/they-want-to-make-your-body-move-i-want-to-hold-you-perfectly-still
http://soundcloud.com/schemawound/sets/they-want-to-make-your-body/

Review: Closer Contact & Meteer – Geography 2

Label: BFW Recordings
Catalog No: BFW106

Drone has hitched a ride with experimental electronics for a cosmic trip abound with minimalism. This Swedish collaborative duo have created an enchanting craft upon which we can float all around the world if our heart desires. Techno beats evolve and fade in and out amongst each other and ambient drones drift alongside time and space, carrying you away. The entire album submerges you deep into a watery subconscious, free from human woes and suffering.

With drone fuzzes and fluid minimalist rhythms this is a wonderful electronica release. The various genres coexist in a dreamy habitat. They form a peaceful connection with our collective soul and the human spirit is nurtured and cared for in it darkest hour.

Standout track: Tunguska
Rating: 4.5 stars

http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/CloserContactMeteer/Geography2/

Review: Darren Harper – Suspended Memory

Floating around in sensory deprivation, at a loss to the world, I come across Suspended Memory. The minimal drones only increase my deprivation, sending me down a calm river during the full moon. The atmosphere around me is illuminated in moonbeam glows. The quiet soundscapes flow onwards, rushing down the river. Suddenly, I hear children playing and all awareness of this world returns to me briskly. Drones morph into melodies only to slowly revert back to their original state.

Darren Harper is a master of atmosphere. He is able to cultivate a journey for the listener and unveil a dream world. A world where acceptance of the universe has been reached and there is nothing left to do but float around and enjoy the music.

Standout track: Polaroids In the Park
Rating: 4 stars

http://darrenharper.bandcamp.com/album/suspended-memory
http://darrenjh.blogspot.com/
http://soundcloud.com/darrenharper