Honourable Mentions..dyanMU, The Beige Channel, The Vataff Project, Carlos Giffoni

It is very rarely that I have to submit to the weight of material coming my way to review, but in this instance, I have got to the stage where I have more than I can manage in order to confidently justify the existence of certain releases and labels. I am also getting an awful lot of material coming in that just doesn’t fit the remit of the site here, and I either return them to the labels,(rockabilly and techno particularly!) or e mail to apologise , and say..”sorry..not for me”.. which is really just a polite way of saying..”sorry..this is awful..go back to your day job, and never try and inflict these painful outbursts upon me again..”

Some releases fall into a category somewhere in between, and so I have deemed these as honourable mentions..not quite my cup of tea, but not truly awful either..they just hover somewhere in that unquantifiable subjective realm that is my personal viewpoint. I truly appreciate that these labels and artists consider my opinion to be of some worth in this little scene, so it seems only fair that I say something to justify their effort, and postage costs..so here goes..

 

 

DyanMU

www.psychonavigation.com

This release comes out on Northern Ireland’s Psychonavigation imprint. Taking a position somewhere between the ambient ramblings of Boards of Canada, with a little Biospshere, and FSOL added for good measure.  This neat release is capably handled by one Enrico Coglio ably assisted by Elisa Marzorati on piano. Whilst this release didn’t float my boat in terms of originality, it did what every ambient recording should do, and left me chilled, and suitably calmed..film music for the mind I would say, and none the worst for it. For those of you that are still looking for sonic sedation in the form of synthesised ambience..this will have your name on it..

The Beige Channel – Why not take a daydream and wear it?

www.thebeigechannel.com

A strange one,  this..at first I thought it was some kind of hoax.. but the more I listen to it, the more it interests me. Now I am all for artists attempting to expand the language and presentation of minimalism, but some of this sounds like a cat has been let loose to wander over a keyboard, and the net result has been recorded for posterity. There perhaps isn’t enough going on with the dynamics to ensure total engagement on my part, and as we progress, this is made worse by the use of programmed percussion, and various other interventions. It’s all very well recorded and presented though, so at least worthy of a mention..for some reason that I can’t put my finger on..it all sounds a little too contrived and calculated, and perhaps even a little under cooked in terms of frequency range and construction..hmm

The Vataff Project – Kalitz

www.vataff.com

There has obviously been a lot of effort put into the presentation of this CD, and the wealth of printed parts, and slick presentation in general demonstrate a seriousness and commitment that is difficult to ignore. I am always wary of press releases that make grand, sweeping statements testifying to the uniqueness and originality of an artist, and to say that the accompanying press release  for Kalitz was overblown, is the mother of all understatements. The accompanying, glossy sticker boldly states that this is “the next step in sonic evolution”… so imagine my disappointment when on listening to Kalitz, I am taken back to the early 1980’s, and the birth of the term “ambient”.This release is DATED with a capital D –  Don’t get me wrong..these pieces are brilliantly executed, and technically well balanced and composed..however, almost every ambient cliche in the book has been deployed here, and much of this has been done to death via a host of labels claiming to be both “original” and “groundbreaking”. Once again..if ambience is your thing..and you want aural balm..then Vataff Project is something akin to the New Age section in your local Crystal Emporium..perfectly executed..but devoid of personality or originality…there are literally thousands of releases just like this.. BGN

Carlos Giffoni – Eternal Noise

www.bottrop-boy.com

I must confess, I have never heard of Carlos Giffoni, but Bottrop Boy is certainly a label of exceptional quality and reputation, and I reviewed Toshimaru Nakamura’s album with relish. This one , however, didn’t quite hit the mark for me, as it is fairly stock noise, a la Merzbow, CCCC, Francisco Lopez,  and a host of others. There is a measured control to Giffoni’s noise though, and he exploits the textural elements contained within the digital information at his control, and weaves ethereal sounds in and around it. The Noiseniks amongst you out there will absolutely love this, as Giffoni weaves a textural magic through his work..for me..noise has kind of run its course, and nobody is really taking the next step in developing it any further, or expanding its parameters or syntax..well worth a listen though..BGN

 

 

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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