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..
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?
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
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
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