:: Friday, June 16, 2006
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
welcome kiddies to yet another week of CD reviews, where I dug up the all the farting odds and ends that this musical world burps up for my amusement, give it a few spins and then review it for you in the most unprofessionally shoddy of ways..
yup.. dunno if anyone seriously reads this guff.. but wot the hey, dive on in :)
APHEX TWIN - CHOSEN LORDS
in brief: 2 tone aphex minimalism
rating: 2 / 5
fans of APHEX TWIN are usually split into 2 seperate and distinct groups - oldskool fans of his more gentle ambient works who gush on endlessly about how beautifully sparse and delicate his soundscapes are.. and the newskool fans who much prefer his uttery schitzoid chopped up spastic junglist work, most especially the RICHARD D JAMES album.. which, to experience for the first time, sounds very much like wot you'd hear if you threw 5000 pieces of metal cutlery into a room filled with loaded mousetraps.. and then decided to wire the whole place with explosives and triggered everything off in a mass calamatity of metal chunks flying this way and that at highspeed.. APHEX TWIN really isn't the easiest to listen to.. and is even more difficult to review..
so here we have his latest offering "CHOSEN LORDS".. apparently a selection of songs previously only made available as rare vinyl release under various of his pseudonyms.. and now for the first time collected within this album.. and the question is, wot the HELL do I make of all this? well.. firstly.. it's hard to say whether this'd appeal more to the AMBIENT fans or the SPASTIC JUNGLISTS.. as this stuff mixes and matches both in equal measure.. and yet in doing so, effectivily dilutes the impact of both extremes.. to produce something, which in APHEX TWIN's terms would actually be considered quite SAFE and CONSERVATIVE.. think of this as being APHEX LITE.. or DIET TWIN..
most songs begin with a simple 2 tone metronome beat, quite alarmingly simple and spiky (considering what I've come to expect) before he dives in and out of his usual trademark chaos - with mixes of gentle bubbling acid, smooth synth pads and light skittering beats.. the overall feeling here is quite laid back for the most part.. and weirder yet, some songs almost even veer towards the damn near danceable..
it's definitely not his best work, nowhere near his craziest, or his most atmospherically potent.. but, on the flipside.. it does make for his most accessible release yet.. so, if you've never witnessed the APHEX, and need a nice beginner course, this may be worth your while.. but, for all you hardcore fans.. don't expect too much.. ;)
highlights: REUNION 2, PW.Steal.Ldpinch.D
LADYTRON - WITCHING HOUR
in brief: stadium sized electroclash
rating: 4 / 5
most ELECTROCLASH could easily be considered quite "disposable" and punk in it's delivery (especially if yer crazy enough to like a band like CHICKS ON SPEED, or the nuttiness of PEACHES) and yet, LADYTRON here have gone far and above the cliche 80's electro beats, the ice cold synths and the "too cool for artskool" lyrics that pervade most of their peers.. and have instead gone for the more refined and evolved path.. creating wot could be considered the first epic STADIUM ROCK electroclash..
everything here is cranked up the highest level of grandeur.. from the cascading sounds of the rising and falling walls of sound, the concert hall style reverb textures, the driven synth, bass and drums that sound reminiscent of 80's new romantics, the ghostly and ethereal vocal treatment.. it all feels so vast and cinematic, like 3AM, on a rainy night in a large brooding metropolis.. mixing equal levels cold detachment with soaring urgency.. and yet.. despite it's artistic pretense.. it's sense of "beautiful alienation".. it also feels quite immediate and effortlessly accessible so you can't help but be drawn into it..
so, if you want a really sublime haunting experience on a cold and bleak winter's night.. give this a spin, you might just like it.. :)
highlights: DESTROY EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, SUGAR, FIGHTING IN BUILT UP AREAS, BEAUTY
well.. that's it for this week kiddies,
stay tuned next week for more reviews..
(oh, and if you have any new artists or weird releases or wot'not you want me to check out.. lemme know, I'm all ears for new shit to pollute me brain with.. cheers :)
:: Spoz 5:19 AM |